WEEKLY WRAP-UP: Mega Edition

I know that I’m not in a reading slump because I’ve been reading some really excellent books, but they’ve been sprinkled amongst several… less than stellar… releases. I can’t even tell you how many books I’ve set aside recently, and I have several in-progress reads on my Kindle that I’ll get back to at some point. That’s why the wrap-up disappeared for the last couple of weeks; I’ve been reading more misses than hits in the last month. I’m happy to say that things seem to be on the upswing – as we get further into May, the releases get better and better.

This week, I’ve got a MEGA EDITION of the wrap-up, which includes all of the books that I’ve reviewed in the last three weeks. Standouts include the unexpectedly emotional From the Embers and Just Last Night, as well as the deliciously tense Rebellious. The steamy Falling Into Love With You and the adorable The Seat Filler made my Best of April list, so you know that I enjoyed them. There were also solid releases like the almost-5-star The Blind Date, as well as Over the Moon and Reckless…. plus several less successful releases, lol! There’s a little of everything this week, and a ton to catch up on.

If you read my Teaser Thursday post (found here), you know that there are some exciting books on the way soon! I’ll have 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.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Loved it

From best-selling author, Kristy Marie, comes Rebellious, the highly anticipated love story of star-crossed lovers, Aspen and Bennett–characters from the international best-selling novel, IOU. 

No kissing. 
No cuddling. 
No blah, blah, blah. 
He wrote the rules onto our skin–every ink stroke tragically smeared by the lines we’d crossed. 
He claimed it was the only way we could be together–the only way we wouldn’t destroy our families.
But there was an exception to his rules–one he never saw coming.
All I needed was opportunity and a sunburn. 
The girl who played by his rules is gone. 
This girl… is not his “friend.”

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gYcW8K


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ So good

International bestseller Mhairi McFarlane explores lifelong friendships, long-buried secrets, and unexpected love in a heartfelt, emotional new novel, perfect for fans of Evvie Drake Starts Over, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird, or In Five Years.

Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday night bar trivia is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too.

But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.

In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction…

They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gyEIIC


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Absolutely loved this

Our love was born from the embers, and together we would go up in flames.

In the aftermath of tragedy, it’s strange the things you remember. 

The deafening boom as the house exploded.

The paralyzing fear as I searched for my wife.

The blinding smoke burning my eyes as I carried her out. 

But carved into my soul for the rest of my days would be the earth-shattering realization that the woman in my arms wasn’t my wife. 

Bree and I were the only survivors—not that either of us were truly living after that night. As a single dad with nowhere else to go, I moved into her guest house. And somehow, through the guilt and grief, we forged an unlikely team.

It took years, but I watched the gradual return of her smile—slow and life-altering.

The two of us could sit outside for hours, talking about nothing, and it filled the massive hole in my chest with new life. 

I may have carried her out of that fire, but the truth was, Bree saved me.

As we healed, the secrets and lies of the past smoldered in the ashes, threatening to ignite again. 

Our love was born from the embers, and together we would go up in flames.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PPozDv


Please note: this is book two in a steamy rock star duet. If you haven’t read Falling Out of Hate With You yet, you can check out my review here

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Tense and sexy

I’m obsessed with Laila Fitzgerald. There, I finally admitted it. I’ve tried not to want her. I tried to step aside when my best friend said he wanted her. But it’s proved impossible. She’s too gorgeous and talented, too charismatic and badass, for me not to want her for myself. 

Unfortunately, though, karma’s a bitch. In trying to do the right thing by my best friend, I’ve done the wrong thing by myself. I’ve pushed her away every chance I’ve had. Dug way too deep a hole to crawl out of . . . And now, Laila downright hates my guts. And rightly so.

But since we’re stuck together, yet again—and, this time, even more closely—I’ve decided nothing will stop me from getting what I want. This time, I’m going to figure out a way to coax Laila into falling out of hate with me . . .

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3hQqS2Z


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Adorable

The movie star and the dog groomer are one kiss away from the perfect love story. That’s the hiccup in a warm and witty romance by the bestselling author of Roommaid.

The meet-cute award goes to dog groomer Juliet Nolan. It’s one of Hollywood’s biggest nights when she volunteers as a seat filler and winds up next to movie heartthrob Noah freaking Douglas. Tongue tied and toes curling in her pink Converse, she pretends that she doesn’t have a clue who he is. It’s the only way to keep from swooning.

She’s pretty and unpretentious, loves his dog, and is not a worshipping fan. No way Noah’s giving up on her, even if his affectionate pursuit comes with a bump: Juliet has a pathological fear of kissing and the disappointments that follow. What odds does romance have without that momentous, stupendous, once-in-a-lifetime first smooch? Patient, empathetic, and carrying personal burdens of his own, Noah suggests a remedy: they rehearse.

The lessons begin. The guards come down. But there’s another hitch they weren’t betting on. As for that cue-the-orchestra-and-roll-credits happy ending? It might take more than practice to make it perfect.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/32LhN4S


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Almost 5 stars

A Blind Date? It could be a match made in heaven. Or a total disaster.

I’m Riley Watson, bringing a dash of sunshine here and a drop of positivity there. That’s how I live my life, focusing on the good that’s all around us if we look for it. There’s just one thing missing—Mr. Right. 
So I agree to try a new dating app and find my perfect match. The catch? No pictures.

Fun times… until my Blind Date shows up. That can’t be the same man I’ve been talking to all week!

Noah Daniels is my brother’s best friend and we have absolutely nothing in common.
He’s grumpy, I’m sunny.
He’s a workaholic executive, I’m a freelance influencer.
He plans everything, and I go with the flow.
This has to be a horrible joke—or is it?

I shouldn’t want him, but when he touches me, I turn into a mushy pile of hot hunger.
I should tell him to get lost, but when he opens his heart, I can’t turn him away.
And the more I know, the more I want him.

Is the wrong man my Mr. Right after all?

Read the review here

This went live a few days early!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3vNO87r


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sexy and light

“My secrets have always kept me safe… until he saw my truth.”

Kingston Scott is the most eligible bachelor in professional football, a charming rebel on and off the field. He’s also in desperate need of an attitude adjustment.

After a reckless night on the town puts him behind bars, he’s sentenced to coach football at a sleepaway camp in the middle of nowhere. He’s not sure he’ll survive an entire month of torture… until he sees her. The intoxicating woman with the silver moon eyes, the reserved smile, and the past she’s determined to keep hidden.

Silver Livingston is the resident nurse at Camp Dakota, a beautiful temptress on and off the clock. She’s also a forbidden mystery to all who know her.

After a decade of living in the shadows of the safe haven she’s created, she receives news that threatens her perfect façade. Silver isn’t sure what to do next… and then she sees him. The new arrival with the body of a god, a flashy smile, and evergreen eyes that burn straight through to her core.

Now, Silver isn’t sure which threat to fear most—the irresistible man she knows she must deny or the inevitable head-on collision with her past.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3aCs3kg


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Light and easy

“How did you get in here?”  

That’s not what you want to hear when you’re staring into the sea-green eyes of the hottest man you’ve ever seen. Yet I suppose it’s a fair question, considering I’m an uninvited stranger standing in Boone Mason’s kitchen. 

If you think that’s bad—just wait. It gets worse.  

This charming and wealthy playboy, who can’t pay his bills on time or find his way to the grocery store (but we all have flaws, right?), is sweet. Confident. Playful. He’s almost perfect. And, to make matters worse …   

He’s smitten with me. 

I know what you’re thinking. You’re rolling your eyes. You’re assuming this is some opposites attract situation—or that maybe we can be friends who turn into something more.  

How can this be a bad thing?  

Well, it’s simple. I’m not the kind of girl you fall in love with. Just to be sure, the universe reminds me of that in an unforgettable, in-your-face kind of way.  

I might have broken into Boone’s house, but I won’t let him break my heart. I won’t break his either. There’s too much on the line to be that reckless.  

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/31jNYrn


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Way too long

From Melissa Foster, the New York Times bestselling author of She Loves Me, comes a sexy and heart-warming novel about finding love—and family—where you least expect it.

When chef Abby de Messiéres returns to Silver Island with her sister to get their late mother’s affairs in order, she expected to inherit her mother’s bistro along with their childhood home, not to discover a half sister they never knew existed, and a handsome vacationer camped out on her mother’s patio.

Workaholic Aiden Aldridge has been sent to Silver Island on a work-free vacation, armed with a “Let Loose list,” and ordered to get a life by the much-younger sister he raised after the death of their parents. After years of focusing on his sister’s well-being, he’s blindsided by his intense attraction to the gorgeous, free-spirited Abby.

Aiden might not know much about chilling out, but he’s excellent at striking deals. He helps Abby with the restaurant in exchange for her help in tackling the items on his list. Sparks fly as Aiden and Abby work, and play, side by side. Intimate conversations lead to steamy kisses and undeniable passion. But there’s more to Aiden than Abby knows, and when the truth comes out, their new romance is put to the test, as the two find out if true love really can conquer all.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3nGcAVG


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Just okay

If you find yourself publicly humiliated, out of work, and unemployable at 35—not to mention newly single—here’s how to salvage your life:

1. Run away. Seriously, there’s no shame in disappearing. Go to that rustic old cottage your aunt left you. Look out for the colony of bats and the leaky roof. Oh, and the barrel-chested neighbor with shoulders like the broad side of a barn. Definitely look out for him.

2. Stop wallowing and stay busy. It doesn’t matter whether you know how to bake or fix things around the house. Do it anyway. Dust off your southern hospitality and feed that burly, bearded neighbor some pecan pie.

3. Meet new people. Chat up the growly man-bear, pretend to be his girlfriend when his mother puts you two on the spot, agree to go as his date to a big family party. Don’t worry—it’s only temporary.

4. Cry it out. Screwing up your life entitles you to wine, broody-moody music, and uninterrupted sobbing. 

5. Get over it all by getting under someone. Count on your fake boyfriend to deliver some very real action between the sheets. 

6. Move on. The disappearing act, the cottage, the faux beau–none of it can last forever. 

~~

If a hell-in-heels campaign strategist moves in next door to you, here’s how to survive the invasion:

1. Do not engage. There is no good reason you should chop her wood, haul her boxes, or pick her apples. 

2. Do not accept gifts, especially not the homemade ones. Disconnect the doorbell, toss your phone over a bridge, hide in the basement if you must, but do not eat her pie. 

3. Do not introduce her to your friends and family. They’ll favor her over you and never let you forget it.

4. Do not intervene when she’s crying on the back porch. Ignore every desire to fix the entire world for her. By no means should you take her into your arms and memorize her peach-sweet curves. 

5. Do not take her to bed, even if it’s just to get her out of your system.

6. Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with her.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2OQo5fY


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Mixed feelings

The Insiders is the first in a brand new, page-turning romance trilogy from New York Times bestseller, Tijan!

Bailey is as normal as could be, with a genius IQ and a photographic memory. But still, normal for her. Then, things happen—a guy breaks into her house in the middle of the night to take her hostage. She finds out her father is actually billionaire tech genius Peter Francis, the same guy she’s idolized all her life. She learns all this when she meets dark, mysterious, and electrifying Kashton Colello. He’s an associate of her father’s, and he gives Bailey two choices—go with him and meet her father or survive on her own because those kidnappers are going to try again. It’s a no-brainer.

After this, three things become clear for Bailey:

1. She’s living at her father’s sprawling estate, complete with bodyguards and the best security that money can buy.

2. She’s no longer an only child. She has three siblings and has no idea what to do with them and vice versa.

3. She is being guarded by Kash himself. Personally guarded. And there is a lot of guarding going on there and some of it is going to drive her crazy.

A complete outsider in a world of wealth and decadence, Bailey has to find her way within a family that has more secrets than she could have imagined. One of these secrets could be deadly…

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3vfNPSN


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Not really a romance

Matrimony meets mayhem in a modern British romcom about a young woman charged with pulling off the biggest aristocratic wedding of the year––and the misadventures that ensue.

Sophie Breeze is a brilliant bridesmaid. So brilliant, in fact, that she’s made it her full-time job.

As a professional bridesmaid, Sophie is hired by London brides to be their right-hand woman, posing as a friend but working behind the scenes to help plan the perfect wedding and ensure their big day goes off without a hitch. When she’s hired by Lady Victoria Swann––a former model and “It Girl” of 1970’s London; now the Marchioness of Meade––for the society wedding of the year, it should be a chance for Sophie to prove just how talented she is. 

Of course, it’s not ideal that the bride, Lady Victoria’s daughter, Cordelia, is an absolute diva and determined to make Sophie’s life a nightmare. It’s also a bit inconvenient that Sophie finds herself drawn to Cordelia’s posh older brother, who is absolutely off limits. But when a rival society wedding is announced for the very same day, things start to get…well, complicated.

Can Sophie pull off the biggest challenge of her career––execute a high-profile gala for four hundred and fifty guests in record time, win over a reluctant bride, and catch the eye of handsome Lord Swann––all while keeping her true identity a secret, and her dignity intact? 

Heartwarming and hilarious, Katy Birchall’s The Secret Bridesmaid celebrates the joys (and foibles) of weddings, the nuances of female friendship, and the redeeming power of love in its many unexpected forms.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/33nD7ha


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Just okay

Antonella “Nell” Bennett is having the worst day of her life.

Long-term boyfriend broke up with her? Check.

Drove through the pouring rain to a small roadside restaurant, only to be told all the tables were reserved for “Couples Night”? Check.

Definitely no longer one half of a couple? Check.

So maybe she got a little heated with the restaurant’s host, and maybe her voice carried a bit as she lamented—loudly—that she’s never anyone’s “plus-one.” At least an attractive stranger comes to her rescue, inviting her to be seated with him, and when it turns out to be one of the best nights she’s had in a while, even ending in an innocent kiss that becomes anything but? Check please.

Fast forward a week, and Nell’s rant has gone viral. Sure, her tiny hometown of Arbor Bay is collectively buzzing over their latest Internet celebrity, but Nell’s no stranger to attention. Drama seems to follow her whether she likes it or not.

But even she never expected to show up to work only to discover her brand-new boss is a very familiar face…

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3atrXvc


⭐️⭐️ Problematic

From the New York Times bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky and Racing the Sun comes a wildly romantic STANDALONE about a young American abroad in Norway who runs into the man who broke her heart eight years ago.

After years of bartending her way across Europe, Shay Lavji has seen almost everything the continent has to offer, but there’s one country she hasn’t crossed off her bucket list yet: Norway. It’s not that she doesn’t want to visit the land of the midnight sun—far from it; she’s obsessed with the culture and is dying to see the majestic fjords for herself.

What she’s not dying to do is run into her Norwegian ex-boyfriend, Anders Johansson, who broke her heart in America eight years ago before returning to his ancestral home. The last time she saw Anders, he was a cocky, rebellious, and tortured teenager who couldn’t stop himself from pushing all of her buttons—both good and bad. But Shay isn’t going to let Anders stand in the way of her wanderlust, and besides, it’s a big country, right?

She doesn’t count on Anders seeking her out the moment he learns she’s on his home turf. When Shay sees him again, she’s shocked at his transformation into a bearded, tattooed farmer and fisherman who values family over everything else. Is it possible that time has tamed this former bad boy? Shay wants to believe that everything can be new and bright again under the summer sun, but she knows, when it comes to Anders, the darkness is never too far behind.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xb3EMe


⭐️⭐️ Disappointing

Key West is the ideal backdrop for the summer read you need! Perfect for fans of Abby Jimenez, Jasmine Guillory, and Jen DeLuca, this gorgeous and stirring new love story from the author of Island Affair will touch your heart…

Award-winning photographer Alejandro Miranda hasn’t been home to Key West in years—not since he left to explore broader horizons with his papi’s warning “never to come back” echoing in his ears. He wouldn’t be heading there now if it wasn’t for an injury requiring months of recuperation. The drama of a prodigal son returning to his familia and their beloved Cuban restaurant is bad enough, but coming home to the island paradise also means coming face to face with the girl he left behind—the one who was supposed to be by his side all along . . .

Anamaría Navarro was shattered when Alejandro took off without her. Traveling the world was their plan, not just his. But after her father’s heart attack, there was no way she could leave—not even for the man she loved. Now ensconced in the family trade as a firefighter and paramedic, with a side hustle as a personal trainer, Anamaría is dismayed that just the sight of Alejandro is enough to rekindle the flame she’s worked years to put out. And as famillia meddling pushes them together, the heat of their attraction only climbs higher. Can they learn to trust again, before the Key West sun sets on their chance at happiness?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3nhA8jk


Check out this week’s new releases here.


As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

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