The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo | Audiobook Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Narrators: Alma Cuervo, Julia Whelan, Robin Miles

Format: audiobook (borrowed)

Pages: 389

Publication Date: 6/13/2017

Categories: Historical Fiction, Contemporary, LGBT+, Women’s Fiction, Romance, Audiobook

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Content Warning: domestic violence, misogyny, prejudice against LGBT+ community

This is another book that I thought met all the hype it got. Would I say that if I read it? I’m not sure because I was picking up the ebook and not really getting into the story yet in the beginning when I decided oh hey, maybe the audiobook is available to borrow and sure enough it was! I decided to listen to the story instead and I was hooked. The narrators, and there are three, did such a fabulous job. Their voices were engaging and really took on the roles.

What can I say about this book that hasn’t been said? Evelyn is a compelling character. She’s someone who reinvented herself for money, fame, success and security. She married seven men for all those reasons and even though it was basically her marrying to get to the top, I applauded her for being a woman who knew what she wanted in a time when women didn’t have much power on their own. And she was even bi-sexual in a time when it was not okay to be and she was trying to figure it all out, and hide it. She was a person who lied and manipulated people and situations to get what she wanted but I didn’t hate her. I totally understood all her motivations until the very end but it was fun and sometimes heartbreaking to see her life’s journey. The message about women taking their power is strong in this story and I like how the journalist took on some of Evelyn’s advice.

I loved the feeling of being an insider in a big movie’s stars life and seeing how some marriages were just contracts to hide secrets. It makes you think about what current celebrities do to create the narrative they want the public to be hooked on. What a world! And clearly never will be my world and I’m actually grateful for that – I don’t know how anyone can deal with fame and not knowing the truth of things, like who your real friends are. I’m so happy Evelyn had Harry. And I really loved the message about love and soul mates and how people aren’t stuck with just one. There are many different kinds of worthy love out there.

All the characters that came into Evelyn’s life really made the story well-rounded. Her relationships with these men and Celia were all so different and fascinating, some even scary and heartbreaking. Evelyn really was a force to be reckoned with, someone who never gave up even when she had struggles.

It took me two days to listen to this book which means if I read it, it would have taken me one day – but by the end of it I was thinking, wow, what a time Evelyn had!

Why you should read it:

  • a story about reinventing yourself, taking what you want and love
  • entertaining story and behind the scenes of a movie star

Why you might not want to read it:

  • not into historical fiction

My Thoughts:

Another bestseller and hyped book is crossed off my TBR list and I honestly think it deserves all the hype. The narrators did an amazing job with voicing the audiobook but that also is due to having good material to work with. I loved all the messages about love and woman power in the story. Overall, it is an epic life journey story.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Malibu Rising by. Taylor Jenkins Reid | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️


The Song of Achilles by. Madeline Miller | Audiobook Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller

Narrator: Frazer Douglas

Format: audiobook (borrowed)

Pages: 378

Publication Date: 9/20/2011

Categories: Greek Mythology, Romance, Adventure, LGBT+, Historical Fiction

Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

Content Warning: violence, death, war, war wounds

I’ve finally read this book that apparently was published in 2011 (how did I not know this?) and yet was getting all the hype only a few years ago! I don’t know if I’m sad I didn’t read it as a book, to have the words of this story ingrained in my heart, soul and brain. Or I’m happy that I completed it as an audiobook because wow was the storytelling wonderful. It lived up to all the hype. It is such an epic, well told story…the audiobook was absolutely fantastic and this is coming from someone who struggles with audiobooks. I listened to this in 2 days and the narrator did this story justice – his narrating is perfection!

I am also someone who has been struggling reading stories based on Greek Mythology so let me tell you how happy I was to hear this story. It had everything I wanted in a Greek mythology retelling – the gods and goddesses interfering with mortal lives, the prophecies, the war and the battles for glory and honor, and a beautiful and heartbreaking love story in the middle of it all. Oh my heart…😭. I grew to care for Achilles and Patroclus from their moment as boys, to men who are fighting a war that basically meant nothing to them. Damn that Helen and her beautiful face that caused men to fight for 10 stupid long years, damn men and their prides and desire for glory and worship.

The author did such a beautiful job at showing both sides to these characters, especially Achilles and his struggle with always being told he would be a hero, but he will die if he does this one act. His mother tries to pave a path for him were he will not die…but the fates will not be denied. Achilles wants to be a hero, he wants the praise but he also loves Patroclus. And Patroclus, his lover and best friend – the boy who was awkward and never in the spotlight like Achilles. He was never as athletic, not a leader of men, never one to be heroic…oh what an ending to the story. By the way most of the action comes at the end, the beginning of the book moves a bit more slowly since it’s laying the foundation of Achilles and Patroclus’ relationship.

Mind you the only Achilles story I know is from the Brad Pitt movie, Troy which I loved (ugh…I mean sure Brad Pitt was a hot Achilles but it was Hector who had my heart!). That’s a whole different story they told in the movie and I think Patroclus was Achilles cousin in the movie? lol…I did not read the Iliad and I won’t – so I can’t nitpick about details. I just know that this story touched my heart and then broke it.

Why you should read it:

  • beautiful, heartbreaking love story
  • epic story-telling, greek mythology

Why you might not want to read it:

  • not into greek mythology

My Thoughts:

I was warned this book would break my heart and let me tell you, it did. It lived up to the hype – I can see why people love it so much and now I love it too. I did get annoyed with how long this damn war kept going on – 10 years of senseless killing? It was so pointless! But hey…it was for, Helen, glory and riches. 🤷🏻‍♀️ And all Patroclus wanted was Achilles by his side forever 😭 even knowing he it wasn’t going to happen. Okay…off to mend my broken heart.💔

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Review | Circe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Something Wilder by. Christina Lauren | Audiobook Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Something Wilder

Author: Christina Lauren

Narrator: Patti Murin, Jon Root

Format: audoiobook (borrowed)

Pages: 384

Publication Date: 5/17/22

Categories: Romance, Audiobook, Adult, Fiction, Second Chance Romance

Growing up the daughter of notorious treasure hunter and absentee father Duke Wilder left Lily without much patience for the profession… or much money in the bank. But Lily is nothing if not resourceful, and now uses Duke’s coveted hand-drawn maps to guide tourists on fake treasure hunts through the red rock canyons of Utah. It pays the bills but doesn’t leave enough to fulfill her dream of buying back the beloved ranch her father sold years ago, and definitely not enough to deal with the sight of the man she once loved walking back into her life with a motley crew of friends ready to hit the trails. Frankly, Lily would like to take him out into the wilderness—and leave him there.

Leo Grady knew mirages were a thing in the desert, but they’d barely left civilization when the silhouette of his greatest regret comes into focus in the flickering light of the campfire. Ready to leave the past behind him, Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily Wilder is all business, drawing a clear line in the sand: it’s never going to happen.

But when the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, the group wonders if maybe the legend of the hidden treasure wasn’t a gimmick after all. There’s a chance to right the wrongs—of Duke’s past and their own—but only if Leo and Lily can confront their history and work together. Alone under the stars in the isolated and dangerous mazes of the Canyonlands, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives and hearts on the adventure of a lifetime.

Content Warning: violence, death

This book was different from the Christina Lauren books I’ve read so far. It’s a treasure hunting, suspenseful, second-chance romance and it was definitely not what I was expecting!

I liked the setting of Utah which is perfect for treasure hunting since it’s environment can be vast, remote and daunting. Lily Wilder runs an outdoor adventures company but what she really wants is to have her ranch back. Her dad was an infamous treasure hunter named Duke Wilder but she didn’t have the best relationship with him. Lily is in dire straits when one of their retreats go wrong.

There is violence, back-stabbing, death and lots of harrowing adventure in this one. There are also puzzles and codes to figure out. As for the romance, Leo and Lily used to be a couple until some things happened in his life and he left. So here they are together again and the sparks are still there but there is a lot in their lives they have to figure out also. Leo is a good guy – he is the only level headed one in this group when things get a bit crazy. Lily is the type of woman who can rough it in the outdoors so I thought the two of them together made a good team.

I thought the narrators did a great job with telling the story!

Tropes: second chance romance, opposites attract

Why you should read it:

  • you like a treasure hunting adventure kind of story
  • second chance romance between Leo and Lily
  • there is lots of suspense and the story takes a dark turn

Why you might not want to read it:

  • not into treasure hunting

My Thoughts:

This one wasn’t what I expected from these authors but I love that they tried something new. I found the story entertaining and Leo and Lily a great couple once they worked things out. If you are interested in reading a romance book with a treasure hunting adventure set in the wild west of Utah, then you will enjoy this one.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Soulmate Equation | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In A Holidaze | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Book Review | The Unhoneymooners ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

ARC Review | The Honey-Don’t List ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King by. Carissa Broadbent | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: The Ashes and the Star-Cursed King (#2)

Author: Carissa Broadbent

Format: ebook (KU)

Pages: 665

Publication Date: 4/14/2023

Categories: Fantasy, Romance, Vampires, New Adult

Love is a sacrifice at the altar of power.

In the wake of the Kejari, everything Oraya once thought to be true has been destroyed. A prisoner in her own kingdom, grieving the only family she ever had, and reeling from a gutting betrayal, she no longer even knows the truth of her own blood. She’s left only with one certainty: she cannot trust anyone, least of all Raihn.

The House of Night, too, is surrounded by enemies. Raihn’s own nobles are none too eager to accept a Turned king, especially one who was once a slave. And the House of Blood digs their claws into the kingdom, threatening to tear it apart from the inside.

When Raihn offers Oraya a secret alliance, taking the deal is her only chance at reclaiming her kingdom–and gaining her vengeance against the lover who betrayed her. But to do so, she’ll need to harness a devastating ancient power, intertwined with her father’s greatest secrets.

But with enemies closing in on all sides, nothing is as it seems. As she unravels her past and faces her future, Oraya finds herself forced to choose between the bloody reality of seizing power – and the devastating love that could be her downfall.

Content Warning: violence, death

I’ve been waffling back and forth on how to rate this book because I loved it but also I had some issues with it (not major) so maybe it’s more like a 4.25 rating? I loved the first book because it was pretty ruthless and there was a competition, so it was a fast moving story.

After the events of book one, Oraya and Raihn are a bit broken. Raihn has gotten what he wanted but has hurt Oraya beyond belief. He’s killed Vincent, to become the new King of the House of Night. What I really love about this book is the struggle Oraya and Raihn have to deal with. Raihn is trying to be a better king, but how when there is no one he can really trust. And how does he mend things with Oraya? As for Oraya she has to reconcile all the lies and truths she knows of Vincent and deal with her grief at the same time. She loves him, but she hates him too and she needs to figure out how to move on in his life without him. Then there is the problem of Raihn, her husband, her best friend really, but also her enemy. He has broken her heart. The shining star in this book are the relationships between Raihn and Oraya, and also Oraya’s memories of Vincent.

Speaking of Raihn and Oraya – yes she has been so hurt by him, but under the hurt is the friendship they built in book one and I loved when that side of them would peek out from the pain between them. It’s quite a love story and one that shows no matter how times were going to get…even if they couldn’t say the words and even didn’t know it was love, that ultimately it was heading towards it. They are a great couple. They have each other’s back and I love that they are not fated mates. I like that they had to do very hard work and fight for their bond and love. I’m also glad we get two perspectives because the whole situation between them is complicated.

I love that Mische came back into the story because she’s a ray of sunshine in such a dark story. And yes, Vincent is a bad man, but he is one of my favorite characters. He was a ruthless king, saw humans as beneath him but his half-human daughter does something to him. And I liked all the complicated feelings Oraya has about him and I was so so sad for her and with her.

I did hear that this series is now going to be a 6 book series but that Raihn and Oraya’s story is concluded. With that said, there are some loose ends in the story, especially when it comes to Septimus and I’m sure he will be dealt with in the future books. I think Mische’s story is next though so that will be exciting to read. She deserves a great love story of her own.

As for the story-telling, I think there was a few lulls in the story because Oraya is in grieving mode and Raihn is in rebuilding mode. But I did love the action when it was there – especially when they visit Oraya’s cousin.

Tropes: enemies to lovers

Why you should read it:

  • you liked book one and want to be immersed in this world again
  • Oraya and Raihn
  • Oraya and Vincent (heartbreaking)

Why you might not want to read it:

  • didn’t enjoy the first one
  • some loose ends but it’s going to be a 6 book series

My Thoughts:

I’m sad that Raihn and Oraya’s story is over but super excited for Mische to get a spotlight because she deserves one. I think this was a good conclusion for Riahn and Oraya – I mean these two really battled it out between one another, between enemies and traitors, and each time they came back together. I’ll miss Vincent but I did feel like Oraya got closure about her feelings about him. Oraya found herself and learned to become powerful without him – which is what she deserved. This was an awesome book, some issues here and there but overall it was entertaining and it met my expectations!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon

The Serpent and the Wings of Night by. Carissa Broadbent | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kingdom of Blood and Salt by. Alexis Calder | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Kingdom of Blood and Salt (#1)

Author: Alexis Calder

Format: ebook (KU)

Pages: 330

Publication Date: 3/30/2023

Categories: Fantasy, Romance, Fae, Shapeshifter, Vampire, Political, New Adult

An epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Raven Kennedy, and Sarah J Maas.

After spending years training to defend my people from our enemies, I never expected that my enemy would be the one keeping me alive.

Athos is the last human city. A treaty with the Fae keeps the fae, the vampires, and the wolf shifters at bay, while we fight against the dragons at our border. Being a human in this world is dangerous and we all make sacrifices to survive.

When the delegation sent by the Fae King arrives to claim the human tributes required by our treaty, I never expected to forge a connection with their leader.

Ryvin is as dangerous as he is handsome. I know he’s my enemy, and I know I’m supposed to hate him, but with each passing day, he’s more difficult to resist.

But things are changing in Athos. Humans no longer want to bend to the Fae King.

Alliances blur and centuries of lies begin to unravel.

And I’m faced with a choice.

No matter how much I hate him, Ryvin might be the key to preventing war.

But it may mean sacrificing everything….

Kingdom of Blood and Salt is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy with fae, vampires, and shifters. This enemies to lovers series contains violence, mature language, and spice. This is a NA/adult fantasy romance and steam level will increase as the series progresses. Mind the cliff.

Content Warning: violence, sexual assault

I wanted a Fae story and I got one with some vampires and shapeshifters on the side.

So this is the typical romantasy – an illegitimate human princess, Ara, meets a tall, dark, handsome stranger, Ryvin, who turns out to be part of the delegation from the enemy Fae kingdom of Konos. The attraction between them is instant. This is an enemies to lovers romance, and the animosity and desire between Ara and Ryvin was the most entertaining part of this book.

There wasn’t really anything new in this story compared to other books that are similar to ACOTAR and this genre. Ara is trying to be a dutiful princess, and out of all her sisters, she’s the one training to be a warrior but when secrets are unveiled, her world is shattered. Ryvin is the typical charming, possessive, sexy, shadow-wielding, Fae (or I think he’s Fae?). I enjoyed the sparks between them! She’s sassy and he can’t help but be attracted to her resistance of him. I think my favorite part was whenever the two of them were together and aggravated with one another.

There is spice but for some strange reason I felt like it could have been spicier? I think because their fighting was so good I just felt like the sex should have had a better pay off. But I think there is hope for it in the next book. I know it’s because they agreed it would be just the act and no feelings (even though there is definitely feelings!).

I also enjoyed the sisterhood between Ara, Cora, Lagina and Sophia. It would be nice to get to know all of them better. That goes for Ryvin and the kingdom of Konos. I will be reading book two just to learn more about Konos and maybe eventually the other kingdoms.

Tropes: enemies to lovers, princess is a sacrifice, shadow-wielding death Fae

Why you should read it:

  • you like stories about the Fae
  • enemies to lovers romance

Why you might not want to read it:

  • not into stories that are inspired by ACOTAR

My Thoughts:

I found this one entertaining but I often love stories about the Fae even if they are starting to sound alike! I enjoyed the bickering and spice between Ara and Ryvin because I like a good enemies to lovers romance with my romantasy stories. I think Ryvin is still mostly a mystery though, as is the kingdom of Konos. Another thing I liked is the relationship between Ara and her sisters. I didn’t feel like this book had anything outstanding and unique about it but I enjoyed it regardless.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Forestborn by. Elayne Audrey Becker | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Forestborn (#1)

Author: Elayne Audrey Becker

Format: hardcover (own)

Pages: 368

Publication Date: 8/31/21

Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Political Intrigue, Shape Shifters


Rora is a shifter, as magical as all those born in the wilderness–and as feared. She uses her abilities to spy for the king, traveling under different guises and listening for signs of trouble.

When a magical illness surfaces across the kingdom, Rora uncovers a devastating truth: Finley, the young prince and her best friend, has caught it, too. His only hope is stardust, the rarest of magical elements, found deep in the wilderness where Rora grew up–and to which she swore never to return.

But for her only friend, Rora will face her past and brave the dark, magical wood, journeying with her brother and the obstinate, older prince who insists on coming. Together, they must survive sentient forests and creatures unknown, battling an ever-changing landscape while escaping human pursuers who want them dead. With illness gripping the kingdom and war on the horizon, Finley’s is not the only life that hangs in the balance.

Content Warning: violence

It took me a few months to finish this book and not because it’s bad at all! I was in the mood and then not in the mood for a few months, so I read this little by little until finally I was recently in the mood to finish!

The things I enjoyed about this book: the world building, the shape-shifter magic and the political intrigue. I love the sibling relationship between Rora and Helos. There is very slow burn romance brewing, one that I just put to the side because it was barely there for a long while in the book. I just concentrated on the relationship between Rora and Helos.

There is a lot of travel and adventure in this story and it’s where Rora and Weslyn finally lower their guards to get to know each other better. It will be interesting to see what happens in book two.

Tropes: slow burn, sibling bond

Why you should read it:

  • adventure, world-building, shape-shifter magic
  • slow burn romance

Why you might not want to read it:

  • no reasons I can think of – maybe if you are not in a fantasy mood

My Thoughts:

Once I pushed through the story, I actually enjoyed the story. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Rora and her brother Helos. I love their shape-shifter magic and the adventure they go on. I look forward to reading the next book..

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Outlet

**I got my copy from Book Outlet but sometimes they don’t have it in stock, so keep that in mind if you click the link**

Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove by. Rati Mehrotra | Audiobook Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove

Author: Rati Mehrotra

Narrator: Zehra Naqvi

Format: audoiobook (borrowed)

Pages: 352

Publication Date: 10/18/22

Categories: Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Romance

To learn what she can become, she must first discover who she is.

Katyani’s role in the kingdom of Chandela has always been clear: becoming an advisor and protector of the crown prince, Ayan, when he ascends to the throne. Bound to the Queen of Chandela through a forbidden soul bond that saved her when she was a child, Katyani has grown up in the royal family and become the best guardswoman the Garuda has ever seen. But when a series of assassination attempts threatens the royals, Katyani is shipped off to the gurukul of the famous Acharya Mahavir as an escort to Ayan and his cousin, Bhairav, to protect them as they hone the skills needed to be the next leaders of the kingdom. Nothing could annoy Katyani more than being stuck in a monastic school in the middle of a forest, except her run-ins with Daksh, the Acharya’s son, who can’t stop going on about the rules and whose gaze makes her feel like he can see into her soul.

But when Katyani and the princes are hurriedly summoned back to Chandela before their training is complete, tragedy strikes and Katyani is torn from the only life she has ever known. Alone and betrayed in a land infested by monsters, Katyani must find answers from her past to save all she loves and forge her own destiny. Bonds can be broken, but debts must be repaid.

Content Warning: violence, whipping scene, death

I read this one as an audiobook and I am horrible with retaining details when I’m doing an audiobook but I’m trying to practice by listening to more audiobooks! With that said I found this book to be very entertaining. The narrator did such an excellent job doing to the voices for everyone.

I loved the action, adventure and humor in this book. The world-building is lush and it’s inspired by medieval India, which I thought was cool. I really enjoyed the relationships between the characters. Katayani’s relationship with the royals she grew up protecting was so fun to listen to because they acted like siblings. There were a few twists in this book and some that are heartbreaking – this story is emotional. There is a romance and I thought it was entertaining with how it started since the Katayani and Daksh are such opposites in character. It got rough for the two of them though.

There were some parts in the second half of the book that I was pushing through and I couldn’t understand why I was ready for the story to be over – don’t know if it’s because it’s an audiobook and I was impatient to finish or something in the story wasn’t holding my attention.

Tropes: opposites attract

Why you should read it:

  • it’s a standalone fantasy
  • the romance between Katayani and Daksh
  • the adventure, world-building and relationships between characters

Why you might not want to read it:

  • some pacing issues

My Thoughts:

Overall, I found this one to be really entertaining. I liked the world building, relationships and Katayani’s strong personality. The adventure kept the story moving. It had only slight some pacing issues but I still think it was an enjoyable story.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rule of the Aurora King by. Nisha J. Tuli | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Rule of the Aurora King (#2)

Author: Nisha J. Tuli

Format: ebook (borrowed)

Pages: 400

Publication Date: 4/6/23

Categories: Romance, Fantasy, Fae, Adult

“I am not his conquest. I am not his to claim. I am my own castle.”

Freed from the golden clutches of the Sun King, Lor now finds herself in the hands of Nadir, the Aurora Prince. Convinced she’s hiding something, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make her talk. But Lor knows the value of secrets—she’s been keeping them her entire life—and she’s not letting hers go without a fight.

When Lor and Nadir team up to search for a lost item that holds the key to her past and her future, she isn’t sure if she can trust him. All she knows is she won’t fall for his promises and make the same mistakes again.

Lor also hasn’t forgotten her vow to destroy the Aurora King. As Atlas hunts her across Ouranos, Lor plots to bring down the Imperial Fae who took everything. But she soon realizes the future of the continent is about so much more than just her shattered legacy.

Content Warning: mentions of sexual assault, violence

In book one, Trial of the Sun Queen – Lor was sent from prison to a competition to be Queen, and it had lots of action and court intrigue. It had all the tropes I enjoyed. But the ending of that book was a cliffhanger and turned the story in another direction – straight towards Nadir, the fae Aurora Prince.

The thing I loved about this book was the tension between Lor and Nadir who hate each other mutually but want each other overwhelmingly and don’t know why. Plus this is a dual POV book so we get both of their thoughts. I loved their bickering because Lor is never one to back down and Nadir can’t help but edging her on. He’s that type of guy who thinks she’s hot when she’s spitting mad at him! So I wanted the steam to burn but every time they got hot, something would dampen the fire (Lor pulling away). The back and forth between them kind of drove me crazy but she had some stuff to work through mentally. Because obviously she wants him badly physically! There were some steamy scenes but these two still don’t have sex in this book, so I’m expecting book three to be filled with some good spicy scenes.

I think because book one was a competition, stakes were higher. In this one, Lor has time to process some of her trauma from the prison. She’s also trying to figure out who to trust. We learn more about the kingdom of Heart and we even get snippets of the past, which I thought would lessen my enjoyment of the story because sometimes time jumps don’t work for me, but this one was interesting since it’s about Lor’s grandmother and what happened to mess everything up in their world. Lor is in search of the Heart Crown in this book and Nadir partners up with her to try and find it because he needs her power to help defeat his evil dad.

I like the themes about family in this story. Lor and her siblings which makes you realize what she’s trying to fight for (I keep forgetting she’s the youngest of the three!). Also I love Nadir and Amya’s sibling relationship also. Put them all together and they are starting to become kind of a family.

Of course the ending is a cliffhanger and now I have to wait patiently for book three!

Tropes: one horse, pretend lover, enemies to lovers, mutual hate/longing, fated mates, possessive male fae, slow burn

Why you should read it:

  • frustrating, steamy slow burn – so much tension!
  • it’s got a lot of enjoyable fantasy tropes and the Fae
  • family bonds

Why you might not want to read it:

  • maybe wait for the last book so you can binge the whole thing

My Thoughts:

I was not disappointed in this sequel. I was all in for the crazy tension between Lor and Nadir! Those two are off the charts and the slow burn is making me a little bit impatient but at least there were a few spicy scenes to keep me hanging on. Lor is a Queen in the making who won’t back down and Nadir is a Prince who usually gets his way so we shall see what happens to them in the next book!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Trial of the Sun Queen by. Nisha J. Tuli | Book Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Love Radio by. Ebony LaDelle | Book Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Love Radio

Author: Ebony LaDelle

Format: ebook (borrowed)

Pages: 320

Publication Date: 5/31/23

Categories: Romance, Young Adult, Coming of Age, Contemporary

Prince Jones is the guy with all the answers—or so it seems. After all, at seventeen, he has his own segment on Detroit’s popular hip-hop show, Love Radio, where he dishes out advice to the brokenhearted.

Prince has always dreamed of becoming a DJ and falling in love. But being the main caretaker for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, and his little brother means his dreams will stay just that and the only romances in his life are the ones he hears about from his listeners. Until he meets Dani Ford.

Dani isn’t checking for anybody. She’s focused on her plan: ace senior year, score a scholarship, and move to New York City to become a famous author. But her college essay keeps tripping her up and acknowledging what’s blocking her means dealing with what happened at that party a few months ago. And that’s one thing Dani can’t do.

When the romantic DJ meets the ambitious writer, sparks fly. Prince is smitten, but Dani’s not looking to get derailed. She gives Prince just three dates to convince her that he’s worth falling for. Three dates for the love expert to take his own advice, and just maybe change two lives forever.

Content Warning: sexual assault

Love Radio is a sweet simmering story about two teenagers, Prince who is a Dj on Love Radio giving out love advice (from a 17 year old?!) and Danielle, who is an aspiring writer with big dreams but a painful secret. These two falling in love did remind me of the romance movies Danielle’s mother is obsessed with like Love Jones (that movie came out when I was in college and I loved it and the soundtrack). Speaking of Danielle’s mom being obsessed with 90’s movies – I guess I could relate to her very well. And boy did I feel my age when Danielle and Prince mention loving Lauryn Hill and wishing they were alive when she was big! 😅 I went to a Miseducation of Lauryn Hill concert back in 1999 when I was in Los Angeles for college. I was blown AWAY and in awe…but I just had to let out a big laugh when Dani says “I wish I was born around the time she was making music.” I felt my age lol.

Prince is a capable young man who is already working, maybe not getting the best grades in school, but he’s also taking care of his younger brother and a mom who has Multiple Sclerosis. He’s a good guy and the way he woos Danielle shows it. Danielle is navigating a lot of feelings. She wants to go to NYC and become a writer and love doesn’t have a place in her life right now but Prince is going to try his best to convince her she can have her dreams and love too.

The romance between Prince and Danielle is a slow burn and I like that they get to know each other slowly because Danielle has trust issues and triggers. Prince is always so careful around her because he knows she’s holding back a piece of herself and I appreciated that about him. Prince may be giving love advice on the radio but they are both young with their lives ahead of them so it really touched on lots of coming of age topics like friendship, family, college and dating.

I do think because it was a slow burn there were some lulls in the story but I still read this in one sitting. I loved all the mentions about music, writing, and Detroit history in the story as well.

Why you should read it:

  • sweet, slow burn
  • love the 90’s/00’s romance movies and music references
  • heartwarming love story

Why you might not want to read it:

  • might come off a little boring because it’s a slow burn

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this story a lot because of the nostalgia in the music and movie references and I liked seeing a boy trying to woo a girl slowly. Prince and Danielle are two young people who is just trying to get through high school and figure out what’s next while slowly falling in love. This one was a cute read!

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Do Over by. Suzanne Park | ARC Review

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Title: The Do-Over

Author: Suzanne Park

Format: eBook (NetGalley)

Pages: 368

Publication Date: 4/4/23

Publisher: Avon Books

Categories: Adult Fiction, Second Chance Romance, Chick Lit, Women’s Fiction

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

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

From the author of Loathe at First Sight and So We Meet Again, a fun rom-com about a young Korean-American woman having to return to college after discovering she’s a few credits shy of completing her degree—only to find one of her TAs is her old college boyfriend.

Lily Lee is a bestselling author of the How to Be a Supernova At Work series, and her editor wants her to strike while the iron’s hot with a new book, How to Land the Perfect Job. But when Lily is offered a coveted position at a top firm, the employer background check reveals she’s short a few college credits and never actually completed her degree. Unbelievably, her worst nightmare has come true.

Lily returns to her alma mater, reliving her senior year of college ten years later. She enrolls in classes, gets invited to frat parties, eats most of her meals with “dining dollars,” and to make things even more weird and chaotic, she discovers that her computer science TA is her old college boyfriend, Jake Cho.

As Lily and Jake reconnect, she sees that her ex has done well for himself: the handsome, charming grad student appears to have his life together while Lily’s so close to losing her dream job opportunity and her book deal.

Things aren’t so simple the second time around.

The Do-Over is a delightfully warm and hopeful story about second chances in love and life, and how the future we want may turn out far different than we imagined.

Content Warning:

I thought the synopsis of this story was interesting an alum having to go back to college because they didn’t officially graduate? I sometimes have that nightmare where I didn’t graduate college and it’s an anxiety dream so I can totally relate and wanted to see what happens. Here is what I thought:

+ I like Lily as our main character. She is in her early thirties, has some success but trying again and realized she didn’t actually get her BA degree. Mistakes happen right? I like that we get to delve into her history with her family. She is Korean American and as an Asian American myself I can understand the family pressures. I like that no matter when things went south for her, she did something about it or at least tried and never gave up.

+ Lily and her best friend, Mia, have an amazing bond. I love Mia and their new friend, Beth who is Lily’s new college roommate. I loved the friendship aspect of this book – it is probably my favorite part.

+ I thought the book had a lot of messages going on but I did appreciate the fact Lily stood up for herself when her younger self wouldn’t. I like that we see her growth and how her journey inspires others around her.

~ I don’t think the romance worked for me which is a bummer! I like the whole second chance romance, I just wanted more chemistry between them. There is no steam in this one…maybe I wanted a little steam.

~ I thought it was funny when Lily always mentioned her creaking knees at 32…I’m 13 years older than Lily and I kept thinking while reading, yikes, try being 45! 😅 I admire anyone who can go to college after their 20’s. I don’t think I can do it (I say that, but I probably could…but would I WANT to? lol…I don’t know.

~ If you want a rom-com, this is not it. The friendship part is funny but everything else is more women’s fiction and Lily’s career and mental health journey.

Tropes: found family, second chance romance

Why you should read it:

  • the friendship between Mia and Lily is great, and then add in newcomer Beth
  • it touches on issues like anxiety and being raised with high expectations in an Asian American household
  • Lily’s journey

Why you might not want to read it:

  • the romance part didn’t wow me, this is not a rom-com

My Thoughts:

I was intrigued by the synopsis and I can say even though the romance part disappointed me, I read this in one sitting. Also I fell in love with Lily and her friendship with Mia and Beth so even though the romance between her and Jake wasn’t amazing, at least her friendships were! I also liked how the story touched on Lily’s upbringing and her anxiety because I could relate so much to her on that level. Overall, I enjoyed the story and was invested in Lily’s change in career path and how everything was going to fall into place.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Christmas Clash by. Suzanne Park | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by. Suzanne Park | ARC Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫