WEEKLY WRAP-UP: October 7th

I finally feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things with my reading, now that summer is past and the new releases are plentiful. Perhaps too plentiful, because my TBR is growing by the day! I finally read one of my most anticipated releases of the year, The American Roommate Experiment. Did I love it as much as The Spanish Love Deception? No, but the back half showcased all of the reasons why I love Armas’ work, and I ended up enjoying it. I also read An Unexpected Paradise, which was a very solid debut. It’s been getting some polarizing reviews, but I loved how it was almost an post-office rivals romance, if you will. Definitely looking forward to checking out more from Curto. I posted my review for Just Like Magic, which I read and loved a few months ago. It’s the kind of Christmas chaos that made me so ready for the holidays, and I’m sure I’ll revisit it in the future. I also re-posted my review for From the Embers, which has just gotten very popular all of a sudden. It was one of my Top 20 of 2021 picks, so I’m excited that it’s getting some attention! Finally, I listened to the newest from Kayley Loring and Connor Crais. I’m starting to realize that I vastly prefer her solo books to their teamups, but the audio was great.

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.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Christmas chaos

The holidays were never her thing, until she accidentally conjures the Holiday Spirit…before her very eyes.

Bettie Hughes once knew the comfort of luxury, flaunting a collection of designer purses and an enviable dream home in Hawaii. That was before she lost all her money. Long obsessed with her public image, Bettie boasts an extravagant lifestyle on social media. But the reality is Bettie is broke and squatting in Colorado, and her family has no idea.

Christmas, with its pressure to meet familial expectations, is looming when Bettie plays a vinyl record of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” backward and accidentally conjures up Hall, the Holiday Spirit, in the form of a charming and handsome (if offbeat) man. Once the shock wears off, Bettie knows she’s stumbled upon the greatest gift: a chance to make all her holiday wishes come true, plus a ready-made fiancé.

But as some of Bettie’s wishes lose their charm, she finds herself thrown off-kilter by Hall’s sweet nature. Suddenly, grumpy Bettie is finding her heart merry and light. But the happier she gets, the shorter Hall’s time on earth grows. Can Bettie channel the Christmas spirit and learn to live with goodwill toward all men? Or will her selfish ways return as soon as the holidays are over?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3KQ2DAk


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Great debut

Beautiful palm trees. Warm ocean water. Idyllic sunsets. Sounds like heaven, right?

Not when you’re head-strong Jo Bowen and forced to attend a work trip with your obnoxious-yet-attractive coworker, Jack Lancaster. How can she survive four days in the Florida Keys with the grouchy man she wants to throttle more often than not?

When her toxic ex-boyfriend arrives at the same conference, Jack doesn’t hesitate to jump in and act as her current love interest. Jo discovers there might be more to her infuriating nemesis than meets the eye. Maybe it’s the island air, or maybe it’s the time they spend together, but soon their mutual hatred morphs into attraction. How can it not when Jack looks at her like she’s the only woman in the world?

It’s easy to pretend they’re a happy couple in front of strangers. With the real world looming beyond their temporary paradise, Jack and Jo must confront their feelings and new opportunities. They will either find themselves on the path of happiness… or the path of destruction.

An Unexpected Paradise is a steamy romantic comedy featuring coworkers-to-lovers (with a hint of enemies-to-lovers sprinkled in), forced proximity, and fake dating. The cast includes a fiery, headstrong woman, a churlish yet thoughtful man and an awesome group of friends. You can expect laugh-out-loud banter, spicy moments, and a new swoon-worthy book boyfriend. It is a standalone novel.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3fB6J41


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Back half shines 🎧

From the author of the Goodreads Choice Award winner The Spanish Love Deception, the eagerly anticipated follow-up featuring Rosie Graham and Lucas Martín, who are forced to share a New York apartment.

Rosie Graham has a problem. A few, actually. She just quit her well paid job to focus on her secret career as a romance writer. She hasn’t told her family and now has terrible writer’s block. Then, the ceiling of her New York apartment literally crumbles on her. Luckily she has her best friend Lina’s spare key while she’s out of town. But Rosie doesn’t know that Lina has already lent her apartment to her cousin Lucas, who Rosie has been stalking—for lack of a better word—on Instagram for the last few months. Lucas seems intent on coming to her rescue like a Spanish knight in shining armor. Only this one strolls around the place in a towel, has a distracting grin, and an irresistible accent. Oh, and he cooks.

Lucas offers to let Rosie stay with him, at least until she can find some affordable temporary housing. And then he proposes an outrageous experiment to bring back her literary muse and meet her deadline: He’ll take her on a series of experimental dates meant to jump-start her romantic inspiration. Rosie has nothing to lose. Her silly, online crush is totally under control—but Lucas’s time in New York has an expiration date, and six weeks may not be enough, for either her or her deadline.

Read the audiobook review here

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


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Retro review

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


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Mixed feelings 🎧

#99 Dash Taylor. Rookie defensive end for the Boston Tomcats. 285 pounds of fast-twitch muscle. Nickname: Big D.

I’ve been sacking quarterbacks since junior high and causing trouble since I was born.

My college coach thinks I have a bad attitude, so he makes me take ballet lessons as punishment. If I don’t turn things around on the field next season, he’ll bench me. I have no idea what ballet has to do with football, but it turns out the real punishment is that the beautiful dance teacher refuses to get involved with me.

Two years later, we cross paths again, and it’s not the other team’s offensive line who brings me to my knees—it’s a hundred-pound ballerina.

She doesn’t think I’m boyfriend material, and I used to think that too.

I’ve been a beast on the field and in the bedroom, but now I’m going to prove that I can be a man for her…and for our surprise baby.

I thought I was all about the smash and dash.
But getting Charlie Bardot pregnant changed everything.


***This is a 93,000 word novel. It is the second standalone in the Boston Tomcats football romance series. You do not have to read DECKER: Changing the Play in order to enjoy or understand DASH. But you’d probably like DECKER—so maybe read that one too when you’re in the mood for more dreamy-cocky-football-hero-who-falls-for-a-strong-heroine goodness.***

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3dUH99x


Check out this week’s new releases here.


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