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.

Review: Heartbreak Bay (Rachel Caine)

Heartbreak Bay
Series: Stillhouse Lake, #5
Author: Rachel Caine
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

They’re hunting a killer so silent, so invisible, that his unspeakable crimes are the only proof he exists.

A car submerged in a remote pond. The bodies of two girls strapped into their seats. The mystery of their mother, vanished without a trace, leads Gwen Proctor and Kezia Claremont into dangerous territory.

On the surface, Gwen’s life is good—two children approaching adulthood, a committed partner, and a harrowing past dead and gone. But that past is attracting the attention of someone invisible…and unstoppable. Trouble’s just beginning. So is the body count in this backwoods Tennessee town.

As threats mount and Gwen’s hunted by an enemy who pulls all the strings, Kezia has her back. But working to solve these vicious and unreasonable crimes will expose them both to a killer they can’t for the life of them see coming.


Not going to lie. My heart is breaking a little as I write this one last review for Rachel Caine and the Stillhouse Lake series. Knowing Caine is no longer with us and will no longer be writing hit me hard as I finished Heartbreak Bay. While this book was a fitting end for Gwen Proctor, family, and friends, I would have loved for this series to gone on longer. It takes a lot for me to stay confined to my seat with a thriller, and Rachel Caine has always managed to do that with this series. Heartbreak Bay was no different. I was taken on a stressful but addictive journey to find another killer taunting Gwen and it was everything I hoped it would be. Rachel Caine finished up this series on a high and I will forever be grateful to her for writing a thriller series that kept me always coming back for more. Fans of this series won’t want to miss out on this spectacular ending.

Series Review: Busy Bean (World of True North)

Last month, I reviewed the first series in Sarina Bowen’s World of True North. Today, I’m sharing with you the first two books of the next series called Busy Bean. These books are all set around the Busy Bean coffee shop ran by Bowen’s Zara and Audrey.

Sweetheart
Series: Busy Bean, #1

Author: Sarah Mayberry
Publication Date: March 1, 2020
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

My thoughts:

This is kind of my first read of Sarah Mayberry, but kind of not. I read a book she co-wrote with Sarina Bowen a while back and enjoyed that one. I knew I would probably enjoy this one, and I did. Sweetheart was all sorts of steamy fun. The war both Haley and Beck had going on in their minds regarding Beck’s past with Haley’s sister was pretty intense. They had many reasons to stay away from each other, but it was so much fun when they acted on their attraction. There were some super sweet moments between the two. I ended up loving them together despite being a little weirded out about the fact that Beck was in a relationship with her sister years ago. That whole story line was sad in a way, and I would have liked a few more explosive moments between Haley and Jess to flesh it out more. Overall, Sweetheart was a great read with big True North vibes. I loved it!

Add to Goodreads here: https://bit.ly/2JhMAAe
Busy Bean series page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/busy-bean/

Cowboy
Series: Busy Bean, #2

Author: L.B. Dunbar
Publication Date: March 1, 2020
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

This was my first book by L.B. Dunbar and I can understand why people love her books. She writes fun romances about “older” people and they don’t feel old. What I mean is, both of these characters were in their 40’s living their lives. They might not have some of the flash of being in their 20’s, but they were still vibrant, living people. LIKE PEOPLE IN THEIR 40’s ACTUALLY ARE! HALLELUJA!

Cowboy was about a farmer falling in love with a city gal after an accidental pregnancy. Bull Eaton felt country. From his looks to his job to his personality, he felt like someone you could meet when taking a trip to a Vermont farm. Scarlett Russel might have started off a woman from the big city with her previous flashy job, car, and ex-husband, but she quickly embraced the small town lifestyle. I liked how Bull and Scarlett came from two very different backgrounds and fit perfectly. I also loved how they handled the pregnancy and everything it meant. It was a fun, steamy read.

Add to Goodreads here: https://bit.ly/34Ax3To
Busy Bean series page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/busy-bean/

Review: Nate (Tijan)

Nate
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Nate Monson was gorgeous, obnoxiously wealthy, and a player.
He was also the person who could destroy my world with a single decision.

I walked into that bar looking for him.
He saw me. I saw him.
The chemistry sizzled between us, but no.

I hated Nate Monson.
I hated him with everything in me, even though my body did not.
It didn’t matter.

Nothing I wanted mattered.
He thought I wanted to get laid.
What I wanted was for him to disappear.

But first, I had to tell him that he had a daughter.


If you’re a fan of the Fallen Crest High series, Nate is a book you have been waiting a long time for. Or at least I have been. I’ve always been curious about Mason and Logan’s best friend. He went through some STUFF with them and I was curious what went on in his mind. I also wanted him to find a love like Mason and Sam or Logan and Taylor. To say I was excited to get Nate would be an understatement. Did Nate live up to my expectations? That’s a harder question to answer than it should be.

Reading Nate was exciting. I loved where Tijan took the drama. It wasn’t what I expected. There was a family feud like in the other Fallen Crest High books, but it wasn’t with Nate’s family. It all revolved around his daughter and the mother’s side of the family. It wasn’t the same old drama and I appreciated that. Things were handled in a more grown up way, too. It was nice to see the maturity of Tijan’s original characters as they are now adults.

Tijan says in the back of the book that Nate took a long time to speak to her.  This comment resonated with me thinking back on this book. To be completely honest, Nate didn’t have the emotional pull of Mason, Logan, or any of the other guys from Fallen Crest High related books. I loved that he felt an instant love for his daughter and how his love for the person he falls for developed over time. I enjoyed (as always) the comradery between Nate, Mason, and Logan. The moments between Nate and his friends were where his character seemed to flesh out the most. There was something missing, though. I think part of that is that Nate drops us into his adult life. He’s grown up and we get some talk of his teenage years, but I think I needed a little something from that time to tie who he was into who he is now. I guess I’ve always just wondered what was going on with him inside his head and I didn’t get as much as I wanted with that. What I did get was a look into who Nate became. I liked adult Nate.

As for that love interest… I’m not telling. I know there will be some spoilers on who she is, so you can get them elsewhere. I liked her for the most part. She wasn’t what I was expecting. There were some weird vibes that I won’t explain and didn’t love, but her story combined with Nate’s worked for me. They had an instant chemistry and I enjoyed the build up of their relationship.

Nate’s daughter was super cute. For those who don’t like kids in books — she didn’t overwhelm the story. She fit right in at the right moments. I liked how her addition to Nate’s life changed his outlook.

I want to go back and comment on the whole friendship aspect of this book. There were a lot of moments with Mason and Logan and the others, but they didn’t take over Nate’s story. They added to it. We got the fun, the humor, the bada$$ery, and the SBC — basically everything you would want to see from them all together. Those moments were priceless and made me hope that we’ll get more novellas or books about these characters in the future. Heck, I’m still holding out hope for a Matteo/Grace book.

My overall thoughts on Nate are that I liked reading it a lot. I don’t know how other fans of the original series are going to feel about this book, but I thought it was fun and unique enough while staying within the FCH feel. I wouldn’t say I fell head over heels for it, but it was addictive. There a couple of cringe worthy things, but they didn’t break the book for me. Anyways. I liked it. I would rate it somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars.

Series Review: Moo U (World of True North)

Good morning! I have something fun to share with you today. It’s a series review for the first series in Sarina Bowen’s World of True North. All three books are available TODAY! Get ready for some college hockey romance fun!

Blindsided
Series: Moo U, #1
Author: Victoria Denault
Publication Date: February 15, 2020
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts: 

 I already found a new favorite author for 2021! Blindsided was a great introduction to Victoria Denault’s writing. I loved absolutely every minute of this book. The enemies to more trope was on point. The tension between Maggie and Tate was off the charts. I loved the whole neighbors who hate each other thing that was going on with their entire families and how to trickled down to them.  Once all that hate ignited in chemistry, POOF! FIRE! Maggie and Tate were just as much fun in lust and love as in hate. Plus, there were so many laughs to be had. Blindsided was exactly the type of enemies to more romance that I love. It was also a strong debut of a new world and series created by Sarina Bowen. I was impressed how easily the writing matched with Bowen’s own. I can’t wait to read more from Denault and the rest of this series.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3omh4Qh
Pre-Order: https://geni.us/AmazonBlindsided
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Slapshot
Series: Moo U, #2
Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Publication Date: February 15, 2020
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Slapshot was the main reason I wanted to read the Moo U series. I love Rebecca Jenshak’s NA sports romances and this one was every bit as good as her others. Kaitlyn and Lex won my heart right very quickly. They initially seemed like an odd combination together. She was a couple of years older, (maybe) wiser, and trying to avoid everything hockey until she ends up as the team manager. Lex was new to Moo U, trying to find his place on the team, and all about hockey. Despite feeling like an unlikely couple to me at first, their chemistry couldn’t have been any stronger. Kaitlyn and Lex’s personalities became bigger, brighter when they were together. I loved the progression of their relationship, that fiery chemistry, and they way helped each other find their way. It was an adorably fun romance. I also loved seeing some other favorite characters from this series again. Slapshot was another hit for me in the Moo U series.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2VFqM4b
Pre-Order: https://geni.us/AmazonSlapshot
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Holdout
Series: Moo U, #3
Author: Jaqueline Snowe
Publication Date: February 15, 2020
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I have another new author to love! What was most impressive about Holdout was the insane chemistry Ryann and Daniel had. I could feel their sizzle coming off the page. It wasn’t just the physical chemistry I felt, but the emotional connection was well. These were two people who held everything close to them and found the one person who got them. I loved that. Not to mention the way they ended up as roommates and what that meant for both of them was so much fun! Holdout was a fantastic addition to this series.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2JD9qSZ
Pre-Order: https://geni.us/AmazonHoldout
Share this page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Overall thoughts on the series:

WOOHOO! We’re 3 for 3 for 5 stars in this series. That’s so awesome! A lot of time these “worlds” authors create don’t work for me, but this one totally did. All of the books were standalones, but they easily tied together. Each author had their own writing style, but they all meshed so well that you felt like it was one author writing a series. That author very well could have been Sarina Bowen herself. That’s how well written they were. I hope there will be more books in this series coming. I would love it if they were written by these three authors.

Review: Swoony Billionaire: The Kline Brooks Collection (Max Monroe)

Swoony Billionaire: The Kline Brooks Collection
Series: Billionaire Bad Boys
Authors: Max Monroe
Publication Date: January 31, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

Meet the swooniest billionaire of all time in one awesome and hilarious romantic comedy collection (all for the price of one novella, too!)

This collection includes the following three books:
*New York Times bestseller Tapping the Billionaire
*Tapping Her
*And a BRAND-NEW novella, Be My Billionaire Valentine

This is the perfect indulgence for new and old readers alike!

A favorite book boyfriend of all time, Kline Brooks sets a different kind of standard.

If you’re the type of woman that prefers crotch selfies to small talk, this hero isn’t for you.

If you HATE laughing, this hero isn’t for you.

If you want your male leads to grunt, thrust like jack rabbits, and have one-track minds that prefer a nice pair of t*ts to brains every hour of every day for the rest of forever, well…then, this hero still isn’t for you.

But.

If you enjoy a good swoon, a hearty laugh, witty banter, some hot as f*@% f*@%ing, and an awesome HEA, then dive into this collection and never come up for air.

Kline Brooks isn’t the kind of man you regret. 


If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Kline Brooks and Georgia Cummings, you are missing out. I have been a fan of their books and the Billionaire Bad Boys series for years now. When I saw they were releasing the series in collections for each couple, I knew this would benefit readers who hadn’t yet read the books. That’s because this collection combines Tapping the Billionaire (Billionaire Bad Boys, #1) and the novella Tapping Her (Billionaire Bad Boys, #1.5) all in one place for one cost. As an added bonus, you get the brand new novella Be My Valentine along with them!

That’s really what I’m here to review — Be My Valentine. This novella was so much fun!!! It took us back to the early-ish days of Kline and Georgie, after Tapping Her. I loved their attempted Valentine’s Day celebration. I laughed so hard! (I mean, how can you NOT when Thatch is involved?) I also swooned hard, too. Kline is probably the sweetest of the Billionaire Bad Boys and it came across well here. The novella was a great addition to Kline and Georgia’s story.

If you’re new to this series and are curious about Kline and Georgie and what I thought of the rest of this collection, here is a link to my reviews for Tapping the Billionaire.

Series Review: In the Company of Killers (J.A. Redmerski)

I have mini reviews for the In the Company of Killers series for you today. This series isn’t for everyone. It’s dark, violent, angsty, and suspenseful. I would say it’s rated R. I would caution potential readers that it is truly dark with many, many trigger warnings. It’s about a woman who breaks free from a Mexican drug and sex trafficking ring with help of an assassin, if that explains a bit. Every character in messed up in a deeply disturbing way.

Killing Sarai
Series: In the Company of Killers, #1
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Publication Date: June 8, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Dark, Romantic Suspense, Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I’ve had Killing Sarai on my Kindle for years because friends raved about it. I’ve put off reading it for two reasons: 1. The series is SEVEN books long and 2. It’s super dark. Sarai escapes a Mexican drug lord who has abused her for years and ends up in the hands of professional killer Victor. This isn’t a love story between Sarai and Victor (as much as I might have wanted it to be), but a thrilling ride of violence and death to those who deserve it most. Killing Sarai was intense and addictive. I didn’t want to put it down, but was also scared to find out what came next. I wouldn’t say I loved reading it because it was torture in some ways. I guess all I can say is that I’m committed to reading at least the second book. (Let’s be real — I’ll end up reading the entire series.)

Reviving Izabel
Series: In the Company of Killers, #2
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Publication Date: December 4, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Dark, Romantic Suspense, Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Not going to lie. I thought I might take a break in between Killing Sarai and this book, but I couldn’t. I HAD to know what was going to happen to Sarai and Victor after the ending of the first book. Reviving Izabel surprised me in ways only the Nine Minute Trilogy by Beth Flynn has. Twists and turns came out of nowhere. When Victor warned Sarai not to trust anyone, I think he was really speaking to the reader. Man! This book was intense and blew my mind. I’m scared to find out what comes next in the third book, which is bound to be even darker since it is about their friend(?) Fredrik.

The Swan & the Jackal
Series: In the Company of Killers, #3
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Publication Date: March 3, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Dark, Romantic Suspense, Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Once again, MIND BLOWN. I was warned The Swan & the Jackal was darker than the first two books, but I don’t know that I was prepared for Fredrik. I don’t think anyone could actually be prepared for him or what he was willing to do to find Seraphina. Dude was disturbed. Knowing the reasons behind his actions… Well, that was just heartbreaking with a side of nauseating. Fredrik is one of those characters I knew I shouldn’t love, but can’t help it because he’s more vulnerable than I expected. So, yeah. Shock and awe with this third installment. How will J.A. Redmerski ever be able to keep the surprises coming?

Seeds of Inequity
Series: In the Company of Killers, #4
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Publication Date: September 25, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Dark, Romantic Suspense, Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Seeds of Inequity is probably my favorite book in the series so far. It wasn’t quite as shocking as some of the other books — even if my mind was blown on more than one occasion while reading it. What I loved so much about it was the levity it brought to the series. Even while it was being dark and twisted, it managed to be humorous at times. The addition of Nora’s character was so smart. She really got in everyone’s heads and put the team through some stuff. I loved how that changed some dynamics. It’s going to be very interesting to find out where things go after this book. It was a game changer.

The Black Wolf
Series: In the Company of Killers, #5
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Publication Date: June 29, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Dark, Romantic Suspense, Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I took a break in between books 4 and 5 because I had to read an ARC, but I couldn’t wait to get back to this book. Unfortunately, it didn’t immediately pull me in. It wasn’t until about half way through when the story ramped up and I became more interested. Even then, I wondered what the point of everything was…right up until the very end. That ah-ha moment had me rethinking everything that happened in this installment of In the Company of Killers. In the end, my biggest complaints were I needed more Victor and Izabel time and more Fredrik.

Behind the Hands that Kill
Series: In the Company of Killers, #6
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Publication Date: May 7, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Dark, Romantic Suspense, Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

After the end of the last book, I was a little nervous regarding Victor’s intentions and idea of taking Izabel on a vacation. I had no idea where things would go with that — and what happened wasn’t on my radar. This book was all about revealing some of Victor’s secrets. It was an education on the man in a stressful way. I’m not happy with where things left off between Victor and Izabel, but it sure is making for some interesting reading. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Spiders in the Grove
Series: In the Company of Killers, #7
Author: J.A. Redmerski
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Dark, Romantic Suspense, Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

If I were to share my train of thought while reading Spiders in the Grove, it would go something like this:

Niklas is what?
Fredrik is what?
Victor is what?
Please tell me that’s a lie…
What is this? I don’t even…
IZABEL!
Ah, crap! Deal with the devil coming right up.
Ahhhh!!!!
That’s who…?
Woohoo!
I FREAKING KNEW IT!
I didn’t expect that.
I HATE IT!
That’s where it ends??? I need more now! Where is the next book?

Spiders in the Grove was non-stop revelations and crazy, crazy happenings. I was blindsided by so much! I wanted to say I loved every minute of it, but the subject matter would make that disgusting. The writing, though. It was pure genius and those twists and turns were perfection. I loved that we got real time POVs for all the characters. Also, the title is one of my favorites ever now. It matches the book so well.

I’m both happy and angry to be caught up with the series. I need that eighth book like NOW.

Overall thoughts on this series so far:

 This is one of the best dark romance/thriller series I’ve ever read. It is right up there with Beth Flynn’s Nine Minutes Trilogy for me. The twists and turns kept coming and I couldn’t stop reading.  I am on pins and needles waiting for the rest of the books.

Review: The Off Limits Rule (Sarah Adams)

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

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

That is until I meet Cooper…

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Not My Match (Ilsa Madden-Mills)

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

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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