Review: The Merchant and the Rogue (The Dread Penny Society #3)

Title: The Merchant and the Rogue (The Dread Penny Society #3)
Author: Sarah M. Eden
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

London, 1865

Vera Sorokina loves reading the Penny Dreadfuls and immersing herself in tales of adventure, mystery, and romance. Her own days are filled with the often mundane work of running the book and print shop she owns with her father. The shop offers her freedom and an income, and while she is grateful for the stability it brings to her life, she often feels lonely.

Brogan Donnelly was born and raised in Ireland, but has lived in London for several years, where he’s built a career as a penny dreadful writer. He has dedicated himself to the plight of the poor with the help of his sister. But with no one to share his life with, he fears London will never truly feel like home.

Brogan and Vera’s paths cross, and the attraction is both immediate and ill-advised. Vera knows from past experience that writers are never to be trusted, and Brogan has reason to suspect not everything at Vera’s print shop is aboveboard. When a growing criminal enterprise begins targeting their area of London, Brogan and Vera must work together to protect the community they’ve both grown to love. But that means they’ll need to learn to trust each other with dangerous secrets that have followed both of them from their home countries.

Review:

London, 1865: Vera Sorokina runs a print shop with her father. Though her father doesn’t like writers, she sells and reads the Penny Dreadful stories. Brogan Donnelly is a member of the secret Dread Penny Society, a group of writers who write Penny Dreadful stories and help those who need saving. Brogan had been questioning his membership in the group because he felt guilty about lying to his sister about it. The Dreadmaster gives Brogan permission to leave the group, so that he is no longer lying to his sister, and go investigate what is really going on at Vera’s print shop. Brogan works there under a pseudonym and must help Vera to figure out who is threatening her community.

This is another fun story in the Dread Penny series. Vera and Brogan were both immigrants with mysterious backgrounds. They both kept secrets, and they didn’t necessarily know everything that had happened in their pasts that led them both to London. Though they were from different cultures, Russian and Irish, their circumstances as immigrants to London drew them together.

One of my favourite parts of these books is that there are penny dreadful stories included throughout the novel. There are always two stories, one written by Mr. King, one of the best penny dreadful authors, and another by one of the protagonists. These stories relate to the main romance plot, but they’re also very entertaining in themselves. I really enjoy reading these stories within the novel.

The Merchant and the Rogue is a great Victorian novel. I hope there will be more in the series!

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

What to read next:

The Matchmaker’s Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Merchant and the Rogue? What did you think of it?

Review: The Bennet Women

Title: The Bennet Women
Author: Eden Appiah-Kubi
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBT
Publisher: Montlake
Source: Thomas Allen and Son (book distributor)
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 1, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this delightfully modern spin on Pride and Prejudice, love is a goal, marriage is a distant option, and self-discovery is a sure thing.

Welcome to Bennet House, the only all-women’s dorm at prestigious Longbourn University, home to three close friends who are about to have an eventful year. EJ is an ambitious Black engineering student. Her best friend, Jamie, is a newly out trans woman studying French and theater. Tessa is a Filipina astronomy major with guy trouble. For them, Bennet House is more than a residence—it’s an oasis of feminism, femininity, and enlightenment. But as great as Longbourn is for academics, EJ knows it can be a wretched place to find love.

Yet the fall season is young and brimming with surprising possibilities. Jamie’s prospect is Lee Gregory, son of a Hollywood producer and a gentleman so charming he practically sparkles. That leaves EJ with Lee’s arrogant best friend, Will. For Jamie’s sake, EJ must put up with the disagreeable, distressingly handsome, not quite famous TV actor for as long as she can.

What of it? EJ has her eyes on a bigger prize, anyway: launching a spectacular engineering career in the “real world” she’s been hearing so much about. But what happens when all their lives become entwined in ways no one could have predicted—and EJ finds herself drawn to a man who’s not exactly a perfect fit for the future she has planned?

Review:

Bennet House is a women’s dorm at Longbourn University in New England. EJ is a resident advisor and an engineering student. Jamie is a trans woman, who is studying theater and French, and is best friends with EJ. Tessa is a Filipina astronomy major with a terrible boyfriend named Collin. At the start of the fall semester, EJ starts hearing whispers about a new student, Lee Gregory. He’s a charming guy who immediately falls for Jamie. EJ ends up hanging out with Jamie, Lee, and his best friend Will. Will is an actor who’s trying to hide out after a very public breakup. EJ has big plans for her post-graduate future, but she’s attracted to Will, someone who doesn’t seem to fit into her plans.

This is the most diverse story I’ve ever read. Each of the characters were either BIPOC or queer. Though there was this diverse representation, their diversity didn’t define the characters. They all went through relatable experiences throughout their university year. These diverse characters also fit in perfectly with the regency story of Pride and Prejudice.

I love retellings of Pride and Prejudice. I’ve read so many though, that it’s difficult to find a unique spin on the classic. This was a great, original take on the story. The Bennet women weren’t related, but they had a close bond from living together in their dorm. Though the characters didn’t face the same challenges as the ones in the original story (such as needing to find a rich husband to secure their future), they had more modern challenges (such as deciding on what post graduate programs to take). I loved this modernization of the story.

The Bennet Women is a great retelling of Pride and Prejudice!

Thank you Thomas Allen and Son for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Have you read The Bennet Women? What did you think of it?

Review: From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1)

Title: From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Blue Box Press
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: March 30, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A Maiden…

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…

The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.

Review:

Poppy was chosen at birth to be the Maiden, never to be looked at or spoken to, waiting for her Ascension when she would be blessed by the gods. The kingdom is protecting her, by keeping her isolated and abused. However, they don’t expect Poppy to fight back. When one of her personal guards is killed in front of her, Poppy is assigned a brand new guard named Hawke. Poppy and Hawke have already had a secret romantic encounter, which would ruin Poppy if anyone found out about her rebellion. Poppy has to deal with all of these issues while also opening up to new love.

I’ve seen this book everywhere for the last year, and I knew I would love it before I read it. This story didn’t disappoint. It was incredibly detailed, but didn’t feel tedious. It followed every moment of these important days of Poppy’s life.

I felt like there was going to be a twist at the end, but it still shocked me. It was actually similar to a twist that I have in the book I’m currently writing, so I just loved it. This story was worth all the hype!

From Blood and Ash is an exciting romantic fantasy!

What to read next:

Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Other books in the series:

  • A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
  • The Crown of Gilded Bones

Have you read From Blood and Ash? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: At Summer’s End

Title: At Summer’s End
Author: Courtney Ellis
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 10, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When an ambitious female artist accepts an unexpected commission at a powerful earl’s country estate in 1920s England, she finds his war-torn family crumbling under the weight of long-kept secrets. From debut author Courtney Ellis comes a captivating novel about finding the courage to heal after the ravages of war.

Alberta Preston accepts the commission of a lifetime when she receives an invitation from the Earl of Wakeford to spend a summer painting at His Lordship’s country home, Castle Braemore. Bertie imagines her residence at the prodigious estate will finally enable her to embark on a professional career and prove her worth as an artist, regardless of her gender.

Upon her arrival, however, Bertie finds the opulent Braemore and its inhabitants diminished by the Great War. The earl has been living in isolation since returning from the trenches, locked away in his rooms and hiding battle scars behind a prosthetic mask. While his younger siblings eagerly welcome Bertie into their world, she soon sees chips in that world’s gilded facade. As she and the earl develop an unexpected bond, Bertie becomes deeply entangled in the pain and secrets she discovers hidden within Castle Braemore and the hearts of its residents.

Threaded with hope, love, and loss, At Summer’s End delivers a portrait of a noble family–and a world–changed forever by the war to end all wars.

Review:

Alberta Preston is a young woman who dreams of being a painter. When Bertie is invited to the Earl of Wakeford’s home of Castle Braemore to paint the estate, she defies her parents’ orders and leaves to make her mark in art. However, when she arrives, the job isn’t what she expected. The Earl, Julian, lives locked in his bedroom, having come back from the Great War injured. Bertie spends time with the Julian’s younger siblings, but she can’t help but try to crack the isolated earl. As they spend more time together, Bertie has to figure out the secrets hidden in the estate.

When I saw that this book was described as Downton Abbey meets Beauty and the Beast, I knew I had to read it. I don’t usually read books set in the 1920s, but I really enjoyed this one. The time setting alternated between the present with Bertie at Castle Braemore and scenes from the years leading up to the war that explain what Julian’s life was like before the war. This was a great way to show the events that led up to Bertie arriving.

There were many different types of trauma that affected Julian and his siblings. Julian had been physically injured in the war, which affected his mental health. His older sister was a widow with two young children. His younger brother didn’t conform to societal expectations, so he had to live his life secretly on the estate. His youngest sister no longer had a relationship with Julian, despite being close before he left for the war. All of these siblings had deep secrets that drew them away from high society and united them in a close bond.

At Summer’s End is a beautiful story about life after war.

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

What to read next:

Miss Lattimore’s Letter by Suzanne Allain

The Heiress Gets A Duke by Harper St. George

Have you read At Summer’s End? What did you think of it?

Review: Miss Lattimore’s Letter

Title: Miss Lattimore’s Letter
Author: Suzanne Allain
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 10, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The woman who never made a match of her own is making matches for everyone else in this hilarious comedy of manners from the author of Mr. Malcolm’s List.

Sophronia Lattimore had her romantic dreams destroyed years ago and is resigned to her role as chaperone for her cousin. Still, she cannot sit idly by when she becomes aware that a gentleman is about to propose to the wrong woman. She sends him an anonymous letter that is soon the talk of the town, particularly when her advice proves to be correct. Her identity is discovered and Sophie, formerly a wallflower, becomes sought after for her “expert” matchmaking skills. 

One person who seeks her out is the eligible and attractive Sir Edmund Winslow. As Sophie assists Sir Edmund in his pursuit of a wife, she wishes she could recommend herself as his bride. However, she vows to remain professional and uninvolved while aiding him in his search (especially since the gentleman surely does not return her affections).

Three unexpected arrivals soon show up at Sophie’s door—the man who once broke her heart, a newlywed who is dissatisfied with the match Sophie made for her, and the man madly in love with Sophie’s cousin—all wanting her attention. But when her onetime beau and Sir Edmund both appear to be interested in her, Sophie can’t figure out if she’s headed for another broken heart­­ or for the altar. How can she be expected to help other people sort out their romantic lives when her own is such a disaster?

Review:

Sophie Lattimore is a twenty-eight-year-old spinster who lives with her aunt and cousin. Her cousin, Cecilia, is having her first season out, and Sophie is meant to be her chaperone. When Sophie overhears a man talking about proposing to the wrong woman, she sends a letter to him so that he can marry the right woman. Sophie becomes the talk of the town when everyone hears about her successful matchmaking skills, more people want her help. Sir Edmund is a charming man who wants Sophie to assist him in finding a match, and Sophie begins to fall for him. Then, the man who was the love of Sophie’s life, before he married someone else, shows up, confusing her feelings. One of the women who was the subject of Sophie’s matchmaking also shows up, disappointed in her marriage. On top of that, Sophie has to help her cousin find an appropriate match, but now she doubts her matchmaking skills. With all of these conflicting romantic relationships, Sophie has to wonder if love is for her or if she should stay a spinster forever.

This regency romance story showed a different side of the typical romance. Most stories show a couple getting together and getting married at the end, but not what comes after. Sophie hadn’t gotten married at the end of her coming out season, so she was considered a failure and a spinster who was now too old to get married. She had to deal with the fallout from the marriages that she had arranged but weren’t working out well. This story shows what could go wrong in a regency romance.

I would have loved to see more action in the story. There was a lot of describing things that happened, rather than showing them happen in real time. Some conversations were condensed, when I would have liked to see them happen on the page. I really enjoyed the story, and would have liked even more of it.

Miss Lattimore’s Letter is a fun regency romance.

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

What to read next:

Mr. Malcolm’s List by Suzanne Allain

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

Have you read Miss Lattimore’s Letter? What did you think of it?

Review: The Gentleman and the Thief

Title: The Gentleman and the Thief (The Dread Penny Society #2)
Author: Sarah M. Eden
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 3, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A gentleman scribes penny dreadful novels by night and falls in love with a woman who is a music teacher by day—and a thief at night. 

LONDON 1865

From the moment Hollis Darby meets Ana Newport, he’s smitten. Even though he’s from a wealthy, established family and she isn’t, he wishes he could have a life with her by his side. But Hollis has a secret: the deep coffers that have kept his family afloat for generations are bare, so he supports himself by writing penny dreadfuls under a pseudonym. If not for the income from his novels, he would be broke.

Ana Newport also has a secret. Though she once had a place in society thanks to her father’s successful business, bankruptcy and scandal reduced his fortune to nothing more than a crumbling town house. So Ana teaches music during the day, and at night she assumes the identity of the “Phantom Fox.” She breaks into the homes of the wealthy to reclaim trinkets and treasures she feels were unjustly stolen from her family when they were struggling.

When Hollis’s brother needs to hire a music tutor for his daughter, Hollis recommends Ana, giving him a chance to spend time with her. Ana needs the income and is eager for the opportunity to get to know the enigmatic gentleman. What neither of them expects is how difficult it will be to keep their respective secrets from each other.

When a spree of robberies rocks the city, Ana and Hollis join forces to solve the crimes, discovering that working together deepens the affection between them. After all, who better to save the day than a gentleman and a thief?

Review:

Hollis Darby is a gentleman with the secret job of writing penny dreadful books under a pseudonym. He comes from a wealthy family, who no longer has any money, so he must support himself with his books. Hollis was attracted to Ana Newport, a music teacher, as soon as they met. Ana is also from a wealthy family, but they lost their money and belongings when her father went bankrupt. Ana has a secret: she steals back the belongings that the elite families took from her family when they were struggling. These small robberies begin to draw attention in the city, earning the thief the name, “Phantom Fox.” Hollis and his friends at the Dread Penny Society investigate the robberies, though he isn’t prepared for what he discovers.

Hollis and Ana appear to be in different levels of society but they have similar backgrounds. Ana is working class and Hollis is upper class. However, both of their parents made mistakes that lost their family money. The difference is that Hollis kept up the appearance of wealth, whereas Ana had to work to survive.

This story also includes short penny dreadful stories, told in chapters throughout the book. These are stories that are written by characters under their pseudonyms. I love that these stories also relate to the plot and what is happening in the main narrative. These short stories are a great addition to this Victorian novel.

The Gentleman and the Thief is a fun historical romance!

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

What to read next:

The Heiress Gets a Duke by Harper St. George

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Gentleman and the Thief? What did you think of it?

Review: Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms

Title: Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms
Author: Crystal Frasier, Val Wise (illustrator)
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Romance, LGBTQ
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 10, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A sweet, queer teen romance perfect for fans of Fence and Check, Please!

Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications. Her former friend BeeBee is a people-pleaser—a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition. Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them. 

Review:

Annie is an antisocial lesbian senior who has to join a team to look good on her college applications. She decides to try out for the cheer squad, where her former best friend, and trans girl, Bebe is the captain. Bebe has to keep her grades up and do well in activities so her parents continue to support her transition. Both Annie and Bebe have to deal with social pressures to follow the path society thinks they should be on.

I joined the cheerleading team at my school in my final year, like Annie did. This story explained the positions of the sport, so it gives a good overview of what it involves. This team appeared to be supportive of Bebe’s transition because they always put her in the spotlight. However, Bebe didn’t want to be in the spotlight, so they ended up putting a lot of pressure on her and making her stand out in ways that made her uncomfortable. Bebe had to figure out how to share her feelings so she was treated fairly on the team.

Bebe’s identity as a trans girl was an important part of the story. Some people in her life, such as her parents, thought they were protecting her by treating her differently. Her parents gave her strict rules to follow because they thought she would be targeted for being trans. There was also a boy at school who would harass her because he thought she wanted male attention. The most important thing is to treat everyone in ways that make them comfortable. If you don’t know what would make them most comfortable, like Annie wasn’t sure about how Bebe wanted to be treated, the best thing to do is to ask them.

Cheer Up is a fun queer cheerleader graphic novel!

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

What to read next:

She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen

Heartstopper, Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman

Have you read Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms? What did you think of it?

Review: Some Girls Do

Title: Some Girls Do
Author: Jennifer Dugan
Genre: Young Adult, LGBTQ, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 18, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this YA contemporary queer romance from the author of Hot Dog Girl , an openly gay track star falls for a closeted, bisexual teen beauty queen with a penchant for fixing up old cars. 

Morgan, an elite track athlete, is forced to transfer high schools late in her senior year after it turns out being queer is against her private Catholic school’s code of conduct. There, she meets Ruby, who has two hobbies: tinkering with her baby blue 1970 Ford Torino and competing in local beauty pageants, the latter to live out the dreams of her overbearing mother. The two are drawn to each other and can’t deny their growing feelings. But while Morgan–out and proud, and determined to have a fresh start–doesn’t want to have to keep their budding relationship a secret, Ruby isn’t ready to come out yet. With each girl on a different path toward living her truth, can they go the distance together?

Review:

Morgan is a track star who had to transfer from her Catholic private school to a public high school after coming out as gay. Being queer was against her school’s code of conduct, so Morgan chose to leave the school so she could be herself. On her first day at the new school, Morgan meets Ruby, a beauty pageant competitor who likes to tinker with cars. Morgan and Ruby are instantly attracted to each other, but Ruby isn’t out of the closet, so she keeps her mysterious feelings for Morgan a secret. As Morgan becomes more comfortable with her queer identity, Ruby gets more scared to show her true self. Both girls have to decide how much they’re willing to risk for their relationship.

This was such a sweet romance. Though Morgan and Ruby had lots of differences, I was rooting for them to be together. They made up for each other’s weaknesses, so they made a really good couple.

This story dealt with some serious issues, such as homophobia, particularly in schools. Some characters mentioned hiding their queer identity until they were finished high school, so they didn’t draw attention to themselves. That’s so heartbreaking, to think that some kids don’t feel comfortable enough in their own school. This was a huge problem at Morgan’s previous school, where she was harassed for being queer to the point where she had to leave the school and jeopardize her future as a track star. Schools need to be a safe place for all students, regardless of their identities.

Some Girls Do is a beautiful queer YA romance!

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

What to read next:

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

Have you read Some Girls Do? What did you think of it?

Review: If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be #1)

Title: If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be #1)
Author: Julie Murphy
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America’s favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion.

Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere. What she doesn’t expect? That she may just find inspiration-and love-in the process. Ultimately, Cindy learns that if the shoe doesn’t fit, maybe it’s time to design your own.

Review:

After graduation from Parsons School of Design, shoe designer Cindy Woods moves back home to California with her stepmother, stepsister, and half siblings. Her stepmother is a producer on a dating reality show, Before Midnight, and they have a spot to fill at the last minute. Cindy agrees to be on the show to get some recognition for her shoe designs. Cindy is the first plus-size woman to be a contestant on the show, so she’s nervous about how she will be perceived, but she doesn’t expect to become a social media star. The problem is that Cindy starts to fall for Henry, the Prince Charming of the show. Cindy has to figure out if she’ll stick around waiting for love or if she will follow her dream in fashion.

I’ve read many Cinderella retellings, and this one had something that I’ve never encountered before. Cindy was friends with her stepmother and stepsisters. She was very close with her stepsisters, and they all supported her in her dream of being a shoe designer. It was so nice to see the women all get along. They don’t have to be enemies just because the original story depicts them as hating each other. There were some other antagonists in the story, but Cindy got along well with her family.

I loved the plus-size representation in this story. Cindy would often point out how little diversity there is in plus-size fashion. At least in shoe design, there is more of a variety in sizes than in clothing. There was one point where someone said that studies show that plus-size women don’t buy luxury brands. However, if the bigger sizes aren’t available in luxury brands and designers, they don’t have the option to buy from them. This was an authentic representation of how it is to shop for clothing for a plus-size body.

If the Shoe Fits is a fun modern Cinderella retelling!

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

What to read next:

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Have you read If the Shoe Fits? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: The Right Side of Reckless

Title: The Right Side of Reckless
Author: Whitney D. Grandison
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

He’s never met a rule he didn’t break… She’s followed the rules her whole life… When they meet, one golden rule is established: stay away. Sparks fly in this edgy own voices novel, perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon, S. K. Ali, and Kristina Forest.

They were supposed to ignore each other and respect that fine line between them…

Guillermo Lozano is getting a fresh start. New town, new school, and no more reckless behavior. He’s done his time, and now he needs to right his wrongs. But when his work at the local community center throws him into the path of the one girl who is off-limits, friendship sparks…and maybe more.

Regan London needs a fresh perspective. The pressure to stay in her “perfect” relationship and be the good girl all the time has worn her down. But when the walls start to cave in and she finds unexpected understanding from the boy her parents warned about, she can’t ignore her feelings anymore.

The disapproval is instant. Being together might just get Guillermo sent away. But when it comes to the heart, sometimes you have to break the rules and be a little bit reckless…

Review:

Guillermo Lozano’s family moved to a new neighbourhood in Akron, Ohio so he could have a fresh start while on probation. He has to do community service at a local community centre, and he has to stay away from girls. Regan London works at the community centre with her mom, who is Guillermo’s probation officer. Regan is under a lot of pressure to be perfect, with her father insisting she become an accountant and have the perfect relationship with a football star. Regan is officially off limits to Guillermo, because he isn’t allowed to have a girlfriend, especially not the daughter of his probation officer. Regan soon discovers that her life isn’t heading in the direction that she wants to go, and Guillermo may be exactly what she needs to change it.

This was a fun forbidden romance story. There were a few reasons Guillermo and Regan were forbidden from seeing each other. The incident that got Guillermo in trouble involved a girl, so he was supposed to stay away from all girls. Regan’s family had plans for her future with her football star boyfriend, so they didn’t want her being with anyone else. Their races weren’t part of the reason they weren’t allowed to be together. Guillermo was Mexican and Regan was Black, but their different races weren’t an issue. This was a love story with diverse characters, but their diversity didn’t cause any conflict.

There was a lot of discussion about consent in this story. Regan’s boyfriend was pressuring her to do things she didn’t want to do. Right away I noticed that she didn’t feel comfortable with the way he treated her. Guillermo was much more respectful, though some people couldn’t see past his history to realize that he was a respectful young man. Though Guillermo was the one with the criminal record, he was more respectful than the boy who was considered a rising star.

The Right Side of Reckless is a great young adult romance!

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

What to read next:

A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison

The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson

About the author:

Whitney is dedicated to telling stories about teens of color and teens in difficult but relatable situations. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers. Outside of writing, she is a lover of Korean dramas, all things John Hughes, and horror films. Whitney currently lives in Akron, Ohio. She is the author of A Love Hate Thing and The Right Side of Reckless. Visit Whitney’s website http://www.whitneydgrandison.com and follow her on Twitter @whitney_dg and Instagram @wheadee.

Have you read The Right Side of Reckless? What did you think of it?