White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

GoodReads Summary:
Layla just wants to be normal—fit in at school, go out on real dates and do other typical teenager things. Trouble is, Layla is anything but normal and her longtime crush, Zayne, treats her like a little sister. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities that no one else possesses. And even though Zayne is a Warden, part of the race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe, Layla’s kiss will kill anything with a soul—including him.
Enter Roth—a smart-mouthed demon who claims to know her deepest, most dangerous secrets. Though Layla knows she should stay away, it’s tough when that whole soul thing isn’t an issue. Trusting Roth could brand her a traitor to the Warden family that raised her and destroy her relationship with Zayne. But with a violent demon uprising looming in the distance, kissing the enemy suddenly pales in comparison to the end of the world.
White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements, #1)Review:
I just (like ten minutes ago) wrote a review for a different Armentrout book. I reread White Hot Kiss because I’m on a romance kick and this is sort of urban fantasy romance. This book takes place in a world with wardens (read: gargoyles). They fight demons that manage to come topside from hell. They are the good guys, right? The story being from Layla’s point of view makes them look not as good as they should. It’s interesting because she clearly idolizes most of them. But not actually being Layla, it’s clear that they’re not telling her the whole truth.
Layla was honestly a little annoying. She wanted to be a badass, but she was also kind of whiney. Her best friend, Zayne, kind of called her out on it too and I loved it. He told her that if she wanted to be treated like an adult than maybe she shouldn’t act like a child. She does grow a bit by the end of the book, but I’m hoping there’s more growth for her as the series continues. Now, the men. I’m not going to even talk about Zayne because he’s irrelevant in my opinion. Roth is end game and I love him. Sue me, I’m a sucker for the bad boy.
Overall, this was fun and entertaining. I’m definitely going to continue my reread of the series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

GoodReads Review:
England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.
Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?
Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke…
Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women, #1)Review:
I haven’t read a historical romance in literal years. So, I was hesitant to pick this one up, but as I’ve mentioned in a few of my reviews lately that I’ve been on a romance binge. Bringing Down the Duke is a book I’ve seen recommended a fair amount lately, which is the whole reason I picked it up. I ended up really enjoying it. It was such a fun story and very different from the historical romances that I’ve read in the past.
We follow Annabelle as she attends Oxford, as a part of the first class of females that have been allowed to attend the school. I thought this was a really interesting take. I liked Annabelle. She was determined to succeed at school so that she could better her life. She’s coming from a less than favorable situation at home. She’s made mistakes in the past and is determined to move forward and make the best of her situation. Enter the complication. As a part of her scholarship, she’s joined the woman’s suffrage movement and that puts her in the path of Sebastian, the Duke of Montgomery.
Sebastian is the typical prickly Duke. He has enormous responsibilities that come with the title of Duke. He’s had to bring the Dukedom back from the brink of ruin (thanks to his alcoholic father) and that weighs on him. Sebastian has been burned, by family and by past relationships. So, he’s not looking for a new wife. He’s not looking to get involved with Annabelle.
But as we all know, they get involved. I loved this romance because he’s a Duke and she’s the daughter of a vicar. It’s not a suitable marriage in this time period, so Sebastian offers for Annabelle to become his mistress. This does not go over well and it was mildly hilarious. I really enjoyed the romance. They have their differences, but deep down they’re both good people and they work well together.
Overall, this was a really fun book. It wasn’t the typical historical romance. It focused on women’s rights in this time period and the fight for women to keep their property after marriage. I loved the topics covered. I loved the romance. I just really enjoyed this one.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

GoodReads Summary:
Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction.
Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.
Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.
Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.
Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club, #2)Review:
Undercover Bromance was even better than the first book. We follow Braden Mack as he tries to figure out his love life. He gets dumped by a girl because he’s just going through the motions and doing what he thinks she wants her to. While he’s on his final date he runs into Gavin’s sister in law, Liv. He also sort of got her fired. I really loved Mack. He’s a guy with a lot of heart. He just cares. He has strong morals and wants to do whatever he can to help. This comes off a little bit as trying to be a knight in shining armor. He wants to come to the rescue. This is a trope that annoys me sometimes, but it didn’t in this book. His desire to help comes from a good place. He just genuinely wants to right the wrongs that he finds in the world.
Then there’s Liv. She’s a prickly girl and doesn’t need help from anyone. She won’t take money from her sister to start her own restaurant, which is how she’s ended up working at one of Nashville’s hottest restaurants for a huge scum bag. When she catches him sexually propositioning one of her coworkers she flips. She’s determined to take him down. Liv is trying to find a new job is the chef business but she’s being blackballed.
These two team up to take down Liv’s old boss. This was wicked funny because all Mack wants to do is help and Liv wants to do this by herself. She doesn’t need help from anyone, but Mack is determined to be involved. There’s an attraction between the two and it’s hard to resist once they start working together.
Overall, I enjoyed this one. It was fun, despite the serious topic of sexual harassment (it’s honestly more than that, but I don’t know what else to call it.) I thought the topic was handled well. Even when Liv is not handling the topic well when talking to the girls that have experienced this harassment, she’s called out on it. I liked that she was called out for being wrong. I really cannot wait for the next book in the series, especially since I believe it is the Russian’s book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts

GoodReads Summary:
Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out – with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He’s surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a toolbelt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except, apparently, Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro…
As the former manager of a D.C. hotel, Hope is used to excitement and glamour, but that doesn’t mean she can’t appreciate the joys of small-town living. She’s where she wants to be – except for in her love life. Her only interaction with the opposite sex has been sparring with the infuriating Ryder, who always seems to get under her skin. Still, no one can deny the electricity that crackles between them…a spark that ignited with a New Year’s Eve kiss.
While the inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope’s experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome – and embarrassing – appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder’s emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him…
The Perfect Hope (Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, #3)Review:
This was probably my favorite book of this trilogy. I really loved Hope and I loved Ryder too. He seemed like a more fleshed-out character compared to his brothers. But I still thought he was a bit lacking in the sense of learning about him. He, like his brothers, is a well-adjusted adult that comes from a really nice family. I really loved the whole family aspect of this series. The Montgomery family and the whole town was just so wholesome.
Hope, however, has got issues. She’s getting over a serious betrayal by her ex and his whole family. I really liked finally getting to know all the details about what happened because it’s talked about in the previous books but not in detail. I also liked getting to see Hope moving forward from that part of her life. She’s sort of the outsider of the town, but she never really feels or is treated that way. I loved seeing her come into the town and just become a part of the family. I loved her friendship with Clare and Avery.
Finally, the ghost. I really loved the mystery and romance of Eliza. She’s pushing the couples together. She’s a romantic that just wants to find her lost love. I loved them coming together and working toward helping Eliza. I also really loved the connections we find out about Eliza and the rest of the characters.
Overall, I enjoyed this series. I liked watching the Inn being built and then opening. I loved the characters and their relationships. It was just a really fun series to reread.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

GoodReads Summary:
The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.
Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major-league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.
Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.
Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner-hero and win back the trust of his wife.
The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club, #1)Review:
This was another book that I picked up because my bookish internet people were just absolutely raving about it. I’m glad I picked this one up because it totally had me laughing out loud. I loved the concept of a male book club that reads romance with the purpose of helping other men fixing their relationships. I love that the men come together to discuss the book in more than just the sense of what they’ve learned from it.
We follow a baseball player, Gavin, as he’s trying to win his wife back. She’s left him because she’s been faking it during sex for years. But it wasn’t just that and he doesn’t realize this until after the book club takes him in and helps him. I loved seeing him realize how he was wrong and what he can do to win his wife back, what he can do to make up for his lack of doing.
This story was just honestly so much fun. I am really excited to continue this series. I’ve already read the second book and I’ll be reviewing that one next, but there’s more coming and I’m beyond excited to read them.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

GoodReads Summary:
The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn’t hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last-ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first-class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava’s ever had. And that’s all it was–until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.
When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb’s orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he’s stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart’s in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she’s made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn’t quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her….
Fight or FlightReview:
I’m going to be honest here. I mentioned in a review of another book that since everything going on with the virus started, I’ve pretty much only read romance. This is a book that is a part of that. I’m also writing this review after having read almost ten books since this one. So, I already don’t remember every detail. This review will be short because of that.
I liked this book from the start. Ava has a one-night stand with Caleb after burying her childhood best friend. She’s full of emotions she’s not ready to delve into, so she dives into a hot guy instead. That’s something I can get behind. But when the two run into one another back in Boston, things continue. I liked their relationship, at first. But when things start to get serious and Ava is ready to try to make things work in a more serious relationship, Caleb ghosts her. This made me mad, but not overly so. This is super common. He didn’t want anything more series. But his reasoning made me mad. He shared hard details about his past with Ava right before ghosting her. He opened up and instead of telling her that he didn’t want that, he just avoided her. So, she confronts him and he says exactly what he knows will hurt her down to the core. Because of course, she’s shared some hard details of her past with him too. So, he says incredibly hurtful things to her and immediately regrets them. This trope makes me so mad. Why would you make your character hurt another in a way that cuts them to the core and then somehow, they can get better from there? Nope. As soon as Caleb said purposefully hurtful things to Ava I knew I didn’t like this book anymore. I don’t support crap like that.
Overall, this was a fun book for the most part. I think most romance readers would enjoy it. The characters are well developed. The relationship is great for most of the book. I just didn’t love certain parts.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

GoodReads Summary:
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?
• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.
Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.
But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…
Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1)Review:
Get a Life, Chloe Brown is a book that I’ve seen all over twitter being raved about. So, when I saw it sitting on the new releases shelf, I had to pick it up. I’m glad that I did because shortly after I grabbed it the whole world closed down. I’ve been on a romance binge since all of the virus stuff started. I just want to read happy books. This book was perfect for that. As with most romance, there was conflict and unhappy parts, but I just enjoyed this story so damn much.
We follow Chloe Brown who has a chronic illness. I thought it was wonderful to have that representation because it’s not something I see very often. I mostly liked Chloe. She didn’t want to need help from anyone. She was strong despite the pain she felt every day. I also totally adored her sisters. I loved that they were included in this because sibling relationships are totally my jam. Chloe was stubborn but sensitive. Not that she ever let people see that sensitive side.
Enter the love interest, Red. I loved him too. He’s struggling to heal after a damaging relationship. He’s trying to get back into painting. But he keeps thinking that he needs to become who he was before his terrible relationship rather than letting himself become someone new. This was an interesting battle because everyone goes through periods of growth so I thought it was interesting that he didn’t see it that way and instead tried to find his old self.
These two were so good for one another. They pushed the boundaries of the other, they made each other better (even if the characters didn’t realize that’s what was going on.) I thought their conflicts were natural and well done as well as their resolutions.
Overall, I totally adored this book and I’m beyond excited for the next one in the series that will be coming out later this year. If you’re a romance lover, this is definitely a book you should pick up. You will not be disappointed.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.