Friday, August 02, 2019

Romance Mini Reviews #4: Novellas

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Can’t Escape Love
Alyssa Cole

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Regina Hobbs is nerdy by nature, businesswoman by nurture. She’s finally taking her pop culture-centered media enterprise, Girls with Glasses, to the next level, but the stress is forcing her to face a familiar supervillain: insomnia. The only thing that helps her sleep when things get this bad is the deep, soothing voice of puzzle-obsessed live streamer Gustave Nguyen. The problem? His archive has been deleted.

Gus has been tasked with creating an escape room themed around a romance anime…except he knows nothing about romance or anime. Then mega-nerd and anime expert Reggie comes calling, and they make a trade: his voice for her knowledge. But when their online friendship has IRL chemistry, will they be able to escape love?

I don’t care if you haven’t read the other books in this series but if you loved Geekerella you need to stop everything you’re doing and read Can’t Escape Love. It’s not a full-length novel but omg, the geeks falling in love + second chance romance vibes made my heart incredibly happy.

Reggie and Gus talked to each other on a livestream every night for three months and while they both came to mean a lot to each other, they eventually lost touch. When a serious bout of insomnia starts affecting Reggie’s ability to run her company, she has her sister Portia dig up the contact info of the man she met years ago and whose voice could soothe her like nothing else.

When Gus and Reggie finally reunite, and find themselves living within walking distance of each other, sparks fly and their friendship quickly turns into something more. Because this is a novella and there isn’t as much space to develop their story, it felt a smidgen like insta-love, but I still truly shipped these characters because they were such a great fit for one another. Gus is direct and unafraid to go after what he wants. Reggie is slightly more afraid of the emotional stuff but never afraid to ask for what she needs and set people straight. TOGETHER, THEY ARE A BUNCH OF ADORABLE NERDS.

ANYWAY, Can’t Escape Love is such a wonderful addition to this series and I am incredibly happy Portia’s sister also got a HEA.

 

Bridal Boot Camp
Meg Cabot

GOODREADS | PURCHASE

Looking for a tropical escape?

Welcome to Little Bridge, one of the smallest—and most beautiful—islands in the Florida Keys, home to sandy white beaches, salt-rimmed margaritas, stunning sunsets, and some of the quirkiest—but also kindest and most resourceful—people you’ll ever meet.

Physical trainer Roberta “Rob” James moved to Little Bridge hoping she’d found paradise, but things haven’t turned out quite as she’d hoped. The closest Rob has come to her “happily ever after” is happy hour at the Mermaid Café with her buddy Bree, the bartender slash waitress who’s got romance problems of her own.

But Rob’s situation suddenly changes when sheriff’s deputy Ryan Martinez accidentally enrolls in her bridal boot camp class. Turning mush into metal in time for the big day is Rob’s passion (because even the happiest bride could use a little toning).

But what happens when a guy who’s all mush meets a girl who’s all metal?

They discover they have a lot to learn . . . about each other, themselves, and the island paradise they’ve come to call home.

 

I love Meg Cabot and will read anything she writes but I am honestly not sure if Bridal Boot Camp is worth the read. It’s not that it is a terrible novella, it’s just that unless you are super invested in reading everything that Cabot writes, Bridal Boot Camp is probably not how you should spend your precious reading time. The only real benefit of reading this novella is that it serves as a quick intro to the town Cabot’s new series will be set in.

The thing with novellas is that sometimes, because of their length, there is no real time to get to truly know the characters and be invested in their lives. I did not particularly care for either Rob and Ryan and felt like their romance went from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds. 

So yeah, I didn’t particularly enjoy Bridal Boot Camp but the glimpse into this town made me even more excited  to read No Judgements this fall! 

Fresh Batch (July 28th – August 3rd)

Fresh Batch (July 28th – August 3rd)

Posted by on 07/27/2019 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

The Merciful Crow Margaret Owen Series: The Merciful Crow #1 Publication date: July 30th 2019by Henry Holt (BYR)

Goodreads Purchase

A future chieftain

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the…

Disappointing: The Toll by Cherie Priest

Disappointing: The Toll by Cherie Priest

Posted by on 07/25/2019 • 2 Comments

I love southern gothic with a dash of horror and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Cherie Priest so when I came across The Toll, I was curious. I ended up being disappointed. Maybe this book never stood a chance because I read it in the midst of an extreme book hangover from finishing Spin the Dawn but here we are.

For one, there are too many different POVs for my liking. Sometimes many POVs work, especially when distinguished. They were not distinguished in this case so the transitions were always sudden and it took me a bit to figure out who I was following. Honestly, it wasn’t until I hit the 33% mark that I was actually able to differentiate the names and the voices of the characters. So for…

Revived My Love for Fantasy: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Revived My Love for Fantasy: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Posted by on 07/23/2019 • 1 Comment

Spin the Dawn is the book I didn’t know I needed and I want to cry from how happy I am that I read it and that it could revolutionize my life. As a baby blogger, I rarely read contemporary. I exclusive read fantasy. These past few years though, fantasy has not really been holding my attention and I find myself avoiding it for the most part except for a few books here and there. Before Spin the Dawn, the last high fantasy I read was Wicked Saints back in April. I rated in 4 stars at the time but in retrospect it was not a 4 star read given that for half the book, my attention wandered. For the first time in literal years, I don’t want to read…

Fresh Batch (July 21st – 27th)

Fresh Batch (July 21st – 27th)

Posted by on 07/20/2019 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

The Arrival of Someday Jen Malone Publication date: July 23rd 2019by HarperTeen

Goodreads Purchase

In this heartfelt and emotionally candid contemporary YA, author Jen Malone delves into the life of a teen whose world is brought to an abrupt halt when she learns she’s in dire need of an organ transplant.

Hard-charging and irrepressible eighteen-year-old Amelia Linehan could see a roller derby opponent a mile away—and that’s while crouched down, bent over skates, and zooming around a track at the speed of light. They don’t call her Rolldemort for nothing! What she couldn’t see coming, however, was the unexpected flare-up of a rare…

So Much Food and Softness: Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune by Roselle Lim

So Much Food and Softness: Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune by Roselle Lim

Posted by on 07/19/2019 • 0 Comments

Here is the thing about Natalie Tan’s Book of Fortune, it is sweet with a dash of magic and an incredible amount of food porn. For those reasons, I was immediately drawn in and enjoyed the book. But, the writing is not quite there so even though the story itself is wonderful, the way it is written and told isn’t? 

First things first, this book is not a romance for those romance readers eyeing this book. It is a story about love but not necessarily romantic love. 

Natalie Tan comes home for the first time in years after her mother passes away. They parted on bad terms and Natalie never got to bridge the gap that emerged between the two. A letter her ma-ma left behind for her imparts her…

Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Posted by on 07/16/2019 • 1 Comment

A truly cinematic and unique novel, House of Salt and Sorrows begins during a funeral where we learn that one by one, the Thaumas sisters have been tragically dying. Soon our MC, Annaleigh, starts to wonder if Eulalie’s death was not accidental after all. This novels starts off fresh with a lot of faces, a ton of personalities, and plenty of mystery. I found myself engrossed from really early on, and looking forward to the wild ride this was bound to be. 

After the intriguing beginning, though, I found the pacing to be a little off. The story would lag in places until I was getting close to being bored. However each time that happened, the plot would suddenly jump forward to reveal something new, something exciting, even horrific, saving…

Cute But The Science is Lacking: Blastaway by Melissa Landers

Cute But The Science is Lacking: Blastaway by Melissa Landers

Posted by on 07/15/2019 • 1 Comment

While I never got the chance to read Alienated, I have read Lander’s romance novels so when I heard about Blastaway, I was immediately onboard. I expected something akin to Alienated (even though I hadn’t read it) and in my excitement, missed that Blastaway wasn’t YA. It is middle grade. I read middle grade so that didn’t really turn me off but this book wouldn’t really hit the mark for adult middle grade readers the way it would for middle grade middle grade readers – aka the intended demographic of the book.

Blastaway is incredibly cute and I love that it uses its sci-fic setting to draw attention to very real world issues in an accessible manner to younger readers. My biggest issue – keeping in mind that I was…