Thursday, July 29, 2021

My Thoughts: Sunkissed by Kasie West

by Kasie West

Publication Date: May 4th 2021
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 309
ISBN: 9780593176269
Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance
Source: Netgalley Review Copy / Own

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Will the stars align?

Avery has always used music as an escape. But after her best friend betrays her, even her perfectly curated playlists can't help her forget what happened. To make matters worse, her parents have dragged her and her social-media-obsessed sister to a remote family camp for two months of "fun." Just when Avery is ready to give up on the summer altogether, she meets Brooks—mysterious, frustratingly charming Brooks—who just happens to be on staff—which means he's off-limits.

What starts as a disaster turns into . . . something else. As the outside world falls away, Avery embarks on a journey of self-discovery. And when Brooks offers her the chance of a lifetime, she must figure out how far is she willing to go to find out what she wants and who she wants to be.

Fan favorite Kasie West is back with another unforgettable summer romance that reminds us falling in love is full of wonder, heartache, and—most of all—surprises. (Goodreads)

I absolutely love Kasie West’s books, so of course I couldn’t wait to check out Sunkissed as soon as I possibly could! If you’re looking for books to add to your summer TBR list, then you definitely need to check out this summer-themed romance.

I’m not sure what it is about Kasie West’s books that always make me want to read them in the summer time, but I’ve read two so far this season, and they were both great books! (Even when they aren’t summer-themed, they are just really fun reads.) Sunkissed was one of the books I read, but I also read Moment of Truth and enjoyed it as well!

Sunkissed is Kasie’s most recent release, and yes, it is summer-themed! Avery and her family spending 2 months of their summer at a remote family camp, leaving the outside world and all its distractions behind, sounds like the perfect summer setting and storyline for a book, right? Add in some adorable romance, and yes… this book has all the requirements for a great summer read! I loved so much about this book, but the setting really won me over. I love books about camp!

I also really enjoyed the characters in the book as well. Avery was an interesting main character. Brooks, the love interest, was adorable as well. I enjoyed watching their relationship grow as the book went along! I even liked Avery’s family as well, including the relationship between Avery and her sister. So many great characters!

Overall; If you’re looking for a cute romance to add to your summer reading list, Sunkissed by Kasie West is definitely one you should check out! This book was is such a cute read, and I’m so glad I was able to check it out.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday:

Slow Fire Burning
by Paula Hawkins

Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Riverhead Books

The scorching new thriller from the number-one 'New York Times' best-selling author of 'The Girl on the Train'.

When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. Laura is the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim’s home. Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police. Three women with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are – for different reasons – simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them. When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame?

Look what you started.

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Velvet Was the Night
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Expected publication: August 17th 2021 by Del Rey

From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a “delicious, twisted treat for lovers of noir” about a daydreaming secretary, a lonesome enforcer, and the mystery of a missing woman they’re both desperate to find.

1970s, Mexico City. Maite is a secretary who lives for one thing: the latest issue of Secret Romance. While student protests and political unrest consume the city, Maite escapes into stories of passion and danger.

Her next-door neighbor, Leonora, a beautiful art student, seems to live a life of intrigue and romance that Maite envies. When Leonora disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman—and journeying deeper into Leonora’s secret life of student radicals and dissidents.

Meanwhile, someone else is also looking for Leonora at the behest of his boss, a shadowy figure who commands goon squads dedicated to squashing political activists. Elvis is an eccentric criminal who longs to escape his own life: He loathes violence and loves old movies and rock ’n’ roll. But as Elvis searches for the missing woman, he comes to observe Maite from a distance—and grows more and more obsessed with this woman who shares his love of music and the unspoken loneliness of his heart.

Now as Maite and Elvis come closer to discovering the truth behind Leonora’s disappearance, they can no longer escape the danger that threatens to consume their lives, with hitmen, government agents, and Russian spies all aiming to protect Leonora’s secrets—at gunpoint.

Velvet Was the Night is an edgy, simmering historical novel for lovers of smoky noirs and anti-heroes.

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•     •     •

Do both of these books sound exciting, or what? I can't wait to read these!!

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Monday, July 26, 2021

My Thoughts: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Spin the Dawn
(The Blood of Stars #1)
by Elizabeth Lim

Publication Date: July 9th 2019
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 392
ISBN: 9780525646990
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Retelling
Source: Netgalley Review Copy / Own

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Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia's task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim is one of those books that I totally meant to get to when it first came out, but waited way too long to start, then kicked myself for not having started it sooner. I was determined to finally read this series this year and I’m SO glad I did! (But yes, still kicking myself.)

Spin the Dawn was described as Project Runway meets Mulan, and it was that Mulan description that completely drew me in. Mulan was one of my most favorite Disney movies growing up and so of course I wanted to read a book that was inspired by it!

The storyline for this book was very interesting! I could definitely tell which parts were Mulan inspired, and I loved it. I also love that there’s magic in the story as well! That definitely wasn’t expected at all. I also really loved so many of the characters in the book as well! Maia is definitely a favorite of mine and I loved her determination and growth over the length of the book. I also really, really loved Edan as well. Together, they are a great duo!

I also want to add that I have devoured the second book in this duology before writing this review, and it was perfection. It was a great story, with a great ending, and while I’m sad to see it all come to an end, I’m so thrilled to finally read the series. I can’t wait to read more of Elizabeth’s book soon!

Overall; I really enjoyed Spin the Dawn, (and Unravel the Dusk), SO much more than I expected to! I will be kicking myself for a while now for not reading it sooner, and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more of Elizabeth’s books in the future! I have her newest book, Six Crimson Cranes, on my TBR to start soon, and now I’m even more excited to do so. If you haven’t checked these books out, I definitely recommend them!

Friday, July 23, 2021

My Thoughts: It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

It Happened One Summer
(It Happened One Summer #1)
by Tessa Bailey

Publication Date: July 13th 2021
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780063045651
Genre: Adult Fiction / Contemporary / Romance
Source: Netgalley Review Copy / Own

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Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town... where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong. 

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar... in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. (Goodreads)

It Happened One Summer was hands down one of my most anticipated reads for Summer 2021, and this book was everything I didn’t know I needed and SO MUCH MORE. Not only is it my first 5 star read for 2021, but it’s definitely one of my new favorite romances as well!

Tessa Bailey is one of the first authors I checked out when I got back into reading romances again a while back, and she has quickly become one of my favorite authors! I have read quite a few of her books so far, and they just get better and better as they go along! I’m so glad to have read this newest book by her, and I am planning to read more soon!

So I really want to spend this whole review telling you “OMG THIS BOOK IS SO CUTE” over and over again, but I am going to try to contain myself and write actual words instead. But seriously, y’all … OMG THIS BOOK IS SO CUTE!

First, let’s start with the characters … Piper is awesome. She’s not the kind of character I would normally love when we first meet her in the book, but once you get to know the *real* Piper, you’ll definitely love her. Yes, she was inspired by Alexis Rose from Schitt’s Creek, and she’s that, yet so much more. She’s so great! And Brendan was just a big, adorable, grumpy teddy bear. A bit of an ass at first, but boy did that change. I loooooved watching the relationship between him and Piper grow as the story went along. It was so cute. And steamy… SO STEAMY.

There are some great secondary characters in the story as well, including Piper’s sister, Hannah… I mention her because she and Piper have the BEST friendship. I loved it!

The storyline for the book is very, very cute as well. Again, it was inspired by Schitt’s Creek, so if you like the show, you’ll love this book! (And if you haven’t watched the show, you totally should. It’s awesome as well!)

Once I finished this fantastic book, I was thrilled to discover that there is going to be a sequel! The next book in the series, Hook, Line, and Sinker, is all about Hannah, Piper’s sister, and Fox, Brendon’s shipmate! I am so very excited about this book … I already have my copy pre-ordered, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it when it releases in March!

Overall; Yeah… if you can’t tell by this super gushy review, I REALLY LOVED It Happened One Summer! I’ve been waiting and hoping for my first 5 star read of the year, and I couldn’t be any happier that it was this book. I am already planning my re-read soon … and will be reading again before the next book is released! Fans of Tessa Bailey, or of romance, or of Schitt’s Creek, or of love in general, DO check out this book asap! And I hope you love it as much as I do.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday: The Heart Principle & Bombshell

The Heart Principle
by Helen Hoang

Expected publication: August 31st 2021 by Berkley

A woman struggling with burnout learns to embrace the unexpected—and the man she enlists to help her—in this heartfelt new romance by USA Today bestselling author Helen Hoang.

When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She's going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex—he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.

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by Sarah MacLean

Expected publication: August 24th 2021 by Avon

New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean returns with a blazingly sexy, unapologetically feminist new series, Hell’s Belles, beginning with a bold, bombshell of a heroine, able to dispose of a scoundrel—or seduce one—in a single night.

After years of living as London’s brightest scandal, Lady Sesily Talbot has embraced the reputation and the freedom that comes with the title. No one looks twice when she lures a gentleman into the dark gardens beyond a Mayfair ballroom…and no one realizes those trysts are not what they seem.

No one, that is, but Caleb Calhoun, who has spent years trying not to notice his best friend’s beautiful, brash, brilliant sister. If you ask him, he’s been a saint about it, considering the way she looks at him…and the way she talks to him…and the way she’d felt in his arms during their one ill-advised kiss.

Except someone has to keep Sesily from tumbling into trouble during her dangerous late-night escapades, and maybe close proximity is exactly what Caleb needs to get this infuriating, outrageous woman out of his system. But now Caleb is the one in trouble, because he’s fast realizing that Sesily isn’t for forgetting…she’s forever. And forever isn’t something he can risk.

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•     •    

Today I'm sharing two of my most anticipated reads for August!

I absolutely love Helen Hoang's books, and I'm super excited to check out her newest release.

And Bombshell will be my first ever read by Sarah MacLean! (Even though I have SO many of her other books on my TBR!) I recently started listening to her Fated Mates Podcast, and now I'm ready to start reading her books as well!

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

My Thoughts: The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

The Silvered Serpents
(The Gilded Wolves #2)
by Roshani Chokshi

Publication Date: September 22nd 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781250144577
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Historical
Source: Netgalley Review Copy / Own

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Available for Purchase:
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They are each other's fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost -- one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumoured to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job. (Goodreads)

I cannot believe that I waited so long to read The Gilded Wolves series by Roshani Chokshi! The first book, The Gilded Wolves, had been on my TBR for a while before I finally started it, and once I did so, I was kicking myself for not having started it sooner! Once I finished the first book, I immediately made plans to start The Silvered Serpents right away, and I’m so glad I did!

I always enjoy Roshani’s books whenever I read them. The first series I read by her was The Star-Touched Queen series, and then after that, The Pandava Quartet, which happens to be one of my most favorite middle-grade series. I will definitely be adding The Gilded Wolves to my list of favorites as well!

Since I didn’t write a review for the first book, let me assure you that I did enjoy it. The characters and the storyline were really great, and while the ending was a bit of a shock, it was still an all-around great read. I very much enjoyed it.

The Silvered Serpents picks up not long after where The Gilded Wolves leaves off and takes you on another great adventure full of twists that you probably won’t see coming, and so much going on that you won’t know what to expect next ... at least I didn’t! The book ends in a way that will leave you dying to get your hands on the third book, The Bronzed Beast, and I will be patiently waiting for it to release in September!

Oh, can I also say that I love so many of the characters in this series? They are all so great, and all for different reasons, and I adore them all. I can’t wait to see what’s next for them in the next book!

Overall;  The Silvered Serpents was a fantastic sequel to The Gilded Wolves! I really wish that I had started this series sooner, but I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on the next book coming soon … it’s going to be a most anticipated read for me for sure!

Monday, July 19, 2021

My Thoughts: Isn't It Bromantic by Lyssa Kay Adams

Isn't It Bromantic
(Bromance Book Club #4)
by Lyssa Kay Adams

Publication Date: July 20th 2021
Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780593332771
Genre: Adult / Romance / Contemporary
Source: Netgalley Review Copy / Own

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With his passion for romance novels, it was only a matter of time before Vlad wrote one.

Elena Konnikova has lived her entire adult life in the shadows. As the daughter of a Russian journalist who mysteriously disappeared, she escaped danger the only way she knew how: She married her childhood friend, Vladimir, and moved to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player in Nashville.

Vlad, aka the Russian, thought he could be content with his marriage of convenience. But it’s become too difficult to continue in a one-sided relationship. He joined the Bromance Book Club to learn how to make his wife love him, but all he’s learned is that he deserves more. He’s ready to create his own sweeping romance—both on and off the page.

The bros are unwilling to let Vlad forgo true love—and this time they’re not operating solo. They join forces with Vlad’s neighbors, a group of meddling widows who call themselves the Loners. But just when things finally look promising, Elena’s past life intrudes and their happily ever after is cast into doubt. (Goodreads)

The Bromance Book Club series by Lyssa Kay Adams is hands down one of my most favorite romance series at the moment. I have really enjoyed reading all the books as they have been released, but Isn’t it Bromantic is both my most anticipated AND my favorite book in the series!

To be honest, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this story. If you’ve read the previous books, then you know all about Vlad and his sounds and smells. (ROFL!) Just going by those books, it was kind of hard to think of him as a romantic lead. But, Lyssa definitely pulled it off! Vlad is adorable and sensitive, and such a great guy, and I definitely enjoyed seeing this softer, (yet still very manly), side of him.

I also really liked Elena as well. I found her to be relatable in some ways, and it was interesting to see her character grow throughout the story. The relationship between her and Vlad was soooo adorable … and steamy … and I really enjoyed watching it blossom. The storyline was great as well … both with Vlad recovering from his injury and his secret project, as well as Elena and hers also! (There’s also a twist that I didn’t see coming!)

And, of course, it makes me so happy that all the characters from the previous books are once again in this new book. I love their bromance book club, and there are so many guys that still need their own books! And since there were quite a few new characters introduced in this new book, I have my fingers crossed that we will see some new stories for them soon. *please please please*!!!

Overall; I definitely enjoyed Isn’t It Bromantic SOOOO much more than I expected to! I was definitely intrigued before I started it, and I loved the story, and the characters, of course, and I really hope we get more books in the series. I would really, really love that. If you’ve enjoyed the previous books in the series, do check out this newest addition as well!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

My July '21 TBR!

Happy First Day of July, Bookworms!!

Can you believe it's July? We are officially halfway through 2021!
This year is going by way too quickly.

I have a great TBR picked out to tackle this month!
I have a few new reads, a few new-to-me reads, 
and a few series I'm continuing!
(And also hopefully catching up on some reads as well!)

I'm very excited for all of these books,
but I'm also SUPER excited to start my yearly re-read of
*The Remnant Chronicles*!!

Here's what I'm reading in July...

This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
Jay's Gay Agenda by Jason June
Heartstopper Vol 2 by Alice Offman
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary
Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey
Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

•     •     •

There are also a few new releases coming out this month that I'm really looking forward to reading as well!

What books are you hoping to read this month??