Review: Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei #1)

Title: Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei #1)
Author: Abigail Hing Wen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

“Our cousins have done this program,” Sophie whispers. “Best kept secret. Zero supervision.” 

And just like that, Ever Wong’s summer takes an unexpected turnGone is Chien Tan, the strict educational program in Taiwan that Ever was expecting. In its place, she finds Loveboat: a summer-long free-for-all where hookups abound, adults turn a blind eye, snake-blood sake flows abundantly, and the nightlife runs nonstop.

But not every student is quite what they seem:

Ever is working toward becoming a doctor but nurses a secret passion for dance.

Rick Woo is the Yale-bound child prodigy bane of Ever’s existence whose perfection hides a secret.

Boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed Sophie Ha turns out to have more to her than meets the eye.

And under sexy Xavier Yeh’s shell is buried a shameful truth he’ll never admit.

When these students’ lives collide, it’s guaranteed to be a summer Ever will never forget.

Review:

This was an exciting book about a group of teenagers sent to Loveboat, where they are supposed to learn about their culture but end up partying instead.

The characters were complex in this story. They each had a detailed backstory and storyline, though Ever was the main character. They had all been through things, which shaped the choices they made. They also changed throughout the story, so my opinions of them were different by the end from when they were first introduced. I was surprised at how some of the characters developed, but I won’t give the names so it isn’t spoiled.

The kids in this book were pretty wild. They snuck out of Loveboat and had wild parties. There was also tons of romance. It was fun to read, because it seemed like a summer long party.

I really enjoyed this book!

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

What to read next:

My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn

Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao

Have you read Loveboat, Taipei? What did you think of it?

Review: One Week 'Til Christmas

Title: One Week ‘Til Christmas
Author: Belinda Missen
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: HQ Digital
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 1, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Two people. One chance meeting. Seven days to Christmas.

Isobel Bennett is waiting for the number 11 bus when a man quite literally falls into her lap. Snow is falling, Christmas lights are twinkling, and a gorgeous man with dark brown hair has just slipped on ice and is now pressed against Isobel.

Isobel knows she’s not imagining the chemistry between them. But then his ride arrives and, embarrassed, he beats a hasty retreat, murmuring apologies – and Isobel realises only too late that she didn’t manage to catch his name…

When she runs into him again the next morning, she decides it’s fate.

It’s a second chance for Isobel and Tom – but there’s only one week until she’s leaving London for good. Seven days of enjoying all the festive delights the city has to offer: ice-skating at Somerset House, mulled wine on the Southbank, Christmas shopping at Liberty.

There’s magic in the air and mistletoe in the trees – but what will happen when the week is over?

For fans of Josie Silver, Lucy Diamond and Marian Keyes, this is one Christmas romance you don’t want to miss!

Review:

This was an adorable Christmas romance.

It was a short and sweet story. The whole story takes place in the week before Christmas. Tom and Isobel meet while she’s on a writing assignment to interview him. They end up having a whirlwind romance that has to come to an end when she leaves for Christmas. The question was, were they going to stay together even if she left to go to Australia for Christmas?

I loved all the references to London in this story. Isobel is originally from Australia but she’s on a holiday in London during the book. London is one of my favourite cities, and it’s so pretty when it’s decorated for the holidays. I loved all the locations mentioned in the book.

I really enjoyed this Christmas story!

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

What to read next:

Lessons in Love by Belinda Missen

Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage by Katie Ginger

Have you read One Week ‘Til Christmas? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things

Title: Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
Author: Jacqueline Firkins
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: December 17, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this charming debut about first love and second chances, a young girl gets caught between the boy next door and a playboy. Perfect for fans of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.

But as Edie dives into schoolwork and applying for college scholarships, she finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys who start vying for her attention. First there’s Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend and first love. He’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there’s Henry, the local bad boy and all-around player. He’s totally off limits, even if his kisses are chemically addictive.

Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help but get caught between them. Someone’s heart is going to break. Now she just has to make sure it isn’t hers. 

Review:

I just started reading Mansfield Park for the first time a couple of weeks ago, so I was so excited when I discovered that this book was a retelling. I’ve only read the first couple chapters of Mansfield Park so far, so I didn’t know how the story ends. I’m even more excited to read the whole story now, to see how this story was adapted from the original. There were many things in this one, such as high school, teen parties, and sex, which I know weren’t in the original story by Jane Austen.

I loved this story! The romance was great. There was lots of drama in the many relationships, between all the different characters. I didn’t really agree with Edie’s final decision, but that was just my personal choice.

I wished there was more of Edie’s aunt, Norah, in the story. The aunt, Mrs. Norris, in Mansfield Park was hilarious. She was very opinionated. Her aunt Norah was in this story a little bit, but she seemed more cruel by denying Edie from money, rather than exaggerated like in the original novel.

This was a great story!

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

What to read next:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

Author Info:

Jacqueline’s a writer, costume designer, and lover of beautiful things. She’s on the fulltime faculty in the Department of Theatre & Film at the University of British Columbia where she also takes any writing class they’ll let her into. When not obsessing about where to put the buttons or the commas, she can be found running by the ocean, eating excessive amounts of gluten, listening to earnest love songs, and pretending her dog understands every word she says.

Giveaway:

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👫 G I V E A W A Y 💔 . . Happy Wednesday, Beautiful Bookish People! Have you visited any Christmas Markets? What is your favourite drink during winter time? . Today, we have a very cute and special book to share with you: #HeartsStringsAndOtherBreakableThings by Jacqueline Firkins. I say special, because I love summer romances, and this book is perfect for this winter because it makes me start daydreaming about summer and my favourite stories! In this novel, we meet Edie about to spend her last summer before colleague in a place she would rather not be while dealing with her mother's passing. While she keeps trying to stay focused on colleague, 2 distractions in the form of a bad-boy and her old-time crush come knocking on her door, leading to heartbreak and romance. Edie just needs to make sure she's not the one getting her heart broken! . I LOVE stories like this one and today we have partnered with Jacqueline (@jfkillsdarlings) to give you not only the chance to win a hardcopy of #HSAOBT but also a book-inspired dress! 3 designs available. 3 prizes! Swipe left to see pics (⬅️). . . ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY: ▪︎Follow @theffbc & @whatmakespatri ▪︎Follow the author @jfkillsdarlings ▪︎Follow the publishing house @hmhteen ▪︎Comment (to let us know you are participating!): Which dress do you like the most (& why)? . EXTRA ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY: ▪︎Tag a friend (each friend will be an extra entry). ▪︎Share on your stories about the giveaway (remember to tag me @whatmakespatri and @theffbc) ▪︎Follow @michellesulk & @artsyreadergirl . ▪︎Follow any other FFBC team member participating in the tour (let us know on the comment section who did you follow). Check everyone's Instagram handles below: @wishfulendings @l.m.durand @BookBriefs @stars.brite @booknerdanonymous @shelflifechronicles @agingerlyreview @lauren.bodiford . Also, stop by my site to read an interview with Jacqueline and learn more about #HSAOBT! . . #bookshimmy #giveaway #bookstagram #bookblogger #bookstagramming #bookgram #yabookstagram #ireadya #booksatgrammer #bibliophile #bookphotography #booknerd #booklover #amreading #yalit #booksofinstagram #bookgiveaway #booksbooksbooks #bookcommunity #bookworm

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Have you read Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: A Wedding in December

Title: A Wedding in December
Author: Sarah Morgan
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: HQN Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Christmas Sisters comes this funny, charming and heartwarming all new original Christmas novel. This is Sarah Morgan at her festive best!

In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie’s whirlwind Christmas wedding. First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret of their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Rosie’s older sister, Katie, is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself! If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…

Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiancé but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived—how can she tell them she’s not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget! 

Review:

This story was a heartwarming holiday romance!

The story followed three narratives: Maggie and her daughters, Rosie and Katie. I liked to see an older woman have her own narrative in the romance. I’ve heard complaints that contemporary romances are usually about younger girls in their 20s or 30s. Though two of the narratives were about girls of that age, one also told the story about their mother who was at a different place in life.

The story was set in December, but it wasn’t completely Christmas themed. I think it could be read throughout the winter, not just at Christmas. There were some Christmasy parts, but mostly it was about winter in Aspen. I loved reading about the snowy activities they were doing, while I was warm indoors. I liked reading about the snowball fights and sleigh rides, but I’d rather stay inside and read about it instead.

I really enjoyed this book!

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

What to read next:

An Alaskan Christmas by Jennifer Snow

Christmas from the Heart by Sheila Roberts

Author Info:

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy, contemporary romance and women’s fiction, and her trademark humor and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as “a magician with words” by RT Book Reviews, she has sold more than eleven million copies of her books. She was nominated three years in succession for the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award three times: once in 2012 for Doukakis’s Apprentice, in 2013 for A Night of No Return and in 2017 for Miracle on 5th Avenue. She also won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their Top Pick slot. As a child, Sarah dreamed of being a writer, and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream. Sarah lives near London, England, with her husband and children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.

Buy Links:

Have you read A Wedding in December? What did you think of it?

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?