Thursday, March 31, 2022

March Wrap-Up

Hello, all!

I had such a manic reading month. Everything I picked up just wasn't holding my attention, so there were times I had four books going at once because I just didn't know what I was in the mood for. On the bright side, it helped me make a dent in my Netgalley shelf!


The Women of Troy- Pat Barker; 3/5
Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief- Rick Riordan; 4/5 (re-read)
The Maid- Nita Prose; 3.5/5
The Nineties- Chuck Klosterman; 3/5
The Dragon Reborn- Robert Jordan; 3.5/5
The Anatomist's Wife- Anna Lee Huber; 3/5
Stuck With You- Ali Hazelwood; 3/5
A Brush With Love- Mazey Eddings; 3/5
The Tower of Nero- Rick Riordan; 4/5
Into Every Generation a Slayer Is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts- Eva Ross Katz; 4/5


Mr. Wrong Number- Lynn Painter; 3/5
The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes- Eva Leigh; 5/5
To Marry and to Meddle- Martha Waters; 4/5
Part of Your World- Abby Jimenez; 4/5
The War of Two Queens- Jennifer L. Armentrout; 2/5
The No-Show- Beth O'Leary; 3/5
Reputation- Lex Croucher; 3/5
The Mad Girls of New York- Maya Rodale; 3/5
Loveless- Alice Oseman; 3/5


The Paris Apartment- Lucy Foley; 3.5/5
Lease on Love- Falon Ballard; 4/5
Spy Family, Vol. #1- Tatsuya Endo; 4/5
The Night Sister- Jennifer McMahon; 2/5
Bet On It- Jodie Slaughter; 3/5
Gone Dark- Amanda Panitch; 3/5
A River Enchanted- Rebecca Ross; 5/5
The Impossible Us- Sarah Lotz; 3.5/5

Some favorites were: The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes, Spy Family, and A River Enchanted. Some least favorites were: The War of Two Queens, The Night Sister, and The Anatomist's Wife.

How was your reading month? What was your favorite/least favorite read?

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

A River Enchanted Review (Elements of Cadence, #1)

Hello, all!

Have you ever read a book and known within the first few pages it was going to be a new favorite? A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross was one of those for me. 

Pub Date: 2-15-22
Adult - Fantasy

Jack Tamerlaine was born and raised on the magical island of Cadence, but when he was a boy, he was sent away to the mainland to become a bard. In the decade since he's left, Jack has learned to be content with only his music and his job at the university, rarely lending much thought to the home he left behind. So when he receives a summons calling him home, Jack can't help but wonder why. When he arrives, he's met by his old childhood enemy and heiress to the east, Adaira. She advises Jack that young girls have started going missing, and she's hoping Jack will play for the spirits of the island to help uncover their whereabouts.

The spirit's that rule the island can be cruel and unforgiving, so Jack and Adaira must tread lightly. Singing for them requires a sacrifice, and with every song, Jack can feel his health draining, but he's determined to do whatever he can to find the missing girls. As he and Adaira work, the tension between them starts turning into something neither expected. But when their investigations start pointing to the Breccans, a warring clan on the other side of the island, secrets long buried start coming to the surface. Secrets that will rock the balance of the entire island and everything Adaira holds dear.

I adored this. The atmospheric vibes are immaculate. I kept picturing myself standing on a cliff overlooking the seaside while a Hozier song played in the background. Ross's writing felt very folky and whimsical. I was completely swept away by the magic of this world and these characters. I loved the elemental spirits that roamed the island and how Jack was able to call to them with his music. The magic system was very much give and take which I liked. The highlight for me was the relationship between Jack and Adaira. They were said to be childhood enemies, and while I never fully got that impression, the tension between them was perfection. They felt like two sides of the same coin. Plot-wise, I was hooked from the start, wondering what happened to these girls and how the warring clan tied into it. Normally, I'm a fast reader but I found myself slowing my pace to savor every bit of it. I can't wait for the next book and will pull a Jack and sing to whatever spirit I need to to get a copy of it in my hands.

Rating: 5/5

Friday, March 25, 2022

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date 1-18-22
Adult - Contemporary

How to Love Your Neighbor- Sophie Sullivan: Grace Travis is months away from graduating with a degree in interior design and has finally decided to move into the little bungalow she inherited from her late grandparents. Grace hopes this is her chance at finally getting a sense of stability that her flighty mother could never give her. But what Grace is most excited about is transforming the house from a shabby little beach hut into the home of her dreams. But first, she has to deal with her neighbor. As a real estate developer, Noah Jansen has never met a deal he couldn't land-- until he meets Grace. Noah is determined to buy her house to extend his property, but Grace refuses to budge. Their mutual animosity catches the attention of the reporter doing a piece of Noah's house, and the pair are forced into working together on Noah's renovations. It doesn't take long before the tension between them turns into something neither one was prepared for.

If you mixed The Hating Game with an interior design show on HGTV, you would get this book. It had all the aspects I enjoy from a hate-to-love trope. Grace and Noah couldn't be more different which leads to a lot of head-butting, but after they take the time to get to know one another, they realize they aren't so different. There was this sweetness to their relationship that felt very tender and vulnerable, and I liked them together, despite their stubborn moments. I would've liked to have seen the nagging banter stretched out a teensy bit more before they got together, but that's just me being nit-picky. Aside from Noah and Grace's relationship, I also liked the interior design aspect as well as the secondary characters. While it didn't knock me off my feet, I still think it was a cute read.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 5-25-21
Adult - Fantasy

The Blacktongue Thief- Christopher Buehlman: Kinch Na Shannack learned all the tricks of thieving from the Takers Guild and now owes them a small fortune for his expertise. The debt is why Kinch finds himself hiding along the old forest path, waiting to rob the next traveler who passes. Unfortunately, Kinch chose the wrong mark. Galva is not only a knight who survived the brutal goblin wars, but also a handmaiden of the goddess of death. She's on a mission to find her missing queen, who hasn't been seen since a distant country in the north fell to giants. After botching the robbery, Kinch now finds his fate twined with Galva's, and the pair, along with a witch and an assassin posing as a cat, are bound for a quest no one could've prepared them for.

I'd heard a lot of good things about this book, so I was excited to dive in, but I thought it was just okay. I found the story itself slow and a little dull at times. It took me a while to get my bearings, and even then, I wasn't all that interested. There was just a lot going on, and I didn't care all that much. I did enjoy the characters, though. Kinch had this air of self-deprecation about him that kept me chuckling the entire time. He was cheeky and sarcastic, and I loved how that played off Galva and her stoicism. His humor is quite juvenile, but I didn't mind so much, but I can see how it would grate on people. The magic system was also interesting, and some bits were gorier than I'd expected. All in all, it wasn't a bad book, but it also wasn't the greatest.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 3-1-22
Adult - Contemporary

Mr. Wrong Number- Lynn Painter: The one thing Olivia Marshall can count on is her amazingly bad luck. After breaking up with her boyfriend and accidentally burning down her apartment building leaves her with nowhere to go, she has no choice but to move in with her brother and his roommate. Olivia is ready to stew in her misery but then receives a wrong number text, and it turns into one of the hottest and most entertaining relationships of her life. Colin Beck has always looked at Olivia as his best friend's train wreck of a sister, but then she moves in with them, and it's as if he's seeing her in a whole new light. The two still bicker constantly, but there's an underlying sexual tension neither can deny. Knowing his best friend wouldn't love the two of them together, Colin decides to back off. Until he realizes Olivia is the anonymous phone number he's been flirting with all along.

I've come to realize I love this You've Got Mail-like trope of two people who are usually annoyed with one another falling in love without realizing it. It always makes for such an entertaining time. And this was exactly that. I was fully invested the whole time. I did find Olivia a little annoying and didn't think her ridiculous bad luck was all that believable, but she had this charisma that grows on you by the end. She and Colin had great banter, and I loved watching their verbal spars with one another. I would've liked to have seen a little more chemistry between them, but it was alright for the most part. I found Painter's writing to be very breezy and fun, albeit a bit cheesy and repetitive at times. If you're looking for a cute, quick read, I'd recommend it.

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

February FairyLoot Review

Hello, all!

After months of being on the waiting list, I've finally gotten a FairyLoot subscription! I was also able to snag a subscription to their new adult fantasy box, so I can't wait till that arrives. But let's get into February's box which was "To the Moon and Back."

First up, we had this pretty crescent moon necklace inspired by the Crescent City series by Sarah J. Maas. I don't typically love the jewelry that is included in subscription boxes, but I think this is very sleek and I probably will wear it at some point.

Who doesn't love a tote bag? This is inspired by Daughter of the Moon Goddess and was designed by @rosiethorns88. The colors are stunning and the bag itself is better quality than I'd thought it'd be.

I have a confession: I'm a sock hoarder. I love socks to the point where my dresser drawer is overflowing, but I will never say no to a new pair. These are The Starless Sea inspired and I love them.

Then we had this art print inspired by Wicked Fox by @cyt_draws. The artwork is pretty, but I wasn't a huge fan of that book, so I'll probably pass this along.

The last item was this set of celestial metal book ends by @jezhawk. I wish I had a use for these because they're so pretty, but I never use book ends so I'll probably pass these off as well.

February's book was Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, and can we just take a moment to drink in these gorgeous sprayed edges? They're stunning. This is a captivating debut fantasy novel inspired by the legend of Chang'e, the Chinese moon goddess, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm.

I love books inspired by folklore or mythology, so this sounds right up my alley. Let me know what you thought of this box!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Blog Tour: Savvy Sheldon Feels Good As Hell Excerpt

Hello, all!

I don't know about any of you, but once the weather starts getting nicer all I want to do is read contemporaries. If you're also looking for fluffier reads to go along with the sunshine, look no further than Savvy Sheldon Feels Good As Hell by Taj McCoy.

Pub Date: 3-22-22
Adult - Contemporary

When the already cracking foundation of her life starts crumbling beneath her, Savvy decides she needs to shake things up. Savvy embarks on a mission to fix everything from her outdated kitchen, her work-life balance, and, most importantly, her love life. But, of course, things could never go smoothly for Savvy. First, she faints during hot yoga, then it turns out the contractor she's hired is the same person she offended, and to top it all off, she can't seem to stop running into her ex and his latest conquest. Soon, Savvy realizes if she really wants to make lasting changes, she has to start within herself first.

You can check out an excerpt below!

Friday, March 18, 2022

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 1-18-22
Adult - Contemporary

Cream and Punishment- Susannah Nix: Tanner King hates working for his family's ice cream company. When his sales aren't up to his father's standards, Tanner is demoted and saved from wearing the Sheriff Scoopy mascot uniform by his sister. She offers him a job in the marketing department, and Tanner jumps at the chance. The only problem is his new co-worker happens to be the woman who broke his heart. Lucy Dillard has a lot on her plate. If she's not taking care of her family and making sure the house doesn't fall apart around their ears, she's juggling too many responsibilities at work hoping they'll eventually lead to a well-deserved promotion. The last thing Lucy needs is to sit across from her ex-boyfriend while he shoots daggers at her. For the sake of their work environment, the pair decide to strike a tenuous truce, but it's not long before old feelings start bubbling back to the surface.

Do you want to know my biggest issue with this book? It's that Tanner King isn't real. How dare Susannah Nix write a man who is so perfect?! A sweet, handsome cinnamon roll of a person who also quotes Jane Austen? I can't. I also really liked his relationship with Lucy. They had this past fling that didn't end well, but they both go on this journey of personal growth to not only better themselves but their relationship, and it was so lovely. There were moments I thought Lucy was being exceptionally stubborn, but as you learn more about her relationship with her mother, you start to understand why she goes about things the way she does. Overall, I thought this was the perfect mix of sweet and steamy, and I'm excited for the next book in the series.

Rating: 4/5

Pub Date: 7-25-17
Adult - Urban Fantasy

Strange Practice- Vivian Shaw: Greta Helsing has followed in her father's footsteps by becoming a doctor and taking over their family practice. But Greta's practice specializes in a unique clientele: monsters. Be it banshees, mummies, vampires, or ghouls, Greta treats them all. Although her practice barely makes ends meet, Greta couldn't imagine a different life for herself. When a string of murders pops up around London targeting both humans and monsters alike, Greta finds herself right in the center of it. Greta must team up with her supernatural friends to uncover the murderer before they become its next target.

This has been on my TBR for so long, and I was excited to pick it up, but while I did like it, it wasn't necessarily what I'd expected. I thought the premise was solid, and I liked the idea of this doctor for monsters, but my main issue was the execution. The pacing was just too slow for my taste. I felt it took a while for anything to happen. Also, the mystery aspect of these monks murdering people at the behest of some malevolent spirit in a lightbulb didn't do it for me. However, I did enjoy the characters themselves and the dry, sarcastic humor of Shaw's writing. I'm still interested enough to keep going with the series, but it just won't be a priority.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 2-22-22
Adult - Thriller

The Paris Apartment- Lucy Foley: Jess has no job, no home, and no money, so she decides to visit her half-brother in Paris, hoping for a place to crash while she gets back on her feet. Ben doesn't seem thrilled to have Jess come to stay but knows he can't turn his sister away when she needs him the most. When Jess arrives in Paris, she finds an expensive-looking apartment but no Ben. As the day's tick by with no sign of Ben, Jess starts to sense that something isn't quite right about the apartment building. The neighbors are unfriendly and seem to get twitchy at the mention of Ben's name. Jess's investigation will lead her to uncover a dark secret that ties together the building and its occupants, a secret that could've potentially gotten her brother killed. Can Jess get to the bottom of what happened before she meets the same fate?

I haven't read anything by Foley before, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up enjoying this. My favorite part was the setting. The grand apartment building was eerie and made for a great backdrop, which lent well to the overall atmosphere. I thought the characters were good and that Foley did a nice job at making you distrust everyone. There wasn't one person that I wasn't suspicious of. We get a lot of POVs in this, but it never felt overwhelming or confusing. The only thing that did throw me off a bit was the timeline of events. We get little snippets of things that have happened in the past, but it wasn't always noted as such, so there were times I found it hard to follow. My other issue was the plot. I didn't feel like much of anything happens, and I was able to guess some of the twists, which made the ending feel a little anticlimactic. Even so, I thought it was a quick, fun thriller and would recommend it, especially if you're fans of Lock Every Door, as it has the same vibe.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

February OwlCrate Review

Hello, all!

The theme for February's box was "Among the Monsters." Let's get into it.

First, we had this really pretty art print inspired by Howl's Moving Castle by Dri Gomez. I've actually never seen this movie, but I love the colors.

Next up, were these Lakesedge inspires cable clips that feature artwork from the author Lyndall Clipstone. I love when we get useful items, so this was great.

Then we had the next installment in the Literary Luggage collection. This is inspired by The Raven Boys and was designed by Hey Atlas Creative.

Next up is this set of bookends inspired by The Bear and the Nightingale with artwork designed by No0ne Designs. I've read this and thought it was just fine, so I may pass these off to someone else.

One of the last items was this keychain by Azura Arts inspired by This Savage Song. I've also read that and didn't love it, so I'll probably be passing this along as well.

I was surprised to find a second book in this box, but it seems like OwlCrate is starting a new collection called, what else?, the Classics Collection. Throughout the year, they'll be including different classics with updated covers by @rena.illistration. I love that they kicked it off with Frankenstein as it's one of my favorite classics, and I'm excited to see what else they include!

The book for February was Only a Monster by Vanessa Len. This follows sixteen-year-old Joan who gets sent to live with her eccentric family in London for the summer. She loves working in the historical Holland House, and is thrilled when her cute new co-worker, Nick, asks her out. But Joan's luck is about to run out. She finds out her family isn't just weird, but are actual monsters with terrible powers. And Nick isn't the charming boy she thought, but a legendary monster hunter who will stop at nothing to take her family down. Joan will have to work with Aaron, the ruthlessly handsome heir to a monster family who hates her own, if she's to have any hope of saving the ones she cares about.

I've been interested in this book since I heard about it, so I can't wait to dive in! Let me know what you thought of February's box! 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Blog Tour: The League of Gentlewomen Witches Review

Hello, all!

You may remember that one of my favorite books of last year was The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton (review here), so I'm thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for the follow-up, The League of Gentlewomen Witches

Pub Date: 3-15-22
Adult - Historical Fantasy/Romance

Miss Charlotte Pettifer is part of a secret league of women who dabble in witchcraft. Their league--which is not to be confused with that other society filled with uncouth pirates-- never uses magic for their own gain (unless, of course, they see someone with a strand of pearls that would look way better around their necks), and instead focus on bettering the community around them. They weave their magic to slightly manipulate their surroundings to better fit their needs and what they deem proper.

When the long-lost amulet of Black Beryl, a notable witch, is discovered, it's up to Charlotte to retrieve it and claim her birthright. Before Charlotte was born, she was prophesied as being the future leader of the League, and if she doesn't get her hands on that amulet, everything she knows could be taken from her. Unfortunately for Charlotte, that means she must work with Captain Alex O'Reilly, a roguish and not-handsome-in-the-slightest pirate. Witches and pirates are notorious enemies, but Charlotte and Alex are forced to put their differences aside to find the amulet before their world begins to crumble. But they soon realize it's easier said than done. They set out to steal an amulet; they never expected to steal each other's hearts as well.

If you were to take the adventure hijinks of The Princess Bride, the wittiness of Monty Python, and the sass of the Parasol Protectorate, you would get Holton's writing. It can be both whip-smart and utterly ridiculous at the same time, and that's one of my favorite combinations. Her comedic timing is on point, and always manages to hit you with a sarcastic remark or deadpan delivery at just the right moment. Just like the first book, I was hooked from the first paragraph and couldn't read fast enough. Charlotte and Alex are both arrogant and stubborn which led to amazing banter (and me going, "Ok, now, kiss" in my head), and were just so fun to follow. Charlotte isn't the most likable character at first, but she grows on you by the end. Aside from the characters, the plot is solid and so enjoyable. It's such a fast-paced wild romp of a ride. I was chuckling to myself the entire time. If you enjoy historical fiction, fantasy, or romance (with a little bit of steaminess), you need to check this series out.

Rating: 5/5

Friday, March 11, 2022

A Far Wilder Magic Review

 Hello, all!

What's the last book you were drawn to based off the cover? Mine was A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft. Can we all agree on how pretty it is? Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 3-8-22
YA - Fantasy

Ever since her mother went away on a research trip, Margaret Welty has been alone in their crumbling manor home. Margaret's mother is a well-known alchemist with an affinity for studying mythical creatures known as demiurges. When Margaret glimpses the legendary hala, one of the last known creatures living, she knows catching it is her only chance of finally bringing her mother home. Margaret may be the best sharpshooter in town, but to sign up for the Halfmoon Hunt, she needs to find an alchemist willing to be her partner.

Weston Winters has big dreams of becoming an alchemist to help provide for his family. While he has natural talent, Wes has been kicked out of every apprenticeship he's managed to land. His last chance lies with Master Welty taking him in. Unfortunately for Wes, when he arrives at Welty Manor, he's met with only Margaret and her hound dog. Margaret lets Wes stay under one condition: he has to participate in the hunt with her. The pair couldn't be more different, but the more time they spend together, the more grudging respect starts to grow. But with the mounting tension of the hunt growing and danger lurking around every turn, will the pair be able to survive long enough to win?

While I did love the atmospheric writing and magical realism, the whole thing didn't do it for me. The pacing was slow, and some parts dragged on way longer than necessary. I wished the lore and world were explained more because I never fully understood why the hala needed to be killed. The description is also a tad misleading because it made it seem like the hunt would be more prevalent, but it ended up being more of a footnote. Aside from that, nothing else stood out to me. The characters were fine, but I didn't feel any certain way towards them. I did enjoy the magic system, but that was about it. I think this had a lot of potential, but the execution wasn't my favorite.

Rating: 2/5

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Blog Tour: Killing Time Excerpt

Hello, all!

Are you fans of true crime? If so, you need to check out Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich. 

Pub Date: 3-8-22
YA - Mystery/Thriller

Natalie Temple's favorite teacher has been murdered, and there's no way she's going to let the killer walk free. Natalie is determined to use the knowledge she's learned from true crime documentaries to investigate, despite her mother's concerns, and teams up with the mysterious new boy in town with a penchant for making fake IDs. But the more she uncovers, the more Natalie understands some secrets are meant to stay buried.

You can check out an excerpt below!

Monday, March 7, 2022

If You Ask Me Review

 Hello, all!

Big thanks to the publisher for the copy of If You Ask Me by Libby Hubscher!

Pub Date: 3-8-22
Adult - Contemporary

To the outside world, Violet Covington seems to have it all. A beautiful home, a happy marriage, and the most popular advice column in North Carolina, Dear Sweetie. But everything comes crashing down when Violet finds her husband, Sam, in bed with their lycra-obsessed neighbor. Furious and heartbroken, Violet vents her frustrations in her column and ends up going viral in the process.

When Violet burns all of Sam's belongings in a late-night bonfire in her front yard, she meets a handsome firefighter named Dez, who ignites something in her that she's never felt before. The pair have an instant connection, but Violet is torn when Sam starts trying to win her back. Violet finds herself pulled in all directions, and the more stressed she gets, the blunter and more bitter her advice seems to become. With everything hanging on the line, Violet will have to decide how she wants her story to play out.

I thought this sounded so cute, but it ended up not being for me. It was over-written to the point where it felt like it took five paragraphs to say one thing. The characters were one-dimensional and uninteresting. I didn't feel a connection to any of them, so I had a hard time rooting for them. Out of everyone, I liked Dez the most and found him so sweet. I loved how caring and thoughtful he was towards Violet. I liked them together, but they felt very surface-level. I needed more depth and connection between them for their relationship to be believable. I thought Violet was a bit messy, and even though it's justified given all that she was going through, her actions still annoyed me at times. I was hoping to love this, but sadly, it just missed the mark.

Rating: 2/5

Thursday, March 3, 2022

House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) Review

Hello, all!

Like many others, I spent the days counting down to the release of House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas. This is the second installment of the Crescent City series (my review of the first book here), so while I tried to keep this vague, potential spoilers ahead.

Pub Date: 2-15-22
Adult - Fantasy

It's been a few months since Bryce Quinlan risked her life to save Crescent City from Hel demons, and she's been trying to get back to some sense of normalcy. Bryce and Hunt Athalar, the fallen angel better know as the Umbra Mortis, were forced into keeping a low profile to protect the ones they love from the wrath of the wickedly powerful Asteri. After the nightmare they went through, the pair are looking forward to some downtime and trying to see what their life could be like together. They should've realized peace wouldn't last long.

With uprisings happening throughout the land and rebels chipping away at the Asteri's powers, Bryce and Hunt once again find themselves on the brink of war. The pair find themselves with two choices: step aside and let the Asteri keep oppressing the land, or stand up and fight for what's right. Luckily, both have never had a problem standing up against authority. With threats coming from both sides, Bryce, Hunt, and their friends must go to whatever lengths to uncover the truth before it's too late.

We all know that I'm SJM trash and will read anything she puts out. I would most likely read her grocery list if it were published, but girl, come on. Not enough happens in this book to justify it being this long. The first 60-65% just felt like characters having conversations in various locations with a sprinkling of investigating. There were too many character's POV's which made it feel messy at times. (Sorry, Tharion, I like you, but reading from your perspective didn't move the plot along.) I also think using Danika as a motivator for Bryce is getting lazy. And as much as I love Bryce, her stubbornness and inability to think situations through started frustrating me a bit throughout this. She just jumped into things without having a plan or backup plan and put herself and others into danger so many times. All that aside, I did still really enjoy this. Maas has this way of putting her characters through it, so when they're thrown into a situation that requires them to sacrifice themselves, it's the most brutal of gut punches. It happens so often in this book. There were so many moments that left me emotionally unwell. Especially the last chapter. My jaw was on the floor the entire time I was reading it. There have always been hints and theories about her stories interweaving, so I'm beyond excited to see where this will go from here.

Rating: 4.5/5

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Hook, Line, and Sinker Review

Hello, all!

One of my favorite reads of last year was It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey (review here), so I was thrilled when I received an early copy of the companion novel, Hook, Line, and Sinker

Pub Date: 3-1-22
Adult - Contemporary

Hannah Bellinger isn't leading lady material. Or at least she doesn't feel like she is. She's never been one who enjoys being the center of attention-- she leaves that to her sister, Piper-- and she's more likely to stick up for someone else than herself. Hence why she's spent years being a lowly PA rather than pursuing her dream career of scoring movie soundtracks. Hannah's determined to take charge of her life and her first step towards that goal? Convincing the movie she's working for to film in the small fishing town of Westport rather than LA. Hannah's sure the moody atmosphere would be perfect for the indie flick, but that's not the only reason for her suggestion. She can't seem to get her mind off of Fox Thornton, the playboy relief skipper she met last summer.

Fox Thornton is an unapologetic playboy. He knows he's good-looking and doesn't shy away from female attention. He has a reputation around Westport as being a carefree flirt, and it's one that he's always been happy to live up to. Until he met Hannah. She was the one woman who never seemed to fall for his tricks. Instead of being interested in his looks, Hannah was more interested in becoming his friend. The pair have spent months trading texts and music back and forth, and Fox can't help his growing feelings. So, when Hannah comes into town and crashes in his spare bedroom, it takes all his willpower not to screw up the fragile balance they've got going on. As the weeks go on, the line between friendship and relationship starts to blur, and neither Hannah nor Fox can deny the sparks between them. Fox knows if he wants what he has with Hannah to last, he'll have to confront his deepest insecurities, but will his true self be enough for someone to finally choose him?

I've wanted Hannah and Fox to have their own story from the moment they met, and it was everything I was hoping for! They had this fun, flirty banter in the first book, so I was very excited to see how it would play out here. Spoiler alert: it was amazing! I loved how they built this solid friendship based on sharing different music and loved seeing them bond through songs they'd send one another. The dynamic between them just felt so natural and sweet, and their chemistry was through the roof. Not only that, but their development both as a couple and as individuals was excellent. I could relate to Hannah feeling like the secondary character in her own story, and Fox had all these deep insecurities that he kept locked away that just tugged on your heartstrings, and it was so satisfying watching them both grow and better themselves. The only reason this wasn't a full 5 stars for me was that I thought the third act conflict was resolved rather quickly, but that's just me being nitpicky. If you're looking for a breezy but steamy friends-to-lovers book, I highly recommend running to pick this one up.

Rating: 4/5