Review: You Have a Match (Emma Lord)

You Have a Match
Author: Emma Lord
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.


This was a weird reading experience for me. I think it might have been my mood. When I started this book, I was really into the writing and the story. The whole finding a sister through DNA intrigued me. It kind of lost me after a while, though. Like I said, I’m not sure if I fell out of the mood of wanting this type of story or if I got bored in the middle. It picked up once everything major went down. I liked learning about Abby and Savannah’s parents and their decisions. I wouldn’t have minded hearing even more about everything that went down with in the past. That was probably what I was most interested in. It made the story end on a high note for me. I liked the lessons Abby learned.

Review: The Cousins (Karen M. McManus)

The Cousins
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You’ll never feel the same about family again.

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over–and this summer, the cousins will learn everything. 


Karen M. McManus is one of those authors who as soon as I’m finished reading her most recent release I’m already awaiting the next one. I feel like I have been waiting FOREVER to read The Cousins. The wait was worth every minute.

McManus instantly pulled me in with her writing. I was curious without barely knowing anything about what was to come. The story was addictive and flowed at fast pace — which is how I like my thrillers. I didn’t always like all of the characters, but I loved them. Their story was messy and highly entertaining.

I never quite knew where the story was going until I was almost upon what was happening. There were lots of great surprises. The only place where the surprises left me a little letdown was toward the end. The biggest reveal was too easy, if that makes sense. I would have preferred something a little more complex, but that didn’t ruin my reading experience. Overall, The Cousins was a great book that was fun to read and fulfilled my need for a Karen M. McManus book. Now, I’m waiting for next release…

Audiobook Review: Anxious People (Fredrik Backman)

Anxious People
Author: Fedrik Backman
Narrator: Marin Ireland
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary, Humor

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Trapped in an apartment open house with six neurotic strangers, a would-be bank robber gets much more than he bargained for in this clever, rollicking, and heartfelt novel that is one-part locked-room mystery and one-part insightful character study from the beloved, bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and Beartown.

This is a story about a hostage drama. But more than that, it’s a story about idiots. That’s why, from the very outset, I need to say that it is always very easy to declare people idiots, but only if you forget that it is also almost always idiotically difficult to be human.

When a failed bank robber escapes into an apartment filled with people during an open house, a group of six strangers are suddenly forced to get to know one another quickly and under extreme circumstances. But what will be the result?

In captivity we meet Roger and Anna-Lena, a recently retired couple who are on a manic hunt for fixer-uppers because they don’t know how to fix their own marriage. They have the distinction of shopping at every Ikea in Sweden—and those are some of the most romantic moments they ever shared. Then there is Zara, a wealthy director of a bank who has never cared for poor people or their problems (and isn’t shy about saying so). But when tragedy strikes in her life, she becomes addicted to visiting real-estate open houses to see how the middle-classes live—and possibly to find a suitable place to commit suicide. Julia and Danijela are a young lesbian couple with a newborn baby who can’t agree on anything. Their opposite and idiosyncratic home preferences are making them increasingly anxious about their chances of spending a lifetime together. And Estelle, an eighty-year-old woman who has lived long enough to be unimpressed by some bank robber waving a gun in her face. Despite the story she tells them all, Estelle hasn’t really come to the apartment to view it for her daughter, and her husband really isn’t outside parking the car.

As police surround the premises and television channels are broadcasting live, the pressure of an increasingly tense situation mounts, causing each person to reveal more and more about themselves to each other. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people.

A riotous comedy, Anxious People is about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and a group of very anxious people who experience exactly the same events in wildly different ways.


I’m a fairly new Fredrik Backman reader. I read and ended up loving Beartown, but to be honest it took me a long time to get into it. It started so slow for me. That was not the case with Anxious People. Where Beartown was dreary and took a lot of time to build up to action, Anxious People took off at an addicting pace. I loved the way the story was set up. I couldn’t wait to find out how everything unraveled. Learning about the characters along the way was like a cherry on top of a sundae.  I loved how their personal stories wove into the bigger picture. I appreciated how this book managed to be incredibly funny while delivering some very strong punches. So many things hit me right in the heart. I loved every minute of it. Anxious People will be going on my list of favorite books I’ve read this year.

Since I listened to this book, I want to comment on the narration as well. It was spectacular. I got both the audiobook and e-book from my library at the same time. I thought about switching from the audiobook to the e-book just so I could read the book faster than listen, but I liked the narrator too much. Marin Ireland brought the story to life in the best way.  Her narration was so good that I had to listen and sent the e-book back for someone else to read.

Audiobook Review: The Five Stages of Falling in Love (Rachel Higginson)

The Five Stages of Falling in Love
Author: Rachel Higginson
Narrator: Christine Marshall
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Audible Studios
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

The Five Stages of Falling in Love is a Contemporary Romance.
Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.

Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her?

Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days.

When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn’t just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she’s capable of ever giving again.

As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there’s more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there’s more to life than death.


The Five Stages of Love has been on my TBR since it was released. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to get to it. I’m seriously regretting that now. This book was heartbreakingly good.

Liz is has lost her husband and the father of her four young children. She’s simply trying to make it through the day when Ben moves in next door. As Liz moves through the stages of grief of Grady, she begins to develop a friendship with Ben. As their friendship morphs into more, Liz has to navigate her feelings over losing Grady and what it means to fall for Ben.

Like I said before, this book was heartbreakingly good. Liz’s grief was overwhelming at times, as it should have been. Listening to her navigate her understandable feelings was hard, but it was also rewarding. The way she worked through things and picked up the pieces of her life was inspiring. It might have taken time, but also felt natural. I loved how her feelings grew organically for Ben. I adored how Ben accepted Liz for who she was at any given moment, and also how he bonded with her children. The only thing I could have wanted from this book that wasn’t included was Ben’s point of view. I don’t blame Higginson for not including it, though. It might have distracted from the growth of Liz’s character.

The Five Stages of Falling in Love was a very beautiful story of grief and love. It broke my heart several times, but also put it back together. It touched me in ways I wasn’t expecting. I would highly recommend it. It is now my favorite Higginson book.

Review: Little Lies (H. Hunting)

Little Lies
Author: H. Hunting (Helena Hunting)
Publication Date: November 16, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

I don’t want you.
You mean nothing to me.
I never loved you.

I turned my words into swords.
And I cut her down. Shoved the blade in and watched her fall.

I said I’d never hurt her, and I did.

Years later, I’m faced with all the little lies, the untruths, the false realities, the damage I inflicted, when all I wanted was to indulge my obsession.

Lavender Waters is the princess in the tower. Even her name is the thing fairy tales are made of.

I used to be the one who saved her.
Over and over again.

But I don’t want to save her anymore.
I just want to pretend the lies are still the truth.

A standalone angsty new adult romance.

 

Heroine: Lavender Waters (Alex and Violet Waters’ youngest daughter, PUCKED and FOREVER PUCKED couple origin, Pucked Series )

Hero: Kodiak (Kody) Bowman (Rook and Lainey Bowman’s son, A LIE FOR A LIE couple origin, All In Series )


Pucked/All In crossover romance? I know fans of Helena Hunting’s hockey romance series are going to be lining up for this book. I was super excited to read it myself. I’m happy to report that Little Lies didn’t disappoint.

Little Lies wasn’t a romantic comedy like those previous series. It was edgier. There was more angst and a darker vibe. I guess that’s why Hunting felt the need to go with “H. Hunting” instead of “Helena Hunting”. (I’m not sold on this being a great move since this book is combining two of Helena Hunting’s series, but whatever.) It still brought forth a few chuckles, though.  I loved both the writing, the story, and all the children of the couples I have loved over the years.

Lavender Waters was a character I was excited to learn more about. I really liked her character in this book. I could remember a few details from her childhood from the previous books, but I liked getting further into her backstory. It wasn’t exactly a troubled one, but it kind of was. Anxiety was a huge factor in this book, and I liked how it was dealt with.

Kodiak Bowman started out not being my favorite guy, but the more I got to learn about him, the more I understood him. Finding out how intertwined Lavender and Kodiak were as kids helped a lot. I have to admit loving the flashbacks of their childhood and trying to figure out how they got to being enemies the way they were currently. Plus, it made things even sweeter when enemies turned to more. I ended up finding the two of them perfect together and very adorable. I do have to admit that the physical aspect of their relationship sort of shocked me, but considering there’s a relation to both Alex & Violet Waters and Rook & Lainey Bowman maybe I shouldn’t have been?

One of my favorite things about this book were all the sibling/cousin/friend relationships. The Pucked and All In series created a bunch of children to throw into the mix. Seeing how those kids’ relationships morphed throughout the years was so much fun! I loved Lavender and River’s relationships. They all just added an extra layer to the drama that went down between Lavender and Kodiak. Plus, the parents make some cool cameos.

I’m really, really hoping Little Lies is a start to a new series by Hunting. I would LOVE for each and every one of the kids to get a book. There’s great potential for some great romances. I have a feeling I would enjoy them just as much as I enjoyed Lavender and Kodiak’s romance.

Little Lies, an all-new, angsty and emotional new adult romance from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting writing as H. Hunting is out now!

 

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gn18sL
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/littlelies
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3aWyq0C
Audible: https://adbl.co/32HTPIe

Add LITTLE LIES to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2IUtW0y

About Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Connect with Helena
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Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/
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Review: Jordan Reclaimed (Scarlett Cole)

Jordan Reclaimed
Series: Preload, #1
Author: Scarlett Cole
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Swerve
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He’s a rockstar, she’s a ballerina, they’re worlds apart yet just what the other needs.

Jordan Steele’s life began when he was ten. When he was taken from his parents and a house that was never a home. When he met his brothers, the other lost and abandoned boys in his group home. When he learned what friendship and family and love looked like.

Now he’s made a career out of playing the music he loves, touring the world with the band he and his brothers formed in that crowded group home. No one but his found family really knows the man under the fame and fortune, the scars he hides behind the rockstar lifestyle. Until he sees her through the windows of the National Ballet, dancing, and suddenly the world doesn’t seem so dark.

Aleksandra Artemov ticks all the ballet boxes. Father a legendary Kirov dancer. Check. Prepping since birth for classical ballet. Check. Compulsive control over the food she eats. Check. Principal dancer at The National Ballet of Canada. Check. But what she craves is freedom.

She craves Jordan.

Everything about him should terrify her. His size, his tattoos, his hard rock edge. But he doesn’t. He stirs her very soul. Jordan has nothing but himself to offer her, and he’s never been good enough for anyone. Can he figure out how to face his own demons before he loses his light for good?


Jordan Reclaimed is one of those books I most likely wouldn’t have picked up based on the blurb. I’m not usually into books starring ballerinas. I have no idea why, but they don’t make me pick up a book. I picked this one up because my friend Lenore from Celebrity Readers recommended it to me. I’m so happy she did because I truly enjoyed this book.

Jordan Reclaimed deals with heavy topics like child abuse and eating disorders. It could have been a very angst filled read, but it wasn’t. There was just the right amount of angst and lightness. There was also a ton of heart in it. It was very well written and a great introduction to Scarlett Cole’s writing for me.

Jordan had such a devastating story. The guy had been through some of the most horrible things. My heart broke for him. I adored his relationship with his “brothers” and bandmates. The way they came together and supported each other was fantastic. Jordan meeting Lexi added to his support group and made him grow in the best way possible.

Lexi didn’t go through quite the horrors that Jordan had, but she had issues of her own with a demanding father and career. (I actually enjoyed the look at the ballet world that I got more than I expected to.) From a readers perspective, it almost felt like Lexi had nothing of her own until she met Jordan.

Jordan and Lexi had great chemistry. I liked how they contrasted each other. Lexi felt like light while Jordan felt like darkness. Somehow their differences made them more compatible than I thought they would be. I loved how they were able to read each other so well, push when they needed to push, and pulled back when they needed to give space. It was such a well written and thought out love story.

I mentioned the band for a moment above, but there is so much more to say about the guys from Preload. None of them had it easy growing up and their bonds were some of the tightest I’ve read. They got each other in very specific ways and you could see how important their friendship brotherhood was to them. I loved how they were able to tease each other and boost each other up. It was all very sweet.

There wasn’t much about this book that I didn’t love. If I have to point out something, I would say that I didn’t love that it was written in third person. There were some places where the story switched from one POV to another without a chapter change or heading that threw me off. There was also a Pretty Woman moment that felt weird and, well, too Pretty Woman for me. Nothing that was a huge deal or took away from my love of the characters and their romance.

I’m very thankful to Lenore for recommending Jordan Reclaimed to me. I enjoyed it so much that I am immediately jumping into reading the second book in the series. I feel a series binge coming on…

Review: Sorrow (Tiffanie DeBartolo)

Sorrow
Author: Tiffanie DeBartolo
Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Publisher: Woodhall Press
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From Tiffanie DeBartolo, author of God Shaped Hole, How to Kill a Rock Star, and Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story, comes Sorrow, a poignant story about friendship and love, art and music, and how these pursuits can save us from ourselves.

Joe Harper has backpedaled throughout his life. A once-promising guitar prodigy, he’s been living without direction since abandoning his musical dreams. Now into his thirties, having retreated from every opportunity he’s had to level up, he has lost his family, his best friend, and his self-respect.

But Joe finds an unlikely path to redemption when he starts working as a carpenter for the bohemian conceptual artist October Danko. The job returns him to his hometown, loaded with bittersweet reminders of his former life, in the shadows of his beloved redwood trees. As Joe’s relationship with October develops, he yearns to take a daring step toward a bold future but struggles to escape the craven decisions of his past.

Sorrow is a stunning, moving novel that explores masculinity and suspended adolescence, all the while begging the questions: Can courage be learned? And is it ever too late to follow your heart?


Um… I just finished this book and I have GOOSEBUMPS. Goosebumps. Reading this book was like listening to a singer who can emote like no other. Everything that Tiffanie DeBartolo wrote I felt. Deeply. This book’s title is Sorrow. That title encompasses so much more than just the feeling. Joe himself was basically one big sorrow. That probably makes no sense, but I have no idea how to explain what this book put me through! I had no idea where this story would end up going when I started it. I disliked the characters through much of it. I thought the book would depress me because I felt the sorrow, but somewhere along the way that sorrow combined with hope. Maybe that hope is what left me with goosebumps in the end. All I can say about this book in the end is that I loved it as much as I was expecting to while feeling rubbed the wrong way while reading much of it. It was such a weird thing. A fantastic, hopeful thing.

Review: Snapped (Alexa Martin)

Snapped
Series: Playbook, #4
Author: Alexa Martin
Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

With the stakes this high, it’s no longer just a game for the quarterback in this romance by the author of Blitzed.

Elliot Reed is living her best life—or pretending to. She owes it to her dad’s memory to be happy and make the most of her new job as Strategic Communications Manager for the Denver Mustangs. Things are going well until star quarterback Quinton Howard Jr. decides to use the field as his stage and becomes the first player to take a knee during the national anthem.

As the son of a former professional athlete, Quinton knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about football. He’s worked his entire life to gain recognition in the sport, and now that he has it, he’s not about to waste his chance to change the league for better. Not even the brilliant but infuriating Elliot, who the Mustangs assign to manage him, will get Quinton back in line.

A rocky initial meeting only leads to more tension between Quinton and Elliot. But as her new job forces them to spend time together, she realizes they may have more in common than she could’ve ever imagined. With her job and his integrity on the line, this is one coin toss that nobody can win.


I was a little nervous prior to starting Snapped. I’ve enjoyed the Playbook series up until this point, and the reviews I have seen for this fourth book are very mixed. People seemed to either love or dislike it, so I wasn’t sure how it would hit me. Snapped started out with a letter from Martin about how the book and she relates to Elliot, the NFL, and the racial injustices/inequalities in it. I appreciated this letter because it enhanced how I saw the character and what was going on. It made me forgot about the worry I had and just dive in.

I enjoyed the experience of reading Snapped more than I thought I would. It didn’t really feel like a romance, more like women’s fiction for the most part. That didn’t bother me because I was immediately pulled in with the writing and story. Based on the subject matter it covers, I was imagining it being a heavy read. It had its heavy moments, mostly at the climax of the story, but was overall not too angsty. The build up to the climax did make me uncomfortable, but it was supposed to. Martin did a great job making me feel the tension Elliot was feeling. Did I love feeling that tension? Not really, but I pushed through.

What I liked the most about this book was Elliot and the self-discovery she went through.  I could feel her fears, frustrations, sadness, and hope. I can’t comment on how true to life her experiences were as I’m not biracial, but I’m hoping maybe they mirror the author’s enough to be authentic to readers who are.

Quinton was a gem of a character. I loved how he stood up for his beliefs and didn’t back down. I only wish I would have gotten dual point of view because I would have loved to hear his thoughts straight from his own head. It would have made this book and its topics that much more powerful.

I feel like I need to warn readers who are fans of the series at this point. I know I mentioned how this didn’t read like true romance novel to me (and it’s definitely not a rom-com). There’s a lot of getting to know each other, working together, and building rapport between Elliot and Quinton through most of the book. Things don’t truly progress further until about 70% and then it feels like fast forward was hit. I do wish the romance was heavier at the beginning, but the progression to the start of a relationship did feel natural.

Overall, Snapped was a good addition to this series. Each book has gotten a little heavier in subject manner, and this one continued that trend. I wish there had been a little more romance throughout the book, but I wouldn’t want it to take anything away from the important, relevant issues touched on. It also set up what I’m guessing is going to be book #5, which I am very interested in reading.

Review: The Rules of Burken (Traci Finlay)

The Rules of Burken
Author: Traci Finlay
Publication Date: April 11, 2019
Genre: Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Twenty-four-year-old Charlotte Stahl would do anything for her older brother, Ian. After all, he’d done everything for her growing up.

He played Burken with her—a hide-and-seek game they made up as kids.

He comforted her when their mom deserted them.

He raised her when their dad went to prison for murder.

To Charlotte, Ian is the only reason she’s still alive—he’s her rock. So when Ian asks her to play Burken in the isolated woods of Cadillac, Michigan, Charlotte feels she could use the nostalgia and agrees. Besides, they haven’t played this game since childhood. Burken—it’s the one thing that never changes …

…until Ian threatens to kill her in the middle of the game.

More than the rules have changed as Brother turns to Predator, Sister turns to Prey, and she’s navigating the forests of Northern Michigan on foot with nothing but the clothes—and a target—on her back.

If Charlotte wants to stay alive, she knows she has to untangle the web of her haunting past to find out where things went wrong, and at what point she lost sight of reality. With no other choice but to reopen old wounds—and with Ian hot on her trail—Charlotte learns that sometimes evil has to manifest in order for good to succeed. Which makes her wonder…

Is Ian really a monster? Or her savior?


I came across The Rules of Burken when author Tarryn Fisher promoted it on her Instagram at release time. I was intrigued by it then and wanted to read it, so I downloaded it. I don’t have a good reason for taking so long to get to it. It sat on my Kindle for over a year before I picked it up, which I’m not proud of.

This psychological thriller was addictive from the start. I was constantly tense trying to figure things out. The game Charlotte and her brother Ian played was brutal. Their sibling bond fascinated me. I was desperate to understand it, so I could make guesses as to what was happening. There these great flashbacks throughout the story heightened my curiosity even more. Everything moved at such fast pace, I didn’t want to miss anything. I didn’t want to put the book down.

Honestly, I was impressed this was Traci Finlay’s debut novel. The writing was great, the plot moved quickly, and the end left me wanting more. Not only do I want to read another book by this author, but I would read a sequel. It wasn’t the most complex psychological thriller, but it was a good one and I would recommend it.

Review: Spoiler Alert (Olivia Dade)

Spoiler Alert
Author: Olivia Dade
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Olivia Dade bursts onto the scene in this delightfully fun romantic comedy set in the world of fanfiction, in which a devoted fan goes on an unexpected date with her celebrity crush, who’s secretly posting fanfiction of his own. 

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster.  Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.


April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.

Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her.


With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?


Spoiler Alert is the first book I have read by Olivia Dade. Her books weren’t on my radar until I saw my blogger friend Nick recommending her last release, 40-Love. She made that book sound magical, so when I saw Spoiler Alert I decided to read it. I am so, so glad I did.

I’m going to be completely honest here. I didn’t read the blurb before starting the book. I didn’t realize it had a fan fiction aspect to it. I’m happy I didn’t because that might have put me off. Fan fiction within a romance doesn’t always go well for me. It did in this book, though. Rather than take away from the story, it enhanced it. I love how it supported the characters and the romance.

That romance… SIGH. What an adorable romance. Marcus and April were utterly perfect for each other. I loved how Marcus could let his guard down with April. I loved how she didn’t have to always worry about her insecurities and weight with him. They got each other and accepted each other for who they were deep down. It was such a pleasant experience reading their love for each other. I didn’t even mind when they had some drama to deal with.

Individually, Marcus and April had things in their background that they struggled with. Much of it had to do with their parents. Having been someone’s child and now someone’s parent, I liked seeing how their childhood and adult experiences with their parents shaped them. How it all went down was great.

We don’t get a ton of time with other side characters in this book, but there were a couple notable ones. Alex was hilarious. I am so curious about his working relationship with Lauren. I was pleased to find out they are getting a book. I also enjoyed April’s co-workers.

There wasn’t anything I didn’t love about Spoiler Alert. I guess if I had to nitpick something I could say that there needed to be more between Marcus and April about the resolution of their problems. Still, that wouldn’t make me give this book less than 5 stars. It was a fantastic read that I would highly recommend.