adult · contemporary · enemies to lovers · romance

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Don’t you just hate it when you think you’re going to love a book, and then you don’t?

I was almost certain that I was going to love The Unhoneymooners when I picked it up from the library, but like most things in life, I was rather disappointed with the outcome.

I feel cheated. When I picked up The Unhoneymooners from the library, I was expecting a contemporary romance novel that adorned one of my favourite tropes, enemies-to-lovers, but what I got was not what I expected.

Though in the beginning I was mildly intrigued (it took me about a page and a half for my interest to wear off, cliches were introduced and my patience began thinning), that soon died down. The characters were as if all of the cliche characters in books were fused into two people, then you would have the two main characters, Ethan and Olive. They were boring, very one dimensional, Mary Sues in disguise, unentertaining, AND THEY WEREN’T EVEN ENEMIES. They had no chemistry (and this is a romance book, LIKE COME ON MORTALS, DO BETTER).

The writing was plain and boring. It wasn’t that terrible, I mean I’ve read much worse and much better, but it was legible. I just personally felt like it wasn’t a unique style. Sometimes I’ll read a quote or a passage and I’ll automatically know who the writer of it is because a lot of authors have their own unique style. This author (or rather, authors) did not make it so the writing stood out. There where also some really strange passages that I think I was supposed to think were “deep,” when in reality, they just came off as strange because we were led to believe that the main character only cared about herself, Ethan, herself, her sister, and did I mention herself?

Now, onto my least favourite part of this book. THE FACT THAT I WAS LIED TO. I was expecting an enemies to lovers romance, and who knows, maybe my hopes were too high after reading To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters, Beach Read by Emily Henry and You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle, but this is NOT an enemies-to-lovers. It is a whiny-girl-hates-basic-male-and-deems-him-to-be-her-enemy-because-she-is-incapable-of-communicating-with-human-beings-and-actually-using-common-sense.

Don’t even get me started on the romance because I can already feel my gray hair multiplying (no, I am not old, yes, I am stressed).

Also, that little plot “twist,” was simply not my cup of tea. I do not consider myself a sleuth, but COME ON. It was so easy to guess what was going to happen. I literally thought about it 10 pages into the book (or less in all honesty). I just feel as if this book is a cliche, watered down novel that was parading around as a “unique” book with a “unique” plot, when really, I do not remember anything about this book after only a month of reading it, besides the names of the characters, which I remembered because they disappointed me so much.

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Have you read this, if so, what were your thoughts? Do you like novels that include enemies-to-lovers? Have you read anything by this author before?


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adult · contemporary · enemies to lovers · romance

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You Deserve Each Other is a romantic comedy that made me laugh continuously and the amount of pages I dog eared because of how amazing they were is sinful (dog earring pages is also sinful, please forgive me bookworms for this treacherous act, but I couldn’t help myself and ran out of stickies). It is how romance novels should be done in my opinion, with suspense, characters whom have chemistry and are downright amazing in slightly terrible ways (I may have loved Naomi’s evilness, and Nicholas is on a whole other level of book boyfriends).

I loved this. It’s that simple. I haven’t read a good enemies to lovers book in quite awhile so this was an absolute delight.

I want to staple this cover on my forehead because this book is beautiful and the world must not ignore its beauty. The characters were amazing and I could relate to a lot of what they felt or thought. As I mentioned earlier, Nicholas is on a whole other level of book boyfriend and may or may not be my new fictional hubby. Naomi may have been childish at times, but I still managed to like her.

I will literally never stop recommending this book. I’m going to be honest with you guys, I read a lot of romance novels but half the time I don’t like them because of the writing, characters, tropes…etc. But this, this was amazing. I finished reading it earlier today (cough 3 am cough) and I’m contemplating whether I should read it again.

I didn’t like the second half as much as the first, but that’s just cause I’m a cynic at heart and must have at least one character die in each book to feel happy (I know, I’m messed up, send help). Nonetheless, this was AMAZING.

The only reason why this is a four star rating (if you’ve seen my other reviews then you know that this is quite a high rating since I’m a critic and like to pick each aspect apart when I read) is because I didn’t enjoy all of the aspects of this story. There were just a few things I thought wrapped up too quickly and felt rushed, but I still loved this book and will probably profusely talk about it for the next 5 years.

And if you like this book and are wallowing in the depths of utter sadness because you think that nothing may ever compare, then I reccomend reading these beauties: To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters and
Beach Read by Emily Henry which are both romantic comedies that feature enemies to lovers.

Anyways, I have one last message for you:
description

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Have you read this, if so, what were your thoughts? Do you like novels that include enemies-to-lovers? How do you feel about rom-coms?


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adult · romance · sci-fi

Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha

Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

This is a painful dnf. I tried to read this, I truly did, but I couldn’t get myself through this. It’s as if someone looked at all the tropes I disliked and put them into one book. I’m honestly sad because I was almost certain I would love this, but by the first page I already knew that was not the case. The writing wasn’t atrocious, it was fairly basic and didn’t capture my attention. The characters, oh the characters, were not my cup of tea whatsoever and felt like a mix of basic stereotypes thrown into one. I did not feel connected to the characters and I honestly can’t even remember at what page I dnf’ed this on (I also can’t even remember what the names of the characters were since I dnf’ed it months ago and am only now writing a review, yes I know, I’m quite intelligent 😂). I won’t be adding a rating on goodreads since I’m fairly certain I didn’t make it past the halfway mark.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own.

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What did you think of this? Were you bothered by any tropes? What was your favourite or least favourite part?

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contemporary · romance · young adult

Not Another Love Song by Olivia Wildenstein

Not Another Love Song by Olivia Wildenstein

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Not Another Love Song is about a girl who struggles to come to terms with her music and relationships with both her family and a new exchange student named Ten. It is a light, sweet, and fun story that navigates the concept of what we’d do to reach our goals, even if it means leaving everyone and everything behind.

I wanted more substance, more suspense and conflict. Call me heartless, but I like when characters have to struggle to reach their goals, it makes it seem much more real and raw. This was almost too sweet, and everything was resolved much too quickly and without a hassle.

There wasn’t anything terrible about this book, it was alright, and it did captivate my attention as the story developed, but I personally like my novels with more substance and obstacles. As I said before, conflicts can make a story more enticing, and this did not have many, or they were resolved in the blink of an eye. It was also predictable and cliche, so I did not care much about the outcome since I already knew what it would be. I must say though that it also helped ease my stress since it was something light and easy to get through.

For me, this felt like a light summer read, and I reccomend this if you just want to sit down and relax with a book that is light on substance but still manages to be amusing.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own.

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Do you enjoy light reads? Are you a fan of clichés and/or predictability, or do you enjoy surprises?

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adult · contemporary · romance

The Wish List by Sophia Money-Coutts

The Wish List by Sophia Money-Coutts

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I wish I could say I loved this book. I went into this excited and eager to read a fun rom-com that would ease my nerves, but unfortunately, I was let down.

The Wish List details the life of an anxious and closed off bookworm who has an obsessive tendency with counting. She’s forced to go to therapy by her parents because of her lack of romantic relationships, and there, THE wish list is born. Soon after, she meets what she presumes is the perfect man for her and further journeys on with the concept of love and relationships in general, while still tackling her work life and bridezilla step-sister.

The premise interested me, a wish list and a lonely bookworm who has a strange habit? Sign me up! But the story itself did not deliver. It was very basic and didn’t bring anything new to the table. It just felt like something I’d read a million times before, and it could’ve been done much better. I wish there had been more twists, and that the ones that were included in the story weren’t so expected or easy to guess. By the second chapter, I had already penned what would happen, and it went in the route I though it would.

As I write this review, I have already forgotten the love interest’s name, which is always a bad sign for a romance novel, or any novel in general. The character’s were dull and the “romance” was pushed onto the reader with little to no development. There was nothing that held my attention, nor any character I felt attached to or loved/loathed. We never got to know the character’s intentions and they felt very one dimensional.

I will say that the author’s writing flowed well and she managed to humour me in some parts of this story. I found the concept of her living in England interesting since most novels I’ve read recently have been set in America, it was nice to see a change in atmosphere. Overall though, this just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Thank you to the publisher and edelweiss for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own.

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adult · enemies to lovers · LGBTQ+ rep · romance

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Rating: 4 out of 5.

First and foremost, I’d like to say this:

This book is most certainly not a beach read.

This novel is a “I-will-tear-your-heart-out-with-my-subtle-darkness-and-charming-humour” kind of read. It is intriguing and mellow, definitely not the light read I was expecting, but rather gloomy in some parts and poignant in others, nonetheless, it definitely harboured my attention.

I couldn’t stop reading. I was fully immersed in January’s story and her journey through life. The banter in this book reminded me much of To Have and to Hoax as this too was charming and witty, but Beach Read had the tendency of treading through darker themes and more thoroughly explored the possibility of “love” and what this concept meant to the characters individually.

I found myself highly amused by the banter between the characters, they felt very real and fleshed out, and I loved seeing how they changed throughout the story. And even when faced with many challenges, they still found the time to make the others’ life insufferable, truly romantic.

In conclusion, the cover and blurb may suggest a light, beach read, but this is far from that. It is a moving tale about a woman’s journey navigating what she once assumed was her “perfect” life. It’s raw, amusing, and shall bury you in a rollercoaster ride of emotions and musings, it is enjoyable and worth a read.

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own.

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adult · historical · romance

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Diana sagged. “Morals,” she said simply. “So tiresome.”

To Have and to Hoax is witty, smart and charming as a whole, filled to the brim with revenge schemes and intriguing characters that made this a page-turner for me. The premise is intriguing, it’s about a married couple who are plagued by misunderstandings, which eventually leads to a cruel (and hilarious) game that threatens to tear them apart.

This book is filled with wonderful writing that flows perfectly, and characters that feel so real it’s marvellous. I loved the witty banter in this book, I found myself laughing and smiling a whole lot while reading this. I find that most books that brand themselves as romantic comedies usually come off as forced, but certainly not with this book. It was genuinely funny and I highlighted an unhealthy amount of passages while reading (some that may have been a page-long or so).

The characters that graced the pages were just so wonderful and I haven’t felt this amused by dialogue alone since reading The Raven Boys. The characters felt very real and I loved learning more about them and their backgrounds.

Overall, I highly reccomend this novel. It’s engaging, funny, and delivers a punch. I’m hoping the author may bless me with a sequel including any one of the side characters.

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own.

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new adult · romance · vampires

The Cardinalis Code by Avery Sterling

The Cardinalis Code by Avery Sterling

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is a hidden gem.

When I started reading this, I was surprised at how clean and well the writing flowed. There were barley any grammatical mistakes, which is rare in e-books. I didn’t expect much from the novel since the past couple of e-books I’ve been reading have been in the 2-3 star range, but this definitely exceeded my expectations.

I requested this as soon as I read the premise of the novel on LibraryThing. It was much shorter than the Goodreads synopsis, but it captured my attention. The story is about a girl who works in a nightclub to pay off her tuition, and one night she meets a handsome stranger there while trying to escape a man who keeps following her around. Yes, I know how that sounds: cliché, overdone, boring. That’s what I thought too, but as I continued on with the book, it got so much better.

Not only were the characters crafted and written well, but broke molds and stereotypes. This book was really good and engaging as well. I COULDN’T stop reading, which is always a good sign, except when it’s 12 in the morning and you’re left staring at your screen, wishing for a sequel, which was literally me after finishing this book.

I did have some problems with the novel, the mc’s first encounter with Michael left a sour taste in my mouth. But I literally have nothing else to complain about, WHAT HAS THIS BOOK DONE TO ME? The concept of this story was really good, and even though I’ve read books like this in the past, this is by far the best.

Also, a guy from Italy whose actually written like a normal human being (well, technically as normal as Cardinalis get) and not mafioso? WHAT EVEN, THANK YOU AUTHOR. I feel like every book with Italians in it always depicts them as mafiosi and it really bothers me as a fellow Toscana.

I really can’t comprehend why this isn’t more popular? It’s probably one of the best romance novels I’ve read so far, and this book deserves so much more love. I definitely reccomend checking this out if you’re looking for a romance novel with fleshed-out characters, vampires (or rather, Cardinalis), engaging plot, and a potential new book boyfriend.

Thank you to LibraryThing for my free copy. This is no way affected my opinion of the book.

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faeries · fantasy · romance · young adult

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

❝ Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us? ❞

The amazing thing about An Enchantment of Ravens is that it is littered with beautiful writing and lovely characters. The only big problem I had, was the world and character building.

As others have pointed out, Rook just magically transformed into a wonderful fair one half way through the novel with no character development whatsoever. It was much too sudden of a development. As was his relationship with Isobel, which felt very rushed and incomplete. Don’t get me wrong, I loved them both, but their interest in one another was very random and felt out of place.

I got a sense of the world through the utterly amazing descriptions that I am contemplating tattooing on my body, but a lot of questions were still left unanswered. I wanted to know more about the Alder King, the Good Law, the Winter Court, Foxglove (if you read it you’ll get what I mean), Faerie emotion, Aster…etc. 

Now off to the good, which in my opinion, outweighs the bad. Lark, Gadfly and the goat twins were just such great side characters and I loved them all. They all had unique voices throughout the story and I could automatically tell whose who with a single quote. 

The writing itself was absolutely STUNNING. I WANT TO FRAME IT ON MY WALLS AND MEMORIZE EACH PASSAGE. I WANT TO SCREAM THE QUOTE WORTHY DESCRIPTIONS ON A ROOFTOP TO EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE AND BECAUSE THAT’D BE SUPER COOL. One of the most important aspects in a book for me is writing and this nailed it.

In conclusion, An Enchantment of Ravens lets you immerse yourself in a wonderful story, and will not let go of you until you’ve read every single word and hunger for more. It is a stunning novel that I throughly enjoyed, but wished was longer and filled with less cliche tropes.