Review: Bridal Boot Camp (Little Bridge Island #0.5)

Title: Bridal Boot Camp (Little Bridge Island #0.5)
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Source: Purchased
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot comes the first story in her Little Bridge Island series—which also includes an excerpt from her forthcoming new full-length novel No Judgments!

Looking for a tropical escape?

Welcome to Little Bridge, one of the smallest—and most beautiful—islands in the Florida Keys, home to sandy white beaches, salt-rimmed margaritas, stunning sunsets, and some of the quirkiest—but also kindest and most resourceful—people you’ll ever meet.

Physical trainer Roberta “Rob” James moved to Little Bridge hoping she’d found paradise, but things haven’t turned out quite as she’d hoped. The closest Rob has come to her “happily ever after” is happy hour at the Mermaid Café with her buddy Bree, the bartender slash waitress who’s got romance problems of her own.

But Rob’s situation suddenly changes when sheriff’s deputy Ryan Martinez accidentally enrolls in her bridal boot camp class. Turning mush into metal in time for the big day is Rob’s passion (because even the happiest bride could use a little toning).

But what happens when a guy who’s all mush meets a girl who’s all metal?

They discover they have a lot to learn . . . about each other, themselves, and the island paradise they’ve come to call home.

Review:

I was so excited to see this short story! I loved reading Meg Cabot books when I was younger, and I still read her YA books today. This is the first adult story by her that I’ve read.

This story was unique because it has been released before the full novel. This is a short story that takes place in the same town as her upcoming novel No Judgements. It has different main characters, but I’m guessing that these characters will make an appearance in the novel. In this story, they talk about a hurricane that is coming, which appears to create the tension in the novel.

The plot was very fast-paced, because it was so short. The romance between Rob and Ryan moved quickly, spanning just a couple of days. This makes sense for the short length of the novel, but it wasn’t very realistic.

This was a fun teaser for Meg Cabot’s upcoming book, which I can’t wait to read this fall!

What to read next:

Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

Airhead by Meg Cabot

Have you read Bridal Boot Camp? What did you think of it?

Review: We’ll Always Have Christmas

Title: We’ll Always Have Christmas
Author: Jenny Hale
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Bookouture
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 29, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An enchanting story about the magic of Christmas, the importance of family, and the joy of falling in love during the most romantic season of the year… 

Christmas has always been a special time for Noelle Parker. Winter evenings spent with family and friends, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies at her family’s cozy bakery have shaped her love for all things festive. But this year everything is changing… 

The beloved bakery is facing closure and Noelle needs a miracle to save Christmas. 

Determined to raise funds for the family business, Noelle sets about revamping the bakery while juggling a surprise new job, caring for the elderly and cantankerous William Harrington in his luxurious, sprawling mansion. 

As Noelle melts the frostiness of the house with cake baking, snowball fights and glittering decorations, she helps William to reconnect with a romance that has spanned decades and unexpectedly finds herself falling for his grandson – the gorgeous but mysterious Alexander Harrington… 

In the countdown to Christmas, can Noelle save the bakery, reunite a family and create some magical memories of her own along the way?

Review:

This is a great holiday romance. This story was predictable and comforting. I could tell what would happen to the main character, Noelle, since it was a holiday romance. Once Noelle met Alex, I suspected there would be some romance between them. However, Alex was a stubborn man, so it wasn’t a smooth ride. Some of the parts were slow because there was a lot of time spent baking treats in the bakery. I would have liked to see more action with the characters so the story moved forward, but that is just my personal preference. This is a cute story, perfect for reading during the holidays.

What to read next:

Coming Home for Christmas by Jenny Hale

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale

Have you read We’ll Always Have Christmas? What did you think of it?

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

Title: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Genre: Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe, from New York Timesbestselling author, Melissa de la Cruz, is a sweet, sexy and hilarious gender-swapping, genre-satisfying re-telling, set in contemporary America and featuring one snooty Miss Darcy.

Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her family.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32-years-old and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

Review:

This is an amazing retelling of Pride and Prejudice for the holidays!

Darcy Fitzwilliam is a successful New York business woman, who no longer has time for her family back in Pemberley, Ohio. I loved that the Darcy character was a woman in this story. It put a twist on the original story of Pride and Prejudice, because the story is told from Darcy’s perspective.

Though this is a retelling, some parts of the story are slightly different from the original. Both Darcy and Luke had other partners at certain points in the story. Some characters played different roles from the original story, and some parts were removed from the story but it still headed in the same direction. 

I also loved the holiday elements of the story! There were Christmas parties, mistletoe, and lots of eggnog.

This is a great holiday story! I already know it will become a classic that I will read every year!

What to read next:

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Have you read Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: How (Not) to Marry a Duke

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Title: How (Not) to Marry a Duke
Author: Felicia Kingsley
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Aria
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A hilarious romantic comedy perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jo Watson and Meg Cabot.

One minute, Jemma Pears is a struggling theatrical make-up artist in London. The next, she’s been left a vast fortune by her estranged grandmother. The catch: she must marry a man with a title to inherit.
Jemma thinks this is truly impossible: she’s a romantic, searching for true love, not just a convenient marriage… and besides, where would she even find a titled guy?

Enter Ashford, the new Duke of Burlingham. His legacy: massive debts that he must pay back immediately or risk the bank seizing his assets. Or worse: his mother’s wrath!

When their lawyer hears of their situations, a secret match is made despite their mutual hatred of each other: through marrying Ashford, Jemma can inherit and Ashford can pay back his debts immediately. Problem solved. That is, until their marriage is leaked to the press and everyone finds out…

Now they have to play out the charade for at least a year or risk going to jail for fraud!

A hilarious pretense ensues and Jemma must battle against a crazy mother in law, a stuffy aristocracy, and finally, and most surprisingly of all, confusing feelings for Ashford…!

Review:

I absolutely loved this book! It was cute and funny!

The ending was kind of predictable because of the storyline. Jemma needs to marry a man with a title to receive her inheritance from her grandmother and Ashford is a Duke who requires a lot of money for him to save his properties. By coincidence, they have the same lawyer who sets them up to solve both of their problems! Of course, at first they hate each other because Jemma is not part of the aristocracy that Ashford usually associates with. But after living together for a while, things change.

There were a number of times that I laughed out loud. Ashford’s mother reminded me of Jane Fonda’s character in the movie Monster-In-Law. Jemma could not please her no matter what she did. They were completely different, so many of the scenes reminded me of that movie.

Though I could see where the story was heading, I loved the ending. I really enjoyed the whole story, and I fell in love with the characters. This is a great romantic comedy!

What to read next:

  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
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  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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About the Author:

Felicia Kingsley was born in 1987. She lives in a small town near Modena and works as an architect. Her debut novel How (Not) to Marry a Duke was the second most read e-book in Italy in 2017.

 

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Thank you to Aria for letting me participate in this blog tour.

Blog Tour Review: Entrapped

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Title: Entrapped
Author: Claire Ayres
Genre: Romance
Publisher: self-published
Source: Neverland Blog Tours
Release Date: August 17, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Cellist, Luka, has moved to Bristol to start a new job and recover from the betrayal of finding his best friend and his girlfriend in bed together. He doesn’t plan on the emotional thunderstorm that meeting his next-door neighbour Jess causes.

Jess had everything, a man she loved, friends she adored and then the world crashed around her. Depression came from nowhere and slowly started ripping her life away. Now she lives a lonely, sad life but the music which she keeps hearing next door is waking her up and she doesn’t know why.

Join Luka and Jess as they discover life after heartache, how to forgive and how to live and love again.

*Entrapped is an 18+ Contemporary Romance with several graphic sex scenes*

Review:

When I saw this new book by a fellow book blogger, I knew I had to read it. I love supporting other bloggers. It’s a great book too!

I really liked the story. The narrative usually stayed in the present, but it jumped to the past a couple of times to show important moments in the characters’ lives. I really liked how the romance between Luka and Jess played out. They seemed like they were meant to be together.

One thing that wasn’t very realistic was the way that the characters described their feelings. They explained exactly what they were feeling, even when they were in the middle of an argument. Realistically, they wouldn’t have been able to articulate their feelings when they were upset or emotional.

I really enjoyed this book. If you like steamy romances, this is for you!

What to read next:

  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

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  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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About the Author:

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Claire lives in Bristol, UK and has taken her inspiration from the people and the places she has seen over the years. She always has a book close at hand and devours Fantasy and Romance like some devour chocolate! Claire loves a happily ever after followed by lots of bloody sword-fighting and dangerous dragons! But when writing her debut novel Entrapped drew on her childhood ambition to be a musician and one of the instruments she played and still loves as a centre-point.

Claire is also a passionate mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder and has done regular radio interviews and even some TV. She is also a huge heavy metal fan and can regularly be found banging her head at a concert or festival.

Website: https://brizzlelassbooks.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BrizzleLass

 

Thank you to Neverland Blog Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour.

 

Review: The Kiss Quotient

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Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

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 to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, 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…

Review:

I loved this steamy romance.

I loved the diversity of the characters. Michael was biracial, which played an important part in the scenes with his family. He introduced Stella to Vietnamese cuisine. Stella has Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism. However, it isn’t obvious from her outward appearance so many people don’t realize she has it. This was great representation of this condition.

There were some steamy love scenes, since Michael was an escort. I really liked how the romance was balanced out by the depth of their characters. Michael and Stella had faced hardships in their personal lives, so there was more to the story than just sex. There were some big love scenes at the beginning, but the story became more complex by the end.

I found the ending predictable, but I liked it. It ended the way I expected and hoped it would end, which was a good thing. Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: Dater’s Handbook

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Title: Dater’s Handbook
Author: Cara Lockwood
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Cassandra Barber has a history of picking bad boyfriends…and she’s ready to change all that. She turns to Dater’s Handbook, the bestselling self-help book by relationship expert Dr. Susie, to improve her ailing love life. Surely, Dr. Susie’s advice will help her choose between her two new suitors: the laid-back, fun-loving Robert, and the sophisticated, dependable George.

The two men take her on very different kinds of dates, often with hilarious results. Cass juggles the opinions of her mother and her sister as well as Dr. Susie’s rules and checklists. But is she forgetting how to listen to her own heart?

This funny, feel-good novel contains an exclusive Hallmark recipe for Lemon Elderflower Mini Bundt Cakes.

Review:

I’ll admit, I chose this book because it has Meghan Markle on the cover. This is the book based on her Hallmark movie. Having her on the cover, especially with a release date during the same week as her royal wedding, is a huge selling point for this book.

I liked this cute romance. Cass has always had bad luck with guys, so her sister insists that she read a love guide by Dr. Susie. Cass follows Dr. Susie’s instruction and ends up with a choice between two guys. Robert is sweet, funny, and romantic. George is also romantic but he is more serious. Cass has to decide which guy is right for her.

Sometimes, when a book is written about a movie or TV show, it can sound flat and robotic. One book that I read based on a TV show read like the closed captions on the show. But this one sounded like an original story. It is told from Cass’s perspective which helped the narrative. She’s quirky and sometimes makes mistakes, but that made the story funny and entertaining.

I really liked this story. I’ll definitely have to look for the movie!