Genre: Contemporary Romance
Book Review

At First Spite by Olivia Dade

At First Spite

This is my first Olivia Dade novel and it certainly won’t be my last. It was emotional, grown-up and absolutely compulsive reading. Athena has no direction in life. When the book opens, she’s working as a teacher an hour and a half away from Harlot’s Bay, the setting of the novel. She’s burnt out and really not sure what to do next careerwise. Her distress is particularly acute because at the age of 37, she … Continue reading At First Spite by Olivia Dade

Lightning Review

Tamon’s B-Side, Vol. 1 by Yuki Shiwasu

Tamon’s B-Side, Vol. 1

A young woman, Utage Kinoshita, who loves the popular boy band F/ACE, has a job as a house cleaner. When she covers for a colleague who calls out, she discovers the assignment is for her favorite member of F/ACE, Tamon Fukuhara. However, Tamon’s charming, bad boy persona is fake and the poor guy is riddled with imposter syndrome and anxiety. A lot of manga feature teenagers as the main characters; that’s the case with all … Continue reading Tamon’s B-Side, Vol. 1 by Yuki Shiwasu

Lightning Review

Yakuza Fiancé, Vol 1. by Asuka Konishi

Yakuza Fiancé, Vol. 1

I forgot where I heard about Yakuza Fiancé initially, but that cover was a strong motivator. Yoshino, the granddaughter of a crime boss in Osaka, and Kirishima, the grandson of a Yakuza boss in Tokyo are instructed to date (and possibly marry) to strengthen an alliance between the two families. Yoshino is a bit of a fish out of water, leaving Osaka to live in Tokyo with the Miyama family. She transfers to Kirishima’s school … Continue reading Yakuza Fiancé, Vol 1. by Asuka Konishi

Book Review

Sweeten the Deal by Katie Shepard

Sweeten the Deal

Sweeten the Deal is a contemporary romance that flips the usual financial conventions around. In this book the heroine is a decade younger than the hero, but she’s also a millionaire who hires him to be her companion. Typically the person with the financial power in contemporary romances is the hero and the older character, not vice versa. I picked up the book because I was intrigued by that premise, but what I found I … Continue reading Sweeten the Deal by Katie Shepard

Book Review

Do Your Worst by Rosie Danan

Do Your Worst

I don’t want to write this review because I absolutely adored Danan’s first two novels. They were fresh and original and lovely. This novel is…well, it’s okay. That’s it. That’s the highest praise I can give it: okay. Riley Rhodes is a cursebreaker. It’s a family thing that her grandma started (but initially the impression is given that it’s much older than that). Her mom didn’t take up the mantle and now, in her 30s, … Continue reading Do Your Worst by Rosie Danan

Book Review

Lavender’s Blue by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

Lavender’s Blue

I said in Whatcha Reading about reading Lavender’s Blue, “In some ways my brain feels like I am putting on clothing from two jobs ago that fit but feel strange and familiar at the same time.” Now that I’ve finished it and sat with my thoughts and tried (several times) to write out a longer impression, I agree with my earlier assessment that it is both strange and familiar, but disagree with the idea that … Continue reading Lavender’s Blue by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

Lightning Review

Time to Shine by Rachel Reid

Time to Shine

I read this book in a day. A delicious day. A work day! In between meetings and emails I was reading this book. (Sorry, boss.) Landon Stackhouse, a hockey goaltender, has been called up from the Calgary farm team to play in the NHL as a backup goalie due to an injury. He’s riddled with anxiety in so many ways and tends to stick to himself. Casey Hicks, a star winger on the team, isn’t … Continue reading Time to Shine by Rachel Reid

Book Review

Codename Charming by Lucy Parker

Codename Charming

I didn’t read book one in this series and perhaps I should have, but I am jolly glad I read book two. It’s a treat. Petunia De Vere (who everyone calls ‘Pet’ which takes some getting used to) is the personal assistant to a newly minted royal – Johnny Marchmont. He’s well-meaning, but endlessly clumsy and prone to putting his foot in his mouth. Pet often finds herself being flung aside by Johnny’s flailing limbs. … Continue reading Codename Charming by Lucy Parker

Book Review

Charm City Rocks by Matthew Norman

Charm City Rocks

Crystal Anne with An E comes to us from a sunny clime, but prefers to remain a pale indoor cat. She enjoys reading, cross-stitching something nerdy, going to see live music, and playing video games. She works as an autism consultant by day, got a degree in information science for fun, and currently serves on her local library advisory board. … Sometimes, you find the right book at the exact right time. It’s not the … Continue reading Charm City Rocks by Matthew Norman

Book Review

Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Business or Pleasure

Business or Pleasure is a sex-positive, low-conflict celebrity rom com that worked out great for me. I think a lot of readers will enjoy this book (especially the sex positivity!), but it won’t work for anyone looking for angst. Chandler Cohen wanted to be a writer since she was child, but she chose to focus on journalism rather than creative writing in college because it seemed like a safer bet. Now that there are fewer … Continue reading Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Lightning Review

Off the Map by Trish Doller

Off the Map

This book messed me up. Yes, I read it while I was going through a rough time, but the point stands: this is an emotionally intense book. The problem is that it is so well-written that it’s also un-put-downable so the emotional intensity is unrelenting. Carla is filled with wanderlust. She works in a bar to save up money and then travels the world in the Jeep her father gave her when he was diagnosed … Continue reading Off the Map by Trish Doller

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