Friday, May 17, 2019

Book Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue
by Casey McQuiston
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Source: Netgalley 
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
 


Going into this book, I had super super high expectations. All of the early reviews were RAVING about this book and it sounded like the perfect M/M. I got an e-arc from Netgalley and dove right in. Unfortunately, it took almost a month for me to read this book and it just did not live up to the hype. 

First son Alex and Prince Henry have been feuding for years. When a royal wedding turns into a catastrophe, Alex and Henry must spend time together in front of the press to give the world the impression that they're best pals. As they hang out, though, animosity between the two flairs into a passion neither one of them can ignore. 

When this book first started, I was all for the romance and the enemies to lovers plot line. Alex and Henry were so stinking adorable together and I loved how they slowly started to let their walls crumble as they started to fall for each other. Both of them have pretty complicated lives and responsibilities, so it was super sweet watching them fall in love. I thought the side characters were fun and I enjoyed watching a forbidden romance bloom. 

That being said, the rest of the book wasn't my cup of tea. I felt like this book went on 100 pages too long because of the politics. Those politics. Yes, the main characters both belong to political families, but there was a very obvious political agenda with this book and I just didn't want it. It really took me out of the story about halfway through, which deterred me from wanting to pick this book up again. Also, this book primarily focused on the political climate in America and kind of didn't do justice to the British monarchy. Granted, we did only get Alex's perspective, but I think I would have enjoyed this book more if we got Henry's perspective and more of what was going on in his country as well. I would have felt less in-you-face American politics and more a more balanced commentary about the world in general, not just America. 

Overall, I really wanted to love this book, but the political focus was too much for me. I wanted a cute romance where a prince and a first son fell in love. Instead, I got a dragged-out book where the author was blatantly telling us what was right and wrong in our political climate today.




Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Cover Reveal: Bad Influence by Charleigh Rose


Title: Bad Influence
Series: Bad Habits
Author: Charleigh Rose
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: June 13, 2019 Cover Design: Letitia Hasser @ RBA Designs




Allie
When I moved to River’s Edge, dating was the last thing on my mind.
I definitely didn’t expect to fall for him.
Jesse Shepherd. 
Popular. Star athlete. Cocky as hell.
You know the type.
But as time passed, I realized there was more lurking beneath that gorgeous exterior.
Secretive. Angry. A little bit broken.
The more I peeled back his layers, the deeper I fell.
Until I slammed headfirst into his sea of lies.

Jess
I blew my shot.
Pissed everything away—college, lacrosse, my future—only to end up right back where I started in River’s Edge.
I was content to revel in my misery, spending my days drowning in a bottomless pit of booze and girls.
Until I saw her.
Allison Parrish.
Beautiful. Sarcastic. Perpetual bad attitude.
The pretty little distraction from the shit show that was my life.
But the sins of my past were closing in on me, and I learned the hard way that nothing gold can stay.



Charleigh Rose lives in Narnia with her husband and two young children. She’s hopelessly devoted to unconventional love and pizza. When she isn’t reading or mom-ing, she’s writing moody, broody, swoony romance.




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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Release Day Blitz: Marriage for One by Ella Maise

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Marriage for One, an all new contemporary romance by Ella Maise, is Live!

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Note to My Past Self : Do NOT get married to the handsome stranger.
Jack and I, we did everything backward. The day he lured me into his office-which was also the first day we met-he proposed. You'd think a guy who looked like him-a bit cold maybe, but still striking and very unattainable-would only ask the love of his life to marry him, right? You'd think he must be madly in love.
Nope. It was me he asked. A complete stranger who had never even heard of him. A stranger who had been dumped by her fiancé only weeks before. You'd think I'd laugh in his face, call him insane-and a few other names-then walk away as quickly as possible. Well…I did all those things except the walking away part.
It took him only minutes to talk me into a business deal…erm, I mean marriage, and only days for us to officially tie the knot. Happiest day of my life. Magical. Pop the champagne… Not. It was the worst day. Jack Hawthorne was nothing like what I'd imagined for myself.
I blamed him for my lapse in judgment. I blamed his eyes, the ocean blue eyes that looked straight into mine unapologetically, and that frown on his face I had no idea I would become so fascinated with in time.
It wasn't long after he said I was the biggest mistake of his life that things started to change. No, he still didn't talk much, but anyone can string a few words together. His actions spoke the loudest to me. And day after day my heart started to get a mind of its own.
One second he was no one. The next he became everything.
One second he was unattainable. The next he seemed to be completely mine.
One second I thought we were in love. The next it was still nothing but a lie.
After all, I was Rose and he was Jack. We were doomed from the very beginning with those names. Did you expect anything else?

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Add To Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2tDDO42

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About Ella:
I’m a big dreamer. And that’s how it all started for me, really. Reading and dreaming. I love nothing more than to escape real life to find those very few magical moments in a book. I love how it has the power of stealing your worries away, putting a smile on your face even when smiling is the last thing on your mind. Crushing on fictional characters is also another bonus. Through my words, if I can manage to make even one-person smile, it means I’ve done my job well.
Writing became my world and I can’t imagine myself doing anything other than creating new characters and telling their stories. You know how some things simply makes your heart burst with happiness? A really good book, a puppy, hugging someone you’ve been missing like crazy? That’s what writing does to me. And all the hard work, all the sleepless nights, all the anxiety that comes with publishing…everything is worth it at the end.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Book Review: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners
by Christina Lauren
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Source: Netgalley 
Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.


I haven't read too many Christina Lauren books, but I know they can sure write a good romance. When I read the synopsis for this one and heard some good things from early reviews, I couldn't resist picking it up! 

Olive and Ami are twins and are opposites when it comes to luck; Ami has it all and Olive has none. When Ami's wedding comes up, Ami is determined to win everything in her wedding, from the dress to the honeymoon. When the buffet goes awry, though, and everyone but Olive and Ami's husband's infuriating brother, Ethan, get food poisoning, the newlyweds send their siblings on their honeymoon in their place. Attempting to get along for a sun-filled vacation, Olive and Ethan find themselves running into people from their lives back home and have to pretend to be a newly-wed couple who are head over heels for one another. While the two can't help but bicker, they slowly learn more about each other and realize they may have made some pretty big misconceptions about one another...

I really love hate-to-love romances, so I was ALL OVER Olive and Ethan's romance. I literally laughed out loud during this book and was obsessed with the banter between the two characters. There were such little details about what they would do to push each other and I was smiling throughout most of this book. I also think the fake marriage aspect of this book made things that much more entertaining because they got to see another side of each other and realize that maybe they didn't really hate each other that much. 

Since this book did take place in Maui, away from the characters' real world, Olive and Ethan could forget everything and focus on their confusing feelings for one another. This book definitely made me crave summertime and a few hours on the beach. Since they were on vacation, there weren't too many slow moments because there as always something new for Olive and Ethan to do and argue over. 

Overall, this was such a fun hate-to-love romance that also dealt with familial relationships. I do wish we got a little more steam since most scenes ended up being fade to black. I would have also loved this book even more if we had some of Ethan's POV. He was just so sweet and I would have loved to see his perspective on things that happened. As it is, though, The Unhoneymooners is a fun romance that will have you laughing out loud!




Book Review: Marriage for One by Ella Maise

Marriage for One 
by Ella Maise 
Release Date: May 9, 2019
Source: Blog Tour
Jack and I, we did everything backward. The day he lured me into his office-which was also the first day we met-he proposed. You'd think a guy who looked like him-a bit cold maybe, but still striking and very unattainable-would only ask the love of his life to marry him, right? You'd think he must be madly in love.

Nope. It was me he asked. A complete stranger who had never even heard of him. A stranger who had been dumped by her fiancé only weeks before. You'd think I'd laugh in his face, call him insane-and a few other names-then walk away as quickly as possible. Well…I did all those things except the walking away part.

It took him only minutes to talk me into a business deal…erm, I mean marriage, and only days for us to officially tie the knot. Happiest day of my life. Magical. Pop the champagne… Not. It was the worst day. Jack Hawthorne was nothing like what I'd imagined for myself.
I blamed him for my lapse in judgment. I blamed his eyes, the ocean blue eyes that looked straight into mine unapologetically, and that frown on his face I had no idea I would become so fascinated with in time.

It wasn't long after he said I was the biggest mistake of his life that things started to change. No, he still didn't talk much, but anyone can string a few words together. His actions spoke the loudest to me. And day after day my heart started to get a mind of its own.

One second he was no one. The next he became everything. 
One second he was unattainable. The next he seemed to be completely mine.
One second I thought we were in love. The next it was still nothing but a lie.

After all, I was Rose and he was Jack. We were doomed from the very beginning with those names. Did you expect anything else?


First off, how much does that cover model look like Sam Hueghan, aka Jamie Fraser from Outlander!? That caught my eye first. Then, when I read the synopsis and saw this was a marriage 0f convenience novel, I was willing to try this new-to-me author!

Rose thought she was going to marry the love of her life while completing her dream and opening her own coffee shop. Instead, she finds herself marrying a man she just met. Jack Hawthorne. Cold and stubborn, Jack offers Rose a business proposition she can't refuse. But the more she melts Jack's cold exterior, the more Rose finds herself falling for her husband. 

Holy moly, talk about slow burn! This romance was everything and I was DYING over every touch and every rare smile from Jack when it came to Rose. This romance was just so so cute. I love a good marriage of convenience novel because the two have to pretend to love each other in public and that's when the lines blur between pretend and real feelings. I loved how much Rose would bicker with Jack, even when he wouldn't bicker back. His honesty was so fun and I was obsessed with their relationship. 

While the romance was to die for in this book, I absolutely loved getting to know Jack and Rose and their past and current lives. There was a twist that was thrown in that I definitely did not guess and it had me freaking out when it was finally revealed. I didn't want anything to ruin the precious relationship of Jack and Rose! 

Overall, I was swooning over this book so much and I was dyyyying over that slow burn. If you're a fan of Mariana Zapata, you are going to LOVE this book! I couldn't recommend it enough!!



Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Book Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

The Bride Test
by Helen Hoang
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Source: Publisher 
Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.
With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

Helen Hoang blew up the romance community last year with The Kiss Quotient. You can bet that The Bride Test was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019. And, oh boy, did this book give me everything I didn't even know I wanted!

Esme is living day by day in Ho Chi Min city, supporting her daughter, mother, and grandmother. When a woman confronts her and asks to take her to America to marry her son, Esme is intrigued. A life in America? That could mean a bright, successful future for her daughter. Esme finds herself agreeing and moving in with Khai, an autistic man who came to the realization long ago that he just can't feel emotions. That's just how he is. So when this new women his mother found moves in for the summer, Khai just thinks she's a nuisance. But as Esme wiggles her way into his life and mind, Khai isn't sure what to do with his newfound enjoyment of her company. Can he really marry this woman at the end of the summer? More importantly, could he ever let her go? 

Okay, first off, I absolutely love how Esme is from Vietnam and she is the main love interest in this book. I loved having her perspective of moving to America, her self-doubts when it came to living there, and her culture she brought with her to America. Esme was such a special character and it was so hard watching her take things so personally because of how sensitive she was about where she was from. I think that's why I enjoyed the special moments between Esme and Khai when they were together as they learned more about one another. Khai was so sweet and it was adorable watching them fall for each other. 

As with The Kiss Quotient, the importance of family was so strong in this book and it was one of my favorite parts. Esme had a strong bond with her family, though we didn't get to really see that throughout the story. Instead, we got to see Khai's family and how important they were to him and how they became important to Esme. Quan is definitely one of my favorite characters and I neeeeeeeed his book! Not only do you fall in love with the main characters in this book, but you want to be in the world just so you can be a part of the family. 

If you can't tell, I absolutely loved this book. The romance was so freaking adorable and I couldn't get enough of all of these characters. I am already having withdrawal and need to be in this world again. I think a reread of The Kiss Quotient is in order before a long wait until Helen's next book!




Cover Reveal: Enamored by Giana Darling



ENAMOURED (The Enslaved Duet #2) by Giana Darling Release Date: May 31st
 


 

PREORDER TODAY!! Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UMz1Zj Universal: mybook.to/EnamouredAPPre
 
 
It was the worst day of my life.
I know most people say that about something obviously horrific—a first heartbreak, the discovery of a fatal illness, or the funeral of a loved one—but my situation was a little different. Not only was it my wedding day, but it was also the day I chose to die.
Two men. The first, my Master, my captor, and my impossible love. The other, his brother, a mafioso I was meant to ensnare and ruin.
If I had any hope of living a normal life reunited with my family, I had to make a choice. End my old life as I knew it and start fresh, or take down the monsters that hunted me and haunted my Master.
In the end, the decision was never really mine to make. Because Alexander Davenport would come to claim me even in death.

     

About the Author

Giana Darling is a Top 40 Amazon Best Selling Canadian romance writer who specializes in the taboo and angsty side of love and romance. She currently lives in beautiful British Columbia where she spends time riding on the back of her man's bike, baking pies, and reading snuggled up with her cat Persephone. She loves to hear from readers so please contact her at gianadarling[at]gmail.com if you have any questions or comments.

 

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