Book Review | Buns by Alice Clayton

32620341._SY475_Pages: 336

My Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy

Publication Date: May 23th 2017

Publisher: Gallery Books

Synopsis:

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The third in the hilarious yet sizzling hot Hudson Valley series from New York Time and USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton.

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

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Book Review | One Day in December by Josie Silver

38255337Pages: 393

My Rating: ★★★★.5

Genre:  Adult Contemporary Fiction

Publication Date: October 16th 2018

Publisher: Ballantine Books

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Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

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Book Review | Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

18052985Pages: 370

My Rating: ★★★★

Genre:  Adult Historical Romance

Publication Date: January 28th 2014

Publisher: Avon Books

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In the first in Tessa Dare’s captivating Castles Ever After series, a mysterious fortress is the setting for an unlikely love . . .

As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.

Ugly duckling turned swan?
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?

No, no, and… Heh.

Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

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Book Review | Beach Read by Emily Henry

52867387._SY475_Pages: 361

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre:  Adult, Contemporary Fiction

Publication Date: May 19th 2020

Publisher: Berkley Romance

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A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

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Book Review | Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

50972370._SY475_Pages: 352

My Rating: ★★★★.5

Genre:  Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: April 13th 2021

Publisher: Berkley Romance

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Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan.

Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush.

Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had.

A hacktivist and a cat café owner decode the friend zone in this romantic comedy from the author of Undercover Bromance.

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Book Review | Twisted Cravings by Cora Reilly

43544517._SY475_Pages: 303

My Rating:

Genre:  New Adult, Dark Romance, Mafia Romance

Publication Date: March 13th 2021

Publisher: Self published

Synopsis:

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As the youngest brother of the notorious Falcone clan, Adamo grew up surrounded by blood and violence. Drugs soon became his way of coping.
Becoming a Made Man like his brothers was his destiny but never his passion. When he becomes the organizer of his family’s successful illegal street races and one of their thrill-seeking drivers, he finally asserts his own path in the harsh mafia world.
His purpose isn’t the only thing Adamo discovers on the fuel-soaked roads he calls home…

Dinara Mikhailov is the only female race driver and hard to ignore. Not only because of her flaming red hair and ruthless driving style, but also because the Bratva princess is allowed to drive in enemy territory.
Soon Adamo and she find themselves entangled in a passionate game that goes beyond the race track. Yet, both haunted by events in the past, their dark cravings put everything on the line.

As what they crave the most, comes with a brutal price.

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Book Review | Mercenary by Bella Di Corte

55887633._SY475_Pages: 396

My Rating: ★★★.5

Genre:  Adult, Romantic Suspense, Mafia Romance

Publication Date: November 13th 2020

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

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I had something to live for.

The moment I saw him, I knew.

His eyes would hypnotize.
His lips would speak the most beautiful promises.
His body? Made for pleasure.

But if Corrado Capitani thought that he could fool me into thinking he was a good man, he was wrong.

The moment I saw him, I knew the truth.

Those eyes hid his poisonous heart.
Those lips were vessels of deception.
That body? Made for inflicting pain.

He wasn’t sent from heaven. He was sent to drag me back to hell.

I had something to die for.

Alcina Parisi had a price on her head, and she’d eluded the best. She thought no one would ever find her, but I did. Everyone in our world called me Scorpio—the man who never let the enemy go. But she was a weapon, not an adversary, and I’d claimed her as mine.

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Book Review | Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

45553600._SY475_Pages: 352

My Rating: ★★★★

Genre:  New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: April 13th 2021

Publisher: William Morrow Books

Synopsis:

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Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.

Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.

Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.

Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.

Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.

From the USA Today  bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine comes the clever, funny, and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two old women—under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager.

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Audiobook Review | Because You’re Mine by Claire Contreras

39809987._SY475_My Rating: ★★★

Genre:  New Adult, Romantic Suspense, Mafia Romance

Publication Date: July 12th 2018

Publisher: Self Published

Narrators: Scarlet Chase & Stephen Dexter

Synopsis:

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When you grow up in the most feared mafia family, it’s easy to identify the kind of men that are bad news.

They’re the ones with experience.
The ones with secrets.
The ones that exude sex just by saying your name.

From the minute I laid eyes on Lorenzo, I knew he wasn’t just bad news.
He was the headline.

My opinion didn’t change on our second meeting.

Or our third.

But my head and my heart are at war.

He’s too mysterious, too gorgeous, too wild, and now, he wants me.
I should run far away.
So why am I racing toward him?
I’m totally going to get burned.
I know it.
A man like Lorenzo won’t leave me unscathed.
He’ll make ashes of me.

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Book Review | Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

52655000._SX318_SY475_Pages: 348

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Adult,  Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: March 10th 2020

Publisher: Berkley 

Synopsis:

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Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction. 

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a pastry chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

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