Saturday, April 30, 2022

April Wrap-Up

Hello, all!

Did this month fly by for anyone else? I feel like I blinked and the month was over! I had some solid reads this month, so I'm hoping that momentum continues into May.


Audio:

Only a Monster- Vanessa Len; 2/5
Meet Me in the Margins- Melissa Ferguson; 3/5
Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths- Natalie Haynes; 3.5/5
Below Zero- Ali Hazelwood; 4/5
The Wolf Den- Elodie Harper; 3/5
Battle Royal- Lucy Parker; 2/5
Better Than the Movies- Lynn Painter; 4/5
The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly- Jamie Pacton; 2/5

Digital:

How the Wallflower Was Won- Eva Leigh; 5/5
Heartstopper, Vol. #4; 4/5
A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons- Kate Khavari; 3/5 
Everything for You- Chloe Liese; 4/5
Beach Read- Emily Henry; 5/5 (re-read)
Every Summer After- Carley Fortune; 5/5
The Promise of a Kiss- K.C. Bateman; 5/5
The Love Connection- Denise Williams; 3/5

Physical:

Steel Crow Saga- Paul Krueger; 2/5
Spy Family, Vol. #2; 4/5
The Diamond Eye- Kate Quinn; 4/5
Elektra- Jennifer Saint; 4/5
Angels' Blood- Nalini Singh; 3/5
The Murder of Mr. Wickham- Claudia Gray; 3.5/5
The Rake Gets Ravished- Sophie Jordan; 4/5
Gallant- V.E. Schwab; 4/5
For the Duke's Eyes Only- Lenora Bell; 3/5
Throne of Glass- Sarah J. Maas; 4/5 (re-read)

Some favorites were: How the Wallflower Was Won, Every Summer After, and Gallant. Least favorites were: Steel Crow Saga, Meet Me in the Margins, and Battle Royal.

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

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Gallant Review

Hello, all!

I know the warmer weather has only started to begin, but that doesn't stop me from craving spooky reads. One that I've been looking forward to all year was Gallant by V.E. Schwab, and I'm happy to report it more than delivered!

Pub Date: 3-1-22
YA - Fantasy

When Olivia was a child, she was left on the stoop of the Merilance School for girls with only a faded journal to remember her mother. Olivia is shunned by the other girls and disregarded by the school matrons because she can't speak, so she seeks solace within the journal and her mother's drawings and writings. Olivia has always wondered what happened to her mother, but all she knows is that as the journal progresses, her mother's writing gets more and more unhinged-- warning her to stay away from a place called Gallant. But when Olivia receives a letter calling her home to that very place, she has no choice but to go.

Once Olivia arrives at Gallant, she can tell it's hiding something within its stone walls. Though the house is large, its only inhabitants are two workers, her hostile cousin Matthew, who constantly tries to make Olivia leave, and the ghouls that haunt the halls. Olivia is determined to find out what's going on, and despite being warned about the wall in their garden, she slips past it and finds herself facing another Gallant. Only this one is crumbling, and Death roams the halls. Olivia soon learns she has ties to this shadowy place, and that only she can protect her world and home from the Master of the House.

I've always found that Schwab has a knack for writing quiet, captivating stories that draw you in from the first page, and this was no exception. The atmosphere in her stories is always immaculate. I was gripped by the world she created and with Olivia. I loved how strong she was and how she never let herself be silenced even though she couldn't speak. I liked how she was of two worlds which gave her these strange powers. From reading other books by Schwab, I went into this expecting it to focus more on characters rather than plot, so I wasn't too surprised that nothing much happened in this. The action takes a while to play out and then is over quite quickly, but I didn't mind so much. If you like a story with a Gothic, haunting feel, I'd highly recommend this one.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Blog Tour: The Mad Girls of New York Review (Nellie Bly, #1)

Hello, all!

Do you enjoy fiction that's inspired by real people or events? If so, then you need to check out The Mad Girls of New York by Maya Rodale. Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 4-26-22
Adult - Historical Fiction

It's 1887, and Nellie Bly has come to New York City in hopes of becoming a journalist who covers more than just the ladies' pages. Unfortunately for Nellie, every editor on Newspaper Row believes women aren't cut out for hard news. But Nellie has never been one to back down. In desperation, Nellie convinces one paper to take a chance on her by pitching an assignment no sane person would ever undertake: to pose as a patient at Blackwell's Island Insane Asylum for Women. 

Rumors have been swirling for months surrounding the inhumane treatment at Blackwell's, but no reporter has been able to step foot inside its walls. Nellie knows she only has one shot to pull this off, so she feigns insanity and gets committed, hoping to survive inside the asylum for ten days. Nothing could've prepared Nellie for the horrific conditions she encounters. Nellie knows this could make or break her career, but when rival journalists try to scoop the story out from under her, she finds herself in a race against time and madness to make headlines first.

I went to school for journalism and had heard of Bly in classes, so I was immediately intrigued by this. I loved the idea of a fictionalized version of her life and her career and thought Rodale did a solid job with it. It felt like a nice homage to such a pioneering woman. I did wish some of the other characters felt as fleshed out as Nellie, but I still enjoyed them, especially the group of other women journalists Nellie befriends. I thought the plot itself was interesting but did drag in some places. Despite that, I was still hooked the entire time. This is a darker story, but Rodale balances it nicely with hopeful moments, and I'm interested to see where this series goes from here.

Rating: 3/5

Thursday, April 21, 2022

April OwlCrate Review

Hello, all!

The theme for this month was "Peek Behind the Curtain." Let's take a look!


First up we had this clock inspired by The Night Circus. I've never gotten a clock in a subscription box before, so I like that OwlCrate did something different. 


Then there was this super pretty wax seal kit inspired by Once Upon a Broken Heart. I think the fox seal and the wax colors are so beautiful, but this isn't something I'd actually use.


The next two items that were in the box I found to be so random. First was this Moulin Rouge mouse pad. I like the design and practicality of this, but it was just something I wasn't expecting from them. The design also gives me such old-school traditional tattoo vibes which I love.


Random object #2 was this silicone popcorn holder inspired by Where Dreams Descend. I would never think to put popcorn into a little holder, so I wouldn't ever reach for this. It also had that overwhelmingly silicone smell which I'm not a fan of. 


I'm not a coffee drinker, but I so wish I was since this chocolate eclair flavor sounds delightful. Anytime we get coffee in these boxes, I always pass it along to my friend, so I'll just live vicariously through her.


The last item was the next enamel pin in their Literary Luggage collection. This one is obviously inspired by The Night Circus, and I think it's so cute.



The book for this month was Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor. Seventeen-year-old Jani has years scraping together whatever she could to provide for her and her sister. But then the mysterious Hotel Magnifique comes to town. The hotel is legendary not only for its whimsical enchantments, but also for its ability to travel—appearing in a different destination every morning. Jani and her sister apply for jobs at the hotel and are soon whisked away on the adventure of their lives. But once inside, Jani quickly discovers their contracts are unbreakable and that beneath the marvelous glamour, the hotel is hiding dangerous secrets.

This book has been on my radar for a little while now, so I'm excited to get to it soon. Let me know what you thought of this months box!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Let's Talk: The STEMinist Novellas

Hello, all!

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood was one of my favorite reads of 2021, so I was really looking forward to her series, The STEMinist novellas. This series follows three best friends as they navigate falling in love and making an impact in their respective fields. 

Pub Date: 5-3-22
Adult - Contemporary

Under One Roof: Environmental engineer Mara has just inherited a house from her mentor, Helena, but it turns out it's not as cut and dry as Mara was expecting. When she arrives at her new home, she finds someone already living in it-- Helena's nephew. Liam is a grumpy giant of a man and the two butt heads from their very first encounter. The pair fight over everything from Liam's job as a lawyer for a big-oil company to Mara's Disney playlists. Mara is convinced the two will never get along, but she is determined to live in the house regardless. As more time passes, the pair eventually strike a tenuous friendship, and Mara is pleasantly surprised to learn there's a softer side to Liam. She spent so much time hating her roommate when she could've been falling in love with him instead.

This was so much fun! It was forced proximity-hate-to-love at its finest. I enjoyed the banter between Mara and Liam so much. You could cut the tension between them with a butter knife, and it's so satisfying watching it develop into something more. Their relationship was playful yet steamy, and I couldn't get enough. I do wish this was an actual novel rather than a novella so we could get a little bit more depth and development, but either way, I loved this.

Rating: 4.5/5

Pub Date: 6-7-22
Adult - Contemporary

Stuck with You: For the most part, engineer Sadie believes in logical and rational thinking-- except when it comes to pitching to would-be clients. Sadie needs two things if she's to nail her upcoming proposal: her lavender underwear and a not-so-great croissant from the local bakery. Unfortunately for Sadie, she has the underwear but the last croissant was snatched up by a towering Thor-like man. The man, Erik, graciously gives Sadie the pastry, and the pair strike up a flirtatious conversation that leads to a steamy one-night stand, and eventually to Sadie nursing a broken heart. Now three weeks later, Sadie and Erik find themselves stuck in an elevator together after a power failure. For Sadie, this is hell on earth, but for Erik, it's a chance to figure out why the woman of his dreams completely shut him out. As the hour's tick by, Sadie is forced to realize that maybe she had Erik pegged wrong all along.

After enjoying the first book so much, I had high expectations for this one. While I liked it, it didn't hit as hard. I think it mainly had to do with the insta-love between Sadie and Erik. Maybe if this were a full novel and their relationship had more time to develop, I would have found it more believable, but it just didn't feel realistic to me. I think it would've benefitted by having a little more character development and a stronger plotline. That said, the banter was still fun and the steaminess spot-on, and I liked the use of the forced proximity trope. I'd still recommend it if you're looking for something quick to pick up.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 4-5-22
Adult - Contemporary

Below Zero: Since she was a teen, all Hannah wanted to do was work for NASA. Luckily for her, one of her best friend's cousins is an esteemed scientist who offers to meet with her to give her some professional advice. Hannah is instantly attracted to Ian, but the two-part ways after getting hot and heavy in his office. Five years later, Hannah has landed her dream job, but her proposal for an arctic expedition has been vetoed by none other than Ian. Hannah can find a workaround but soon finds herself injured and isolated at the remote research station. To her shock and surprise, Ian, the man who tried to ruin her career, is the only person willing to brave the elements to rescue her. Could it be there's more to Ian than meets the eye?

I was hesitant going into this one since I didn't love the second novella in this series, but I enjoyed it! I liked the plot of this one a lot. I thought the idea of this arctic rescue mission sounded ridiculous but in the best way. I loved Ian from the start and thought he was so sweet if a bit too overprotective. It took me longer to warm up to Hannah, though. I found her to be a little too cold and standoffish, but I liked her by the end. They had great chemistry and reminded me of Adam and Olive from The Love Hypothesis. I could've done without the scientific pillow talk because it was a little too weird for me to listen to Ian compare Hannah's body parts to Mars, but that's just me being nitpicky. Overall, I thought it was a solid and well-rounded end to this series.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, April 15, 2022

Star Wars: The Fans Strike Back Exhibit

Hello, all!

A new Star Wars exhibit just opened up in NYC, so you know I had to check it out! It's called The Fans Strike Back, and every thing displayed came from one fan's personal collection. The exhibit itself takes up about two floors, so I just kept wondering where the heck this guy keeps all of it. It was so fun, and I definitely recommend checking it out if you're in the area.

You can find more info about the exhibit here and below are some pictures I took!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

March FairyLoot Review

Hello, all!

The theme for March's box was "Threads of Fate."


The first item was this Circe inspired wooden bookmark by @avendellart. Circe is one of my favorite books, so this is great.


Then there was this Raybearer inspired cushion cover by @blanca.design. I don't have many throw pillows, so this isn't the most practical item for me, but the design is pretty.


Next up, was this tea tin inspired by The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by @chattynora. The pastel colors in this are just so pretty.


The last item was this sticker sheet inspired by The Raven Boys designed by @vvivaa. I haven't read this series, so I'll probably be passing this along.



March's book was The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh. This story is inspired by the Korean folktale of Shim Cheong. It follows Mina, who's homeland has been ravaged by storms for generations. Her people believe that the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. The only way to appease him, is by sacrificing a maiden to the sea every year to serve as his bride, hoping that eventually the "true bride" will be chosen and end their suffering. Many believe that bride to be Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village—and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead. Swept away to the spirit realm, Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.

I'm probably going to say this about every FairyLoot book, but I can't get over how stunning their editions are. I love books inspired by folklore/mythology, so I'm excited to pick this one up. Let me know what you thought of this box!  

Monday, April 11, 2022

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Big thanks to the publishers for these copies!

Pub Date: 4-12-22
Adult - Contemporary

The No-Show- Beth O'Leary: Siobhan, Miranda, and Jane could not be more different. Siobhan is confident to a fault, Miranda is used to being seen as "one of the guys," and Jane actively tries to make herself as invisible as possible. The one thing that connects these women is that they were all, unbeknownst to them, stood up by the same guy on Valentine's day. Joseph Carter is your typical handsome sweet-talker, and despite hurting each woman in turn, they all take him back. All three believe herself to be the only woman in Joseph's life, but can they truly fall for someone who has one foot out the door?

I was hesitant to pick this up at first because I'm not a fan of a cheating trope in books, but I'm glad I gave this a chance. It was more of following these three women on a journey of self-discovery and coming into their own. I enjoyed how we got perspective's from each woman and got to see how their relationship with Joseph played out. Aside from that, we also got glimpses into their day-to-day lives that helped to flesh them out. My favorite of the bunch was Miranda, so I enjoyed her chapters a bit more than the other two. I also liked watching her find a new relationship with AJ and thought they were so playful and sweet together. Aside from the romance aspect, I thought O'Leary did a nice job incorporating more serious topics such as mental health. The only issue I had with this was there were a few times I was confused as to the timeline of events but other than that I thought this was pretty good.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 4-12-22
YA - Dystopian

Gone Dark- Amanda Panitch: While most kids her age grew up playing video games and going to the mall, seventeen-year-old Zara was learning how to shoot a bow and trapping at her father's survivalist's compound. Five years ago, Zara and her mother left the woods behind and have been trying to move on from their traumatic experiences. When a malware attack cuts off electrical grids across the US, Zara can't help but remember her father's lessons about the end of the world. At first, everyone brushes off Zara's concerns, but soon she's the only hope for getting her friends to safety. Zara will have to draw upon her childhood skills and lessons to help get her friends across the country back to the only hope they have to survive: her father's compound. But with every mile they cover, the fear of seeing her father again after so many years causes Zara to consider maybe the dark is the better option.

If you're looking for something to transport you back to that early 2010's-YA dystopian-Hunger Games-Divergent time, this is the book for you. It's action-packed and has all the tropes you'd expect to find in this type of book. I did enjoy it, but I think I'm just a bit older than the targeted audience. It read very YA, so I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters. That said, I still found Zara compelling to follow. I thought her backstory was interesting and sad, but I liked how she used it to make herself stronger. While the plot/dialogue could've used some work, I thought Panitch did a pretty decent job showing you what life would be like if everything goes to hell and makes you question how you would handle it.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 4-19-22
Adult - Contemporary

Part of Your World- Abby Jimenez: Alexis Montgomery has spent her entire career trying to live up to the Montgomery name. She and her family are a part of a medical legacy that goes back generations, and despite being a successful ER doctor, it still isn't enough for her demanding father. If her father had his way, Alexis would be the chief of emergency medicine and married to her ex-boyfriend, who he keeps pressuring her to take back. Frustrated and unhappy, Alexis is desperate for a change, then she meets Daniel. The pair couldn't be more different-- Alexis comes from a wealthy family and doesn't even know how to sweep a floor, and Daniel is the unofficial mayor of a small town and nurses baby goats. Alexis is hesitant to start anything due to Daniel being almost a decade younger, but the chemistry is undeniable. Alexis can't deny that being with Daniel makes her happier than she's been in a while, but knows he doesn't fit into the plans her family has for her. But the longer they're together, the more impossible it becomes for Alexis to picture her life without Daniel, and finds herself having to decide what's truly important to her.

I'm not a big fan of the age gap trope, but dang, if Jimenez didn't charm me with this one. I liked Alexis and Daniel and was rooting for them from the moment they met. Jimenez always has top-tier love interests, and Daniel was no exception. He was adorable and so sweet. I loved how caring he was, not only towards Alexis but to every person in Wakan. I also liked how the town became a character itself and had so much personality. Despite loving the pair and their relationship, there were some bits I didn't enjoy. Mainly, Alexis's reluctance to be with Daniel due to their differences. It all got a bit tiresome after a while. For a grown woman, I thought she spent too much time worrying about what her family would think of her decisions even though they were having such negative effects on her mental health. However, it was so satisfying watching her finally choose her path. Aside from little nitpicky things, I thought this was great and can't wait for whatever Jimenez comes out with next.

Rating: 4/5

Friday, April 8, 2022

March OwlCrate Review

Hello, all!

The theme for March's box was "Artistic Obsession," let's get into it!


First up, we had the next installment in their Literary Luggage pin collection. This one was inspired by Sorcery of Thorns. I loved that book, and this reminded me that I need to do a re-read soon.



Then we had this book sleeve designed by @bloodydamnit featuring character art and a quote from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I've never read that series, but the artwork is super pretty.


I'm the annoying one in my friend group who always is taking pictures of whatever we do, so this An Enchantment of Ravens inspired photo album by Stella Bookish Art is perfect for me. 


As I've mentioned in the past, I'm always weary of getting face/bath products in subscription boxes since I have such sensitive skin, so I know this face mask by Fiction Bath Co is an eczema flare up waiting to happen. I like the concept, but I know it just won't work for me.


Then there was this sticker sheet by Isabel InaƱez featuring quotes from Wintersong, The Kingdom of Back, Woven in Moonlight, and Henry Matisse. I always put stickers in my journals, so I'm sure I'll find some use for these.


The last item we received was this Night Court inspired embroidery kit. I love the idea of this, but realistically, I don't think I'd ever have the patience for this.


March's book was A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson. Myra Whitlock has a gift that many would kill for. She's an artist whose portraits have the ability to alter a person's real-life body. Guarding her secret is the only way that she can keep her family safe. But one night the governor's wife discovers Myra's secret, and blackmails her into creating a portrait to resurrect the governor's dead son. Once Myra arrives at their mansion, it's clear that the son didn't die under natural circumstances. Myra then turns to the eldest son and together they dive into the family's secrets, hoping to uncover the truth before it's too late.

I saw this described as a gothic murder mystery, and I mean, say less. It sounds right up my alley, and I'm hoping to pick it up soon. Let me know what you thought of this box!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 4-5-22
Adult - Historical Romance

Reputation- Lex Croucher: After her parent's leave for the seaside, Georgina Ellers is left in the care of her aunt and uncle. Georgiana is resigned to spending her time going from one dull party to the next, but then she meets Francis Campbell. Francis is everything that Georgiana isn't: she's wealthy, has a gaggle of friends, and isn't afraid to participate in things that would make other ladies of their standing blush. Desperate for any kind of companionship, Georgiana latches onto Francis, and soon her life is turned upside down. She's introduced to a world of debauchery where the drinks and hands flow freely. Georgiana is willing to do whatever it takes to stay in Francis's good graces, but can't stop embarrassing herself. Especially in front of Thomas, who is quickly taking up residence in Georgiana's mind. But Georgiana learns that in their social circle, reputations are everything-- but at what cost?

If you were to take Mean Girls mix it with Gossip Girl and set it in Victorian London, you would get this book. Croucher's writing style is very cheeky and easy to read. I went into this thinking it would be a breezy read and was surprised when it was a bit darker than I anticipated. Character-wise, I thought Georgiana came across as very young and impressionable. She was so willing to go along with whatever Francis did, even if that meant being rude or mean towards those who didn't deserve it. Due to this, I had a hard time warming up to her and didn't feel much of a connection. Despite that, I did still enjoy this. It didn't blow me away, but it was a fun time.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 3-1-22
Adult - Contemporary

A Brush With Love- Mazey Eddings: Harper is a driven dental school student anxiously awaiting a spot in a top residency program when she (literally) stumbles into Dan. Harper offers to help Dan fix the model she broke, and the pair strike up a friendship. Unlike Harper, Dan isn't as enthusiastic about dentistry and is only going to school to appease his family. As the pair spend more time together, sparks start to fly. The last thing Harper needs is a distraction, but can't deny that Dan checks all her boxes when it comes to a romantic partner. When it comes to fillings, Harper is a pro, but feelings? Not so much. Is it possible Harper can have the residency and the man of her dreams?

I'm a bit torn on this one. On one hand, there were a lot of cute moments I liked, but on the other, there were just as many things I didn't like. For starters, I enjoyed the dental school setting and appreciated the representation of women in the medical field. I thought the way that Harper was treated just because she was a female in the field was, sadly, very realistic, but she handled all the comments with grace. I also appreciated the mental health representation, how it affects everyone differently, and the different forms of help that are out there. That said, my issues were with the pacing and the characters. It felt very long and a bit repetitive. I also didn't feel any connection to Harper or Dan. I did like Dan a smidge more, but only because there were times Harper frustrated me. Overall, it was cute but didn't leave much of an impact on me.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 3-15-22
New Adult - Fantasy

The War of Two Queens- Jennifer L. Armentrout: After a run-in with the Blood Queen leaves Casteel a prisoner, Poppy vows to stop at nothing to get her King back. With the power of the Primals flowing in her blood, Poppy convinces the Atlantian armies that the time for war is now. Poppy isn't thrilled about the idea of a war with her mother, but she knows the only way to ensure the peace the land deserves is to fight for it. After a daring rescue, Poppy and Casteel must embrace old traditions to ensure the safety of all they hold dear. But the pair and their allies quickly learn they have much bigger problems than the threat of war. When ancient primal magic begins to stir, uncovering a horror from eons before, it leaves Poppy with no choice but to face her biggest fear-- become the Harbinger of Death and Destruction or let everything she knows slip away.

I hate to say it, but I feel like I'm being punked with this series. I thought the first two books were solid, but I feel like somewhere along the way the plot has been thrown out the window. To be fair, the entire series as a whole hasn't been the best-- the writing isn't great, there's been little to no world-building, poor character development, and smut just for the sake of it-- but at least I've always been entertained. With this, I couldn't wait for it to end. Again, it was unnecessarily long (seriously, you could've chopped it in half and told the same story), and it felt like there were moments thrown in to appease fans rather than help move the plot along. And the plot! It just keeps getting more and more convoluted. I shouldn't be this confused as to what's going on when we're four books in. All that said, I'm apparently a glutton for punishment because I'll still pick up the next book despite not enjoying this one. I've invested too much time into this series already that I may as well ride it out, but yeah, this was not my favorite.

Rating: 2/5

Monday, April 4, 2022

To Marry and to Meddle Review

Hello, all!

One romance trope I love but don't talk about much is marriage of convenience. So, when I heard that was the premise of To Marry and to Meddle, the latest installment of one of my fave historical romance series, by Martha Waters, I knew I had to pick it up. (You can read my review of the last book here.) Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 4-5-22
Adult - Historical Romance

After six seasons, Lady Emily Turner should have secured a marriage proposal by now. But thanks to her father's debts, the only man to show her any interest is the loathsome owner of a local gambling hall where those debts were racked up. Emily will do whatever it takes to keep her family's name out of the scandal rags, so she has no choice but to grin and bear the unwanted attention. Despite it all, Emily has never given up hope of finding a love match.

Lord Julian Belfry, the second son of a marquess, would rather spend his nights overseeing the plays put on by his theater than standing around ballrooms full of people who look down on him. Julian is aware that his theater doesn't have the best reputation, so he concocts a plan: to show the ton that it's a respectable establishment, he needs a prim and proper wife to boost his standings. When Julian and Emily's paths cross at a house party, they hatch a plan to benefit the both of them. They agree to a marriage of convenience where Emily will use her social connections to promote the theater, and Julian will save her from her father's bad decisions. But, things start to get very inconvenient once real feelings begin to stir.

I loved the other two books in this series, so I was very much looking forward to this one. I don't think the plot was as solid as the previous books, but I still liked it a lot. Emily and Julian are complete opposites-- she's very reserved and he has a rakish reputation--, but they worked so well together. They had great banter, and there were so many times I was either laughing or swooning over their interactions. Waters did a nice job balancing the steamy moments with genuinely adorable moments (aka every moment between Julian and his tiny kitten nemesis), and I loved watching the pair fall for one another. Aside from their relationship, I loved the dynamic between Emily, Violet, and Diana. Their friendship is what truly shines throughout these books. They're so hilarious, and I love how they champion one another so much. If you like historical romances that have a more contemporary feel, I can't recommend this series enough.

Rating: 4/5