A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

The Book cover of A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

The Book cover of A Sweet Mess by Jayci LeeThanks to St. Martin’s Press for the review copy

Baked goods and reading are two of my favorite things, and with A Sweet Mess Jayci Lee, those two loves collide. A Sweet Mess is an adorable love story between a self-made baker and a food critic whose harsh review nearly ended her career – a true recipe (pun intended) for chemistry and drama. This book was light and airy and was almost great – with the exception of its ending and lack of resolution.

Bake a chance on love.

Aubrey Choi loves living in her small town nestled in the foothills of California, running her highly successful bakery away from the watch of her strict Korean parents. When a cake mix-up and a harsh review threaten all of her hard work and her livelihood, she never thought the jaded food critic would turn out to be her one-night stand. And she sure as hell never thought she’d see her gorgeous Korean unicorn again. But when Landon Kim waltzes into her bakery trying to clean up the mess he had a huge hand in making, Aubrey is torn between throwing and hearing him out.

When she hears his plan to help save her business, Aubrey knows that spending three weeks in California wine country working with Landon is a sure recipe for disaster. Her head is telling her to take the chance to save her bakery while her heart—and her hormones—are at war on whether to give him a second chance. And it just so happens that Landon’s meddling friends want them to spend those three weeks as close as possible…by sharing a villa.

When things start heating up, both in and out of the kitchen, Aubrey will have to make a choice—to stick it out or risk her heart.

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Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Book cover of Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina LaurenChristina Lauren, the prolific author duo behind hits like The Unhoneymooners, has become a mainstay on the romance bestseller lists. They’re one of the most consistent duos in romance – they release books on a two a year cadence, and rarely do they miss the mark in terms of quality. Sadly, Twice in a Blue Moon is a definite departure from their normally swoon worthy rom-coms – it’s core story is flawed and makes the romance between the main two characters hard to understand and very forced feeling.

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

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What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Book cover of What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Book cover of What You Wish For by Katherine CenterThank you to St Martin’s Press for the review copy

When I found out that Katherine Center had a new book coming out, I hit up my contact at St Martin’s Press right away. I didn’t even read the description, I went on blind faith because I read Things You Save in a Fire and How to Walk Away last year and couldn’t believe how good they were. I have no idea how Katherine Center keeps topping herself, but her books keep getting better and better with each release. What You Wish For is a poignant, beautiful story of loss, grief, and learning to let others in that everyone should have on their TBR this summer.

What is What You Wish For about?

Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living.
But she wasn’t always that way.
Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen.
But he wasn’t always that way.

And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.

As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.

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The Finders by Jeffrey B. Burton

Book cover of The Finders by Jeffrey B. Burton

Book cover of The Finders by Jeffrey B. BurtonA review copy was generously provided by St. Martin’s Press

I am a huge dog fan – I have my own pampered pooch who I dote on all day, every day. When St Martin’s Press approached me about reviewing an upcoming mystery about a dog trainer and his cadaver dogs, I was immediately sold. Bonus points: there’s an adorable dog on the cover. The Finders by Jeffrey B. Burton was an exciting mystery, with some underdeveloped characters and half-baked explanations.

Mason “Mace” Reid lives on the outskirts of Chicago and specializes in human remains detection. He trains dogs to hunt for the dead. Reid’s coming off a taxing year—mourning the death of a beloved springer spaniel as well as the dissolution of his marriage. He adopts a rescue dog with a mysterious past—a golden retriever named Vira. And when Reid begins training Vira as a cadaver dog, he comes to realize just how special the newest addition to his family truly is…

Suddenly, Reid and his prize pupil find themselves hurled into a taxing murder case, which will push them to their very limits. Paired with determined Chicago Police Officer Kippy Gimm, Mace must put all his trust in Vira’s abilities to thwart a serial killer who has now set his sights on Mace himself.

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The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

Book cover of The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

Book cover of The Betrothed by Kiera CassThe true tragedy of publishing is that successful authors are given a free ride to publishing their next book, regardless of the quality. Kiera Cass skyrocketed to fame with the publication of her series, The Selection. The original trilogy was a fun romp, mixing elements of The Bachelor with all the dystopian clichés – they weren’t the most groundbreaking books, but they were perfect for relaxing on a beach with. However, every book she has written since then has been a decline in quality. Finally, with The Betrothed, Cass has finally reached the point where her books have become a waste of paper.

When King Jameson declares his love for Lady Hollis Brite, Hollis is shocked—and thrilled. After all, she’s grown up at Keresken Castle, vying for the king’s attention alongside other daughters of the nobility. Capturing his heart is a dream come true.

But Hollis soon realizes that falling in love with a king and being crowned queen may not be the happily ever after she thought it would be. And when she meets a commoner with the mysterious power to see right into her heart, she finds that the future she really wants is one that she never thought to imagine.

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