Posted in Clean Read Romance, Contemporary Clean Read, RomCom

Royally Rearranged (2021)

About the Book

Book: Royally Rearranged

Author: Emma St. Clair

Release Date: September 30, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Rom-Com

There WILL be a royal wedding. The only question–who will be my groom?

An arranged marriage isn’t the worst fate for a princess like me. Especially because I’ve been in love with my intended groom since we were children.

But when my prince shows up with an American girlfriend instead of an engagement ring, all arrangements are off.

The clock is nearing midnight–I won’t turn into a pumpkin, but if I’m not wed by summer’s end, I’ll forfeit my kingdom.

Just your typical royal dilemma.

Out of sheer desperation, I make a deal with a devilish duke. Rafe de Silva is the prince’s rival and has a plan so ridiculous it just might work.

One moment, Rafe seems to relish making the prince jealous.

And the next… he’s making me question everything with his words, his touch, and his ability to melt my Ice Princess persona.

I’m not always given the luxury of choice, but now I have a huge one to make. I only hope I don’t lose my crown, my heart, or myself in the process…

Royally Rearranged is a sizzling, swoony, closed-door romantic comedy.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute reading Royally Rearranged by Emma St. Clair. This story is FUN! I’ve read a couple reviews that stated this book has a Princess Diaries 2 and The Prince and Me vibe. I get that, but this book is better. Those films are Hallmarky cute. Royally Rearranged has substance and depth, chemistry and passion, and deals with real-life topics: confronting self-expectations, parental structures, communication fails, the trauma of loss, abuse, infatuation vs. genuine love, etc. This book is more than just some cutesy romance. And that’s what I love the most about Emma St. Clair’s novels — they aren’t mindless fluff. When I read her books I am gripped by her characters and all they experience, and I feel her characters are SO relatable no matter the situation. Royally Rearranged is no exception. No, I am not a royal, but when a heroine says, “The lessons on being a proper princess, on presenting the perfect image, may have struck too deep. I’ve caged myself, more than the rules and stipulations ever have. Even in private, even amongst those I trust,” how can a woman not relate to that?! I’m not going to lie, when I read these words from Serafina I teared up a little. I get this. I’ve caged myself too because I cared so much about what others thought about me, and because I am the kind of person who wants to do what’s right always. So, I may not be a princess, but I am a woman who totally gets where the princess of this wonderful story is coming from. Royally Rearranged is wonderful from page one to done. The plot is fast-paced, the characters are endearing and relatable, and the topics discussed and wrestled with are timely. I highly recommend this excellent Rom-Com.

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on September 30, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Read Romance, Contemporary Clean Read, RomCom

When a Star Falls (2018)

About the Book

Book: When a Star Falls

Series: Pop Stars Romantic Comedy #1

Author: Rachael Eliker

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: April 8, 2018

Ruby’s on her way to stardom and finding true love…if she doesn’t trip over her own two feet first!

Ruby Harkwad is a gifted songwriter with big ambitions. The day she meets Collin Moore, a brilliant rocket scientist and an all-around epitome of male perfection, she literally tumbles into his arms. Not only does he bring out Ruby’s klutziness, he also inspires the lyrics she’s been struggling to get on paper.

The pair quickly becomes inseparable, but after Collin posts a video of an impromptu performance Ruby does on a dare, she’s recruited by a top record label when it comes to their attention. As Ruby’s being whipped into superstar shape by a ruthless beautician, Collin’s career takes off, too. Soon, Ruby discovers that there are perils to stardom, namely an eccentric diva who’s taken Ruby under her wing, a ridiculously handsome backup guitarist, and sky-high stilettos that threaten to be the death of her. Ruby’s life becomes a whirlwind without much place for Collin.

Worse, his beautiful and cunning personal assistant is no help when she sets her eyes on him. Ruby must decide between making a name for herself or sacrificing it all to keep from losing Collin for good…

***Ruby would never do anything to make you blush! When a Star Falls is a clean romantic comedy***

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

When a Star Falls by Rachael Eliker is a very cute read. I like that this is a book a reader can pick up and have done in a day or two. It is fast-paced and engaging, and has a story-line that will make a reader smile the whole time. There are a few hilarious moments that had me laughing out loud, too. As far as characters go, Collin is wonderful. He is handsome, loving, and slightly clueless. He adores Ruby so much he just can’t help but gaze upon her every time she enters a room. It’s super sweet and helps make him quite a swoony hero. Ruby is delightfully klutzy and funny, and also very relatable and real. She is a great blend of naive innocence, unique creativity, and bold fearlessness. I enjoyed following her through her journey to stardom and found the what-it-takes-to-be-a-star details rather interesting (and rather hilarious — transforming from a “regular” girl into a diva is no joke. Some of the funniest moments happen during Ruby’s metamorphosis). I also enjoyed Ruby and Collin’s relationship. They make a great team, and I feel like they illustrate well the ups and downs of a long-distance, romantic relationship. All in all, When a Star Falls is a very enjoyable Contemporary Romance that I highly recommend.

I borrowed a copy of this novel in eBook form through my Kindle Unlimited subscription on September 19, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Read Romance, Contemporary Clean Read

#Awestruck (2019)

About the Book

Book#Awestruck

Series#Lovestruck #3

Author: Sariah Wilson

Genre: Contemporary Romance — Clean, but STEAMY!

Release Date: January 8, 2019

A sweet all-American story of love and revenge.

Ambitious intern Ashton Bailey is about to get closer to her dream of being a sports announcer. All she has to do is prove that too-perfect-to-be-true NFL quarterback Evan Dawson isn’t quite as wholesome as his contract requires. It’s also the perfect opportunity to get delicious payback on the boy who broke her teenage heart. At least that’s her plan. But she forgot just how easy it is to crush on the irresistible charmer. #OhNoNotAgain.

Evan has a knack for getting through the opposing team’s defenses, and he won’t let this tall, redheaded knockout be the exception. He’s determined to make things right between them and earn back Ashton’s trust—and maybe her heart, too.

Then the press mistakenly announces their engagement, and Ashton and Evan find themselves going along with the lie. Now the whole world is watching as Ashton flirts with attraction and disaster. But while revenge is sweet, it just might come at the cost of something sweeter still.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve gotten to the end of the #Lovestruck series. I found a lot to love about this series, but I think my favorite thing is how much it made me love reading again. I was in a really BIG funk before I found Sariah Wilson’s novels and now, after voraciously reading through The Seat Filler and the #Lovestruck series, I feel excited once again to get lost in more fictional worlds. So, Sariah Wilson, if you are reading this review, “Thank you!” I truly hate when I get in those reading funks. They make me so sad.

But I digress. Let’s get to the review!

As far as #Awestruck goes, I really enjoyed my time with Ashton and Evan. I found the storyline highly engaging. Yes, this was another novel I stayed up well past my bedtime to read. I also loved the characters. They are all well crafted, very relatable, and super endearing, especially Ashton’s niece and nephew. Sariah Wilson has a gift for writing children. Her young characters are always so precious and hilarious. I did struggle a little with Ashton towards the end of the story because her immaturity is SUPER frustrating, but she works through everything and grows to be a well-rounded young woman so I’ll forgive her for making me want to flick her in the forehead a few times. LOL! #Awestruck is another steamy romance — the chemistry between Ashton and Evan is seriously undeniable. I will say, though, that compared to the first two books in the series, this story is way more tame in the steam department. For the first half of the book Ashton is seeking revenge against Evan and really appears to hate his guts. Kind of dampens the chemistry a bit. But once she gets out of her own way, fiery sparks really fly between Ashton and Evan, and it’s pretty great.

The best part of #Awestruck is Evan. He is a one-of-a-kind hero, and I’m not just saying that cause it sounds good in a review. He really is unique. “What makes him so unique?” you ask. Well, it’s his strength. I don’t mean physical strength, although he is a very strong man. He’s a quarterback for crying out loud, the guy has to be strong. But that’s not the kind of strength I’m talking about. I’m talking about his strong moral code. When Evan was young he promised someone close to him that he would remain a virgin until his wedding night, and he has kept that promise ever since. There are several things I like about the chaste element in this story, but I especially love that it is a male character making this choice. That, in my personal reading experience, is something left to most Christian fiction characters or female clean-romance characters. I’ve never really read a contemporary romance novel where the man chooses to be chaste and sticks to it. It is cool to see a male character who illustrates a deep sense of self-control and respect for himself and for others. I’m not going to lie, it is pretty sexy. Another characteristic I appreciate about Evan is his ability to recognize when he is being a control freak and when he needs to loosen up a bit. As a control freak, myself, I can personally attest that loosening up and allowing others to have some control over a situation is not an easy thing to do. I really like how Evan is able to recognize when he’s going down his control-issues path, how he physically stops himself in the moment, and how he takes responsibility for going there and then apologizes to the one he is with for trying to be the boss. That level of self-awareness and self-control is impressive.

There is so much more I could say about #Awestruck as it’s a really fun and engaging read, but I think I will end here. #Awestruck is a Contemporary Romance I highly recommend. If you are in the mood for a well-written, super sweet romance that will keep you turning pages well into the night, then #Awestruck is the book for you!

Note to Christian-Fiction readers: This book is STEAMY. There is no sex but the kisses are amazing and intense. If intense kissing is a deal breaker for you, I would recommend not reading this book. It’s also not a Christian story, just to be clear.

I borrowed a copy of this novel in eBook form through my Kindle Unlimited subscription on June 19, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Read Romance, Contemporary Clean Read

#Moonstruck (2018)

About the Book

Book: #Moonstruck

Series: #Lovestruck #2

Author: Sariah Wilson

Genre: Contemporary Romance — Clean, but STEAMY!

Release Date: July 17, 2018

Over one million “likes”—but only one of them matters.

After pop star Ryan De Luna praises Maisy Harrison’s YouTube cover of his classic hit, he offers Maisy and her fledgling band the opportunity of a lifetime: to be his opening act.

Music may be Maisy’s life, but she has one ground rule: never date a musician. That goes double for a heartbreaker like Ryan. If only she didn’t feel so vulnerable to his larger-than-life charm. And maybe now more than ever, when he asks for her help to shake off his playboy image. How can she resist playing the part of his fake girlfriend for the duration of the tour?

Ryan’s never met anyone like Maisy. She sees past all the star-studded fame and treats him like any other guy. And the more time they spend together, the more he finds himself falling for her. Now he’d like to make their imaginary fling an IRL thing. But can he convince her to take a chance and trust him with her heart?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

So, I immediately began reading this book seconds after finishing #Starstruck because I loved #Starstruck so much I just had to keep going with this series. And, I loved this book as much as I loved book 1. This series is seriously SO good! In #Moonstruck, we meet Maisy and Ryan who are both musicians. Ryan is at the top of his game performing to millions of hysterically screaming fans each night. Maisy and her band, however, have been at the music scene for quite a while but success hasn’t called yet. Ryan and Maisy meet one night after Maisy’s best friend takes her backstage after a Ryan De Luna concert and sparks between Maisy and Ryan fly … but not in the way you might think. The sparks are more angry and frustrated and not so much romantic. It’s actually kind of a funny scene. Maisy’s initial reaction to Ryan, and a YouTube video of Maisy performing one of his songs, is enough to pique Ryan’s interest. Not to mention he needs an opening act for his tour. Perfect opportunity for Ryan to get to know the woman who has actually caught his attention.

I recently learned about black moments in romance novels. Honestly, I always knew about these moments, I just didn’t know they were called black moments. Anyway, after reading about this plot technique I started to actually think about the romance novels I have loved the best; and, yes, the novels with the saddest, most heart-wrenching black moments are the books that remain the most memorable to me. I happened to read this article right when I was reading this book, so I was really paying attention to #Moonstruck’s plotline. In general, there are two causes for the black moment in a romance: either the hero does something dumb or selfish or his issues get in the way, or the heroine does something dumb or selfish or her issues get in the way. One of the things I liked the most about #Moonstruck is how good a guy Ryan is. He’s REALLY popular and pretty much wanted by everyone who sees him, BUT he doesn’t act like a stereotypical popular guy (at this point in his life anyway). Ryan is incredibly down to earth. He’s experienced quite a lot of life, including the traumatic death of his beloved mother, and it’s all of this that has made him into a good guy. Maisy has lived a lot of life too but she seems stuck in her sadness and grief, which has caused her to be pretty negative. I really liked the chemistry that develops over the course of the story between Maisy and Ryan. It feels natural and realistic. Ryan and Maisy are super cute together. But, I had this article in my head so I was waiting for the black moment. And, yes, there is a black moment. It’s a little depressing and heartbreaking, and I definitely wanted to have a serious sit-down with Maisy (that girl messes up big time), but I realized that my favorite romances aren’t my favorite because of the heart-breaking moments but because of what comes after — the everything-gets-fixed moment.The everything-gets-fixed moment is the BEST moment in a romance and the best moment in #Moonstruck.

I’m really loving the #Lovestruck series by Sariah Wilson, and highly recommend #Moonstruck. It’s highly engaging, super sweet, and very satisfying. If you need a fun romance novel to escape into, definitely take a chance on #Moonstruck. You won’t be disappointed that you did.

Note to Christian-Fiction readers: This book is STEAMY. There is no sex but the kisses are amazing and intense. If intense kissing is a deal breaker for you, I would recommend not reading this book. It’s also not a Christian story, just to be clear.

I borrowed a copy of this novel in eBook form through my Kindle Unlimited subscription on June 17, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Read Romance, Contemporary Clean Read

#Starstruck (2018)

About the Book

Book: #Starstruck

Series: #Lovestruck #1

Author: Sariah Wilson

Genre: Contemporary Romance — Clean, but STEAMY!

Release Date: January 16, 2018

“You’ve done better.”

With one uncharacteristically sassy tweet to her longtime celebrity crush, Zoe Miller’s life turns upside down. Ultrahot A-lister Chase Covington doesn’t just respond to Zoe’s tweet, he does the unthinkable: he messages Zoe directly. Now she must decide between walking away or meeting her crush in person.

Chase knows better than to trust anyone from the Internet, but Zoe’s saucy challenge has totally caught his interest—and her girl-next-door personality is keeping it. He’s been burned enough to know he needs to keep his heart close. But his feelings for Zoe might be a lot more than just an online flirtation. He just has to convince her

When the press gets wind of Zoe and Chase’s secret relationship, their romance turns into tabloid headlines. Will they be able to hold on to their Hollywood love story?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I am SO glad that I found Sariah Wilson’s novels. They are so GOOD! #Starstruck is another story I could not put down. I read this full-length novel in less than 24 hours. Yes, I did stay up until 2:00 AM one morning reading — that’s how engrossed I was in the storyline. #Starstruck is another “out-of-her-league” romance, which we all know by now if my most favorite trope ever. In this novel, we have a Hollywood megastar who pursues a girl-next-door heroine. Many who have reviewed this book online have called it a “wish-fulfillment” story, which took me aback a little. One, I’ve never heard of that type of story; and two, it’s not accurate. The main character, Zoe, never wishes to be with Chase, the hero. She admits to having a typical fantasy, school-girl crush on a famous Hollywood actor that began in her early teens, but Zoe is a realist. In no way does she have actual dreams that she will marry a famous person. Kind of like in Jane Eyre — in no way did Jane actually think Rochester would admit feelings for her because of his upper-class station. Why would he even think of her? She’s a servant. It’s pretty much the same in #Starstruck — Zoe is shocked time and time again that Chase wants to be with her. Cause in real life do most Hollywood megastars ever come down from their ivory towers to associate with us regular people? I actually found it quite funny how often Zoe has to fight against her dismay that Chase wants to know her. Back to the “wish fulfillment” idea: perhaps you could make an argument that Chase, once he is intrigued by Zoe, wishes to be with her, but you’d really have to stretch that. Zoe’s best friend is a bit obsessed and clearly has a wish-fulfillment issue, but Zoe does not. Actually, I think that is why I love these “out-of-her-league” romances — the heroine is typically very down-to-earth and realistic, and sees the world for what it actually is. Some may call this cynicism, but I call it being very real.

So, I loved the plotline in #Starstruck because I’m a sucker for these kinds of stories. But there is so much more that I loved about this book. The characters are wonderful. As I mentioned above, Zoe is great because she is super down-to-earth and totally relatable. These qualities make me root for her character all the more cause she’s just like all of us regular gals. I always want the regular gal to get the notice she deserves. For me, Chase is the real star of this story (hahaha — pun intended). He is a fantastic hero. He genuinely cares about Zoe — what she thinks, how she feels, what her future goals are, what her current interest are, her past, etc. He also may be one of the MOST respectful heroes I’ve ever read. He has a sordid past and he’s been working on bettering himself for the past couple of years when this story begins. One of the things he is working on is being more intentional and authentic. Posing for cameras and “looking” a certain way for MSM is one thing, but in his real life he wants to be true to his authentic self. He wants to be an actual good man. There is a scene in this story where Chase illustrates this drive to be a good man where he physically shows Zoe that her relationship boundaries as an unmarried woman are super important to him — it may be one of the BEST scenes I’ve ever read in a Romance novel. Oh! It’s so good. BUT, he’s not perfect. In fact, there is a moment where Chase messes up and almost ruins things. I like this because it makes Chase more real. He’s not the perfect hero, he’s just a really good man who missed the mark — so like life! This moment also leads to one of the best make-up scenes ever, just so you know! And, while I’m talking about characters, I have to mention Zoe’s baby sister. OH. MY. WORD. What a sweetie. Actually, I really loved all of her young siblings as they definitely added a ton of hilarity to the story, but her youngest sister, who is 2 years old, is THE BEST. She is actually the true star of this show.

I’ve got to end here. I could go on and on, but I don’t think anyone wants to read a 72-paragraph review about why I love this book so much. LOL! Suffice to say, #Starstruck is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it. I am so glad I took the time to read this seriously delightful Romance.

Note to Christian-Fiction readers: This book is STEAMY. There is no sex but the kisses are amazing and intense. If intense kissing is a deal breaker for you, I would recommend not reading this book. It’s also not a Christian story, just to be clear.

I borrowed a copy of this novel in eBook form through my Kindle Unlimited subscription on June 4, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Read Romance, Contemporary Clean Read, RomCom

The Seat Filler (2021)

About the Book

Book: The Seat Filler

Author: Sariah Wilson

Genre: Contemporary Romance — Clean, but STEAMY!

Release Date: April 27, 2021

The movie star and the dog groomer are one kiss away from the perfect love story. That’s the hiccup in a warm and witty romance by the bestselling author of Roommaid.

The meet-cute award goes to dog groomer Juliet Nolan. It’s one of Hollywood’s biggest nights when she volunteers as a seat filler and winds up next to movie heartthrob Noah freaking Douglas. Tongue tied and toes curling in her pink Converse, she pretends that she doesn’t have a clue who he is. It’s the only way to keep from swooning.

She’s pretty and unpretentious, loves his dog, and is not a worshipping fan. No way Noah’s giving up on her, even if his affectionate pursuit comes with a bump: Juliet has a pathological fear of kissing and the disappointments that follow. What odds does romance have without that momentous, stupendous, once-in-a-lifetime first smooch? Patient, empathetic, and carrying personal burdens of his own, Noah suggests a remedy: they rehearse.

The lessons begin. The guards come down. But there’s another hitch they weren’t betting on. As for that cue-the-orchestra-and-roll-credits happy ending? It might take more than practice to make it perfect.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

This novel brought me immense joy. IMMENSE JOY!

When I read the synopsis I was a little hesitant to get this book. I am not a fan of Hallmark movies and stories at all. They’re campy and sickly sweet and super annoying and totally unrealistic and boring. I worried that maybe this book would be too Hallmarky and too unbelievable. The Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson is SO not a Hallmark-level story. It’s quite fantastic. It made me laugh out loud. I stopped 72 times to re-read passages to my husband so I could share the funny with him (cause I knew he wanted me to … LOL!). And it made me weak in the knees. There has only ever been one story that’s actually made me weak in the knees and that is the 2011 film Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender. So for this novel to do that to me says quite a bit about the chemistry sizzling between Juliet and Noah. This story definitely has its STEAMY moments for sure — it’s a story about a seriously gorgeous man teaching a woman how to overcome debilitating anxiety and a kissing phobia — so yeah, tons of hot kissing! But that’s not what made me weak in the knees. Rather, it’s all the moments Noah looks at Juliet with love and hope and desire and so much happiness he could burst, and the moments when it’s crystal clear she has his sole attention and he actually cares about what she thinks and says, and the moments when he acts for her because he genuinely cares about her and wants her to feel safe and happy and cherished. These moments, for me, are better than any kissing scene because they illustrate true love and not just hormonal infatuation. And, this is what I love the most about this story — it has massive substance cause it’s not just a sappy kissing book. Juliet is a wonderful character. She’s so loyal and funny and genuine. She has real hang-ups brought on by some real issues from her childhood and teenage years. She’s a down-to-earth mess but amazing nonetheless. I appreciate that Juliet knows she has a mental health problem. She knows it makes her life unique and lonely and difficult. But she also knows she is willing to work to make herself better and healthier so she can achieve her dreams of falling in love and having a family. And, I LOVE that Noah wants to be there for Juliet to help her on her journey to being that better, more complete version of herself. In this, they are actual best friends and this best-friend foundation allows their intense chemistry and ensuing romantic relationship to be all the more real and believable.

The Seat Filler is outstanding. I actually want to re-read it again right now cause it gave me all those delicious happy-and-smiling-and-satisfied reader feelings that I want to experience for a little while longer. This is definitely a steamy, clean-read romance that I HIGHLY recommend.

Note to Christian-Fiction readers: This book is STEAMY. There is no sex but the kisses are amazing and intense. If intense kissing is a deal breaker for you, I would recommend not reading this book. It’s also not a Christian story, just to be clear.

I borrowed a copy of this novel in eBook form through my Kindle Unlimited subscription on June 3, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Read Romance, Contemporary Clean Read, RomCom

Falling for Your Best Friend (2021)

About the Book

BookFalling for Your Best Friend

SeriesLove Cliches #5

Author: Emma St. Clair

Release Date: May 14, 2021

Genre: Contemporary Rom-Com

I know how this story ends. And it’s NOT with the best friends falling in love. Even if Chase checks all my boxes–and then some. He’s the perfect guy, and he deserves the perfect girl. Which, to be clear, is not me.

I knew one day I would have to let him go. I just didn’t know it would be so soon. Or that my traitorous friend would be the one setting him up with a string of potential girlfriends.

Now, I have an impossible choice to make…

I can watch Chase find love with someone else. Or I can throw my hat in the ring and face my biggest fear, one not even he knows. One that might make him run for the Texas hill country. But if I don’t make a play, I might lose my best friend and my only chance at love…

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Emma St. Clair has solidified her spot as one of my most favorite novelists ever. I am still pretty new to her canon, but I’m doing my best to get through all her outstanding stories. I just finished Falling for Your Best Friend, book five in her Love Cliches Sweet RomCom series, and I loved every minute of this excellent and unique story. In this installment, we get Harper and Chase’s journey to couple-hood. This story does have all I’ve come to love about St. Clair’s novels — superb writing, hilarious, LOL moments, and delightful and relatable characters who worm their way into the reader’s heart — but there’s also a very interesting and enlightening conflict that I feel brought a real sense of depth to the storyline. I’m not going to explain this conflict because it is the driving force in the story, and I don’t want to spoil a single thing, but I will say it was super eye-opening to me and resonated in a way that makes Harper a very life-like and real character. Beyond this conflict issue, Harper is a great heroine. She’s so smart and fierce and loyal, and her ability to access and adapt is wonderful. I wish I could be more like Harper. Chase is also fantastic. I have loved all the heroes in this series, but Chase is officially my favorite. His love for Harper is REAL — like sacrificial, deep true love. I appreciate how he pays attention to Harper and her unique needs. He watches, he learns, and he anticipates her needs. Chase knows Harper like she is a piece of him. And, the best part, Chase truly is Harper’s best friend. In my humble opinion, falling for your best friend does make for some of the best marriages, and Harper and Chase prove this point.

I could go on and on gushing over Falling for Your Best Friend. It’s an excellent story and I highly, highly recommend it. But don’t just take my word for it. Purchase yourself a copy of this delightful RomCom today. You won’t be disappointed that you did. And, don’t worry about this book being #5 in the series cause Falling for Your Best Friend can be read as a standalone with no big issue.

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on May 13, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Posted in Clean Read Romance, Historical Fiction, Inspirational

Isabelle and Alexander (2021): A Blog Tour + My Review

About the Book

BookIsabelle and Alexander

Author: Rebecca Anderson

Genre: Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Victorian Romance

Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing

Release Date: May 4, 2021

Isabelle Rackham knows she will not marry for love. Though arranged marriages have fallen out of fashion, hers has been settled for some time to combine the upper-middle-class wealth of her father’s coal mines with Alexander Osgood’s prospering Northern country textile mills. Though not a man prone to romantic gestures, Alexander is well-known as an eligible bachelor. His good looks have turned more than one head, so Isabelle is content to think of herself as Alexander’s wife.

However, her marriage is not what she expected. Northern England is nothing like her home farther west in the lake country. Cold, dreary, and dark, the soot from the textile mills creates a gray hue that seems to cling to everything in the city of Manchester. Alexander is distant and aloof, preferring to spend his time at the mill rather than with her at home. Their few conversations are brief, polite, and lacking any emotion, leaving Isabelle lonely and desperately homesick.

Sensing his wife’s unhappiness, Alexander suggests a trip to his country estate. Isabelle hopes this will be an opportunity to get to know her new husband without the distractions of his business. But the change of scenery doesn’t bring them any closer. While riding together on horses, Alexander is thrown from his and becomes paralyzed. Tragedy or destiny? The help and care that Alexander now needs is Isabelle’s opportunity to forge a connection and create a deep and romantic love where nothing else could.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP| DESERET BOOKGOODREADS

About the Author

Rebecca Anderson is the nom de plume of contemporary romance novelist Becca Wilhite, author of Wedding Belles: A Novel in Four Parts, Check Me Out, and My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions. Isabelle and Alexander is her debut historical romance novel.

High school English teacher by day, writer by night (or very early morning), she loves hiking, Broadway shows, food, books, and movies. She is happily married and a mom to four above-average kids.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAMGOODREADS

Praise for Isabelle and Alexander

“Anderson’s first foray into historical romance is an atypical, yet satisfying story set in Victorian Manchester’s upper middle class. Hand this to readers looking for a book that navigates the peaks and valleys of two strangers attempting to make a life together despite the hardships life throws at them.”— Library Journal

“Isabelle transitions from an unaware, leisure-class woman to a more enlightened spouse and supporter of the working class. Intimacy and romance develop between Isabelle and Alexander because of simple gestures, like a long look or a thoughtful gift, and their conversations. Their slow, stately courting is reader appropriate for any age or audience. Manchester also gets its due as a place of grit and incredible production. Descriptions of bustling mills reveal their impact on the couple’s family and its fortunes. Isabelle and Alexander is an intimate and touching romance novel that focuses on women’s lives in the business class of industrial England.”— Foreword Reviews

“Isabelle must use her quiet spunk, busy mind, and compassionate spirit to woo her husband in a wholly new way. Anderson’s debut is a lovely northern England Victorian romance about confronting the seemingly impossible and the power of empathy. Anderson also addresses the time period’s treatment of physical and intellectual disabilities. Most of all, she beautifully depicts love in its many forms beyond romance, such as compassion, patience, and vulnerability; and her characters illustrate the ways that these expressions of love carry us through even the darkest hours. Isabelle’s loving and persevering fervor and devotion will resonate with any caregiver’s heart.”— Booklist

My Review

In the first discussion question at the end of this book the question begins with this statement: “Isabelle and Alexander is not a typical romance.” I wholeheartedly agree. Isabelle and Alexander is unlike any Romance novel I have ever read. This is a story of true love — of real and substantial love — and it is a novel I will never forget. I am blown away by the experience I just had with this story. It isn’t a case of, “I had all the feels,” but rather it is a case of, “I don’t even know how to describe the depth of all the feels I had!” I don’t know if that makes any sense, but truly this is a story that has made a lasting impression upon me.

I feel this story will resonate the most with someone who has experienced trauma early on in his or her marriage or other significant relationship. Isabelle and Alexander join in an arranged marriage and things are prickly from the very start. Then a very BAD accident happens and their already tumultuous marriage is literally tested beyond anything either one could ever imagine. Yes, this is certainly not your typical lovey-dovey romance. This story is hard and painful and frustrating and devastating, but it’s also filled with fight, courage, hope, awakening, and love. There is no flirty, witty dialogue. There are no sweet, longing looks across the ballroom dance floor. But there is choosing to love every minute, every day. There is choosing to respect rather than react every minute, every day. There is learning to put self aside and being present for a partner every minute, every day. And wouldn’t you know it, out of this hard work blossoms real, true, deep love. A fantastic TRUTH to share with readers! Reading Isabelle and Alexander is hard, not because it is slow-paced or boring, but rather because it confronts the reader with a mirror and in this mirror the reader cannot get away from evaluating his or her marriage (or a relationship in general if the reader isn’t married). It makes one stop and consider, “Am I in my relationship for me, for what I can get? Or am I a partner in my relationship working to better the relationship for the both of us?” I admit, this story had me seriously self-evaluating, which, to me, is a testament of truly outstanding literature.

Isabelle and Alexander is a powerful story about finding one’s self and discovering true, lasting love. This novel is a stellar example of masterful storytelling. I highly, highly recommend Isabelle and Alexander. This is a story you, dear reader, will NOT want to miss.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishers, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


BLOG TOUR INFO

Join the virtual blog tour of ISABELLE AND ALEXANDER (Proper Romance Victorian), Rebecca Anderson’s highly acclaimed historical romance novel, May 3–16, 2021. Over forty popular blogs specializing in historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and Victorian romance will join in the celebration of its release with spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and reviews of this new Victorian-era novel set in Manchester, England.

Blog Tour Stops

May 03 Lu Reviews Books (Review)

May 03 Timeless Novels (Review)

May 03 Our Book Confessions (Review)

May 04 Literary Time Out (Review)

May 04 My Bookish Bliss (Review)

May 04 The Book Diva’s Reads (Excerpt)

May 05 Heidi Reads (Review)

May 05 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

May 05 Wishful Endings (Review)

May 05 Gwendalyn’s Reviews (Review)

May 06 Margie’s Must Reads (Review)

May 06 Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen (Excerpt)

May 06 Relz Reviewz (Review)

May 07 Randi Loves 2 Read (Spotlight)

May 07 The Reading Frenzy (Review)

May 07 Nurse Bookie (Review)

May 08 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

May 08 The Bibliophile Files (Review)

May 09 Reading with Emily (Review)

May 09 Fire and Ice (Spotlight)

May 10 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)

May 10 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review)

May 10 Booked Solid (Review)

May 10 From Pemberley to Milton (Spotlight)

May 11 Greenish Bookshelf (Review)

May 11 Captivated Reading (Review)

May 11 The Green Mockingbird (Review)

May 12 For Where Your Treasure Is (Excerpt)

May 12 Bookworm Lisa (Review)

May 13 Books, Teacups & Reviews (Spotlight)

May 13 Library of Clean Reads (Review)

May 13 Robin Loves Reading (Review)

May 13 So Little Time (Excerpt)

May 14 Eli’s Novel Reviews (Review)

May 14 The Lit Bitch (Review)

May 14 The Bluestocking (Review)

May 15 Reading Is My Superpower (Review)

May 15 Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)

May 15 A Darn Good Read (Review)

May 16 The Silver Petticoat Review (Excerpt)

May 16 CozyNookBooks (Review)

Posted in Celebrate Lit Tour, Clean Read Romance, Giveaways, Historical Fiction

A Dark Beauty (2021) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  A Dark Beauty

Series: Victorian Retellings, #1

Author: Clarissa Kae

Genre: Fairy Tale, Historical Fiction

Release date: March 9, 2021

A Victorian Twist on Beauty And The Beast

Bold and brilliant, Georgiana has a gift for fixing machines—from clocks to carriages—while her father has a penchant for finding trouble. In an accidental fire, Georgiana and her father scar the once handsome face of Lord Pichon, cousin to the queen.

Rumors of Georgiana’s gift raise her family’s status. Her incomparable beauty captures the eye of many gentlemen and the wrath of Lord Pichon. Abandoned by his peers and alone in his cold castle, Lord Pichon is determined to enact revenge.

When Georgiana’s father makes a terrible mistake, she sacrifices herself to pay his debt—as a lowly maid in Lord Pichon’s castle.

Her wit and warmth begin to thaw Lord Pichon’s estate, making him question his version of the past. Will her kindness break the beastly lord or will he hold her family hostage forever?

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Clarissa Kae is a preeminent voice whose professional career began as a freelance editor in 2007. She’s the former president of her local California Writers Club after spending several years as the Critique Director.

Since her first novel, she’s explored different writing genres and created a loyal group of fans who eagerly await her upcoming release. With numerous awards to her name, Clarissa continues to honor the role of storyteller.Aside from the writing community, she and her daughters founded Kind Girls Make Strong Women to help undervalued nonprofit organizations—from reuniting children with families to giving Junior Olympic athletes their shot at success.

She lives in the agricultural belly of California with her family and farm of horses, chickens, dogs and kittens aplenty.

More from Clarissa

As a young girl most of the fairy tales talked about beauty as the only attribute but when Disney came out with Beauty and the Beast, my world was rocked. For the first time the heroine was a woman with a brain and a plan. I began researching the fairy tale and read every version. When my youngest daughter was born (with dark hair and big beautiful brown eyes) I named her Isla Belle. For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling. And finally, that dream has come true.

My Thoughts

Beauty and the Beast is my most favorite fairy tale, so when I read the premise for A Dark Beauty by Clarissa Kae I knew I had to be part of this tour. I love Beauty and the Beast so much I named my daughter Isabella and call her “Belle.” Why did I name my child after Belle? Because Belle is the perfect heroine. She is highly intelligent, completely capable, and wholly independent. Yeah, she’s beautiful, but that’s a secondary feature, not her main characteristic. In a world that tells women to be Cinderella or Ariel, we should all fight back and be Belles.

A Dark Beauty is a wonderful story. I was hooked from page one and basically ignored my life for two days so I could just read. It was a glorious two days! I found the plot highly engaging. I love the characters. Georgiana is a great “Belle.” She is witty, she is intelligent, she is quirky, and she speaks her mind. I appreciate her ability to see people for whom they actually are, even her beloved father. And, I really love how Georgiana is able to see beyond Lord Pichon’s beastly demeanor to the big-hearted man he truly is. Lord Pichon — Dom — is a great Beast. He is scarred. He is broken. He is an outcast. BUT, he does have a heart of gold. Hurt people hurt people until someone breaks through and recognizes the beast for what it really is — a hurt heart. I love the relationship between Georgiana and Dom. It starts out a bit rough, but the more they’re thrown together the more they thaw towards one another and grow into quite a lovely couple. And, I have to say the “Gaston” character, Lord Rochelle, is quite well done. His character is super creepy and really brings tension to this story. What I love the most about this story is that it is its own story. It’s unique and engaging and unputtdownable. Yes, there is a solid nod to Beauty and the Beast, but A Dark Beauty is an excellent story all on its own.

A Dark Beauty is a lovely story, one I highly recommend. If you love a good fairy tale retelling, if you love a well-written Historical Romance, if you love a story with a bit of suspense, then A Dark Beauty is the story for you!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Clarissa Kae, via Celebrate Lit. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Clarissa is giving away to two (2) winners one $25 Amazon gift card each!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click the link below to enter.

PromoSimple Link


Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, March 25

Labor Not in Vain, March 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 26

The Write Escape, March 26

Books and Everyday Life, March 26

Texas Book-aholic, March 27

Breny and Books, March 27

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 28

Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, March 28

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 29

Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 29

Through the Fire Blog, March 30

Inklings and notions, March 30

deb’s Book Review, March 31

Connect in Fiction, March 31

Inside the Wong Mind, March 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 1

Inspiration Clothesline, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 2

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, April 3

To Everything There Is A Season, April 3

Beauty in the Binding, April 3

Connie’s History Classroom, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 4

A Baker’s Perspective, April 5

Genesis 5020, April 5

Pause for Tales, April 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 6

Godly Book Reviews, April 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 7

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, April 7

Mary Hake, April 7

Posted in Clean Read Romance, Clean Wholesome Romance, Historical Fiction

A Captain for Caroline Gray (2021): A Blog Tour

About the Book

BookA Captain for Caroline Gray

Author: Julie Wright

Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction

Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing

Release Date: March 2, 2021

Regency London

Caroline Gray’s third season in London society ends as badly as her first two—no marriage proposal, no suitor, not even a glimmer of an interested prospect. She suspects it’s because she is far too quick to speak her mind to men who are put off by her forthright opinions, her eager intellect backed by a formal education, and her unconventional ideas about the future. She is far more daring than demure to suit the taste of her class. Besides, Caroline thinks there will always be next season to find a husband.

However, her family’s dwindling income leaves Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: a one-way ticket to sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend waits. If the match doesn’t work, Caroline cannot return home.

Captain Thomas Scott loves the thrill of the open sea, and as commander of one of the ships of the Fishing Fleet, he ferries scores of young English girls to the shores of India to find husbands. The voyages pay well, but he struggles to understand why families would allow young women to be matched with total strangers so far away.

The trips have always been routine and uneventful—until this trip’s first night’s dinner with one Miss Caroline Gray. She engages in a lively political conversation, presenting opposing viewpoints to the conventionally opinionated gentlemen at her table. Captain Scott is secretly amused and delighted at her boldness, not to mention quite drawn to her beauty.

The rest of the passengers are shocked by her behavior and Caroline finds herself an outcast, suffering harsh judgments from the other passengers. However, she finds an unlikely ally in Captain Scott which quickly draws them closer.

Both know an arranged marriage awaits Caroline at the end of their voyage, yet the attraction between them is undeniable. Caroline will have to decide if she will honor her mother’s wishes and marry a man in India whom she has never met, thus securing a future for her and her mother, or be brave enough to throw convention to the wind and commit to love a sea captain. He may be enchanted by her bold and unconventional ways, but will his love and admiration last?

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY | BOOKSHOP|

DESERET BOOK | GOODREADS

About the Author

Julie Wright wrote her first book when she was fifteen and has written over twenty novels since then. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her books Cross My Heart and Lies Jane Austen Told Me, and she is a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café.

She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition). She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.

She hates mayonnaise.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM| BOOKBUBGOODREADS

Praise for A Captain for Caroline Gray


“A charming historical romance in which smarts and sass are vindicated.”— Foreword Reviews

“…a delightful, not exactly traditional Regency romance. Teen readers will enjoy this adventurous journey with its proactive heroine and exotic settings.”— Booklist, starred review

“An unconventional woman finds herself at home at sea in this stirring Regency from Julie Wright…This adventure is sure to entice fans of historical romance.”— Publishers Weekly

My Review

I absolutely LOVED A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright. What a fun and highly engaging read. Personally, I found this story unputdownable from page one. My favorite aspect of this novel is the characters. They’re well-written, highly endearing, and quite relatable. I loved Captain Scott’s crewmates, especially Peterson, Abramson, and Tom. The camaraderie amongst the crew of the Persistence is well developed and very believable. My favorite character is Caroline. She is AMAZING! She is SO smart, quick-witted, compassionate, and capable. She is not afraid to act even when Society tells her that her only place is to be nothing more than a quiet, pretty thing. What I love the most about Caroline is that she stands up for herself and she always stands for what is right. Regardless of mean words and judgmental glances, Caroline does what needs to be done and kowtows to no one. She is a truly remarkable heroine, and I loved seeing how she maneuvered through her strict, stifling social world.

I am an individual and I highly value individualism. I do not believe in group-think. I do not believe society is the boss of anyone. I do think friends and family are super important and bring necessary love and vitality and helpful criticism to our lives, BUT we are all unique individuals and it’s totally OK to act that way. Society, unfortunately, does not agree with me. It thinks it has the right to tell me what to think, what to say, what to call myself, what to believe, and whom I should love. Society today is exhausting, and I do all I can to ignore it. Caroline, however, lives during a time and within a class setting where she is not afforded the luxury of ignoring her seriously stifling and tedious British society. Personally, her society would have killed my very soul. What I enjoyed so much was watching HOW Caroline kept her individuality all while navigating the sharks and dictates of her class. I love how she sees all humans as valuable including those her class would say are beneath her. I love that she is willing to risk her life to save another. And, I love how she enjoys learning new things and is always willing to speak her mind. Caroline, to me, is the best kind of heroine, and she is my favorite part of this wonderful story!

A Captain for Caroline Gray is a wonderful, enjoyable Historical Romance and I highly recommend this read. If you are a fan of engaging, well-written Historical Romances, then you are definitely going to want to check this book out ASAP!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishers, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


BLOG TOUR

Join the virtual blog tour of A CAPTAIN FOR CAROLINE GRAY (Proper Romance Regency), Julie Wright’s highly acclaimed historical romance novel March 1 – 28, 2021. Over forty popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard an English ship bound for India.

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

March 01 My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)

March 01 Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog (Review)

March 02 Storeybook Reviews (Review)

March 02 Lu Reviews Books (Review)

March 02 Bookworm Lisa (Review)

March 03 Probably at the Library (Excerpt)

March 03 Our Book Confessions (Review)

March 03 Lady with a Quill (Review)

March 04 The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review)

March 04 Fire & Ice (Review)

March 05 Literary Time Out (Review)

March 05 Among the Reads (Review)

March 06 Books and Socks Rock (Review)

March 07 Encouraging Words (Excerpt)

March 08 So Little Time… (Review)

March 09 For Where Your Treasure Is (Review)

March 10 Laura’s Reviews (Review)

March 10 My Bookish Bliss (Review)

March 11 Heidi Reads (Review)

March 12 Reading with Emily (Review)

March 13 The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

March 14 Silver Petticoat Reviews (Excerpt)

March 15 Austenesque Reviews (Review)

March 16 The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)

March 16 Greenish Bookself (Review)

March 17 Inkwell Inspirations (Review)

March 18 A Darn Good Read (Review)

March 19 Relz Reviewz (Review)

March 20 Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

March 20 Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)

March 21 Jorie Loves a Story (Review)

March 22 From Pemberley to Milton (Review)

March 23 Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

March 23 Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)

March 24 Captivated Reading (Review)

March 24 Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt)

March 25 Roseanne E. Lortz (Review)

March 26 Cup of Tea with that Book, Please (Review)

March 26 Randi Loves 2 Read (Review)

March 27 Library of Clean Reads (Review)

March 28 The Bibliophile Files (Review)