Book Review: The Love Scam by MaryJanice Davidson

the love scam by maryjanice davidson book cover

the love scam by maryjanice davidson book coverA review copy was generously provided by St. Martin’s Griffin.

Unfortunately, this is going to be a short review for me – The Love Scam was a DNF for me. Given I didn’t finish this book, this will be a very personal review – my take after getting about 40% of the way in. Lets get down to brass tacks: why did I choose to “Do Not Finish” this book?

Rake Tarbell is in trouble. When the fabulously wealthy and carefree bachelor wakes up horribly hungover in Venice, it’s not something that would normally be a problem…except he has no idea how he got there from California. Or who stole his wallet. Or who emptied his bank account of millions. Or who in the world is Lillith, the charming little girl claiming to be his long lost daughter. For the first time in his life, Rake is on his own and throwing Benjamins around aren’t going to solve his problem. Now if only the gorgeous, fun, and free-spirited woman who brought Lillith into his life was willing to help the situation…

Claire Delaney finds Rake’s problems hilarious and is not in the least bit sorry of adding to them by bringing Lillith into the mix. A pretty Midwestern girl with a streak for mischief, Rake is not the kind of man Claire hangs around with. Even if he is drop-dead handsome and charming as all get-out. Even if he needs help and she has all the answers. But if this helps Lillith, she will go out of her way. And with a guy like Rake, she’s willing to bend her rules a bit for some fun. But when adventure-filled days turn to romantic nights as they search for answers, and someone starts following them through the streets of Venice, Claire realizes she’s playing more than just a game. And maybe, just maybe, she isn’t willing to let go of Rake or Lillith just yet.

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Book Review: The Wrong Mr. Darcy by Holly Lörincz and Evelyn Lozada

the wrong mr darcy by evelyn lozada and holly lorincz

A review copy was generously provided by St. Martin’s Griffin

the wrong mr darcy by evelyn lozada and holly lorinczI am obsessed with anything and everything Pride and Prejudice – I always jump at the opportunity to read a reimagining or adaptation. Naturally, I was very excited when the folks over at St. Martin’s Griffin reached out to me about The Wrong Mr. Darcy. The book was described to be a romantic comedy inspired by Pride and Prejudice about a sports reporter and a cocky professional basketball player. Unfortunately, The Wrong Mr. Darcy didn’t just fall short of being a good Pride and Prejudice inspired book, it failed at being a decent book at all.

Hara Isari has big ambitions and they won’t be sidetracked by her mother’s insisting that she settle down soon. She dreams of leaving her small-town newspaper behind, as well as her felon father, and building a career as a sports writer, so when she is chosen to exclusively interview a basketball superstar, she jumps at the chance. It’s time to show the bigwigs what she’s truly made of.

At the same time, she meets a rookie on the rise, Derek Darcy. Darcy is incredibly handsome, obnoxiously proud, and has a major chip on his shoulder. Hara can’t think of a man more arrogant and infuriating. However, fate keeps bringing them together—from locker rooms to elegant parties, to the storm of the century—and what begins as a clash might just be more complicated than Hara anticipated. When she begins to see Darcy in a new light, Hara is not quite sure if she should drop the ball or play the love game.

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Book Review: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

girl, serpent, thorn by Melissa Bashardoust book cover

girl, serpent, thorn by Melissa Bashardoust book coverA review copy was generously provided by Macmillan Audio for review.

I’ll be honest – a large reason why I requested this book was the cover – I mean, have you seen it? Girl, Serpent, Thorn is seriously one of the best cover designs of 2020. Cover judgements aside, the description of this book made it seem super interesting – a standalone YA fantasy that pulls inspiration from Sleepy Beauty and Persian folklore (honestly, the fact it was a standalone was a huge selling point).

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.

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Book Review: One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

book cover of one to watch by Kate Stayman-London

book cover of one to watch by Kate Stayman-London

I am a junkie for The Bachelor – I watch The Bachelor, Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and the Canadian versions. I know it’s a trash show, but something about it is oddly addicting. There are dozens of issues with The Bachelor, but one of the main issues is the lack of representation. Soon, the show will be featuring its first black Bachelor after 18 years – yes there have been 18 years of only white male leads. The contestant side of things has been pretty homogenous too – most years there are 90% white contestants. There is also a total lack of body diversity – there has only ever been one plus sized contestant ever. Given all of this, I was over the moon to be able to read a realistic take on what a season of The Bachelorette lead by a plus sized woman would be like.

Real love…as seen on TV

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men–and herself–for a chance to live happily ever after.

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Book Review: Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

undercover bromance by lyssa kay adams book cover

undercover bromance by lyssa kay adams book coverThe Bromance Book Club was a bit of a dark horse read for me – I didn’t expect to love the book as much as I did. Needless to say, when I found out a sequel was coming, I was over the moon excited (especially when I found out it would be focused on the overly cocky Mack). My expectations were high, and fortunately, Undercover Bromance definitely lived up to its predecessor – in fact, it might even be better than The Bromance Book Club.

Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction. 

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

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