APRIL 2022 WRAP-UP

April was kind of a lame release month, but the good books were REALLY good. I’m betting more than one of these will be on my Best of 2022 list at the end of the year. The month started off strong for me, with several 5-star reads in a row, then my enjoyment of the new releases flatlined mid-month. It wasn’t until this last week that I found a few more great romances, so I’m feeling a little better going into May. Looking at my reading mood this time last year, it was the same kind of situation, so perhaps April is just one of those months. I did listen to several older audiobooks that helped make this a solid reading month in the end, but I’ve also got several unfinished books on my Kindle that I’m not quite ready to call DNFs. It might seem like I had a strong reading month based on the ratings, but I was very quick to put down books that weren’t working for me this month rather than push through. Some I’ll go back to, some I won’t, but I didn’t have the patience this month.

The good news? May is looking like a pretty great release month! There are a lot of traditionally published releases next month, as well as several from my one-click authors. It should be a fun month for exploration. If you missed my May Release Calendar, you can find it here!

If you missed any of this month’s reviews, I’ve got the blurb and rating for each below. There’s also a link to all of this month’s recommendation lists and the new release list.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Loved it

An Irish mobster with a brutal grudge.
An Italian mafia princess with a dark secret.
Two enemy empires joined in sacred marriage vows.
Let the hating games begin.


Reyna

If this arrogant Irish mobster my brother sold my niece to thinks I’m going to play nice over this arranged marriage BS, he should think again.
I don’t care if this match with the Mob will make my brother capo of the Five Families.
I don’t care how much money, territory, or power it will gain us.
I especially don’t care that the Irishman is the sexiest man I’ve ever seen.
I won’t allow my innocent niece to suffer the same way I did.
Even if I have to kill him.

Spider

I’m supposed to marry sweet, beautiful Lili. So why can’t I stop thinking about her swamp witch of an aunt?
Reyna who hates me. Reyna who challenges me. Reyna with the guts of a Viking, the body of a fertility goddess, and the attitude of a feral cat.
Nothing good can come of what I’m feeling for a woman who’s not the one in the wedding contract I signed.
A woman I want so much, I’ll have to burn the whole world down to get.
If she doesn’t kill me first.

Read the review here

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


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Loved it

Winnifred Gobaldi and Byron Visser are not best friends.

Yes, they’ve known each other for years, but they’re not even friendly. Winnie considers them more like casual, distant acquaintances who find each other barely tolerable, especially when he’s being condescending (which is all the time).

The truth is, they have nothing in common. She’s a public school science teacher with stars in her eyes, and he’s a pretentious, joyless double PhD turned world-famous bestselling fiction author. She loves sharing her passion for promulgating women in STEM careers and building community via social media, and he eschews all socialization, virtual or otherwise. She’s looking for a side hustle to help pay down a mountain of student debt, and his financial portfolio is the stuff of fiduciary wet dreams. So why are they faking a #bestfriend relationship for millions of online spectators?

When a simple case of tit-for-tat trends between nonfriends leads to a wholly unexpected kind of pretend, nothing is simple. Sometimes, it takes a public audience to reveal the truth of private feelings, and rarely—very rarely—you should believe what you see online.

Ten Trends to Seduce Your Bestfriend is a full-length, complete standalone, adult contemporary romantic comedy.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/37AVQv0


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Loved it 🎧

I knocked up my best friend’s sister.

Figured I would get straight to the point because how it happened is a mere snippet of the story I have to tell. The real meat and potatoes is what happened after.

Let’s start with how she decided to inform me and Pacey the news . . . together. Imagine that nightmare. I was going into what I thought was a hockey marketing meeting and then BAM! I’m going to be a dad and my best friend/teammate is attempting to imprint my face with his fist.

It wasn’t pretty.

Threats were tossed around, friendships were revoked, and then I was marched up to her apartment, suitcases in hand, and forced to live with her so I could take care of her every need. Given how much I’ve pined for the girl, you would think that wouldn’t be a hardship. Wrong.

This is my one shot to win my teammate back. Pacey is the only family I’ve got, so hooking up with his sister isn’t a mistake I can make twice . . . despite the fact that she’s pregnant with my child.

But with every mood swing, every pair of pants that doesn’t fit right, and every late night run to find the perfect donut, I’m finding it harder and harder not to fall for my best friend’s little sister. 

Especially when she kisses me…

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3twxyux


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sexy fun 🎧

I was never supposed to see him again. Him being the man wearing the perfectly tailored suit who oozed an intoxicating mixture of wealth, rebellion, and sex appeal.

One night.
No strings.
No names.
Great sex.

Still riding the high from last night, I walk in to meet my new client, and he’s wearing that same dangerous smirk that reeled me in hours ago.

Yes, I’m consulting for Callahan Sharpe. And yes, he’s that Callahan Sharpe.

Billionaire heir apparent who abides by no rules, bucks convention, and is determined to complete one final project to honor his late father’s legacy before walking away from the family business for good. Luckily and unluckily for me, I’ve been tasked to go to the Virgin Islands to help accomplish his goal. Callahan has no problem breaking his company’s no fraternization rule, but not me. There’s too much at stake.

What could possibly go wrong when you’re forced to work—and live—side by side with a man you can’t resist?

Are you ready to fall for the Sharpe brothers in K. Bromberg’s sexy, contemporary, billionaire romance series? These books can all be read as standalones, but can be enjoyed as a series as well . . .

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3rij407


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Tense and sexy

There was absolutely no way she was falling for her neighbor. No matter how gorgeous he was.

Aurora Keller thought she’d lucked out when she decided to put down roots in Redemption, Tennessee. She had a new business, new friends, and a picture-perfect little house. There was just one problem, and it came in the form of her six-foot-three tattooed, muscle-bound neighbor from hell, who just so happened to be her best friend’s future brother-in-law. It really wasn’t fair that Satan’s offspring was so nice to look at.

Callum Morrison wasn’t a good man. Or at least that was what he’d convinced himself. After a series of bad decisions that had resulted in the worst years of his life, all he was looking for was peace and quiet. Too bad he bought a house right next door to the one woman he wanted but could neverhave. That was enough to make any man grumpy.

What had started as a war against two neighbors turned into something so much more.

And if they aren’t careful, the fallout could destroy them both.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3KsE3ni


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ So fun 🎧

It’s been a lot of years and another lifetime since Dax Trevino was a playboy detective for the Franklin Police Department. He’s been through hell and back, and now he just wants to be left alone, so he can cuddle his otters.

When two of his babies are kidnapped in the middle of the night, and Claws and Effect Pet Detectives are called to the rescue, quiet, broody Dax never expects to be tackled and handcuffed by the only woman he ever regretted being a douchebag to all those years ago.

Harley Blake has spent her entire life taking care of her accident-prone father with a fondness for dead animals, and her forty-year-old brother who refuses to grow up. The last thing she needs is another complication in her life, and Detective Douchebag is at the top of the list.

Dax might not be a cop anymore, and he might have outgrown his one-and-done player status, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to get burned a second time and fall for his charms. The infuriating man already branded a mark on her heart years ago, making sure she’d never forget him. Besides, she has a case to solve for the guy, and this is just business.

But the sarcasm starts flying, there are a gaggle of adorable otters who need to be cuddled, a Bandit Von Trash Panda who just wants to play poker, pot brownies, and squirrels dressed for a wedding… at a funeral. Things are heating up—and not just from the small tree fire after the grenade went off—and this man is suddenly simplifying her life instead of making it worse.

Harley knows she won’t escape this time without being Otterly Scorched.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3IWHnXr


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Loved it 🎧

Remember that time you accidentally sexted your boss?

Yeah. I just basically did the equivalent. Except worse. Now my millions of social media followers are reading and sharing the rude, smartass message I meant to send privately to my little sister as a joke…and I’m officially public enemy number one.

I’m Beck Ryder. Former boy bander. Underwear model. Fashion mogul. And I buried my entire leg in my mouth—not just my foot—modern internet style, and publicly insulted my sister’s neighbor.

Sarah Dempsey.

Also known as the woman of my dreams, who loves geeky TV shows, baseball, and giraffes, who’s just as turned on by food as I am, and who has a huge secret that I didn’t see coming.

Now it’s time to grovel and apologize publicly on social media and hope that those same followers who helped start the raging shitstorm will help calm the waters.

Because Sarah doesn’t want the spotlight. For very good reasons that I can’t tell you right now and trying to convince her to be my fake girlfriend to fix this mess and make me look like less of a jackass is worse than taking a kick to the nuts by Jackie Chan.

And I thought modeling underwear made me feel naked.

Trying to start a relationship in the era of the Twitterazzi isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

America’s Geekheart is a rockin’ fun romantic comedy featuring a billionaire fashion mogul who got his start modeling underwear, the geeky girl next door with a secret the size of California, and more superstitions and secrets than you can shake a baseball bat at. It stands alone with no cheating or cliffhangers.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3L1h6ZL


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Awesome on audio 🎧

Paint your toes. Pick up the wrong coffee and bagel order. Drive from Brooklyn to Jersey in traffic so slow you want to tear your hair out. It’s amazing all the useless things I can accomplish while on hold for three hours with customer service. Three hours when I should be getting the Date-in-a-Box website ready to launch at the big business expo in a few days. Except my shiny new website is glitching, and my inner rage-monster is ready to scorch some earth . . . when he finally picks up. Not the robot voice I expected but a real live human named Cal. He’s surprisingly helpful and really knows his stuff, even if he’s a little awkward . . . in an adorable way.

And suddenly I’m flirting with him? And I think he’s flirting back. 

And suddenly it’s been hours, and we’re still on the phone talking and ordering each other takeout while he troubleshoots my website.

And suddenly we’re exchanging numbers and sending texts and DMs every day, leaving voice mails (who even does that anymore?!). 

And suddenly I’m wondering if it’s possible for two people to fall in love at first talk.

Because I’m falling . . . hard.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3JKbuBL


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Heartfelt and emotional 🎧

The New York Times bestselling author of Life’s Too Short delivers a refreshingly modern fairy tale perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Emily Henry.

After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.

While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.

Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3L9f0Hr


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Light and sexy

WANTED: A SITUATION-SHIP

I’m a single female who’s tired of relationships ruining my life. However, there are times when a date would be helpful. If you’re a single man, preferably mid-twenties to late-thirties, and are in a similar situation, we might be a match.

Candidate must be handsome, charming, and willing to pretend to have feelings for me (on a sliding scale, as the event requires). Ability to discuss a wide variety of topics is a plus. Must have your own transportation and a (legal) job.

This will be a symbiotic agreement. In exchange for your time, I will give you mine. Need someone to flirt with you at a football party? Go, team! Want a woman to make you look good in front of your boss? Let me find my heels. Would you love for someone to be obsessed with you in front of your ex? I’m applying my red lipstick now.

If interested, please email me. Time is of the essence. 

From USA Today and Amazon Charts Bestselling author comes a “fun and flirty!” fake dating situation between two coworkers that quickly straddles the line between friends and lovers.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3M52rwO


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Light and sexy

Laura Bennett has spent her life taking care of other people and running the Dip and Twist. Happily spending her time being single and carefree, she has no intention of settling down or falling in love. With an ever-growing family, she’s a mother to them all, and she loves every minute of it. But her baby is getting married, and her oldest has her own life changes she’s dealing with. Suddenly, being all alone doesn’t sound so appealing anymore.

Dean Campbell has been the black sheep of his family since the day he was born. The only one he cares about is his nephew, Palmer. Deciding at the last minute to attend Palmer’s nuptials, Dean knows he’s going to need to try his hardest not to be his usual, grouchy self. He doesn’t like people, and he really doesn’t like weddings. But the sexy and sassy mother-of-the-bride has him wanting to check Plus-One on his invite. He’s never had more fun getting under someone’s skin, and it doesn’t take long for all the people, noise, and chaos that surround Laura Bennett to become a few of his favorite things.

Laura thinks a fun wedding fling is just what the doctor ordered to get her out of this funk. But Dean’s been sprinkled with Shepherd’s glitter and the magic of Summersweet Island. He’ll do whatever it takes to convince her that, with this fling, she just might change her mind about falling in love again.

Read the review here

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


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Steamy fun 🎧

When my manager assigns me the task of finding a new wake-up-call service for our CEO, I think, how hard can this be?

Answer: practically impossible. It turns out that no wake-up call company in the world will take him on as a client. They’ve all had enough of his surly personality.

So in an effort not to lose my job, I secretly start making the calls myself, every day at 4:30 am sharp. OMG yes you read that right—four freaking thirty in the morning.

Confession: I’m not the nicest wake-up-call girl at that hour. Hello! Who wakes up before the roosters are even crowing? Luckily he doesn’t seem to mind my get-your-ass-out-of-bed attitude.

Day by day we’re becoming closer, and the calls start turning hot, like pay-by-the-minute hot and oh-so-wild. Snuggled under the covers with the moonlight streaming in the windows, we divulge our secrets to each other, but the one thing that he can never find out is that the sexy vixen who wakes him up every morning is just the lowly assistant who wears frumpy dresses. I can only imagine his disappointment.

Now he wants to take me out on a date and he’s scouring Manhattan to find me.

He’s an overachieving billionaire bent on a mission. How much longer can I keep up this charade?

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3HHVMGN


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Too short 

What chance does a small-town girl have with a world-famous rock star? 

Two years after his wife’s death, rock star Garrett Hayes hasn’t moved on. But he has moved out of L.A. Where better to escape his past than a small town in the northern California mountains? If only he could get the townsfolk of Wildwood to leave him the hell alone. 

Ani Bennet returned to her hometown for some much-needed serenity. The last thing she needs is a grumpy, too hot for his own good, rich and famous rock star living next door—and rent-free in her brain. 

She set her fangirl tendencies aside and deleted his photo from her cell when they became neighbors. But when Garrett asks for help, she can’t say no. The problem is, spending time together is making those fangirl feelings resurface—and bringing them to a whole new level. 

What chance does a small-town girl have with world-famous rock star? It’s time for Ani to set her fears aside and find out.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Li47mg


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Just okay

Fake date. Real trouble. Fall for a new trope-tactic, fake dating rom-com series from USA Today bestselling author, Lila Monroe! 

Playboy bachelor Dash (aka Phineas Henry Dashford IV) needs to settle down, and fast – at least that’s what his eccentric grandmother thinks. And since she’s the one controlling his trust fund, he needs the perfect fake date for her 80th birthday bash. Someone sweet, demure, charming… and definitely NOT like the spitfire who almost pulled him in front of a subway train and then dressed him down in front of a million viral video viewers.

Wannabe lipstick mogul, Callie Rodriguez, needs to find an investor for her makeup line – before her meagre savings run out. Playing girlfriend to a rich trust fund guy ? It’s absolutely NOT in her plans, no matter how handsome he is… Until Dash offers to invest in her company in exchange for getting grandma Zelda off his case.

One week of (fake) romantic bliss? The challenge is simple. The chemistry between them isn’t.

Soon, Callie and Dash are caught up in the act of a lifetime – and the sparks are anything but make-believe. Can these opposites find a way to attract? Or will a week in Palm Beach, a scheming ex, and a frisky alligator be the formula for trouble?

Find out in another laugh-out-loud Billionaire Bachelor story from “the reigning Queen of romantic comedy” Lila Monroe!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uuAmrp


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Mixed feelings 

The USA Today bestselling author of The Worst Best Man is back with another hilarious rom-com about two strangers who get trapped in a lie and have to fake date their way out of it…

Just weeks away from ditching DC for greener pastures, Solange Perreira is roped into helping her wedding planner cousin on a random couple’s big day. It’s an easy gig… until she stumbles upon a situation that convinces her the pair isn’t meant to be. What’s a true-blue romantic to do? Crash the wedding, of course. And ensure the unsuspecting groom doesn’t make the biggest mistake of his life.

Dean Chapman had his future all mapped out. He was about to check off “start a family” and on track to “make partner” when his modern day marriage of convenience went up in smoke. Then he learns he might not land an assignment that could be his ticket to a promotion unless he has a significant other and, in a moment of panic, Dean claims to be in love with the woman who crashed his wedding. Oops.

Now Dean has a whole new item on his to-do list: beg Solange to be his pretend girlfriend. Solange feels a tiny bit bad about ruining Dean’s wedding, so she agrees to play along. Yet as they fake-date their way around town, what started as a performance for Dean’s colleagues turns into a connection that neither he nor Solange can deny. Their entire romance is a sham… there’s no way these polar opposites could fall in love for real, right?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3Jo6bb3


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Mixed feelings

A swoon-worthy, buttery, uber-fun romance about a marriage of convenience between two people who couldn’t be more wrong for each other…

You know what’s great about applying for an art history Ph.D. program at one of the world’s most prestigious universities? I get to study what I love and land my dream job at the end of it. You know what’s not so great? Being told I’ll only get accepted to the program if I gain access to my aloof, uppity, super grumpy boss’s private art collection.

As it turns out, said boss—a one Lord Hayden Stuart—needs to get married to inherit his late father’s estate and earldom. And if there’s one thing Hayden Stuart is never going to want for real—it’s a wife.

So, we strike up a deal: I marry him and go live at his castle, where I’ll have unlimited access to his collection, he gets his earldom, and when the estate is settled, we part ways forever.

Win-win, right?

Wrong.

I may have fooled myself into believing I wasn’t risking my heart, but there’s one huge problem: I’m definitely falling for him. He’s not just another man. He’s THE man—an irresistibly good-looking, in-control, expensive-suit-wearing man who makes all the other men look like little boys. And the more time I spend with him pretending to be his wife, the more desperate I become to believe the lie.

But he’s never going to fall for some lowly Ph.D. student. So what if at the wedding he looked at me as if I’m the only woman in the world, and kissed me like he’s shipping off to war in the morning? It doesn’t mean anything.

Or does it?

Because the more we’re together, the more I realize that, even though we’re from totally different worlds, we have a lot more in common than I ever could have imagined.

Now all I have to do is convince him he really does want a wife…

*** Even Better Than the Real Thing is a standalone romance with a little extra spice than a regular Melanie Summers book. ***

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3EbH4aq


DNF: Not for me

This book has been on the bestseller list all month, so I wanted to at least give it a try, but I was worried that it was going to be too kinky for my personal tastes, so I ended up skipping around a bit and spoiled the book for myself. The good news is that I actually really did like the writing style – it was immensely bingeable, and the story is compelling. Yeah, it’s too kinky for me, but it’s also steamy, soapy fun, so there’s definitely an audience for it.

He calls me perfect.

His flawless pet.

His good girl. 

Broken down and wounded by my emotionally neglectful ex, I wanted someone to tell me I was good enough.

Then, I stumbled into a new job with a boss who brings me to my knees—literally. He has me do things a real secretary would never do.

Emerson Grant tells me I’m more than just good enough.

I’m worthy of his praise.

There are a million reasons why I should stay away. The owner of the Salacious Players’ Club is not just my new boss, he’s twice my age.

And my ex-boyfriend’s father.

With him, I am treasured. I am adored. I am his.

I’m a good girl, but I’m falling for the wrong man.

Emerson Grant knows what he wants—

And he wants me.

So how far will I go to hear his approval?

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3EWwSD1


DNF: Not enough of a standalone

Despite tons of potential in the writing, this doesn’t read well as a standalone, as the blurb claims. I’ve heard great things about the series, so I decided to jump right in, but I’m about 75 pages in and there have been several time jumps, lots of references I don’t get, and VERY little interaction between our couple. It lost me. I’ll probably give the first book in the series a chance once the holiday season approaches, and maybe revisit this afterwards. I don’t know, this didn’t start off on the right note.

Evelyn St. James isn’t the kind of woman you forget.

Beckett Porter certainly hasn’t. One incredible weekend in Maine, and he’s officially a man distracted. He’s not unfamiliar with hot and heavy flings. He knows how it goes. But Evie wove some sort of magic over him during their tumble in the sheets. He can’t stop thinking about her laugh. Her hand pressed flat against his chest. Her smiling mouth at his neck.

Also, her eyes. And her legs.

So when she suddenly appears on his farm as part of a social media contest, he is … confused. He had no idea that the sweet and sexy woman he met at a bar is actually a global phenomenon: social media influencer Evelyn St. James. When she disappears again, Beckett resolves to finally forget her and move on.

But Evelyn St. James has a problem.

Feeling disconnected from her work and increasingly unhappy, she’s trying to find her way back to something real. She returns to the last place she was happy, Lovelight Farms and the tiny town of Inglewild.

It has absolutely nothing to do with the hot farmer she spent two incredible nights with.

Nothing at all.

In The Weeds is a sweet and steamy second-chance romance about finding your happiness. It features a grumpy farmer, a no-nonsense social media influencer, a small town of busybodies, and four very cute kittens. This is the second book in a series of interconnected standalones following the three Lovelight owners.

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


THIS MONTH’S RECOMMENDATION LISTS

Best Romance Books I’ve Read in Kindle Unlimited (2022 So Far)

15 Romance Books Where the Guy Falls First or Fast


Check out this week’s new releases here.


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