Review: Xeni: A Marriage of Inconvenience

Xeni: A Marriage of Inconvenience by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Publication Date: 10/4/19

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

GoodReads Synopsis: Xeni Everly-Wilkins has ten days to clean out her recently departed aunt’s massive colonial in Upstate New York. With the feud between her mom and her sisters still raging even in death, she knows this will be no easy task, but when the will is read Xeni quickly discovers the decades old drama between the former R&B singers is just the tip of the iceberg. The Secrets, lies, and a crap ton of cash spilled on her lawyer’s conference room table all come with terms and conditions. Xeni must marry before she can claim the estate that will set her up for life and her aunt has just the groom in mind. The ruggedly handsome and deliciously thicc Scotsman who showed up at her aunt’s memorial, bagpipes at the ready.
When his dear friend and mentor Sable Everly passed away, Mason McInroy knew she would leave a sizable hole in his heart. He never imagined she’d leave him more than enough money to settle the debt that’s keeping him from returning home to Scotland. He also never imagined that Sable would use her dying breaths to play match-maker, trapping Mason and her beautiful niece in a marriage scheme that comes with more complications than either of them need.
With no choice but to say I do, the unlikely pair try to make the best of a messy situation. They had no plans to actually fall in love.

Review: Xeni is the second installment of the Loose Ends series and can also be read as a stand-alone novel. This has been the second book I’ve read from Rebekah Weatherspoon and it did not disappoint! Rebekah had a note about trigger warnings about specific sensitive topics which which I immensely appreciated so I was able to prepare myself emotionally for the upcoming sensitive topics. I loved the diverse set of characters in this story. The characters also felt people that you would meet in real life which gave them more depth. Rebekah’s writing style keeps the reader engaged through out the story. It was also refreshing to see how mature the characters were and that they owned up to their own mistakes. If you love really steamy romance reads, I’d recommend picking this book up. Note that this book may not be everyone’s cup of tea though.

Rating: 4/5

Review: Twice in a Blue Moon

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Publishing Date: 10/22/19

Publisher: Gallery Books

Rating: 3/5

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

Review: Christina Lauren is my favorite writing duo and one of my favorite all-time authors. When I found out that they had another book coming out at the end of this year, I was so excited! Twice in a Blue Moon is a second chance at love story. Tate, 18,and Sam, 21, meet up in London while vacationing with their respective grandparent. They hit it off and Tate not only shares her heart with Sam, but also shares her deepest secret: who her father is. Within a day or two, her secret is exposed and her life is changed. Fast forward to 14-15 years later, Tate is a famous actress and finds herself on the set of an upcoming blockbuster with someone who betrayed her trust and gave her heartbreak all these years ago. Overall, this was a decent read. It wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t the worst. My all-time favorite from Christina Lauren is The Unhoneymooners. To be fair, I’m not a fan of second chance love stories and typically try to avoid them, but I decided to give Twice in a Blue Moon a chance since it’s with my favorite authors. I really liked plot which was intriguing and the writing style gripes me every time. However, I felt like I was wanting more. It would have great to read Sam’s perspective on this and not just Tate’s as I felt his character fell a bit flat and I didn’t feel like we really knew his personality as an adult. I was a bit disappointed in the climatic part of the book as that fell a bit flat for me as well. In all in all, if you’re a fan of Christina Lauren, you’ll love this book. Also if you’re a fan of second chance love, I definitely recommend this one even though it wasn’t for me.

Review: The Last Post

The Last Post by Renee Carlino

Publication: Atria Books

Publication Date: 8/20/19

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: Laya Marston’s husband, Cameron, a daredevil enthusiast, always said this before heading off on his next adventure. He was the complete opposite of her, ready and willing to dive off a cliff-face, or parachute across a canyon—and Laya loved him for it. But she was different: pragmatic, regimented, devoted to her career and to supporting Cameron from the sidelines of his death-defying feats.

Opposites attract, right?

But when Cameron dies suddenly and tragically, all the stages of grief go out the window. Laya becomes lost in denial, living in the delusion that Cameron will come back to her. She begins posting on his Facebook page, reminiscing about their life together, and imagining new adventures for the two of them.

Micah Evans, a young and handsome architect at Laya’s father’s firm, is also stuck––paralyzed by the banal details of his career, his friendships, and his love life. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for, only that there is someone out there who can bring energy and spirit to the humdrum of his life.

When Micah discovers Laya’s tragic and bizarre Facebook posts, he’s determined to show Laya her life is still worth living. Leaving her anonymous gifts and notes, trying to recreate the sense of adventure she once shared with her late husband, Micah finds a new passion watching Laya come out of the darkness. And Laya finds a new joy in the experiences Micah has created for her.

But for Laya, letting another man in still feels like a betrayal to her late husband. Even though Micah may be everything she could wish for, she wonders if she deserves to find happiness again.

Review: This is the second Renee Carlino book I read and it may be my last. I just can’t stand the characters she writes. I understand that they’re flawed or whatever, but it’s too much. Both of the main characters in this novel are so unbearable. There were so many times where I wanted to DNF’ed this book, but I kept trudging through in the hope it would get better and the fact that I was already so far in it, but no it does not. Layla knew what she was getting herself into when she met her husband, Cameron, so it was frustrating to listen to her whine how Cameron was such a risk taker that it took his life when she’s the complete opposite. As for Micah, I didn’t like him from the beginning as he came off as stalkerish and weird. Also towards the end of the book, most of it seemed so unbelievable and overly cliché. Personally, I’d recommend skipping this book unless you already like the author’s other books.

Rating: 1/5

Review: The Right Swipe

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Publication: Avon (HarperCollins)

Publication Date: 8/6/19

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

GoodReads Synopsis: Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

– Nude pics are by invitation only

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

– Protect your heart

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

Review: This is the first book I’ve read from Alisha Rai and certainly won’t be my last. Based off the synopsis, I thought that this would be a more enemies turned lovers steamier read, but it ended up being a more complex story with less romance. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as Alisha Rai eloquently tackled sensitive and important topics like sexual harassment and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in the book. I really loved the diverse set of characters she had in her book which I found quite refreshing. I appreciate the complexities that the author brings out in the main characters which was interesting to read. However, I found them extremely unlikable and they lacked chemistry. Her secondary characters were full of wit and charm. I hope that Katrina and Lakshmi received their love stories in the Modern Love series!

Rating: 3/5

Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak

How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway

Publication Date: 7/30/19

Publisher: Harlequin – Graydon House

Rating: 2/5

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

Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway is a chick lit following Mel who works at a male driven tech start up where she is fed up with her job and terrible dates. After being stood up on a date, it’s the final straw and she decides to create JerkAlert app which warns women of terrible men to avoid dating. It becomes famous, however, in the midst of it all, there’s a romance story. I really wanted to love this book, but I felt like the novel missed its mark. It’s great that it advocates feminism, however, it was way too forceful and Melanie becomes unlikable. I liked the premise and that the author focuses on a woman in the tech industry, however, I didn’t like her stance that basically all men are terrible. I also didn’t like how Melanie goes about her job. If she hates it so much, why doesn’t she actually do something about it like look for a new one or report the issue to HR? Also her relationship with Alex seemed dull and immature. Alex’s character ends up being so one dimensional that I would have liked to have read his perspective as well. Overall, I would recommend skipping this book as there are other better romance reads out there.

Review: Things You Save In A Fire

Things You Save In A Fire by Katherine Center

Publication Date: 8/13/19
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

GoodReads Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about family, hope, and learning to love against all odds. 
Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.
The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?
Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.

Review: Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid read. I definitely liked Things You Save In A Fire over Katherine’s previous book, How To Walk Away. I really liked Cassie’s character development and how she sheds light on gender inequality in her fire station along with dealing with a sick parent whom she has a strained relationship with. Overall, the writing style was very strong and the book kept me intrigued. There were some cheesy parts in here that were a bit over the top, but I was able to over look that. The only part I didn’t like so much was how rushed the epilogue was. The story started off strong and had great momentum, but at the end, everything seemed too rushed and wrapped up in a pretty bow. All in all, if you like contemporary romance, I’d recommend checking this one out. 

Rating: 4/5

Review: The Marriage Clock

The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem

Publication Date: 7/23/19

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (HarperCollins Publisher)

Rating: 3/5

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

Review: The Marriage Clock is Zara Raheem’s debut novel. This contemporary romance follows, Lelia, a young Muslim-American woman, who is given 3 months to find the perfect husband otherwise her conservative Indian parents will find someone for her and arrange her marriage. I found this book to be charming, witty, and could connect to the book on a personal level. Zara’s writing style keeps your attention throughout the full book. I also found it refreshing to read the view point from an Indian Muslim perspective as I am Indian Hindu and it was interesting to see what the similarities and differences were. With all of that said, there were some parts of the book that I found difficult to connect with fully which resulted in a lower star rating. First, I found Lelia’s personality to be a bit jarring, more immature, and delusional than I anticipated. At the same time, it didn’t surprise me as she was still living at home with her parents, but I expected a bit more openness and understanding from her. The ending made sense to me, but it felt me wanting something a bit more. Overall, I thought it was a great start for a debut. I’d recommend picking this up if you like contemporary novels.