NOVEMBER 2022 WRAP-UP

I was a little worried about November, I’ll be honest! I went nearly a full month without a 5-star read, so it wasn’t even until November was halfway over that I found my first one. There were plenty of 3.5 or 4-star reads, several highly anticipated releases that just didn’t quite hit the mark, and a LOT of books set aside only partially finisheed. But once I found that first 5-star read, things really started looking up. I ended the month with a string of 4 and 5-star reads in a row, and I began December with a lot more excitement. So it was a very uneven month, but ultimately a successful one overall.

If you missed my December 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

Rach is a down-on-her-luck, happy-go-lucky kind of lady … Sure, she may be an assistant to personal assistants, crashing on her ex-boyfriend’s couch, and have a whole secret past, but mostly, things are great.

Until she:

  • Meets Pres — an aspiring politician, certified Capricorn, and a definitely “unlikable” dude (He knows, he had a poll done on it), and
  • Accidentally goes viral at the same time. (The internet is calling it “Boobgate.”)

His PR person says they should capitalize on the fame. Pres only wants to win an election. And Rach, well, she really just wants to keep her job.

Now she must decide if she can be herself and get the guy, too, or if faking it until you make it is all it’s cracked up to be…

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3A1EmDu


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ SO good 🎧

A spin-off from the #1 Amazon bestsellers, A Not So Meet Cute and So Not Meant To Be, USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn brings you a heart-warming, yet hilarious full-length novel on what life is like after the happily ever after.

Ryot Bisley is my husband. 

Yes, the former third baseman for the Chicago Bobbies and absolute heart throb of the Windy City. That Ryot Bisley.

The first time I ran into him, he was grumpy, a horrific host, and left me on his sofa with nothing but a nylon baseball flag to use as a blanket.

The second time, he reluctantly bought me dinner, stared at my chest the entire night, and still sported that permanent frown.

The third time . . . well, that was a game changer. His smile captured me, his teasing charmed me, and his touches excited me.

So when he was called up to the majors that didn’t stop us from knocking it out of the park and all the way down the aisle.

Eleven years later…I’d love to say we’re happy as ever but the man who sent me dirty text messages every day is long gone and Mr. Frowny Face is back.

He’s so focused on trying to build a life after baseball that he doesn’t see the life we’ve already created together. . .so I make the hard decision and serve him divorce papers.

Problem is…my husband refuses to accept those papers. Instead, he has a new game plan that makes untying the knot of our marriage a little tricky. And just when I thought I wanted to be traded . . . he’s slowly, tantalizingly roping me back in.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3U18Tcy


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Soapy and spicy

She’s the wife he never wanted…and the weakness he never saw coming.

Ruthless. Meticulous. Arrogant.

Dante Russo thrives on control, both personally and professionally.

The billionaire CEO never planned to marry—until the threat of blackmail forces him into an engagement with a woman he barely knows.

Vivian Lau, jewelry heiress and daughter of his newest enemy.

It doesn’t matter how beautiful or charming she is. He’ll do everything in his power to destroy the evidence and their betrothal. 

There’s only one problem: now that he has her…he can’t bring himself to let her go.

***

Elegant. Ambitious. Well-mannered.

Vivian Lau is the perfect daughter and her family’s ticket into the highest echelons of high society.

Marrying a blue-blooded Russo means opening doors that would otherwise remain closed to her new-money family.

While the rude, elusive Dante isn’t her idea of a dream partner, she agrees to their arranged marriage out of duty.

Craving his touch was never part of the plan.

Neither was the worst thing she could possibly do: fall in love with her future husband.

King of Wrath is a steamy arranged marriage billionaire romance. It includes explicit content and profanity. Recommended for mature readers only.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3UK0LNT


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Easy to devour 🎧

From USA Today bestselling author Devney Perry comes a small town, neighbors to lovers romance.

Memphis Ward arrives in Quincy, Montana, on the fifth worst day of her life. She needs a shower. She needs a snack. She needs some sanity. Because moving across the country with her newborn baby is by far the craziest thing she’s ever done.

But maybe it takes a little crazy to build a good life. If putting the past behind her requires a thousand miles and a new town, she’ll do it if it means a better future for her son. Even if it requires setting aside the glamour of her former life. Even if it requires working as a housekeeper at The Eloise Inn and living in an apartment above a garage.

It’s there, on the fifth worst day of her life, that she meets the handsomest man she’s ever laid eyes on. Knox Eden is a beautiful, sinful dream, a chef and her temporary landlord. With his sharp, stubbled jaw and tattooed arms, he’s raw and rugged and everything she’s never had—and never will. Because after the first worst day of her life, Memphis learned a good life requires giving up on her dreams too. And a man like Knox Eden will only ever be a dream.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uf9Z98


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Retro review

What’s the actual last thing you’d ever want your executive assistant to see you doing the morning after you had hot, drunk, angry sex with her in a terrible hotel room? Dancing around your terrible hotel room to “Come and Get Your Love” like Star-Lord in 𝐺𝑢𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐺𝑎𝑙𝑎𝑥𝑦—naked? Yeah. Me too.

And yet, here we are. 

This isn’t even the most unprofessional thing that’s happened between us in the past couple of weeks.

The first was when I agreed to let her have Christmas Day off, but only if she goes with me to three family gatherings as my fake girlfriend.

The second was when she caught me belting out a Christmas song on stage in the awful hotel bar.

The third was the hot, drunk, angry sex that followed, but I do not regret it.

And she hasn’t even found out the real reason I need her by my side this holiday season.

I need to pull it together before I do the dumbest, most unprofessional thing of all—fall head over heels in love with the only assistant who’s lasted more than a month at the job and claims to hate me and my moods more than she hates eggnog. 

𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝐼’𝑣𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑒𝑛 ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝑚𝑢𝑐ℎ 𝑠ℎ𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑠 𝑒𝑔𝑔𝑛𝑜𝑔.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3TB3Rm8


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Loved the hero

Two friends (who are totally not in love) work together to renovate a school bus into a home.

Lane is in the middle of an identity crisis. Her friends are all partnered up, her career is leading nowhere, and simply put, she’s not happy. So after a night out celebrating (drinking) on her birthday, she makes one hell of an impulsive purchase. A giant yellow forty-eight passenger school bus that she intends to make a home.

With little-to-no renovation experience but a large sum of inheritance money, Lane enlists the help of her friend Matt—a mechanic by trade, handyman by practice, and hottie by nature.

While their mutual attraction is undeniable, Matt and Lane have silently agreed that a friendship is the only thing that can ever exist between them. Matt’s a total family guy with “settle down with me” tattooed across his forehead, whereas Lane is entirely commitment-averse.

So when Matt offers to help her with the bus and in the bedroom with no strings attached, Lane’s feelings evolve faster than you can say “just good friends.” But she soon discovers that in order to build something new, she has to first heal her past.

Read the review here

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


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Low angst and sexy

He’ll win her heart one mixtape at a time.

Ashley Cooke will do just about anything to save her struggling ski hill. When she hires the men from a local sober living home for the season to cut costs, even she thinks she’s gone too far. With her credit cards maxed, her cheating ex-husband intent on buying the mountain out from under her, and record-breaking snow in the forecast, she can’t afford to be distracted by the six-foot-tall bearded and tattooed sober living home owner moving onto her mountain.

Recovering addict and ex-grunge rocker Matthew Madigan has devoted every minute of the last decade to the men residing at his sober living home. When he meets tightly wound and adorably flustered Ashley, desires he’s put on the back burner for years start to simmer. Immune to his infamous albeit rusty charm, Ashley presents a challenge he can’t resist. When she offers to give him skiing lessons in exchange for his help training her St. Bernard rescue dog, he jumps at the chance to ride next to her on the chairlift despite his debilitating fear of heights.

During bunny hill shenanigans, chairlift confessions, and steamy cabin serenades, Madigan teaches Ashley that a person’s past doesn’t define them, and Ashley shows Madigan that the men he helps aren’t the only people who deserve a second chance. When sabotage threatens both the men and the mountain, Ashley and Madigan will have to decide if they’re only having a winter fling, or if the mountain isn’t the only thing worth fighting for.

Content notes: Addiction, divorce, mourning the loss of a parent

Read the review here

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


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Light and cute

Perry Hawthorne is my boss. Only my boss. And I do NOT have a crush. 

When one of THE Hawthorne brothers—known by their chiseled jawlines and their family-run farm and event center—hires me to be his virtual assistant, I do everything I can to keep him firmly in the work zone.

His grumpy demeanor helps.

His smoking hot profile picture does not.

But even if I do have a crush (a very tiny one), I can’t catch real feelings for a million different reasons.

Besides the whole business part of our relationship, I’m a single mom. I have to think about what’s best for my son, Jack. And my grumpy, divorced, humorless boss isn’t exactly giving me “ready to be a stepdad” vibes.

When Perry upgrades me from virtual to in-person assistant, I wonder if I’ve gotten him all wrong. He’s actually pretty great with Jack. And with me? Let’s just say the chemistry crackling between us might vaporize all my reasons for keeping my distance.

Trouble is, after his messy divorce, I’m not sure Perry’s ready to bet on a new relationship. But it isn’t just my heart that’s on the line. It’s Jack’s, too. And after everything we went through before my husband died, I’m not sure that’s a gamble I’m ready to take, no matter how desperate Jack is for a daddy.

How to Kiss Your Best Friend is a sweet romantic comedy with all the sizzling kisses you want in a closed-door romance but no explicit scenes.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3CT6Pf9


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Seasonal and sentimental 🎧

Hardworking Isabelle Cook has a serious problem. Her family farm, site of Tilikum’s Christmas Village, is in trouble. Big trouble. And worst of all? The man trying to buy it is none other than the grumpiest, grinchiest man of them all—Elias Stoneheart.

That’s a big nope. She’s not letting him get involved. Not with his heart made of coal.

Elias Stoneheart is in the business of making money, not friends. Especially when his boss is promising a long-awaited promotion. All he has to do is convince one struggling family to sell their farm.

The problem? It’s Cook Family Farm. And Isabelle Cook is his ex.

He might have history with Isabelle, but this is just business. A Christmas-loving farm girl is not going to come between him and his ambition.

And Christmas? He hates it. Christmas Village needs to go.

But as Elias spends time in the small town, holiday spirit—and Isabelle—get under his skin. And she might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Author’s Note: a sassy farm girl takes on a grumpy businessman in this stand-alone, snowy, small-town Christmas romance. Saucy banter, a guard donkey, plenty of holiday cheer, and a heartwarming happily ever after that will make you believe in the magic of Christmas.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3h1hEEH


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ It’s complicated 🎧

Opposites become allies to fool their matchmaking friends in this swoony reimagining of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, Much Ado About Nothing.

Jamie Westenberg and Bea Wilmot have nothing in common except a meet-disaster and the mutual understanding that they couldn’t be more wrong for each other. But when the people closest to them play Cupid and trick them into going on a date, Jamie and Bea realize they have something else in common after all—an undeniable need for revenge.

Soon their plan is in place: Fake date obnoxiously and convince the meddlers they’re madly in love. Then, break up spectacularly and dash everyone’s hopes, putting an end to the matchmaking madness once and for all.

To convince everyone that they’ve fallen for each other, Jamie and Bea will have to nail the performance of their lives. But as their final act nears and playing lovers becomes easier than not, they begin to wonder: What if Cupid’s arrow wasn’t so off the mark? And what if two wrongs do make a right?

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3EJZpM6


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Quick and spicy 🎧

Opposites don’t just attract—they ignite—in a flirty against-all-odds romance by Wall Street Journalbestselling author Lauren Landish.

Wyatt Ford hightailed it out of Cold Springs to get away from his influential family and the unwanted privilege that came with it. Returning for his brother’s wedding dredges up every reason he left. One unexpected bright spot: a curvy knockout who slings burgers, hustles pool…and hates the last name Ford.

Hazel Sullivan is fiercely independent and happy to be maid of honor for her best friend’s wedding, but she isn’t looking for romance. Especially not with a man whose family is dividing her town into a battleground with their development plans. Fighting the family is easy. Fighting Wyatt? Not so much. Why does the enemy have to be so drop-dead gorgeous?

The sparks that fly between Hazel and Wyatt might start out as combat, but one kiss and it’s total surrender. How is a happy ever after even possible for two people with so little in common? Except, of course, for an overwhelming attraction and that growing temptation to say “I do” themselves.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3fNPa0X


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Cute and spicy 🎧

USA Today & Amazon Top 5 best-selling author Harloe Rae delivers an unforgettable romance packed with heart, emotion, and steam. Meet Rhodes Walsh—a broody single dad/bar owner—while he clashes with Rylee Creed—a grief-stricken single mom determined to fulfill lost dreams—on their road to happily ever after.

I didn’t expect to see Rylee Creed after her brother’s funeral.
That’s the initial reason my jaw hangs slack when she walks into Bent Pedal a month later.
The loss of my friend hit me hard, but that’s nothing compared to the crash she’s endured.

Grief and misery still shadow her every move.
But she’s not alone.
A little boy about the age of my daughter clings to her side.
Their shared pain is too ripe, salt in my raw wounds.

I assume we’re about to make a deal and go our separate ways.
But this bar was Trevor’s pride and joy.
She wants to honor his final wishes.
How can I possibly stand in her way?

Simple. I don’t.

Our paths collide after that point.
The journey forward is messy and complicated, much like us.
Maybe there’s an exchange to be made after all.
Rylee just has to willingly accept the wager.
Then I’ll trade her broken heart for mine.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3U9OHET


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Disappointing

Everyone says “there’s no place like home”… well not for me.

When I’m forced to spend the holidays at home with my family in Strawberry Hollow, I have no idea how I’m even going to survive the week, let alone make it through my least favorite holiday… Christmas.

That is until I run into my childhood crush, and my brother’s best friend, Parker Grant.
Now, he’s the sexy, off-limits doctor in our small town, and nothing like the man I left behind six years ago.

While I hate the holidays, there is nothing that he loves more.
Well, other than a good bet.
Which is exactly what happens when we end up together under the mistletoe.
A bet that changes everything.

He asks for the next seven days to change my mind about Christmas.
But seven days alone with Parker is more than either of us bargained for.
Now, there’s much more at stake than a silly mistletoe bet.

The Mistletoe Bet is a complete standalone Christmas novella with lots of banter, even more laughter and a heartwarming HEA.

Read the review here

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


DNF/Mini Review 🎧

From USA Today and Amazon Charts bestselling author Meghan Quinn comes a heartfelt romantic comedy about new beginnings and finding the romanticized happily ever after in the most unlikely of places.

Hollywood screenwriter Sawyer Walsh knows a good love story when he sees it. But when it comes to real life romance, he’s a mess. That’s how he finds himself standing at the altar…as his ex-girlfriend ties the knot with his very famous best friend. The pressure, the resentment, the media coverage—it’s all too much—and before he knows exactly what he’s doing, he’s making a run for it, leaving a shocked congregation and flashing cameras in his wake.

Needing to lie low amid the media fallout, Sawyer lands in the charming town of Canoodle, California, where he crosses paths with Fallon Long, who runs the Canoodle Cove Cabins, a family-owned business and Sawyer’s new short-term residence. Overwhelmed with renovations and her long list of responsibilities, Fallon is struggling to make ends meet while attempting to bring the cabins back to their original glory. So when Sawyer arrives, she is grateful for the income, but immediately writes him off as just another vapid Hollywood hack, until he begins to prove her wrong at every turn.

As Fallon comes closer to saving the family business, an undeniable bond forms between her and the handsome screenwriter. But the pressures of her family obligations and Sawyer’s notoriety might prove to be too much for anyone to handle. Could Canoodle be the setting for a new romance—or is true love just a Hollywood cliché?

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3FTI1XP


DNF/Mini Review

Barrett
I’ve rebuilt my father’s media company with hard work and determination, but my single status leaves me on the outs with the one businessman I need to get close to. A little white lie and I’m suddenly in love, head over heels. Now I need to find a fake girlfriend, someone to keep up appearances without any emotions.

When I find my mother’s fiery assistant in a compromising position, it’s the perfect opportunity to get what I want: a girlfriend for business appearances, without any feelings involved. I won’t let the fact that I’m wildly attracted to the petite redhead get in my way.

But the closer she gets, the more my heart thaws and all too soon I find myself having to choose between the business deal I’m determined to land and the woman I’ve fallen hard for.

Chloe
After two years as editorial assistant to JoAnna St. Clair of the famed St. Clair Press, I’ve been given a chance to take on my dream job as an assistant editor.

When my childhood best friend asks me to host her bachelorette weekend in the city, I’m thrilled to show everyone how amazing my life is in New York. (Things not included on the tour are my shoebox of an apartment or my romance book collection that is the only thing keeping me warm at night.)

But when I fail to confirm the restaurant reservation and I’m left with no event location an hour before the party starts, I’m desperate. Desperate enough to use my boss’s penthouse for a party while she’s out of town.
No one will ever know. That is until her cold, dismissive, and annoyingly hot son walks in.

In order to keep his silence, Barrett demands a favor in return: he needs a date for a business dinner. That’s easy enough until his mother finds out and he seals my fate by telling her we are dating. It’s that or kiss my job goodbye.

While I’m reluctant at first, the more time we spend together, the harder it is to fight my attraction to him. Beneath that brooding, icy demeanor lies a heart of gold.

But when a scandalous discovery puts his deal at stake, and our relationship to the test, will Barrett prove he’s all about business?

Read the mini review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ySz3Gg


DNF/Mini Review 🎧

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Or does it?

Okay, let me explain. I broke into my crush’s dressing room to sniff his tights (not in a pervy way, I swear!) and got busted while, um… you get the idea. He then kind of, sort of blackmailed me into agreeing to a fake green card marriage with him. But hey, I’m not complaining.

Next thing I know, we’re on a flight to Vegas to make our friends and family think we had a crazy drunken night and, in the spur of the moment, tied the knot. Except… that’s exactly what happens. (Thanks a lot, vodka.)

Considering that he’s the most desirable ballet dancer in New York City and I’m a garage-dwelling secret blogger with a major sweet tooth, there’s no way this marriage could ever become real. Not to mention my totally crazy family and my aversion to every smell under the sun—except his.

All I can hope for is to not fall in love with my husband. That shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Read the mini audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3UBs2Su


THIS MONTH’S RECOMMENDATION LISTS

15 Playboy/Manwhore Tamed Romance Novels

2022 Holiday Romance Novel Releases

BLOGIVERSARY & Revisiting My Top 19 of 2019

IT’S TIME TO VOTE… for your favorite romance books of 2022!!


Check out this week’s new releases here.


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