Not gonna lie, it was hit or miss for me with this week’s new releases! There were a lot of new romances out, and some just worked better for me than others. That being said, there are a couple I’m still thinking about (I’m looking at you, From the First Verse), that I’m intrigued by even after having read several books since. That’s sort of the mark of a good book for me – I may not have loved reading it at the time (thus the 3-star rating), but if I can’t get it off my mind, that means there’s something that left an impression. I’m definitely going to have to create a list of books like that at some point – those books that I couldn’t call 5 stars at the time, but that have lingered in my brain long after reading (The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez is another great example for me).
Lots of new reviews went up this week, so if you missed any of the posts, I’ve got the blurb and rating for each below. There’s also a link to this week’s list – 15 Romances That Prove Forced Closeness Can Be Good – and a peek at what’s coming next week (lots of good stuff). There was a LOT of love for my Deals and Steals list, so I’ll probably post an updated version soon with current freebies. Stay safe out there!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ SO GOOD
She serves me coffee late at night when I come around to write lyrics,
but it’s not the caffeine I’ve gotten addicted to.
We’ve got the spark, but she’s the only woman in town
who seems to be immune to my charms.
When it’s time for me to leave for my cross-country tour,
I just can’t imagine not seeing her for months.
So I offer her a job on the road with me.
Everyone in LA knows that Nico Todd has a way with songs and with the ladies.
What he doesn’t know is that I would love to let him have his way with me.
But my life can only revolve around one infuriatingly cute guy—
the six-year-old that I live with.
Imagine my surprise when Nico finds out about my little boy
and tells me to bring him and my mom on the road too.
And imagine Nico’s surprise when he realizes my son
is the biggest charmer of them all.
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/33Knlfu
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Unpredictable slow burn
I didn’t know her name, but I heard her laugh, tasted her lips, felt her warm skin as I held her in my arms. Together we watched our young children playing in the sand, the warm ocean lapping the shore behind them as the setting sun painted the sky. She was my soulmate and this was our life, our beautiful forever …
Then I woke up—alone in a hospital room, connected to wires and machines.
There was no wife. No kids. Not a single soul waiting for me. That life I dreamt of … never existed.
I’d been in a devastating wreck, a nurse told me when she rushed in. Comatose for weeks. I’d have a long road to recovery, but I was going to make it.
From that moment on, the dream haunted me. I saw that woman’s face every time I closed my eyes, searched for her in every crowd, ached to be with a stranger I felt I’d known my entire life … and I swore that if I ever found her, I’d do anything to make her mine.
Then I found her.
And it was both the best and worst day of my life because the woman of my dreams … was about to marry my best friend.
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/2wDd60z
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Love this hero
Never borrow pants from your brother. Especially if he’s a size smaller than you are, because all that pressure in the junk will short-circuit your brain.
And you’ll lie to a woman in a club about your real name.
Leave her unsatisfied after making out in a bathroom.
Then find out that she’s the one thing standing in the way of your dreams. And she very much doesn’t like being lied to.
Now I have to convince Lila Valentine—the woman I can’t stop thinking about, my biggest regret, and my new boss—that I’m what’s best for the baseball team she’s inherited.
If we can’t work together to save the Fireballs, the commissioner’s forcing a sale and moving them across the country.
I’ll do anything to save my home team.
But the one thing I can’t do?
Keep my hands to myself.
Which would be fine, if she hadn’t been telling me lies this whole time too.
Liar, Liar, Hearts on Fire is a rocking fun romance between a single dad obsessed with baseball, an heiress with secrets, baseball pants, a rundown team, and rabid ducks. It stands alone and comes with a guaranteed happily-ever-after.
Review + Excerpt
⭐️⭐️⭐️ It’s complicated
Once upon a time…
There was a girl with long golden hair who had the truest, bluest eyes that turned white when she cried.
She lived in a kingdom far, far away in a tower made of stone, but her mind was made of glass that she kept sharp as knives.
Where her memories hid behind her darkest doubts.
Her deepest thoughts.
Her diary became the only thing she could rely on.
No one saw through her looking glass.
No one cared.
No one tried.
Until the villain presented himself as the hero in her life.
He took and took and took some more.
With no regret.
With no shame.
With no apology.
The page never turned.
Their story didn’t end.
Tomorrow never came.
His life of debauchery was their journey to nowhere.
She’d give anything to go back in time.
To walk where she had walked.
To see what she had seen.
One day at a time.
Though in the end, “I love you” were just words.
That destroyed us inside.
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Suspenseful but not satisfying
From USA Today bestselling author Willow Winters comes the epic conclusion to the heart-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat gripping, romantic suspense, Hard to Love series.
With her I was always on the highest high. That’s why it was so easy to fall.
I never stood a chance without her. The two of us were made for one another. It’s as simple as that. The world could try to rip us apart, but it would fail. Until this.
She told me once, love isn’t enough. I never would have believed it … until now. Neither of us could have prepared for this.
I won’t stop fighting. Not until the very end.
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Lackluster hero
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan completes a sexy contemporary series with an unrequited crush on the bad boy next door.
Caleb Carr might have once been ready for commitment, but when the unexpected slams into him with the force of a two-ton truck, he knows he has to run away from anything that might be important. Zoey might well be his final temptation, but to keep her whole, he’ll walk away.
Zoey Wager has loved Caleb since they were eight. And has had her heart broken from afar repeatedly ever since. It doesn’t help that every time she sees him—even when she’s running away halfway across the world—he’s with another woman. She’s watched him fall in lust her entire life. Now, she’s ready to watch him fall in love. With her.
Chance encounters of the sequined kind, best friends who aren’t really just your friend, and childhood meet cutes that are anything but cute force the Carr siblings to face what life has brought them. Again.
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sexy but superficial
I never dreamed I’d meet my celebrity crush while stealing every single pair of my best friend’s pants.
Trust me, my life is not that wild. In fact, the most excitement I usually get is running my fan-favorite Insta thirst account featuring butt-tastic pics of Hollywood superhero Carter Hayes. So, imagine my shock when, in the middle of the cruise ship hallway, I realize the guy whose shirt I’m stuffing slacks inside of is Carter disguised as a tourist. How I manage not to faint dead away, I’ve got no clue.
When word leaks that Carter might be on board, he asks me to help him maintain his cover. There’s no way I’m gonna say no to that. I just don’t share that I’m the anonymous woman behind the fan account that reported sighting him onboard. No biggie. Right?
However, when things between us go from friendly to hot to OMG-I-can’t-keep-my-clothes-on-around-him, all I can do is hope he never discovers my secret. You see, somewhere along the way, Carter went from an untouchable movie star to the man I’m falling for.
⭐️⭐️ Didn’t work for me
From New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin comes a heartfelt story about overcoming great loss and forgiving past sins to find happiness again.
Brooklyn Hewett hasn’t stepped foot in Cape Harbor for fifteen years—not since an accident claimed the love of her life, Austin Woods. Desperate to move forward, Brooklyn has focused on raising her daughter for the past fourteen years. But when the opportunity comes along to renovate, and possibly buy, the old Driftwood Inn, Brooklyn knows it’s time to go home.
But it won’t be easy. For one, Austin’s best friend, Bowie Holmes, still lives in Cape Harbor. Brooklyn hasn’t quite been able to forget him: not since the night they spent together—the same night they both lost Austin. Separated by tragedy and guilt, they’re brought together by the Driftwood project. And as they rebuild the inn, they discover they’re also rebuilding something else.
Brooklyn’s always been desperate to move on, not knowing that she first needs to reconcile past transgressions. She can’t forget, but she can forgive—Austin, Bowie, and herself—on her way toward long-awaited happiness.
15 Romances That Prove Forced Closeness Can Be Good
I think we all know why I picked this topic, lol. After being stuck inside the house for the last week, I both appreciate my husband and kind of want to throttle him – depending on the time of day. I hope you’re all doing well. It’s a crazy time out there in the world, so we could all use a reminder of why it’s sometimes a GOOD thing to be stuck with other people.
For that reason, the focus of this week’s list is forced closeness, something I personally love and think can make for some great romances. It creates an interesting level of tension that requires the characters to dig deeper, grow closer, and break down their walls. A common theme in strangers to lovers, enemies to lovers, and fake relationship romances (some of my personal faves), forced closeness can be extremely effective in increasing intimacy between couples. These 15 romances all feature couples who are stuck together in one way or another… and the experience turns out to be good for them.
Check out the full list here.
New releases from Kristen Callihan, Piper Rayne, Mira Lyn Kelly, Nicole Snow and many more release soon! All of next week’s releases have very different vibes, so there’s sure to be something for everyone. There are sports romances, angsty reads, rom coms, and everything in between.