Blog Tour Review: The Code for Love and Heartbreak

Title: The Code for Love and Heartbreak
Author: Jillian Cantor
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 6, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From bestselling author Jillian Cantor comes a smart, edgy update of Jane Austen’s beloved classic Emma.

Emma Woodhouse is a genius at math, but clueless about people. After all, people are unreliable. They let you down—just like Emma’s sister, Izzy, did this year, when she moved to California for college. But numbers…those you can count on. (No pun intended.)

Emma’s senior year is going to be all about numbers, and seeing how far they can take her. When she and George, her Coding Club co-president, are tasked with brainstorming a new project, The Code for Love is born—a matchmaking app that goes far beyond swiping, using algorithms to calculate compatibility. George disapproves of Emma’s idea, accusing her of meddling in people’s lives. But all the happy new couples at school are proof that the app works. At least at first.

Emma’s code is flawless. So why is it that perfectly matched couples start breaking up, the wrong people keep falling for each other and her own feelings defy any algorithm? Emma thought math could solve everything. But there’s nothing more complex—or unpredictable—than love.

Review:

Emma Woodhouse loves numbers and coding. She is co-president of the coding club at school with George Knightley. Emma comes up with the idea to create a dating app for their competition project. Though George doesn’t agree with that idea, they create the app and start matching up students in their school with their ideal partner using a special algorithm. Most of the matches seem to work out at first, until they discover some problems with the algorithm. Despite the successful matches, Emma is reluctant to make a match for herself, because her love code may not give her the result she wants.

Emma is one of my favourite classic books, so I was so excited to read this adaptation. This story works perfectly as a modern adaptation. The original Emma liked to match her friends and acquaintances in her town with who she thought would be a good romantic match for them. In this story, Emma is also a matchmaker, but using a modern matchmaking app, rather than just doing it herself. Both of the Emma characters are clueless to her own love interest who is right in front of her the whole time.

I loved the coding theme to this book. I don’t know much about coding, and I find it fascinating to read about. Emma embraces her nerdy side by working hard in her school work and activities, such as coding club and playing the piano. She was a hardworking and intelligent character, even if she didn’t always catch on to the social cues around her.

This is a great Emma retelling!

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

What to read next:

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin

About the author:

Jillian Cantor is the author of award-winning and bestselling novels for adults and teens, including In Another Time, The Hours Count, Margot, and The Lost Letter, which was a USA Today bestseller. She has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from the University of Arizona. Cantor lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

Have you read The Code for Love and Heartbreak? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Smash It!

Title: Smash It!
Author: Francina Simone
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 22, 2020
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Refreshingly authentic and bold… Don’t miss this smashing #ownvoices novel from Francina Simone! Filled with heart, humor and a heroine to root for, Smash It! is a perfect read for fans of Julie Murphy, Ibi Zoboi and Ashley Poston.

Olivia “Liv” James is done with letting her insecurities get the best of her. So she does what any self-respecting hot mess of a girl who wants to SMASH junior year does…

After Liv shows up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts–why, God, why?–she decides to set aside her wack AF ways. She makes a list–a F*ck-It list.

1. Be bold–do the thing that scares me.

2. Learn to take a compliment.

3. Stand out instead of back.

She kicks it off by trying out for the school musical, saying yes to a date and making new friends. Life is great when you stop punking yourself! However, with change comes a lot of missteps, and being bold means following her heart. So what happens when Liv’s heart is interested in three different guys–and two of them are her best friends? What is she supposed to do when she gets dumped by a guy she’s not even dating? How does one Smash It! after the humiliation of being friend-zoned?

In Liv’s own words, “F*ck it. What’s the worst that can happen?”

A lot, apparently.

#SMASHIT

Review:

Olivia James is ready to leave her insecurities behind. She’s inspired by Shonda Rhimes’s book “Year of Yes” to make a list of things she wants to do to smash her junior year of high school. She auditions for the school play, which is something she’s always wanted to do. She also falls into a “love square,” when she starts crushing on three different guys, two of whom are her best friends. Olivia tries to make this the best year ever, but with so many mixed feelings, someone is bound to get hurt.

There were a lot of feelings in this book. Olivia and her friends had to figure out their own feelings while also discovering the complicated relationships of the adults around them. They experienced a lot of “firsts” that go with teenage love. The love triangle Olivia had with her two best friends was very uncomfortable. They all seemed to have feelings for each other but didn’t speak up until it was too late. These were awkward situations, but they also felt authentic.

I read some reviews for this book when I started reading it, and there were many negative comments about the racism in the story. One character is half Israeli and half Palestinian. This was a controversial choice, and I’m not sure why the character had this background because it didn’t really have anything to do with the plot. I found that the characters made a lot of racist comments about the Black characters. Even though the characters and author are Black, these comments were offensive. The characters briefly pointed out that these comments were offensive, but I think there could have been a firmer stand against these racist comments.

I wish some of these sensitive topics were treated more delicately in this story. However, this was an authentically emotional teenage story.

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

What to read next:

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

About the author:

Francina Simone believes in one thing: authenticity. She writes YA stories full of humor and hard life lessons with sprinkles of truth that make us all feel understood. Her craft focuses on stories about girls throwing caution to the wind to discover exactly who they are and what it means to love. Francina is also known for her BookTube channel, where she discusses controversial topics in books.

Have you read Smash It? What did you think of it?

Review: The Wrong Mr. Darcy

Title: The Wrong Mr. Darcy
Author: Evelyn Lozada with Holly Lörincz
Genre: Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Rating: ★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In Evelyn Lozada and Holly Lorincz’s lightly inspired Pride and Prejudice romantic comedy, two unlikely people discover the error of judging by first impressions and the beauty of family, friendship and love. This book will entice you through the last page.

Hara Isari has big ambitions and they won’t be sidetracked by her mother’s insisting that she settle down soon. She dreams of leaving her small-town newspaper behind, as well as her felon father, and building a career as a sports writer, so when she is chosen to exclusively interview a basketball superstar, she jumps at the chance. It’s time to show the bigwigs what she’s truly made of. 

At the same time, she meets a rookie on the rise, Derek Darcy. Darcy is incredibly handsome, obnoxiously proud, and has a major chip on his shoulder. Hara can’t think of a man more arrogant and infuriating. However, fate keeps bringing them together—from locker rooms to elegant parties, to the storm of the century—and what begins as a clash might just be more complicated than Hara anticipated. When she begins to see Darcy in a new light, Hara is not quite sure if she should drop the ball or play the love game.

Review:

Hara Isari is an aspiring sports journalist. She gets the chance of a lifetime when she is chosen to interview the elusive Charles Butler, a rising basketball star. When she travels to Boston to meet Butler, she also meets his best friend, Derek Darcy. They instantly can’t stand each other, but they keep getting pushed together as Hara follows the team to research her article. Soon Hara realizes there is a dark secret between Butler and Darcy, and she won’t stop investigating until she figures it out.

This story followed the general “enemies to lovers” plot of Pride and Prejudice, with Hara and Darcy not liking each other but slowly starting to fall in love. However, the other subplots of Pride and Prejudice were changed. Hara’s father was in prison, not a steady role model like Mr. Bennet was to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. Butler was hiding some scandalous secrets, such as cheating on his girlfriend. I can’t imagine Bingley from Pride and Prejudice ever doing anything like that. I was disappointed that the original characters were changed so much in this adaptation.

There were some dramatic scenes at the end of the book. There are also some trigger warnings, such as suicide, abortion, murder, and assault. These events seemed to be just thrown into the story for a shock effect. These things didn’t add to the plot, and they didn’t make sense for a Pride and Prejudice adaptation.

This book didn’t work for me.

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Intercepted by Alexa Martin

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Have you read The Wrong Mr. Darcy? What did you think of it?

Review: The Switch [audiobook]

Title: The Switch
Author: Beth O’Leary
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: August 18, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some long-overdue rest. 

Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

So they decide to try a two-month swap.

Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects. 

But stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Will swapping lives help Eileen and Leena find themselves…and maybe even find true love? In Beth O’Leary’s The Switch, it’s never too late to change everything….or to find yourself.

Review:

When Leena is forced into a two month vacation from her job, she decides to switch places with her 79-year-old grandmother, Eileen. They’re both struggling to find happiness in their lives, so they agree that they need a change of pace. Leena takes over her grandmother’s place in the councils of the small town, and Eileen joins the online dating world in London. They both have to face their new gossipy friends and a different pace of life. Their lives change during those two months in ways that are irreversible.

I loved the audiobook version of this book. There were two different narrators, for the alternating chapters of Leena’s and Eileen’s perspectives. The two women had great voices that really suited the characters.

I liked that Eileen was an older character in this story. I’ve heard complaints that a lot of romantic comedies usually feature young adult characters, rather than characters who are middle aged or seniors. Eileen’s position as a senior actually made for some funny situations as she learned about online dating. Her elderly friends were also funny in the way they obsessed over little details in the small town. I’m glad to see this diversity of the age of characters in a contemporary romance.

This is a great story! I highly recommend the audiobook!

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

What to read next:

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Have you read The Switch? What did you think of it?

Review: Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women #1)

Title: Bringing Down the Duke
Author: Evie Dunmore
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke….

A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels, in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order. 

Review:

Annabelle Archer is excited to be moving to Oxford to study and support the women’s suffrage movement. She had to convince her cousin to let her go, but with some persuading, he allowed it. Annabelle’s work with the suffrage group leads her to Sebastian, the Duke of Montgomery. Annabelle is in charge of securing his support for the cause, but he opposes it. When Annabelle and Sebastian spend time together, they start to fall for each other, but it wouldn’t be proper for a Duke to be with a commoner, right?

This was a great enemies to lovers romance! There were some quite steamy scenes, especially considering it takes place in the nineteenth century. These characters didn’t let social conventions stand in their way of getting what they wanted.

Even though it was a romance, there were some serious issues in this story. Annabelle and her friends fought for women’s rights, which got them into trouble. The question of a woman’s place in marriage was also a prominent issue. Annabelle was offered an opportunity to be a mistress, because she wasn’t at the right social standing to be a wife to that man. They had to marry for business and social rules, not for love. These serious topics made the story seem more realistic, because there wasn’t always an idealistic outlook for the characters.

This is such a great Victorian romance!

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

What to read next:

A Rogue of One’s Own (A League of Extraordinary Women #2) by Evie Dunmore

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

Other books in the series:

  • A Rogue of One’s Own

Have you read Bringing Down the Duke? What did you think of it?

Blog Blitz Review: How to Catch a Sinful Marquess

Title: How to Catch a Sinful Marquess (The Disreputable Debutantes #3)
Author: Amy Rose Bennett
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A reserved debutante and a former soldier make an unlikely but fated match as they hasten for the Isle of Skye.

Orphaned heiress Olivia de Vere should have the world–or at least the men of the ton–at her feet. But when she’s thrown out of a young ladies’ academy, Olivia doubts she’ll ever find someone who will love her, rather than her bank account. To make matters worse, her dissolute cousin Felix is determined to marry her against her wishes. A virtual prisoner in her guardians’ London townhouse, Olivia can’t help but develop a tendre for her neighbor, a handsome Scottish marquess.

Battle-scarred in more ways than one, Hamish MacQueen, Lord Sleat, has braved many dangers in life. But nothing has quite prepared him for the shock of having a young child dumped on his doorstep, with a note claiming she’s his daughter. Just in the nick of time his pretty neighbor appears, offering to act as a nursemaid for the young girl on their journey to his estate in Scotland. He suspects she has her own reasons for wanting to flee the country…

The close traveling quarters leads to a fierce attraction between Olivia and Hamish that seems impossible to resist. But when ghosts from the past and monsters from the present threaten to tear them apart, will their unlikely love survive?

Review:

The orphaned heiress, Olivia de Vere, lives with her uncle and his family. Her cousin Felix is meant to marry her so her fortune can stay in the family, but when Felix threatens Olivia after she discovers that he is stealing from her inheritance, she realizes she must run away. Their neighbour, Hamish MacQueen, is a Scottish marquess. He finds a child left on his doorstep with a note claiming she is his child. Hamish needs a nursemaid to help look after the child on his journey to his castle in Scotland. Olivia shows up just as he’s looking for a nursemaid, which gives her the perfect excuse to run away from her family. Olivia and Hamish soon realize this new relationship could be an advantage to both of them, as long as they can get past the ghosts in their pasts.

Olivia was an avid reader. She carried Northanger Abbey, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and Frankenstein with her. She even referenced these books, when she had to find a fake name and decided on Morland, from Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey. I noticed some similarities to other novels, such as Outlander and Jane Eyre. Hamish was a tough Highlander like Jamie in Outlander. Olivia had to look after Hamish’s ward, just like Jane looked after Rochester’s ward in Jane Eyre. I loved seeing these references to popular stories.

This story was fast paced. There were a couple of steamy scenes, but there was a lot more to the story than just the romance. The characters were more concerned with their social standings and securing their reputations than finding romance. I liked how well the plot and characters were developed.

I really enjoyed this regency romance!

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

What to read next:

How to Catch a Wicked Viscount by Amy Rose Bennett

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

Other books in the series:

  • How to Catch a Wicked Viscount
  • How to Catch an Errant Earl

Have you read How to Catch a Sinful Marquess? What did you think of it?

Review: Intercepted

Title: Intercepted
Author: Alexa Martin
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there’s a new player on the horizon, and he’s in a league of his own…

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There’s just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team’s wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee’s return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin’s relationship to survive the season.

Review:

Marlee is dating one of the football stars of the Denver Mustangs. They’ve been together for ten years, but they aren’t married. The other wives of the football players reluctantly accept her into their club, even though she isn’t technically married to a player. One day, the team gets a new quarterback. Gavin Pope had a one night stand with Marlee years ago and she hasn’t been able to forget it. When she discovers her boyfriend has been cheating, it’s easy for Marlee to leave him and let Gavin come to her rescue. It’s not so easy for her to deal with the gossip that follows her since she left one football player for another. She has to put the gossip aside to focus on her new relationship.

This was such a fun story. I’m not athletic and I don’t play any sports but I really enjoyed this story. There was a reality show years ago called Hockey Wives, that followed the wives of Hockey players during their clubs and charity work. The football wives in this story reminded me of those women. It’s fun to see how they have their own groups that go alongside their husbands’ jobs. However, there was also a lot of gossip and rumors that started in this group of women.

I became so attached to these characters. I loved Marlee and I felt so sympathetic towards her when she had her heartbroken. I was rooting for her and Gavin the whole time. I loved the ending of the story! I’m excited to see this series continue, and to see what happens with the characters in the next book.

What to read next:

Fumbled (Playbook #2) by Alexa Martin

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert

Other books in the series:

  • Fumbled
  • Blitzed
  • Snapped

Have you read Intercepted? What did you think of it?

Review: The Love Square

Title: The Love Square
Author: Laura Jane Williams
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Avon
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

She’s single. But it can still be complicated…

Penny Bridge has always been unlucky in love.

So she can’t believe it when she meets a remarkable new man.

Followed by another.

And then another

And all of them want to date her.

Penny has to choose between three. But are any of them The One?

The bestselling author of Our Stop will have you laughing, crying and cheering Penny on in this funny and feel-good exploration of hope, romance and the trust it takes to finally fall in love. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane’s If I Never Met You and Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare.

Review:

Penny is a café owner who is discouraged by the lack of romance in her life. When Francesco walks into her café one day, she thinks that her luck is about to change. They have a whirlwind romance that seems too good to be true. Penny is suddenly called away from London, to return to her home town in Derbyshire to run her uncle’s restaurant. Francesco makes it easy for her to leave, but she can’t help thinking about him while she starts two new romances in Derbyshire. Penny strings all three men along, which can only end in heartbreak.

This story started out as a slow burn. Penny and Francesco’s romance was quite slow, and took up almost the first half of the book. I was wondering when the “love square” was going to come in, because it was just the two of them for so long. I think some of the details of that romance could have been condensed to get to the main point of the plot sooner, which was Penny’s love square with three men.

Penny was a frustrating character. At the beginning, a man told her that he didn’t want to be with her because she was too confident. However, by the end, she was letting certain men put her down to the point that she thought there was something seriously wrong with her. The men made her feel bad for doing the same things that they did to her. It was frustrating to see her being insulted and lacking the confidence that she was told she had the beginning of the story.

The cover didn’t match the story. The three men who are pictured on the cover don’t match the ones in the story. On the cover, one man has a dog and another has a bike, even though bicycles were never mentioned and a dog barked in one scene. These men didn’t match the chef, wine merchant, and concert tour manager in the story.

This slow burn romance didn’t work for me.

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

What to read next:

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

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

Review: Waiting for Tom Hanks (Waiting for Tom Hanks #1)

Title: Waiting for Tom Hanks (Waiting for Tom Hanks #1)
Author: Kerry Winfrey
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.

When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days…can he?

Review:

Annie Cassidy is a young screenwriter who is obsessed with rom-coms. She wants to live her own romantic comedy and find her Tom Hanks, the man who is meant to be with her. Annie gets a job on a movie set, which stars the hunk Drew Danforth. He definitely isn’t her Tom Hanks, but Annie soon finds herself living her own rom-com with Drew.

This is an adorable romantic comedy. I loved the references to different romantic movies. Those movies had a special meaning to Annie because she used to watch them with her mom before she died when Annie was a teenager. Annie referenced these movies, though she was oblivious to the fact that she was also living in her own rom-com with Drew.

This story was quite fast paced. It wasn’t too steamy, like some other contemporary romances. It had the atmosphere of a 90s rom-com: sweet, quirky, and romantic.

I really enjoyed this story! I’m excited to read the sequel, Not Like the Movies, which is about Annie’s best friend Chloe.

What to read next:

Not Like the Movies (Waiting for Tom Hanks #2) by Kerry Winfrey

Well Met (Well Met #1) by Jen DeLuca

Other books in the series:

  • Not Like the Movies

Have you read Waiting for Tom Hanks? What did you think of it?

Review: No Judgments (Little Bridge Island #1)

Title: No Judgments (Little Bridge Island #1)
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina “Bree” Beckham’s love life…

When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too. 

Review:

Bree Beckham moved to Little Bridge Island in the Florida Keys after a bad break up and some startling discoveries about her family. A hurricane is due to arrive on the island, which is causing many residents to evacuate, but Bree thinks she can wait it out. She goes to her boss’s home, where an extended family lives in a mansion high above sea level and safe from the storm. The storm is much worse than expected, leading to power outages and destroying the bridge that connects the island to the mainland. Bree volunteers to help look after the pets that were left behind, but she needs the help of Drew Hartwell, who has the reputation of being the island’s sexy heartbreaker.

I haven’t read many books about hurricanes, and I have never experienced one. It seems like a scary experience, that can bring unexpected destruction. The hurricane in this story added some extra tension that isn’t usually seen in a romance novel. Bree is naive in thinking the storm won’t affect her very much, since it ends up taking out the power and destroying the only way on and off the island. This storm made the stakes much higher for the characters, but it also threw Bree and Drew together in a way that wouldn’t be possible without it.

I liked how the title “no judgments” was woven through the story. People made many misguided judgments throughout the story. Drew was judged as staying with many different women on the island because his truck was parked at various houses every night. Bree kept saying that the pet owners who left their pets behind when they evacuated shouldn’t be judged for their decision. Bree’s mother was also a famous judge. Despite these reminders not to judge others, characters still made judgments that weren’t necessary.

There are a couple of content warnings for this story. There was a brief scene of animal abuse and a sexual assault was described. These warnings can often make me dislike a book, but these were mild scenes that weren’t offensive. These scenes were short and resolved quickly.

I really enjoyed this romance!

What to read next:

Bridal Boot Camp (Little Bridge Island #0.5) by Meg Cabot

Well Met (Well Met #1) by Jen DeLuca

Other books in the series:

  • Bridal Boot Camp
  • No Offense

Have you read No Judgments? What did you think of it?