Top 5 Sat: Male POV Romances (*sigh*)

Oh boy, oh boy! My excitement for the spin I’m taking on this week’s topic is in proportion to how much I love the suit featured above. In other words: A LOT.

Thank you (from the bottom of my suit-loving heart) Mandy at Devouring Books. Not only is your meme one of my faves but you’ve seriously just MADE MY WEEK with this topic.

As I enjoy this narration style it’s safe to say I’ve pretty much read it all and am going to share with you: The Five Male POV Romances I Want to Re-Read.


Tangled – Drew is an arrogant asshole until he meets Katherine. She’s competitive and just the right amount of sarcastic to challenge Drew. As all of these stories go… they fall in love. What truly makes this book special to read though is the fact that it starts out with Drew having the ‘flu’ AKA = heartbreak. It’s a unique spin on how romances normally go down and this is a book I’ll just keep rereading.

Sustained – Pay attention, I’m about to share something dear to my heart: Jake Becker. He is hands-down in my top 5 male characters OF ALL TIME. Yes, you read that correctly. He’s just such an honest, hard-working and considerate guy (despite also being kinda a callous dick). When he steps up to help Chelsea McQuaid, aunt to six orphaned children, my heart starts to melt. Yes this is practically a trashy read. I don’t care though. I’d sell my soul for Jake Becker!

The Sea of Tranquility – This is one of the few angsty YA contemporary romances that I enjoyed enough to want to read again. I spent majority of this book trying to figure out the main characters. They’re clear as day and yet… the author hints and teases with deeper secrets and backstory that only get revealed toward the end. I didn’t predict any of it (though I can be quite naive so bear that in mind, I suppose)! It was a fun read and Josh was such a sweetheart.

Leaving Paradise – Elkeles is hands-down my go-to slow burn love story (well, after Mariana Zapata). We’ll consider them different though as Elkeles writes mainly YA. If you’re a fan of Zapata I implore you to give something by Elkeles a try. What I adored about Caleb was his ready acceptance of others, especially ‘the freak’ Maggie. It’s told with a realistic twist where characters have physical flaws and young adults are capable of an unlikely inner strength. This story touched my heart.

Rule – Synonymous with BAD BOY, Rule is that classic arrogant ass that just needs to unleash his vulnerable side *sigh* (are you sensing a trend here?). What I adored about this book, even more than the pairing between Rule and Shaw (who is an awesome, no-nonsense female lead), are the side characters. The other characters who make up the ‘Marked Men’ tattoo studio (which sounds sexist as some of them are women!) are truly great. It’s a great mix of family-by-blood and family-by-choice with just the right amount of drama and action to keep the series interesting. If you’re looking for a trashy, but oh-so-fun summer read then this is it!

Beneath Cruel Fathoms by Anela Deen – 5 STAR Book Review

Title: Beneath Cruel Fathoms (Bitter Sea Trilogy #1)
Author: Anela Deen
Genre: Fantasy / Myth
Publication Date: May 2019

After a violent storm destroys her ship, Isaura Johansdottir knows better than to hope she’ll be rescued from Eisland’s vast Failock Sea. Adrift and alone, her plans to start over lost, it’s a tragic conclusion after the disastrous end of her marriage—until she’s saved by Leonel, one of the merfolk, a creature long believed extinct. In repayment for her life, Leonel enlists her help to investigate the Failock’s mysterious and deadly plague of squalls.

As storms spread, Leonel and Isaura uncover secrets as forbidden as the bond that grows between them. Betrayal lurks in the restless sea, and when ancient powers lay siege to Eisland’s coast, the truth may be drowned along with everything else.

BREW SOME TEA… THIS IS A LONG REVIEW. <<<LIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD >>>

First off, how awesome is this cover?! The author of this book contacted me a while ago for a book review (read: almost a year… yes, my shame is real) and this has sat on my Kindle shelf for months. What’s worse than taking A YEAR to finally read this book? Only being aware NOW of its greatness. How can that be worse? Well, I could have read this book a year ago! I’d be well in to the remainder of the trilogy by now if I’d given it a try when I should have.

Okay, pitiful rant over.

While I adore mermaid characters in MG books, the same can’t often be said for my feelings on their inclusion in the adult/YA fantasy age groups. They usually all follow the same plot line and then things get BORING. That was not the case with this book. Well, there was some predictability and following of the general trend: character finds out mermaids are real + falls for a mermaid + some light myth involved + some light action + HEA (with some challenges to overcome still ) = THE END.

In the case of Beneath Cruel Fathoms all of these features were there BUT (and it’s a significant but) the story wasn’t really about all of that fantasy jazz. I mean sure, it was interesting and I enjoyed how the author incorporated mythology in to this story in a manner that made it feel relatable but the true selling point of this were the characters. If you’re a fantasy-nut though this book will give you everything you’d normally enjoy and then just a little bit more of the good stuff. Because it’s awesome like that.

Leonel and Isaura were the two MCs of this book, told in alternating POV, and they BLEW ME AWAY. Here were two emotionally scarred individuals STILL capable of being courteous to one another and considerate. Don’t even get me started on the trope: [insert character name] is an asshole because they [insert traumatic past] and all of their actions should forever be forgivable in a selfless display of courtesy by [insert victim] that is never returned nor appreciated by said asshole.

Isaura did not hold her past against those who threatened her comfortability but rather appealed to her healer nature: she sought to give them the calm she could not find for herself. It was inspiring to read about and came across as so damn genuine, mature and authentic. She was not without flaws however, these defined her. She did not apologise for them and was unapologetically real. Isaura struggled with her infertility and crumbled marriage. Deen did not sugar coat this and you could tell the emotions involved in building Isaura’s character were authentic, as explained by Deen in her acknowledgements. Deen’s own struggle with infertility gave Isaura’s emotions a depth that was heart-wrenching.

Leonel however, was my favourite character. Deen managed to create a character that had suffered emotional abuse, abandonment and ridicule his entire life for being different but was still capable of being genuinely caring toward others. As the last of the merfolk, a species looked down upon for their association with humans, Leonel’s childhood and adolescence had been rife with bullying and loneliness. Accustomed to the loneliness Leonel strived to protect the Fathoms (ocean) as a Guardian in a manner that was never offered to him. He was capable of emotional growth that was awe-inspiring.

Just like that, she defeated the gods. Not with indifference and irreverence, but with resolve founded on compassion. Why had he ever believed strength came from a hardened heart? Determination and emotion were bound to each other. Victory could never be reached by the hand that knew nothing of grace.

Leonel and Isaura’s character development during their budding relationship was engaging and so sweet to read BUT GET THIS: I would have been happy even if they didn’t stay together. Their individual growth and support of one another was simply beautiful and I would have been so, so emotionally satisfied if Anela did the bittersweet ending thing. Don’t worry though, there’s a HEA in this that was perfectly steeped in reality as opposed to overdone mush.

I won’t swear we’ll never argue. I will not say you’ll only know happiness each day. Life is too full and too wide for such claims. But I will swear to always stand by you. I will swear my heart is yours.

*Cue sobbing moment*

You just need to read this book. Okay? Okay.

Obviously = 5 STARS.

End of May Update and Recent Book Haul

Hey all,

WHAT A MONTH. May has flown by and unfortunately I’ve been pretty absent for the past week or so. I’m so sorry if I haven’t replied to comments or been blog hopping. I’ve missed reading posts and seeing what you’ve all been up to.

Moving house this past week has been AN EXPERIENCE. As book bloggers I’m sure you know the daunting task of packing up ALL of your books. It’s took me DAYS and I hadn’t realised how many duplicates I owned until I was forced to pack them all!

Besides for this, I was able to free up some time today to head down to our local Salvos (Salvation Army) store to go book hunting. In Aussie (I’m not sure about other countries??) it’s one of the best places to find bargain-priced books.

Here’s my recent haul and new additions to my TBR:

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts on them??

Lastly, we hit 400 followers this past week SO THANK YOU SO MUCH for following and supporting us!

As we’re behind on what you’ve been reading we’d love to catch up and read some of your posts. Please link some of them below. We’d love to check them out!

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover – Book Review

Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Romance
Publication Date: 10 Dec 2019

FOREWARNING. I LOVED THIS BOOK, SO NATURALLY THIS IS GOING TO BE AN INCOHERENT RAMBLE.

This was my first book by Colleen Hoover and won’t be my last (maybe? possibly?). Hoover’s writing has been praised by ‘all to Kingdom come’ for its originality and emotional impact in the YA/adult romance genres. I have to admit, the hype made me VERY skeptical but after reading Regretting You I have to admit there’s some merit there.

Regretting You kept me interested throughout as a host of family secrets unraveled to reveal life-altering betrayals. The story initially follows Morgan as a young seventeen year-old girl in the summer after she graduates high school. Her long-term boyfriend, Chris, was present throughout the summer alongside the remainder of their best friends quartet: Jonah (Chris’ BFF since childhood) and Morgan’s younger sister Jenny. When Morgan finds out she’s pregnant with Chris’ child, their world changes to an unrecognisable extent.

What truly captured my attention near the beginning of the book, and held it right through to the end, was CoHo’s choice to alternate POV from Morgan and her daughter Clara. Essentially, this was a book that explored love between a mother and daughter as well as their romantic relationships with others. While some of the actions of both characters had me INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED this choice for alternating POV worked seamlessly.

Themes of grief, love, betrayal and second chances were intertwined to create a story that cuts to the heart of the matter and doesn’t fall prey to placating the reader with happiness through to the end. Instead, in the middle of the book I was SO ANGRY, FRUSTRATED and SAD. These emotions stemmed from my dislike of BOTH the characters due to their actions toward one another. Morgan and Clara COULD NOT GET ALONG and yet… this is reality isn’t it? Things are hard. Words are said that cut deep. White lies are told in the futile hope of protecting others.

It would have been easy to give this book 2 stars. It made me SO MAD and FRUSTRATED and yet… I couldn’t do that to CoHo. It was REAL and sometimes real is annoying and ugly and heart breaking. Sometimes teenagers are ASSHOLES and their characters should reflect that too. It was a love-hate (OMG this is GOOD) relationship between me and this book.

It was real. It was oftentimes ANNOYING. But it was real. For that alone I’ll give this book 4 stars. When you add in the characters of Jonah and Miller (the romantic SOs) this story gets bumped up to a 4.5 stars. I’ve refrained from the golden 5 Star rating as there were a few (admittedly small) issues the book should have dealt with better. I’m not going to say what they were (spoilers etc) but it was toward the end and some events/revelations felt like they were glanced over.

BUT… (there’s always a but)

I don’t know if I want to read any more books by this author. It was an emotional rollercoaster that was tiring to read (in terms of the emotional impact it had on me). If anything this is an outstanding compliment to CoHo’s writing ability.

Also… what if the other books are the same. I loved this one and if it turns out the other books are cookie cutter versions of this (as some authors inherently do this) I’d be so disappointed and this book would lose all of it’s shine.

Have you read any other CoHo books? Are they all the same as this one?

Top Ten Tuesday – Reasons Why I Love Middle Grade Books

It’s TOP TEN TUESDAY TIME. As ever, I’m so thankful to Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl for this delightful meme and topic this week.

Middle grade has been my go-to reading over the past month (with a dash of romantic fiction added in there). In a time when anxiety is high (mine is from currently moving house which is a CHORE) middle grade books allow me the perfect, calming escape (REASON #1).

REASON #2

The lack of romance. Yes, I know. I actually said (or is it technically typed?) that. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a die hard rom-com fan but occasionally it’s nice to have a genre that isn’t focused on squeezing in romantic plots in the background (or as the WHOLE plot, as is the case in romance). That’s not to say there aren’t MG books with romance but it’s less common I find.

REASON #3

The friendships! It’s so sweet to read about a band of misfit BFFs taking on the Wicked Witch of the West [or insert alternative villain here]. The wholesome innocence of it is beautiful, especially in contrast to my current living situation which means FRIENDS ARE SO FAR AWAY. It makes me melancholy and eager to see them again!

REASON #4

The fantasy kicks ass. Not quite literally (although I’m sure there’s at least one example of this somewhere…) but in the sense that there ARE NO RULES. Their creativity and imagination is sometimes far more vivid than YA or adult fantasy: genres that tend to lean toward ‘the realm of possibility’ with their fantastical ideas. Whereas some MG fantasy books just GO BANANAS in terms of realism and flying pigs go by in the next chapter. Who doesn’t want a healthy does of whimsy like this in their life?

REASON #5

They’re shorter. There are times when I want to sit down to a beastly tomb and spend 15 hours of my life compelled by the pages (Kingdom of Ash)… and then there are times when I want to sit on the couch, be lazy, pick up a book and finish it before I feel the urge to get back up again. MG novels tend to be at least 100 pages shorter than your average adult novel and this can come in handy when you’re in the mood for a quick escape.

REASON #6

PICTURES. Okay, so MG books don’t actually have pictures in them but the COVERS are SO CUTE majority of the time. If you don’t believe me check out these MG books below. Who could resist picking these up off the shelf???!! Yes, they’re all mermaid related. Because mermaids are cool like that.

REASON #7

ARCs. My luck with MG ARCs is generally far better than with YA or adult novels. Maybe it’s just me? I could be overly critical of YA and adult books and lenient on MG? Regardless of the reason, my track record with higher star ratings and enjoyment is definitely higher in MG than in any other genre. They’re just so FEEL GOOD. I can’t help but be happy and give a happiness-induced high rating!

REASON #8

The series DON’T LET YOU DOWN. At least in Rick Riordan’s case. And isn’t he kinda the King of Greek myth fantasy for MG? I feel like he is (in my completely biased opinion due to a love of Percy J). I’ve had some bad luck lately with bad sequels and endings to series (looking at you Neal Shusterman…) and having a genre where the sequel is generally as good as the first is a win-win in my book!

REASON #9

They cover some deep topics. With a host of books in MG being dedicated to the fantastic there isn’t often a highlight on the OTHER books for this age group. One of my favourite topics, quite often covered, is that of immigrating as a child and adjusting to a new culture. This is something I experienced as a child and being able to relate to characters going through the same thing gets me all teared up! It’s such a hard thing to handle when you’re young (especially if you’re the kid with the weird accent) and these books tackle the subject so well. I wish I’d had them as a child so that I could have read and related to this back then. It would have certainly helped with the discomfort of being ‘The New Girl’ in a very strange new school.

REASON #10

THEY’RE ADDICTIVELY FUN AND FUNNY. I’ll admit that I can be quite the staid reader. You’d probably think I looked dead bored if you chanced a peek at me reading (when in reality I’m so engrossed that my awareness of the surroundings just disappears). Like resting b*tch face, my resting reading face leaves a lot to be desired. That’s why MG is so fun to read. I genuinely find myself laughing out loud and talking to my invisible neighbour (I’m calling him George for the time being) about how amazing/brilliant/funny/ [insert adjective here] the characters are.

The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts – MG ARC Book Review

Title: The Witches of Willow Cove
Author: Josh Roberts
Genre: Fantasy / Middle Grade
Publication Date: 26 May 2020

Six teenage witches. One mysterious stranger. A secret that could destroy them all.

It’s not easy being a teenage witch. Seventh grader Abby Shepherd is just getting the hang of it when weird stuff starts happening all around her hometown of Willow Cove. Green slime bubbling to life in science class. Giant snakes slithering around the middle school gym. Her best friend suddenly keeping secrets and telling lies.

Things only begin to make sense when a stranger named Miss Winters reveals that Abby isn’t the only young witch in town–and that Willow Cove is home to a secret past that connects them all. Miss Winters, herself a witch, even offers to teach Abby and the others everything she knows about witchcraft.

But as Abby learns more about Miss Winters’ past, she begins to suspect her new mentor is keeping secrets of her own. Can Abby trust her, or does Miss Winters have something wicked planned for the young witches of Willow Cove?

The Witches of Willow Cove was a journey of magic, friendship and mysterious disappearances. Roberts’ writing was reminiscent of J.K Rowlings in Harry Potter (BIG statement… but let me explain) in regards to building young adult characters that had a bravery, curiosity and maturity that defied their years (but was also believable).

While the cover and synopsis of this story seemed to hint at a darker theme, the sudden disappearance of characters throughout the book made me uncomfortable. It seemed as if integral members of the community had suddenly gone missing… and no one noticed. Usually the disappearance of a character in a small town is easily noticed and is followed up with a sense of panic. The lack of this had me uneasy as a reader. Roberts created a foreboding atmosphere without having to resort to dramatic means.

The main characters in this story, Abby and Robby (yes, the synopsis only states Abby as the MC but it felt like they were equally as important) had a youthful friendship that brought back a feeling of sentiment for me. Their ‘BFF’ label was an innocent sort that hadn’t been tested with conflict. This book’s exploration of their friendship amidst a sea of secrets and lies was fascinating to read. I enjoyed following their friendship as it cracked under pressure and then slowly built again to become something able to stand the test of time. Roberts expertly dealt with youth-like emotions in a way that was relatable for an adult reader. Oftentimes the emotional arc of an MG story can feel a bit angsty or become frustrating to follow but that wasn’t the case with The Witches of Willow Cove.

The only downside to this story was its predictability. There were aspects of the plot I predicted from a mile away and yet there remained a few events toward the end that had me smiling in surprise. As this is pitched for a younger audience it’s to be expected that some predictability is present.

I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

4.5 Stars

*ARC kindly provided by Owl Hollow Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Something is Killing the Children by James Tynion IV – GN eARC Book Review

Title: Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1
Author: James Tynion IV
Genre: Graphic Novel / Horror
Publication Date: 26 May 2020

When children begin to go missing in the town of Archer’s Peak, all hope seems lost until a mysterious woman arrives to reveal that terrifying creatures are behind the chaos – and that she alone will destroy them, no matter the cost.

IT’S THE MONSTERS WHO SHOULD BE AFRAID.

When the children of Archer’s Peak—a sleepy town in the heart of America—begin to go missing, everything seems hopeless. Most children never return, but the ones that do have terrible stories—impossible details of terrifying creatures that live in the shadows. Their only hope of finding and eliminating the threat is the arrival of a mysterious stranger, one who believes the children and claims to be the only one who sees what they can see. 

Her name is Erica Slaughter. She kills monsters. That is all she does, and she bears the cost because it must be done.

Something is Killing the Children, with its gruesome title and captivating cover, has all of the initial hallmarks of a gripping graphic novel read. From the cover’s depiction of monster-infested woods, unexplained events and a woman ready to fight back I was expecting this story to keep me on the edge of my seat and awake at night.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.

Instead, Something is Killing the Children moved at a slumber-inducing pace that seemed to detract from the story’s attempt to build an intense atmosphere. The images were sufficiently gruesome (in a light horror kind of way) and the gore was present early on in the story. As you’d expect from a GN of this genre. The images’ dark tones and vivid splash of red were eye-catching however they failed to truly gain my attention. Once I’d read a section of the story I wasn’t inclined to go back to stare at any particular spread (as I’d usually do, if in awe of the artwork).

While the story attempted to weave multiple facets of the mystery surrounding the monsters’ appearance in the town – the lost children, James’ near miss while his friends were murdered, the police investigation – this wasn’t very effective in keeping my interest. The characters were hard to connect to and with the exception of Erica Slaughter I wasn’t overly invested in their story.

The mystery around Erica and her appearance in the town was the most interesting part of the story and kept me reading until the end. That said, I wouldn’t say I’m interested enough to read Vol. 2. It was a decent horror read but not one I’d read again therefore I’m rating it 2.5 stars.

2.5 Stars

*Arc kindly provided to me by BOOM! Studios via Netgalley*

A Duke Will Never Do by Darcy Burke – eARC Book Review

Title: A Duke Will Never Do (The Spitfire Society #3)
Author: Darcy Burke
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: May 19 2020

After failing on the Marriage Mart, Jane Pemberton has two choices: submit to her parents’ edict to marry their boring neighbour or become a self-declared spinster and take up residence in the official headquarters of the Spitfire Society. It’s really no choice at all, and Jane is eager to embrace her newfound independence.

She soon finds an unconscious viscount on her doorstep and nurses him back to health. When he offers to compensate her, she requests payment in the form of private instruction of a scandalous and intimate kind.

Having spiraled into a self-destructive abyss following the murder of his parents, Anthony, Viscount Colton, physically recovers under the care of an alluring spitfire. 

I’ve been in a romance mood lately and when I saw this on Netgalley my first response was to request it and read the synopsis later (I know… why do I do these things to myself???). I hadn’t realised (obviously) that this was the THIRD book in the Spitfire Society series. That said, it turned out to be easy to read as a ‘stand-alone’ and was such a cute read! Sometimes spontaneity pays off.

A Duke Will Never Do follows Jane Pemberton, self-proclaimed spinster as she embarks on a future WITHOUT yearning in hope for a husband. Instead, she plans to take on humanitarian issues through the Spitfire Society in the effort to claim independence and happiness in a society that doesn’t prioritise these traits in women. When Antony Colton turns up unconscious on her doorstep however, things take a surprisingly adventurous turn.

Jane’s character was easily likeable and not angsty or frustrating to read AT ALL. This is practically unheard of in this genre. There was still tension in this story however, it was in reverse. Antony Viscount Colton was the kind, sensitive and vulnerable of the pair and in need of support from Jane. I liked this book’s different take on the usual roles male and female characters play in a historical romance.

The pace was jaunty in this regency-set romance and made for a fast read. If you’re after something with a few remarkable side characters (whom I’m assuming are from books 1 and 2) as well as a good dose of intimate moments between the MCs then this is the book for you!

I’ve rated this one 4 Stars as I happily read it all in one sitting. I lowered this rating as this story could have benefitted from some additional tension to really allow readers to connect with the characters. Particularly in regards to Antony’s personal addictions as a coping mechanism for his traumatic past. The issue of his addiction was skimmed over with the implication that purely being in Jane’s presence was enough to quash the cravings. This read as quite unrealistic to me and I would have liked this explored more.

4 Stars.

*Arc provided by Darcy Burke Publishing via Netgalley*

Books As First Dates Tag

We were tagged in this fun and romantic bookish tag by Alice over at Love For Words. Alice created this tag herself and we ADORE it. What’s better than a ‘first date’ with a good book? Especially if the book turn in to a series. It’s a one way street to a long-term reading commitment!

If you haven’t checked out Alice’s blog yet please do! One of our favourite posts of hers is a review on The Lunar Chronicles. It’s insightful, detailed and a fun read. Check it out!

The Rules

↠ Link back to the original tag.
↠ Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
↠ Tag 5+ bloggers.
↠ Have fun!

FIRST AND LAST

A book/series you’ve read and enjoyed, but can’t bring yourself to read again

After falling in love with Urban YA Fantasy from reading City of Bones, the Vampire Academy series was the next up on my list of obsessions. Seriously, I remember flying through these books and eagerly awaiting the release of the final instalment in the series. That said, I tried to re-read these books last year and NOPE. I got one chapter in and promptly gave up! I think my reading tastes may have changed somewhat…

WITH A FRIEND OF MY FRIEND

A book/series someone recommended to you that turned out to be different from what you had expected

I first read this after Nen recommended it and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I connected with the characters and enjoyed this story. I wasn’t expecting that as this was initially a book I had actively avoided. I tend to avoid Tolkien stories due to their complexity and frankly all of the hype surrounding them (I lived in NZ and there ALWAYS seemed to be a fan nearby extolling its virtues).

DOUBLE DATE

A book whose sequel you immediately had to read

If you’ve had the pleasure of reading a novel by Sarina Bowen you’ll understand why I NEEDED the sequel to Bittersweet IMMEDIATELY after having finished reading it. Griff and Audrey’s romance was oh, so sweet and I couldn’t wait to read more romances set in an apple orchard.

LET’S GO TO THE MOVIES

A book/series that should be adapted to the screen

Who wouldn’t want to watch this??!!??!!??

DREAMY STARGAZING

A book that made you go ahhhh and ohhhh.

Wait For It is my favourite Zapata novel (which is saying A LOT as she’s my fav romance author). There’s just something about the slow, realistic and intense relationship that builds up between Diana and Dallas. Seriously, I can’t even count how many times I’ve reread this story!

FUN AT THE FAIR

A book full of colors

I’m assuming this prompt means colours on the cover? I couldn’t think of a more colourful cover than this!

AMUSEMENT PARK ADVENTURE

A book that was a rollercoaster

Did anyone else read the Uglies series when they were younger? This was a first for me in regards to reading dystopian and I was hooked! Not only did this deliver in action and pace (reminiscent of a rollercoaster), Uglies also made me think A LOT about society’s pressure of being aesthetically beautiful. It was an intense read as a teen!

PICNIC WITH CHERRIES

A book whose food descriptions made you feel all *heart eyes*

Acevedo’s writing (and recipes) in this book were a foodie delight! While I preferred The Poet X over this story (and CANNOT WAIT for Clap When You Land), Emoni’s recipes certainly made this book mouthwateringly fun to read!

TRIP TO THE MUSEUM

A book that taught you valuable stuff

The Secret Life of Bees was a novel I had to read for English class when I was in high school and it had a profound impact on my reading choices and understanding of the world. This was the first book I had read that truly made me think. Not just about the racial and prejudicial issues explored in the book but also about the small choices we make everyday and their effect on others. Be it positive or negative. This is a book I think everyone should read at least once.

I TAG:

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams – 5 Star Book Review

Title: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1)
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: March 2020

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

The hype for this book was HIGH last year. As with all hyped books, I tend to have a healthy dose of skepticism surrounding their supposed ‘amazingness’. Is that a word? You know what I mean! Where this book is concerned though, the hype was valid.

In my current rom-com mood The Bromance Book Club had (almost) everything I was after. Cute storyline (honestly, an all-male romance book club is progressive and so fun to read about), admirable male MC (Gavin was all I could have really asked for) and strong side characters (seriously, my squeals of joy in hearing Mack would be the male MC in the sequel…) and a strong female MC with Thea.

To be honest, the only issue I had with this book was that it felt too short. Maybe that’s because I wanted MORE. Oh, and Thea’s sister Liv. She annoyed the pants off me. Luckily she disappeared (mostly) by half way through (YAY!). Unluckily, she’s the female MC in the sequel… which made me INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATED. More on that in the sequel’s review though…

It wasn’t even the unique all-male romance book club that won me over in this read (although that was SO FUN to read about). It was a whole host of things. Gavin’s improvement in communication skills (from reading regency romance) and his heart-warming pursuit of Thea. Their adorable twin girls! Barney the Goldie. But ultimately, this book won me over with a turn-about near the end.

Relationships take two people to break (unless there’s cheating, which wasn’t the case here) and I liked that this book explored Thea’s short-comings in the relationship toward the end of the book. While I adored Gavin’s concerted effort to win Thea back, I could understand the reasons and HURT behind his initial (admittedly childish) behaviour. Thea had some communication battles to face as well and I’m glad that this was addressed.

I loved the fast-paced nature of this book and honestly would LOVE to see a screen adaptation of this. Can you even imagine it??

5 STARS