Posts By: Rashika

Friday, February 01, 2019

Romance Mini Reviews #3: The good, the not-bad and the bad

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Once Ghosted, Twice Shy
Alyssa Cole

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Alyssa Cole returns with a fun, sexy romance novella in the Reluctant Royals series!

While her boss the prince was busy wooing his betrothed, Likotsi had her own love affair after swiping right on a dating app. But her romance had ended in heartbreak, and now, back in NYC again, she’s determined to rediscover her joy—so of course she runs into the woman who broke her heart.

When Likotsi and Fabiola meet again on a stalled subway train months later, Fab asks for just one cup of tea. Likotsi, hoping to know why she was unceremoniously dumped, agrees. Tea and food soon leads to them exploring the city together, and their past, with Fab slowly revealing why she let Likotsi go, and both of them wondering if they can turn this second chance into a happily ever after.

Reluctant Royals might just be my favorite on-going romance series and I am so glad Litkoski finally got her HEA. Fabiola and Litkoski had a short lived fling months ago that ended in heart break for both of them. When they meet on the subway, it feels like fate. They go on a date, reconnect and sparks fly. I MEAN, YES, THERE IS AN HEA but honestly I loved how easy they were  with each other. Fabiola ghosted Litkoski and has a lot of making up to do but they both took the time to communicate feelings with each other. Litkoski didn’t dance around her hurt. They are both wonderfully written and I am so glad Alyssa Cole shared their story with us. I JUST WISH THERE WAS MORE.

 

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The Good Luck Charm
Helena Hunting

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Experience the hilarity and heartache of first love and second chances in a sexy new romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series.

Lilah isn’t sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she’s no longer that same girl and never wants to be again. 

Ethan wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that. 

Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let Ethan in, though, she finds out their reunion might have nothing to do with love and everything to do with improving his game. But Ethan’s already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he’ll do anything to keep from losing her again.

I am quite easily drawn in by a pretty cover but I am drawn like a moth to a flame by any romance novel that promises me a second-chance romance. The Good Luck Charm has both a pretty cover and promised me a second-chance romance. Frankly, the book was not everything I wanted. THERE WAS NO GROVELING, for example. The characters also had no relationships with anyone??? Lilah has spent almost a decade emo over the boy who broke her heart and has no friends besides her sister. Ethan is occasionally a whiny, self-absorbed dick. BUT (yes there is a but), Hunting did write a good romance. I love the drama that comes with a second-chance romance but I think Hunting still pulled this off very skillfully because their reasons for breaking up years ago made sense. They apologized and were attentive to each other. They made mistakes even as they got back together but they learned from them and learned to reprioritize their goals. The Good Luck Charm wasn’t everything I wanted but it certainly delivered a well-written romance.

3 Hot Espressos

 

38532225The Royal Runaway
Lindsay Emory

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For fans of The Princess Diaries and The Royal We comes a fun and daring novel about a modern-day princess who teams up with a spy to find out what happened to the fiancé who left her at the altar—and who just might get her own fairytale in the process.

Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing.

After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.

So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable: he’s the brother of her former fiancé, a British spy, and he’s not above blackmail. As Thea reluctantly joins forces with Nick to find out what happened the day her fiancé disappeared, together they discover a secret that could destroy a centuries-old monarchy and change life as they know it.

Funny, fast-paced, and full of more twists and turns than the castle Thea lives in, The Royal Runaway is a fresh romantic comedy that will leave you cheering for the modern-day royal who chucks the rulebook aside to create her own happily-ever-after. 

Quite honestly speaking, The Royal Runaway was probably one of my most disappointing reads of 2018. In theory it should be the kind of book that works for me. We have a princess breaking the rules, a sexy scot, a mystery, A LOT OF things that would draw me in. In actuality, The Royal Runaway ended up completely disappointing me. The characters were blander than actual cardboard. The plot fell flat, and even though there was a strong mystery element, it just didn’t work or get my blood pumping. I wasn’t invested in any of the outcomes. The only good thing I can possibly say for this book is that I finished it. It wasn’t so painfully boring that I had to DNF. I expected and hoped for more but alas, sometimes you just read shitty books.

Old School YA PNR Vibes: Slayer by Kiersten White

Old School YA PNR Vibes: Slayer by Kiersten White

Posted by on 01/31/2019 • 1 Comment

While I’d heard a couple of things about Slayer, they were mostly about Buffy and how the book was set in the same world as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve seen less than half an episode of the show so I immediately checked out and assumed it would not appeal to me as someone who does not care about the show. Then I read the synopsis. I got old-school YA feels from the blurb and I’ve been craving old school YA for ages so I was immediately drawn in.

I think the best way to sum up my feelings about Slayer is that the first half was a solid 3 stars and the second half was a solid 4 stars. The first half is sort of slow and takes a…

Mediocre: Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

Mediocre: Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

Posted by on 01/30/2019 • 0 Comments

I love a good heist book and 2019 truly seems to be the year of heist books but unfortunately, Immoral Code was not everything I wanted it to be. It’s the kind of book that has good bones but ultimately, neither the writing style nor the pacing worked for me.

The entire time I was reading the book, the characters voices felt sort of inauthentic? But upon reflection I don’t think the fact that they were all self-aware makes them inauthentic, I am an extremely self-aware human being, but I think self-awareness doesn’t always translate as well in writing. This book is written in a very free, stream-of-consciousness style and yes, human beings constantly think that way but also, I don’t want to hear every single thought an MC…

A Gender-Swapped Mean Girls: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

A Gender-Swapped Mean Girls: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Posted by on 01/24/2019 • 0 Comments

I don’t think this book has actually been pitched this way but when I finished the book, I couldn’t help but think of Mean Girls. The Field Guide to a North American Teenager, while not a perfect fit, read to me, like a gender-swapped Mean Girls.

Norris Kaplan is the new kid in town. Although he feels incredibly out of place, he does somehow immediately capture the attention of several people who are taken in by his snark. He writes in his journal, trying to categorize and group every individual and HS trope-y student he comes across in an attempt to other them and to distance himself. Somehow though, he finds himself mingling with the very cheerleaders and the jocks he loves to snark about. Combined with a new, cute love interest…

Chef Heroes & Road Trips: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday

Chef Heroes & Road Trips: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday

Posted by on 01/18/2019 • 1 Comment

Trigger Warning for eating disorders, drug abuse in the past

I had not read a single book by Jenny Holiday in the past (including the two other books that precede Three Little Words) but when I saw Nick shouting about it, I AM INTRIGUED. Chef heroes own my soul. Nick, who has known me long enough to know I am super picky with contemporary romances, said I would at the very least like Three Little Words SO of course I had to read it because CHEF HEROES.  So, I went in expecting to like it since Nick said I would but I ended up completely engrossed in the lives of these characters and finding a new author to binge. Three Little Words takes you on quite the journey – quite literally because…

Why Marie Kondo Doesn’t Actually Want You To Throw Out All Your Books

Why Marie Kondo Doesn’t Actually Want You To Throw Out All Your Books

Posted by on 01/16/2019 • 2 Comments

Marie Kondo took the world by storm with her ‘revolutionary’ tidying up ideas with her bestselling books. On January 1st, Netflix decided to drop “The Art of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” bringing even more people on board the KonMari train but also causing many people to lose their minds when Marie Kondo ‘made’ people get rid of their books in an effort to clean up and take back their living spaces. 

Except she didn’t???

I haven’t finished watching the series nor have I had the privilege of reading any of her books but based on what I have seen and what I know about her books, nowhere does she explicitly state you should get rid of your books and everything else you love.

I am a lover of reality…

The Heist Novel We Need: Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig

The Heist Novel We Need: Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig

Posted by on 01/14/2019 • 1 Comment

In 2019 and we’re finally getting all the heist/thief books we deserve. Death Prefers Blondes is one such heist book and IT IS AMAZING. Maybe you’ve read Caleb Roehrig before or maybe you’re drawn by the fantastic premise and gorgeous gover. Regardless, this book is both quintessentially Roehrig and also different from what he has written before. His previous books are more on the fun end of the spectrum (WHICH IS NOT A BAD THING. I love fun books!) and while Death Prefers Blondes is incredibly fun, it also has a tendency to punch you in the guts. TO SAY EVEN MORE because I clearly cannot shut up, Death Prefers Blondes is not a short book but it FLIES by. It was so well written and visuals/imagery were done so…

Amazing Friendships: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

Amazing Friendships: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

Posted by on 01/11/2019 • 0 Comments

I slept on Emma Mills for AGES but with a little peer pressure, I finally binge read all of her published books last year. I can honestly say that it was life changing. Not necessarily because her books in of themselves changed my life but they were so good and I was so happy to finally have them in my life. WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY is that if you still have not read a single Emma Mills novel in your life, you need to fix that. If you have, then I am guessing you’re gonna pick this book up regardless of anything I have to say so hope you have a nice life. Here, have some cookies on your way out! I made them myself!

Lately, I feel…