The Duke & I by Julia Quinn

The Duke & I by Julia Quinn
The Duke & I by Julia Quinn

Everyone is talking about one new Netflix show: Bridgerton. People are devouring it in a single day, and then turning to the book series to get their fix (at the time of writing this, there are three Brigderton books on the NYT Bestsellers List, over 20 years after their first publication). I’m basically describing myself here: after watching all 8 episodes, I managed to snag a copy of The Duke & I and jumped right in.

In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable…but not too amiable.

Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.

Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.

The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule…

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This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey

this is not the jess show by anna carey

Thank you to Quirk Books for providing a review copy of This is Not the Jess Show

this is not the jess show by anna carey

When I was approached by Quirk Books about This is Not the Jess Show – I decided to read it without reading the description or anything about it. I only knew that it was a YA thriller written by Anna Carey (who you might know from the Eve trilogy). In hindsight, that was definitely the best way to approach this book – there are some excellent twists that are best left unspoiled (and I’ll do my best not to spoil them in this review).

Black Mirror meets My So-Called Life in this fast-paced, timely YA thriller about separating fact from fiction–and how far we’ll go to create our own version of reality.

Like any other teenager, Jess Flynn is just trying to get through her junior year without drama … but drama seems to keep finding her. Between a new crush on her childhood best friend, overprotective parents cramping her social life, and her younger sister’s worsening health, the only constant is change–and her hometown of Swickley, which feels smaller by the day.

Swickley is getting weirder by the day, too. Half the population has been struck down by a mysterious flu. Conversations end awkwardly when Jess enters the room. And then one day, a tiny, sleek black device–with an apple logo on it–falls out of her best friend’s backpack and lands at Jess’s feet.

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Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler

Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler Book Review

Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing a review copy of Enjoy the View

Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler Book Review

Enjoy the View is the third book in the Moose Springs series – a series of books set in Alaska, focused on locals of a small town falling in love with tourists. Naturally, when I found out that this third entry would be about Easton, the mysterious mountain man, I was thrilled.

A grouchy mountaineer, a Hollywood starlet
And miles of untamed wilderness…
What could possibly go wrong?

Former Hollywood darling River Lane’s acting career is tanking fast. Determined to start fresh behind the camera, she agrees to film a documentary about the picturesque small town of Moose Springs, Alaska. The assignment should have been easy, but the quirky locals want nothing to do with River. Well, too bad: River’s going to make this film and prove herself, no matter what it takes.

Or what (literal) mountain she has to climb.

Easton Lockett may be a gentle giant, but he knows a thing or two about survival. If he can keep everyone in line, he should be able to get River and her crew up and down Mount Veil in one piece. Turns out that’s a big if. The wildlife’s wilder than usual, the camera crew’s determined to wander off a cliff, and the gorgeous actress is fearless. Falling for River only makes Easton’s job tougher, but there’s only so long he can hold out against her brilliant smile. When bad weather strikes, putting everyone at risk, it’ll take all of Easton’s skill to get them back home safely…and convince River she should stay in his arms for good.

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A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore

a rogue of one's own by evie dunmore
a rogue of one's own by evie dunmore

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore was the first ever historical romance that I ever read – and what a great first historical romance to start with. Naturally, I preordered A Rogue of One’s Own as soon as I finished the first book. 

A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution—but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.
 
Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis and London’s undisputed lord of sin, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.
 
Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smoldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.
 
As Lucie tries to out-maneuver Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war…

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Snapped by Alexa Martin

snapped by Alexa Martin book cover
snapped by Alexa Martin book cover

Sports romance is one of my favorite sub-genres of the romance genre. They’re usually super indulgent and very quick reads – the perfect palate cleanser between heavier books. Snapped is the conclusion to the popular Playbook series – a series that I’ve had mixed experience with. Nevertheless, when I found out that this final book was enemies to lovers and tackled some very serious and important topics, I decided to give it a shot.

With the stakes this high, it’s no longer just a game for the quarterback in this romance by the author of Blitzed.

Elliot Reed is living her best life—or pretending to. She owes it to her dad’s memory to be happy and make the most of her new job as Strategic Communications Manager for the Denver Mustangs. Things are going well until star quarterback Quinton Howard Jr. decides to use the field as his stage and becomes the first player to take a knee during the national anthem.

As the son of a former professional athlete, Quinton knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about football. He’s worked his entire life to gain recognition in the sport, and now that he has it, he’s not about to waste his chance to change the league for better. Not even the brilliant but infuriating Elliot, who the Mustangs assign to manage him, will get Quinton back in line.

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