G. Bianco, 2019
Saddle up for a new cowboy romance out on January 26th! Jessica Clare’s newest book, The Bachelor Cowboy, shows just what happens when you buy a date with a cowboy.
Jack Watson doesn't want anything to do with the dating scene in Painted Barrel, Wyoming, but when his sister-in-law guilts him into joining a bachelor auction, Jack can't say no to a charity event. He's not totally heartless. And if all the winner wants is an extra ranch hand for a few days, he can do that. Of course, Jack changes his mind as soon as he meets the winner, shy Layla. As the local accountant, Layla isn't used to being noticed by men. She's sure not the type to bid on a bachelor. But when she tells her mom she's bidding on someone she has a crush on--and her mom shows up to check--she has no choice but to offer for the gruff cowboy. It's for a good cause after all… Neither one of them thought the auction would be a success. But Layla finds it hard to keep her hands off the cowboy, and Jack falls for her sweet smile and wild sense of humor. True love should run smoothly, right? Except Layla's got a secret, and Jack's right in the line of fire. Does she risk everything for her Valentine cowboy or does she betray those closest to her?
Did I realize that this was the 6th book in a series? Nope! Am I now going to go and read the rest of the books in this series? Yep! Even though I unintentionally started reading this series backwards, this book definitely works as a standalone novel. While I would've liked to have more background information on some of the side characters (which I probably would've had if I had read the books in order), I didn’t feel too out of the loop or confused while reading this book.
It was funny, steamy, and if you love a “cowboy falls for nerdy girl” then you’ll love this book! Layla is a classic nerdy gal who doesn’t really care what people think of her and Jack is your stereotypical cowboy (complete with a cowboy hat and big belt buckle). However, the two of them are such lovable characters! Throw in a meddling old lady, a spotlight-stealing mother, and a dachshund puppy who wants to be carried around everywhere, this novel just screams cute rom-com!
While there wasn’t anything super profound or moving, I still had such a fun time reading this and I was hooked from the first chapter! If you’re looking for a bingeable and quick romance that's pretty linear, then this is a great choice!
*I received an ARC from NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for my honest opinion.
Historical romance author A. S. Fenichel is back with the third book in the Wallflowers of West Lane series! In Capturing the Earl, we see Mercy try to navigate love as well as the societal pressures of Regency London as she tries to reach her own happily ever after.
After the demise of her friend's disastrous marriage, Mercedes Parsons isn't about to let the widowed Wallflower of West Lane, Lady Aurora Radcliff, undertake another perilous trip to the altar. At least, not before the bridegroom-to-be is thoroughly investigated. If only Mercy could stop her uncharacteristic daydreaming about Wesley Renshaw's charm, his intellect, his dashing good looks. After all, the earl has already set his sights on her best friend! She must keep her wits about her and avoid giving into temptation. Wesley is both irritated and intrigued by the machinations of Mercy—He cannot let her cleverness and beauty distract him. He needs to marry her friend, Aurora, so he can reclaim his family's ancestral home. A wrong he has hoped to right his entire life. Besides, who is penniless spinster Mercedes Parsons to decide whom he can and cannot marry? Yet while he admires her unwavering loyalty to her friends, he decides it's high time the misguided woman had a dose of her own medicine. Two can play at this spying game. But they are both embarked on a dangerous charade. And it won’t be merely Mercy's reputation at risk—or her heart on the line—as Wesley comes to the inescapable conclusion that he has found the right woman at exactly the wrong time.
If you’re looking for a historical romance series to sweep you off your feet then this is the series for you! The Wallflowers of West Lane never cease to make me smile and their friendship is so resilient, just as each girl is in her own way.
I loved Mercy and Wesley’s romance, even if it does take a bit for them to actually accept their feelings for one another. Wesley’s stubbornness in thinking he must marry Aurora is a bit frustrating, but everything finds a way to work itself out, as all great romances do. So if you don’t mind a bit of a slow burn, then this romance is definitely worth waiting for. Additionally, Mercy’s connection to music and the way it’s intermixed with her and Wesley’s romance is so interesting to read about and really transports readers to Regency London!
We get to see series favorites like Nick, Rhys, and Geb Arafa, but also get a deeper look at some of the older characters like Mercy’s aunt and Rhys and Aurora’s mother. All of these characters intermingling brings the story together yet also allows for Mercy and Wesley to shine through. This book took a bit deeper of a dive into status and duty to your family name while also emphasizing a great love story.
Overall, this is a well written novel that shows that love can overcome duty and societal standards. While I don’t know if there will be a fourth Wallflowers of West Lane book, I look forward to seeing what Fenichel will write next!
*I received an ARC from NetGalley and Kensington Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
Fantasy fans, rejoice! The newest series in the Shadowhunters universe has begun and Cassandra Clare introduces us to a whole new cast of characters, while bringing in some fan favorites from The Infernal Devices. The first book in The Last Hours series, Chain of Gold, brings readers to Edwardian London where a whole bunch of trouble awaits the newest generation of Shadowhunters.
Cordelia Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, a warrior trained since childhood to battle demons. When her father is accused of a terrible crime, she and her brother travel to London in hopes of preventing the family’s ruin. Cordelia’s mother wants to marry her off, but Cordelia is determined to be a hero rather than a bride. Soon Cordelia encounters childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale and is drawn into their world of glittering ballrooms, secret assignations, and supernatural salons, where vampires and warlocks mingle with mermaids and magicians. All the while, she must hide her secret love for James, who is sworn to marry someone else. But Cordelia’s new life is blown apart when a shocking series of demon attacks devastate London. These monsters are nothing like those Shadowhunters have fought before—these demons walk in daylight, strike down the unwary with incurable poison, and seem impossible to kill. London is immediately quarantined. Trapped in the city, Cordelia and her friends discover that their own connection to a dark legacy has gifted them with incredible powers—and forced a brutal choice that will reveal the true cruel price of being a hero.
Cassandra Clare does a fabulous job of introducing new readers to the world of Shadowhunters, while also inviting current fans back into the intrigue of the London Institute. We see snippets of old favorites like Tessa, Will, and Jem, but these older characters don't overshadow the new generation of Shadowhunters (aka their children and relatives) who are the main focus of the book.
As always, the world-building, plot development, and character development are all fantastically done. Each of the characters highlighted throughout the book are so complex that you can't help but love them, yet also want to knock some sense into them at times. In addition to all of this, the detailed plot will have you questioning characters’ motives and crave all of the drama and comedy that Clare weaves into each of her novels.
I don't think I need to tell current Shadowhunters fans that they need to read this book, but for those who are interested in joining the fandom, this book is definitely worth reading! I am eagerly awaiting the release of the next book in the series, Chain of Iron, which is set to be released this year!
Marriage-in-crisis romance highlights relationship realities and mental health struggles
Chloe Liese is back with the third installment in her Bergman Brothers series, Ever After Always, which is available today (Jan. 12th)! However, instead of seeing one of the Bergman boys navigate love, we see their sister, Freya, and her husband (the matchmaking professor, Aiden) navigate their marriage that’s falling apart at the seams.
Aiden has spent twelve years loving Freya Bergman and twelve lifetimes won’t be enough to give her everything she deserves. All he wants is to make her happy, but the one thing that will make her happiest is the one thing he’s not sure he can give her: a baby. With the pressure of providing and planning for a family, his anxiety’s at an all-time high, and he finds himself pulling away, terrified to tell his wife how he’s struggling. But when Freya kicks him out, he realizes that pulling back has turned into pushing too far. Now it’s the fight of a lifetime to save their marriage. But, as if weathering marriage counseling wasn’t enough, they’re thrown together for an island getaway to celebrate Freya’s parents’ many years of perfect marriage. Despite Freya’s meddling siblings and a week in each other’s constant company, this trip somehow gets them working through the trouble in paradise. But Freya worries that when they leave paradise and return to the real world, will trouble find them again?
This might be my favorite Chloe Liese book to date! It was steamy, funny, sad, and just really lovely to read. Liese really makes an effort to portray the ups and downs of a marriage and how relationships develop and change over time. Freya and Aiden’s relationship isn’t defined by single moments, but instead a culmination of the years they’ve spent together. The way they try to work on their marriage and remind themselves of the love they have for one another is so eye-opening to read about.
This book gave me major Bromance Book Club vibes! The way the other Bergman brothers try to help Aiden and the major love of romance novels some characters have was so entertaining to read about. Also, the steaminess and sexual tension in this novel makes this fabulous novel even more binge-worthy and fabulous!
Additionally, the way Aiden’s anxiety is conveyed makes this “invisible illness” really seen. The way he tries to work through it and how it affects his and Freya’s marriage made this novel even more real in it’s portrayal of mental illness. Liese has always done a fabulous job of highlighted underrepresented illnesses, disabilities, and characteristics in her novels and this one is no exception.
All I can say is to go read this book (which is a great standalone) and the entire Bergman Brothers series and bask in the amazingness that is a Chloe Liese Romance! You won’t regret it! And if you don’t believe me, then check out my reviews of the first two books in the series Only When It’s Us and Always Only You as well!
*I received an ARC from Chloe Liese in exchange for my honest opinion.
If you’re a fan of young adult books, you’ve probably heard of Alexandra Bracken or any of her fabulous books like The Darkest Minds or Passenger series. However, her newest novel, Lore (released on January 5th), just might rock the YA literary world and start 2021 on a high note.
Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality. Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family's sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt's promises of eternal glory. For years she's pushed away any thought of revenge against the man--now a god--responsible for their deaths. Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods. The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore's decision to bind her fate to Athena's and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost--and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.
This book made my YA-loving heart so happy! If you mixed The Hunger Games and Percy Jackson series, you'd get an idea of what this story is like. It’s got all of the best parts of a YA fantasy book squished together and it’s amazing! The plot is action-packed and all of the characters we meet just help move the narrative along and keep readers invested in what will happen next. Between redeeming character arcs, plot twists, and a fantastical world, Bracken really pulls all the stops in this novel.
The world building in this book is phenomenal! Any lovers of Greek mythology will automatically fall in love with the way Bracken has built and shaped this modern Greek society hidden in the middle of New York City. However, if you’re not as familiar with the Greek gods and myths, everything is laid out and explained really well to make understanding Lore’s world a bit easier.
This book had me on the edge of my seat and I was eagerly flipping through the pages to see what would happen next. Lore is enchanting, binge-worthy, and the YA fantasy book all readers need in their lives. This book is a must-read and if you weren’t sure of Bracken’s ingenuity and creativity, then this book will prove that she is a writing genius!
*I received an ARC from NetGalley and Disney Hyperion in exchange for my honest review.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!