So, I haven’t actually done a lot of reading in the last week, unless you count doomscrolling – which you really shouldn’t, lol. I read several of this week’s releases early, and that’s probably a good thing. Ever After Always was the easy winner of the week for me – I read my ARC in December, and then one-clicked the other two books in the series, it was that good. I also enjoyed the sweet and sexy Never Got Over You and the Romeo & Juliet-inspired Enemy Dearest.
If you read my Teaser Thursday post (found here), you know that there are plenty of exciting books on the way soon. I’ll have new reviews going up throughout the week!
If you missed any of this week’s reviews, I’ve got the blurb and rating for each below. There’s also a link to my new release list.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Absolutely LOVED this
Buckle up for an emotional journey of hijinks, heartache, and a hot slow-burn in this marriage-in-crisis romance about going the distance to make love last.
I’ve spent twelve years loving Freya Bergman and twelve lifetimes won’t be enough to give her everything she deserves. She’s my passionate, tender-hearted wife, my best friend, and all I want is to make her happy. But the one thing that will make her happiest is the one thing I’m not sure I can give her: a baby.
With the pressure of providing and planning for a family, my anxiety’s at an all-time high, and I find myself pulling away, terrified to tell my wife how I’m struggling. But when Freya kicks me out, I realize that pulling back has turned into pushing too far. Now it’s the fight of a lifetime to save our marriage.
I love my cautious, hard-working husband. He’s my partner and best friend, the person I know I can count on most. Until one day I realize the man I married is nowhere to be found. Now Aiden is quiet and withdrawn, and as the months wear on, the pain of our growing distance becomes too much.
As if weathering marriage counseling wasn’t enough, we’re thrown together for an island getaway to celebrate my parents’ many years of perfect marriage while ours is on the brink of collapse. Despite my meddling siblings and a week in each other’s constant company, this trip somehow gets us working through the trouble in paradise. I just can’t help worrying, when we leave paradise and return to the real world, will trouble find us again?
Ever After Always is a marriage-in-crisis, opposites-attract romance about a sensitive, fierce-loving woman and her resilient husband who has anxiety disorder. Complete with island vacation antics, a sibling prank gone wrong, and a steamy slow burn, this standalone is the third in a series of novels about a Swedish-American family of five brothers, two sisters, and their wild adventures as they each find happily ever after.
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sweet and sexy
~ The universe shifts, and our stars realign. ~
I’d sworn off men. And then I met Nick Christiansen.
Technically, I fell for him, literally, the moment I landed in his quarterback-sized arms and looked into those soulful eyes. I blame the rum. Or was it tequila?
Spoiler alert: It was those delectable dimples.
Either way, Nick was stupidly handsome and ridiculously charming. He held me like he cared and listened to me like I mattered. Captivated by great conversation and rock-hard abs, Nick had me reconsidering the “No Men” promise I’d made myself.
I still regret walking away the next day.
I can’t stop thinking about the one who got away. But then I run right into Natalie St. James.
She’s still unwittingly gorgeous, if not more so, and as wildly quirky as I remember.
Sidebar: She’s on a date.
What do I expect? For her to still be thinking about me?
I still regret what happens next.
We didn’t get the love story we deserved the first time, then I screwed up our second chance. When the universe shifts and our stars realign, is the third time a charm?
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Not what I expected
I loved him. I lost him. And now he’s back.
August Monreaux was a stormy sea of a man, the dark between the stars, an electric chill cutting through a crowded room—all wrapped into one wicked, beautiful package.
He was also off-limits.
My entire life, I was kept a safe distance from the notoriously virulent Monreauxs, banned from so much as breathing the same air. And like the good daughter I was, I obeyed those rules.
Until the one time I didn’t …
Only while I sampled him, he devoured me like the forbidden fruit that I was. And in the blink of an eye, my worst enemy became my first love. His poison became my antidote. His touch, my addiction.
After we severed our ill-fated ties, I thought I’d never see him again.
Until he crashed back into my life at the worst possible moment—and asked me to marry him.
But it wasn’t that simple.
It never is.
Turns out marrying a wealthy powerhouse of a man comes with a price.
But walking away, could cost me everything.
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Adorable fun
A new love, a secret sister, and a summer she’ll never forget.
From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a hilarious and heartfelt novel of romance, sisterhood, and friendship…
When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.
But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.
When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents — especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.
The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.
But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.
“A YA contemporary set at summer camp? Count us in.” —BuzzFeed
“Heartfelt and engaging, You Have a Match is a masterclass on love in all its forms.” —Sophie Gonzales, author of Only Mostly Devastated and Perfect on Paper
“A bright summer tale of connection and self-discovery.” —Booklist
“A cute, feel-good coming-of-age story.” —Kirkus
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Misses the mark
It was just supposed to be just a 40th birthday prank for our boss after a wild night of girlfriends, laughter, and a LOT of margaritas.
When we placed the ad in the newspaper, we never thought anyone would actually answer it.
We also didn’t think that Laurel would be so brainless as to put Lizzy’s actual phone number in the ad…
Beautiful, successful single woman, 40, seeks attractive male billionaire to impregnate her the old fashioned way. No strings. NOT seeking sugar daddy. Validation required. Serious inquiries only, please.
What could possibly go wrong? Everything.
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Just okay
From USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Laramie Briscoe, comes the fifth book in the popular Laurel Springs Emergency Response Series.”
Moving to Laurel Springs and joining the LSERT was the best spur-of-the-moment decision I ever made. Here, out from under the expectations of my Police Chief father, I’m thriving.
I’ve found a boldness and confidence I never had in Paradise Lost.
And a woman who I can’t stop thinking about, dreaming about, and can’t seem to stay away from. Attorney Shelby Bruce knocked me for a loop and my head hasn’t stopped spinning since the night of our ‘friendmas’ Christmas party.
When there’s a physical threat to her well-being, I won’t stop at anything to protect her, even if it means losing a piece of myself in the process.
Houston was my home until the big city reached out and bit me. Laurel Springs is more my speed, and I’ve settled into life here.
A new friend group, building my practice from the ground up, and a smoking hot new love interest has my life extremely busy and full. I’m content. More content than I ever was in my old life.
That all changes when I revise a will for one of the pillars of the Laurel Springs community. Effectively, she cuts her grandson out of her fortune. When he finds out it’s not pretty.
Worse. He blames me.
But something amazing happens. Day by day, I realize the relationships I’ve built within the community and the LSERT are stronger than I ever imagined. Especially when Sullivan Baker saves not only my life, but my heart.
Read the review here
Did Not Finish: Update
I don’t normally provide updates on the rare occasions that I don’t finish books, but this was one of my most anticipated reads of the month. I love this author’s work, and A Very Bossy Christmas was EASILY one of my favorite books of 2020. But this followup… didn’t work for me. I personally believe that the hero is a cheater, but I haven’t seen other readers saying the same thing. That’ll be up to your own personal beliefs. To me, a man who has a woman that he calls his girlfriend and claims to be faithful to becomes a cheater when he does anything sexual with another woman – whether he’s actually met his girlfriend in person or not.
I chose not to finish reading this book because I love the author’s writing too much to sour it with a story that I really didn’t like. It’s still a fun, sexy, friends to lovers romance, and it’s entirely possible that you’ll enjoy it.
EDDIE: Cancel your dinky little roomette on the train. I’m booking us two of the big bedroom suites.
BIRDIE: I’ll cancel it AFTER you’ve booked the other sleeper rooms. And reimburse you.
EDDIE: Don’t worry about it. Just cancel your tickets. I got this. Round trip. I’m on the Amtrak website right now.
BIRDIE: You don’t have to leave NYC when I do! You’ll hardly be able to spend any time with your Instagram girlfriend that you’ve never met!
EDDIE: It’s fine. She’ll be fine with it. Cancel your tickets.
BIRDIE: You aren’t going to stop texting me until I’ve canceled them, are you?
EDDIE: Damn right I’m not. Just do it. You can thank me later.
EDDIE: Um. Did you cancel your tickets?
BIRDIE: Yes, Edward. I canceled them.
EDDIE: Okay, because it turns out they only had one Family Bedroom from LA to Chicago. But the good news is I booked it for us. It’s the biggest room they had. The bad news is I booked it for us. And it’s the only sleeper room they have left now.
EDDIE: In related news, there was also only one room left from Chicago to New York.
EDDIE: Hands up if you’re excited! *man raising hand emoji*
BIRDIE: I am so mad at you right now.
BIRDIE: I’ve compiled a list of ground rules re shared train bedroom. Check your email, please read carefully, and refer to it again on the ninth of February. Thank you.
EDDIE: *nerd face emoji* Received. I have some notes.
Check out this week’s new releases here.
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