Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Contemporary Clean Read, RomCom

Meet Me in the Margins (2022)

About the Book

Book: Meet Me in the Margins

Author: Melissa Ferguson

Release Date: February 15, 2022

Genre: Contemporary Romance; RomCom

Savannah Cade is a low-level editor at Pennington Publishing, a prestigious publisher producing only the highest of highbrow titles. And while editing the latest edition of The Anthology of Medieval Didactic Poetry may be her day job, she has two secrets she’s hiding.

One: She’s writing a romance novel.

Two: She’s discovered the Book Nook—a secret room in the publishing house where she finds inspiration for her “lowbrow” hobby.

After leaving her manuscript behind one afternoon, she returns to the nook only to discover someone has written notes in the margins. Savannah’s first response to the criticism is defensive, but events transpire that force her to admit that she needs the help of this shadowy editor after all. As the notes take a turn for the romantic, and as Savannah’s madcap life gets more complicated than ever, she uses the process of elimination to identify her mysterious editor—only to discover that what she truly wants and what she should want just might not be the same. Melissa Ferguson’s latest—a love letter to books, readers, and romance—will leave fans laughing out loud and swooning in the same breath.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson is a seriously fun read. The premise of this story is what drew me to this book — I love the idea of a relationship that blossoms into romance based on secret letters being passed back and forth. Yes, it is Jr. High-esque, but it’s also a great way to get the hero and heroine to be more vulnerable and honest with each other. The anonymity of the notes in the margins of Savannah’s manuscript provides both Will and Savannah a sense of safety to be themselves. There is no pretense to impress anyone, and in this, the relationship is allowed to grow into something a bit more authentic. I also like this book because it made me chuckle … a lot … and I really needed the laughter. Savannah Cade is a great protagonist and I really liked being in her head. What I love the most about Savannah is her ability to go from 0 to crazy in like 3.2 seconds in her thought processes. This is actually where most of my chuckles came from. I feel like Savannah is one of my fictional kindred spirits. I, too, have the unfortunate ability to take my thoughts from sane to spiraling out of control faster than Speedy Gonzalez can run. Another aspect of this story that I appreciated is the fact that this story is all Savannah’s. Yes, there is a great cast of characters — I really love her best friend Lyla and Will is the perfect hero for Savannah — but this story is all about Savannah and her journey to self-discovery, claiming her voice, standing up for what she actually wants, and finding her happily ever after. Meet Me in the Margins is a fun read, but it’s also a subtly empowering one I won’t soon forget.

Meet Me in the Margins is a unique, well-crafted Rom-Com that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. This is a novel I highly recommend, and I highly recommend you add it to your TBR pile today.

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

Posted in Clean Wholesome Romance, Contemporary Clean Read

Jilted (2016)

About the Book

Title: Jilted

Series: Discovered by Love #1

Author: Carla Laureano

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 19, 2016

Exclusive e-book, free to Carla’s newsletter subscribers! More details on author’s web site.

Three days. Two jaded hearts. One unexpected love.

Bethany Hall is hiding out on a remote private island off the coast of Belize, creating romantic meals for the rich and the privileged. But when her client Derek Moretti’s bride jilts him at the altar, he’s left with a bitter view on love, a $30,000 a week bungalow, and for the first time in his life, nowhere else to be.

After Derek overhears his beautiful personal chef talking about how he dodged a bullet when his bridezilla left him, he begins to think that maybe she’s right. He convinces Bethany to act as his personal tour guide for the remainder of his trip, but neither expects that their purely platonic arrangement could shake their preconceptions about love.

Could Derek have been in the right place at the right time…just with the wrong woman?

Click HERE to visit Carla’s Website for Your Copy of this Novella!

My Thoughts

What a fun and engaging read! I really loved my time reading Jilted by Carla Laureano. The first thing to know about this book is it’s a novella, so it’s a super fast-paced story. The romantic chemistry between Bethany and Derek ignites fairly immediately, but that’s to be expected. It is a novella after all. I have to say the insta-attraction is well written. Sometimes, you really know when you meet the one. And, even though they are reluctant to admit it because they are both love cynics, Bethany and Derek know they’ve met someone different, someone special. Laureano does a great job pacing Bethany and Derek’s meet-cute, their blossoming friendship and attraction, and their inevitable happily ever after. I found their story believable. The issues that Bethany and Derek struggle with in regards to matters of the heart are quite relatable. And, the yummy food and beautiful settings described in this story make me long for a vacation to Belize like yesterday! All in all, Jilted is a really sweet, really enjoyable Contemporary Romance I highly recommend. Head on over to Laureano’s website today to grab your copy of this fun read.

I received a copy of this novella in eBook form from the author, Carla Laureano, via her website 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

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 Wholesome Romance, Contemporary Clean Read, RomCom

Just His Secretary (2021)

About the Book

Book: Just His Secretary

Series: Southern Roots Sweet Rom-Com #1

Author: Donna Jeffries

Genre: Contemporary Rom-Com

Release Date: April 1, 2021

She’s just his secretary…until he needs someone on his arm to convince his mother that he can take over the family business. Then Callie becomes Dawson’s girlfriend—but just in his text messages…but maybe she’ll start to worm her way into his shriveled heart too.

Callie:
Dawson Houser makes sure everyone who comes into the office knows I’m “just his secretary.” Heck, I’ve even said it to suppliers and CEOs when they smile knowingly at the two of us during business meetings. He scowls and grumps around the office afterward, as if the two of us dating is the most ridiculous thing on the planet.

Dawson can handle them. I can handle them—and him too, once they leave. And he’s no picnic, let me tell you.

Who can’t we handle?

His mother.

When Lila Houser comes to town with her faux furs and fashion sunglasses, she only has one question for her spoiled rotten son: When are you going to get married, Dawson, darling?

I expect him to laugh and tell her he’s never getting married. I mean, I’ve heard those exact words come out of his mouth. Instead, he pulls me to his side and says, “Maybe sooner than you think, Mother.”

Oh, that Lila Houser can make a woman feel two inches tall with a simple up-down look. I think I’m a pretty good catch…no matter what my last three boyfriends say.

When Lila says, “I thought Callie was just your secretary,” I suddenly want to prove her dead wrong…

Get ready to laugh out loud in this hilarious, sweet workplace romantic comedy! The romance is clean, the jokes witty, and the office grump swoon-worthy.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

This year, it has been my goal to read as many new-to-me authors as I can get my hands on. In my search for new authors I have discovered that I have a real love for Contemporary Rom-Coms. Just His Secretary by Donna Jeffries fits all my current reading parameters: a new-to-me author and a seriously sweet Contemporary Romance that had me chuckling often. I love when I find a good, new author to follow, and I plan to get all of Jeffries’s novels now. What did I like so much about Just His Secretary? Well, do you have an hour?! No, I’m just kidding. But I really did love a lot about this book. First, there is the engaging storyline. I was so hooked I read this book clear through the night. I just did not want to put it down. Then, there’s the characters, Dawson and Callie. I really loved them as individuals, but together they make a really great team. I feel their relationship is quite realistic, and their chemistry is on fire! I appreciate how Dawson transforms into a new man after he lets Callie in a bit. At first, Dawson is all rough edges, but after he allows Callie to see that he has a vulnerable side, he changes and grows into a really spectacular man. I like the message that we can help our significant others’ become better people…perhaps the people they are meant to be! I also loved that this story made me chuckle. I really need more laughter in my day.

Just His Secretary is a true gem. I’m really glad I found this sweet story, and I am super glad I found a new author to follow. If you are in the mood for a well-written, highly engaging Contemporary Rom-Com, then I highly recommend you read Just His Secretary by Donna Jeffries ASAP.

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on April 6, 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.

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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 Wholesome Romance, Contemporary Clean Read

Serving the Prince (2018)

About the Book

Book: Serving the Prince

Series: Royal Secrets #3

Author: Lucinda Whitney

Release Date: May 25, 2018

She’s a waitress with no room for distractions. He’s a prince wishing for a simpler life. Is there any hope for a happily-ever-after?

Julie Winters’ life is simple: work and college. Her five-year life plan doesn’t allow for detours of any kind, and that includes no dating. With her family counting on the money she makes from her tips at the lodge, Julie is serious about her responsibilities. She definitely won’t let a man distract her, even when he looks like Max, a guest from Europe.

But when Julie’s old car breaks down, the mysterious Max is the one to rescue her. And when she needs an archery tutor, Max volunteers for the job. Soon, they’re spending time together, and Julie likes it. Maybe a little too much.

Prince Maximilian Wolfe is in the U.S. to look for investors, not to find a girlfriend. His friend Prince Henry likes to go clubbing, but Max prefers the simple things. When he meets Julie at the restaurant where she works, he’s immediately intrigued by her beautiful brown eyes. Julie is different and genuine, and Max looks for ways to spend more time together.

There’s only one problem—Julie doesn’t know Max is a prince.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

Several days ago I saw an ad for Serving the Prince by Lucinda Whitney, read the synopsis, and thought, “I’ve got to get this book now!” It was actually free on Amazon when I went to purchase it, which I thought was an extra bonus and further proof I needed to read the book ASAP. I pretty much devoured it in less than 24 hours. Coming in at a little more than 100 pages, this book can easily be read in one sitting. I actually really appreciated that. This week was our finals week at my school and I needed something lovely, light, and fast-paced to see me through the final days of testing and grading for this school year. I found this story engaging and unputdownable. I like Julie and Max. I appreciate Julie’s hesitancy upon first meeting Max. She doesn’t swoon and fall head over heels for the guy. Instead, she takes a moment to evaluate his character. Then, once she gets a good sense of who he is, she allows herself to feel something for him. Max, however, is instantly drawn to Julie, but in a super sweet, he-notices-a-diamond-when-he-sees-one, kind of way. I like how much he respects Julie. He treats her like a princess the whole time — he even rides in on his noble, white steed (a white Ford Mustang, LOL!) and saves the day. It’s pretty excellent and quite clever in my honest opinion. One thing that stood out to me is how well the author portrays Max’s sense of loneliness. That cliched saying, “It’s lonely at the top,” is pretty true. I would imagine many wealthy people, many royals included, often feel a sense of deep loneliness because of who they are. Can they really trust people to like them, respect them, for who they are? Or are people just looking for a handout? I appreciated being able to see things from Max’s point of view and to get a real sense of his vulnerability. Many assume rich and popular people have easier lives than regular people, but Max reminded me that this isn’t really true at all.

Serving the Prince is a fun story that I’m really glad I got to read. My only issue with this story is that it ended too soon! I guess I’ll just have to read the next book in the series 😉. If you’re in the mood for a fast-paced, sweet, Contemporary Romance then I highly recommend checking out Serving the Prince and the other novels in the Royal Secrets series.

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on May 31, 2021, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.