ARC Review: Anchored Hearts by Priscilla Oliveras

Title: Anchored Hearts

Author: Priscilla Oliveras

Publishing date:   April 27th 2021

Publisher:  Zebra Books

Genre: Romance

Pages: 352

Award-winning photographer Alejandro Miranda hasn’t been home to Key West in years–not since he left to explore broader horizons with his papi’s warning echoing in his ears. He wouldn’t be heading there now if it wasn’t for an injury requiring months of recuperation. The drama of a prodigal son returning to his familia is bad enough, but coming home to the island paradise also means coming face to face with the girl he left behind–the one who was supposed to be by his side all along…

Anamaría Navarro was shattered when Alejandro took off without her. Traveling the world was their plan, not just his. But after her father’s heart attack, there was no way she could leave–not even for the man she loved. Now ensconced in the family trade as a firefighter and paramedic, with a side hustle as a personal trainer, Anamaría is dismayed that just the sight of Alejandro is enough to rekindle the flame she’s worked years to put out. And as motherly meddling pushes them together, the heat of their attraction only climbs higher. Can they learn to trust again, before the Key West sun sets on their chance at happiness?

Goodreads | Amazon | IndieBound

*I received an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review*

This is a slow burn, second chance romance between two high school sweethearts who ended their relationship really angry with each other, but meet again after twelve years and their Cuban-American families keep trying to meddle and get them back together. My favorite aspect of this book is that it does a good job of showing the tension between the main characters because both of them are really angry and resentful, but they are still attracted to and have feelings for each other. There are a few scenes where the sexual tension and chemistry between the characters are palpable, even if this book is not that steamy.

Anamaria is an amazing heroine, she is strong, driven and compassionate. While I had my issues with Alejandro, he was talented, passionate, hardworking and he really loved Anamaria. The setup of this book allows Oliveras to include a lot of the main character’s families and their culture, which adds a lot to the story. There are family conflicts and drama but also love, support, and community. Their families are very entertaining. Also, the setting is gorgeous, Key West really shines in this book.

I had two main issues with this book: the first one is that I couldn’t believe that after twelve years, the hero hadn’t realized that the heroine had valid reasons to not go with him when he left Key West, that he was mad without a good reason and that he was the one that really messed up. The second issue is that the writing isn’t the best, it can feel a little stilted at times, and also, the word familia was used all the time and SO MANY TIMES, like multiple times on the same page, and it kept pulling me out of the story.

Rating: 3,5 stars

Are you planning on reading this book? What romance books have you enjoyed lately?

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April 2021 TBR: new releases, accidentally in love book club and fantasy books

Hi everyone! I haven’t making tbrs for the last few months becayse I was in a reading slump and mood reading seem like the best option, but I’m not in areading slump anymore and it’s time to catch up on some of my goals and some of the series that I put aside because of the slump. So that’s why the tbrs are starting again.

Here are some of the books I’m planning to read in April:

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan: It’s been over a year since I read the first book in this series, so it was time to continue with it. I’m almost done with this and I’m really enjoying it.

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang: I’m so intimidated by this book, Im pretty sure its going to hurt me. I read the first two books in the series in 2020 and I dont want to let too much time pass before finishing it, so it’s time to get to this book.

The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski: I have tried to read this before but I wans’t in the mood for it, hopefully now I can finish it and continue with the series.

Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse: One of my goals for this year is to read more books by Indigenous authors and I have been failing that goal, so it’s time to start working towards accomplishing it. I have heard great things about all of Roanhorse books and this was the first one to be available from my library..

Oculta by Maya Motayne: I loved the first book in this series, Nocturna, and I have been waiting for this sequel for such a long time, I’m so glad I’m finally going to be able to continue with this story. Release date: April 6th.

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle: I really liked Sarah Hogle’s debut novel You Deserve Each Other, so I’m excited to pick up her new release especially since the premise sounds amazing. Release date: April 6th.

To Love and to Loath by Martha Waters: I loved the first book in this series and I’m really intrigued about the relationship between the characters that are the protagonists of the book. Release date: April 6th.

Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert: I’m one of the co-host for the Accidentally in Love book club this month and this is the book that we are going to read . I’mreally excited since I have read two of the books in this series and I enjoyed them.

What books do you want to read in April? Have you read any of the books on my tbr?

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March 2021 Wrap Up: the Kate Daniels series, These Violent Delights and a bunch of romance books

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to talk about the books I read in March, which were mostly the books in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I literally did nothing else with my free time the last two weeks but read these books and it was such a fun experince.

Without further ado, let’s talk about the books

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (4 stars): Roma and Juliette felt so real and I really enjoyed their complicated, angsty relationship. Also, the side characters were pretty interesting and there was a sort of romance between some side characters that gave me life. Also, the way this book explore political struggles and colonialism was fantastic (full review)

An Introduction to the World of Kate Daniels for New Readers | Den of Geek

The Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews (4 stars): I read the 10 books and 3 novellas in a period of 2 weeks and absolutely loved it, I gave all the books 4 or 4,5 stars except for the last one that got a 3,5 but was still a good book. The series has an amazing main character, who is strong, smart and compassioante but also very flawed, and it also has so many lovable side characters, I was so invested in all of their stories. The main relationship was a slow burn, dislike to love romance and it was so good. Also, the world and magic system were so intricate and interesting, this series included mythologies from all over the world and it was really fast paced, easy to read, full of action. Reading these books was such a fun experince. My main issue with this series is that the writing got a bit repetitive because they recounted who all the organizations and charcters were and what happened with them in previous book over and over again throughout the series.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert ( 4 stars): I loved reading about Eve and seeing her grow throughout the book. The tension between Eve and Jacob gave me life, their chemistry was so evident and their bickering, especially at the beginning, was so entertaining. The way they both accepted and made space for the needs of the other person was incredibly sweet. Also, this book has some really steamy scenes.

Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron (4 stars): I enjoyed seeing the main character work to improve different aspects of her life. Also, the romance was really sweet, I liked seeing Reena and Nadim become friends and then seeing that friendship evolve into something more. Also, Nadim was really sweet and considerate. (Full review)

First Comes Like by Alisha Rai (3,7 stars): I like the two main characters and the exploration of complicated family dynamics. I also really appreciated having more traditional Muslim heroine in a romance novel. My main issue with this book is that the chemistry and tension between the characters weren’t there. (Full review)

Anchored Hearts by Priscilla Oliveras (3,5 stars): A full review is coming closer to the release date. But for now, I really liked this slow burn, second chance romance. The tension and chemistry between the characters was great. My issues with this had to do with the writing and the fact that I found the hero a bit frustrating.

Marriage and Murder by Penny Reid (3,5 stars): My enjoyment of this series comes in a big part from nostalgia. The characterization of Cletus is very good, even if he can be irratating at times, he has a very strong personality, but Jenn got a bit lost in the background, even when she had some important realizations in this book. The strength of this book is definitely Cletus and Jenn together.

Tarot magicomístico de estrellas (pop) - Amalia Andrade | Planeta de Libros

Tarot magicomístico de estrellas (POP) by Amelia Andrade (4 stars): this is an introduction to the tarot but the illustrations in the tarot cards are famous people who embody the essence of the card. It’s done by a Colombian author and illustrator and it’s really cool, so if you speak Spanish and you are interested in the tarot, I would recommend this.

What is your favorite and least favorite book you read in March? What book are you looking forward to reading in April?

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What I’ve Been Watching #3: Kdramas, WandaVision and The Irregulars

Hi everyone! Today I’m talking about the shows I have watched in February and March. I finally gave kdramas a chance and I’m so glad I did, because I discovered some great shows and now I’m super excited to watch more. I also got caught up in the hype for WandaVision, which I wasn’t planning to watch, and I ended up really enjoying it. Lastly, I watched a recent Netflix release that I feel like more people need to watch.

Without further ado, here are the shows I’ve been watching:

Romance is a Bonus Book

This is the first Kdrama I watched and it’s still my favorite. THIS IS A MASTERPIECE. It’s just so sweet, the main character is wonderful and so easy to root for and, while the hero didn’t make the best first impression, he ended up being the sweetest guy. The romance in this is the slow burn frienss to lovers romance of my dreams, they were so cute together!! I liked all the side characters and I was invested in all their storylines. Also, the fact that this was set in a publishing house and everyone loved books and talked about books with so much passion and emotion made me love this kdrama even more. And the soundtrack is fantastic, Take my Hand by Jannabi is one of my new favorite songs. Lastly, I really enjoyed that this talked about the hard choices that women have to make in terms of having a career or having a family, or both or neither and the consecuences of those choices.

Cinderella and Four Knights

This was ok, defintiely entertaining because it was very dramatic. I liked the main character a lot, she was strong, funny and compasionate. My problem with this is that I didn’t particulary liked the love interest, he was rude and mean to the main character. Actually, both of the guys in the two main romances were horrible to the girls they were interested in and I didn’t love that, and out of the three cousins the only nice one was the victim of unrequiered love, which was so sad because he was really sweet. But I did like the set up for this because all four main characters ended up living together, and the forced proximity trope is always fun. I also enjoyed seeing the cousins build a relationship with each other thanks to the main character and become closer by the end.

Because This is My First Life

I really liked this one, the slow burn romance was fantastic and the marriage of convenience and forced proximity added cool elements to the story. I love the main character, she was funny and brave, and while I wasn’t sold on the love interest at first, I ended up really liking him too. I loved the cast of side characters, they were all very different and wanted different things, which I really appreaciated. I liked that this explored how hard relationships are and not only romantic relationship, but also friendships and family relationships. This made me cried, because there was a very emotional scene between the main character and her mom.

WandaVision

The beginning of this show was very bizarre ans I wasn’t sure that I was liking it, but then by the end of episode 3 there were clues that something big was going on and in episode 4 a lot of things get revealed and after that I was sold on it. The acting on this show was brilliant, everyone did such a good job. I really enjoyed all the surprises, reveals and twists. Also, I appreciated the exploration of grief in this show and the last episode made me sob. I can’t wait to see Wanda in other Marvel projects, because while I didn’t care that much about her before now I’m big fan of her character.

The Irregulars

A show with an amazing cast of main characters will always be my weakness and that’s why I enjoyed The Irregulars so much. All the characters have flaws and have complicated pasts and that makes them so interesting. I especially love Beatrice and Billy. Also, I enjoyed the angsty romance and the love triangle, and I can’t wait what happens in season two. Finally, I found the individual mysteries of each episode entertaining, but I think the heart of this show is in the relationships between the characters and the way the characters end up being linked to the overarching mystery.

What shows have you watched lately? What show are you looking forward to watching?

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Historical Romance Reader Tag

Hi everyone! Today, I have a very exciting post. I started reading historical romance a year ago in april 2020 and since then I have read 18 books in this subgenre, while that’s not a lot of time or a lot of books, I have fallen in love with historical romance and I can’t wait to explore it more. That’s why I decided to do the historical romance reader tag created by Jess @ PeaceLoveBooks.

1. What was the first historical romance you ever read?

The first historical romance I read was The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare and I think it was an amazing book to get into the genre because Tessa Dare’s writing is .very accesible and her books work well for modern reader’s sensibilities.

2. What was the last historical romance you read?

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore, which was just ok, I didn’t enjoy as much as the first book in the series (Bringing Down the Duke) becuase the main characters were very unlikable at times and their chemistry wasn’t really there at the beginning, even if this does get better in the second half of the book. The part I enjoyed about this book was the feminst themes and the inclusion of the suffragette movement, which is the focus of the series and the reason I will keep reading it.

3. Who is an underrated historical romance author you wish more people read?

Lydia San Andres is a Caribbean author, who writes historical romance set in the Caribbean and full on Latinx characters, so I definitely wish that more people read their book. I read and really enjoyed The Infamous Miss Rodriguez and I would completely recommend it.

4. Who is a historical romance author you haven’t read yet but need to?

I think probably Courtney Milan, because of her role in the movement for diversiry in romance, and also Jennifer Ashley because everyone seems to love her book, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.

5. What historical romance would you recommend to people who are new to the genre?

I would recomend the Bareknuckle Bastards series by Sarah MacLean, the first book is Wicked and the Wallflower, or the Girls Meet Duke series by Tessa Dare, the first book is The Duchess Deal.

6. What is your favorite historical romance of all time?

My favorite historical romance is Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean. I really loved both of the main characters, but especially Hattie. I enjoyed reading her fight to be in control of her own life. She was witty, she was charming, she was smart. I LOVED Hattie. And her bantering and flirting with Whit was fantastic. I loved Whit too and the two of them together were perfection. Also, this book was really steamy!

7. Do you prefer new or old school historical romance?

Since I’m new to the genre, I have only read new school historical romance, because I’m a bit scared of the older tittles and the problematic elements that they may include.

8. What are your favorite historical romance tropes?

Some of my favorites are Marriage of convenience, Spinsters and the rake & the wallflower.

9. What are your favorite historical romance settings?

I like books set in England during the Regency era or the Victorian era

10. What is the oldest historical romance you own?

It’s Indigo by Beverly Jenkins, which was released in 1996. As I mentioned before, I’m a bit scared of reading old school historical romance, but the one exception is Beverly Jenkins. I have heard so many great things about her book and I can’t wait to read one. I want to read Indigo because it revolves around the Underground railroad and because it has the heroine taking care of the injured hero trope.

12. What historical romance releases that you are excited for?

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters because I really loved book one in the series (To Have and to Hoax) and The Bride Bet by Tessa Dare even if the relase date for this one is up in the air right now.

11. What is you favorite stepback you own?

I dont own physical copies of historical romances because you don’t find them in bookstores in Colombia and usually shipping is really expensive, so I don’t really have an answer to this.

13. What creators do you follow for historical romance recommendations?

I need recommendations for bloggers that talk about historical romance, I have seen a couple of the people I follow read the Bridgerton books because of the tv show but I don’t think I follow anyone that talks a lot about historical romances.

I do follow a lot of booktubers that talk about historical romance, some of them are: Jess, Crystal and Jenn.

I’m not tagging anyone, because as I mentioned I don’t follow that many bloggers who read historical romance, but if you like historical romance feel free to do this tag and if you want to tag me on the post because I would love to read it!

Do you read historical romance? what’s your favorite historical romance book, series or author?
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Reviewing 2021 Romance Books by Asian Authors: First Comes Like by Alisha Rai & Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Hi everyone! Today, I’m so excited to be reviewing two romance books by Asian authors that I read back to back a few days ago and that I enjoyed.

*Click the book title to go to the goodreads page*

Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall–with hopes that Reena will marry him.

But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-jour that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren’t enough, the man appears to love eating her bread creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? And when Reena’s career takes a nosedive, Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams.

As cooking at home together brings them closer, things turn physical, but Reena isn’t worried. She knows Nadim is keeping secrets, but it’s fine— secrets are always on the menu where her family is concerned. And her heart is protected… she’s not marrying the man. But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved.

4 stars

This book was really good! The main character, Reena, feels like a real person and it’s very entertaning and relatable seeing her work to improve different aspects of her life throughout this book. It was really interesting to see this type of story of a woman finding herself and figuring things out told from the perspective of an Indian – East African Canadian Muslim woman. While these aspects were not the main focus of the book, it did a good job of including into the story different elements of being first generation Canadian and growing up with elements of three different cultures.

Beyond the personal journey of the main character, her cultural and religious background plays a huge role in her relationship with her family. The family dynamics in this book were complicated but also really entertaitning, and seeing Reena try to deal with and improve her relationship with different members of her family added an interesting layer to the book.

Lastly, the romance in this book is lovely, it was really sweet to see Reena and Nadim become friends and then seeing that friendship evolve into something more and then see them find comfort with each other. Nadim was really sweet and considerate and he was always there for Reena, which was pretty great. The one thing that maybe didn’t work so well was the ending, because the relationship moves a bit too fast, even if I understand that cultural aspects played a part in that.

First Come Like by Alisha Rai

Beauty expert and influencer Jia Ahmed has her eye on the prize: conquering the internet today, the entire makeup industry tomorrow, and finally, finally proving herself to her big opinionated family. She has little time for love, and even less time for the men in her private messages—until the day a certain international superstar slides into her DMs, and she falls hard and fast. There’s just one wrinkle: he has no idea who she is.

The son of a powerful Bollywood family, soap opera star Dev Dixit is used to drama, but a strange woman who accuses him of wooing her online, well, that’s a new one. As much as he’d like to focus on his Hollywood fresh start, he can’t get Jia out of his head. Especially once he starts to suspect who might have used his famous name to catfish her…

When paparazzi blast their private business into the public eye, Dev is happy to engage in some friendly fake dating to calm the gossips and to dazzle her family. But as the whole world swoons over their relationship, Jia can’t help but wonder: Can an online romance-turned-offline-fauxmance ever become love in real life?

3,7 stars

The two main characters of this book were great, Jia  is a Pakistani Muslim hijabi beauty influencer and Dev is a Bollywood movie star, and they both were three-dimensional characters with strong voices and personalities. Also, they both had complicated relationships with their families and complex pasts, which added interesting elements to the story. One of the things that made this book different and interesting is that both main characters are more traditional, and , in particular, having a Muslim heroine who follows the ideas and traditions of her religion was really cool.

The main issue with this book is that the chemistry and tension between the characters weren’t there, their attraction to each other was only shown by having the characters think about how attractive the other was but nothing beyond that. Also, even just in a romantic sense, this needed to be more emotional so it was believable that they loved each other. Their relationship was sweet but that was it. Also, I was expecting more from the ending.

Overall, this was an entertaining and easy to read story that had great characters but that had a romance that was a bit lackluster.

Have you read these books? Did you like them? What romance books by Asian authors do you recommend?
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Mini Review: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Title: These Violent Delights

Author: Chlor Gong

Publishing date:   November 17th 2020

Publisher:  Margaret K. McElderry Books

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 449

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery. A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

Goodreads | Amazon

Content warnings: Graphic description of blood, gore, violence, death, and murder, loss of a loved one, mentions of drug use and addiction, brief mention of past transphobic microaggression, exploration of contagious disease and self-harm due to illness.

This book is SO GOOD. The whole set up with the two rival gangs who have been fighting for control over Shanghai for years was very captivating, but what made it even better was seeing these gangs dealing with other powerful players that were trying to take control of the city, whether these forces came from within the country like the communist and nationalist parties or from outside like the British and the French. I particularly found interesting the way this book explores colonialism and the way outsiders come and take land and erase culture and think they are superior to the native people of the country. There’s this underlining anger when these subjects are brought up that helps the message of the book resonate.

In terms of the plot, the mystery is really interesting, but it takes the characters a bit too long to figure things out when there are some obvious clues. Nonetheless, Chloe Gong does an amazing job of connecting the mystery about this madness that it’s swiping the city to the fight for control of the land and the trade by the different players within the city.

Beyond these aspects, one of the strong points of the book is the characters: Roma and Juliette feel so real and while they are not perfect, they are easy to root for, because behind the terrible things they do there’s a real love for their city and their people. The complicated, angsty relationship between them is captivating, they are rivals, they were in love at one point and there’s this betrayal standing between them, which is why it’s gripping to see them dancing around each other while there are all these conflicting feelings between them. Also, the side characters are pretty interesting and there is a relationship between some side characters that is full of tension and a bit of angst, they have this strong connection and it’s going to be interesting to see where it goes in the next book.

Finally, the ending is definitely intense and it sets up the sequel perfectly.

4 stars

Have you read this book? Did you like it? What historical fantasy books do you recommend?
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March 2021 Romance Releases I’m Excited to Read

Hi everyone! I had planned to talk about my most anticipated releases of March 2021, but when I went to look at my goodreads shelf I realized that most of the books I was looking forward to in March were romance books, so I decided to make a post dedicated to talk about the romance books that are coming out in March and that I’m incredibly excited about.

Shoutout to The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore and Lost in The Never Woods by Aiden Thomas, which are the only not romance books that I’m hihgly anticipating and that come out in March.

Now let’s talk about some March romance releases:

Marriage and Murder by Penny Reid

Release date: March 2nd

Cletus Byron Winston wishes to marry Jennifer Anne Donner-Sylvester (aka The Banana Cake Queen) posthaste! He’s spent the last year wanting nothing more than for the celebrations to be brief, libations flowing, and BYOB (bring your own blueberries). His future mother-in-law has other plans, plans his intended has been willing to indulge, much to Cletus’s chagrin. Therefore, so must he. To a point. But truth be told, he wouldn’t mind if the meddlesome matriarch disappeared, at least until the nuptials are over.

On the night of Cletus and Jenn’s long-awaited engagement party, just when the surly schemer is of a mind to take matters into his own hands, a shocking event upends everyone’s best laid plans and sends the small hamlet of Green Valley into complete disarray. The final months leading up to Cletus and Jenn’s matrimonial bliss are plagued with chaos and uncertainty. Will Cletus and Jenn finally make it to the altar? Or will murder and mayhem derail their happily-ever-after? And most importantly, who done it?

I love cozy mysteries and getting my favorite chracters from a beloved romance series solving the mysteries is a mix that I’ very happy about. I liked the first book in this series, but I did feel like the mystery was missing something, so I’m hoping that Penny Reid’s second attempt at a cozy mystery is better. But no matter what I love the main characters so much that I will be happy reading this.

Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

Release date: March 2nd

Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall–with hopes that Reena will marry him.

But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-jour that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren’t enough, the man appears to love eating her bread creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? And when Reena’s career takes a nosedive, Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams.

As cooking at home together brings them closer, things turn physical, but Reena isn’t worried. She knows Nadim is keeping secrets, but it’s fine— secrets are always on the menu where her family is concerned. And her heart is protected… she’s not marrying the man. But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved.

This sounds so good! I love seeing Muslim rep in romance books, even more when the author is Muslim themselves. In a way, this is a friends to lovers romance, which is my favorite trope and I’m looking forward to reading it!

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Release date: March 9th

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how…

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.

Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.

This is one of my most anticipated books of the year, I have read most of Talia Hibbert’s books, I love her characters and her writing, and the Brown Sisters series in particular is such fantastic. Also, I’m even more excited for this because so many people have mentioned that this is their favorite book in the series.

Waking Up Married by Reese Ryan

Release date: March 9th

Their night on the town is a blank, but when Zora Abbott and Dallas Hamilton awaken in a Vegas hotel room, they’re man and wife. With news of the nuptials spreading virally, the high-profile best friends decide to stay married, temporarily. Maybe under the cover of marriage, Dallas can even make his best friend’s baby dream come true. But can their friendship survive their newly unleashed passions?

I just heard about this book today (March 2nd) and I added it inmediatly to my tbr and now I can’t wait to read it. Friends to lovers and fake marriage in the same book??! What else could I ask for? Nothing, the answer is nothing.

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai

Release date: March 16th

Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can’t give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiance.

Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend’s little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy’s matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather’s will. If only he hadn’t broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago…

Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren’t about to follow the rules of this engagement.

This sounds like something I’m going to love, because marriage of convenience is a trope I really enjoy. But if I’m honest, I’m a bit nervous about reading this because I didn’t love the first book in the series, but I didn’t truly dislike it either, so I guess this is my teying to decide if Sara Desai is an author for me or not.

Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher

Release date: March 23rd

Ever since her journalist mother died on assignment, Marin has played it safe, refusing to set foot outside the state of Tennessee. Her wild-child younger sister, Sadie, has trotted the globe as a photographer, living off of art and adrenaline.

When Sadie returns from a tough assignment abroad and looks a little worse for wear, Marin reluctantly agrees to a sisters’ spa weekend on the tropical island of Saba. But her lifelong fear of travel is affirmed when Sadie misses the flight, Marin’s luggage gets mixed up with another passenger’s, and an episode of turbulence sends her hurtling into the lap of Lucas Tsai, the handsome stranger who stole her sister’s seat.

For the first time in a long time, Marin has to step outside of her comfort zone as she explores the island with Lucas and learns what she’s been missing out on. With each breathtaking new experience, Marin gets closer to her real self, the man she’s falling for, and the heart-wrenching truth about why she’s there in the first place.

I always enjoy books about characters stepping out of their conform zone and going on adventures, so I’m excited about this one. Also, the sypnosis sounds like the perfect set up for a rom-com and I’m here for it.

Sweethand by N.G. Peltier

Release date: March 30th

After a public meltdown over her breakup from her cheating musician boyfriend, Cherisse swore off guys in the music industry, and dating in general for a while, preferring to focus on growing her pastry chef business. When Cherisse’s younger sister reveals she’s getting married in a few months, Cherisse hopes that will distract her mother enough to quit harassing her about finding a guy, settling down and having kids. But her mother’s matchmaking keeps intensifying.

Cherisse tries to humour her mother, hoping if she feigns interest in the eligible bachelors she keeps tossing her way, she’ll be off the hook, but things don’t quite go as planned. Turns out for the first time in ages, she and Keiran King, the most annoying man ever, are on the island at the same time. Avoiding him is impossible, especially when Keiran’s close friend is the one marrying her sister, and he’s the best man to her maid of honour.

Keiran doesn’t know what to make of Cherisse now. They’ve always butted heads. To him she’s always been a stuck-up brat who seeks attention, even while he secretly harbored a crush on her. Now with Cherisse’s sister marrying one of his good friends he can’t escape her as the wedding activities keep throwing them together.

When things turn heated after a rainy night of bedroom fun, they both have to figure out if they can survive the countdown to wedding day, without this turning into a recipe for disaster.

First of all, what a beautiful cover!!! This book is set in Trinidad and Tobago, which is so cool, I have never read a book set there and I’m excited to read the first one, especially because I am from Colombia, which means I live so close to Trinidad and Tobago.

What March 2021 romance releases are you excited for? Are you looking forward to any of the books I mentioned?

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February 2021 Wrap Up: a new favorite Black romance author and so much more

Hi everyone! I was in a bit of a reading slump during February, which is why I mostly read short books and especially romance books. This month a discovered a new favorite Black romance author, which was super exciting and that’s why I read 5 of her books in a row. Overall, february was a month of reading some amazing books by Blakc authors and I’m excited to share my thoughts aobut them with you.

Without further ado, here are the books I read in February:

How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole (4 stars): I couldn’t stop reading this, it was SO GOOD! It was a very engaging read. I really liked the main characters, they were both very flawed but they put in the work and I really enjoyed the way they grew throughout the book. Their relationship starts really slow but I enjoyed the way it developed.

I Think I Might Love You by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): This was a quick, entertaining novella. I particularly liked the main characters, they both had captivating and unique voices and great chemistry between them. I also liked the discussion about how someone’s past doesn’t have to define their entire lives. Lastly, there are some great side characters in this book and even a side romance which was a good addition.

I Think I Might Need You by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): I really liked the main characters and the plot was very engaging. In the beginning, I was sure the chemistry was there between the two main characters, but they won me over and by the end, I was a huge fan of their relationship. The only issue I had was that the secret of who the baby’s dad was dragged a bit too long for such a short novella.

I Think I Might Want You by Christina C. Jones (3 stars): This was my least favorite book of the series. I liked Jemma, but I didn’t like Levi that much. The way he spoke didn’t feel natural at all and it was kind of pretentious. Also, it felt like Jemma spent the entire time going in circles, which wasn’t very entertaining to read about.

Getting Schooled by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): This was such a fun book! A great hate to love romance, the main characters had so much chemistry and the banter between them was great. Also, I really enjoyed Jay’s relationship with his family as well as Reese’s relationship with her mom and Devin; including those relationships added a lot to the stories.

Pulling Doubles by Christina C. Jones (3.5 stars): This sounded like a book I would love, but sadly, it was only ok for me. I think mainly it had to do with the fact that I don’t like the “He acted like he hated her to hide that he liked her” trope, so in the beginning, I wasn’t that invested in the relationship. But also, there were some conflicts that were thrown in there but not really resolved, and something happens at the end that was unnecessary, didn’t work well, and made the ending feel abrupt.

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore (3.5 stars): This was definitely not as good as the first book in the series. Mainly because the main characters were really unlikeable at times and because the connection and chemistry between them weren’t really there at the beginning. Nonetheless, the second half of the book is a lot stronger in terms of the romance. I enjoyed the subplot revolving around Lucie’s activism and the suffragette movement, and the discussions about how romantic love and feminist activism are not mutually exclusive.

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor (4 stars): This was a quick read, but it was very captivating and it accomplished a lot in terms of world-building and character development for such a short amount of pages. The concept is very interesting and the execution delivers on the promise of that concept.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (4 stars): This book has a great message about letting go of regrets and Matt Haig communicates that message through incredible writing. I’ll say that it never feels like the main character and her particular journey are the actual focus of the book, it feels like they a vehicle to deliver the message that Haig is trying to convey. But this doesn’t mean that the character and her journey are not an engaging part of the book, it’s simply that they are not the most important part.

In the beginning, Haig does a better job of making sure that reading about the different lives of the main character isn’t boring, but once the main character starts to stay longer in these lives, the book does drag a little. Especially, because the message of the book is so obvious that you know what the main character is going to discover and in which life she is going to end up

So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo (5 stars): Ijeoma Oluo covers so many topics in a concise, clear and very smart way. I learned a lot, especially when it came to ways to reframe conversations and actions that can help in uncomfortable and hard situations when discussing race.

Stamped by Jason Reynolds (4,5 stars): This book was thoughtful, clear, and concise. It’s told in a tone and style that it’s easy to read and understand, the amount of skill that Jason Reynolds shows with the way he wrote this book is outstanding.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (4 stars): This is a powerful book that’s part essays and part memoir. It talks about the race issue in America in a way that it’s sobering and it does it through excellent writing. The way James Baldwin talks about different religions in this book and the link between religion, power, race and racism was very interesting.

Homie by Danez Smith (4 stars): This was a really good poetry collection about friendship, blackness, grief, politics, queerness, and community. As with every poetry collection, there are some poems that I liekd more than others but all of the poems in this collection are worth the read.

What is your favorite and least favorite book you read in February? Was February a good reading month for you?

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What I’ve Been Watching #2: To All the Boys 3, The Dig, Gozilla and Much More

Hi everyone! For the second post in What I’ve Been Watching, I’m talking exclusively about the movies I have wached recently. In the next post, I’ll talk only about tv shows, especially Kdramas because I finally starting watching them and they are so much fun.

Recently, I decided to finally watch the movies from the MonsterVerse because I was curious, I grew up watching Godzilla (1998) and King Kong (2005), which are both pretty bad but really fun to watch too and I think that’s what made me want to watch the new versions. I also watched a couple romcoms and a Netflix drama film.

Without further ado, let’s talk about movies:

Godzilla

This was very entertaining and it did a good job of showing the insignificance of humans in the face of these huge, powerful ancient creatures and it depicted the way people reacted differently, from awe to fear, to the realization of that insignificance.

This movie made me feel invested in the characters from the first few scenes between Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche, who played husband and wife. But it lost that and I did feel like I wasn’t as invested in any of the characters by the end. Also, I wish there were some important female characters. I’m honestly not sure why Elizabeth Olsen agreed to be in this movie, she had almost no scenes, barely had lines, and a lot of the time her character was crying and doing nothing. Nonetheless, it was a fun and engaging story.

Kong: Skull Island

This movie was entertaining and fun. Visually it was beautiful and at the beginning, there was a scene where there was a confrontation between Kong and the helicopters that it was so cool and astonishing. I was completely rooting for Kong in that scene, these people got to an island that they believed was untouched by humans and the first thing they did was dropped bombs, so they absolutely deserved the smackdown that Kong gave them. And this basically starts the theme of the movie, which is “sometimes you don’t have an enemy until you go looking for one” in reference to both Kong and also vaguely about the Vietnam War (this movie takes place right at the end of this conflict).

Overall, it was an engaging story and while it had too many characters, there were a few standouts that I was rooting for. I liked the fact that it seemed like there was going to be a romance and that was the obvious route but the movie didn’t go there, which was refreshing. Another thing I enjoyed was the fact that there were some anti-colonialism vibes, which I appreciated, even if they didn’t fully go there.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

This was entertaining, but definitely my least favorite movie from the MonsterVerse. I didn’t really care that much about the storyline about the humans at any point and the rest of the movie revolved around chasing monsters to different corners of earth and doing nothing while they fought, which wasn’t great even if I did enjoy seeing all the new monsters. I definitely think this was missing a theme or message at its core.

Squared Love

This was the first Polish film I have ever watched and unfortunately, it was terrible. It wasn’t only that I had to suspend my disbelief for the entire 2 hours, I was expecting that part since the whole concept of the movie is that no one recognizes a model that works as a school teacher just because she changes her hair and uses glasses. The real problem is that the editing is terrible, the transitions from one scene to the other were choppy, they just pasted a bunch of scenes together without much care, so there was absolutely no romantic build-up. Also, the woman is pretty great, and the guy kind of sucks, so I wasn’t really rooting for their romance.

To All the Boys : Always and Forever

This was a good ending to this trilogy, a lot better than the second movie but not as good as the first one. I think the reason I didn’t love this is that I will never entirely like Peter Kavinsky, he is very immature and reacts badly to things, but he always eventually realizes that and comes back with sweet gestures, so he is not terrible and probably a realistic teenager (????) but it’s still annoying to watch.

This was an enjoyable, entertaining movie. A lot of things happened in a very short time, so there wasn’t too much time to dwell on anything, there was the Korea trip, the New York trip, Prom, and the wedding (that’s a lot of big moments for one movie). But all of those moments were great even if they didn’t last long.

The Dig

This was a good film, it was slow and meandering but really engaging. It had a very calm vibe, the stakes were low and the conflicts were very peacefully resolved. It was exactly what I needed when I watched it. 

Unfortunately, since this movie said at the beginning that it was based on a real life event, I did some research and it can of ruined the movie for me a little bit. I understand that the movie (and the book is based on) doesn’t have to be completely fateful to real life, but there are some changes that were not necessary and were kind of iffy because they were kind of ageist, fatphobic and they erased the accomplishmens of real women (I go more into detail in my Letterbox Review, in case you want to know).

What have you watched lately? What’t the best show or movie you have watched so far in 2021?

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