The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle

the royals next door
the royals next door

Thank you to Berkley Romance for the gifted copy of The Royals Next Door

As a Canadian, I grew up hearing about the royal family a lot – I watched the modern royal weddings, saw the Queen’s holiday addresses every year and saw the Queen’s face on my money every day. Naturally, I’ve always really enjoyed stories featuring royalty – so I was very, very excited to read The Royals Next Door.

Piper Evans: elementary school teacher by day–avid romance reader and anonymous podcaster by night. She lives a quiet, reclusive life, taking care of her mother, who struggles with mental illness, avoiding her regrettable ex, who bartends in town, and trying to make inroads in the tight-knit island community that still sees her, five years in, as an outsider.

And she’s happy with how things are–really–until British royals rent the property next to hers and their brooding bodyguard decides she’s a security threat. Piper quickly realizes that one person’s fairy tale is an ordinary woman’s nightmare as a media frenzy takes over the island and each run-in with Harrison Cole is hotter and more confusing than the last. But beneath Harrison’s no-nonsense exterior lies a soft heart, one that could tempt a woman who’s sworn off attachments into believing in white knights.

But when Piper finds herself smack in the middle of a royal scandal that rocks the island she’ll need more than Harrison’s strong arms to shield her–she’ll have to do a little rescuing herself. With careers, hearts, and friendships on the line, Piper and Harrison will have to decide what they’re willing to give up for a chance at their own happily ever after.

Continue Reading

How To Train Your Earl by Amelia Grey

how to train your earl by amelia grey
how to train your earl by amelia grey

Thank you to St Martins Press for the gifted copy of How to Train Your Earl

This year I’ve been dipping my toes more and more into the world of historical romance novels (thanks, Bridgerton). When I read the description for How To Train Your Earl, it sounded different to all the historical romances I had read – it featured a widow, which I expected would create more emotional complexity. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

A roguish earl must fight using his honor and not his sword to win his lady’s hand in How To Train Your Earl, the third book in the First Comes Love trilogy from bestseller Amelia Grey.

Brina Feld has settled into a life devoted to helping others since the sinking of the Salty Dove left her widowed. She has no need for a man in her contented life. But when the notorious and handsome Lord Blacknight returns and awakens her desires, her peace and serenity vanish. If she agrees to an alliance with him, she knows she will have to battle her heart to keep from being snared under his spell.

Zane, the Earl of Blacknight, was never supposed to inherit the earldom, so he didn’t much care to lead a respectable life before then. Fistfights, card games, and drinking are the order of the day. Now he’s determined to change his rakish ways and he knows the proper lady who can help him. There’s just one problem: He’s already bet he’ll win her hand before the Season is over. With her resolve to out-scheme him, how can he show her that his love is true?

Continue Reading

Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Thanks to Berkley Romance for the gifted copy of The Love Hypothesis!

I get excited for lots of upcoming releases every year – but I was particularly excited to read The Love Hypothesis. It really hit a lot of my checkboxes: fake dating, starring a woman in STEM, and the grumpy / sunshine trope. Needless to say, this was one (if not my most) anticipated read of the year.

When a fake relationship between scientists meets the irresistible force of attraction, it throws one woman’s carefully calculated theories on love into chaos.

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

Continue Reading

Wait For It by Jenn McKinlay

Wait for it by Jenn McKinlay
Wait for it by Jenn McKinlay

Thank you to Berkley Romance for the gifted copy of Wait For It!

Enemies to lovers is my rom-com addiction – I absolutely devour any book that falls in that category. When I heard about Wait For It, a book about a young divorcee looking to start over and a reclusive landlord, I was sold and ready to dive in.

Stuck in a dreary Boston winter, Annabelle Martin would like nothing more than to run away from her current life. She’s not even thirty years old, twice-divorced, and has just dodged a marriage proposal… from her ex-husband. When she’s offered her dream job as creative director at a cutting-edge graphic design studio in Phoenix, she jumps at the opportunity to start over.

When she arrives in the Valley of the Sun, Annabelle is instantly intrigued by her anonymous landlord. Based on the cranky, handwritten notes Nick Daire leaves her, she assumes he is an old, rich curmudgeon. Annabelle is shocked when she finally meets Nick and discovers that he’s her age and uses a wheelchair. Nick suffered from a stroke a year ago, and while there’s no physical reason for him not to recover, he is struggling to overcome the paralyzing fear that has kept him a prisoner in his own home.

Despite her promise to herself not to get involved, Annabelle finds herself irresistibly drawn to Nick. And soon she wonders if she and Nick might help each other find the courage to embrace life, happiness, and true love.

Continue Reading

Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey

love scenes by bridget morrissey
love scenes by bridget morrissey

Thank you to Berkley Romance for the gifted copy of Love Scenes

I’m a total sucker for Hollywood set rom-coms – something about the glitz and the glam and the gritty underbelly really grabs my attention every time. Naturally, when I got the opportunity to read an early copy of Love Scenes, I was thrilled – a family dynasty in Hollywood and enemies-to-lovers romance? Sign me up.

Out-of-work actress Sloane Ford is in desperate need of something to do after losing her steady TV gig. When her famous family ropes her into working as a producer on their World War II-era romance, they neglect to mention that the film will be headlined by Joseph Donovan, her least favorite former co-star of all time. The roguish actor made her life a living hell the last time they worked together, using his movie star good looks and Irish charm to cover for his erratic professional behavior. On their new film set, he promises he’s different now, but Sloane is far from convinced.

As filming gets underway, it becomes clear that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. When the lead actress is abruptly fired, Sloane agrees to step in and take over the role, and she starts to remember why she fell in love with acting in the first place. On camera, she and Joseph share an electric chemistry. Off camera, they’ve been honing their characters and, much to Sloane’s surprise, growing closer. But playing the role of a woman in love with Joseph Donovan is a dangerous business, and the more time they spend together, the less Sloane can tell what’s real between them, and what’s just for show.

Continue Reading