G. Bianco, 2019
What happens when two thirty-something year olds meet on a blind dating app, but actually hate each other in person? You get To Sir, with Love by Lauren Layne! This romance, which comes out on June 29th, is a must-read for anyone looking for a sweet romcom to make them smile.
Gracie Cooper strives to make the best out of every situation. So when her father dies, she sets aside her dreams of pursuing her passion for art to take over his Midtown Manhattan champagne shop. She soon finds out that the store’s profit margins are being squeezed perilously tight, and complicating matters further, a giant corporation headed by the impossibly handsome, but irritatingly arrogant Sebastian Andrews is proposing a buyout. But Gracie can’t bear the thought of throwing away her father’s dream like she did her own. Overwhelmed and not wanting to admit to her friends or family that she’s having second thoughts about the shop, Gracie seeks advice and solace from someone she’s never met—the faceless “Sir”, with whom she connected on a blind dating app. But although Gracie finds herself slowly falling for Sir online, she has no idea she’s already met him in real life…and they can’t stand each other.
This book was such a great romcom! I loved the setting of New York City and Gracie is such a great narrator! The story is described as “Love Is Blind meets You’ve Got Mail” so if that’s not enticing enough then I don’t know what would be! What this book lacks in steam is made up for with its sweetness! It combines the best of slow burn romances with enemies-to-lovers and readers will be flipping page after page to see how this story will unfold! It’s fun, flirty, a bit sad, and overall such a sweet love story!
You guys already know how much I love a good romcom so trust me when I say that this is one to add to your TBR! I know I’m definitely looking forward to exploring Layne’s other books.
*I received an ARC from Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
In the hilarious and binge-worthy new book Instamom, one woman must reconcile the lifestyle she lives and shares on social media to the one she might actually want to live. Set to be published on June 29th, Chantel Guertin’s new novel is the perfect book to add to your summer reading list!
It's the influencer's golden rule: know your niche. Kit Kidding has found hers on Instagram, where she gets paid to promote brands and share expertly curated posts about her fun, fabulous, child-free life. Kit likes kids just fine, but she passionately believes that women who choose not to become mothers shouldn't have to face guilt. Or judgment. Or really hot chefs who turn out to be single dads. Will MacGregor is aggravating, sexy, persistent, averse to social media, and definitely a bad idea. As soon as Kit learns his parenting status, she vows to put their scorching one-night stand behind her and move on. But Will and Kit are thrown together on an Instagram campaign, and the more time she spends with him—and his whip-smart, eight-year-old daughter, Addie—the more difficult it is to stay away, much less sustain what Will so cleverly calls her "Resting Beach Face." Kit's picture-perfect career path is suddenly clashing with the possibility of a different future—messy, complicated and real. Which life does she truly want? Will she have to re-invent herself? And will love still be waiting by the time she figures it out?
This book was a really enjoyable read! I really appreciated the way Guertin highlighted the multiple viewpoints of the topic of child-free living. I also really liked how she showed what it’s like being an influencer in social media.
While I found both Kit and Will’s lack of openness with one another in the beginning to be a bit annoying, the way their love story progresses is still really fun to read about. Plus I loved Will’s daughter, Addie, and her interactions with Kit and Will.
While this story is about a woman who promotes child-free loving falling in love with a single dad, it’s important to note that this book is NOT a romance book. There is a lot of emphasis on Kit’s character development and her experiences and the lack of steamy scenes makes it fall into the women’s fiction genre.
Overall, I think this is the perfect beach read if you’re looking for something bingeable that is lighthearted yet also serious at times. I definitely plan on delving into Guertin’s backlist books after enjoying this book so much!
*I received an ARC from Kensington Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
Bestselling historical romance Minerva Spencer returns to her Rebels of the Ton Series with Outrageous. This sequel, which works as a standalone, is set to be released on June 29th and is definitely a book to add to your summer TBR.
When Eva de Courtney kidnaps Godric Fleming, her only plan is to stop the irritating earl from persecuting her beloved brother. But once she has the intriguing rogue in the confines of her carriage, she longs to taste the passion she senses simmering beneath his rugged exterior. Her forbidden plan is foiled, however, when Godric turns the tables, taking her hostage instead—and demanding they marry at once! The last thing Godric wants to do is make the fiery, impulsive Eva his wife, despite her delectable mouth and alluring innocence. He knows from experience that nothing is forever, not even love. But honor demands he do right by the lady, no matter how stubbornly Eva tries to hold on to her independence. And while the road to the Scottish border is beset with danger, Godric’s greatest challenge is to keep his hands—and his heart—from his captivating bride-to-be…
I have to admit that I was a little confused by the pairing of these two characters when I read the summary of the book, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I loved these two characters both individually and together! In this book, readers get a little more insight as to why Godric acted the way he did in Notorious and the reason for Eva’s “unladylike” confidence and fire. These two characters complement each other perfectly and their coupling is so enjoyable to read about.
I also loved how there was a bit of action and adventure to this plot! While I appreciated the steamy scenes included in the story, the thrilling kidnappings and disasters that occur in this book add a little bit of suspense to the plot. With everything going on in this book, readers will be eagerly flipping the pages to see what will happen next!
Overall, I adored this book and cannot wait for the third book of this series to come out later this year! If you haven’t read one of Spencer’s books then I sincerely hope you change that soon!
*I received an ARC from Kensington Books in exchange for my honest opinion.
Hi everyone! So I just realized I never posted my reviews of the last two books of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy (whoopsie 😬) so I decided to just do a review of the entire series here! If you want to check out what my thoughts were while reading these books then take a peek at my Story Highlights on my Instagram (@the.overflowing.bookshelf)!
NOTE: Reviews may contain spoilers for the books!
Book 1: Shadow and Bone
I already dedicated a full post to my review of S&B so the link to that is here. Basically, I really liked it!
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Book 2: Siege and Storm
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny to defeat The Darkling for long. This book was good, but I think I liked Book 1 better. I think it’s because the plot of this one was really good in the beginning, slowed in the middle, and then the last 50 pages are so action-packed. The lull in the middle made this book a bit of a slower read, but I think it acted as a great set up for Book 3. I really loved some of the new characters we were introduced to and the returning of some minor characters from Book 1, but I found myself disliking Alina and Mal at times (especially Mal). Overall, I think this was a good continuation of the series and I’m very curious to see what the heck is going to happen in Book 3!
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Book 3: Ruin and Rising
The Darkling rules Ravka and the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Alina continues her hunt for the elusive firebird and hopes that an outlaw prince still survives. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for. I really enjoyed Ruin and Rising and this book may be my favorite in the series! The banter was there, the character development was there, the action was there, and I actually found myself kinda liking Mal by the end. The Darkling was a fabulous villain (and may be one of my favorite villains of all time) and the story arc of this book really concluded the series well. I’m really excited to start Six of Crows and am interested to see how it connects to the characters in this series.
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Overall: I wish I would've read this series earlier, but I'm glad I eventually caved and did read it. I am very excited to continue my journey into the Grishaverse and watch the Netflix show (which I've heard amazing things about)!
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Many readers have probably heard of Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue, which features the First Son of the United States falling in love with the Prince of England. However, Paul Rudnick’s newest novel takes a similar concept but puts a different twist on it. Published on May 25th, Playing the Palace follows a gay event planner living in New York City who happens to start dating the Prince of Wales and all of the hilarity that ensues from their relationship.
After having his heart trampled on by his cheating ex, Carter Ogden is afraid love just isn’t in the cards for him. He still holds out hope in a tiny corner of his heart, but even in his wildest dreams he never thought he’d meet the Crown Prince of England, much less do a lot more with him. Yes, growing up he’d fantasized about the handsome, openly gay Prince Edgar, but who hadn’t? When they meet by chance at an event Carter’s boss is organizing, Carter’s sure he imagined all that sizzling chemistry. Or was it mutual? This unlikely but meant-to-be romance sets off media fireworks on both sides of the Atlantic. With everyone having an opinion on their relationship and the intense pressure of being constantly in the spotlight, Carter finds ferocious obstacles to his Happily Ever After, including the tenacious disapproval of the Queen of England. Carter and Prince Edgar fight for a happy ending to equal their glorious international beginning. It’s a match made on Valentine’s Day and in tabloid heaven.
In my opinion, this book was okay. The novel was fast-paced, which made for a quick read, but it also made the plot and characterizations very underdeveloped. Maybe it’s because the author is well-known for being a playwright and screenwriter, but this book felt like a movie to me (but not necessarily in a good way). I could see the way the scenes shift so abruptly and how there weren't a lot of descriptors in regards to the emotions or feelings of certain characters' feelings. Instead, the scenery was very descriptive and the inner monologues of Carter took center stage and drowned everything else out.
While Carter was a funny narrator, his character traits were self-deprecating and self-destructive to the point where it got a bit annoying after a while. And while readers got a good look at his thoughts and life, we barely get anything about Prince Edgar. There was some backstory in his life as a royal, but nothing that made me connect with him as a character. Even the supporting characters like Carter’s sister, Carter’s roommates and friends, and Edgar’s bodyguard, were just mentioned briefly without there being much development or having them play major parts in the story. And if there was development, it felt very out of the blue and didn’t really flow well with the rest of the plot.
While I did appreciate the bingeable quality of this book and the way the author pulled in his own experiences as a Jewish gay man from New Jersey, I just felt this novel was a bit lacking. However, if the concept intrigues you, it’s still definitely worth checking out.
*I received an ARC from Berkley via a Goodreads Giveaway
From bestselling romance author Staci Hart comes another small-town romance about taking a risk at love before letting it slip away. Set to be released on June 8th, Friends With Benedicts shows that when two people are meant to be, love will find a way to make it happen.
Presley Hale and Sebastian Vargas are no strangers to goodbye. Their high school summers were spent wrapped up in each other until she would inevitably go home to California. One season after college, Sebastian finally escaped the little Texas town to travel the world, and they said goodbye for what they thought might be the last time. Sebastian went one way. Presley went the other. For the first time in five years, they’re both in town, but the timing is no better than ever. So the only thing to do is what they do best. Keep it casual. Friends with benefits. They’ve done it before—doing it again will be easy. But their hearts don’t get the memo. When the lines of their arrangement blur, Presley and Sebastian are faced with decisions they’ve avoided for years. And that’s not even their biggest problem. A small town in danger of failing. A secret that could tear them apart. And two hearts that can’t hide anymore. They’ve shared so many summers, but none compare to what they’ll face. Timing is everything. And their time is almost up.
This small town romance was really fun to read about! This second-chance romance had a surprise baby/child, gossiping neighbors, and a divided community so get ready for a book rich with plot and drama!
As with most of Hart’s books, there was some steaminess between the two love interests, but this book really placed a lot of emphasis on Presley and Sebastian trying to realign their old dreams with new ones. The rekindling of their romance was enjoyable to read about and I just adored Priscilla!! Plus, readers get a little Easter egg that connects Bet the Farm to this story while also foreshadowing Hart’s next romcom featuring Presley’s cousin, Jo!
This small-town romance is definitely the breezy read that romcom lovers need to add to their Summer TBRs! As always, another great book from a fantastic author!
*I received an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
In her debut novel, The Lost Apothecary, Sarah Penner weaves a tale of female empowerment and justice with a centuries-old mystery. Picked as both a Book of the Month option and featured book for a Once Upon a Book Club Box in March 2021, this book has captivated readers around the world and has solidified Penner’s name as an author to look out for.
A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course. Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman. Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register. One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register. In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.
This debut novel was wonderfully written and the way that past and present wove together was fantastic! I loved all three narrators and to hear each of their perspectives was enlightening and really added depth to the novel. The historical aspects of the story were fascinating as well! The history of the apothecary, the descriptions of the poisons and remedies, and what life was like for women back in the 1790s was really interesting. Any fans of historical fiction will fall in love with this novel!
While it took a little bit for me to get into the story, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the women of the Back Alley Apothecary and cannot wait to see what book Penner will write next! If you’re a fan of historical fiction that intermingles past and present then this book is for you!
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!