WEEKLY WRAP-UP: January 13th

It was definitely a decent-ish reading week, with a variety of books that almost hit the right notes. My favorite (by far) was Exes and O’s, the opposites attract/roommates romance from Amy Lea. I loved the playful vibe, and it ended up being an engaging read. I also enjoyed the debut, Water Under the Bridge, which had a great, very promising, foundation, but left some room for improvement. I liked the newest from Winter Renshaw, which was easy to binge, but ultimately forgettable. I was disappointed with my first experience with Laura Pavlov’s work, though I suspect that it’s just this book that was a miss. And I liked N.S. Perkins’ writing style, but the heaviness of Where Time Stands Still lead me to DNF. So most of my reading this week was a little rocky. The good (great!) news? I was lucky enough to receive an ARC for Ali Hazelwood’s June release, and it’s been fantastic so far. I’m planning to finish it this weekend and share my sneak peek review next week – stay tuned!

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.

My sneak peek review will be up next week!

Rival physicists collide in a vortex of academic feuds and fake dating shenanigans in this delightfully STEMinist romcom from the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis and Love on the Brain.

The many lives of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway have finally caught up with her. By day, she’s an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure. By otherday, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people-pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs.

Honestly, it’s a pretty sweet gig—until her carefully constructed Elsie-verse comes crashing down. Because Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and arrogant older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere. And he’s the same Jack Smith who rules over the physics department at MIT, standing right between Elsie and her dream job.

Elsie is prepared for an all-out war of scholarly sabotage but…those long, penetrating looks? Not having to be anything other than her true self when she’s with him? Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt her to put her most guarded theories on love into practice?

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ki198Q

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Playful slow burn 🎧

A romance novel-obsessed social media influencer revisits her exes on her hunt for true love in this romantic comedy from the author of Set On You.

Romance book connoisseur Tara Chen has had her heart broken ten times by ten different men—all of whom dumped her because of her “stage-five clinger” tendencies. Nevertheless, Tara is determined to find The One. The only problem? Classic meet-cutes are dead, thanks to modern dating apps. So Tara decides to revisit her exes in hopes of securing her very own trope-worthy second-chance romance. 

Boston firefighter Trevor Metcalfe will be the first to rush into a burning building but the last to rush into a relationship. Love just isn’t his thing. When his new roommate Tara enlists him to help her reconnect with her exes, he reluctantly agrees. But Tara’s journey is leading him to discover his own new chapter.

The more time they spend together, the more Tara realizes Trevor seems to be the only one who appreciates her authentic, dramatic self. To claim their happily ever after, can Tara and Trevor read between the lines of their growing connection?

Read the audiobook review here

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

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Solid debut

A laugh-out-loud, sexy, slow burn, office romance.

Avery Soko, a bright-eyed and ambitious do-gooder, is on the cusp of getting her dream fundraising job at the Oceanic Research Organization. Luca Navarro, a former corporate lawyer with an extravagant tie collection and an irritatingly handsome smirk, holds Avery’s future in his very large hands. When he calls with the news of her rejection, Luca seems to revel in crushing her dreams.

But Avery will do anything to pursue her passion, even accept a job at a struggling start-up. Her spell of bad luck finally changes when a competition is announced at a grandiose gala that could save her and her new team from going under. Of course, Avery’s least favorite person, Luca, also joins the running for the multimillion-dollar prize.

At the height of the competition, Avery and Luca realize they’ve met their match. Will the tense moments, absurd attempts to out-do each other, and the string of games and bets they’ve concocted turn into a series of failures, or will it make them into something more than adversaries?

Water Under The Bridge is book one of the Perks & Benefits series but can be read as a standalone. Warning: This book contains explicit content, and profanity.

Read the review here

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

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Unpredictable 🎧

Two people find love in the embers of their painful pasts in this slow-burn romance from Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw.

For me, family is a curse. My father and brother made my life hell. My mother’s untimely death still keeps me up at night. Now that my brother, Donovan, has been killed in an accident, I can forget the past.

The last remnant is the childhood home I’ve inherited—and which I intend to burn to the ground. The only obstacle? Anneliese Nielsen, Donovan’s fiancée.

Donovan left her destitute, and selling this run-down house is her only chance to recoup her losses. I shouldn’t care, but…maybe it’s her eyes when she sees me. I look strikingly like my brother, a man she loved despite everything.

So we strike a deal. We’ll renovate the house together, but she’ll have to convince me to sell—or up in flames it goes.

But the more time we spend in the house, the more its terrible history threatens to come out.

And even more dangerous, the harder I start to fall for Anneliese.

Read the audiobook review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3VObh6s

⭐️⭐️⭐️ Didn’t love it

Wolf Wayburn is the devil in an Armani suit. Most women would drop to their knees at just the sight of him. Lucky for me—I’m not most women.

The first time we met, he cut me off at a gas station.
So, I flashed him the bird and mocked his family jewels.
The second time we met, he tried to get me fired.
He took his shot—and he missed.
At least for now.
Wolf Wayburn was an ex-Navy SEAL with an attitude.
But it would take a lot more than the big, bad Wolf to scare me off.
I had ninety days to win the man over.
To convince him that I was the right person for the job.
But spending endless amounts of time with him proved more challenging than I’d expected.
He was stubborn and broody and charming and sexy—all at the same time.
I despised him as much as I craved him.
We taunted and teased and terrorized one another for weeks.
The first time he dropped to his knees, it was to search me for a weapon.
The second time… it was an altogether different story.
I never planned to fall for the enemy.
Because I knew it was easier to hate Wolf Wayburn than to love him.

Read the review here

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

Mini Review

Twenty-six-year-old Wren Lawson knows she will soon forget who she is. With early familial Alzheimer’s disease written in her genes, it’s a fact she’s wrapped her whole life around; to indulge in friends or romance is a risk for everyone around her—one she’s not keen on taking. Throwing herself into her work as a lawyer is the only thing she can do.

Aaron Scott-Perez was happy with his quiet life in Boston, but when a doctor’s mistake leaves his father unable to run his Christmas tree farm, Aaron has no choice but to move back to the small Vermont town he used to call home. He never saw himself managing the business, but since it is so dear to his father, Aaron has given up everything to do it. To get his father the justice he deserves, he hires none other than Wren. She’s emotionally blunted and secretive, but her kindness and competency provide something his family hasn’t felt for a long time: hope. So much so that Aaron starts to think the life he didn’t want might not be so bad when she’s around.

Yet Wren cannot let him in, too haunted by her future. 

As the two get closer and the lines become blurred, Wren and Aaron find themselves at a crossroads. But their attraction is unyielding, and together they must decide what risks are worth taking, and if love is better to lose than to never have at all.

Read the mini review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3BTM57t

Check out this week’s new releases here.

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