Review: The STEMinist Novellas by Ali Hazelwood

The STEMinist Novellas

The STEMinist Novellas by Ali Hazelwood
Publisher: PRH Audio (audiobooks) & Berkley (ebooks)

Thank you to PRH Audio for the free audiobook copies in exchange for my honest review.

Image from GoodReads

Under One Roof (#1)
Audiobook Pub Date: 2/8/2022
Ebook Pub Date: 5/3/2022

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: A scientist should never cohabitate with her annoyingly hot nemesis – it leads to combustion.

Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn….

As an environmental engineer, Mara knows all about the delicate nature of ecosystems. They require balance. And leaving the thermostat alone. And not stealing someone else’s food. And other rules Liam, her detestable big-oil lawyer of a roommate, knows nothing about. Okay, sure, technically she’s the interloper. Liam was already entrenched in his aunt’s house like some glowering grumpy giant when Mara moved in, with his big muscles and kissable mouth just sitting there on the couch tempting respectable scientists to the dark side…but Helena was her mentor and Mara’s not about to move out and give up her inheritance without a fight.

The problem is, living with someone means getting to know them. And the more Mara finds out about Liam, the harder it is to loathe him…and the easier it is to love him.

Thoughts: Under One Roof has enemies-to-lovers and forced proximity tropes. Overall, this was a cute and fast listen. If you loved the Love Hypothesis, this may be up your alley.

Image from GoodReads

Stuck On You (#2)
Audiobook Pub Date: 3/8/2022
Ebook Pub Date: 6/7/2022

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: Nothing like a little rivalry between scientists to take love to the next level.

Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn…

Logically, Sadie knows that civil engineers are supposed to build bridges. However, as a woman of STEM she also understands that variables can change, and when you are stuck for hours in a tiny New York elevator with the man who broke your heart, you earn the right to burn that brawny, blond bridge to the ground. Erik can apologize all he wants, but to quote her rebel leader—she’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.

Not even the most sophisticated of Sadie’s superstitious rituals could have predicted such a disastrous reunion. But while she refuses to acknowledge the siren call of Erik’s steely forearms or the way his voice softens when he offers her his sweater, Sadie can’t help but wonder if there might be more layers to her cold-hearted nemesis than meet the eye. Maybe, possibly, even burned bridges can still be crossed….

Thoughts: Stuck With You features Sadie and Erik and takes place in New York. This novella dives into themes of rival companies, miscommunication, and instalove. Overall, this was a cute and fast listen. If you loved the Love Hypothesis and Under One Roof, you may enjoy Stuck With You.

Image from GoodReads

Below Zero (#3)
Audiobook Pub Date: 4/5/2022
Ebook Pub Date: 7/52022

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: It will take the frosty terrain of the Arctic to show these rival scientists that their chemistry burns hot.

Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn…

Hannah’s got a bad feeling about this. Not only has the NASA aerospace engineer found herself injured and stranded at a remote Arctic research station—but the one person willing to undertake the hazardous rescue mission is her longtime rival.

Ian has been many things to Hannah: the villain who tried to veto her expedition and ruin her career, the man who stars in her most deliciously lurid dreams…but he’s never played the hero. So why is he risking everything to be here? And why does his presence seem just as dangerous to her heart as the coming snowstorm?

Thoughts: Below Zero is the third romance novella in the STEMist novella series. This romance novella features Hannah and Ian. Overall, this was my least favorite of the novellas and wasn’t for me. I noticed that all the novellas involve the same formula containing insta-love, enemies to lovers, she’s tiny and he’s so big type stories. That’s fine, but I was kind of hoping that there would be something distinctly different in this one than other two novellas. There’s a lack of chemistry between the main characters. I couldn’t really get into the story as I was able to with the others. You may enjoy this one if you loved the other two novellas in the series.

Review: Book Lovers

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James
Publisher: Berkley Pub
Pub Date: 3/15/2022

Thank you to Berkley Pub for the free advanced copy on NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

Review: Book Lovers by Emily Henry is the third adult romance I’ve read from Emily, but overall fourth book I’ve read from her. This romcom explores sister love, small town life, and taking risks.I l enjoyed this one. The author addresses heavy subjects in the story: death of a parent, grief, pregnancy, and panic attacks/disorders to name a few. I love that Emily’s writing style is pretty consistent in all her books. In Book Lovers, I found it surprising that the story is told only through Nora’s perspective which works well. All the characters are fleshed out and have such great chemistry with one another. Each of the main characters have their flaws, but I love that we get to see main characters’ chemistry heighten, the slow build of their relationship, and the witty banter works so well. The only character annoyed me at the beginning was Nora’s sister, Libby, but I understand why she was written the way she was and liked how we got to see her character grow. Highly recommend picking h toys up if  you’re a  romance reader and/or if you’re a fan of Emily Henry.

Review: One Night on the Island

One Night on the Island by Josie Silver
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pub Date: 2/15/2022

Thank you to Random House for the free advanced copy and PRH Audio for the advanced listening copy in exchange for my honest review. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: Spending her thirtieth birthday alone is the last thing that dating columnist Cleo wanted, but she is going on a self-coupling quasi-sabbatical–at the insistence of her boss–in the name of re-energizing herself and adding a new perspective to her column. The remote Irish island she’s booked is a far cry from London, but at least it’s a chance to hunker down in a luxury cabin and indulge in some quiet, solitary self-care while she figures out her next steps in her love life and her career.

Mac is also looking forward to some time to himself. With his life in Boston deteriorating in ways he can’t bring himself to acknowledge, his soul searching has brought him to the same Irish island in search of his roots and some clarity. Unfortunately, a mix-up with the bookings means both solitude seekers have reserved the same one-bedroom hideaway on exactly the same dates.

Instantly at odds with each other, Cleo and Mac don’t know how they’re going to manage until the next weekly ferry arrives. But as the days go by, they no longer seem to mind each other’s company quite as much as they thought they would…

Written with Josie Silver’s signature warmth, charm and insights into the human heart, One Night on the Island explores the meaning of home, the joys of escape and how the things we think we want are never the things we really need.

Review: One Night on the Island is a contemporary romance that dives into small island life, self discovery, forced proximity love trope, and the meaning of home. Overall, this was my least favorite Josie Silver book and it just wasn’t for me. Both main characters were well-developed. The author has a way of creating these flawed characters in complicated situations that makes you curious about how they’ll navigate through the story, but this time it didn’t work for me. Cleo came off as immature while Mack seemed like he didn’t know what he wanted. I just couldn’t get myself to really empathize or care what was going on in the story. I should have DNF’ed but I was already 50% that I needed to figure out what happened which wasn’t worth it. Aside from this book, I would definitely read more work from this author as I loved her other two books.

Review: The Roughest Draft

The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Pub Date: 1/25/2022

Thank you to Berkley Romance for the free finished copy in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: Three years ago, Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huysen were the brightest literary stars on the horizon, their cowritten books topping bestseller lists. But on the heels of their greatest success, they ended their partnership on bad terms, for reasons neither would divulge to the public. They haven’t spoken since, and never planned to, except they have one final book due on contract.

Facing crossroads in their personal and professional lives, they’re forced to reunite. The last thing they ever thought they’d do again is hole up in the tiny Florida town where they wrote their previous book, trying to finish a new manuscript quickly and painlessly. Working through the reasons they’ve hated each other for the past three years isn’t easy, especially not while writing a romantic novel.

While passion and prose push them closer together in the Florida heat, Katrina and Nathan will learn that relationships, like writing, sometimes take a few rough drafts before they get it right.

Review: The Roughest Draft is the first book I’ve read from this husband and wife author duo. Apparently this book is their adult romance debut as they usually write YA romance. This romance contains former friends to enemies to lovers and forced proximity tropes. The authors touch upon gaslighting and emotional infidelity. Overall, my emotions were all over the place on what I thought about the book. I really loved the premise of the story. At first, I was intrigued by the story and liked the tension, but then it felt the tension was too dragged out by the time I was 50-100 pages in. I liked the alternating perspectives of Katrina and Nathan along with the past and present insight. I didn’t really care for either of their characters. Sometime their thought processes annoyed me at times, but I understood that was part of their characters. The one part I wish we could have read was glimpses of the actual story they were writing. In terms of the ending, I felt like the last 100 pages was a bit rushed. I wished that part was in the middle and more drawn out. Overall, I had a really difficult time rating this one. It was a 3.5 star rating for me, but I rounded to 4 stars on GoodReads.

Review: Dating Dr. Dil

Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma
Publisher: Avon
Pub Date: 3/15/2022

Thank you to Avon Books for the free advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: Kareena Mann dreams of having a love story like her parents, but she prefers restoring her classic car to swiping right on dating apps. When her father announces he’s selling her mother’s home, Kareena makes a deal with him: he’ll gift her the house if she can get engaged in four months. Her search for her soulmate becomes impossible when her argument with Dr. Prem Verma, host of The Dr. Dil Show, goes viral. Now the only man in her life is the one she doesn’t want.

Dr. Prem Verma is dedicated to building a local community health center, but he needs to get donors with deep pockets. The Dr. Dil Show was doing just that, until his argument with Kareena went viral, and he’s left short changed. That’s when Kareena’s meddling aunties presented him with a solution: convince Kareena he’s her soulmate and they’ll fund his clinic.  

Even though they have conflicting views on love-matches and arranged-matches, the more time Prem spends with Kareena, the more he begins to believe she’s the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. But for Prem and Kareena to find their happily ever after, they must admit that hate has turned into fate. 

Review: Dating Dr. Dil is a romcom inspired by Taming of the Shrew and dives into themes of familial expectations, community, love vs arranged matches, and being true to yourself. Overall, this was a fun read, but it wasn’t for me. I haven’t read Taming of the Shrew so I wasn’t really sure if it lived up to the inspiration of it. I really loved Kareena, but I was not a fan of Prem at all which kind of turned me off from the story. I enjoyed the storyline and there were some laughable moments. I also loved the Taylor Swift references and inspired playlist in the back which was a nice touch. I liked how the author was able to capture the cultural expectations and family dynamics in the South Asian community in the storyline. If you like the fake dating trope in romcoms, I’d recommend picking this up. 

Review: In a New York Minute

In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer
Publisher: Forever
Pub Date: 3/15/2022

Thank you to Forever for the free ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

GoodReads Synopsis: A clever, tender, and romantic novel for readers of Christina Lauren, Jasmine Guillory, and Sophie Cousens, this laugh-out-loud debut is a perceptive reminder that fate can have a sense of humor, and that love can happen…In a New York Minute.

Franny Doyle is having the worst day. She’s been laid off from her (admittedly mediocre) job, the subway doors ripped her favorite silk dress to ruins, and now she’s flashed her unmentionables to half of lower Manhattan. On the plus side, a dashing stranger came to her rescue with his (Gucci!) suit jacket. On the not-so-plus side, he can’t get away from her fast enough.

Worse yet? Someone posted their (entirely not) meet-cute online. Suddenly Franny and her knight-in-couture, Hayes Montgomery III, are the newest social media sensation, and all of New York is shipping #SubwayQTs.

Only Franny and Hayes couldn’t be a more disastrous match. She’s fanciful, talkative, and creative. He’s serious, shy, and all about numbers. Luckily, in a city of eight million people, they never have to meet again. Yet somehow, Hayes and Franny keep running into each other—and much to their surprise, they enjoy each other’s company. A lot. But when Franny’s whole world is turned upside down (again!), can she find the courage to trust in herself and finally have the life—and love—she’s always wanted?

Review: In a New York Minute is the first book I’ve read from Kate Spencer. This adorable romcom definitely gave me ‘90s romcom vibes which I adored. In a New York Minute dives into a charming meet-cute, strong friendships, small business life, and NYC living. I really loved the meet cute between Franny and Hayes. The first half of the book caught my interest and was well paced. The second part of the book was a bit too slow and a bit cheesy for my taste. Highly recommend picking this up if you’re looking for a cute lighthearted funny read!

Review: Kamila Knows Best

Kamila Knows Best by Farah Heron

Publisher: Read Forever Pub

Release Date: 3/8/2022

Disclaimer:  I received a free advanced copy of this book from Read Forever in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Jane Austen’s Emma goes Bollywoood in this delightful retelling from the highly acclaimed author of Accidentally Engaged, perfect for fans of Abby Jimenez and Jasmine Guillory. Kamila Hussain’s life might not be perfect, but, whew, it’s close. She lives a life of comfort, filled with her elaborate Bollywood movie parties, a dog with more Instagram followers than most reality stars, a job she loves, and an endless array of friends who clearly need her help finding love. In fact, Kamila is so busy with her friends’ love lives, she’s hardly given any thought to her own . . .

Fortunately, Kamila has Rohan Nasser. A longtime friend of the family, he’s hugely successful, with the deliciously lean, firm body of a rock climber. Only lately, Kamila’s “harmless flirting” with Rohan is making her insides do a little bhangra dance.

But between planning the local shelter’s puppy prom, throwing a huge work event, and proving to everyone that she’s got it all figured out, Kamila isn’t letting herself get distracted—until her secret nemesis returns to town with an eye for Rohan. Suddenly, it seems like the more Kamila tries to plan, the more things are starting to unravel—and her perfectly ordered life is about to be turned upside down.

Review: Farah Heron is one of my favorite contemporary romance writers and I was thrilled to hear that she was releasing a new book in 2022. Kamila Knows Best can be best described as a modern day retelling of Emma. I didn’t really like the original story of Emma so I was a bit concerned on how I would feel about this book. Kamila Knows Best has a friends to lovers trope and is extremely slow burn. The contemporary romance explores friendship, family expectations, gossip, and authenticity. Overall, I enjoyed it! I liked that not only were the characters well developed and had strong backstories, but as a reader, I was able to see them change and grow in the story. There were times where the main characters annoyed me in certain situations, but I understood that was part of the story and how it helped with the story’s progression. Highly recommend picking this one up if you’re a Jane Austen retelling fan or if you love a good friends to lovers trope!

Review: Eight Perfect Hours

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
Publisher: Atria Books
Pub Date: 9/28/2021

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Atria Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: On a snowy evening in March, 30-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone. All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear.

The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again, but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence. With plenty of charming twists and turns and Lia Louis’s “bold, standout voice” (Gillian McAllister, author of The Good Sister), Eight Perfect Hours is a gorgeously crafted novel that will make you believe in the power of fate. 

Review: Eight Perfect Hours is Lia Louis’ sophomore novel. This contemporary romance novel explores friendship, destiny/fate, second changes, and new beginnings. The author addresses some heavy subjects such as death of a close friend, mental health, infidelity, strained family relationships, and suicide. Overall, I had mixed feelings about this book. Even though it was a nice listen, I still preferred Dear Emmie Blue over Eight Perfect Hours. The storyline was cute, however, it was a bit too cheesy and unbelievable for me. I had a difficult time believing this insta-love and ‘great love’ between Noelle and Sam when they barely spend time with each other. A few of the supporting characters are highly unlikable which I didn’t mind, but I felt that all the characters needed to be fleshed out more. The one aspect I really liked about this novel was how the author discusses the loss of a best friend and strained familial relationships. If you love fate/destiny type romance novels, Eight Perfect Hours may be up your alley.

Review: Part of Your World

Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
Publisher: Read Forever
Pub Date: 4/19/2022

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Read Forever in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.

While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.

Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?

Review: Part of Your World is a contemporary romance novel that explores strained relationships, small town life, forbidden love, and expectations. Wow what an amazing book which deserves all the stars! I loved the way that Abby handled heavy topics like emotional abuse and domestic abuse. All of the characters were so well written and I felt for all of them. I loved how tender hearted Daniel was and really felt for Alexis in the cards she was dealt with. I also really loved the way the author formed the chemistry between Daniel and Alexis. Now I can’t wait for Bri’s story! Highly recommend picking up this novel if you are looking for strong loving characters facing challenges and finding love.

Review: Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words

Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words by Annika Sharma
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pub Date: 9/21/2021

Disclaimer: I received a free finished copy of this book Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Kiran needs to fall in line. Instead, she falls in love.

Kiran was the good daughter. When her sister disobeyed her family’s plan and brought them shame, she was there to pick up the pieces. She vowed she wouldn’t make the same mistakes. She’d be twice the daughter her parents needed, to make up for the one they lost.

Nash never had a family. The parents who were supposed to raise him were completely absent. Now as a psychologist, he sees the same pattern happening to the kids he works with. So he turns away from love and family. After all, abandonment is in his genes, isn’t it?

If she follows the rules, Kiran will marry an Indian man. If he follows his fears, Nash will wind up alone. But what if they follow their hearts?

Review: Love, Chai, and Other Four-Letter Words takes place in NYC and has a friends-to-lovers trope. This novel dives into themes of strong friendships, cultural expectations, taking risks, and self discovery. This book is definitely a close door romance and slow burn. I had mixed feelings about this book. I loved the plot of this book. One main aspect I really adored was Kiran’s friends. I liked how all her friends come from different backgrounds and can’t wait to read their stories. A couple of elements that didn’t work for me were the main characters, Kiran and Nash, and the writing style. The chemistry between Kiran and Nash seemed to be more of an unbelievable insta love. Also both characters seemed to be pretty shallow. The one main aspect that bothered me was the writing style and some of the language seemed to be odd. Overall, it was a decent story, however, keep in mind this is more of women’s fiction than romance.