My reading week went a little better than the last few, so I’m feeling good! I enjoyed Best Served Hot, a delicious rivals romance with tons of food references. It was a great mix of romance and women’s fiction vibes, with plenty of banter and a unique feel. I also liked First to Fall, a Vegas wedding turned marriage of convenience romance between former college nemeses. It was a little slow at times, but I liked the vast majority of it – and the closed door romance felt more like a super slow burn. Unfortunately, the newest from Tessa Bailey was a disappointment. Given its rating on Goodreads, I’m not the only reader who struggled with it – and I ultimately skimmed to the end, leaving it as officially DNFed. Finally, I re-shared my review of Boss in the Bedsheets, a fantastic grumpy boss rom com that made my Top 20 back in 2020. Here’s hoping that the good vibes continue next week, as there are tons of new books I’m looking forward to reading!
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.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Almost 5 stars
Two restaurant critics learn their opposing tastes might make for a five-star relationship in the next foodie romantic comedy from the author of Sadie on a Plate.
By day, Julie Zimmerman works as an executive assistant. After hours, she’s @JulieZeeEatsNYC, a social media restaurant reviewer with over fifty thousand followers. As much as she loves her self-employed side gig, what Julie really wants is to be a critic at a major newspaper, like the New York Scroll. The only thing worse than the Scroll’s rejection of her application is the fact that smarmy, social-media-averse society boy Bennett Richard Macalester Wright snagged her dream job.
While at the Central Park Food Festival, Julie confronts the annoyingly handsome Bennett about his outdated opinions on social media and posts the resulting video footage. Julie’s follower count soars—and so does the Scroll’s. Julie and Bennett grudgingly agree to partner up for a few reviews to further their buzz. Online buzz, obviously.
Over tapas, burgers, and more, Julie and Bennett connect over their shared love of food. But when the competitive fire between them turns extra spicy, they’ll have to decide how much heat their relationship can take.
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Super slow burn
When I woke up this morning, I became aware of two things:
One, I felt hungover, and I knew I hadn’t had a drop of liquor.
And two, I was pretty sure I had accidentally married someone.
I, Olivia Sutton, have a Ten Year Plan. It’s air-tight and written in permanent ink. You know what’s not on the plan? Getting married to the man I used to love to hate. But when my sister’s pre-wedding trip goes horribly wrong, I find myself legally bound to my old nemesis, tech sensation Lachlan Hayes. Lachlan pitches a plan to temporarily stay married. Is it absolutely insane? Yes. But it has the potential to fix so many problems for both of us—and create even bigger ones.
As secrets unravel between us, I discover there’s more to my nerd husband than arrogance and a party-boy reputation. Falling for this guy is definitely not on the Ten Year Plan, but living in the same house? Acting like I’ve given my heart to my husband? Public kisses that make me forget my name? When our fake marriage becomes all too real, Lachlan and I find ourselves crossing lines we swore we wouldn’t. It has me wondering if I can walk away from Lachlan when our time is up.
Or if I’ll be the first the fall.
Grab the second book in the hilariously swoony A Lost Story Bookshop series. Perfect for fans of closed-door romantic comedy.
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Retro review
“I should’ve known from the moment I sat down beside him on the plane that anyone as tightly wound as him would be an almighty beast in bed.”
Despite the fact I’m currently living out of your guest room and sleeping with you most nights, I am writing to announce my resignation effective two weeks from today.
In other words, I’ll locate someone who is both obscenely overqualified and willing to devote their days to the handful of tasks you are able to wrench from your perfectionist, micromanaging grip. It may be difficult to find a Nobel laureate genius looking for basic filing work on such short notice, but I’ll do my best.
Don’t worry about your sister’s wedding this weekend. I still plan to attend as your date, assuming you’ve finished hating me by then.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Resignation not accepted.
I’ll see you at home.
CW: history of emotional abandonment, briefly discussed on-page; family estrangement; history of emotional abuse by a romantic partner, one on-page event and brief discussion.
Read the review here
Mini Audiobook Review
From Tessa Bailey—#1 New York Times bestselling author, TikTok favorite, and “the Michelangelo of dirty talk” (Entertainment Weekly)—comes a spicy small town rom-com perfect for Valentine’s Day, about a grumpy professor and the bubbly neighbor he clashes with at every turn…
Hallie Welch fell hard for Julian Vos at fourteen, after they almost kissed in the dark vineyards of his family’s winery. Now the prodigal hottie has returned to Napa Valley, and when Hallie is hired to revamp the gardens on the Vos estate, she wonders if she’ll finally get that smooch. But the starchy professor isn’t the teenager she remembers and their polar opposite personalities clash spectacularly.
One wine-fueled girls’ night later, Hallie can’t shake the sense that she did something reckless—and then she remembers the drunken secret admirer letter she left for Julian. Oh shit.
On sabbatical from his ivy league job, Julian plans to write a novel. But having Hallie gardening right outside his window is the ultimate distraction. She’s eccentric, chronically late, often literally covered in dirt—and so unbelievably beautiful, he can’t focus on anything else. Until he finds an anonymous letter sent by a woman from his past.
Even as Julian wonders about this admirer, he’s sucked further into Hallie’s orbit. Like the flowers she plants all over town, Hallie is a burst of color in Julian’s grayscale life. For a man who irons his socks and runs on tight schedules, her sunny chaotic energy makes zero sense. But there’s something so familiar about her… and her very presence is turning his world upside down.
Read the mini audiobook review here
Check out this week’s new releases here.
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I have Secretly Yours lined up on my ereader. Sorry you didn’t like it. It seems to get mixed opinions.
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Hope it goes better for you! If not, well, every author has a miss once in awhile.
That’s very true.
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