Review: The Temporary Roomie (Sarah Adams)

The Temporary Roomie
Author: Sarah Adams
Publication Date: April 1, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

What happens when you have to play nice with your greatest enemy? Revenge.

Drew Marshall may have let me move into his spare bedroom while my house is being renovated, but don’t think for one second his kindness comes without strings. Big, ugly, fake relationship strings.

That’s okay, though, Dr. Andrew. I’ll agree to your terms, move into your house, and act like
your girlfriend when the big day comes; but I also plan to make your life miserable—make you pay for what you did to me.

I may not be good at forgiving or forgetting, but I’m excellent at getting even.

Get ready to laugh until you cry with this sizzling, hilarious, closed-door romantic comedy!


Sarah Adams’ books keep getting better and better. The Temporary Roomie made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. It was an enemies to more romance/prank war I couldn’t get enough of. Jessie and Drew hate each other for all the wrong reasons, and what they’re willing to do to annoy each other is hilarious and almost endless. Underneath all that “hate” is a sizzling chemistry and a surprising tenderness. I loved every minute of their shenanigans romance.

Review: Heart & Seoul (Jen Frederick)

Heart & Seoul
Author: Jen Frederick

Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Women’s Fiction, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From USA Today bestselling author Jen Frederick comes a heart-wrenching yet hopeful romance that shows that the price of belonging is often steeper than expected.

As a Korean adoptee, Hara Wilson doesn’t need anyone telling her she looks different from her white parents. She knows. Every time Hara looks in the mirror, she’s reminded that she doesn’t look like anyone else in her family—not her loving mother, Ellen; not her jerk of a father, Pat; and certainly not like Pat’s new wife and new “real” son.

At the age of twenty-five, she thought she had come to terms with it all, but when her father suddenly dies, an offhand comment at his funeral triggers an identity crisis that has her running off to Seoul in search of her roots.

What Hara finds there has all the makings of a classic K-drama: a tall, mysterious stranger who greets her at the airport, spontaneous adventures across the city, and a mess of familial ties, along with a red string of destiny that winds its way around her heart and soul. Hara goes to Korea looking for answers, but what she gets instead is love—a forbidden love that will either welcome Hara home…or destroy her chance of finding one.


If I had a relationship status with this book, it would say “It’s complicated.”

As an adoptee, I am always fascinated by books about adoptees. I’m always looking for something I can identify with in them. Heart & Seoul was a little different of an adoptee read for me since I’m not a Korean American adoptee. I connected with many thoughts Hara had, but obviously not all. I’ve read some information about what it means society wise to be a Korean adoptee a few times. In my early childhood, I spent a lot of time with two different families with white parents and Korean adopted children. I never really thought about how different their experience as adoptees would be compared with mine until I reconnected with one of them through social media. Their thoughts and feelings about their adoption are way different than mine. I knew how they grew up and wanted to better understand their feelings. That was one of the reasons I was excited to read Heart & Seoul, along with the fact that I am a fan of Jen Frederick’s previous book.

Heart & Seoul was an emotional read from the start with Hara losing her adopted father. Her desire to search for her birth parents, and the reasons why, were easy to relate to. The journey she went on to Seoul was fascinating. I loved learning about Seoul, the customs, and some of the history of adoption there. Hara’s emotional journey was fraught with ups and downs. Her losses and gains were tough and had me hoping for a happy ending for her.

Since I brought up happy ending, I want to point out that this NOT a romance novel. You’re not going to come away with an HEA or HFN with this book. I didn’t realize this going into this book. Honestly, the ending is why I didn’t give this book 5 stars. I needed more resolution. Things ended too abruptly for me. The entire time I was reading Heart & Seoul, I kept thinking how different this book was from anything else I’ve read from Frederick — until I got to the drama and climax. That was exactly what I would expect from a Jen Frederick book. It shouldn’t have been shocking to me, but it was. That being said, I still enjoyed this book and learned a lot from it.

Review: The Last Night in London (Karen White)

The Last Night in London
Author: Karen White
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Karen White weaves a captivating story of friendship, love, and betrayal that moves between war-torn London during the Blitz and the present day.

London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck—she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies, and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect her friendship with Precious and everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever…

London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner, whose life has been marked by the tragic loss of her mother, travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie has been careful to close herself off to others, but in Precious she recognizes someone whose grief rivals her own—but unlike Maddie, Precious hasn’t allowed it to crush her.  Maddie finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, her enigmatic surrogate nephew.  As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’s haunting past—a story of friendship, betrayal, and the unremembered acts of kindness and of love.


Before I start this review, I have to talk about the author’s note. I have read all of Karen White’s books. Two on my list of favorites are Falling Home and After the Rain. It’s been years since I read those books and that is the only reason I have for not remembering who Maddie Warner was! Now, you don’t need to have read those two books to enjoy this one, but it sure had a delayed emotional impact on me when I made the connection! Now for the review…

The Last Night in London is one of those books that had my attention from the prologue. That chapter set up a story and mystery that had me questioning everything and everyone in the 1940’s setting. I was as curious as Maddie was to unravel the story in 2019. Even when I thought I knew, I don’t know that I knew what had happened with Precious, Eva, Graham, and Alex. It was frustratingly good to try and figure out.

As for the 2019 end of the story, I really enjoyed that part too. Maddie was a frustrating character when it came to her own life. She had her reasons, which I understood, but I wanted her to get over it. I loved how she played detective with Precious’ family to find out what had happened to her during the war and after.

Overall, this was another winner by Karen White. I love how she mixes past with present in her books, neither story winning me over more than the other. Both sides or timelines always keep me intrigued. She has done this with all her previous releases and again with The Last Night in London.

Series Review: Vino and Veritas Books 4-8 (World of True North)

Earlier this month I shared with you reviews for the first three books in the Vino and Veritas series. Today, I have reviews for the next fivebooks in the series. 

Undercover
Series: Vino and Veritas, #4
Author: Eliot Grayson
Publication Date: March 29, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: LGBTQ+, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts: 

This is a case of it’s not you, it’s me. Undercover was well written. It was a book I would say was good, but didn’t make me fall in love with it or its characters. While the suspense plot was good, I didn’t love that it had Alec lying so much to Gabe. It made me cringe whenever he did it because of what I already knew of Gabe’s personality. Gabe was very self-conscious and self-loathing at times. I got his reasons why, but it made it his character feel immature in a way I didn’t like. That combined with Alec’s lying made things messier than I would have liked them to be. I will say that didn’t change the fact that I liked Alec and Gabe together. I could see Alec’s maturity and confidence rubbing off on Gabe in a good way. Plus, they were cute together.

Amazon: https://geni.us/AmazonUndercover
Add to Goodreads here: https://bit.ly/2LTpTTY
Series page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/

Aftermath
Series: Vino and Veritas, #5
Author: L.A. Witt
Publication Date: March 29, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: LGBTQ+, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts: 

Aftermath was a story that felt unique to me. I hadn’t really read a romance like it before. Brent had some issues resulting from a major injury that I hadn’t read in a book before. I liked that it felt like I was learning something while also enjoying the love story. Brent and Jon started out casually, but things got serious faster than they or I expected. I liked how they built trust and intimacy in unexpected ways. I also loved the maturity Jon brought to the story. It was such a sweet romance.

Amazon: https://geni.us/AmazonAftermath
Add to Goodreads here: https://bit.ly/2LZajWM
Series page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/

Booklover
Series: Vino and Veritas, #6
Author: J.E. Birk
Publication Date: March 29, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: LGBTQ+, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts: 

Booklover was a sweet romance. Jamie had family problems he was trying to work deal with. Briar had a past he was trying to outrun. Neither had time or wanted a relationship when they met, but their immediate connection in a romance book club was undeniable. Jamie and Briar were adorable together and I loved their journey. They had a lot of emotional stuff to work through, but it never felt like too much. Everything brought them closer together so they could have an HEA just like their favorite romance novelist wrote. 

Amazon: https://geni.us/AmazonBooklover
Add to Goodreads here: https://bit.ly/2M0GgOE
Series Page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/

Flipcup
Series: Vino and Veritas, #7
Author: Kim Hartfield
Publication Date: April 5, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: LGBTQ+, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts: 

Flipcup was cute and sweet with some great flirty banter, BUT (and that’s a big but) I couldn’t handle Chelsea. She was way too immature for my liking. I know she was only twenty-two, but the selfishness and poor me stuff she had going on annoyed me. I wanted to love her because Tara obviously did, but I couldn’t help feeling like Tara deserved better after everything she had been through. That’s something I had a hard time moving past to make this more than a 3 star read for me. 

Pre-Order: COMING SOON
Add to Goodreads here: https://bit.ly/3inwD8w
Series Page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/

Hideaway
Series: Vino and Veritas, #8
Author: Rachel Lacey
Publication Date: April 5, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: LGBTQ+, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts: 

Hideaway was a sweet second chance romance between first loves. Phoebe had returned to Vermont after years of absence. Taylor wasn’t sure she could trust Phoebe. When Taylor convinces Phoebe to foster a pregnant shelter dog, puppies and reignited feelings bring them together. This was a pleasant romance read without a ton of drama. 

Pre-Order: COMING SOON
Add to Goodreads here: https://bit.ly/2XOsNMt
Series Page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/

Review: Oops, I’ve Fallen (Max Monroe)

Oops, I’ve Fallen
Authors: Max Monroe

Publication Date: March 27, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

If my time with Ryan Miller were a hit track on the radio, I imagine the lyrics would go something like this…

“We’re so different, but they say opposites attract. Oops, I’ve fallen, and my heart doesn’t want to come back.”

But, holy bingo night, is my attraction to the sexy, broody businessman so much more complicated than the chorus of a song.

His dad lives right next to my mom, and after the two of them suffered an unexplained accident while taking down holiday decorations, both Ryan and I were forced to become the only thirtysomething residents of Sunny Creek Village Independent Senior Living Community.

Temporarily moving in might seem like overkill for a fractured tailbone and a severely pulled groin muscle, but believe me, when your mom is as wild as mine and your dad is as cantankerous as Ryan’s, they need supervision to ensure they stick to doctor’s orders.

Constantly thrown together by the antics of our crazy parents and the tough-as-nails community enforcer, Betty Matthews, Ryan and I formed an alliance for the sole purpose of survival.

But I never expected to be so interested in finding out what he was hiding beneath his grumpy, serious demeanor. More than that, I never dreamed what I found would be the kind of man women sell their souls to the devil for.

Unfortunately, our little one-hit wonder on the airwaves has more to say before it comes to an end.

Although, finishing the outro to this song is a real doozy…

Tell me…what lyric rhymes with Oops, I’ve fallen for my future stepbrother?


I’m one of the first people to complain about illustrated covers on romance novels, but I have to give Max Monroe (and Banana) credit with this one. It’s perfect for this romantic comedy set in a Florida retirement community. As for what’s inside those pages…

Oops, I’ve Fallen was just as funny inside as out. Max Monroe took a senior living community and its inhabitants to a whole new, hilarious level. The hijinks Sal and Stella got into with their frenemies kept me laughing. Those two were spunky for 70-somethings. I loved that they got chapters here and there. They didn’t eclipse our main couple, Ryan and Carly. The just added to the fun.

Ryan and Carly couldn’t have been more opposite personality wise, so I loved how their parents were what brought them together. The way they shared in the torture their parents brought upon them was so entertaining. It made the sizzling chemistry they had even more fun. I loved how they fell in love.

The one thing I didn’t quite buy was what shook things up and caused the problem. These characters were mature enough to know it wasn’t a big deal, so it felt like a huge overreaction. It did make for some funny moments, though. I guess I can’t complain to much about it.

What else to say? Honestly, Oops, I’ve Fallen was just a ton of fun. I laughed. I smiled. I swooned. What else could you possible want from a romantic comedy? Max Monroe have once again brought the funny in the best of ways.

Review: The Last Carolina Sister (Michelle Major)

The Last Carolina Sister
Series: Magnolia Sisters, #3
Author: Michelle Major
Publication Date: March 30, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

In Magnolia, North Carolina, love might be waiting right next door…

Meredith Ventner knows a wounded creature when she sees one. Though her temporary new neighbor may be—on the surface at least—a successful, drop-dead gorgeous doctor, she recognizes the deep hurt Ryan Sorensen is carrying, and it’s catnip to her soul. But even though Meredith is the youngest, scrappiest and single-est of Magnolia’s most famous sisters, she’s committed to expanding the animal shelter on her newly inherited farm. She can’t waste her energy on a man who’s only passing through town.

Ryan is hoping that after a month of small-town living he’ll be healed enough to return to his busy ER. His injured leg isn’t half as painful as his guilt from the tragedy he’s trying to forget. Yet somehow, helping feisty, tenderhearted Meredith care for her menagerie is making him question his career-first priorities. Here in this quirky small town another future is coming into view, but can he change his life, and open his heart, to claim it?


It’s been a while since I read a book by Michelle Major. The Last Carolina Sister was a nice reintroduction to her writing. Despite being the third book in the series, it was easy to jump right in. There was just enough background information given about Meredith and her sisters for their relationships and the story to make sense. It was also given in a way that didn’t feel like information dumping or cause a break in the story. My only complaint about the writing would be the switch between Meredith and Ryan’s POVs. It was a small change in font rather than a new chapter or heading with their names to discern when things changed between the two. That made it feel more abrupt when it changed and took me a while to get used to.

As for the story and characters, I liked them both. Meredith was dealing with who she was after finding out her father was not her biological sister, that she had sisters, and that she was the only one of them still single. She also was trying to expand her animal shelter. Ryan was dealing with a tragic shooting that left him injured, mourning a friend, and on a “vacation” from his job as an ER doctor. The more time Meredith and Ryan spent together, the more I loved them together. Meredith was a little insecure, but also determined. Ryan was grumpy and trying to wallow in his pain. I enjoyed how Meredith’s animal rescue brought them together. Helping out at the rescue and falling for Meredith became part of what helped Ryan heal, and in turn he helped Meredith heal. I loved the emotional journey they took together and love they built. The whole animal aspect just added such a special connection.

The Last Carolina Sister was a sweet, well written love story. I’m looking forward to going back and reading Meredith’s sisters’ stories.

Review: The Intimacy Experiment (Rosie Danan)

The Intimacy Experiment
Author: Rosie Danan
Publication Date: April 6, 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Naomi and Ethan will test the boundaries of love in this provocative romance from the author of the ground-breaking debut, The Roommate.

Naomi Grant has built her life around going against the grain. After the sex-positive start-up she cofounded becomes an international sensation, she wants to extend her educational platform to live lecturing. Unfortunately, despite her long list of qualifications, higher ed won’t hire her.

Ethan Cohen has recently received two honors: LA Mag named him one of the city’s hottest bachelors and he became rabbi of his own synagogue. Taking a gamble in an effort to attract more millennials to the faith, the executive board hired Ethan because of his nontraditional background. Unfortunately, his shul is low on both funds and congregants. The board gives him three months to turn things around or else they’ll close the doors of his synagogue for good.

Naomi and Ethan join forces to host a buzzy seminar series on Modern Intimacy, the perfect solution to their problems–until they discover a new one–their growing attraction to each other. They’ve built the syllabus for love’s latest experiment, but neither of them expected they’d be the ones putting it to the test. 


I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Is shouty caps and bold text enough to  get across how much I loved it? It had the same magic that Rosie Danan’s debut novel The Roommate had. I didn’t want to put it down. The writing was so engaging. I am not a fan of third person and, once again, Danan’s writing had me forgetting it was even written in third.

Naomi’s story was something I wanted while reading The Roommate. When I read the blurb and found out Danan was matching her up with a rabbi, I was only more curious. How would a relationship between an ex-porn star and a rabbi even work? The answer was BEAUTIFULLY. Ethan and Naomi’s relationship was a slow build/burn. There was a lot of time spent with the two of them getting to know each other. Both Ethan and Naomi were closed up to the idea of love at first, and it was fun to see how their conversations opened them up to the possibility of it. Their personalities and world views fit together surprisingly well for people at pretty much opposite ends of the work force. Plus, they had amazing chemistry. I loved them together.

The concept of Naomi’s Modern Intimacy seminar was cool — for the lack of a better word. The talking points around dating were excellent and something that I would want to share with my teenager when she’s older. It truly was real world applicable, being both fun and informative. 

I was also impressed with how religion was shared in the story. It didn’t feel preachy. I enjoyed learning about Reformed Judaism through Ethan’s character. I was surprised at just how well the way he related scripture to life melded within this romance. 

The last thing I want to talk about was the side characters. The main focus truly was on Naomi and Ethan in The Intimacy Experiment, but there were some other great side characters. It was a pleasure to see Clara and Josh again. Naomi’s friendships with both of them made me love them even more than I already did. I also liked Ethan’s family and parishioners. They added some funny moments to an already entertaining read.

So, yeah. I loved The Intimacy Experiment. It was sweet romance that had me constantly smiling. I am so happy that Rosie Danan’s sophomore novel somehow managed to be even better than her debut. It makes me excited for her books that are still to come.

Mini Reviews: Make It Sweet, Like You Love Me, & The Sweetest Fix

Today I’m sharing with you three contemporary romance mini reviews for books that made my heart swoon.

Make It Sweet
Author: Kristen Callihan

Publication Date: February 23, 2021
Publisher: Montlake
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Last year I read my first book by Kristen Callihan. I quickly devoured her entire backlist after that. To say I was excited for Make It Sweet would be an understatement. I had very high expectations for it, and it reached them with no problem. This book was a hit for me. I loved how gruff Lucian was and how sweet Emma was. The fact that they were at a similar place in life worked well. The way their relationship blossomed was exciting. They had so much chemistry. AND THE FOOD. The chemistry may have been hot, but the food was the seductress here. It made me crave pastries I’ve never tried before. Foodies are going to LOVE this book. So, yeah. I don’t have any complaints when it comes to Make It Sweet. Kristen Callihan truly made it sweet for the reader.

Like You Love Me
Series: Honey Creek, #1
Author: Adrianna Locke

Narrators: Ryan West, Lidia Dornet
Publication Date: February 216, 2021

Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Adriana Locke is another author I started reading in 2020. I haven’t read her backlist, but I’m loving her new releases. I listened to Like You Love Me and it was such a fun experience. The narrators were fabulous and brought the story to life in the best way. I adored the story and characters. Sophie and Holden were childhood friends. When Holden returns to Sophie’s small town to help out his grandfather, they end up married in order to help each of the come out ahead. Their marriage may be real, but their relationship is fake…until it isn’t.  Like You Love Me was cute, sweet, and such a good time. I loved it!

The Sweetest Fix
Author: Tessa Bailey

Publication Date: January 22, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

My thoughts:

I am a fan of Tessa Bailey’s writing, so I hate to admit that I almost DNF this book early on. I am not a big fan of lying and a relationship built on a lie was hard for me to stomach. I pushed through because my friends that read The Sweetest Fix loved it. I’m glad I did because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss the good things about Reese and Leo’s relationship. Their connection was sweet and their chemistry was off the charts. All the good moments outweighed the anxiety I got from the lies Reese was telling, so overall I enjoyed this one.

Series Review: Vino & Veritas Books 1-3 (World of True North)

Last month I shared with you reviews for the first couple of series in Sarina Bowen’s World of True North. Today, I have reviews for the first few books in yet another series from this world. Vino & Veritas is a series of LGBTQ+ romances. Here are my thoughts on each book so far. All books reviewed here release soon.

Featherbed
Series: Vino and Veritas, #1
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publication Date: March 15, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: LGBTQ+, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

My thoughts: 

I liked Featherbed, but I didn’t fall in love with it as much as I wanted to. I’m not sure how to explain why. It was something about the beginning of the book. I guess I didn’t feel the Finn and Harrison’s chemistry right away. There was all this very flirty, seductive talk and it felt forced to me. It wasn’t until the characters moved past that and got to know each other that I connected to them and their attraction felt real. Once that happened, I liked them together. They had a sweet relationship. There wasn’t a whole bunch of drama to make it as emotional as it could have been, but I didn’t mind that. Overall, it was a good, sweet romance.

Amazon: https://geni.us/AmazonFeatherbed
Add to Goodreads here: https://bit.ly/3mKWKXJ
Vino & Veritas Series Page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/

Heartscape
Series: Vino and Veritas, #2
Author: Garrett Leigh
Publication Date: March 22, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: LGBTQ+, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

My thoughts: 

When I read a book set in one of Sarina Bowen’s World of True North series, I’m expecting a couple of things. First, that it does the Vermont setting Bowen has crafted for us justice. Second, that it feels like a book Sarina Bowen could have written herself. That second one is a little weird because every writer has their own style, but guess I just want them to have a similar vibe.

Anyways. What I’m trying to get at is that Heartscape had all the elements I would expect a book in Vino and Veritas to have. It was slightly angsty, a little moody, focused on some big issues (depression, suicide, PTSD, etc), and was more on the emotional side. Jax and Tanner were two strong people who had tough things in their pasts. They found love in each other at the perfect time. I loved how their relationship played out and the closeness they shared. I felt their chemistry and, more important, their love and respect for each other. This was my first Garrett Leigh book and I was very impressed.

Pre-Order here: https://geni.us/AmazonHeartscape
Add to Goodreads here: https://bit.ly/3roFo6y
Vino & Veritas: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/

Headstrong
Series: Vino and Veritas, #3
Author: Eden Finley
Publication Date: March 22, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: LGBTQ+, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts: 

Headstrong was my favorite book in the Vino and Veritas series so far. That’s because of Whit. I fell in love with Whit’s character from the very beginning. He reminded me of a cute puppy you want to take home with you. He was so sweet, slightly immature, and completely lovable. His happy attitude made me smile so much. So did his crush on Rainn. Rainn was grumpy and avoiding life. There’s not really any other way to describe Rainn. Rainn’s feeling for Whit came unexpectedly and I loved the way they both navigated that. Rainn was so open minded to the new things he was experiencing and feeling. The entire thing was so sweet, funny, and enjoyable. Headstrong was 5 star romance I would read again.

Pre-Order here: https://geni.us/AmazonHeadstrong
Add to Goodreads here: https://bit.ly/34H76l7
Vino & Veritas: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/vino-and-veritas/

My thoughts on the Vino and Veritas series so far:

With each book better than the last, I’m excited to find out what’s next in the series.

Review: The Songbook of Benny Lament (Amy Harmon)

The Songbook of Benny Lament
Author: Amy Harmon

Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of What the Wind Knows and From Sand and Ash comes a powerful love story about a musical duo who put everything on the line to be together.

New York, 1960: For Benny Lament, music is his entire life. With his father’s deep ties to the mob, the Bronx piano man has learned that love and family can get you in trouble. So he keeps to himself, writing songs for other musicians, avoiding the spotlight…until the night his father brings him to see Esther Mine sing.

Esther is a petite powerhouse with a gorgeous voice. And when Benny writes a hit song and performs it with her, their collaboration thrusts the duo onto the national stage…and stirs up old issues and new scrutiny that the mob—and Benny—would rather avoid.

It would be easier to walk away. But the music and the woman are too hard for the piano man to resist. Benny’s songs and Esther’s vocals are an explosive combination, a sound that fans can’t get enough of. But though America might love the music they make together, some people aren’t ready for Benny Lament and Esther Mine on—or off—the stage.


You guys… I HAVE A NEW BOOK TO ADD TO MY FAVORITES LIST!!!

Amy Harmon consistently writes amazing works of art. It is always hard to pick a favorite book of hers, but The Songbook of Benny Lament just bulldozed right over all her other books to my top spot.

I loved EVERYTHING about this book. It alternates between chapters of radio interviews with Benny and his story of what happened along his way to fame. The radio chapters set up the story perfectly. They hinted at what was to come, making the story that followed all the sweeter. The story of Minecraft and Benny’s relationship with Esther Mine built in the best of ways. I had all these ideas of where things were headed, but didn’t even want to guess. I wanted to experience it all as I read it. It was such a fascinating love story set in the chaotic and violent times of the 1960’s. I enjoyed the way it wove music, the mob, politics, racial injustices of the 1960’s, and a sweet love story all into one package. There was even some humor!

The only book I can compare The Songbook of Benny Lament to is Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It gave me that same feeling. It had me forgetting that it was fiction and had me wanting to Google everyone and everything related to Benny Lament and Esther Mine. Their story felt real and true. I was so caught up in it that I forgot it was fiction. That’s not to say that The Songbook of Benny Lament was a copycat of Daisy Jones and The Six. It wasn’t. It was a completely different story.

If you love books that revolve around music, complex love stories and a ton of heart you won’t want to miss this book. Amy Harmon put so much heart into The Songbook of Benny Lament. It checked all my boxes. I will be thinking about it for a long time.