Book Review: Pumpkin Spice and Not So Nice by Becky Monson

Title: Pumpkin Spice and Not So Nice
Author: Becky Monson
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: September 8th, 2022
Publisher: Indie / Kindle Unlimited
Rating: ⭐⭐

“If I were ever to write a memoir, it would be titled, Jenna Peterson’s Guide to Dating Emotionally Unavailable Men. I’m like a professional at it. I’m so good, I can take any dysfunctional man and turn him into Prince Charming, just in time for him to dump me and then go on to marry the next woman he dates. I’m about ready to give up on loving real men and focus on lusting over fictional men in the Turkish dramas I can’t stop devouring.
But then . . . I find a mysterious fifty-dollar bill with a handwritten note on it that was donated to my family’s pumpkin patch by accident. And wouldn’t you know it, the mystery man it belongs to is emotionally unavailable, albeit freakishly attractive. I keep telling myself to walk away, but there’s something about Aidan St. Claire that makes me want to unravel all his secrets. All I know is he sure can heat up the cozy fall nights. I can’t help but think that maybe this time I’ll get to keep Prince Charming for myself.” (Goodreads)

I didn’t know that this was connected to the book A Pumpkin and a Patch by Jennifer Peel. This one is about the other cousin and it’s pretty much happening simultaneously with the other plot. I thought this was pretty cool and well done. It was interesting to see another perspective on certain events. Unfortunately, I didn’t like this one as much.

I did like Jenna but I wasn’t a fan of Aidan. He was pretty boring from the beginning and I never got over how dull he was. There was nothing soon-worthy about him when compared to the rogue pirate. Their romance was also on the bland side as nothing happened between them until the last part of the book. I know that this is a clean romance but they really just felt like friends and continued with that montage.

Overall, this book just wasn’t for me but I can see others enjoying it more. I did like being back at the farm and exploring other areas in the same world as the other book.

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First Lines Friday | 11-4-22

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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“Jenna Peterson’s Guide to Dating Emotionally Unavailable Men:
When dating an emotionally unavailable man, get ready for disappointment. Because there’s going to be a lot of it.”

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The book is….

“If I were ever to write a memoir, it would be titled, Jenna Peterson’s Guide to Dating Emotionally Unavailable Men. I’m like a professional at it. I’m so good, I can take any dysfunctional man and turn him into Prince Charming, just in time for him to dump me and then go on to marry the next woman he dates. I’m about ready to give up on loving real men and focus on lusting over fictional men in the Turkish dramas I can’t stop devouring.

But then . . . I find a mysterious fifty-dollar bill with a handwritten note on it that was donated to my family’s pumpkin patch by accident. And wouldn’t you know it, the mystery man it belongs to is emotionally unavailable, albeit freakishly attractive. I keep telling myself to walk away, but there’s something about Aidan St. Claire that makes me want to unravel all his secrets. All I know is he sure can heat up the cozy fall nights. I can’t help but think that maybe this time I’ll get to keep Prince Charming for myself.” (Goodreads)

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? DO YOU WANT TO READ IT?

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Audiobook Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton #2) by Julia Quinn

Title: The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgerton #2)
Author: Julia Quinn
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction / Romance
Publication Date: December 5th, 2000
Publisher: Avon
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“This time the gossip columnists have it wrong. London’s most elusive bachelor Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry—he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…
Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself…” (Goodreads)

I’m happy I got back into this series!

Although this is a quite bit different than the show, I really enjoyed how it played out and all of the banter between Anthony and Kate. They are hilarious, especially while playing Pall Mall. I’m happy that the extra epilogue included another round of it!

Kate and Anthony are very similar when it comes to being stubborn and relying on ones own self. They had a lot of growing to do and we see that change throughout the book. Anthony definitely had a lot more growth since it is his book and he lost his father which he internalized deeply. I couldn’t help but laugh at the bee scene even though it was very surreal to him!

Their romance is very slow but that is what I like and it paid off in this case. It was very sweet and I loved when they were together.

I liked the little moments we got from the Brigderton siblings. Eloise and Colin are a favorite! They also like to meddle.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I can’t wait to continue on.

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 View (Moose Springs, Alaska #3) by Sarah Morgenthaler

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

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)