Review: The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2)

Title: The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2)
Author: Helen Hoang
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Indigo Spring Preview
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 7, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love. 

Review:

This was another great book from Helen Hoang.

Esme’s story was heartbreaking at the beginning. She accepted a request to journey to America and get a chance to marry a man she didn’t know. She didn’t really want to, but she had to try so that she would have a chance to make a better life for her daughter.

A detail I really liked was that when the narrative alternated to Esme’s side of the story, there were accents on the names. She pronounced everyone’s names the way they were said in Vietnamese, which was physically on the page with the different accents. I could tell that she was saying the names differently, even though I couldn’t hear her speaking.

Even though this book is in the same series as The Kiss Quotient, it can be read as a stand-alone book. Some characters from that book were mentioned, but this was a separate story.

I enjoyed this story.

Thank you Chapters Indigo for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

Other Books in the Series:

Have you read The Bride Test? What did you think of it?

Review: Finding Christmas

Title: Finding Christmas
Author: Karen Schaler
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the writer of the Netflix sensation, A Christmas Prince,and Christmas Camp, the Hallmark movie and novel, comes a heartwarming new Christmas story, Finding Christmas, showing how sometimes the detour in your journey is the path to true love.

With all the glittering decorations, twinkling lights, snow angels, gingerbread men and mistletoe, Christmas is Emmie’s first love.

This year, she can’t wait to share her favorite Christmas traditions with her boyfriend, Grant. She thinks he’s “the one.” So when Grant’s hectic work schedule has him more “Bah Humbug” than “Ho, Ho, Ho,” Emmie creates a holiday-themed scavenger hunt to help him find his Christmas spirit. At the end of the journey, Grant will arrive at the charming town of Christmas Point where she’s planned a romantic weekend filled with holiday activities.

But Emmie’s plan backfires when a mix-up has the wrong guy following her clues! Sam, a best-selling mystery writer, thinks Emmie’s clever Christmas riddles are from his agent, who is trying to help him get over his epic writer’s block.

When he arrives at Christmas Point and finds the stunned Emmie, he immediately feels she’s someone special, but she can’t see beyond the fact that the wrong guy has shown up. Inspired by the small, charming town, Sam decides to stay and convinces Emmie to join him in a little holiday fun while she waits for Grant.

When Grant finally shows up, Emmie is disappointed to discover he’s not enjoying the activities she planned and can’t help wonder if he’s really the one for her. She also can’t get Sam out of her mind and all the great times they had together. With Christmas coming fast, Emmie will need the magic of the season to help steer her in the direction of true love…

Review:

This is a perfect holiday romance.

I loved the premise for the book. Emmie created a Christmas scavenger hunt for her boyfriend, which would lead him to their Christmas vacation, but the clues were intercepted by someone else. She ends up spending time with Sam, instead of her workaholic boyfriend.

Even though the story was predictable, it was a comforting read. The characters were stereotypical, with the workaholic boyfriend who doesn’t have time to spend with his girlfriend and the fun new guy who’s willing to try anything new. However, the story was still a lot of fun.

I loved this book! It’s perfect for this Christmas!

What to read next:

Christmas Camp (Christmas Camp #1) by Karen Schaler

Have you read Finding Christmas? What did you think of it?

Review: Well Met (Well Met #1)

Title: Well Met (Well Met #1)
Author: Jen DeLuca
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek. 

Review:

This was a super fun romantic comedy!

The Renaissance Faire was a great setting for this novel. It was an isolated event in the town where the characters performed for the whole summer. It was as if the characters travelled back in time to the 1600s, while staying in modern times. It made for some fun situations, such as a spontaneous handfasting ceremony and jousting tournaments.

I loved all the literary references in this book. Emily and Simon discussed Shakespeare a lot, including the theory that multiple different people actually wrote his plays, rather than one person. This was relevant to the plot, since the Renaissance Faire was set during Shakespeare’s lifetime.

I really enjoyed this story! I’m excited to see what happens in the sequel next year.

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

The Wedding Date (The Wedding Date #1) by Jasmine Guillory

Have you read Well Met? What did you think of it?

Review: Twice in a Blue Moon

Title: Twice in a Blue Moon
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 22, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

Review:

This was an adorable romance!

There was loads of tension in this story. The romance between Tate and Sam started fast and strong. It was quite a whirlwind on their vacation. However, it ground to a halt once Sam exposed Tate’s secret. I had a hard time figuring out why Sam would do it, because he seemed like a good guy. This tension kept me reading.

I found some of the story predictable, but in a comforting way. I guessed that Sam would betray Tate’s secrets, because he was the first person she had told them to. Once the story jumped to the future, I suspected that Sam would come back into her life with a good reason for betraying her years ago. He was a frustrating character because he betrayed Tate, but I couldn’t help rooting for them to get together.

I loved this story!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Have you read Twice in a Blue Moon? What did you think of it?

Review: Met Her Match

Title: Met Her Match (Summer Hill #2)
Author: Jude Deveraux
Genre: Romance
Publisher: MIRA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In small towns, no one lets the facts get in the way of juicy gossip…

Terri Rayburn is a girl with a reputation. She doesn’t deserve it, but having grown up on the outskirts of Summer Hill, Virginia, she knows how small towns work. The only way to deal with vicious gossip is to ignore it. So she keeps to herself as she runs the summer resort on Lake Kissel.

When she returns home from a short trip to find a handsome stranger living in her house, she smells a rat. Someone is trying to fix her up, and she has to admit that Nate Taggert is just her type. However, Nate is engaged to the daughter of the mayor and strictly off-limits.

Nate and Terri form an unlikely friendship while he throws himself into life at the lake. As Nate starts to hear rumors about Terri he’s confused. Knowing how smart, beautiful and strong she is, he’s determined to discover the source of the gossip. Terri doesn’t want to revisit the past, but Nate won’t stop until he discovers the truth—even if the truth might be more than either of them can handle.

Set in the beloved fictional town of Summer Hill, Virginia, Met Her Match examines the tensions between the wealthy townspeople, the summer vacationers and the working-class people who keep the town and resort running. Told with humor and heart, Met Her Match is the perfect summer escape.

Review:

This story was a mix of a romance and mystery. It began with hints of romance, with Nate arriving in town. He meets Terri and there is lots of attraction between them. However, Nate is engaged to the mayor’s daughter. Close to the end of the story, once the relationship problems were solved, it turned into a murder mystery. A decades old case was brought up. It was an unusual change to the story. It would have made more sense if the mysterious elements were brought up earlier in the story.

There were so many characters that I had trouble keeping track of them. I thought I was missing out because I didn’t read the first book in the series. The characters often spoke about things that had happened in the past, but I don’t know if they happened in the first book or not. By the end of the story it was getting difficult to follow because I couldn’t remember all of the characters.

This story didn’t work with me, but if you like romances with some mystery, you will probably like it.

Thank you MIRA for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Girl from Summer Hill (Summer Hill #1) by Jude Deveraux

Have you read Met Her Match? What did you think of it?

Review: The Love Solution

Title: The Love Solution
Author: Ashley Croft
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 15, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s all in the chemistry…

Sisters Sarah and Molly are close, but they couldn’t be more different. Sarah runs a craft business and is obsessed with all things shiny and glam, whilst Molly is much more at home in her white coat and goggles, working in a science lab.

When Molly is put onto a new assignment, she’s over the moon. It’s a high-profile, top secret project – and she has a handsome new boss to ogle at when she’s not bending over a petri dish…

But when Sarah finds herself on the painful end of a disastrous break-up, no amount of Ben & Jerry’s or trashy rom-coms can cheer her up. She wants to take a more drastic approach to dealing with her heartbreak, and one that only her sister – and perhaps a sprinkle of science – can help with . . .

Will Sarah find love where she least expects it, or is it really all in the chemistry?

Review:

This was a fun romantic comedy!

Though many parts of this book were funny, they often had a serious spin on it. Sarah discovered her boyfriend cheating on her, at the same time that she found out she was pregnant. Molly has a crush on her supervisor at work, but then she jeopardized her job. These serious parts made the story tense at times.

The premise of the story is quite funny. Molly and her supervisor Ewan have come up with a “love bug” which is a virus that can make two people fall in love. This seems like the perfect solution to Sarah’s problems, until it all blows up in their faces. I don’t know much about science, so I’m not sure how realistic this “bug” is, but it was fun for the story.

I really enjoyed this romance!

Thank you Avon Books UK for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Have you read The Love Solution? What did you think of it?

Review: Love at First Like

Title: Love at First Like
Author: Hannah Orenstein
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Eliza Roth and her sister Sophie co-own a jewelry shop in Brooklyn. One night, after learning of an ex’s engagement, Eliza accidentally posts a photo of herself wearing a diamond ring on that finger to her Instagram account beloved by 100,000 followers. Sales skyrocket, press rolls in, and Eliza learns that her personal life is good for business. So she has a choice: continue the ruse or clear up the misunderstanding. With mounting financial pressure, Eliza sets off to find a fake fiancé.

Fellow entrepreneur Blake seems like the perfect match on paper. And in real life he shows promise, too. He would be perfect, if only Eliza didn’t feel also drawn to someone else. But Blake doesn’t know Eliza is “engaged”; Sophie asks Eliza for an impossible sum of money; and Eliza’s lies start to spiral out of control. She can either stay engaged online or fall in love in real life.

Review:

This was a hilarious romantic comedy!

Eliza accidentally posted a photo of herself wearing an engagement ring from her jewelry store. However, it boosts her sales for their struggling business, so she wants to continue having a pretend engagement online. She keeps getting deeper into her lie when she’s offered a free wedding and accepts! Then, she has to find a fiancé with only five months to spare.

This story is a little extreme, but I can imagine this happening in real life. Social media is addicting, especially when you can see the numbers increasing your business following. Eliza got a little carried away by accepting a wedding without having a groom because she was blinded by her digital numbers. This craving for followers and likes was so relatable.

I highly recommend this new romance!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Playing with Matches by Hannah Orenstein

Have you read Love at First Like? What did you think of it?