Mini Reviews: Wanna Bet? & Wicked and the Wallflower

It’s time for another round of romance mini reviews! I’ve got brief thoughts on two titles, one contemporary and the other historical, bottom line though I loved both.


WannaBetWanna Bet? by Talia Hibbert

Published by Nixon House on April 21, 2018

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 325 Format: eBook Source: Purchased

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Jasmine Allen has many vices. Rahul Khan has just one: her.

For the last seven years, Rahul’s been Jasmine’s closest friend. Sure, he’s strong, sexy, and deliciously stern—but she doesn’t care about that. She certainly isn’t tempted by his wicked smile or his genuine sweetness. She can’t be. Because everything Jas touches turns to dust.

Rahul disagrees. Seven years ago, Jasmine touched him, and he’s still standing—still standing, and still hopelessly in love. When disaster drives Jasmine into his spare bedroom, Rahul prepares for a month of painful proximity to the woman he secretly wants.

But when he realizes that Jasmine just might want him, too… all bets are off. 

She’s wild. She’s reckless. She doesn’t know how to love, and she doesn’t intend to learn. 

But she’s also his. And in this game of desire, Rahul’s playing to win.

Wanna Bet? is a steamy, standalone, BWAM romance. Warning: this book is 75,000 words of extreme pleasure, with NO cliffhangers, NO cheating, and a guaranteed HEA. Enjoy responsibly!

***Please be aware: this story contains themes of parental neglect and abandonment, parental death, and alcohol dependence that could trigger certain audiences.***

Twitter is a marvelous place as it’s introduced me to some of my favorite romance authors and I can already say Talia Hibbert is now among them. Wanna Bet? takes on a friends to lovers romance with a role reversal (promiscuous woman, besotted man). Jasmine is closed off, holding her emotions in; every action she takes hides pain. Rahul is the best! A man so wholly in love but holding himself back to be the friend Jasmine needs. The tension between them is off the charts and there is just so much angst to agonize over. While the book does deal with some pretty heavy topics (mentioned in the description above), there’s not an ounce of exploiting it. Overall I totally recommend Hibbert’s writing and cannot wait to dive into more of her stories.


Wickedandthe WallflowerWicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Published by Avon on June 19, 2018

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Historical, Romance

Pages: 396 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

When Wicked Comes Calling…

When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She’s seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won’t accept a marriage without it.

The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain…

Bastard son of a duke and king of London’s dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.

For the Promise of Passion…

But there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she’d rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil’s carefully laid plans are in chaos, and he must choose between everything he’s ever wanted…and the only thing he’s ever desired.

Sarah MacLean’s Bareknuckle Bastards series is off to a roaring start with Wicked and the Wallflower. Felicity Faircloth wants back into society but she needs a rake to get her there. Approaching spinsterhood, she’s incredibly lonely with a family who wants to leverage her marriage for personal gain. Felicity’s also got a passion for picking locks. Devil, on the other hand, is a smooth-talking smuggler with a serious reputation but also a softer side. The scenes between them are incredibly intimate and the overarching story is totally compelling. Overall I highly recommend this and honestly any  Sarah MacLean titles.


Have you read either of these books? Prefer contemporary or historical romances?

Let me know in the comments below!

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Series Review: The Rules of Scoundrels by Sarah MacLean

The Rules of Scoundrels
by Sarah MacLean

 

What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets…

So my love for series and now romance has combined into a wild binge read of Sarah MacLean’s Rules of Scoundrels after Roshani Chokshi recommended the first installment for it’s Hades and Persephone vibes. Now, of course, I’m head over heels for these hot and heavy historical romances which follow the four owners of a gaming hell and their love interests.

Sarah MacLean captured my attention with her writing, well loved tropes, and incredible characters. The author certainly knows how to draw out the tension, throwing twists and turns in at all the right moments. Plus there’s even a little mystery. In terms of tropes this series has got everything! Heroine getting a sexual education, fighter with a soft side, redemption in the eyes of society.

It all works though because of the characters. Bourne, Cross, Temple, and Chase are the owners of The Fallen Angel, London’s finest gaming hell, and each book delves into how the scoundrels all find love. Their paramours are an eclectic bunch; whether it be a stubborn soon to be spinster or passionate scientist. I won’t got into more to avoid spoilers but these books are definite must reads for historical romance fans.

Have any of you read The Rules of Scoundrels series?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: Recent Reads

Near the end of the month I always seem to have a back up of reviews waiting to be written. Hence another recap of my thoughts on these three titles.


LabyrinthLostLabyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Published by Sourcebooks Fire on August 1, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 324 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Why did I wait this long to read Labyrinth Lost? I’ve no idea, but since the second book just came out I knew it was time. And oh I was so right. The magic was incredible with Córdova weaving a myriad of culture and history into its belief system. Nothing was easy and it all came with a cost. Honestly it hit all my faves especially with the characters. Alex questioned everything; her power, her choices, her family. It was pretty refreshing. Plus Nova pulled on all of my heartstrings. If you’re into magic and witches definitely pick this one up.


TheKissQuotientThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Published by Berkley on June 5, 2018

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 336 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he’s making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

I’d like to thank the book community for hyping The Kiss Quotient so hard I bought it before reading it since this book is now one of my all time faves. Seriously Helen Hoang’s writing is brilliant and she’s crafted such a compelling story of falling in love. Stella and Michael are such endearing people, sweet and honest to a fault. The dynamic between them is to die for and the development of their relationship is so well done. Plus the supporting cast is just as excellent and the narrative incredibly real. Honestly I’d recommend this book to everyone but especially romance readers.


TheWayYouMakeMeFeelThe Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books on May 8, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 336 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? 

With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

If you’re in need of a fun, flirty summer read The Way You Make Me Feel should definitely be on your TBR. There’s epic food truck moments, hilarious hijinks, soul searching, and parental relationships. Clara is funny, witty, and passionate which makes her dynamic with Rose who is anxious and driven so brilliant. I also adored the father/daughter scenes that featured so prominently.  Plus this book takes on the moments that define people’s live and how one instance can change everything. In both the good and bad ways, of course. Overall I’d definitely recommend this to those looking for a cute, quick read!


Have you read any of these books yet?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Book Review: Last Shot by Daniel José Older

Star Wars 'Solo' Comic Books CR: Disney

Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel by Daniel José Older

Published by Del Rey on April 17, 2018

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 344 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Even the fastest ship in the galaxy can’t outrun the past. . . .
 
THEN:
It’s one of the galaxy’s most dangerous secrets: a mysterious transmitter with unknown power and a reward for its discovery that most could only dream of claiming. But those who fly the Millennium Falcon throughout its infamous history aren’t your average scoundrels. Not once, but twice, the crew of the Falcontries to claim the elusive prize—first, Lando Calrissian and the droid L3-37 at the dawn of an ambitious career, and later, a young and hungry Han Solo with the help of his copilot, Chewbacca. But the device’s creator, the volatile criminal Fyzen Gor, isn’t interested in sharing. And Gor knows how to hold a grudge. . . .
 
NOW:
It’s been ten years since the rebel hero Han Solo last encountered Fyzen Gor. After mounting a successful rebellion against the Empire and starting a family with an Alderaanian princess, Han hasn’t given much thought to the mad inventor. But when Lando turns up at Han’s doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s Fyzen’s assassins that he’s running from. And without Han’s help, Lando—and all life on Cloud City—will be annihilated.
 
With the assistance of a young hotshot pilot, an Ewok slicer prodigy, the woman who might be the love of Lando’s life, and Han’s best and furriest friend, the two most notorious scoundrels in the New Republic are working together once more. They’ll have to journey across the stars—and into the past—before Gor uses the device’s power to reshape the galaxy.


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Series Review: Spindle Cove by Tessa Dare

The Spindle Cove Series

 

 


Recently I immersed myself in Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series and have found myself head over heels for historical romance. Consisting of five novels and three novellas, Spindle Cove is chock full of humor, romance, mad cap scenarios, and sexytimes. Dare’s writing was incredibly enjoyable and each one to these stories is definitely a page turner.

Spindle Cove is a seaside destination for ladies that are considered outside the norm. From the awkward and shy to those disenchanted with men or more enchanted with the disreputable sort, this haven is open to all who wish to come. Honestly this locale was my favorite part of this series. While not all the stories are set there, it plays an integral role in the lives of the leads.

All of the couples in these novels were such a joy to experience. I won’t give too much away in the romance department but Minerva/Colin and Pauline/Griffin were my favorite pairings. There’s moments of beautiful tenderness and carnal pleasure in equal measure and my heart barely survived all the swoons.

Overall the Spindle Cove series by Tessa Dare was a complete joy to read. I’ve never been big into historical romance but now I’m firmly on board this reading train. I totally recommend this series for romance readers and if you’ve got any recs for this subgenre my ears are always open.

Have you read anything by Tessa Dare? A fan of romance books?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Romance Reviews: Hurts to Love You & A Princess in Theory

Today I’ve got two mini reviews on romance titles I’ve read recently. One’s a series finale and the other is a series starter. Check out my thoughts below!


HurtstoLoveYouHurts to Love You by Alisha Rai

Published by Avon on March 27, 2018

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 384 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Well-behaved women don’t lust after men who love to misbehave.

Heiress Evangeline Chandler knows how to keep a secret . . . like her life-long crush on the tattooed hottie who just happens to be her big brother’s friend. She’s a Chandler, after all, and Chandlers don’t hook up with the help. Then again, they also don’t disobey their fathers and quit their respectable jobs, so good-girl rules may no longer apply.

Gabriel Hunter hides the pain of his past behind a smile, but he can’t hide his sudden attraction to his friend’s sheltered little sister. Eve is far too sweet to accept anything less than forever and there’s no chance of a future between the son of a housekeeper and the town’s resident princess.

When a wedding party forces Eve and Gabe into tight quarters, keeping their hands off each other will be as hard as keeping their clothes on. The need that draws them together is stronger than the forces that should shove them apart . . . but their sparks may not survive the explosion when long-buried secrets are finally unearthed.

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Book Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

TheGirlintheTowerThe Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Published by Del Rey on December 5, 2017

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Pages: 363 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.


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