Book Review: If We Ever Meet Again, written by Ana Huang

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to review Ana Huang’s NA contemporary romance, If We Ever Meet Again, book one of If Love Duet. It’s available on Amazon KU and on kindle for only $1.31!

If We Ever Meet Again by Ana Huang

If We Ever Meet Again by Ana Huang

Publication date: June 30th, 2020 
Publisher: Self
Pages: 300
Genre: Fiction, New Adult, Romance
Buy: AmazonGoodreads | Book Depository

Synopsis:

One year, two opposites, and a love that will blindside and, ultimately, shatter them.

She’s an aspiring interior designer who dreams of falling in love. He’s an ex-football star who thinks love is a con.

She’s a virgin, and he doesn’t do virgins. He’s cocky, infuriating, and not her type.
She wants the fairytale. He wants freedom.
Blake and Farrah shouldn’t have fallen for each other the way they did: totally, completely, and irrevocably. Because they’re studying abroad in Shanghai, and they only have one year. Because forces at home threaten to rip them apart, even if they don’t know it yet.
And because, eventually, they must face the most heartbreaking lesson they’ll ever learn: sometimes, even the greatest love can’t conquer all.

Warning: This is the first book in a duet. It’s a full-length novel with no sudden cliffhangers, but Blake and Farrah’s story continues in book two, If the Sun Never Sets (due out July 2020), which takes place five years later. HEA guaranteed in book two.

Continue reading “Book Review: If We Ever Meet Again, written by Ana Huang”

TO HAVE AND TO HOAX, written by Martha Waters BLOG TOUR: REVIEW POST

TO HAVE AND TO HOAX, written by Martha Waters BLOG TOUR: REVIEW POST

Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for To Have and To Hoax by Martha Waters hosted by Headline Eternal! To Have and To Hoax is author Martha Waters’ debut historical romance novel set in regency era England.

Continue reading “TO HAVE AND TO HOAX, written by Martha Waters BLOG TOUR: REVIEW POST”

a Slytherin romance recommendation | ARC Review: The Shadows Between Us, written by Tricia Levenseller

The Shadows Between Us

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Publication date: February 25th, 2020 
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

– My Thoughts –

“They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart.

And they never will.” 

The Shadows Between Us starts with the trope, “boy you might be hot and all, but imma still kill you as it suits me” but it quickly turned to “oh noooo.. boy you’re THE brooding hero of my fanfic dreams..how in the f-ing hell can I kill you”.

Alessandra, the second daughter of a nobleman, started off as an ambitious heroine. It seems that she has everything, riches to freedom to do whatever she wants but Alessandra knows that as a woman she has to marry someone eventually. Alessandra shocks her father when she tells him she’ll marry the Shadow King. Alessandra is confident that the King won’t be able to help himself and fall for her. When he does, Alessandra is going to kill him and rule the kingdom in his place. Of course, things don’t go her way. For starters, there are others in line ahead to kill the king.

I won’t say I didn’t enjoy the book because I loved every bit of it. There are pretty great moments( some of which I’ve included above) like Alessandra’s sense of humor, her passion for designing clothes, female friendships, moments of female empowerment, great banter and Demodocus of course! I was intrigued by the Shadow King too; not the King part but the “Shadow” part. The pacing was decent as well as I had finished reading it in two days. I loved the twist at the end as well. I couldn’t predict the villain until before two pages of the revelation but it was anticlimactic.

Now let’s talk about what I didn’t like. To me, it seemed like Alessandra quickly forgot about her plans. I didn’t like the Alessandra that we got to see after she joined the royal household. I also wanted to see her in the role of Royal Tailor or something..since there are paragraphs detailing her love for designing. There was also minimal worldbuilding so I’d advise you to steer clear of this if you prefer detailed world-building.

Overall, I would recommend this book. I think if you enjoyed The Cruel Prince, you might enjoy this! If you like anti-heroes, stabby romance, a character-driven fantasy that prioritizes romance, then go buy or borrow this YA fantasy when it hits the shelves on 25th February!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author –

Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia Levenseller now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing and is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, playing OVERWATCH, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.

Thank you for reading! Will you add The Shadows Between Us to your tbr? Have you read any of the author’s previous books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Book Review: Almost Just Friends, written by Jill Shalvis

Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis

Almost Just Friends(Wildstone #4) by Jill Shavis

Publication date: January 21st, 2020 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 384
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.

When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.

Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks-just as the new life she craves may have already begun.

– My Thoughts –

“Chin up, Princess, or the crown slips.” 

I can’t remember the last time I read a Jill Shalvis book. When I saw this pop up on the available eARCs on Edelweiss, I had to request it.

Almost Just Friends has multiple POVs, Piper(our mc), Camden, and Piper’s brother Gavin’s. There are two romances as well, one of which is an M/M romance that I would have loved to read more about.

Piper has raised her siblings since the day their parents died. She had to push her dreams and hopes aside to see to it that her siblings’ are fulfilled, until now. Her brother and sister are grown-up enough that Piper can finally sell the Lake House and go to university.

Then she meets Camden Reid at her birthday celebration. Although she bids goodbye to Cam soon after, a storm brings them face-to-face again! Surprisingly, both of them have a lot in common and that includes grief. Recognizing the pain in each other, they form a tentative friendship, a friendship that involves kisses everywhere.

That’s not the only surprise in store for Piper. Her sister and brother turn up announced at the lake house with secrets of their own. Will Piper be able to achieve her dreams? Can she and Cam have any future together?

Piper is my kind of woman. She is a planner and in her journal, she has all her hopes and dreams written to be checked out. When her siblings come back home, her planner doesn’t work anymore. I loved the whole family dynamics in this story. Each character has their backstories are that well fleshed out and it’s a treat to read their character growths as well. As I mentioned before, there are two romances. Cam and Piper’s can be described as “strangers at first but found out acquaintances later” kinda romance and the other romance was a “second chance” one.

I loved every bit of the story which was about overcoming grief, accepting help, being vulnerable and to let the love of others heal you. This story is also about hope and there are so many instances of it(all them are spoilers) that I couldn’t help but feel peaceful.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book. This has a heroine who journals, sibling love, two romances that’ll make you emotional and blush a lot. If you want to read a beautiful story where people who were never supposed to find love does so and in turn heals others, then go to your nearest bookstore or the library and pick this one up!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author –

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.

 Look for Jill’s ALMOST JUST FRIENDS and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold. Visit http://www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and fun blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Thank you for reading! Have you read Almost Just Friends or any of the author’s previous books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Wait, is this another review?! *gasps* | Book Review: Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer​

Wait, is this another review?! *gasps* | Book Review: Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer​
Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Publication date: June 27th, 2019 
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Pages: 374
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

TW: discussions of suicide, discussions of abortion, teen pregnancy, parental abuse

– My Thoughts –

After reading A Curse so Dark and Lonely, I was eager to read more of Brigid Kemmerer’s books and many blogger friends recommended Call It What You Want. I was supposed to pick up this book in 2019 but I kept putting it off; however, this wholesome YA contemporary was exactly what I needed after reading a horror story.

“I’m not lost. I want to do the right thing.”

“Most of us do,” she says ruefully. “The problem is that it doesn’t always look the same for all of us”

Rob Lachlan was once THE popular guy in school but now, he’s a nobody. His father stole half the towns investment money and people think that Rob was in on it too. If that’s not enough, his father committed suicide and Rob saw it all.

Maegan was a good girl but she cheated on the SATs and nothing been the same since. Her classmates blame her for getting caught and forcing everyone to rewrite the tests all over again. Maegan’s dad is also a cop and definitely won’t like it when his daughter is friendly with the son of a criminal.

Maegan and Rob are paired up as partners by a teacher, one of my favourite YA trope! At first, none of them wants​ to each other’s partners but later, they realise that their project meet-ups provided a welcome escape from their complicated families. This unlikely relationship between them was so beautiful to read; both insecure and presume the wrong things about each other at first. There were so many other lovable characters in the book: Owen, Owen’s mom, Sam, Mr. London.

The main theme here is how anyone can be misjudged and that we truly don’t know what is going on in their lives. Either we ignore them or treat them like garbage. Also a slight paragraph about racism was included through a character called Drew, when he says that at least people aren’t Rob like a criminal. Even though Drew’s delivery came off rude he was right, Rob got off easy because of the colour of his skin. If a black kid like Drew’s dad would have committed such a crime, the punishment would be far worse. Another representation comes from Owen who’s gay and it was so amazing to see his mother asking him to keep his door open when Rob was alone with him; a contrast to Mr London’s parents who wanted to get “rid of the gay” in him.

“Other people don’t have the challenges that we have, Owen. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own.”

Overall, I would highly recommend this. If you loved A Curse so Dark and Lonely and want to read more of the author’s books, then you won’t regret picking this contemporary up. I loved the Robin Hood easter egg in the story and way male friendships were portrayed. I was a bit miffed about the lack of female friendship in this book and I would love it if Brigid wrote a more present female friendship in her next book.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author –

Brigid Kemmerer is the New York Times bestselling author of dark and alluring Young Adult novels like A Curse So Dark and Lonely, More Than We Can Tell, and Letters to the Lost (Bloomsbury), as well as paranormal YA stories like The Elemental Series and Thicker Than Water (Kensington). A full-time writer, Brigid lives in the Baltimore area with her husband, her boys, her dog, and her cat. When she’s not writing or being a mommy, you can usually find her with her hands wrapped around a barbell. 

Thank you for reading! Have you read Call It What You Want or any of the author’s other books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!