The Nanny by. Lana Ferguson | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Nanny

Author: Lana Ferguson

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 432

Publication Date: 4/11/23

Publisher: Berkley Books

Categories: Romance, Contemporary

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Berkley Books for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

A woman discovers the father of the child she is nannying may be her biggest (Only)Fan in this steamy contemporary romance by Lana Ferguson.

After losing her job and being on the brink of eviction, Cassie Evans finds herself with two choices: get a new job (and fast) or fire up her long-untouched OnlyFans account. But there are no jobs to be found, and as for OnlyFans. . . . Well, there are reasons she can’t go back. Just when all hope seems lost, an ad for a live-in nanny position seems the solution to all her problems. It’s almost too perfect—until she meets her would-be employer.

Aiden Reid, executive chef and DILF extraordinaire is far from the stuffy single dad Cassie was imagining. She is shocked when he tells her she’s the most qualified applicant he’s met in weeks, practically begging her to take the job. With hands that make her hindbrain howl and eyes that scream sex, the idea of living under the same roof as Aiden feels dangerous, but with no other option, she decides to stay with him and his adorably tenacious daughter, Sophie.

Cassie soon discovers that Aiden is not a stranger at all, but instead someone who is very familiar with her—or at least, her body. She finds herself at a loss for what to do, given that he doesn’t remember her. As their relationship heats to temperatures hotter than any kitchen Aiden has ever worked in, Cassie struggles with telling Aiden the truth, and the more terrifying possibility—losing the best chance at happiness she’s ever had.

Content Warning: mention of death of a parent

A single dad and the nanny? I was definitely interested to see what would happen here especially since the nanny had an OnlyFans account. Here’s what I thought:

+ If you like steamy, hot scenes – this book is definitely for you. From the recollections of Cassie’s OnlyFans sessions with her favorite client to her and Aiden getting it one. Oh boy…this one is on fire!

+ The single dad trope I thought was done pretty good. He’s busy and needs some help and Cassie is definitely qualified.

+ My favorite characters in this book are Sophie who is definitely a typical 9 year old, playing on her Switch and thinking kissing is gross. She’s had some trauma and a busy dad so I totally understood her reservations. Also Wanda, Cassie’s best friend, an elderly woman with so much spunk is hilarious.

~ As much as I enjoyed the smutty scenes and I like that Aiden and Cassie have a connection. I wanted them to connect on a deeper level. I just didn’t feel it and honestly, I did feel like Iris (Sophie’s aunt) was correct to be worried that Aiden didn’t do enough for Sophie. He barely spent time with his daughter in this story and if he did, and was a bit more protective of her, even when it came to Cassie who was new to their family – I have been more endeared to him I think? I give him credit for trying but as a character – I felt like he was not putting enough effort. And you’d think as a chef with a famous restaurant he’d at least cook something good for Cassie but he never does! I was waiting for some amazing meal scene or something along those lines.

~ The conversations between Aiden and Cassie got repetitive at times and lacked the kind of banter I love in a romance. It would start off okay and they do well in the bedroom but outside of the bedroom I felt like they needed better communication skills.

~ Cassie is a sweetheart but honestly, sometimes she got on my nerves because she knows what sleeping with her boss would do and especially in the eyes of Iris. I’m glad Wanda was there to tell her what is up because that girl needed some guidance. Also when Cassie decides to leave – did she not think how that would affect Sophie who’s mom just died? So leaving without a goodbye is a good decision? Just little things like that bugged me.

Tropes: single dad, dad and the nanny, one house

Why you should read it:

  • hot sex scenes
  • single dad trope, live-in nanny romance
  • Wanda is the best character

Why you might not want to read it:

  • repetitive and need better communication between the characters

My Thoughts:

I was not expecting the blush factor in this book, it’s got some steamy scenes which I enjoyed! I just wish the two main characters connected better outside of the bedroom as well as they did inside of it because as much as I enjoyed the smut, I was skipping a few of it at the ending because I wanted the emotional parts of these two characters. Also their conversations felt repetitive. My favorite character is Wanda, Cassie’s spunky friend who is the closest thing to family that she has. She brought a lot of the humor into the story. Overall I thought the book was still enjoyable despite the some of the issues I had with it.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


The Last Heir to Blackwood Library by. Hester Fox | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: The Last Heir to Blackwood Library

Author: Hester Fox

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 336

Publication Date: 4/4/23

Publisher: Graydon House

Categories: Historical Fantasy, Mystery, Alchemy, Gothic

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Graydon House for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

In postWorld War I England, a young woman inherits a mysterious library and must untangle its powerful secrets

With the stroke of a pen, twenty-three-year-old Ivy Radcliffe becomes Lady Hayworth, owner of a sprawling estate on the Yorkshire moors. Ivy has never heard of Blackwood Abbey, or of the ancient bloodline from which she’s descended. With nothing to keep her in London since losing her brother in the Great War, she warily makes her way to her new home.

The abbey is foreboding, the servants reserved and suspicious. But there is a treasure waiting behind locked doors: a magnificent library. Despite cryptic warnings from the staff, Ivy feels irresistibly drawn to its dusty shelves, where familiar works mingle with strange, esoteric texts. And she senses something else in the library too, a presence that seems to have a will of its own.  

Rumors swirl in the village about the abbey’s previous owners, about ghosts and curses, and an enigmatic manuscript at the center of it all. And as events grow more sinister, it will be up to Ivy to uncover the library’s mysteries in order to reclaim her own story—before it vanishes forever.

Content Warning: holding someone against their will

I am always intrigued by books by Hester Fox, so I requested this one right away. Here is what I thought:

+ The writing is lush and engaging. I could envision Ivy going to Yorkshire to live in this haunted, old abbey. There were moments the story gave me the chills and creeps. It had all the gothic vibes I was expecting from this author.

+ I like the twist in the story because it was totally unexpected. There is a sentient, evil library – which I thought was pretty cool. I was afraid for Ivy because even I didn’t know what was going on until it was explained, but I could sympathize and feel her confusion and terror when certain things start happening to her.

+~ Ivy is an unreliable narrator which is fascinating and frustrating at the same time. By the middle of the book, I was so irritated with her decision making! There is an explanation to her behavior but you have to keep reading.

~ Though this is a quick read, there is so much information withheld from Ivy it was very frustrating. I just was wishing someone would tell her something to help her out. I just kept judging her and saying she was very naive but there is more to the story that I can’t reveal.

~ There were some parts to the story that felt disjointed. The romance didn’t quite work for me, it could have, but the way the story is written – it just didn’t work for me. And after the explanation about the Abbey’s library – everything felt rushed from then on to the end. I wish there were more creepy scenes, and more incidents with the library books!

Tropes: sentient library

Why you should read it:

  • you like gothic, historical fantasy
  • the atmosphere of the Abbey, the library, the writing is engaging
  • Ivy is an unreliable narrator

Why you might not want to read it:

  • some parts of the story is rushed, romance didn’t work for me

My Thoughts:

I’m always picking up a Hester Fox book because I know the gothic vibes will be there. I love how her writing captures a setting, in this case, Yorkshire and the Abbey. I love the creepy vibes and wish it were creepier! I enjoyed the twist in the story about the library and wish there were more instances where we got to see the library in action. The romance didn’t work for me and I do think the ending was rushed but I still found it entertaining.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

BLOG TOUR} A Lullaby for Witches by. Hester Fox | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️

ARC Review | The Widow of Pale Harbor ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Foxglove King by. Hannah Whitten | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Foxglove King (The Nightshade Crown, #1)

Author: Hannah Whitten

Format: ebook (borrowed)

Pages: 466

Publication Date: 3/7/23

Categories: Fantasy, New Adult, Magic, Kingdom Politics, LGBT+, Romance

In this lush, romantic new epic fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Hannah Whitten, a young woman’s secret power to raise the dead plunges her into the dangerous and glamorous world of the Sainted King’s royal court.

When Lore was thirteen, she escaped a cult in the catacombs beneath the city of Dellaire. And in the ten years since, she’s lived by one rule: don’t let them find you. Easier said than done, when her death magic ties her to the city.

Mortem, the magic born from death, is a high-priced and illicit commodity in Dellaire, and Lore’s job running poisons keeps her in food, shelter, and relative security. But when a run goes wrong and Lore’s power is revealed, she’s taken by the Presque Mort, a group of warrior-monks sanctioned to use Mortem working for the Sainted King. Lore fully expects a pyre, but King August has a different plan. Entire villages on the outskirts of the country have been dying overnight, seemingly at random. Lore can either use her magic to find out what’s happening and who in the King’s court is responsible, or die.

Lore is thrust into the Sainted King’s glittering court, where no one can be believed and even fewer can be trusted. Guarded by Gabriel, a duke-turned-monk, and continually running up against Bastian, August’s ne’er-do-well heir, Lore tangles in politics, religion, and forbidden romance as she attempts to navigate a debauched and opulent society.

But the life she left behind in the catacombs is catching up with her. And even as Lore makes her way through the Sainted court above, they might be drawing closer than she thinks.

Content Warning: violence

I liked this author’s previous series but didn’t love it. When I heard about this new book I was excited to read it because the synopsis sounded intriguing. Here is what I thought:

+ I love all the political intrigue in this story. The king thinks his son is betraying their kingdom by working with the enemy so they plant a spy, Lore, to find out his secrets. What she finds out is more than what she was led to believe. I enjoyed following Lore and this story to see where it would go, and I can say it wasn’t disappointing.

+ I enjoyed the world building and magic system. Lore can control Mortem – which is basically death. She’s basically a necromancer but that’s the least of her problems. There is a power play happening in court between the King, and the religious body the Presque Mort, and Lore is being played around like a puppet.

+ I was definitely invested in the characters, especially Lore, Gabe, Bastian and Alie. I was not disappointed with how everything unraveled and it makes me eager to read book two.

~ I can’t really call this a romance which was my biggest issue with the book. I wanted all the romantasy I got in her previous series! I was waiting and waiting for it and only got 2 kisses when this is definitely the type of story that calls for more heat. Gabe is basically a monk and he is attracted to Lore – he’s fighting tooth and nail against it, which means, I wanted a little more stolen kisses between them. Also…is this a love triangle? I’m not sure yet…because I don’t feel like Bastian comes off as a love interest. I feel like he and Lore are very good friends instead. So I don’t know but really, these characters are 23+ and I admit I wanted more action between Lore and Gabe at least! There was some angst between them though.

~ The story moved slowly but honestly I am so surprised I read this in two days. Usually a slow moving plot will lost my attention but I think the characters kept me in the story.

~ Lore…I liked her but I also expected more from her being a spy with all these powers? Okay she doesn’t know much about it but she came off confident in the first pages but when she has to spy on the prince – it’s not easy for her and she blows her cover right away. The prince is smart and calculating and I kind of wanted her to match up against him but I guess they were matched in a different way.

Why you should read it:

  • you like kingdom politics
  • it’s not heavy on the romance
  • I enjoyed getting to know the characters

Why you might not want to read it:

  • a love triangle brewing? To be honest, I wanted more romance

My Thoughts:

I like this series much more than the previous one already! It held my attention even though some parts were slow because I was invested in the characters. If you don’t like love triangles, you won’t like this one even though it’s not clear where Lore’s attentions will land. I liked the ending of this book and can’t wait to see what happens in book two!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

For the Throne by. Hannah F. Whitten | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

For the Wolf by. Hannah F. Whitten | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Liar’s Crown by. Abigail Owen | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Liar’s Crown (Dominions, #1)

Author: Abigail Owen

Format: ebook (borrowed)

Pages: 448

Publication Date: 8/30/22

Categories: Fantasy, New Adult, Twins, Romance

Some shadows protect you…others will kill you in this dazzling new fantasy series from award-winning author Abigail Owen.

Everything about my life is a lie. As a hidden twin princess, born second, I have only one purpose—to sacrifice my life for my sister if death comes for her. I’ve been living under the guise of a poor, obscure girl of no standing, slipping into the palace and into the role of the true princess when danger is present.

Now the queen is dead and the ageless King Eidolon has sent my sister a gift—an eerily familiar gift—and a proposal to wed. I don’t trust him, so I do what I was born to do and secretly take her place on the eve of the coronation. Which is why, when a figure made of shadow kidnaps the new queen, he gets me by mistake.

As I try to escape, all the lies start to unravel. And not just my lies. The Shadowraith who took me has secrets of his own. He struggles to contain the shadows he wields—other faces, identities that threaten my very life.

Winter is at the walls. Darkness is looming. And the only way to save my sister and our dominion is to kill Eidolon…and the Shadowraith who has stolen my heart.

Content Warning: violence, kidnapping

The ebook for The Liar’s Crown is on sale on Amazon for $1.99 and so I decided to get it. I’ve been seeing the advertisement for book two of this book coming out soon and I love the cover so I thought, why not? Here is what I thought:

+ If you like stories about twin sisters, you will enjoy this one. I’m 50/50 on twin stories – sometimes I think it’s overdone but I was definitely entertained with this story. Only a few people know about the twin princesses, Tabra and Meren, because it was kept quiet at their birth. They did this because King Eidolon of Tyndra always takes the queens…at least that’s what Meren learned from her grandmother. So Tabra will be the Queen, and Meren, her twin and body double will step in when needed to protect Tabra.

+ Reven is an interesting character – he’s a shadow, literally! He’s a Shadowraith and dangerous. But his dangerous side comes in handy when they are dealing with monsters, because when unleashed he’s the scarier monster. He’s a morally gray character – he is supposedly a bad guy but he’s trying to do good by taking down King Eidolon. Meren and Reven have an attraction that goes into new adult territory which I was very surprised about since I thought this was young adult. So expect a steamy scene between them!

+ I liked the political stakes of the story – I thought it helped move the story along. I like the mistaken identity and body double idea though. It will be interesting to see what happens in book two.

~ I didn’t like that Meren was prepared to be Tabra’s body-double but when her grandmother dies, she’s pretty much in the dark about a lot of things. I wish her grandmothers did a better job of telling her about EVERYTHING, like what the amulet was for, and what King Eidolon’s deal was….you know…important stuff!

~ Meren needed to get back to save Tabra, but it was taking her forever to try and get there. I felt like if she told Reven the truth sooner, she could have saved Tabra from King Eidolon.

~ Meren’s best friend Cain is a potential love interest from chapter one but the boy has no chance. So it’s not quite a love triangle, since obviously Meren is going to end up with Reven. But poor Cain is just chasing after her.

Tropes: mistaken identity, enemies to lovers

Why you should read it:

  • you like stories about twin sisters, in this case one is a body double, the other will inherit the throne
  • Meren and Reven’s romance
  • lots of action and kingdom politics

Why you might not want to read it:

  • cliffhanger ending

My Thoughts:

I went into this one with no expectations and was very surprised that it was New Adult, and that I didn’t dislike this twin sisters story (sometimes I feel twin sisters stores are overdone). There were a few things about the story that I had issues with like Meren taking her time getting back to Tabra when she knows the moment Reven isn’t King Eidolon! Your sister is in danger, girl, get back to her! The ending makes me curious enough to want to read the next book and see what happens.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

Silver in the Bone by. Alexandra Bracken | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Silver in the Bone (#1)

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 480

Publication Date: 4/4/23

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Categories: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Romance

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Knopf Books for Young Readers for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

A series opener inspired by Arthurian legend and fueled by love, revenge, and pure adrenaline!

Tamsin Lark didn’t ask to be a Hollower. As a mortal with no magical talent, she was never meant to break into ancient crypts, or compete with sorceresses and Cunningfolk for the treasures inside. But after her thieving foster father disappeared without so much as a goodbye, it was the only way to keep herself—and her brother, Cabell—alive.

Ten years later, rumors are swirling that her guardian vanished with a powerful ring from Arthurian legend. A run-in with her rival Emrys ignites Tamsin’s hope that the ring could free Cabell from a curse that threatens both of them. But they aren’t the only ones who covet the ring.

As word spreads, greedy Hollowers start circling, and many would kill to have it for themselves. While Emrys is the last person Tamsin would choose to partner with, she needs all the help she can get to edge out her competitors in the race for the ring. Together, they dive headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, exposing a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past and shatter her last hope of saving her brother. . . .

Content Warning: violence, gore, death

I wasn’t sure what to expect when requesting this book. I enjoyed Lore which is from the same author. So I thought the concept for this one was intriguing. Here is what I thought:

+ Once I got my bearings in the story, and things started to gel a bit better I was really into the action parts of this story. It’s quite an adventure that Tamsin goes through in this book. It’s urban fantasy so it starts off in the modern world and there is magic, portals and yes Avalon. So I enjoyed all the places this book took me, it’s quite a journey.

+ I liked the characters. Tamsin is that girl who has abandonment issues, doesn’t have a traditional family, doesn’t have anyone really except her brother Cabell. She keeps people away with a gruff, pessimistic front which means she’s not the easiest to be around. Cabell is dealing with some things! Neve is this cool and kind hearted girl who is a sorceress and then there is the gorgeous Emrys who is a rich boy but he has his own issues to deal with. And then there are all the characters in Avalon that were fun to get to know.

+ I mentioned the action but can I say I didn’t expect this to get a bit scary/creepy too? There are zombies in this one and they are relentless and vicious. I actually enjoyed the scenes when they were fighting them even if it got bloody and gory.

+ The ending is a cliffhanger but wow, how the story leads up to it is pretty exciting. I think the second half of this book was the best part, there were a few plot twists that were unexpected. I need to know what is going to happen with Cabell, what is going on with Emrys and I am rooting for the girls to do what they need to do!

~ It took me awhile to get situated in the beginning of the book because I was thrown into it. I didn’t know what Tamsin was, what a Hollower was, if this was fantasy, if this was contemporary. I kind of wish I was lead into it a bit better.

~ Pacing – at times this book was going really fast, because the action is really great and then once it would get good, it pulled back. I had to check a few times how many more pages was left in the book because I was hoping I was near the finish line. It definitely felt like 480 pages.

~ The zombies or Children of the Night are reminiscent of the Whitewalkers in Game of Thrones. They are afraid of fire, they are freakishly scary and want blood, and come out at night. It’s what I totally pictured in my head when I read the scenes with the Children of the Night. Also the bodycount factor reminded me of GoT also! The author wasn’t afraid to kill off good people in this story – it was a heartbreaking scene but definitely makes me want to read book two. But anyway if you aren’t into zombies – this might not be for you.

Tropes: found family,

Why you should read it:

  • King Arthur legends, adventure, zombies, magic
  • the enemies to lovers romance between Tamsin and Emrys
  • you like urban fantasy

Why you might not want to read it:

  • you get thrown in to the story, pacing is all over the place, it’s kind of chaotic until you get your bearings

My Thoughts:

I found this book very entertaining for the most part! The pacing issues made it feel laggy in some places but the action was really good especially in the later part of the book. I will definitely read book two because I want to know what happens to these amazing characters.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Lore by. Alexandra Bracken | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Divine Rivals by. Rebecca Ross | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Divine Rivals (#1)

Author: Rebecca Ross

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 368

Publication Date: 4/4/23

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Categories: Historical Fantasy, War, Gods, Romance, Young Adult, Grief

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Wednesday Books for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.

To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish―into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.

When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever. Shadow and Bone meets Lore in this epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.

Content Warning: violence, death, alcoholism, war, wounds, grief

I requested this book because it said Rebecca Ross wrote it and I was not disappointed. Here is what I thought:

+ I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this story and I was so surprised at what I got. This is a historical fantasy, set in a time similar to the 1950’s – the main characters are reporters who use typewriters to write their article for the newspaper. The fascinating thing in this story is the war wasn’t started by humans that we know of, but gods. And the gods have used humans to fight their war. We get a bit of the lore between the gods Dacre and Enva and why they started fighting. There is even magic in this world, magic typewriters, enchanted houses, which I thought was really fun.

+ Because this is basically a war drama – there is sweeping rivals to lovers romance, there is loved ones missing on the front lines, the horrors of war, the strength of love and character and I experienced so many emotions in this one book alone. I think I teared up three times. And I wasn’t expecting this book to do that to me.

+ The romance is a big part of this story and I love it. It’s the type of romance I would expect in a war drama actually and fits so beautifully. I’m a sucker for written letters (I am old enough to have done this back in my day lol), two people who love the written word – falling for one another because of the words they are writing to one another. It grabbed the romantic in me by the heart and I was rooting for their love from beginning to end!

+ There is more to the story especially when it comes to Iris trying to find her brother. My heart felt for both Iris and Roman. Mostly Iris because she was so all alone in the world. But what a tough young lady to keep on going even when it seems she has nothing left. She’s determined to find her brother and know if he was dead or alive. And Roman for overcoming an accident in his past that has ruined his family forever. I commend both of them for trying to love again even when they’ve both been so hurt.

~ There is a cliffhanger at the end and this book is a series. The ending broke my heart for Iris and her crew at the end of this book.

~ I do want more back story about the Gods because other Gods are mentioned besides Dacre and Enva, but I’m hoping that information comes in book two.

Tropes: magical correspondence, rival journalists

Why you should read it:

  • fan of Rebecca Ross
  • it’s got a little bit of everything: war, drama, gods, romance
  • I love Iris and Roman

Why you might not want to read it:

  • some readers might the story lacking in world-building especially in the mythology department but I’m hoping there is more of it in book two – the Dacre/Enva story kind of reminds me of Hades and Persephone but different

My Thoughts:

Where does Rebecca Ross come up with these stories? She is becoming my new must-read author only because she tries different things, different time periods, different settings and I always enjoy what she creates. I went with 5 stars for this book because the way this story took me for a ride, an emotional one at that, it even though it made me cry. I was caught up in the heartbreak for Iris, the horrors of war and the sweeping love story between Iris and Roman. I am so excited for book two, I’m just sad I have to wait awhile for it.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sisters of Sword and Song by. Rebecca Ross | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

A River Enchanted by. Rebecca Ross | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Book Review: The Queen’s Rising ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Right Girl, Wrong Side by. Ginny Baird | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Right Girl, Wrong Side

Author: Ginny Baird

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 352

Publication Date: 3/28/23

Publisher: Sourcebook Casablanca

Categories: Romance, Contemporary, One House

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Sourcebook Casablanca for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ginny Baird brings her signature charm to this multicultural story about two disputing families sharing a beach house and the messiness that comes from falling in love with someone who your family is determined to despise.

Busy flower shop manager Evita Machado can’t wait to get to Nantucket. With a bad breakup behind her, relaxing at the shore with her folks and her brothers and their families sounds like the sure cure for heartache, and their vacation destination looks like an amazing place! But when they arrive at the quaint rose-covered cottage, another group has already put down stakes: the Hatfields.

Ryan Hatfield was Evita’s former crush from high school, but their business rival moms refused to let them date. Now history professor Ryan is here for a week with his parents, who won them this oceanfront rental in a society silent auction. Once it’s clear there’s been a double-booking due to a bidding mistake, Ryan’s mom digs in her heels, meaning to stay. When Evita’s mom won’t back down either, both sides tepidly agree to share the luxury accommodations by dividing the cozy space.

With the boisterous Machados livening things up and the strait-laced Hatfields tamping them down, can Evita and Ryan keep the peace between the warring factions while fostering a growing chemistry between the two of them?

Content Warning:

I thought this book cover looked really cute and the synopsis sounded like it would make for a good rom-com. This is what I thought:

+ Two families, two mom’s that hate each other, and two people who used to be close in high school are reunited accidentally in this book. They try to make the best of their vacation week by sharing one house and it’s almost a disaster. It’s definitely the type of book I was reading to the end to see what kind of chaos ensue and I was not disappointed.

+ Evita and Ryan was the level-headed ones of their families. Evita comes from a big, loud, tight-knit family and Ryan comes from a small, not so close, quiet family. Those two families clash but it’s mostly because of the mothers who have it out for one another due to a high school feud of their own! I loved Evita’s brothers and their families Talk about chaos, but I relate all too well.

+ The romance between Evita and Ryan is really sweet. They were good friends in high school, both crushing on one another without the other knowing. But it seems like the stars have aligned, or good timing, because both of them are free to date one another now, if they want to pursue it. And they do. This is a sweet romance, all we get is some kisses between them, nothing more but I think it works.

+ I love the theme of family in this story. Evita’s family is more tighter, but she still had to beg her mom to back off and let her be independent when it comes to wanting to hang out with Ryan. As for Ryan he had to have a major family meeting with his. But in the end it’s a very happy ending.

~ The mom’s are basically the ones acting like petty young girls, but I thought it was funny. I’m just glad they finally acted adult enough to bury the hatchet by the end.

Tropes: one house, rival families

Why you should read it:

  • you want a sweet romance, two families under one house with lots of chaos, but a very happy ending

Why you might not want to read it:

  • the moms are a bit petty, and fought over the silliest things

My Thoughts:

I thought this was a cute story and I loved seeing how different the two families were and how they warmed up to one another by the end. It does have two moms arguing about the smallest things but that’s as far as the drama goes in the story. Overall it was funny, and the romance was really sweet. I look forward to reading more books from this author.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Nevermore Bookstore by. Kerrigan Bryne and Cynthia St. Aubin | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Nevermore Bookstore (Townsend Harbor, #1)

Author: Kerrigan Byrne & Cynthia St. Aubin

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 363

Publication Date: 3/28/23

Publisher: Oliver Heber Books

Categories: Romance, Contemporary, Mystery, Dark Romance

Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thank you to Oliver Heber Books for giving me a chance to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Cadence “Cady” Bloomquist knows two things for sure: First, shelving books at her shop, Nevermore Bookstore, totally counts as cardio. Second, staying late every Thursday night to take a certain mysterious customer’s order is not the same as waiting by the phone for some man.


Until the calls with the man who identifies himself only as “Fox” last for hours, and become the highlight of her week. Which leaves her to wonder, if his jagged velvet voice can kindle her fire over the phone, what sort of alchemy might it inspire if they met in person?

There’s nothing Roman Fawkes wants more than the brilliant, beautiful bookstore owner, but Roman Fawkes knows it can never happen. Secreted in his mountain hideaway high above sleepy little Townsend Harbor, his hermit’s existence shields him–and those around him–from the pain of his past.


Until one of their weekly calls is interrupted by a break-in, and Fawkes is powerless to protect the woman who has become his one link to the world. Orchestrating a trap for the fool who dared harm her, Fawkes finds himself not just ensnared, but beguiled by her. Now so close to Cady, he discovers she’s fallen for “Fox”, and yet he’s unable to reveal her heart’s desire is closer than she thinks.

Can Fawkes resist the temptation to get between Cady’s covers, knowing they’ll never have a happily ever after?

Content Warning: PTSD, torture scenes in a memory

What caught my eye for this book was the cover and title. I’d say this is one of those instances where the cover made me think this would be a rom-com. Here’s what I thought:

+ Yes there are fun, light-hearted moments in this book but that’s mostly with Cady. She has ankylosing spondylitis and suffers from the pain of it but despite that she’s a sunshine girl. Cady is positive and living life. Whereas her romantic interest, Fox, is the opposite. Grumpy? YES. But with so much baggage, trauma, and suffers from major PTSD. His character threw me off in the beginning and I was wondering if this was a paranormal romance and he was a werewolf or something! Boy, was I wrong, but Fox is almost feral in this book. But opposites attract in this one and there is no shortage of chemistry between them.

+ I love the small town and how Cady runs a bookstore. She and Fox actually bond because of their love of books. But I love Cady’s friends Gemma, Myrtle, and Vee, they were all so funny together.

+ The romance between Cady and Fox was really heart melting after all the kinks they had to iron out. And it was a lot – it’s heavy, because of Fox’s PTSD. But I like that Cady fought to keep this guy, there is something beautiful about fighting for love. I like that these two people, strangers over the phone really, are each fighting their own battles and in the end decide they want to fight together. Also their sex scenes are steamy and hot!

~ This is a dark romance because Fox goes through some bad stuff and he dreams about it. I really couldn’t figure him out in the first part of the book, I couldn’t understand what the deal was with him. He’s a hermit in the woods, he seems like he’s on the verge of going out of his head – hence why I thought maybe he was a werewolf and this was a paranormal romance! There isn’t anything wrong with him dealing with PTSD, I just wasn’t expecting how hard he would deal with it. I really felt for him.

~ Because of the way they meet, and Fox is basically some guy in the woods – when he does come to be around Cady to protect her, it comes off a little suspect, like he’s stalking her. He doesn’t disclose who he is because he’s not good for her, but he sticks around a few days to make sure she is okay. He even watches her through binoculars so if that bothers you then this story isn’t for you.

~ The mystery part in this book I think didn’t flow as well for me? I was invested in Cady and Fox and the mystery of who HE is. But some things were happening at the bookstore that I felt like wasn’t something pushed to the forefront of the story. So by the time it’s dealt with at the end, it’s just some loose end that needs to be tied up and it is taken care of nicely.

Tropes: small town, sunshine girl/grumpy broken guy

Why you should read it:

  • set in a small town, at a bookstore owned by a sunshine girl with an autoimmune disease
  • fun secondary characters – Cady’s best friends
  • Cady and Fox’s romance – and how they try to help themselves and one another by the end of the book

Why you might not want to read it:

  • it’s darker than the cartoonish cover lets on! I liked the spotlight on Fox’s PTSD but it’s not a light-hearted read – I think it was trying to toe the line between light-hearted and dark. It worked for me but may not work for everyone.

My Thoughts:

After the initial rocky start of the book (mostly because Fox), I think I fell in love with Cady and Fox – especially when the truth comes out. Cady’s life in her small town, her book store and her close knit friends was perfect for her and her personality. Fox fit his surroundings also, because he really was on the edge of giving up, and he was going to give up in the woods but I didn’t know that until later. So like Cady, I didn’t understand him, until he let his guard down. But I loved the two of them together and glad they have a happy ending. The story is like a balance between light-hearted and dark romance and I enjoyed it. It looks like this is going to be a series so I hope the next love story is Gemma’s or Ethan’s? I look forward to reading more from this duo.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by. Amélie Wen Zhao | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Song of Silver, Flame Like Night (Song of the Last Kingdom, #1)

Author: Amélie Wen Zhao

Format: ebook (borrowed)

Pages: 512

Publication Date: 1/17/23

Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, Mythology, Dragons, Demons, Romance

In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to discovering the secrets of her nation’s past–and unleashing the demons that sleep at its heart. An epic fantasy series inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China.

Once, Lan had a different name. Now, she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and spends her days scavenging for remnants of the past. For anything that might help her understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother, in her last act before she died.

No one can see the mysterious mark–an untranslatable Hin character–except Lan. Until the night a boy appears at the teahouse and saves her life.

Zen is a practitioner–one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom, whose abilities were rumored to be drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Magic to be hidden from the Elantians at all costs.

When Zen comes across Lan’s unusual qi, he recognizes what she is: a practitioner with a powerful ability hidden in the mark on her arm. He’s never seen anything like it–but he knows: if there are answers, they lie deep in the pine forests and misty mountains of the Last Kingdom, with an order of practitioning masters planning to overthrow the Elantian regime.

Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.

Content Warning: violence, death

I got this book on my online library and really haven’t read many reviews for it or wasn’t sure what to expect but I really enjoyed it. Here is what I thought:

+ I like the other series this author wrote, so I was definitely interested to see how this book would pan out. I love the writing because it’s full of action, secrets, a fallen kingdom, a people trying to hold on to their culture and heritage and passing on their knowledge. There is magic, there are demons, and even a tiny bit of a romance.

+ I thought Lan was a intriguing character – she’s a song girl, but she has a mysterious seal on her arm and I was invested in her story to want to desperately find out what that seal on her contained! This book is about power and the consequences of power when there is no balance – and Zen’s character really exhibits the fight inside himself, trying to control a demon, trying to contain his anger against the Elantians and wanting to not be helpless against them anymore. I sympathized with both characters and the rest of the Hin who was trying to preserve their culture and family name.

+ The magic system is really cool and uses the power of qi. I love how the practioners (magic masters) have these amazing skills to fight and write magic seals. It made me wish I could see this book on the screen, just to witness these battles in action. There were really cool scenes in this book, especially the one where Zen and Lan are at the Guarded Mountain and the climax, big fight at the school was amazing as well.

+ The romance is so slight, barely there and with the way things end. It’s not looking hopeful at the moment, but I can’t wait to read book to see where the story goes.

~ The villain is so villainous, I hated him and was rooting for Lan to somehow take him down but it didn’t happen. They need more to take him and the Elantians down and it’s one of those books that makes me want to read the next and the next just to see them taken down.

~ The only thing that took me awhile to grasp at times was the magic because it had to deal with yin and yang and qi. Lan does grasp everything fairly quick even though she’s only training for about 2 weeks – but it’s due to her bloodline.

Why you should read it:

  • great world building, action scenes and characters fighting for their communities
  • Lan and Zen’s internally battle with the demons and wanting power
  • cool magic system

Why you might not want to read it:

My Thoughts:

I went into this one not really knowing what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this story. I love the action and the whole story was just pure entertainment. There were moments I just was protective of Lan and Zen and I really, really want that villain to be taken down. I’ll be eagerly waiting to see where this story takes these characters in book two!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review | Blood Heir ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Red Tigress by. Amélie Wen Zhao | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Misfit by. Elle Kennedy | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Misfit (The Prep Series)

Author: Elle Kennedy

Format: ebook (KU)

Pages: 432

Publication Date: 11/29/22

Categories: New Adult, Prep School, Romance

Finding out your mom is marrying some rich guy you’ve never met is enough to make any eighteen-year-old’s head spin. And for RJ Shaw, it gets worse: he’s being sent to Sandover Prep for senior year. If there’s one place a misfit hacker like RJ doesn’t belong, it’s an ivy-covered all-boys boarding school for rich delinquents. There’s no point trying to get along with anyone. That is, until he meets Sloane Tresscott in the woods on the outskirts of campus. Gorgeous and sharp-tongued, Sloane is pure temptation. Except Sloane is the one girl he’s forbidden from touching. The headmaster’s daughter. Good thing RJ doesn’t believe in rules. Sure, Sloane insists she’s swearing off boys this year, but he wants her bad, and he’s going to win her over if it kills him—unless her ex-boyfriend, the ruling king of Sandover, kills him first. Luckily, RJ’s unwittingly made some friends. His new stepbrother Fenn, a pretty boy with a self-destructive streak. Lawson, self-proclaimed agent of chaos. And Silas, the All-American good guy who can’t actually be as nice as he seems. If RJ wants to survive prep school and win Sloane’s heart, he’ll need to figure out a way to use all the secrets hidden in the walls of Sandover.

Content Warning: bullying, violence, toxic relationships, teacher/student relationship

Continuing on with my prep school book craving, I picked this one up Kindle Unlimited and this is what I thought:

+ I already knew this one would be a bit raunchy but whoa – okay are prep school kids really having this much sex? Because I hope they are getting tested and staying protected. I liked that the MC is a guy who doesn’t fit in – he’s a hacker and his mom married into money but usually I read these stories from girl POV’s and it was nice to get it with a male lead.

+ There is a whole cast of characters in this one and different POV’s – a lot of them are supposed to have done something bad to end up at this prep school but it’s definitely white collar crime stuff. And I find it interesting that Fenn and his friends aren’t the baddest kids at this school. There’s a guy name Duke who is the biggest bully on campus and Fenn and his friends are basically the party boys who try and stay on Duke’s good side.

+ I liked RJ and Sloane. She’s a man-eater with a really bad, douchey ex-boyfriend. RJ is on the quiet side, but still confident even if he’s not the physical and macho type. He’s a hacker so this is definitely the hacker-hero trope which I hardly get to read but always am eager to read. I think they balanced each other!

+ There is a mystery in the story too and I hope there is more progress in book two since it does concern Cassie.

~ It’s new adult but yes these kids (some are 18) are already having hot, steamy sex – some having it at a marathon pace (Looking at you Lawson 😆). Speaking of Lawson, he even has teacher relations – just a warning. And he is an equal opportunity kinda guy so he likes the girls and guys. But I always feel like these stories should be set in college – but I guess that’s expected in college. With Seniors in high school it comes off a bit rebellious which is the appeal.

~ There are multiple POVS in this one and I think it worked out okay for the most part but I think it slowed down the story a bit. I do wish it was just RJ and Sloane’s POVS. But the multiple POVS gives an intro to all the major players, I just wish it was a bit less. It gives a bit of a background into Cassie and Fenn who are the main characters for the next book. Silas’ perspective is not very exciting yet and well Lawson is Lawson.

Why you should read it:

  • you like the bad, rich boys who are up to no good – and there are the girls who want to tame them
  • entertaining if you like lots of drama and angst
  • RJ and Sloane make a cute couple once they get past some trust issues

Why you might not want to read it:

  • toxic relationships

My Thoughts:

Sometimes I’m just in the mood for these toxic drama stories and this definitely brought it! I’m definitely going to read book two because I want to know about Cassie’s situation plus book two is about Cassie and Fenn, so I want to see just what she does to tame this wild party boy.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

Good Girl Complex by. Elle Kennedy | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Bad Girl Reputation by. Elle Kennedy | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️