Review: The Off Limits Rule (Sarah Adams)

The Off Limits Rule
Series: It Happened in Nashville, #1
Author: Sarah Adams
Publication Date: January 4, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

I have found rock bottom. It’s here, moving in with my older brother because I’m too broke to afford to live on my own. But that’s okay because we’ve always been close and I think I’m going to have fun living with him again.

That is until I meet Cooper…

Turns out, my brother has very strong opinions on the idea of me dating his best friend and is dead set against it. According to him, Cooper is everything I should stay away from: flirtatious, adventurous, non-committal, and freaking hot. (I added that last part because I feel like you need the whole picture.) My brother is right, though. I should stay away from Cooper James and his pretty blue eyes. He’s the opposite of what I need right now.

Nah—Who am I kidding? I’m going for him. 


If I Marie Kondo was holding up a copy of The Off Limits Rule asking if it brought me joy, the answer would be YES. It would be a keeper. This book brought me SO MUCH joy. I freaking loved every minute I spent reading it. I laughed constantly. It was exactly what I needed to read.

Lucy was one of those quirky characters with low self-esteem who could have been annoying but instead came off as hilarious and relatable. I loved her relationship with her family. She was a good mother to Levi and had her priorities straight when it came to raising him. Lucy’s relationship with her brother, Drew, was sweet and I loved how close they were. I can’t leave out her relationship with her parents. It was cool how close she was with her mom and how her parents doted on Levi.

Cooper was a great match for Lucy. He knew how to push her when needed and also when to stand back and support her. Being in his head was fun because he was a good guy. Drew might have seen him as a player, but I loved that deep down he wasn’t. I also loved how he reacted to Levi and didn’t shy away from him.

Lucy and Cooper together were hilarious. Even mundane things they did somehow made me laugh. They just fit personality wise. I loved their connection. Their relationship (as with all of Sarah Adams’ couples) was a slow burn that had a more innocent vibe than a lot of romances out there. Despite that, their chemistry sizzled.

I feel like I need to go back to my earlier comment about Lucy’s self-esteem. I think some readers are going to balk at it, but I found it easy to understand. They won’t like that how men see her has such an effect on her. In my opinion, Adams did a great job addressing this through both Lucy and Cooper’s eyes. I liked how it was done.

As far as I’m concerned, Sarah Adams can’t publish books fast enough. I absolutely adore her writing style. It’s fun and fresh. Her romances are slow burn teetering on innocent. I can’t wait to find out what’s next in this series with Drew’s book.

WWW Wednesday: January 20, 2021

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

Last week was spent mostly binging on the first four books of the In the Company of Killers series by J.A. Redmerski. I needed to take a break from the darkness, so I just finished reading an ARC of Blindsided (Moo U, #1) by Victoria Denault.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m getting back to that binge with The Black Wolf (In the Company of Killers, #5) by J.A Redmerski.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I am going to keep going with my series binge and read Behind the Hand that Kill (In the Company of Killers, #6).

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2020

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Books I Meant to Read in 2020 and Didn’t Get T0

1. Us Against You
Author: Fredrik Backman

I’ve wanted to read this one ever since I read Beartown last year, but I just couldn’t bring myself to read it this year with everything being so heavy in real life.

2. Dear Emmie Blue
Author: Lia Louis

I saw rave reviews for this one and requested it from my library. I got it and then ran out of time to read it.

3. The Wedding Deal
Author: Cindi Madsen

I read the second book in this series and was planning to read the first. I never got around to it. Maybe this year.

4. Reclamation
Author: Lauren Rowe

I read a bunch of Lauren Rowe’s books this year, but I did it backwards series wise and so I already kind of know what happens in this one. I read the first book and meant to read this second and the rest. Once again, never did. 

5. The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Author: Cynthia Hand

I became a Cynthia Hand fan last year and wanted to read this one. It’s another I got from the library and then ran out of time to read. Plus, YA hasn’t been doing it for me the last few months.

6. Getaway Girl
Author: Tessa Bailey

Another book I saw rave reviews for, downloaded because it was free, and still haven’t read. 

7. Limelight
Author: Alyson Santos

I borrowed this one from KU almost a year ago, I think. It’s still sitting on my Kindle waiting for me to read it.

8. The Idea of You
Author: Robinne Lee

I have had this book for too long. I want to read it, but I know it’s going to hit the emotions and I so haven’t been ready for it this year.

9. Insatiable
Author: Melanie Harlow

Got this one for free, meant to read it, haven’t. 

10. Ready Player Two
Author: Ernest Cline

I’m blaming this one on library hold time. I put a hold on the audiobook and still haven’t received it. 

Review: Not My Match (Ilsa Madden-Mills)

Not My Match
Series: The Game Changer, #2
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a smart and sexy romance about a professional football hottie and the girl he’s sworn to never touch.

Homeless and heartbreakingly innocent, Giselle Riley walks into my penthouse and chaos follows.

I shouldn’t have invited the girl genius to live with me, but it’s clear she needs my help—not only for a place to lay her pretty blonde head but in finding real love, which she’s not going to get with the crazy men she picks up online.

Too bad she’s a twenty-four-year-old virgin and I’m a bad boy wide receiver. She’s off limits for a hardcore player like me—and we’re just friends.

Instead, I’m her matchmaking service, no matter how jealous it makes me when I tag along on her dates.

I can keep my self-control. Right? No way will I give in to everything inside me that dreams of a girl like her in my world.

I may be the best wide receiver in the country, but how could I hold on to a girl like her?


I have been eagerly awaiting Not My Match from the moment I finished Not My Romeo. I simply adored that romantic comedy and couldn’t wait for more. If you’ve read the first book in this series, you know Giselle is Elena’s younger sister. With how everything went down between the sisters in Not My Romeo, I was very curious to get to know Giselle better. Devon, too.

Giselle was a great surprise. I imagined her being super put together from hearing about her from Elena’s perspective, but she wasn’t. Honestly, Giselle was kind of a hot mess and I loved that. I loved her.

Devon was a character I enjoyed in the first book, but I ended up loving him even more in this one. He was very different from Giselle, but they fit perfectly. He had an interesting back story of his own that fit well into everything that was going on.

The chemistry between Devon and Giselle was off the charts. It somehow managed to be a slow burn romance while giving off heat the whole time. They had this sweet friendship that turned into a scorching connection. I loved the way their romance progressed.  Plus, there was just the right amount of humor involved in their romance.  I got to laugh multiple times. Devon and Giselle falling for each other was a lot of fun to read.

Another fun thing about this one was the side characters. Giselle’s neighbor Myrtle cracked me up. I loved her and her dog. I also loved getting more of Mrs. Riley’s antics and some from the other characters I had met before. There were a few other new ones that brought some special stuff to this romance.

There was one thing I wasn’t a huge fan of. Sadly to say, it was the big problem toward the end of the story. I was just disappointed in the decision Giselle had to make and how that all resolved. I mean, I got it. Decisions have to be made and it’s important to make the right decision for oneself. I just didn’t like what her choices were in this day and age. It frustrated me as a woman.

That being said, I did love it Devon and Giselle. I loved that together and the fun they had. I had a great time reading this book and would recommend it. I’m hoping there is more to come in this series. I would love to get to read a book about Aiden.

Series Review: Dearest (Lex Martin)

One of my goals for 2021 is to read some of the books that have been hiding in the depths of my Kindle for years. I decided to start things off with Dearest Clementine. I had no idea at the time that it would turn into a series binge. Here are my mini reviews for the Dearest series.

Dearest Clementine
Series: Dearest, #1
Author: Lex Martin
Publication Date: April 17, 2014
Publisher: Lex Martin
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Dearest Clementine might have been written in 2014, but six years later it doesn’t feel dated. It was a classic new adult romance set in college. I was immediately addicted to the story. There was a little bit of angst, a sweet romance, and an air mystery. Clementine was a broken character, but not annoyingly so. She opened up and learned a lot in this book. Gavin as her love interest was perfection. The friendships and side characters added even more fun to the book. I’m mad at myself for waiting so long to read Dearest Clementine!

Finding Dandelion
Series: Dearest, #2
Author: Lex Martin
Publication Date: July 9, 2014
Publisher: Lex Martin
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

My thoughts:

Finding Dandelion didn’t start out on the best foot with me. This book is Clementine’s twin brother Jax’s book. His love interest is her newest roommate, Dani. At the beginning, before they are together, Jax’s promiscuous ways are highlighted. Honestly, I would have preferred to keep things on a tell rather than show way with that. Jax also continued to be an idiot throughout most of the book for different reasons. That being said, I LOVED Dani. Her story was fun to read. When Jax wasn’t being a turd, I thought the two of them were adorable together.

Kissing Madeline
Series: Dearest, #3
Author: Lex Martin
Publication Date: April 26, 2015
Publisher: Lex Martin
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Never did I think I would want a redemption book for Clementine’s high school ex Daren, but I’m glad I got one. It was the most mature of the three romances, and I could see how Martin’s writing grew from her debut to this book. Daren had definitely grown up and matured. I loved that he could look back at his younger years, see his mistakes, and own them. Maddie was a young woman who knew her worth and fought hard for what she wanted. I adored Daren and Maddie together. How they fell into love felt like a natural transition. All of the drama that happened in this book kept it moving quickly, too. It was a fun read — especially with that epilogue!

WWW Wednesday: January 13, 2021

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

The last book I read was The Off-Limits Rule by Sarah Adams. She’s one of my favorite new-to-me authors of 2020.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Yesterday I posted a TTT list of books in the depths of my Kindle I plan on reading this year. I’m happy to report I’m already starting knocking books off that list by starting A Charmed Little Lie (Charmed in Texas, #1) by Sharla Lovelace.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have been mostly reading happy contemporaries, so I think I’m going to branch out and read something darker with Killing Sarai (In the Company of Killers, #1) by J.A. Redmerski. It’s another one of the books I had on yesterday’s TTT.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books from the Depths of My Kindle I Plan to Read in 2021

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Resolutions/Hopes for 2021

I don’t normally do resolutions and I decided to approach 2021 with VERY LOW expectations, so I’m going to skip this topic. Instead, I’m going to give you:

Books from the Depths of My Kindle I Plan to Read in 2021

I try to go through my Kindle at least yearly and dump books I know I won’t read. I got rid of a bunch and then got inspired to read at least twelve of them in 2021. I actually already got started on doing this with Lex Martin’s Dearest Clementine and Kandi Steiner’s On the Rocks. That’s why my list has ten.

1. Remember When
Author: T. Torrest

2. Beloved
Author: Corinne Michaels

3. Becoming Rain
Author: K.A. Tucker

4. The Pact
Author: Karina Halle

5. Leo
Author: Mia Sheridan

6. Punk 57
Author: Penelope Douglas

7. Rush
Author: Emma Scott

8. A Charmed Little Lie
Author: Sharla Lovelace

9. Killing Sarai
Author: J.A. Redmerski

10. True Love Story
Author: Willow Aster

Review: Roommate (Sarina Bowen)

Roommate
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: January 12, 2020
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:
Wanted: One roommate to share a 3-bedroom house, split the rent, and ideally not be the guy I can’t stop thinking about.
I’m a man with too many secrets, so the last thing I need is a new roommate with a sexy smile and blue eyes that see right through me. Eight years ago, Roderick left town after high school. We’re not friends. I owe him nothing. But back then, I let one of my secrets slip, and he’s the only one who noticed.
Part of me knows I should run far, far away. But the other part wants him to come upstairs and spend the night. But if I let him in, I could lose everything.

Seeking: A room to rent in town. I’m tidy, have no pets, and I will feed you homemade bread.
I should probably add: Gay AF, and has no filter. It’s no wonder my new landlord is so wary of me.
A smarter man would ignore those hot glances from Kieran Shipley. The broody lumberjack wants more from me than another homemade pretzel, but if I push my luck, I’ll end up back on the street.
Too bad I’ve never been smart with my heart …


Being back in Vermont and on the Shipley farm was a pleasure. It’s a place where Sarina Bowen’s writing shines. (Although, it shines in all her settings.) In Roommate, we got to see another side to the Shipleys and farming. This time it was a Shipley cousin who gets a story.

Kieran Shipley was my favorite type of Sarina Bowen character: a little gruff, a lot quiet. Behind those qualities was a man who was loyal to his family despite their actions and a good friend. Kieran was someone who was searching for his place in the world, but tried to do it without ruffling anyone’s feathers. I immediately liked him and wanted him to end up happy.

The newcomer to this small Vermont town was Roderick. Roddy had once lived nearby, but had left to pursue his calling. Now he’s back, broke, and looking to start all over. Roddy’s character was a lot more upfront and comfortable with his sexual orientation than some of Bowen’s previous MM couples. I think he might be Bowen’s first openly gay character, and it took me a while to get used to that in terms of what I’ve been used to in the MM romances she’s told before. I liked that she went this direction. It made Kieran and Roddy’s story standout from her other MM romances. There were some of the same aspects in relation to Kieran’s story compared to her others, but Roddy’s was all his own.

Kieran and Roddy had a sweet romance. It was almost a slow burn. Their attraction and relationship built naturally. They took their time getting to know each other as roommates and co-workers before moving onto anything romantic. That worked well for both Kieran and Roddy’s histories.

One of the things that made Roommate fun was seeing those Shipleys and friends from past True North books. Kieran’s branch of the family was a new experience, but I loved how Griffin, Audrey, and Zara framed Kieran’s life. I loved their reactions to Kieran and Roddy. That being said, this book is a standalone and can be read without reading the True North series.

Kieran’s immediate family members weren’t my favorite. I had a feeling why and it was proven correct. I didn’t have much respect for them. That didn’t really change by the end, sadly. There were some things I appreciated about them, but they kind of just sucked.

I’m so glad Sarina Bowen took us back to the True North world with Roommate. It was a special story and it deserved this magical setting. I loved how it was inundated with old characters who surrounded the new characters with love and acceptance. It was a joy to read.

PURCHASE LINKS

All Links in one spot: https://shor.by/roommate
Audible: https://geni.us/Audible-RM
Amazon: https://geni.us/Amazon-roommate
Apple: https://geni.us/Apple-roommate
Kobo: https://geni.us/Kobo-roommate
Nook: https://geni.us/Nook-roommate

Review: A Righteous Man (Jay Crownover)

A Righteous Man
Author: Jay Crownover
Publication Date: December 27, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Salinger Dolan.
You know his name.
You’ve seen his face.
You’ve spent money on the endless amount of useless crap he endorses.
Of course, you’ve heard the stories.
You know the ones…The one that claimed he was hard to work with and totally unprofessional on set.
The one where he got caught doing drugs on the set of the most popular, family-friendly show in America.The one where he ruined the reputation—and career—of America’s sweetheart.
There’s more truth to those stories than his fans want to believe because Salinger is the kind of thoughtless, careless, dangerous Hollywood bad boy the paparazzi and fame-hungry starlets can’t get enough of.
Eventually, the shine of his flashy lifestyle started to fade, and Salinger realized the only thing he’s famous for nowadays is his bad behavior and well-documented struggle with addiction.
The former golden boy is beyond tarnished, and the only person who can help him get his glow back is the one woman who wants absolutely nothing to do with him.

Maren Copeland.
You might recall her name.
It’s possible you vaguely remember her face.
You’re probably wondering where she went. After all, you’ve heard the stories…The one where she exposed Salinger Dolan’s drug use all those years ago.
The one that said she tried to ruin his career because she was envious of his popularity.
The one about how she went from being everyone’s favorite to a pariah overnight.
Maren Copeland is now known as the comeback queen. After years of hard work and purposely avoiding entanglements with problematic heartthrobs like her first co-star, she’s on track to revitalize her career and rearrange her priorities after a very messy and very public divorce.
For the first time in both her professional and personal life, she’s the one calling all the shots.
Unfortunately, the path to get her where she wants to be leads directly to none other than Salinger Dolan.
He’s the one and the only person she swore she would never work with again.
Once upon a time, he cost her everything. He’s back to make amends and promised to give her anything she wants if she’ll just give him a chance to prove he’s grown up.
She doesn’t trust him.
She knows she’d be a fool to believe he’s changed.
After all, what are the odds that a spoiled, entitled brat like Salinger Dolan could become a righteous man?


A Righteous Man is exactly the type of book I’m hoping for when I pick up a book by Jay Crownover. It was the same as the books I love from her, but different. Her writing captured me from the beginning right along with Maren and Salinger’s story.

Maren and Salinger were an unlikely couple that came together perfectly. It wasn’t that Maren was significantly older than Salinger. She was, but that was backseat to their sordid history. Salinger had basically ruined her life at one point. I don’t know that I would have been able to leave it all in the past the way Maren did. I was impressed by the range of emotions she went through to come to terms with everything she had been through and would go through. 

Salinger was a force. He was capable of doing bad, but luckily had the support to make changes for the good. Salinger’s recovery from drug addiction was something he fought daily and I liked how that was portrayed. I enjoyed his pursuing of Maren and especially his need to apologize and redeem himself in her eyes.

This romance could have been super angsty and depressing, but thankfully that wasn’t what Crownover wanted to deliver. It was a beautiful, sweet, and fun romance. It’s going on my list of favorite books from Jay Crownover because of all of that. I loved what she did with Maren and Salinger, and I would love for her to give us another romance in this world. (Jeno and Arrow…hint, hint.) 

WWW Wednesday: January 6, 2020

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

2021… It’s finally here. Now what?

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

Once or twice a year I go through my Kindle and reevaluate whether I want to read the books on there. I try to get rid of anything I know I won’t ever read. On the last page of my Kindle library was Dearest Clementine (Dearest, #1) by Lex Martin. Since I didn’t have any pressing ARCs, I decided to read it. I think my goal this year is going to be getting some of those older books off my Kindle TBR by reading them.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Here’s me getting sucked into a series binge because I loved the first book in it. Luckily, my library had Finding Dandelion (Dearest, #2) available to borrow after I finished Dearest Clementine.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I will most likely finish up the Dearest series with Kissing Madeline.