Posted in ARC Reviews, Book Reviews, Netgalley, Penguin Teen Canada

Book Review: When You Wish Upon a Lantern – Gloria Chao

Rating: 2/5 🌟🌟

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Published on: Feb 14, 2023

Review:

This was my first book by Gloria Chao & I really wanted to like it but though I love the cover, unfortunately, the book fell below my expectations.

The story had a lot of potential and I loved the plot, the characters, and even the unpleasant characters had their role in it. I loved the kindness depicted in the story with the wish-granting.

I really did enjoy some of the touching scenes but the writing felt lengthy and dragged the inner dialogue a bit too long until I wanted to grab Liya & Kai and give them a good, hard shake.

That said, I think the values interwoven in this story, the kindness, the sense of community, and friendship made the book worth it.

Thanks to Penguin Teens Canada for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Blurb:
Acclaimed author Gloria Chao creates real-world magic in this luminous romance about teens who devote themselves to granting other people’s wishes, but are too afraid to let themselves have their own hearts’ desires—each other.
Liya and Kai had been best friends since they were little kids, but all that changed when a humiliating incident sparked The Biggest Misunderstanding Of All Time—and they haven’t spoken since.
Then Liya discovers her family’s wishing lantern store is struggling, and she decides to resume a tradition she had with her beloved late grandmother: secretly fulfilling the wishes people write on the lanterns they send into the sky. It may boost sales and save the store, but she can’t do it alone . . . and Kai is the only one who cares enough to help.
While working on their covert missions, Liya and Kai rekindle their friendship—and maybe more. But when their feuding families and their changing futures threaten to tear them apart again, can they find a way to make their own wishes come true?

 

Posted in ARC Reviews, Book Reviews, Netgalley

e-ARC Review: The Rom-Com Agenda – Jayne Denker

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Rom-Com

Publication Date: January 10, 2023

Review:

As you all know, along with my love for all things fantasy and paranormal romance, I have a soft spot for rom-coms. When I came across The Rom-Com Agenda, of course, I had to try it out. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started to read this book and I am so glad I chose to read it!

This book was full of vibrant characters and I don’t mean just the main characters. The Rom-Com Agenda has a superb cast who leave you laughing like a loon and endear themselves to your heart so they become part of you. You love them more and more as you get to know them.

The plotline is a predictable one but the writing is fun and witty with equal amounts of emotional depth. Let me put it this way – if you enjoyed the movie, Love Actually, you will love this book. It’s such a feel-good story, it leaves you with a smile and a warmth long after you finish it.

Book Dragons, you’re in for a barrel of laughs and a whole world of sweetness with this one.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

Synopsis:
Vibrantly funny, endearingly sweet, and a love letter to all things rom com, Jayne Denker’s The Rom Com Agenda is a story of two people finding love right when they least expect it.
You know how the story’s supposed to go…but love makes its own plans.
STEP 1: Find yourself
Leah Keegan is used to being alone, especially after taking care of her sick foster mother for the past year. But now there’s nothing keeping her in the sweet town of Willow Cove. It’s time to move on. Again.
STEP 2: Win back the one who got away
Eli Masterson thought he and Victoria were meant to be together until she decided to jet off to Rome for a year. Eli is determined to win her back. But how?
STEP 3: Become a romantic hero
Changing Eli’s physical appearance is easy, but to turn Eli into the sophisticated-yet-vulnerable ideal man, his girl pals force him to watch classic rom-coms. And take notes.
STEP 4: Fall in love?
Inadvertently drawn into the makeover scheme, Leah ends up being Eli’s guide through the wild world of meet-cutes and grand gestures. Even though she believes Eli doesn’t need to change a thing about himself. Even though she just might be falling for Eli . . . and Eli falling for her.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Girl Next Door – Jennifer Hanks

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Rom-Com

Review:

This book was such a surprising discovery for me and this author new to me. I hadn’t come across Jennifer Hanks’ books before and I have to admit I got this one mostly because the cover’s so cute. Plus, I just love the girl-next-door/boy-next-door trope. I started it on a whim and it was so much fun I read it in one sitting.

Millie Solanski is not your typical woman. She redefines the meaning of ‘original’ & ‘eccentric’. She marches along to the beat of her own drums, knows exactly who she is, and makes no apologies for it. She was such a fun, unique character, I absolutely loved her.

Who could blame Colin Campbell for being fascinated with her? Especially after his hard past, his regrettable choices, his need for atonement, and his hopes and determination to build a good, safe home for his son, Noah. The boy is adorable and kids always make life so much fun, right?

The characters were relatable and I had the best time reading this book. Some of the scenes were so hilarious, they left me in stitches. Some of the conclusions to the plot twists were a bit lukewarm but otherwise, this book left me in smiles long after I finished reading it.

Stay tuned.

∼Lyn

 

Synopsis:
After a disastrous marriage and an even worse divorce, Colin Campbell is looking forward to a fresh start with his son in their new home, and the calm that will bring to his life.
The quiet life he’s been craving is well within his reach.
Until he meets his new neighbor.
Millie Solanski.
Uninhibited.
Outspoken.
And maybe even a little crazy.
Somehow, he finds himself involved in her world and the ridiculous situations she seems to constantly find herself in, squashing any hope for the life he wants.
Or at least the life he thought he wanted.
Before he met the girl next door.
Posted in ARC Reviews, Book Reviews, Edelweiss

ARC Review: Once in a Blue Moon (Blessings, Georgia #10) – Sharon Sala

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 25 August 2020

Review:

After a tumultuous marriage and acrimonious divorce, Cathy fled her ex-husband to try to find a peaceful life for herself. That’s where the small town of Blessings and the super-cute, super-nice rancher, Duke Talbot come in. As the newcomer in Blessings, Cathy is reluctant to make new ties. When Duke comes to the rescue after Cathy has a bad fall, it pushes her into instant ties with the town denizens, filling her life with new possibilities and new chances.

I liked Cathy. Her decisions left me in awe. To leave everything behind, venture out in the unknown without knowing what you’ll encounter takes a lot of courage and I admired her for it. She was a good fit for Duke, a man who shouldered responsibility and strove to do what was right. Duke was so endearing, he charmed me straight away. I loved his relationship with his brother, Jake and sister-in-law, Hope.

My only complaint with this story is that it veered away too much from the romance between Cathy and Duke to focus instead on the lives of the townspeople. I would have enjoyed the story more if the focus had been on Cathy and Duke. I did love the addition of little 8-year-old Melvin Lee though, which enhanced Cathy and Duke’s relationship. He was a sweet little tyke and his manner of speaking was so cute you couldn’t help but love him and feel for his situation.

It’s been a long time since I last read a Sharon Sala book but I still enjoy her writing and the dashes of humor always leave me smiling. This book is part of a series but can also be read as stand-alone.

*Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Sharon Sala’s Blessings, GA series immerses the reader in a world where bad things may happen, but good people always come out ahead. Supremely satisfying, Sala’s contemporary romances bring out the best in people! Rancher Duke Talbot meets Cathy Terry in Blessings by chance. She’s new to town, and so grateful to be there—Blessings feels like a safe haven. As their relationship grows and Cathy sees Duke’s feelings for her are real, she confesses she’s on the run from an abusive ex-husband. Now she’s fallen in love with Blessings and with Duke, and Cathy doesn’t want to run anymore.
Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) – Lyssa Kay Adams

Rating: 4/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Rom-Com

Review:

Undercover Bromance is the story of the man who started it all, Braden Mack. We first meet him and the feisty Liv Papandreas in The Bromance Book Club, where they clash over Chinese food, which results in Liv disliking him. Then as life often tends to do with people you don’t want to meet but who end up on your path just to annoy you, Mack and Liv meet again, in a situation that ends up with Liv catching her boss red-handed in sexual harassment and losing her job. Continue reading “Book Review: Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) – Lyssa Kay Adams”

Posted in Netgalley, New Releases

New Book Releases – 02 Jun 2020

Hola, Book Dragons! I have 2 new releases for you guys today! I started reading The Eternity of Masks and Shadows but I can’t tell you yet if the book is good or not. Happy Book Birthday to:

1. This Eternity of Masks and Shadows – Karsten Knight

eternity of masks & shadows

Synopsis:
In a city of gods and mortals, secrets never die.

The gods walk among us. Some lurk in the shadows, masquerading as mortals; others embrace their celebrity status, launching careers from Hollywood to Capitol Hill.

One of them just murdered Cairn Delacroix’s mother.

As Cairn sifts through the rubble, she uncovers a conspiracy two decades in the making: a cursed island, the fellowship of gods who journeyed there, and the unspeakable act that intertwined their fates. One by one, the members of that voyage are dying, and Cairn’s investigations land her in the crosshairs of the rogue goddess responsible.

With the help of Nanook, a polar bear god turned detective, Cairn descends into Boston’s underworld of supernatural crime and political aspiration. To avenge her mother and unmask her assassin, she’ll first have to reckon with a gut-wrenching secret that will rewrite the life she thought she knew. Continue reading “New Book Releases – 02 Jun 2020”

Posted in Netgalley, New Releases

New Book Releases – 21 May 2020

Hola, Book Dragons! I have 2 new releases for you guys today! I requested Date Me, Bryson Keller – Kevin Van Whye on Netgalley and didn’t hear anything back. :/ But it looks like such a cute read. 

Happy Book Birthday to:

1. Date Me, Bryson Keller – Kevin Van Whye

dmbk

Synopsis:
What If It’s Us meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this upbeat and heartfelt boy-meets-boy romance that feels like a modern twist on a ’90s rom-com!

Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before.

Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.

Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right? Continue reading “New Book Releases – 21 May 2020”

Posted in ARC Reviews, Book Reviews, Netgalley

ARC Book Review: Hideaway – Nora Roberts

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense

Review:

Hideaway is the story of Cate Sullivan, the prodigy of a famous Hollywood family. She is kidnapped as a child and that trauma, with its underlying hurtful revelations, ripples throughout her life, re-shaping it from what could have to what can be, disrupting her set path, affecting not just her but her entire family and that of Dillon Cooper’s and forcing her to turn into a new direction.

I have to say upfront, I couldn’t believe it when I was lucky enough to get approved for the ARC of this book. Nora Roberts is my favorite author in the world. Her books saved my life, shaped my future and I can’t thank her enough for her stories. So I was over the moon when I got the ARC. My first ever Nora Roberts ARC! I was both excited and terrified to read Hideaway. The excited part is easy to understand but dread because, what if I hated the book? Or what if the story didn’t speak to me? My principles wouldn’t allow me to give a less than honest opinion. I can’t in good faith ever fake a positive review when I don’t like the book. But thankfully, my fears turned out to be groundless. Continue reading “ARC Book Review: Hideaway – Nora Roberts”

Posted in Netgalley, New Releases

New Book Releases – 13 May 2020

Hola, Book Dragons! I came across this book on Netgalley and it looks really good. 

Happy Book Birthday to:

Swipe Right – Stephie Chapman

sr

Synopsis:
Love could be a click away… Or in the last place you expected.

When Fran meets Ollie, it’s eye roll at first sight. Who does he think he is – with his Ray-Bans, piss taking and artfully styled hair? Forced into working together at Viral Hive, the trendy media content agency, at first they butt heads, but soon realise that they could be BFFs. Fran’s happily settled with boyfriend Lucas, while Ollie is fully committed to girlfriend Lou.

But when Fran’s relationship crumbles, and Ollie sets off with Lou for a round-the-world trip, she decides to start an anonymous dating column, detailing all the perils of dating online – from the bloke who angrily demanded she share the bill when she refused his clumsy advances, to the one that ended their date by weeping into her cleavage – even if it seems that all the good (or even normal?) men are hiding. Maybe there aren’t plenty more fish in the sea?

But, on her dating journey of discovery, Fran’s about to learn that sometimes love can be where you least expect it… you just have to put down your phone.

What about you guys? Is this book on your TBR?

∼Lyn

Posted in Blog Memes, Netgalley, TYCR

TYCR – 10 May 2020 – Hideaway – Nora Roberts

Hola, Book Dragons, can you believe I was drafting this post last night to schedule it for today and then I left to wash the dishes and when I came back, the post had published itself? With all the mistakes that still needed correcting. *groan* I mean, what the hell? Does my laptop have a ghost or something? This does not bode well, especially after the ghost nightmare I had on Saturday. Continue reading “TYCR – 10 May 2020 – Hideaway – Nora Roberts”