Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers *REVIEW*

Rating: 3⭐️

Synopsis:With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.
This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her parent’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.
In New York, she’s able to ignore all the constant questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.

Review:Oh, what to say about Honey Girl. First off, I would like to thank the publisher for giving me the opportunity to join the blog tour for this book. It was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, so I was so excited when they reached out. My feelings on this book are so jumbled and all over the place. I am going to try my hardest to articulate how I felt about this book.
I will start with the positives first. I really loved our main character Grace. I feel like in books we don’t get enough showcasing that time out of college and in your late 20’s where you feel so lost and are fighting to find your place in this world. I think as a theme that was explored perfectly. I also loved the aspect of found family. Grace has surrounded herself with such an incredible group of supportive people and chose to make them her family.
Now, for the negatives. Most of my issues with this book really came from the pacing of the story. It just felt very all over the place. There were things happening that I was really interested in, especially her time with Yuki, however it all felt very glossed over and there was long time jumps that didn’t really fit. That being said, there was times where we spent a ton of time on things that I didn’t feel really invested in or what was important to the story. Ultimately the timeline jumping all over the place really pulled me out of the story and left me not really wanting to pick it up.
This book was INCREDIBLY diverse, however as someone who does not identify with so many of the diverse aspects I will not say if the representation was done well.
Overall this ended up being a 3 star read. I am happy that I read it, however it just fell a bit flat for me.

The Duke Heist by Erica Ridley Review

Rating: 4⭐️

Synopsis:Chloe Wynchester is completely forgettable—a curse that gives her the ability to blend into any crowd. When the only father she’s ever known makes a dying wish for his adopted family of orphans to recover a missing painting, she’s the first one her siblings turn to for stealing it back. No one expects that in doing so, she’ll also abduct a handsome duke.
Lawrence Gosling, the Duke of Faircliffe, is tortured by his father’s mistakes. To repair his estate’s ruined reputation, he must wed a highborn heiress. Yet when he finds himself in a carriage being driven hell-for-leather down the cobblestone streets of London by a beautiful woman who refuses to heed his commands, he fears his heart is hers. But how can he sacrifice his family’s legacy to follow true love?

Review:Thank you Forever Publishing and the author for sending along a stunning finished copy of The Duke Heist in exchange for an honest review.
This is a book that went onto my immediate TBR the minute that I read the synopsis. I am a huge fan of heist stories in fantasies and was so excited to give it a try in a historical fiction setting. I will admit that the heist part of the book was a bit of a letdown. I was expecting way more action and maneuvering than we got. In fact, I was pretty bored through the first half of this book. I just couldn’t get into it and nothing was making me really want to pick it up.
The Duke Heist really finds its stride at about the halfway point and once I hit it I was completely hooked. The romance in this is SO good, and I think that this book handled the second half conflict VERY well in a way that didn’t bog down the story or make me roll my eyes. The strongest thing for me with this book is the sibling relationship and characters. I absolutely adored every single one of the siblings and felt like I really knew them. I cannot wait for the next book!
I ended up giving this book 4⭐️ and will definitely be picking up the next installment when it releases this Fall.

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd *REVIEW*

Rating3⭐️

Synopsis:Followed by Millions, Watched by One
To her adoring fans, Emmy Jackson, aka @the_mamabare, is the honest “Instamum” who always tells it like it is.
To her skeptical husband, a washed-up novelist who knows just how creative Emmy can be with the truth, she is a breadwinning powerhouse chillingly brilliant at monetizing the intimate details of their family life.
To one of Emmy’s dangerously obsessive followers, she’s the woman that has everything—but deserves none of it.
As Emmy’s marriage begins to crack under the strain of her growing success and her moral compass veers wildly off course, the more vulnerable she becomes to a very real danger circling ever closer to her family.
In this deeply addictive tale of psychological suspense, Ellery Lloyd raises important questions about technology, social media celebrity, and the way we live today. Probing the dark side of influencer culture and the perils of parenting online, People Like Her explores our desperate need to be seen and the lengths we’ll go to be liked by strangers. It asks what—and who—we sacrifice when make our private lives public, and ultimately lose control of who we let in. . . .

Review:Thank you Harper Books for sending me a copy of People Like Her in exchange for an honest review.
I am not typically a thriller reader, but I knew that I had to give this one a chance. I am fascinated by anything that has to do with social media or being an “Influencer”. I truly believe that right now we are living at the height of “Influencer Culture” and I REALLY enjoyed how this book explored that. There are so many conversations that this book starts about being an influencer and balancing your real life with your online life. I think whether you are an influencer or not, this is a balance we all need to find. We see how important setting boundaries online and sticking to them. We also see how easy it is for us as humans to want to push those boundaries.
The rest of this story kinda fell flat for me. Nothing really felt “thrilling” to me and I found this book easy to sit down after reading a few pages and coming back to it. That usually is not a good sign for me when it comes to thrillers.
Overall I think this book is worth picking up if you are interested in influencers and the culture surrounding them. If you are just looking for a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, this may be one to pass on.

The Not-Outcast by Tijan *REVIEW*

Rating: 5⭐️

Synopsis:Cutler Ryder was everything I wasn’t.
He was the hockey star. I was an outcast.
He was best friends with my stepbrother, that same stepbrother who hated me.
His two parents loved him. My mom was a junkie. My dad barely knew me.
Years passed.
I got my life together.
Cut went onto NHL stardom.
Then there was a text.
I was drinking.
There was a party.
Cut was there…
I loved Cutler Ryder since the first moment I saw him.
The only problem? He never knew I existed.

Review:Sit back and let me tell you a story about how a book that I almost DNF’d at the 20% mark came to be my favorite read of 2020.
I had seen The Not-Outcast floating around the romance community in December and when I saw it was a hockey romance with mental health rep, I knew that I had to pick it up immediately. I won’t lie, throughout the first part of this book I absolutely could not stand being in the main character, Cheyenne’s mind. She was quirky and scattered. I actually set this book down for a few days, but something about it just kept sticking in the back of my mind. I thought a lot about Cheyenne over the next few days and realized that it was not her characterization that was bothering me, it was the fact that being inside of her head was too much like being in my own head. It was uncomfortable and at times triggering, but I saw myself in this girl, so I knew that I had to keep going, and DAMN am I glad that I did.
Yes, this book is a hockey romance. We have Cut who is an absolute cinnamon roll of a character, which is my absolute favorite when it comes to sports romance. We have this tough hockey star who is full of rage and determination on the ice, but when he is off of the ice he is the kindest and sweetest hero. However, this book is so much more than that. This is truly Cheyenne’s story of overcoming not only huge traumas, but also living her life with these debilitating mental illnesses. I really enjoyed how the author made the choice to not write out her diagnoses on page, because I think that it was important to not get hung up on putting those labels on Cheyenne.
I do not think that this book will be for everyone. The reasons I love this book are so incredibly personal to me. For the very first time in my life I felt like I saw myself represented in such a realistic way in Cheyenne. I saw a girl who was really struggling, and at times spiraling, who still got the guy in the end. A girl who lived through such horrible things, and yet she had a huge heart, pushed to keep a smile on her face, and went out and created her own family. Although I read this book on Kindle Unlimited I have already purchased the paperback to keep on my shelf. This is a book I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life.

Crave (Crave #1) by Tracy Wolff *REVIEW*


Rating: 5⭐️

Synopsis:My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.
Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.
Which could spell death for us all.
Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.

Review:Oh, Tracy Wolff. What have you done to me? My journey with Crave has been a long one.
When this book was first announced I was very excited about the prospect of a new Twilight-type story for a new generation. I snagged a hardcover copy when I found it on sale not long after its release. I was still super excited until the reviews started pouring in. It seemed that hating on this book became quite the trendy thing to do. I was scared that this was just another really cheesy, poorly written, Twilight knockoff. When I finally picked this one up I was so excited to find none of that true.
Yes, this book is FULL of teenage angst, romance, and drama. And yes, the writing can be a bit over the top and cringey at times. However, that is where the Twilight similarities stop. First of all, we have out the main character of Grace, she is NOTHING like Bella. She is a girl who has experienced a horrible trauma and is strong and independent. Our love interest, Jaxon, is also nothing like Edward. Of course, he is deliciously dark, mysterious, and broody, but in a much more digestible way than Edward.
I was so pleasantly surprised to find that this world explores a bunch of different fantasy creatures and not just vampires. I think there is a lot of room to expand upon this world in book two and I cannot wait to see where Tracy Wolff takes it. Although this book is full of over the top teenage drama, it never felt too heavy-handed. The twists and turns kept me flipping the pages at a lightning pace. I really really love the relationship between Grace and Jaxon. I am so invested in them. Another aspect of this book that I think gets overlooked is the incredible relationship between Grace and her cousin Macy. I love seeing healthy female relationships, and the fact that they are family makes it that much more special.
Overall I really really loved this book and I have already picked up the sequel. If you are in the mood for a fun escapist paranormal read, then I think this is the best one. I encourage everyone to go into this without any predetermined expectations and just enjoy the story.

The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1) by Julia Quinn *REVIEW*

Rating: no rating

Synopsis: In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable…but not too amiable.
Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.
Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.
The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule…

Review: This may be one of the hardest reviews that I have ever had to write. This entire book was a 4-5 star for me, however, there was a direction this plot took that was NOT OKAY!
I guess I will start with the things that I did really enjoy! I was so in love with all of these characters. I think that is truly the strongest part of this story. From the very start, I was in love with the Bridgerton siblings, as well as Simon. I especially loved the meddling mothers. I think that the romance was done so well, and was perfectly paced. I really enjoyed Daphne and Simon separately, but I especially loved them together.
At about the 80% mark, there was a plot turn that was absolutely unacceptable, and what really bothered me is that there were no real consequences. I think that a good conversation could have been made about this specific action, but instead, the author chose to gloss over it and not show any real consequences. This is something that does not sit well with me and is making this book very hard to give an accurate rating. Because of that, I do not think that I will be giving this one a star rating.
Overall this was a great entry into the historical romance genre for me and I hope to read more of it in the coming year. This is a series I will definitely be continuing and I cannot wait to watch the Netflix adaptation that premieres on Christmas day!

Will I Meet My Goal of Reading 100 Books in 2020?

Hello everyone!
I know that I have kind of abandoned the blog in these past few months, but I am so excited to be back. Things have been a little crazy in my personal life. I am so ready to be back and have so much upcoming content set for 2021 that I am so incredibly excited for.

Today I just wanted to drop by and share my tentative TBR for the rest of the year. My original reading goal for 2020 was to read 52 books, but with the year we have had I have found myself with more time to read and I have certainly been in need of some serious escapism. I have read 95 books as of 12/4/2020, so I am excited to announce the 5b books I am hoping to read by the end of the year.


#1.) The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
I am starting out with my current read! I picked this one up when I saw it was only $8 for the hardcover. This is an Aladin romance retelling that I am really enjoying at the moment. I am only 60 pages through. This book started with a bang and I have been hooked.


#2.) Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang
I won’t lie. This was purely a cover buy! I saw it suggested in Kindle Unlimited and immediately ordered a paperback. I am trying to really branch out of my genre comfort zone, and this historical romantic mystery with a fantasy twist looks like the perfect fit.


#3.) Layla by Colleen Hoover
This is the one book on this list that I know I will 100% read without a doubt. It has become quite the tradition for me to stay up late the night of Colleen Hoover releases and reading until I cannot physically keep my eyes open any longer. There is something about her books that grip me from the beginning and do not let go. I am so excited to read her first entry into the paranormal genre. The early reviews are just getting me more hype about this book.


#4.) The Not-Outcast by Tijan
Something about there being snow on the ground and no hockey on tv just doesn’t feel right. Adjusting to not having hockey to watch every night has been a struggle, so I was ecstatic when I found out that Tijan had written a standalone hockey romance. I am really just in the mood for anything hockey, and I am hoping this will fill a little bit of the puck-sized hole in my heart.


#5.) Crave by Tracy Wolff
Last on my list, but certainly, not least is Crave by Tracy Wolff. This book has been on my physical TBR for months and I am hoping to start this series out before the end of the year. One of my goals for 2021 is to finish more series, as opposed to just reading the first book, and with the conclusion to this series coming out next year I am hoping to binge it. It sounds like the angsty teen paranormal that I need to round out my 2020.

So there you have it, those are the five books that I am hoping to round out my 2020 reading with. Let me know how you are doing on your reading goals and what books you are hoping to get to by the end of the year! Let’s chat in the comments down below.

*****All book covers are linked to the Amazon purchase page for the book. If you purchase through that link I make a small commission and it helps support my content.*****

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong *Review*

Rating: 5/5⭐️

Synopsis:The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

Review: I had to give this book a good 24 hours to collect my thoughts, and honestly, I still do not have words to describe my love for this book. Upon reading the synopsis I knew that this was a book I would enjoy, but DAMN. First of all, this is the enemies-to-lovers story that I have been looking for my entire life. It was the best execution of the trope that I have ever seen. I think the main reason that this works is that Chloe created such incredible characters. They all had their own personalities and motivations for why they acted the way they acted in a way that felt genuine to them.
The atmosphere created in the world was incredible and so unique. I do not think that I have ever read a book set in 1920’s Shanghai and now that is all I want. As someone who is a huge fan of political intrigue, this was basically a book written for me. The political maneuverings were so rich and the plot was taking a ton of twists and turns. It honestly completely swept me away from the real world and kept me turning the pages.
The only thing that I personally would’ve changed about this book is to age the characters up just a few years. I kept forgetting how young they were supposed to be, just because of the life that they live and the situations they find themselves in.
I recommend this to EVERYONE who is a fan of enemies-to-lovers. Seriously, go pick it up right now. This will definitely be on my favorites of the year list, and could certainly be my favorite young adult novel of all time!

Fable by Adrienne Young *REVIEW*

Rating: 3.5⭐️

Synopsis:
For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.
But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Review:
This book is a perfect example of #BookstagramMadeMeDoIt. I had seen this beautiful cover everywhere and seemingly everyone was chatting about it, so I finally caved and picked it up.
I went into this book with no expectation, yet somehow it was still not what I was expecting. First off, this book is VERY light fantasy, however, I believe that the fantasy elements will be built upon in the sequel. I wanted more fantasy. I wanted to see sea monsters and see how our main character could interact with this world through magic. The lack of magic did pull the rating down a bit for me, just because I wanted more. At its core, this is an adventure survival story and if you look at it through that lens then this is a really great story. I think I would have been more satisfied with this story if it was marketed like that, as opposed to a YA fantasy.
I have seen many people dislike the romance, however, I thought it was solid. I think we were given enough little hints to it, without it falling into the “insta-love” trap. In fact, I think that the romance brought the rating up in the end for me. I am excited to see the relationship between West and Fable evolve into the next book.
The big highlight of this story for me was definitely the characters. Our lead character of Fable is one of the best female YA protagonists I have ever read. This is the feminist story I think more young girls should be reading. While Fable is determined and strong, we also see her vulnerabilities. She feels very genuine and real, making you feel this attachment to her. The entire cast of characters was great. They were well fleshed out and you feel like you really know them.
Overall if you enjoy young adult, I definitely recommend this book. If you love the found family trope, then this is a great one to pick up. I am highly anticipating the sequel and will definitely be reading it when it is released.

I would like to thank the author, Wednesday Books, and Netgalley for sending me an eARC.

The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn by Tyler Whitesides *REVIEW*

Rating: 5⭐️

Synopsis:Ardor Benn is no ordinary thief. Rakish, ambitious, and master of wildly complex heists, he styles himself a Ruse Artist Extraordinaire.
When a priest hires him for the most daring ruse yet, Ardor knows he’ll need more than quick wit and sleight of hand. Assembling a dream team of forgers, disguisers, schemers, and thieves, he sets out to steal from the most powerful king the realm has ever known.
But it soon becomes clear there’s more at stake than fame and glory -Ard and his team might just be the last hope for human civilization.

Review:Do you ever finish a book and love it so much that you have no idea how to put your feelings into words? That is most certainly the case for me with The Thousand Deaths of Ardor Benn. There are not enough words in the English language to describe how this book crawled into my heart and left its permanent imprint. To be completely honest, I cannot put my finger on why I love this book so much. It is just this feeling I had throughout the entire story.
This book is full of lovable characters who you are rooting for, even if they are doing morally questionable things. A heist that seems to be going perfectly horrendous the entire time. A magic system centered around dragon shit, LITERALLY! It is full of intricate politics that made you want to rip your hair out because it all is slowly unfolding. The world is atmospheric and full of danger.
One of the first things that stand out to me after finishing this book is how readable it is. The writing style is simple without being too simple, which makes the pages absolutely fly by. Whitesides takes you on a true journey throughout this book with so many twists and turns, it left me saying “one more chapter” repeatedly until late into the night.
The most impressive thing for me is how nostalgic this book felt. It really reminded me of everything that I love about the fantasy genre, while still being a fresh and unique entry into the genre. It gave me that feeling of being a pre-teen and staying up late into the night under my covers escaping into this epic quest that you can only find between the pages of a book.
I have seen this book compared to Mistborn many times, and I think that if you are a fan of that series then this is one that you ABSOLUTELY must pick up. In fact, depending on how the final two books go, this could take the spot of my favorite fantasy series of all time.
This book just really dug itself into my heart and soul and I cannot wait to continue with the remaining two books and get lost in this world again. If you are looking to put this world on hold and escape into an incredible journey, then you must meet Ardor Benn and his friends.