E-Arc Review: The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

Title: The Bookshop of Second Chances
Author: Jackie Fraser
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly handsome bookseller in this utterly heartwarming debut, perfect for readers of Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Thea Mottram is having a bad month. Her husband of nearly twenty years has just left her for one of her friends, and she is let go from her office job–on Valentine’s Day, of all days. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.

Almost instantly, Thea becomes enamored with the quaint cottage, comforted by its cozy rooms and shaggy, tulip-covered lawn. The locals in nearby Baldochrie are just as warm, quirky, and inviting. The only person she can’t seem to win over is bookshop owner Edward Maltravers, to whom she hopes to sell her uncle’s antique novel collection. His gruff attitude–fueled by an infamous, long-standing feud with his brother, a local lord–tests Thea’s patience. But bickering with Edward proves oddly refreshing and exciting, leading Thea to develop feelings she hasn’t felt in a long time. As she follows a thrilling yet terrifying impulse to stay in Scotland indefinitely, Thea realizes that her new life may quickly become just as complicated as the one she was running from.” (Goodreads)

I really liked the sound of this one. It always intrigues me when a blurb mentions starting over, bickering, and feuds. It usually means I am in for a good time! The thing is, this book wasn’t anything like I expected and I can’t say I much liked the characters or the plot. They were all just a bit much most of the time.

Thea is dealing with a lot. She is newly single as her husband has been shacking up with her friend and she is ready for a fresh start. Luckily, her great uncle left her his house. That’s when she heads off on a new adventure.

I think Thea started off as a strong character but then I didn’t understand her fascination with Edward. We will get to that further in the review. I did feel for her and her situation. It’s hard having to move on from someone, and even your house, that you have spent so much time with. It’s even harder when your friend is the reason for it all. I did like seeing her journey in that aspect of finding herself away from her old life.

Now when it comes to Edward, I disliked him and never changed my mind. He is seriously horrible and for an older man he acts like a child.

*Spoilers, Spoilers!*

I knew from the beginning that she would find herself fancying Edward. They started working together and as the colder brother of the two (who also hates women unless he is having sex with them (friends with benefits but he really doesn’t even have friends)). One day he even goes on to tell Thea why him and his brother don’t get along and it’s because he sleeps with all of his brother’s girlfriends and wives. Now, you would think that Thea would stop talking to this guy and find a different job but no. She just shrugs it off and still hangs out with him. The reason for him doing this is just so childish. He does it because when he was a young lad he told his brother about a girl he liked and his brother said he would talk to her. Well, his brother at a party started making out with her and Edward saw so then his brother became the bane of his existence. You would think he would get over it but no. Childish.

This also comes into play around the last bit of the book when Edward’s brother locks Thea in a room to I guess try and sleep with her. Just no. That is so bad! You never fight fire with fire. He ends up not doing anything with her but obviously gets punched in the face. It’s just too much!

*End of Spoilers*

The minor characters are just there for added plot twists and most of the plot twists I saw coming. There was just too much drama for me and not enough character development or even likable characters for me to really care much about this book. There would be times that I would get sucked in just a bit but then something would shut it down quick.

Overall, it was okay but not a book for me.

E-Arc Review: Enjoy the Veiw (Moose Springs, Alaska #3) by Sarah Morgenthaler

Title: Enjoy the Veiw (Moose Springs, Alaska #3)
Author: Sarah Morgenthaler
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: January 19th, 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an e-copy to review!




A grouchy mountaineer, a Hollywood starlet
And miles of untamed wilderness…
What could possibly go wrong?

Former Hollywood darling River Lane’s acting career is tanking fast. Determined to start fresh behind the camera, she agrees to film a documentary about the picturesque small town of Moose Springs, Alaska. The assignment should have been easy, but the quirky locals want nothing to do with River. Well, too bad: River’s going to make this film and prove herself, no matter what it takes.

Or what (literal) mountain she has to climb.

Easton Lockett may be a gentle giant, but he knows a thing or two about survival. If he can keep everyone in line, he should be able to get River and her crew up and down Mount Veil in one piece. Turns out that’s a big if. The wildlife’s wilder than usual, the camera crew’s determined to wander off a cliff, and the gorgeous actress is fearless. Falling for River only makes Easton’s job tougher, but there’s only so long he can hold out against her brilliant smile. When bad weather strikes, putting everyone at risk, it’ll take all of Easton’s skill to get them back home safely…and convince River she should stay in his arms for good.”(Goodreads)

Moose Springs, Alaska has become one of my favorite romance series. The setting is always wonderful to read about and I enjoy reading about all of the characters from book one as they develop throughout the series. Although this one is my least favorite, I still thought it had it’s good moments.

For me, it was harder to connect with the two main characters in this book. When it came to book one, I liked all the characters and really enjoyed Lana which made it easy for me to connect with her in book two. Easton was present in both books but he still wasn’t a star player. River is a new character and throughout this book we learn about her but I just wasn’t a fan of her personality. She takes a lot of risks, which can be good at times, but she also puts a lot of people in danger because of it.

I did like that the setting wasn’t just in the town of Moose Springs. It takes us to the mountains for climbing and I thought that was great! As someone who would never climb myself (I hate heights, haha), this was a perfect adventure and it also caused for quite the dramatic moments.

The romance in the book is cute, but because I had a hard time connecting with Easton and River, it just didn’t give the giddy feelings that other relationships in books have.

Overall, it was good just not a favorite. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with the book or even the characters. We all make mistakes and that’s just a part of being human. Even though this one wasn’t for me, I am hoping there will be more books written for this series and I would still recommend you read them!

E-Arc Review: Well Played (Well Met #2) by Jen DeLuca

 

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Title: Well Played (Well Met #2)
Author: Jen DeLuca
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2020
Publisher: Berkley

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an e-copy to review. All opinions are my own.

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Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.” (Goodreads)

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Alas, we are once again welcomed at the Ren Faire!

And let me tell you, I had a great time.

Last year I loved Well Met and was excited to know that we would get more from those characters. Like many romance books, this book covers a romance for two other characters than the couple from book one but they are still present. It just wouldn’t be the WCRF without Simon, am I right? Haha.

Stacey hasn’t had much change in her life for quite some time. At 27 she is seeing all her college friends get married and have kids. They are living their life while she seems to be alone, minus her cat. He is great company. Realizing that 30 is coming for her isn’t easy.

I definitely resonate with the getting close to 30 thing. I may have married young and had a child all before 27 but as you get closer to 30 it just feels like life is slipping away. I totally get it. It’s just a bit different.

She also talks a lot about her body and trying to be comfortable in the skin she is in when she is on the bigger side. I always enjoy seeing this in books. I definitely understand the feeling of dread when trying on clothes.

Stacey goes through a lot of growth in many areas of her life. Sometimes its hard to make changes especially when you are concerned about your loved ones. You always want to be there for them even if it is holding you back.

Now onto the romance.

When the alcohol hits a bit too much one night, she does something drastic and sends a message to the band account of someone who she has had a fling with.

I’ve enjoyed many books where the relationship has taken place over notes. emails, texts, etc. It makes the relationship more exciting and I can relate. I met my husband on Myspace and living states away, messages and phone calls are all we had. It just hits me with all the feels!

From the beginning, you can see where the relationship is going and guess who is behind the screen. Even though it was obvious, I didn’t mind it. There were still a plot twist or two I didn’t see coming.

I did like this one just a tad less than the first and I really think the only reason for that is because the first was basically enemies-to-lovers and that’s my jam.

As for the side characters, I can never get enough of them! Simon and Emily are the cutest couple. There were definitely some vibes from April and Mitch and I happened to notice the next book will be about them. I am so curious and looking forward to that!

Overall, this gave me all the feelings I wanted. It was sweet and the ending was the cherry on the top. Now it’s time to wait for the next book because I adore these characters and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

WWW Wednesday (8/26/20)

Hello, My Lovely Bookworms!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and is now hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

It consists of answering these three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?
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Currently Reading:

I am listening to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I have heard mixed things about it but I’m still giving it a shot. I’m not very far so I can’t say much at the moment.

I am reading Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria by J.M. Bergen. It’s a pretty good MG so far!

Recently Finished:

  • Simmer Down by Sarah Smith (arc/ebook)
  • Carpe Corpus (The Morganville Vampires #6) by Rachel Caine (ebook)
  • A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe (arc/ebook)

Reading Next:

I will be listening to The Time of Contempt (The Witcher #2) by Andrzej Sapkowski. I am determined to finish this series this year!

I will be reading Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3) by Lyssa Kay Adams next. I am really excited for it too!

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What is your current read? Are you loving it? Have you read or want to read any that I have listed? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Cover Reveal: Happy Singles Day by Ann Marie Walker

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Hello Readers!

Today I wanted to share the cover for a new rom-com coming out next year! It looks really good and I can’t wait to read it.

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52658291Title: Happy Singles Day
Author: Ann Marie Walker
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: January 19th, 2021
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

 

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Single and proud of it! Oh, oops…

Paige Parker proudly celebrates Singles Day on February 15 every single year. Who needs a man anyway? They have zero taste in quality television, leave the toilet seat up, and sleep with your best friend. No thanks.

The owner of a run down B&B, widower single dad Lucas Croft’s life is simple and quiet. It’s him and his five year old daughter. Who needs a woman anyway? They nag you to clean up your stuff, want the toilet seat put down, and expect the dishes to be done the same day the meal is served. No thanks.

But we all know the universe has a sense of humor, so of course Paige and Lucas’ two worlds collide–with hilarious results and a HEA.” (Goodreads)

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I’m a sucker for a plot with a single dad and it looks like there will be plenty of banter between these two!

Does this one sound like something you would read?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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1885Title: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Genre: Classics / Romance
Publication Date: January 28th, 1813

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“Since its immediate success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work “her own darling child” and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, “as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.”(Goodreads)

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I did it! I finished this classics and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I thought I might since I have seen the 2005 movie multiple times but you just never know with the classics. Some are just long, drawn out, and quite boring. This was not the case for this one. Now If I would have actually read it instead of listening to it then that might have been a different story.

Elizabeth Bennett is a great character. She is strong willed and doesn’t let others judgement make her change her ways. She is strong in her values and does what she does. I think everyone could learn something from her.

Mr.Darcy, what a man! He thought he could stay out of her clutch but how wrong he was. She didn’t even try to woo him but she still got the man!

I love the banter between them and everything their relationship is.

Now, I thought I would be like Elizabeth Bennett, but alas I am more like her mother with her poor nerves.

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My husband is literally Mr. Bennett who takes delight in vexing me. 🤣

Every time I got to a scene with Mr. Collins it was just so cringey! At least he found someone but I’m not even sure how, haha.

And why oh why is Lydia the way she is? That girl needs to calm down. She is so snarky and stuck up and its no surprise that she ended in the predicament she did.

Lady Catherine also needs to mind her business. She needs to not stand in the way of love!

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and can see myself relistening to it again and again!

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Manga Mini Reviews #7

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Hello Lovely Readers!

Here is a for two different Mangas that are on-going series! No synopsis will be added for them because of that.

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46678023Title: Yona of the Dawn Vol. 22
Author: Mizuho Kusanagi
Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance
Publication Date: February 4th, 2020

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It’s getting crazy! I think this has been one of my favorites. I have enjoyed that the last few have mostly been about the others in the group and not soley focused on Yona. We get more emotion from Hak, which I loved. I’m curious to see where everything goes with Su-won. He is a man of mystery. The new characters that were introduced are amazing! One has a love of cats and I couldn’t help but laugh. I’m hoping they continue to make appearances during the rest of the series. As for the ending, it literally wrecked me. I will not be okay until the next book is in my hands. *waits impatiently*

Rating: 5 stars
Continue?: Oh Heck Yea! I’m invested.

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51625614._SY475_Title: The Demon Prince of Momochi House Vol. 15
Author: Aya Shouoto
Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020

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This is another series that has gripped me in. I will say that out of all of the volumes I have read, this one was a bit disappointing. There isn’t much that truly goes on besides more backstory for future events and the shocking ending. Honestly, I am not sure where this series is going to go but I still love the characters and the bonds that have been formed between each one. Honepfully with the next volume we will get more action and answers for what the heck is going on with the house and Aoi!

Rating: 4 stars
Continue?: Yes

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Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

E-Arc Review: The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

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43801254Title: The Worst Best Man
Author: Mia Sosa
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: February 4th, 2020

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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“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… (Goodreads)

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When it came to this one, I didn’t hate it but I also didn’t love it as much as I wanted to. It had it’s interesting moments but it also disappointed me in a few ways too.

One reason I requested this title was because of the main character Lina. Her job is a wedding planner and honestly, I just love any romance that has a wedding planner in it. It was also great to see her being Brazilian have a lot to do with the plot. She was easy to understand when it came to her hatred towards the brothers. I mean, if I was left at the altar and it was caused by his brother than I would be pretty mad. With that comes a lot of personal growth for Lina. When she wants to be spiteful, she takes a step back. She does do some hilarious things to Max though. We can’t always be nice! It makes her realistic.

Max and Andrew, her ex-fiancee, doesn’t get as much development as Lina. Although Max and Lina have their own point-of-views, Max still lacked. The other characters were minor and that was fine as it let the spotlight stay on Max and Lina.

The romance between Max and Lina was okay. I don’t think there was a lot of development leading up to it and in ways it felt a little forced.

As for the plot, it was interesting and I am always a fan of brothers in books. The book got quite steamy at times. There was definitely a lot of plot twists throughout but they lacked that surprised factor and I found myself being able to spot them out before they even happened.

Overall, it was a decent read. It at least kept my attention but I just wish the romance had been more believable.

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Book Review: The Bromance Book Club

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44019067._SY475_Title: The Bromance Book Club
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Contemporary/Romance
Publication Date: November 5th, 2019

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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.” (Goodreads)

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I’ve been looking forward to reading this one since I saw so many positive reviews. Besides, how can I not read a book about a book club for men who read romance novels? Curiosity made me do it and it didn’t disappoint!

One reason I wanted to read this, besides for the book club, was because it had a married couple. It’s not often I read a book with one as the main characters. The relationship between Gavin and Thea is raw and heartfelt. It’s about second chances and falling in love all over again. I think that this book brings up a lot of good points about communication and keeping that flame alive. I loved reading about each of their point-of-views.

Gavin also has a stutter. I have only read one other book with this and just like that one, it was nicely done. It didn’t take away from who he was and his wife loved him regardless and it was just precious!

The one character that really stole the show every time he was mentioned was Mack. He is hilarious! I am so glad that he will be the star of the next book because I definitely need more of him!

The plot really matched up well with the synopsis and even though there wasn’t a lot of the book club it was still enough. I also enjoyed that some of the chapters were from the book that the book club told him to read. You got to see first hand where he was getting his advice and it just tied it all in nicely. It was bit too steamy for me but like usual, I skip those parts ha, and it doesn’t take away from the overall book for me.

Overall, this was a super cute and heartfelt read. I can’t wait to read the next book and see how the Bromance Book Club is doing!

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

 

 

First Lines Friday (12/27/19)

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Hello Lovely Readers!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

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“Once upon a time, we were in love.
It was a big, crazy, terrifying love, but we were too naive to know we should be scared.”

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The book is….

 

 

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I found this one on kindle unlimited and the cover just drew me in! Now after reading the first two sentences I am invested!

Have you read this book or any by this author?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads