Book review: How to Fake it in Hollywood by Ava Wilder

Title: How to Fake it in Hollywood

Authors: Ava Wilder

Publishing date:    June 14th 2022

Publisher:  Dell

Genre: Romance

Pages: 368

Link: Goodreads

Grey Brooks is on a mission to keep her career afloat now that the end of her long-running teen soap has her (unsuccessfully) pounding the pavement again. With a life-changing role on the line, she’s finally desperate enough to agree to her publicist’s scheme… faking a love affair with a disgraced Hollywood heartthrob who needs the publicity, but for very different reasons.

Ethan Atkins just wants to be left alone. Between his high-profile divorce, his struggles with drinking, and his grief over the death of his longtime creative partner and best friend, he’s slowly let himself fade into the background. But if he ever wants to produce the last movie he and his partner wrote together, Ethan needs to clean up his reputation and step back into the spotlight. A gossip-inducing affair with a gorgeous actress might be just the ticket, even if it’s the last thing he wants to do.

Though their juicy public relationship is less than perfect behind the scenes, it doesn’t take long before Grey and Ethan’s sizzling chemistry starts to feel like more than just an act. But after decades in a ruthless industry that requires bulletproof emotional armor to survive, are they too used to faking it to open themselves up to the real thing?

How to Fake it in Hollywood is a book that hooked me right from the first line, mainly because the book’s writing and tone were very engaging and the characters were complex and captivating. This book was full of great tropes including fake dating and forced proximity. There was a push and pull in the first part of the book and a tension that was building between the characters that were so fun to read about. The main couple had great chemistry, there were some really steamy scenes and, beyond the sexual aspect, the author showed the main characters forming a deep emotional connection.

Also, the depiction of being an actress in Hollywood felt very realistic, seeing the main character struggle to find work after doing a tv show that was relatively popular for a long time, seeing how people in the industry expected her to lose weight, the discussion about how limited meaningful roles for women are, ageism in Hollywood, and so much more. All of that was really interesting to read about. Honestly, for the first 60%, I was enjoying this book a lot and thought it was really entertaining.

Nonetheless, this ended up being a lot darker and sadder than I thought it was going to be based on: 1) the cover, 2) the first half of the book, which was messy and sad but not to the level it got in the second half, and 3) the synopsis because, while the synopsis mentions struggles with alcohol and grief briefly, they end up being a very, very big part of the second half of the book, and especially alcoholism is a big part of the conflict in the story. While that isn’t bad, it’s not what I was expecting, and also, the fact that the hero in the book was an alcoholic did make me weary of rooting for the couple.

One thing I appreciated about this book is that the author didn’t shy away from showing alcoholism in a very realistic way. While Ethan was a functioning alcoholic for most of the book, he was a mess, he had extreme mood swings, and he made so many mistakes throughout this book. And while I appreciated that, at the same time, I can’t deny that while I was reading I kept thinking that if Grey was one of my friends I would hope she gets out of that relationship. So, while I loved many things about the romantic relationship in this book, I had my moments where I wasn’t completely sold on it, especially towards the end.

Lastly, I didn’t love the ending, because there was this slow conflict building throughout the entire book, and then at the end, everything was resolved so quickly and easily, or at least it seemed that way because a big part of the resolution of that conflict took place off page. So the way the book ended was very jarring and felt rushed.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Have you read or are you planning to read this book? If you have read it, were you expecting it to be as dark and sad as it was or did it catch you by surprise? 

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Reviewing Romance Books: Party of Two, The Switch, Headliners and The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics

Hi everyone! I’m really excited to have 4 mini review for you today of books that I really, really enjoyed. I gave all of these books 4 stars and I would totally recommend them!

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

Goodreads | Amazon

Lucy has helped her father with his astronomy work for years, so when she finds she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth after his death, looking for someone to translate an astronomy text, she knows where to go. Catherine expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the woman who turns up at her door and she agrees to let Lucy stay. They start to fall in love, but sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them.

Historical romance is not usually a subgenre that I read, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from a historical romance with queer characters. I thought it may be angsty and sad, but I am so glad it isn’t. This is a cute and interesting story and the romance is just SO SOFT! Lucy and Katherine are strong, smart and passionate and they care for each other so much and want what’s best for each other. The plot revolves around sexism in STEM back in 1816 and I was invested!!! I was frustrated over the situations Lucy had to face and I was rooting for them in their fight against the patriarchy.

My only little complaint is that the “fight” the characters have in the third act didn’t make any sense to me, I literally read the conversation 3 times and I didn’t understand what happened and why they got to the conclusion that they did at the end of that conversation. But is is a very small issue and I ended up really loving this book.

Party of Two by Jamine Guillory

Goodreads | Amazon

Party of Two is about  Olivia Monroe, who just moved to LA to start her own law firm and who meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and discovers too late that he is none other than senator Max Powell. Olivia has zero interest in dating a politician, but a sweet gesture convinces her to give him a chance. They date in secret for a while but when they decide to go public with their relationship, the media attention may prove to be too much.

I really enjoyed Party of Two! The characters were great, flawed but likable, and I could see why they liked each other. They were both successful, ambitious, smart and kind and they both cared about helping their communities. I really enjoyed that the book actually shows them go out in dates, get to know each other and slowly fall in love. The progression of the relationship felt realistic. I also appreciated that, as always with the books in this series, it didn’t shy away from addressing white privilege, racism and even incarceration of black and brown youth.

My issue with this book is that it did drag a little for me once they went public with their relationship, but overall it was still really enjoyable.

Headliners by Lucy Parker

Goodreads | Amazon

Headliners (London Celebrities, #5) by Lucy Parker

Hedliners is about two tv presenters, who have a very public rivalry, are forced to work together resurrect a sinking morning show and save their careers —and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed. When mishaps start to happen on set, Sabrina and Nick find themselves working together to hunt down the saboteur and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another. The public might not be wrong.

I loved this book! The main characters are tv presenters that don’t like each other but have to work together and it’s awkward and hilarious. I laughed out loud so many times while reading this. This book does an amazing job showing how the relationship between the main characters slowly evolves and changes. That is really important because Sabrina has a very real and valid reason to hate Nick, so the slow pace really worked with the story.

Sabrina and Nick are adorable together and the best part about this book is that they both act like adults, who TALK to their significant other, don’t assume the worst, and actually trust each other. There is no miscommunication in this book, and beyond that, the opposite of that trope is present in this book. Both characters are so good at communicating, and that’s not the only refreshing thing about this book, Lucy Parker steps away from the “romance formula” in the third act of the book, which I truly appreciated. My only issue with this is that it dragged a little bit in a few places, but overall it was great!

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Goodreads | Amazon

The Switch: The funny and utterly charming novel from the bestselling  author of The Flatshare (English Edition) eBook: O'Leary, Beth:  Tienda Kindle

The Switch is about Leena Cotton, who is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical from work, so she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen. Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Just like that, Leena stays in the samll village and Eileen goes to Londo and both of them have adventures that change their lives.

I enjoyed The Switch a lot. I loved the journey each main character goes on and the changes they both experience. Grief is a esencial part of those journeys, especially for Leena, and I appreciated that this book addresses grief in a very realistic way and it does a good job of showing how the characters relationship with grief changes with time. While Leena’s journey is mostly about overcoming grief, Eileen steals the show with her journey of self discovery and of helping the people around her.

The secondary characters in this book are captivating and adorable. It is very interesting to see Leena and Eileen have to interact and build relationships of their own with people in the other woman’s life. The romances in this book are not the focus of the story, but they are present and I really liked them. Since this book was focused on so many other things related to the character’s personal growth, the romance feel a bit rushed. But overall, the love stories in this are really adorable.

Beth O’Leary is very ambitious, each main character in this book has a completely separate plot and romantic subplot and, because of that, the stories aren’t as flesh out as they could have been, still both plots were engaging and cute.

Have you read any of these books? What romance books have you enjoyed lately?
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Mini Reviews: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria & Finding Joy by Adriana Herrera


Hi everyone! Today I have reviews for two amazing romance books written by Latinx authors that I read recently and that I think every romance reader should check out!

*the amazon links are affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you decide to use them, it doesn’t affect the price of the books* 

Finding Joy by Adriana Herrera

Goodreads | Amazon

finding joy

*An e-arc of this was provided by the author in exchange of an honest review*

Finding Joy is a short book, that’s cute and low angst. The story is told from Desta’s perspective, he works for US Aid and he just got to Ethiopia to work on a project. He and his family have a history with the country, so it was interesting to get to explore it through his perspective. One of the big strengths of this book is the description of Ethiopia’s beautiful landscape and culture, while also talking about some of the economical challenges the country faces.

Desta is very self-involved in this book and he is a bit chaotic, and while he is still likable, Elias steals the show as a character. Elias is adorable, kind, and sensible, and his storyline is very important and interesting, even if there are parts of it that we don’t get to see because the story is told from Desta’s perspective. Adriana Herrera manages to make the romance between Elias and Desta very sweet, while also addressing the risks that Elias is taking by being in a relationship with Desta because being gay in Ethiopia is prohibited and punishable by law.

The only thing I would change from this book is that I wish this was told in dual pov, because I would have loved to read Elias’ thoughts and feeling about everything that happened in this book, especially because there’s a big part of Elias’ story that we don’t get to read from Desta’s perspective.

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Goodreads | Amazon 


You Had Me at Hola is an incredibly entertaining story, where a soap opera star and a Telenovela star, each with goals and fears of their own, have to work together in a tv show for the biggest streaming service in the country.

It’s so rare for me to like both of the main characters in a book equally, but Jasmine and Ashton are both amazing. Jasmine is ambitious, kind, and charismatic, but she is afraid of being alone and she has a track record of dating men who don’t treat her well. Ashton is kind of awkward and shy and he deals with a lot of anxiety, but he’s also adorable and sweet. Their romance is fantastic because they have so much chemistry, but at the same time, they also have a really strong emotional connection. I really appreciated that the conflict in this story feels realistic because it is easy to understand where both characters are coming from.

Jasmine and Ashton’s work is a big part of the story and it is a very interesting component, there’s a lot of behind the scenes from the show they are filming and especially the scenes between Jasmine, Ashton and the intimacy coordinator on set were pretty fascinating. This book also includes actual scenes from the show they were filming and while they were very cheesy, they reminded me of the telenovelas I grew up watching and I found them very entertaining.

Have you read any of these books? Are you planning on reading them? What great romance books have you read lately?
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ARC Review: Always Only You by Chloe Liese

Always Only You (Bergman Brothers, #2) by Chloe Liese

Title: Always Only You

Author: Chloe Liese

Series: Bergman Brothers #2 (companion novel)

Publishing date: August 4th, 2020

Pages: 355


The moment I met her, I knew Frankie Zeferino was someone worth waiting for. Deadpan delivery, secret heart of gold, and a rare one-dimpled smile that makes my knees weak, Frankie has been forbidden since the day she and I became coworkers, meaning waiting has been the name of my game—besides, hockey, that is.

I’m a player on the team, she’s on staff, and as long as we work together, dating is off-limits. But patience has always been my virtue. Frankie won’t be here forever—she’s headed for bigger, better things. I just hope that when she leaves the team and I tell her how I feel, she won’t want to leave me behind, too.


I’ve had a problem at work since the day Ren Bergman joined the team: a six foot three hunk of happy with a sunshine smile. I’m a grumbly grump and his ridiculously good nature drives me nuts, but even I can’t entirely ignore that hot tamale of a ginger with icy eyes, the perfect playoff beard, and a body built for sin that he’s annoyingly modest about.

Before I got wise, I would have tripped over myself to get a guy like Ren, but with my diagnosis, I’ve learned what I am to most people in my life—a problem, not a person. Now, opening my heart to anyone, no matter how sweet, is the last thing I’m prepared to do.

Goodreads | Amazon 

Thank you to Chloe (the author) for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

I need to start this review by saying that if you have not read the first book in this series of companion novels, YOU SHOULD GO READ IT! I talked about Only When It’s Us in the post about my favorite romance book of 2020 so far because it’s actually my #1 favorite romance I have read this year. You don’t have to read it before reading this one because it’s not a continuation, but do yourself a favor and go read it anyway.

With that out of the way, now I can talk to you about Always Only You, which now has become another one of my favorite romance books of 2020. This is a slow-burn, sunshine x grumpy romance where the grumpy one with the heart of gold is the woman and the smiley, sunshiny character is the man.

Chloe Liese has a special talent that allows her to create wonderful and complex characters who you can’t help but root for. In Always Only You, the heroine is Frankie, an Autistic woman (#ownvoices) with a chronic illness (rheumatoid arthritis) who is hard-working, smart, empathetic, and badass. And the hero is Ren, who is an adorable, considerate, noble and nerdy Shakespeare-loving Hockey player. He is the kind of hero that makes you wish you knew a man like him in real life.

The relationship between Frankie and Ren is so heartwarming. Ren has been pinning for Frankie for years, but since they work together and their relationship is technically forbidden, he doesn’t want to put her in an awkward position and he’s waiting for the right time to confess his feeling. And then seeing Frankie, who has been hurt before by men who have seen her as a burden because of her disability and doesn’t want to try to be in a relationship again, slowly realize that she really likes Ren and that she wants to give him a chance is amazing and it almost melted me. I loved seeing how they both got to know each other better throughout the book and how they complemented each other.  Also, there’s forced proximity (kind of) at one point in this book and they get all domestic and it was so sweet.

Finally, I appreciated that the author managed to show how Frankie’s chronic illness and autism affect her day to day life in smaller and bigger ways, but how she’s still able to have the life she wants and go after her dreams.

I love a series where there are a bunch of siblings in a family and we get romances for all of them, and there are SEVEN Bergman siblings, so hopefully, I still have 5 more wonderful books to read. I need Freya and Aiden’s book, which is the next book, their story is kind of a second chance romance, which is a trope I LOVE! And I also need Rooney and Axel’s story because that’s a relationship that’s obviously going to happen and no one is gonna convince me otherwise.

Have you read this book? Are you planning to read it? What romance books have you loved lately? 
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Reviewing 2020 Romance Books: Something to Talk About, The Marriage Game & The Change Up

Hi everyone! Recently I read 3 romance books that came out in the last couple of months and today I want to share my reviews for them. While I overall enjoyed these books, I did notice that my problems with all 3 of them were related to the way the big conflict in the story was handled, which I found interesting. If you have read any of these books, let me know if you also had a problem with the conflict!

Without further ado, here are my reviews:

*Click the titles to go to the Goodreads page*

Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

This book is about a showrunner and her assistant, who give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel the ridiculous rumor that they are dating, but as they spend more time together because of work, they realize the rumor might not be so off base after all.

I went into this book with a lot of hesitation because I had seen very mixed reviews, but from the very first page I enjoyed both of the main characters and their relationship. I could feel the connection and tension between them and I shipped them so hard. I think the power dynamics, since the main characters were an assistant and her boss, were handled well and the author kept the discussions about it present throughout the book. This is a very slow slow-burn romance and it dragged a little bit, but overall I think it worked really well.

The background of the story was the entertainment business – award shows, paparazzi, writing a tv show, producing a tv show- and it added a fun element to the story. This book dealt with sexual harrasment in Hollywood and I think it did a very good job with that as well. Also, the secondary characters were great and I’m hoping there’s another book in this series with Jo’s best friend.

My main issue with this book was the conflict. I think Emma overreacted to something and I thought it was gonna be one of those “I know it doesn’t make sense, but I’m hurt by it” situations, which I would have undertood and found relatable, but no, she was very mad about it and I feel like she acted very unprofessionally because of it and that whole conflict dragged even when it was kind of silly.

Overall, I still really liked the main characters and their relationship.

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

Desai, S: Marriage Game: Desai, Sara: Libros en idiomas ...

This book is about an aspiring entrepreneur and a ruthless CEO, who make a wager to see who gets to keep the office that they accidentally end up sharing. The wager involves helping her finding a husband through a series of blind dates that her father arranged. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.

I liked the main characters in this book, Sam and Layla. She was passionate, impulsive and caring and even when Sam was a bit of an ass at times, he is willing to do anything for the people he cares about.

The concept of the blind dates her dad set up was really interesting and I enjoyed the fact that Sam ended up going on those dates with her and they get to know each other and start liking each other during her dates with these terrible guys, which were very funny to read about. In those moments, I really liked Sam and Layla together and I could see their chemistry. Nonetheless, this book suffers from an issue that I have noticed in a few romance books lately and it’s that it only shows very little glimpses of the characters getting to know and starting to like each other, and then it makes reference to the fact that more has happened between them and their relationship has grown to be stronger. But since I was only told about it and didn’t see it happen, I didn’t feel as invested in their relationship.

I enjoyed the way this book incorporated Indian culture and I really liked how much her family is part of this book. I wish this book showed more of his family because I love complicated family dynamics and I think it would have added a lot to the story and to his character.

My main problem with this book is the fact that the hero messed up in a huge way and I didn’t feel like he tried to be forgiven at all, he didn’t made an effort, he didn’t had to grovel and he barely apologized.

Overall, even when I wasn’t completly invested in the relationship, I was enjoying this book quite a bit but the resolution to the conflict left me feeling disappointed.

The Change Up by Meghan Quinn

Cover Reveal: The Change Up by Meghan Quinn | Candi Kane PR

In this book, The Bad Boy of Baseball falls in love with his best friend after inviting her to live with him so she can accomplish one of her dreams.

I love friends to lovers stories and this one was so good on that front. I could definitely feel the chemistry and tension between the main characters from the start and I enjoyed seeing the way their relationship developed. Also, they had such a cute dog! For the most part, I liked the main characters. Maddox liked his privacy and routine, he was a bit grumpy, while Kinsley was friendly to everyone and she was VERY passionate about the environment and animal. The only thing that annoyed me a little bit is that the heroine cried ALL THE TIME, everything made her cry.

This book did a good job of showing the awkward moments of moving in with someone, even if it’s your best friend, and it also did a good job of portraining healthy conversations about boundaires and also the necessary conversations when those boundaries are not respected.

My main issue with this book was that the conflict at the end, which was related to the hero’s anger management issues. Something very unrealistic happened and he treats the heroine REALLY badly out of anger and doesn’t believe her explanation. While I did liked the apology and the groveling in this book, I do think that his anger management issues are not deal with, they simply disappeared and that’s not very realistic or a healthy thing to portrait. Also, it really bugged me that he doesn’t believe her until someone else shows him proof of what truly happened (proof btw that was so unrealistic).

Overall, I mostly enjoyed this one and I totally recommend it for fans of friends to lovers romances.

Have you read any of these books? Are you planning on reading any of them? What romance books have you enjoyed lately?
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5 Amazing Self-Published Romance Books

Hi everyone! I think it’s not a secret for anyone that follows this blog that I read A LOT of romance and recently I was curious about whether I was reading more traditional published, indie published or self-published romance books. I don’t actually pay attention to that when I pick books (at least when it comes to romance), to me it’s all the same and it turns out I read basically the same amount of traditional and indie published books, and even when I read a little less self-published books, the difference is not very significant.

Since I don’t usually pay attention to which books are self published, I don’t know if I tent to enjoy them less, more or the same amount as trad or indie books. And since I know self-published books often get a bad rep or are thought as “less good than” traditionally published books, I thought I would read 5 self-published books that were on my tbr and I would let you know how I felt about them. Spoiler alert: I really liked all of them and I even have a new favorite romance!!

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

A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai

The main characters in this book were step siblings for a year when they were already grown ups who didn’t live with their parents and, since the beginning and still years later, their relationship has been filled with sexual tension, which has made them both pretend to not like each other to avoid revealing how they much want each other.

This book is SO STEAMY!! One of the steamiest romance novels I have read. The main characters have so much chemestry and such a captivating dynamic of bickering and fighting and pretending they don’t like each other. The hero’s family plays a big role in this book, since he finished raising his siblings, and the exploration of his relationship with them is well done and it adds a great element to the book.

One of the best part of this story is how incredibly sex positive it is. The heroine, who is japanese and bisexual, hosts sex parties and things get wild and she has found a community of people who enjoy the same things as her and don’t judge each other. Also, the hero who has always tried to repress the things he wants sexually, comes to terms with them and stops feeling ashamed, which I think sends a very powerful message.

The Blind Date Diaries by Branda St. John Brown

This book is definitely my least favorite out of all of them, but it was still good. The premise of this book is really interesting, the heroine works for a magazine and to save it from having to go digital, she agrees to go on blind dates with guys that the readers vote for and write about it, but for the first date her boss has to chose the guy and she chooses her son, who the heroine hates.

At the beginning, I didn’t like the main characters and I didn’t understand why they were so antagonistic and defensive towards each other. But the dynamic between them changed as they got to know each other and I ended up actually enjoying their relationship. They were sweet together and they had chemistry. Also, there’s a grand gesture in this book that was very sweet and it worked perfectly with the premise of the story.

My main complain with this is that they only hanged out like 3 times and even when the hero liked the heroine since before, I still think it’s way too fast to say that they fell in love by the end of the book.

Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese

This is my favorite out of all of this books and it’s a new favorite romance for me. This book revolves around a female soccer star and her lumberjack  college classmate, who after a bad first impression have to work together on a project and quickly realize that they don’t actually hate each other, they are just destined to be frenemies.

This book was fantastic. It took me a couple chapters before I started to like Willa, but I ended up really admiring her strenght, dedication, loyalty and her vulnerability. It was cool to see a female character being the one playing a sport and being great at it, and while the storyline with her mom was devastating, it added so much to the story. On the other hand, I liked Ryder from the very first time he appeared on the page and I loved his storyline so much, his life changed drastically a couple years before the book starts after an illness and I wasn’t expecting his emotional and powerful journey. It gave this book depth and a unique element.

Willa and Ryder have a frenemies to lovers, slow burn, angsty and emotional romance that I absolutely loved. The pranks, the bickering, the fighting, the trust, how caring they were, made their realtionship fascinating. There’s a bit of lack of communication but I could defenitely understand why both characters were being reserved since they have very big, difficult things happening in their lives. Honestly, there are so many elements that made this a highly emotional book and it ended up making me cry, which very rarely happens.

I really liked all the secondary characters, specially Ryder’s family, and I can’t wait it read the next book in the series, which will be about one Ryder’s brothers.

The Billionaire’s Fake Fiancée by Annika Martin

This book is about a Billionaire who needs to have a more family friendly image for a client, to do it he needs a fake fiancée and he wants someone too annoying to tempt him, so his team ends up hiring his hairdresser to pretend to be his fianceé because she is everything he thinks he doesn’t want.

I had a hard time with the beginning of this book because I didn’t like the heroine, but as the book went on I discovered that there was so much more to Tabitha beyond the first impression and I ended up really liking her as a character. There was so much depth to her, she was understading, compationate, smart, observant and kind. Her obssesion with soap operas was pretty funny and the role it plays in this book was very cleverly done. I wasn’t expecting to have a soap opera worthy plot, but it was really fun.

This book has a grumpy/sunshine romance, it includes fake dating and forced proximity, which are all things that I love. The characters had so much chemestry, I slowly fell in love with their dynamic and I ended up really enjoying their relationship. Tabitha brought out a less serious, less asshole-y version of Rex and he saw beyond her happy, positive facade.

Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon

This is book tells the story of Xeni and Mason, who are left money in the will of Xeni’s aunt but to claim it they have to get married to each other and since both of them need the money they decide to do it. They had no plans to actually fall in love, but things don’t go as they expected.

The main characters in this book are both adorable, Xeni has a tendency of blurting out everything she likes about Mason when he’s around her and Mason does magic, cooks, plays the bagpipes  and like a 100 other instruments, and it’s so understanding and caring with Xeni. Also, Mason is a bisexual fat Scotsman and Xeni is a bisexual Black woman.

This book handled instant attraction very well and it didn’t become insta-love. Xeni and Mason had so much chemestry and they opened up to each other and were vulnerable with each other in a way that was very sweet to read about. Honestly, they were so cute together. And there were some very steamy scenes!

Do you read self- published books? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Are you planning on reading them?
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Mini Reviews: 5 May 2020 Romance Releases

Hi everyone! I went ahead and read a bunch of romance books that came out this month, May 2020, and I’m reviewing them for you today. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on these 5 romance releases:

Beach Read by Emily Henry

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge where they switch genres and fall in love.

It took me a little bit to get into this book, but I ended up truly enjoing it. This was a lot more emotional and darker than I was expecting, while still being a rom-com. I loved the main characters in this and I really enjoyed seeing them grow throughout the story and learn from the different ways each of them sees and understands the world. The development of their relationship was great and the tension between them kept me captivating the whole time. I’m a big fan of complicated family dynamics and I really liked the way this explored family and grief, as well as family secrets and lies. Also, the writing was amazing.

Recommended for: fans of The Hating Game! Mainly because the main characters in Beach Read really reminded me of the main characters in The Hating Game, but also because both have hate to love romances.

The Trouble with Hating You by Sajni Patel

A woman, whose traditional Indian father is trying to arrage her marriage even when she refuses, is deceived into meeting her sutor and it goes terrible wrong and then they see each other again because they both work for the same company and they start to fall for each other.

It took me a while to get into this book, at the beginning the main character Liya was so rude than I couldn’t understand why Jay liked her and I was so frustrated with her. He had his moments where he was rude too but it was after she was rude to him for no reason. The point is that the beginning was rough, but their relationship started to change, Jay was so patient and kind and I started to love their banter. The whole hate to love, slow-burn romance made sense for these characters and I got really invested in their relationship. Also, I loved Liya relationship with her friends and I loved Jay’s family and how welcoming of Liya they were.

This book gave so many emotions because I HATED some of the characters and I was so frustrated with the gossiping, cruel people in this book, but at the same time I was swooning over Jay and I felt so much sympathy for Liya and I just had all the feels, especially since this book ended up dealing with darker topics like sexual assault and domestic violence.

Recommend for: fans of The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai! If you liked The Right Swipe but you wished the heroine was a little less guarded or that she open up more throughout the book, you’ll like Liya’s journey in The Trouble with Hating You.

Unforgettable by Melanie Harlow

Two friends from high school, who have a complicated connection to each other, reunite after 18 years of ups and downs in their lives, and start falling in love.

Unforgettable is the fifth and final book of the Cloverleigh Farm and it can be read as a standalone. This book pleaseantly surprised me and it ended up being probably my favorite of the series. This is a very emotional book about reconnecting, facing past choices and letting go of guilt. I loved the relationship between the main characters and I liked the fact that while the past was discussed and it influenced the relationship, it didn’t define it, the main characters still fell in love and built their relationship in the present. Another thing I really loved about tis book was the positive representation of adoption.

Recommended for: I think fans of the Winstons Brothers Series by Penny Reid would also like the Cloverleigh Farms Series, since both series tell the love stories of a group of siblings in a small town.

Wylde by Sawyer Bennett

A playboy hocke player falls for a bookstore owner, who wants to stay away from the spotlight and doesn’t want anything to do with him, but he is up for the challenge.

Wylde is book 7 in the Arizona Vengeance Series, but it can be read as a standalone. This book was good even if it was not my favorite from the series. I loved the hero in this book, he was nice and patient and caring, unfortunately, I didn’t love the heroine, she was a very judgemental. Nonetheless, the couple was cute together even if not very memorable. One of my main problems with this is that the “she’s not like other girls” idea was present in this book and I don’t undertand why in 2020 we still have to see that in books.

Moreover, I think the conflict in this story could have been handled better, because while the female character overreacted a little and she apologized for that, the truth is that the hero did screw up (even if he had the best intentions) and he never recognizes that or apologizes for it. So I feel that while she took responsability for her mistakes, he did not. It wasn’t a super big deal, but it still bugged me.

Recommend for: I think fans of the Brooklyn Bruisers series by Sarina Bowen would also really enjoyed the Arizona Vengaence Series. Both series are about Hockey Romances and they are both really enjoyable.

Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon

A man who runs a romance book club in a small town feels like the club is losing its steam, so when the bookshop’s new employee – who he doesn’t like – says he wants to join the club and help bring it back, he can’t refuse and then he discover that the other guy may not be as bad as he thought.

Unfortunately, I was so disappointed by this book. It took me a long time to get into this and I never actually manage to get completely into it. The writing was flat, I was bored and the characters were two-dimentional. Also, this book switched viewpoints without warning or any king of indication that it had happened, sometimes the same scene switched from one pov to another and back again, which was confusing. But I have to admit that there were some cute moments and the steamy scenes were actually really good. The gay rep in this book is #ownvoices.

Recommend for: fans of The Melody of You and Me by M. Hollis! I didn’t love Hollis’ book either, but so many of my friends loved that book and I feel like it would be the same with Meet Cute Club. It’s a matter of taste and if you don’t pay too much attention to writing style, I think you can enjoy this one!

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Are you planning on reading them?

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10 Romance Books by Asian Authors

Hi everyone! I think it’s pretty obvious for anyone that follows this blog that I read a lot of romance books, I’m a huge fan of the genre and I have been reading it for years. As I have mentioned before, it took me a long time to realize that I was only reading romance books by white authors and while I love a lot of those stories, I’m commited to reading diversely and that’s why in the last couple of years I have been trying to read more romance books by women of color.

Since May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and since I have read quite a few romance books by Asian authors, I thought it was a good idea to share some of my favorite ones with you. I have done this before with romance books by Latinx authors & romance books by Black authors, so check those posts out, if you want some recommendations!

*You can click the book titles throughout the post to go to the Goodreads page*

The Modern Love Series + A Gentleman in the Street by Alisha Rai

The Modern Love series addresses the role that social media plays in romantic relationships in today’s society, while centering diverse characters and sensitive subjects. The interesting concept, the great writing and the diversity are definitely the main reasons I like this series. While I enjoyed the second book a lot more than the first, I still think both are worth the read.

The first book, The Right Swipe, revolves around two rival dating app creators who find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom. This book has a Black heroine and a Samoan hero. The second book, Girl Gone Viral, is about a tweet that goes viral and shoves a camera-shy ex-model into the spotlight and into the arms of the bodyguard she has been pining for. This book includes a thai-american plus sized heroine with anxiety and an Sikh hero dealing with his PTSD.

Now when it comes to A Gentleman in the Street, my favorite thing about it is how sex positive and feminist it is, and the fact that it is incredibly steamy doesn’t hurt either. This book is about a man and a woman who have known each other for years and have been pretending they don’t like each other, but a single touch is all it takes for their simmering need to explode. This book includes a Japanese heroine.

Graham Delicacies + Soft on Soft by Mina Waheed

These two books where first release by the author Em Ali, but due to personal reasons they were released again under the pseudonym Mina Waheed. These books are fluffy, soft and angst-free romances, which is the main reasons I recommend them. If you are looking for cure, light queer romances these ones are for you!

Soft on Soft is a novella about a makeup artist that falls in love with a famous model. Both of the main characters in this book are queer, fat, women of color. This book doesn’t include sexually explicit content.

Graham’s Delicacies is a collection of three queer love stories set in one bakery. It includes a romance between a woman and a non-binry character, an m/m romance and a romance between a man and a non binary character.

If The Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman

There was a time when I would not shut up about this book, I love this and I need to re-read it soon. If the Dress Fits is set in the Philippines and it has an entire cast of Filipino characters. The main character is fat and and she has a very positive relationship with her weight. This is a best friends to lovers romance and it also inlcudes the fake dating trope, which it’s the best combination of tropes in my opinion.

A swoon-worthy romance with my favorite tropes, an insightful and vibrant depiction of the Philippines and fantastic #ownvoices representation are my favorite things about this book and the reasons I recommend it.

The Kiss Quotient Series by Helen Hoang

I’m a huge fan of The Kiss Quotient, I even got my IRL friends to read it and they loved it too. While I didn’t enjoy the second book quite as much, I still liked it. The diversity, the writing, the cute and steamy romances are the reasons I recommend this series.

The Kiss Quotient is about an Autistic woman who hires a male escort to teach her about sex and they end up falling in love. This book includes a very soft Vietnamese/Swedish hero, a successful and caring heroine and very steamy scenes! The Autistic rep is #ownvoices.

The Test Bride is about an Autistic man, whose mother wants to see married but thinks it won’t happen without her help, so she gets a mail-order bride from Vietnam and the son and the woman fall in love. This book inlcudes #ownvoices Vietnamese and Autistic rep.

Beginner’s Guide + Feels like Summer by Six de los Reyes

Both of theses books are set in the Philippines and they have a cast of Filipino characters. The representation is #ownvoices.

Beginner’s Guide is about a woman who is a scientist and who creates a methodology to find her perfect partner and she decides to test it with the most  unsuitable candidate and ends up falling for him. If you like romances where opposites attract and where people fall in love with someone that they didn’t expect, I would recommend this one!

Feels like Summer is about a woman who doesn’t want a relationship and a man who’s getting over a breakup, so they decide to casually date for 3 months and be done, but things change along the way. If you like romances with soft heroes and a great group of friends, I think you would enjoy this book.

What romance books by Asian authors would you recommend? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Do you want to read any of them?

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Romance Report: Let’s Talk about Surprise Baby, The Penalty Box & Fit

Romance Report

Hi everyone! Today I bring you another Romance Report. I’m having so much fun writing this feature,  I read so many romance books and this is the perfect way for me to talk about them here on the blog.

I started this feature because I’m usually looking for very especific elements in romance books depending on my mood (like a especific trope, a certain level of angst, a certain level of steam, etc) and I think a lot of people feel the same way, so in the romance report that’s the kind of information I’ll include as a way to make it easier for people to decide if a romance book is the one they are looking for or not. I’ll also include comments about the things I enjoyed or didn’t enjoy in the book, as well as my rating.

Without further ado, here are the books I want to talk about today:

Surprise, Baby by Lex Martin & Leslie McAdam

Surprise Baby.jpg

  • Series: Standalone
  • Synopsis: Two characters that dislike each other get stuck together for a weekend and it results in a suprise pregnancy (Goodreads)
  • Pages: 358
  • Trigger warnings: Mentions of alcohol and drug use.
  • Representation: Drew, one of the main characters, has diabetes and it’s a big part of the story. The book really tries to show how much this disease impacts Drew’s life.
  • Point of View (POV):  dual perspective in first person
  • Relationship: female/male
  • Tropes: Accidental pregnancy, dislike to like to love
  • Romance: There is a lot of chemistry between the characters, but what makes this especial is that there are a lot of sweet moments between them as well. Their conversation and their banter is highly entertaining.
  • Steam level: This book is hot, all the scene are really explicit not just the first one or the last one (which happens sometimes in books)
  • Angst level: Medium-high. There’s a lot miscomunication, which is the cause of the main conflicts in the book and it becomes a bit frustrating because it happens again and again, usually when the main characters are doing better and their relationship is evolving.
  • Comments: This book talks about pregnancy in a different way than many romance books, it definitely includes the positive aspects of it but it also discusses how hard it can be with the tiredness, the vomit, the strech marks, the weight gain and the hormones.
  • The writing is good, the writing styles of both authors are similar enough that you can’t tell it’s two people writing instead of one and the entire book feels very cohesive writing wise.
  • Rating: 3,6 stars

The Penalty Box by Odette Stone

The Penalty Box

  • Series: The third book in the Vancouver Wolves Hockey Series
  • Synopsis: Marriage of convenience between a hockey player and the assistant of his publicist (Goodreads)
  • Pages: 369
  • Trigger warnings: Kidnapping, stalking, sexual assault, mentions of death of a child and death of a parent figure.
  • Point of View (POV):  dual perspective in first person
  • Relationship: female/male
  • Tropes: marriage of convenience
  • Romance: The dynamic between the main characters is full of tension and nerviousness – especially at the beginning – which works really well with the plot of the story. That tension and chemistry are mixed with some sweet moments and it makes this a great love story. My one problem with the romance is that the guy becomes extremely posesive at one point, which doesn’t work for me.
  • Steam level: This book was really hot, very explicit and detailed.
  • Angst level: high, there’s a lot of back and forth from the main male character about wether he wants to be with her or not outside of their arrangement. Also, he went through a very traumatic situation when he was a child, which marked him and causes a lot of angst thoughout the book.
  • Comments: There were two scenes that made me uncomfortable while I read this because both characters at different points in the book started to have sex with the other person while the other character was still asleep and since there wasn’t a previous conversation between them about wheter that was ok or not, I felt like the consent wasn’t clear even if both characters were fine with it at the end.
  • Rating: 3,5 stars

Fit by Rebekah Weatherspoon 


  • Series: The first book in the Fit series
  • Synopsis: A producer for The Food Channel wants to get in shape and ends up falling for her trainer (Goodreads)
  • Pages: 160
  • Trigger warnings: Minor fat shaming
  • Representation: Chinese Fat main character
  • Point of View (POV):  female perspective in third person
  • Relationship: female/male
  • Romance: This book has a relatable female main character and a really considerate and caring love interest and that makes the romance so sweet. There’s also a lot of chemistry between the characters.
  • Steam level: This book is steamy, it’s explicit and detailed and it includes bdsm, which is a big part of the story.
  • Angst level: Low, there’s a conflict at the end but since this is a short book, it’s resolved pretty quickly.
  • Comments: I read this book to give Rebekah Weatherspoon a second chance after reading one of her books called Rafe last year and not enjoying it that much. I’m so glad I took another chance on her, because her writing in this book is so much better and I ended up enjoying Fit a lot. If you didn’t enjoy one of her books in the past and are wondering if you should read another one, I’d say: go for it!
  • Rating: 3,7 stars
Have you read any of these books? What romance books have you read lately that you would recommend? 

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Romance Report: let’s talk about four Lauren Layne books (Hard Sell, Huge Deal, Love Story & An Ex For Christmas)

Romance Report

Hi everyone! I have another Romance Report for you!  I started this new feature because I’m usually looking for very especific elements in romance books depending on my mood (like a especific trope, a certain level of angst, a certain level of steam, etc) and I think a lot of people feel the same way, so in the romance report that’s the kind of information I’ll include as a way to make it easier for people to decide if a romance book is the one they are looking for or not. I’ll also include comments about the things I enjoyed or didn’t enjoy in the book, as well as my rating.

Hard Sell by Lauren Layne 

Hard Sell

  • Series: Book 2 in the 21 Wall Street Series. It can be read as standalone, but you’ll be spoiled for the previous book. I skipped book 1 and it was ok.
  • Synopsis: A Wall Street guy and PR genius, who have a frenemies with benefits relationship,  have to work together to improve his image. (Goodreads)
  • Pages: 247
  • Trigger warnings: child endangerment
  • Point of View (POV):  dual pov
  • Relationship: female/male
  • Tropes: frenemies to lovers, frenemies with benefits, fake dating
  • Romance: The chemestry between the main characters is off the charts, the author does a good job writing the ‘I dislike you but I want you’ dynamic and also showing the change from dislike to like. There’s a lot of bickering and sexual tension. Both characters are the socially competent, charming, flirty type of characters.
  • Steam level: high, there are explicit scenes and they are descriptive but not too detailed.
  • Angst level: very low, the conflict is resolved quickly and easily.
  • Comments: I really like the friend group in this series, the relationship between all the characters are a great a addition to the story.  The ending is a bit rushed, which was my main problem with the book. But overall, this is such a fun, entertaining read and definitely one of my favorite Lauren Layne books.
  • Rating: 3,8 stars

Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

Huge Deal

  • Series: Book 3 in the 21 Wall Street Series. It can be read as standalone, but you’ll be spoiled for the previous books.
  • Synopsis: A Wall Street banker and his long time assistant have liked each other for a while but they have had a tense relationship full of misunderstandings that they have to overcome to be together.  (Goodreads)
  • Pages: 259
  • Trigger warnings: Death of a parent
  • Point of View (POV): dual pov
  • Relationship: female/male
  • Tropes: office romance, unrequited love
  • Romance: There’s definetely a slow-burn progression to the romance between the characters, there’s a tension between them from the beginning, that’s not enterily sexual, but that makes reading about them really compelling. Both protagonists are the serious, responsible, focused type of characters, even if they are very different in some ways.
  • Steam level:  high, there are explicit scenes and they are descriptive but not too detailed.
  • Angst level: medium, there is some angst thanks to misunderstandings and unrequited love. Also, a death takes place during the course of the story.
  • Comments: one of the main reasons I liked this book is that Kate is such an amazing main character, she is intelligent, nice, serious, detailed oriented and competent and I hadn’t read any characters like her in a while, so it was refreshing.
  • Rating: 3,8 stars

Love Story by Lauren Layne

Love Story

  • Series: This is book 3 in the Love Unexpectedly Series, which is a series of standalone novels. I know that’s kind of contradictory but 🤷🏽‍♀️. So it’s a standalone.
  • Synopsis: Over the course of one road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love. (Goodreads)
  • Pages: 232
  • Trigger warnings: death of a parent, cheating
  • Point of View (POV): dual pov
  • Relationship: female/male
  • Tropes: second chance romance, best friend’s sister
  • Romance: The back and forth bickering and animosity between the main characters is amusing, and the few moments where they get along show that they can have a good relationship if they let go of the past, but there’s a point where the misunderstandings and miscommunication, which cause the main conflict between them, get a bit annoying and frustrating.
  • Steam level: high, as with most Lauren Layne books , the sex scenes are explicit and descriptive but not too detailed.
  • Angst level: high, there’s a lot of hurt feelings between the characters so that creates lots of drama and conflict in their relationship.
  • Comments: This is a bit slow and it feels like is a repetitive at points because the characters can’t let go of what happened in the past and refuse to talk about it openly and honestly, so it’s one step forward two steps back between them.
  • Rating: 3,6 stars

An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

An Ex for Christmas

  • Series: This is book 5 in the Love Unexpectedly Series, which is a series of standalone novels. So this is a standalone, there’s no crossover characters from the other books.
  • Synopsis: A psychic tells Kelly that she’s already met her true love and to track him down she starts contacting old boyfriends. The truble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark. (Goodreads)
  • Pages: 218
  • Trigger warnings: cheating (not by the main characters), dead of a sibling
  • Point of View (POV): Single female POV
  • Relationship: female/male
  • Tropes: friends to lovers
  • Romance: This is a slow burn, but so much of the story revolves about the female protagonist and her ex boyfriends that it doesn’t entirely work. It takes a while for the female protagonist to start seeing her friend in different way and it takes FOREVER for anything to actually happen between the characters.  Also, the main characters are very different and sometimes it feels like their relationship doesn’t make much sense, not even their friendship.
  • Steam level: high, the sex scenes are explicit and descriptive but not too detailed.
  • Angst level: high, there’s unrequited love so that creates some angst and the female protagonist is a bit stubborn with her belief in fate which also creates angst.
  • Comments:The premise is a bit silly but I was ok with that going in, my real problem with this is that I was a bit frustrated by how much the main character lets ‘fate’ dictate her choices and how until the very end she follows fate more than her own heart, which iw what causes the main conflict in the story.
  • Rating: 3,4 stars
Have you read any Lauren Layne books? Did you enjoy them? Can you recommend an author whose work is similar to Layne’s?

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