Beach Read by Emily Henry

GoodReads Summary:
A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.
Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.
They’re polar opposites.
In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.
Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.
Beach ReadReview:
This new release has been hyped all over the internet. I was interested immediately from the synopsis. A book about a writer that’s stuck? Count me in.
We follow January, a romance writer who has learned some things about her parents that have shaken her idea of happily ever after. She’s moved into a beach house that she didn’t know her father owned so she can pack it up and sell it. This is a hugely emotional thing for her, but at the same time, she’s supposed to be writing her next book by the end of the summer. The only problem with this is that she hasn’t even started and when she tries, she has no ideas. Things get interesting when she realizes who her neighbor is.
Augustus Everett is a fellow writer, one that January actually went to college with. I really liked him from the start. It was immediately clear that these two had certain assumptions about one another that weren’t really true. So, Gus and January make a deal where Gus will spend the summer writing a romance novel and January will write literary fiction. I loved that this became sort of cathartic for January. She used this new challenge to try to work through all of the things she has going on in her life. I just really enjoyed the writing aspects of the story. I also totally loved the flirtation that was included for some of the writing parts. Also, as a part of their deal, the two adventured together. Friday nights they would go somewhere that Gus had previously planned for book research and January would take Gus on field trips that one might find in a romance novel. I loved these because they were both so different. So, Fridays they’d deal with some really heavy stuff and Saturdays they would go to the carnival or something. It was an interesting contrast; the darkness of what Gus was researching with the fun date-like adventures that January planned.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book just as much as everyone else. It was fun and made me laugh, but it also had some great serious and thoughtful moments. I found myself easily invested in the characters and their relationships. I will definitely be reading Emily Henry’s next adult romance.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker

GoodReads Summary:
Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.
But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price—a log cabin in interior rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra.
With Jonah gone more than he’s home, one neighbor who insists on transforming her into a true Alaskan, and another who seems more likely to shoot her than come to her aid, Calla grapples with forging her own path. In a world with roaming wildlife that has her constantly watching over her shoulder and harsh conditions that stretch far beyond the cold, dark, winter months, just stepping outside her front door can be daunting.
This is not the future Calla had in mind, leaving her to fear that perhaps she is doomed to follow in her mother’s fleeing footsteps after all.
Wild at Heart (Wild, #2)Review:
After reading and loving The Simple Wild, I knew I needed its sequel. I’m so glad that I didn’t waste any time ordering it because it was so good. We follow Calla after she’s made the decision to move back to Alaska to be with Jonah. I loved that this was a slice of life story. We’re getting to see Jonah and Calla move to a new area of Alaska and start their lives together, but Jonah finds new dreams to go after and Calla feels like she has to be supportive of them. There were struggles for both of them, but they worked through them. I really liked getting to see the conflict and see how they resolved them.
I definitely loved Calla and Jonah together. I loved everything about their relationship. We get to see the fun times and the harder things they’re figuring out how to deal with. But the best part of this story was Calla and her growth. She figures out how to get her license. She gets to know the people in town. She meets her neighbors. She becomes a part of the community. I loved seeing Calla figuring out how to make a life for herself outside of her relationship with Jonah in her new home. She really struggled, but that just made the story that much better.
Overall, I am already very excited to see what’s going to happen in the third book. I loved the setting. I loved the struggles and conflicts. There were lots of parts with the people in the new town and getting to know these characters was so enjoyable. Calla’s grouchy neighbor was absolutely my favorite. I also really liked the history of Calla and Jonah’s new property that was included in the story. I loved everything about this story.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

GoodReads Summary:
This is the way the world ends… for the last time.
The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.
Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.
For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.
The remarkable conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed trilogy that began with the multi-award-nominated The Fifth Season.
The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)Review:
I really don’t know how to explain my feelings for this series. I think I do it better in my first two reviews because I liked the first two books better. That’s not me saying that I didn’t like this book, because I still gave it five stars on GoodReads.
But there were a few things I didn’t like about this ending. We get parts of the story that follow Hoa, one of the stone eaters. I definitely thought getting this history was interesting but I feel like adding this made it so the conclusion was really fast. I wanted more from Nassun and Essun’s reunion. I thought it all happened too fast.
Despite not liking this aspect, I still really enjoyed this book. I loved getting Hoa’s history. I thought it was fascinating to learn about how the current world came about. I also really enjoyed the different journeys of all of the different characters.
Overall, this series was full of incredible characters that I couldn’t help but love and a fascinating world that I loved learning more and more about. I’ve already ordered all of Jemisin’s other books and I cannot wait to love them just as much as I did this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore

GoodReads Summary:
A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution – but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.
Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.
Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.
As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…
A Rogue of One's Own (A League of Extraordinary Women, #2)Review:
A Rogue of One’s Own follows Lady Lucie who spearheads a group of suffragists who are fighting for their rights as women. They are trying to fight against something being passed in the government that would essentially make women property once they got married. Lucie is very passionate about women’s rights. So passionate that it’s the reason she’s estranged from her family. I really liked Lucie. She was a fun character that cares deeply about important things. Lucie is adaptable. When obstacles find their way in her path, she paves a new one and I really liked this about her. She’s stubborn and always has a plan. But she also has wonderful friends who help her come up with new ideas when she’s at a loss for what to do next. I liked that Lucie’s friendships were just as much a part of this book as the romance.
Enter romantic interest: Tristan. Tristian was a friend of Lucie’s brother, so he was around every summer during her childhood. He played endless pranks on Lucie so she doesn’t like him much. But when he buys the other half of the publishing company she’s hoping to use to further her causes, it causes trouble.
I wouldn’t quite call this a hate-to-love romance because yes, Lucie hates Tristan, but Tristan doesn’t hate Lucie and never has. I really enjoyed the banter between the two. Lucie comes to realize her feelings was also great. The best part was Lucie coming to terms with falling in love while also still being the spearhead of a very important cause for women. She’s struggling to make both work in her life, but she realizes that she isn’t willing to give either of them up.
Overall, this story was entertaining and very enjoyable. I loved Lucie and I loved Tristan. I enjoyed the romance and the steamier scenes. I adored the friendships and family drama. If you like historical romance, you’ll love this one.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

GoodReads Summary:
This is the way the world ends… for the last time.
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.
The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)Review:
Just like the first book, I loved everything about this story. If it was reasonable to just copy my review for that here, I would totally do it. The Obelisk Gate was just as much of a wild ride as The Fifth Season. The world is just so fascinating there’s no stopping being sucked into the story, dying to find out more about what’s happening.
What I really loved about this book was that for some of the chapters we get to see what’s been happening with Nassun, Essun’s daughter. The way that Jemisin connects the two stories is mind-blowing. All of the little bits and pieces we’re getting to figure out just made me want to read faster and faster, but I’m loving the world and its characters that I want to slow down so I can stay engrossed in the story for as long as possible.
I really loved seeing Essun’s past come back to her present. It was one of the best parts of the story because it gave me some of my favorite things from the first book back.
I’m typing this as fast as I can so that I can spend more time reading book three before I have to go to bed tonight. I loved this world. The magic and politics were so interesting, but there’s also the way we’re left wondering how the world got to be the way it is. Some characters seem to know more about it and I’m dying to learn more.
This story remains incredibly diverse with race and skin color, sexuality, and gender identity. I loved this aspect so much. I loved how these things were made to be normal in this world.
Overall, I loved this book. I cannot wait to finish the series. The story just goes by so quickly because it is so easy to get pulled into the world with these characters. Jemisin’s writing is incredible. If I am ever half the writer that she is, it would be a wonder. I found myself not realizing that I’d almost finished the story. This is a world I never want to leave and will definitely be returning to.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

GoodReads Summary:
This is the way the world ends. Again.
Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.
Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)Review:
The Fifth Season was an absolutely wild ride and I loved every page. I definitely spent most of this book confused, but that’s really nothing new when it comes to my reading fantasy or science fiction that’s really in-depth like this. I really loved the way Jemisin wove this world. We follow Essun as she’s trying to follow her husband and her daughter while the world is ending. I was immediately gripped by this story. I am blown away by Jemisin’s ability to pull me into a story so quickly. Especially since I really had no idea what was going on most of the time. We also follow two other perspectives, Damaya and Syenite. The twist that involved these two characters really blew me away. I had started to suspect that these two points of view were in a different timeline than the one of Essun (because for Essun the world was ending and that wasn’t happening for the other two girls). But Jemisin went even further and that took this story to a whole new level of greatness.
The world this story takes place in was fascinating. The culture and politics were pretty terrible to those with abilities. I liked that we got to see the way they are raised in Yumenes. But I also really enjoyed getting to see how hard it was for Essun to live free and undiscovered. What I really want to know is whether or not this is happening on Earth in several hundred years. I suspect this is the case, but I didn’t see any concrete evidence in the actual story.
Overall, I am trying to type like the wind so that I can immediately go and pick up the second book. We were definitely left on a cliff hanger, but I’m not even mad about it. I loved this book. I loved its characters and their complexities. I am just fascinated by every aspect of this story. I cannot wait to continue on with this world and the people in it. I also want to mention how incredibly diverse The Fifth Season is. We see several transgender characters, there are many different races and skin colors, we even get a wonderful polyamorous relationship (that I would die for). I loved all of the representation we got.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

GoodReads Summary:
Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.
She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.
Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.
The Simple Wild (Wild, #1)Review:
I have heard nothing but praise for this book. I did not find myself disappointed. I really enjoyed The Simple Wild.
We’re following Calla as she finds out that her father, Wren, who she hasn’t spoken to since she was a child, has cancer. She has to opportunity to go to Alaska to see him and spend time with him before it’s too late. I really liked this aspect of the book. It brought up interesting ideas of what Calla owes to her father (who was not much of a father to her) and what she owes to herself. I really liked that she wasn’t guilted to coerced into visiting Alaska, she made the choice to go. I really loved how Calla’s family supported her. She has her mother and her step-father, Simon, back in Toronto. Simon is a therapist and I really liked how he helped Calla work through her thoughts and emotions when she was struggling with them. He always knew exactly how to help her. I loved the way that by the end of the story, Calla had three parents.
Now, the romance. Jonah was a big jerk when he first met Calla. He loved Wren and he didn’t know Calla at all, but he judged her unfairly. I really loved following him as he learned how wrong he was. I loved the pranks they pulled on one another and Calla’s anxiety when she thought she may have gone too far. I really enjoyed how Jonah pushed her to do things she was afraid of and to spend more quality time with her father.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There were great family dynamics and even though there were some sad parts, I really loved them. The romance was wonderful. They were snarky and full of the banter that is my favorite. I’m very excited to read the second book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

GoodReads Summary:
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.
The House in the Cerulean SeaReview:
T.J. Klune has quickly become a new favorite author of mine. This is only my second book written by him that I’ve read, but it was nothing short of incredible.
The story follows Linus Baker at his job with the Department in Charge of Magical Youth (DICOMY). He starts off as this incredibly boring man. One that does his job and goes home to his cat. A good man, he’s fair and kind, but he does his part for DICOMY and nothing more. That is until Extremely Upper Management sends him to check on an orphanage unlike any he’s been to before.
I immediately liked all of the inhabitants of the island. The children were unique and fascinating, which Linus agreed with, but he also knew that they were still just children. I really appreciated that fact because even though they were potentially very dangerous, they were still just children that wanted love and adventure. I really grew to love the children right alongside Linus. I thought the mystery of Arthur was well done. It was clear that there was something different about him, but we didn’t know what for a while. I liked that the mystery was drawn out, but not overly so. The way that Klune tells the story is just indescribable. He draws you into the world, makes you care about Arthur, Linus, and the children in a way that you just can’t help.
This whole world and all of its characters made this story perfect. It shares a message of love and acceptance. The characters are so full of life and love. They made me laugh and smile, and occasionally made my heart hurt. I think this is a story that so many people will love. I would recommend this to anyone.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai

GoodReads Summary:
One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for.
With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…
Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love, #2)Review:
I am now a huge fan of Alisha Rai. I loved the first book in this series. And I totally loved this one too. I was dying to know more about Katrina at the end of the last book, so I was so happy to be able to immediately order this book.
We’re following Katrina as she goes viral (her worst nightmare). She’s a very private person so when a stranger takes her picture and puts it on the internet, she escapes to her bodyguard’s family farm. I really loved getting to know more about Katrina and meeting Jas.
I think my favorite part about this book was the mental health representation. Katrina deals with panic attacks. I thought this was a really thoughtful representation. It was great to see a character that deals with an issue like this that so many people in the world deal with. I also liked Jas and what he represented. I would have liked to get more of his story in the after, but I still really appreciated the representation of PTSD with him. I also loved seeing him work toward being a better communicator, specifically to his family, but also just overall.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I will definitely be picking up some of Alisha Rai’s backlist books. I cannot wait for the next book in this series. I love these characters so much.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

GoodReads Summary:
Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.
A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.
The Starless SeaReview:
I feel like I start all of my reviews for books that I really love the same way. And I’m going to do it again. I don’t know what to say about The Starless Sea. It was such an incredible story and I just don’t know how to convert my love and emotions into words. So, if you take one thing from this review, it’s that I loved this book and every single thing about it. It might have just become my new favorite book, definitely a favorite, but maybe even the number one favorite.
The Starless Sea follows Zachary Ezra Rawlins when he finds a door as a boy. He’s fascinated by the door, but for some reason, he doesn’t open it. When he realizes his mistake the next day and goes back to try to open the door, it’s no longer there. The story goes forward many years, and Zachary finds a mysterious book in the library. Little does he know; this is his key to finding another door (sort of). This book tells stories of the Starless Sea (an underground world that few find their way to. It’s home to stories, with many different moving parts which we get to learn all about.) After he’s read the book several times, he starts to do some research to try and figure out if he can find out more about what the book really is. It leads him down a rabbit hole of secret societies and many, many questions. I had so many questions throughout the story, and that’s something that usually drives me crazy because not many authors can slowly give the answers I want quick enough for me, but Morgenstern did it wonderfully. Just as I was getting frustrated with being so confused, I’d get a few pieces to the puzzle. This book was a story for all of the people out there that wished to escape into a world of stories. I dreamed of finding a place like the Starless Sea so many times when I was younger. I mostly liked Zachary. I liked that though he was so interested in finding the hidden world he missed out on when he first found the door, he was still skeptical. He asked questions and only sometimes let himself get pushed into stuff he wasn’t sure about. I loved all of the characters that Zachary met along the way. Dorian and Max were so different, but both made the story better.
I have to talk about the writing. It was nothing short of stunning on every single page. While we’re following Zachary, we also get other stories in between chapters. We learn about a pirate who is in love with a girl. We learn about Simon and Elenore who fall in love out of time. We get several fairytale-like stories that were beautiful and thought-provoking. But the best part was that every single one of these stories was relevant and added so much to the overall plotline. I loved how we didn’t know this, but while reading and putting the pieces together and thinks started clicking, that ‘aha!’ moment was fabulous. I loved how connected this story was. It was a beautiful way to learn the history of the characters (in a roundabout way).
Overall, I loved literally every single thing about The Starless Sea. It was pure perfection. I think I said it already, but this book may have bumped all other books out of their places for favorites. I loved all of the characters. I loved the in-between stories and how they were related to the rest of the story. The way the author managed to weave all of the stories and characters together I am blown away by the beauty of this story. It very quickly found its way into my heart and it will not be leaving any time soon. Please read this beautiful, stunning masterpiece so you can love it as much as I do.

Quotes:

“Not all stories speak to all listeners, but all listeners can find a story that does, somewhere, sometime. In one form or another.”

“But the world is strange and endings are not truly endings no matter how the stars might wish it so.”

“Strange, isn’t it? To love a book. When the words on the pages become so precious that they feel like part of your own history because they are. It’s nice to finally have someone read stories I know so intimately.”

“Be brave,’ she says. ‘Be bold. Be loud. Never change for anyone but yourself. Any soul worth their star-stuff will take the whole package as is and however it grows. Don’t waste your time on anyone who doesn’t believe you when you tell them how you feel.”

“For a while I was looking for a person but I didn’t find them and after that I was looking for myself. Now that I’ve found me I’m back to exploring, which is what I was doing in the first place before I was doing anything else and I think I was supposed to be exploring all along.”

“Once, very long ago, Time fell in love with Fate. This, as you might imagine, proved problematic. Their romance disrupted the flow of time. It tangled the strings of fortune into knots. The stars watched from the heavens nervously, worrying what might occur. What might happen to the days and nights were time to suffer a broken heart? What catastrophes might result if the same fate awaited Fate itself?”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

GoodReads Summary:
Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:
– Nude pics are by invitation only
– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice
– Protect your heart
Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.
Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…
The Right Swipe (Modern Love, #1)Review:
I absolutely adored The Right Swipe. I’ve seen a few mixed reviews and that’s why I didn’t pick this book up all of the times it tempted me at Target. But I wanted some romance books and I keep seeing people talk about the second book in this series. So, I finally bought this book. I’m so glad that I did. This book was so good. The writing was wonderful. The characters were great. The story covered important topics, but it was also fun and weirdly informative about what being single is for this married lady.
Rhi is a woman that carved her own place in the world. I really liked her because she’s a woman in the business world and she’s learned from her past not to take shit from anyone. I liked that in the beginning she didn’t let herself open up to anyone outside her inner circle, but as the story goes along, she learns more about herself and her flaws and starts to open up again. I loved the aspect of her past and how she came to create her own company after leaving an important position with another company. I didn’t love the subject matter, but rather how it was handled. I really enjoyed the outcome of her history.
This part of her causes conflict with Samson. I thought their relationship was such a good one. They have a history. One where Samson unintentionally ghosted Rhi. I really liked how Rhi got past this despite her strong opinions about never giving second chances to anyone that ghosts her. They really push one another out of their comfort zones and I love books that do this. All the best parts of my own relationship are that my husband pushes me to try new things that I might not do without his encouragement.
Overall, this book was so freaking good and I’ve already ordered Alisha Rai’s next book in this series. I liked that it talked about important topics like men using nude pictures against someone they used to be in a relationship with, ghosting, fuckboys, the relationship between football and health issues later in life. I thought these topics were covered well and thoughtfully. I just loved this book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

GoodReads Summary:
It’s the eve of Rachel Chu’s wedding, and she should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond, a wedding dress she loves, and a fiancé willing to thwart his meddling relatives and give up one of the biggest fortunes in Asia in order to marry her. Still, Rachel mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won’t be there to walk her down the aisle.
Then a chance accident reveals his identity. Suddenly, Rachel is drawn into a dizzying world of Shanghai splendor, a world where people attend church in a penthouse, where exotic cars race down the boulevard, and where people aren’t just crazy rich … they’re China rich.
China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians, #2)Review:
I wish I liked this book more. I mostly enjoyed the first book. Mostly because it was pretty wild and ridiculous. This book was that too, but I couldn’t handle it. I thought it was over the top and I just didn’t enjoy it like I did in the first book. I don’t think I’ll make it to the third book.
There wasn’t enough Rachel and Nick in this book. Too much time was spent with the other characters we met in the first book that I just didn’t care about. Also, this whole book was supposed to be about Rachel meeting and spending time with her dad, but that literally didn’t happen. She saw her dad like five times.
This story was the same thing as the first book, but with different bits of drama and in a different location.
Overall, I think I’m done with this series. It was just too much for me. But it’s a well-loved series and if you think you’ll like it, it’s definitely a wild ride.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

GoodReads Summary:
When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.
On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.
Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1)Review:
I’ve been trying to read this book for so long. So, on Mother’s Day, I brought it into the bathtub with me and settled in to get far enough into the story that I would either be interested or finally dnf it for good. I managed to read 200 or so pages in the bathtub. I could not focus on anything else for the rest of the day until I had time to pick it up again. This book was addicting.
We follow many characters. Nick and Rachel are the centers of the story as Nick comes from an unimaginably wealthy family and he’s bringing Rachel to meet them in Singapore. He’s never brought a girl to meet the family, so this is significant. This stirs up so much drama within the family because where Rachel’s family comes from matters to the Young family (way more than it should.) We also follow several other members of the family. I liked Rachel and Nick, but most of the rest of the characters were very shallow, in all senses of the word. There were also some characters that I just thought really could have been left out (read: Eddie). I see why they were left in (read: to show how horrible money can make some people). But I could have done without that.
By the end of this book, I really had no idea what to think. The title says it all. These characters are crazy rich, but they’re also just plain crazy. Their views and opinions were horrible. The privilege of money has done so much.
Overall, I really don’t have the words to explain my feelings about this book. I’m already reading the second book and definitely like it better. Nick’s family in this book are so horrible it was entertaining, but also made me very mad. I was also really unsatisfied with the ending. There were issues between Rachel and Nick that were left completely unresolved and I didn’t care for that.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

GoodReads Summary:
The accidental governess.
After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart… without risking her own.
The infamous rake.
Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education—in pleasure. That should prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling… and he’s in danger of falling, hard.
The Governess Game (Girl Meets Duke, #2)Review:
This story was so much fun. I definitely liked the first book in this series better, but The Governess Game was still really good.
We follow Alex as she’s somehow hired by Chase as a governess to the two girls that are his wards. The girls were my favorite part. Rosamund and Daisy have been passed around so many homes, they really just want someone to love them. Daisy kills her doll, Millicent, every day. So, most mornings start with Millicent’s funeral. This is what had me sold on Chase early in the story. Every day he gives Millicent a wonderful eulogy, and it’s clear that he cares for these girls even if he doesn’t want to admit it.
I loved the relationship between Chase and Alex too. Alex pushes him and even though he’s going to be a Duke she doesn’t pull any punches. She tells it like it is and doesn’t let him give her any crap. I really loved her effect on Chase.
Overall, this story was fun and sweet, but also has some really great sex scenes. There were some great space scenes where Alex is searching the stars. These characters work on conquering their fears. The growth was wonderful and I just really enjoyed this one.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

GoodReads Summary:
Critically acclaimed author Mia Sosa delivers a sassy, steamy enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about a woman whose new job requires her to work side-by-side with the best man who ruined her wedding: her ex-fiancé’s infuriating, irritating, annoyingly handsome brother. Perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory, Helen Hoang, and Sally Thorne!
A wedding planner left at the altar. Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s managed to make other people’s dreams come true as a top-tier wedding coordinator in DC. After impressing an influential guest, she’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.
Tired of living in his older brother’s shadow, marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning—absolutely off-limits—ex-fiancée. And she loathes him.
If they can survive the next few weeks and nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.
But even the best laid plans can go awry, and soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again…
The Worst Best ManReview:
I picked this one up because as I’ve mentioned in many previous reviews that I’m on a romance kick. This is one that I’ve seen a ton of people talking about so I had to grab it when I saw it available as an eBook through my library.
I enjoyed this book for the most part. I liked the banter and familial aspects. The romance was interesting and believable. I loved how diverse it was and how Lina shares her culture with the people around her. This book definitely made me hungry. It also totally made me want to plan a wedding (which is silly because I’m already married.) I loved the competition aspect of the story as well. Lina is trying to get a job for a well-known hotel and help them add weddings to the many things they provide for their clientele.
I’m going to keep this review short because I don’t have all that much to say about this book. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t totally comfortable with the whole falling in love with her ex-fiance’s brother concept. I get that Andrew’s the one that left her, but this was just a little unrealistic to me. I don’t know many people that would actually let this happen, let alone it ends up being a successful relationship. Despite this, the story was fun and entertaining.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.