Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Life's Too Short - Abby Jimenez


Title: Life's Too Short 
Author: Abby Jimenez 
Format: E-Book 
Rating: 4 Stars 


A brilliant and touching romantic comedy about two polar opposites, one adorable dog, and living every day to its fullest. When Vanessa Price quit her job to pursue her dream of traveling the globe, she wasn't expecting to gain millions of YouTube followers who shared her joy of seizing every moment. For her, living each day to its fullest isn't just a motto. Her mother and sister never saw the age of 30, and Vanessa doesn't want to take anything for granted. But after her half sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her baby daughter, life goes from "daily adventure" to "next-level bad" (now with bonus baby vomit in hair). The last person Vanessa expects to show up offering help is the hot lawyer next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. No one warned her that he was the Secret Baby Tamer or that she'd be spending a whole lot of time with him and his geriatric Chihuahua. Now she's feeling things she's vowed not to feel. Because the only thing worse than falling for Adrian is finding a little hope for a future she may never see. 


Romantic comedy is a great way to describe this book.  I laughed more at this book so much I'm surprised I didn't disturb my neighbors.

I Absolutely Loved:

* The two main characters.  Adrian and Vanessa are both awesome, well written characters with a truly fantastic relationship.  They start out with him not even knowing who she is (even though HE OWNS THE BUILDING THEY LIVE IN.) And they have this instant friendship that starts because he offers to help her with her niece.  The way their relationship/friendship develops from there is awesome to watch.  
* It was great to see both the MC's grow.  At the beginning of the book Adrian is so dead set against flying anywhere.  He's got bad anxiety, and he hates his dad (not going to say why - go read the book.) But almost losing Vanessa was his wake up call and he did what he needed to do to, at the very least, reconcile past relationships that were important.
* Vanessa making a life for herself traveling and donating money to find a cure for ALS.  She knew how ALS impacted people and was so, so dedicated to doing whatever she could to donate money to potentially find a cure. It showed how much she cared about other people, and about people who are affected by a really hard disease. 
* The humor throughout this book is awesome - if you have ever seen any video or post Abby Jimenez has done on TikTok or Facebook, you know this is not surprising.  She is such a comedic personality on her sites, and that translates into her book so much.
* Even though there is so much humor in this book, there is also so much heart and caring and compassion.  Even in the moments when things may seem like they'll take a comedic turn (the baby having explosive poop), there is this wonderful caring and heart aspect to this whole book.  It's very well rounded and well written.  
* The way the growth of each character led them to redevelop relationships they thought were no longer important to them.

There wasn't anything I can think of that I didn't love about this book.  It was humorous, well written, and had great, well developed characters.  I also loved that it took place in Minnesota.  As a Minnesota lady, I know there aren't tons of books set here, so when we have one, we're very excited.  

If you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend it.  If you have read it, let me know what you thought in the comments!

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Written in the Stars - Alexandria Bellefleur

Title: Written in the Stars 
Author: Alexandria Bellefleur 
Format: E-Book 
Rating: 4 Stars 


After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass.

Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy... a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle's new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because... awkward.

When Darcy begs Elle to play along, she agrees to pretend they’re dating to save face. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family over the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a fake relationship.

But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars?


Friends, this is, hands down, my favorite romance that I've read like ever! I mean - two beautiful women falling in love?! COME ON!  

I loved most of all that this was a sapphic romance. I've read plenty of straight romance, and it's not bad, but it i FANTASTIC to see romance actually featuring two women.  AMAZING. Give me more of this. 

The characters in the book were all so so awesome and so well written. They were all very distinct in who they were and stood out to me as each unique person.  Even Elle's mother, nosey and annoying as she could be, was a well done, well written character. 

Watching Darcy's growth throughout the book was great - she learned a lot about herself and what she wanted, and learned that love happens even when you're not always ready for it.  She really learned how to open herself up to other people, and learned that it was okay to let other people help you and be there for you.

Elle was a real treat of a character - she was so spontaneous and adventurous and through everything was just totally and completely herself.  It was great to see her finally stand up to her mother and family and prove to them that she wasn't who they thought she was.  I think she was my favorite character.

Watching this story develop from faked relationship to real romance was awesome.  It was obvious from the beginning that Elle and Darcy were attracted to each other, and watching them both deny their attraction but then finally realize they were only hurting themselves by denying it was great. They both realized a lot about themselves and each other, and were willing through the course of the story to search and actually listen to other people and realize what they wanted and needed to be happy.

There was great chemistry between the two main characters - they tried to deny it (or at least Darcy did for a while) but it was definitely there.  There was great buildup of the relationship as well as some...adult happy fun times that will definitely make you want to keep reading.  The way the author developed their relationship and the chemistry between them was great.

I felt like the whole book was cohesive and all the events flowed into and with each other well.  The book was well written and the story well developed. 

If you love a good rom-com and the fake dating trope, this is a book you HAVE to read. 

If you've already read it, drop a note in the comments and let me know what you thought of it.

Monday, March 21, 2022

The Sizzle Paradox - Lily Menon


Title: The Sizzle Paradox
Author: Lily Menon 
Format: E-book
Rating: 3.5 stars 


The Kiss Quotient meets Love Potion No. 9 in the next sparkling romantic comedy by Lily Menon, The Sizzle Paradox.

Lyric Bishop feels like a fraud – she’s studying sexual chemistry in romantic partners and what makes for a successful long-term relationship, only she can’t seem to figure it out in her own dating life. The science is sound, but how can she give her expert opinion with no real-world experience? In order to complete her doctoral thesis, she must crack the Sizzle Paradox – it seems the more sexually attractive she finds a guy, the less likely it is to come with an emotional connection; but why? – and to do that she must get the help she desperately needs.

Kian Montgomery, her best friend, roommate, and fellow grad student, has no trouble bringing both romance and sizzle to his own relationships. When he offers to tutor Lyric on dating tactics to find a good match, she’s certain it will solve her problems, and in exchange she agrees to set long-term-commitment-averse Kian up with someone different to give his romantic life a much-needed shakeup.

But once the two progress with their "tutoring sessions," they start to feel less like the academic exercise they were supposed to be as real feelings develop. Which is a problem, because Lyric and Kian are best friends and absolutely, irrefutably nothing else... Right?


If you're in the mood for a truly funny romantic comedy book look no further - The Sizzle Paradox has all sorts of funny and romance throughout the entire book. 

I liked all the characters in the book - and I loved the relationship that Lyric had with Kian.  They were great friends, and once they actually opened up about how they felt about each other they made a cute couple. 

Lyric and Kian did take A VERY LONG TIME to communicate with each other about how they really felt.  Like, it was literally THE END of the book before they told each other they were in love with each other. They kept saying it to themselves and everyone around them, but when push came to shove they both kept their lips sealed with each other, and were then both absolutely convinced the other didn't love them.  It led to a lot of hurt feelings and a lot of potential life changing decisions.  That was the only thing that really bothered me about this book was that neither one just opened their mouth and said "Hey, I'm in love with you." Other than that I really enjoyed this book. 

I loved the whole idea of Lyric needing a "tutor" because she felt so love inept.  Her best friend, apparently more capable at love and all than her, offers to be her tutor and it works - they have this trust in each other that makes it just good enough to work.  Lyric is able to trust that Kian will be honest with her about why she may be failing in relationships and love.  And Kian is gentle and kind enough with Lyric to help her move through her awkwardness at dating. 

The book was well written enough and kept me hooked with the story that I wanted to keep reading.  Each part of the story worked well together and moved well within the book.  I enjoyed watching each event and the entire story play out until it reached the end game. 

Even with the amount of humor in the book it also had the right amount of heart and seriousness that comes along with adult life.  The author did a great job striking that balance throughout this entire book.  

The dynamic between each character was well developed and they all played off each other well.  Even the weird moments that Lyric couldn't pick out because she wasn't love savvy fit into the story and made everything work. 

The growth that Lyric did in terms of what she wanted from her education was good to see as well. She knew she had spent a lot of time investing in her education (and money, let's be real) and she took time to examine it due to her exploration and experiment with Kian.  I think that time she took really helped develop her character and made her seem more like a real person.

Overall, this was definitely another hot from Lily Menon that I recommend to any adult who loves romance books!

The release date for this fun book is June 14, 2022.


DISCLAIMER: I received and ARC of this book from the publisher through Netgalley.  All thoughts and opinions about this book are my own.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Stone Broke Heiress

Title: Stone Broke Heiress 
Author: Danielle Owen-Jones 
Format: E-Book
Rating: 3 Stars 


Six months ago, I was the heiress to a soup empire worth millions. Now, I’m standing in a giant dumpster.

Bella Whittington’s caviar-and-Cristal life comes crashing down when she walks in on her fiancĂ© and best friend tangled up in page 34 of the Kama Sutra, limbs everywhere. But her plan to dull the pain with Daddy’s credit card is totalled by the news that they’ve lost the family business. Suddenly Bella’s both single and completely broke.

Shivering in her dingy new studio apartment after a traumatic incident with a homemade turmeric face mask (Hello Tangerina Jolie!), Bella realises she must pull up her Gucci socks and get a job, fast. But Dan, the gorgeous grumpy owner of the local soup kitchen, hates the Whittingtons, so a teensy lie about her surname gets Bella through the door, and set loose on the stove… Minestrone with a side of melted spatula, anyone?

When Bella’s ex returns with a golden ticket back to her glitzy old life, should she accept? Because that would mean no more box wine and frozen pizza nights with Dan. No more singalongs to the crackly kitchen radio. No more my-heart-is-as-melted-as-that-spatula moments when he finally cracks a reluctant smile… But if Dan finds out the truth about who she really is, will she even have the choice?

An absolutely hilarious, feel-good rom com that will have you snorting with laughter. The new must-read for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Lindsey Kelk and Schitt’s Creek!


Stone Broke Heiress is as funny and wild as the description promises.  My thoughts while reading it were reminiscent of Schitt's Creek, and that added a lot of fun to the story. 

The characters were decently well developed and each had their own traits, qualities, and personalities that made them distinct from each other.  Most of them were likable - except for Jonathan.  He was clearly a miserable human who completely effed everything up for people he was supposed to care about. He filled the villainous role in this book perfectly.  

On the other side of the character spectrum, we have my favorite character: Dan' grandma Elsie.  She was absolutely hilarious, and was just the sweetest, kindest human ever.  

The two main characters, Dan and Bella were interesting to say the least.  Bella started out as a clearly spoiled princess type who was used to dropping thousands of dollars a month on designer clothes and handbags.  Dan is a bit brusque when we first meet him but learning about his history helps explain that. By the end of the book Bella definitely had the most change about her.  She slowly learned, while living in Toxteth (a neighborhood in Liverpool), that life as she knew it was very, very privileged.  She had her eyes opened to a lot of the injustice in her own city, and was at first shocked at how many unhoused people there were in her own city.  To say she was ignorant at the beginning of the book is an understatement. But she really does grow and change by the end of the book, and becomes a person who does a lot of good things for the people around her.

The good things about this book:
* The humor was on point.  It really was a very funny book, but also handled the tough things that happened with dignity.
* The chemistry between Dan and Bella was obvious and the author built up their relationship very well.
*  I learned some things about Liverpool that I never knew before - and that was nice
* There's some great plotting to take down a bad, bad man
* The characters all worked well together and had great parts to play throughout the book
* There was a great story to this book and a lot of great lessons learned by more than one character

Things I didn't really love:
* It was absolutely appalling the way Jonathan behaved during this book.  Are there supervisors who willfully sabotage their friends and employees like that?!??!?!?

There really wasn't a ton a didn't like about this book.  It was a fun rom-com book that I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys romance and comedy in one.  

This book is being released by Bookoutoure on March 21, 2022.


Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through Netgalley.  All thoughts and opinions are mine.