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.

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The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell

The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell

Thank you to Berkley Romance for the gifted copy of The Duke Undone

The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell

I’ve been reading a ton of historical romance this year – with Bridgerton popularizing the genre, it’s been super fun exploring new authors and stories set in the past. Naturally, when I got the opportunity to read The Duke Undone, I jumped on it. It’s pretty uncommon for a meet cute to involve the hero passed out, naked and drunk, so boy was I intrigued.

An artist stumbles upon a naked duke and an unlikely love story begins in this captivating Victorian historical romance.

When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can’t banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily. She finds herself compelled to put every detail down on canvas. What she doesn’tknow is that she’s painting the infamous Duke of Weston, and that her life will never be the same.

A second son, Anthony Philby thought he could flee his brutal family legacy and become his own man. Forced back to London by his brother’s death, he inherits a fortune… with strings attached. One scandal will sink his bid for independence. It’s in his best interest to burn Lucy Coover’s shocking painting and pretend he never met the bewitching young artist. Instead, he finds himself offering a devil’s bargain. He’ll save her aunt’s dressmaking shop from ruin, if she’ll seek out his missing sister, Effie.

As they work together, an unexpected passion ignites between them. But the hunt for Effie leads to unexpected danger, and soon they find themselves risking everything… for a love that might destroy them both.

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Paris for One by Jojo Moyes

paris for one by jojo moyes
paris for one by jojo moyes

Paris for One is a collection of short stories by Jojo Moyes, anchored by a story about a woman who was stood up by her boyfriend for a romantic weekend trip to Paris. I picked this book up because I had recently travelled to Paris and I also really enjoyed Jojo Moyes’ most iconic work, Me Before You.

Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She’s never even been on a romantic weekend away–to anywhere–before. Traveling abroad isn’t really her thing. But when Nell’s boyfriend fails to show up for their mini-vacation, she has the opportunity to prove everyone–including herself–wrong. Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed: independent and intrepid. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life? Funny, charming, and irresistible, Paris for One is quintessential Jojo Moyes–as are the other stories that round out the collection.

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Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

crazy rich asians by kevin kwan
crazy rich asians by kevin kwan

Nine times out of ten, books are always better than their adaptations – adaptations are forced to shave off layers of the story in order to fit a book into a 2 hour movie shaped package. Crazy Rich Asians is the one exception in this scenario – the one time out of ten that a movie actually does a story better justice than the source material did.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.

Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

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The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Do you ever pick up a book because it has a ton of hype, just to find it falls short of your expectations? I usually avoid popular books when they’re new releases for exactly this reason – but I made an exception for The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I’ve seen it splashed all over blogs and bookstagram, and everyone seemed to be loving it.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

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