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.

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: Loverboy (Sarina Bowen)

Loverboy
Series: The Company, #2
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Secrets, desires, and exquisite pie. It’s all in a day’s work at The Company.

Growing up, I was the rough guy from the wrong neighborhood who couldn’t catch a break. Posy was the pampered girl I tried to impress. But all she gave me was a single kiss before I had to skip town.
Now I’m back, and the tables are turned. Posy runs a struggling pie shop. I’m the VP of a secretive billion-dollar security company. 
Not that I can tell her.
There’s a murderer on the loose in New York, and he seems to spend a lot of time at Posy’s shop. It’s my job to identify him before he can harm a hair on her pretty head.
Going undercover as Posy’s new barista wasn’t my idea. I don’t even drink coffee. But now I have to call her “boss,” and do everything the curvy perfectionist asks of me. I’d forgotten how much we infuriate each other, and that she somehow fills me with both irritation and desire in the same breath.
There’s nobody more skilled at stealth ops than me. I can bring this killer down. Right after I take a cold shower. And just as soon I figure out how to make a skinny peppermint latte with milk poured in the shape of a kitten…


I normally shy away from romantic suspense novels, but there’s nothing that would keep me from reading one from Sarina Bowen. Especially since I read and loved the first book in The Company series, MoonlighterLoverboy was as good as Moonlighter, if not better. It had an even larger suspense aspect to it while still maintaining the contemporary romance feel I love in Bowen’s books.

Gunnar and Posy had a great enemies vibe going on. They hated each other from their early adulthood and those feelings carried over to meeting again. It was more a fake enemies thing because the two couldn’t get enough of crushing on each other. I loved how they were thrown together in Posy’s pie shop. The whole situation was fun and engaging. I loved how their relationship built as the drama and suspense built.

That drama and suspense was so interesting! Like I said before, I’m not usually into it, but I loved how it was set up in this story involving the company and Posy’s shop. There were so many little twists to keep track of. It was fun. My only maybe complaint about it was that it took longer for Gunnar and Posy to interact because of the set up. That set up was actually a lot of fun, though!

Overall, Loverboy was another fantastic read by Bowen. It had a swoon worthy romance, hilarious moments, and an engaging suspense plot. I loved Gunnar and Posy, plus all the supporting characters. I am really hoping Max finally gets his book next.

PURCHASE LINKS

All in one link page: https://shor.by/the-company
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54585164-loverboy

VENDORS

🗝️ Amazon https://geni.us/Amazon-LB 
🗝️Apple https://geni.us/Apple-LB 
🗝️ Kobo https://geni.us/Kobo-Lb 
🗝️ Nook https://geni.us/Nook-LB 
🗝️ Google https://geni.us/Google-LB
🗝️Audio: https://geni.us/LoverboyAudible

Mini Reviews: I Promise You, The Bribe, & Take A Number

Today, I’m sharing with you three mini reviews for new releases I’ve read recently.

I Promise You
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Publication Date: October 12, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

This is the last book in Madden-Mills’ sports romances set at Waylon University. This time it’s newly starting quarterback Dillon McQueen’s turn to shine. His character was so much fun. He started off with a cocky flare, but I liked what was layered beneath. Dillon was a good dude who seemed to be a little misunderstood. I liked his pairing with Serena. She also had some great layers to unravel. She had an ex to move on from and insecurities to deal with. Their love story and characters might have felt a a little cliche at times, but it was the romance was entertaining. I especially loved that first scene. It was a good way to finish up the series.

The Bribe
Series: Calamity Montana, #1
Author: Willa Nash
Publication Date: October 15, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

I’ve been waiting for this book since I read a preview of it in the One More Step Anthology. It was just as good as I was expecting. I loved the small town vibe and all the characters. Lucy and Duke were adorable together. I even enjoyed the suspense aspect that managed to surprise me. The Bribe was everything I’ve come to expect from Devney Perry — or I guess I should say Willa Nash. I wish she would have kept it branded Devney Perry because it didn’t seem like a departure from her regular romance brand.

Take A Number
Series: Wait With Me, #4
Author: Amy Daws
Publication Date: October 15, 2020
Publisher: Stars Hollow Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

I binged the first three books in this series about a month ago. I was so excited to see this fourth book coming so soon. I have to admit that Dean has not been my favorite character in this series, but I looked forward to getting to know him better. He proved himself to be not as arrogantly disgusting as I expected. His romance with Norah was actually a really great fake relationship. It was everything I liked about the trope. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of was Norah being described as OCD at the beginning. It sounded like she had some traits of OCD, but then it kind of just got put off as being controlling after that. I needed some clarification. Otherwise, this book was a lot of fun.

Review: Kiss My Cupcake (Helena Hunting)

Kiss My Cupcake
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: August 11, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake and cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn’t plan on? Ronan Knight and his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn’t spent years obsessing over buttercream and bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success.

From axe throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire and Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there’s also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they’re forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war and work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it’s possible to have her cupcake and eat it too.

As two neighborhood shop owners battle for business, they prove opposites attract in this outrageously funny romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of Meet Cute.


I hate to admit this, but I am so tired of bakery romances that pit bakers against each other. There’s just SO MANY of them! They have lost their luster for me. Which is why I was SO HAPPY that Kiss My Cupcake had a different type of war/enemies thing going on. Instead of rival bakers, it was rival neighbors with different types of businesses having it out. That changed the dynamic and made this enemies to more romance all the more sweeter.

And sweet was exactly what Kiss My Cupcake was. I wouldn’t say it was true a slow burn romance, but it was probably as close as to one as we’re going to get from Helena Hunting. There was a lot of angry sweet build up and getting to know each other of the characters before anything brought them closer together. I loved the banter and tricks they played on each other. There were also some adorably hilarious side characters to go along with everything. All of that was exactly what I would expect having read Hunting’s previous books and knowing the humor she instills in her novels. It made Kiss My Cupcake so much fun to read!

If you’re looking for a light, fun, foodie contemporary romance, Kiss My Cupcake is one that will bring a smile to your face.

Review: The Enemy (Sarah Adams)

The Enemy
Series: It Happened in Charleston, #2
Author: Sarah Adams
Publication Date: August 20, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

It’s been twelve years since I’ve seen him. Twelve years since he won our war of wits by outsmarting me with a tactic I didn’t even know was allowed. But tonight…I resurrect the battle.

Ryan Henderson is back in town for our best friends’ wedding, and I plan on showing him exactly how much I don’t care about him—or the almost kiss he ruthlessly dangled over me after graduation.

A lot has changed since our feuding days. I’m a successful bakery owner now, and I plan to rub every delicious detail of my life in his ugly face.

Just one problem: his face is gorgeous.

He wasn’t supposed to look like this or pursue me like a sexy guided missile. I must stay strong until the wedding is over and Ryan scurries back into whatever alternate universe he escaped from.

His interest in me is nothing but a continuation of the games we played in high school…right?

But the longer he stays, the more I wonder if I’m wrong and his tender smile and heated attentions are genuine. Maybe it’s not a game.

Ha! Who am I kidding? This is Ryan we’re talking about. Of course it’s a game. A game called war. And this time, I will win.


About a month or so ago, Kayla and I buddy read Sarah Adams’ The Match. We both found it so adorable that we immediately decided we needed to buddy read the next book in the series. I’m so happy we did that because I found The Enemy to be just as charming as The Match. They were both set in the same city and had some favorite side characters tying them together, but the majority of The Enemy felt like a whole new world that was fun to discover. The Enemy one stood strong on its own.

What was so great about The Enemy? An incredibly fun wedding aspect brought crushes sworn enemies June and Ryan back together over and over after over a decade of not seeing each other. The animosity between the two ramped up in the best of ways. There was also some hilarious doughnut shop, restaurant, and friendship stuff that went on. What made this book truly magical was the chemistry between June and Ryan. Everything that went down between them was entertaining. Their relationship was the sweetest of sweetest slow burn romances. That chemistry was always there, but they took on their past and got to know each other better at a believable pace. There was also a TON of humorous moments — especially when it came to our adorably self-conscious heroine. It was all just so charming and adorable. I couldn’t get enough of it and stayed up WAY too late finishing it.

I’m actually sad that I sped through this book the way I did. I couldn’t help myself, but now I want more. I don’t even know if there is more coming because I haven’t seen a third book listed, but I REALLY hope there is. I want more of these delightful It Happened in Charleston books!

Mini Reviews: Engagement and Espionage & Batter of Wits

Engagement and Espionage
Series: Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries, #1
Author: Penny Reid
Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Publisher: Cipher-Naught
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Jennifer Sylvester made her deal with the devil . . . and now they’re engaged!

But all is not well in Green Valley. A chicken choker is on the loose, 61 dead birds most “fowl” need plucking, and no time remains for Jennifer and her devilish fiancé. Desperate to find a spare moment together, Jenn and Cletus’s attempts to reconnect are thwarted by one seemingly coincidental disaster after another. It’s not long before Cletus and Jenn see a pattern emerge and the truth becomes clear.
Sabotage!

Will an undercover mission unmask the culprit? Or are these love-birds totally plucked?

‘Engagement and Espionage’ is the first book in the Solving for Pie: Cletus and Jenn Mysteries series, is a full-length cozy mystery, and is a spin-off of Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series. This novel is best read after ‘Beard Science,’ Winston Brothers #3.

My thoughts:

If you’re a fan of Cletus Winston and his baker love Jenn Donner, you will most likely enjoy Engagement and Espionage. It’s a fun cozy mystery filled with antics that can only be attributed to Cletus. Plus, getting more of Cletus and Jenn’s relationship was so fulfilling. They are a couple of favorite characters of mine and I’m so glad there are more books in this series to come.

Batter of Wits
Series: Donner Bakery, #5
Author: Karla Sorensen
Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Hate at first sight couldn’t possibly exist, right?

That’s what Grace Buchanan thought, before her useless car stranded her on the side of a deserted road just inside the Green Valley city limits.

When Tucker Haywood—tall and handsome and full of southern charm— shows up to help, her reaction to him is the strongest thing she’s ever felt in her life, and it makes no freaking sense.

It doesn’t make much sense to Tucker either. Not why she hates him, or why he finds her so intriguing. He knows well enough that Grace is moving to Green Valley for a fresh start, not to distract him when he’s got no room for something like her in his life.

The complications between them are endless, but that doesn’t stop her definitely not love-at-first-sight feelings from changing into something else entirely.

Grace and Tucker are about to learn the hard way that in Green Valley, hating someone has never tasted so sweet.

My thoughts:

I’m always a little hesitant to read a book by one author set in a world created by another author. I’m afraid that it just won’t have the right “feel” to it. Penny Reid’s writing style, settings, and characters are one of a kind. Her Green Valley, home of the Winston brothers, has a special place in my heart. I have read a couple books in this world now, and neither of them quite reflected the setting or style I expected. This is all a big build up to say that Karla Sorensen is the first author who has managed to write her own unique characters and do Green Valley justice. Batter of Wits felt like coming home to Green Valley, and that’s a good thing. I loved Grace and Tucker. Their love story had some uncomfortable bumps, but it was fun.

Review: That Secret Crush (Meghan Quinn)

That Secret Crush
Series: Getting Lucky, #3
Author: Meghan Quinn
Publication Date: February 11, 2020
Publisher: Montlake
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn brings more humor and heart with the third novel of her Getting Lucky series: a story about breaking curses and laying your heart on the line.

What happens when your secret crush isn’t so secret anymore?

I’ve had feelings for Eve Roberts for as long as I can remember, but because she also happens to be the twin sister of my best friend, Eric, I’ve never acted on my feelings and long ago resigned myself to keeping my crush under wraps.

But after a terrible falling-out with Eric involving a failed restaurant venture and plenty of blame on both sides, I’m back in Port Snow without my best friend and without any direction. But can you guess who’s here? Eve. And my attraction to her is as strong as ever.

As old feelings rush back, Eve and I find ourselves pulled together, whether we like it or not. Lines are crossed, secrets are kept, and we soon discover that the difference between love and friendship may not be so black and white, after all.

Everyone wants that secret crush to love them back…but will I be ready when she does?


If you wanted to know if the Getting Lucky series could get any better…the answer is YES. Yes, it could and it did with That Secret Crush. Going into this book, I didn’t remember anything about Reid Knightly. I didn’t even remember his character from the first couple of books other than his name. Well, Reid must have been saving all of his pizazz for his own book because he definitely stood out in That Secret Crush.

Reid was a man whose dreams had been crushed early on in adulthood. He just gave up and went with good enough. It made him cranky. I didn’t mind his crankiness, but what I loved was the the guy he was underneath it. He was teasing, fun, and joyful. The person who brought all of those qualities out in him was Eve.

Eve was the perfect love interest for Reid. Having grown up together (Reid’s best friend was Eve’s twin brother), they knew it each other so well and understood each other well. She could put up with sexual humor and moments of stupidity better than anyone. The only thing they didn’t know was their secret crushes on each other. It made their acting on their attractions that much more satisfying.

I don’t want to say too much more about this story. Honestly, I could go on and on about how much I loved it and why. I just loved how the entire romance and story around it played out. I loved how Meghan Quinn added in her rom-com humor through Reid’s character. It was all so much fun. That Secret Crush is definitely my new favorite in this series and moving toward the top of my list of all-time favorite Meghan Quinn books.

Review: Late Night Kisses (Whitney G.)

Late Night Kisses
Author: Whitney G.
Publication Date: December 19, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Holiday, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The Official Recipe for Nathan Benson:

2 cups cockiness
1 mouth that’s far sexier when it’s shut
1 huge ego that can’t fit in the damn mixer
1 BIG, HARD co—Well, you get the picture…

As a professional baker, I can tell exactly what a man is made of the moment he walks through my shop’s frosted glass doors.

So, the moment Nathan Benson showed up over half an hour late to our blind date (with no explanation), caught the gaze of every woman in the diner with his panty-wetting smile, and said, “I personally don’t think we should waste any more of our time sitting here talking,” after only five minutes of conversation, I knew he was one of the rudest concoctions ever created.

I also knew there was no way in hell I was going to see him again.

Or, so I thought.

Days after I abandoned him on our first date, he tracked me down with one hell of a way to get me to agree to a second one. (And a third, and a fourth.)

I swear if it weren’t for the fact that I was being blackmailed by the sexiest man I’ve ever met, I would’ve reported him to the authorities a long time ago.

Then again, holding out for a few late night kisses (and maybe a bit more) from his mouth of perfection may not be a complete recipe for disaster after all…


I am always excited to hear Whitney G. is releasing a new book or novella. I was even more excited when I realized this time she was giving us a holiday novella. I haven’t read many of those this season, and I’ve been wanting to pick one up.

Late Night Kisses was fun and flirty. It was about two people who meet on a blind date and get off on the wrong foot. Christina is not impressed with Nathan, and it’s up to him to convince her that they’re perfect for each other. That might not sound much like a holiday novella, but set in a town that revolves around Christmas, holiday wishes, snow, and some baking, the holiday cheer was abundant.

I really enjoyed Late Night Kisses. Christina and Nathan had a great enemies to lovers vibe going on like only Whitney G. can write. The banter was sexy and hilarious. I liked both Christina and Nathan. I could feel their instant connection. The start to their relationship was so much fun. Although, I’m not sure I would have given Nathan a second chance at all. I’m glad Christina did.

This was a novella, so it was short and sweet. I liked that and then I didn’t. Whitney G. always makes me want more. I wanted a full length novel and love story out of Late Night Kisses because I would have enjoyed it that much more. I wanted to experience more build up and development. I did get one amazing ending, though!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Romances for Foodies

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books (Does a character eat something you’d love? Or maybe the book takes place in a bakery/restaurant that makes yummy things? You could also talk about 10 of your favorite cookbooks if you don’t read foody books.). I’m going to go off topic a little today, and go with Top Ten Romances for Foodies. All of these books are either centered around chefs, bakers, farmers or culinary delights.


1. Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3)
Penny Reid

2. Sweet Addiction (Sweet Addiction, #1)
J. Daniels

3. Full Package
Lauren Blakely

4. Sincerely, Carter (Sincerely Carter, #1)
Whitney G.

5. Bittersweet (True North, #1)
Sarina Bowen

6. Nuts (Hudson Valley, #1)
Alice Clayton

7. Cream of the Crop (Hudson Valley, #2)
Alice Clayton

8. Buns (Hudson Valley, #3)
Alice Clayton

9. Garden Spells (Waverley Family, #1)
Sarah Addison Allen

10. Sweet on You (Laurel Heights, #6)
Kate Perry