Tag Archives: Romance

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) – Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) – Helen HoangTitle: The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) Publishing Info: June 5, 2018 by Penguin, Berkley
Source: Borrowed from Hoopla
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Date Completed: February 28, 2019
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...


I really enjoyed this book! The writing was so enjoyable and it was so easy to just fall into this story and be welcomed in by the characters. It was a cute, quick, fun, and meaningful read.

I really liked the inclusion and representation of Stella’s autism/Asperger’s and from what I know of it, I thought it was brought into the story and represented really well. It’s noted in the author’s bio that she is also on the autism spectrum so we can see her accurate representation of this in Stella’s character and I just really loved how it not only includes this character but also educates readers and shows what life can be like on a day to day basis as shown through Stella’s relationships, interactions, routines, and just daily situations.

The romance was SO cute I loved seeing Michael and Stella immediately fall for each other even though they weren’t “supposed to”. Michael treated Stella so well and I loved seeing a male protagonist stand up for a woman and treat women respectfully. There was just something so refreshing about the interactions between Michael and Stella that just made me so happy!

I kept waiting for the inevitable conflict and fight to pop up but things were going so well that I couldn’t tell where it was going to come from! Once it started to appear, I caught on and it was reassuring that even though the characters almost always make up, this one I knew they’d make up from! It was a really great romance and such a fun read. I really look forward to reading more from Helen Hoang!


Kept Me Hooked On: Adult romances. This was one of the first adult romances/rom-coms that I read on my kick to start reading romances and I was so happy that I enjoyed it!
Left Me Wanting More: I can’t think of anything it was missing! I just really enjoyed this book and I can’t think of anything I would have changed.

Addiction Rating
Read it

This was a lovely romance full of representation, cute moments, class, and steamy scenes. I definitely recommend it!




The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) – Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) – Lyssa Kay AdamsTitle: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams
Publishing Info: November 5, 2019 by Penguin, Berkley
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Date Completed: November 22, 2019
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads

The first rule of book club:
You don't talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.


I thought this was going to be a super cute and funny read and heard so many people raving about it but I had some significant problems with this book.

I had a little trouble with the overall tone of the book, going from rom-com to a more serious feel. I get that rom-coms can’t be all funny, all the time, but there were points of hilarity with the men reading and getting council from romance novels, including their banter about all of that stuff, to super serious things like divorce. Just the tone of the conversations and relationships seemed to ebb a little too far one way and then the other for me, mostly because I was hoping for more rom-com since that’s what I tend to gravitate to when I’m reading adult contemporary. That’s a total personal opinion and not really where my issues lie.

I had a huuuuge problem with Gavin and Thea’s relationship and to be honest, I really didn’t like Thea. Their marriage begins to visibly fall apart when Gavin finds out that he hasn’t been satisfying Thea in bed, basically since the start of their marriage, and I’m sorry, they’ve been married for three years and she’s been FAKING IT for THREE YEARS? Oh hell no. Sorry, girl. That’s totally your problem and your fault. Speak up! That’s what a relationship is. You tell your partner what you want or what to do and then surprise surprise, things can actually get fixed. That problem was as simple as communicating with Gavin and she didn’t do that for three years. The book kind of made it seem like a lot of these issues were Gavin’s fault and I totally agree, he had work to do to open up lines of communication too, but for that to be the straw that broke the camel’s back and the main point of the book, I just hated it. Does this happen in real life? I’m sure it does. But it reeeeally bothered me that this was something that she could have spoken up about years ago and it wouldn’t have been an issue, so I don’t know how that fact is put on Gavin.

I also really didn’t like Liv and how protective she was of Thea. I can’t remember if she knew the whole story (I don’t think she did) but Thea is an adult and Liv should be there to support her, not to constantly throw insults and jabs at Gavin, whether he deserved them or not. It’s hard enough to go through relationship problems or a divorce, but Thea needs to figure things out on her own. Sisters should be able to talk it out and Liv can offer advice or her opinions but she was just so mean. It was super immature and I think she needed more insight or perspective on the situation. I really would have liked to see Thea tell her to cool it on the bashing but she only cared about it when it was in front of the kids.

I also really hated how much Thea changed to become a baseball wife. There was a mention of her wearing old band t-shirts and Chucks and then she changed to become all pastel and soft for the baseball wife image. Ummm dude, isn’t this 2019? I don’t think you have to conform to a stereotype to be a baseball wife. I think people prefer to see people being themselves versus a stereotype nowadays and *gasp* band t-shirts and shoes that are so common that many 30-year-olds still wear!?! How WILD. I’m sure tooooons of sig others of athletes rock the alt-life or just dress however they feel. Just because you’re not pink and pastel doesn’t mean you can’t be put-together for public appearances, and that’s what drove me nuts.

Okay, now the nice stuff. I thought the concept of the Bromance Book Club was super cute and funny. They made some nice jokes about guys reading romance and I loved how some of the guys actually ended up liking the books and appreciating the stories. I also really liked how Gavin’s stutter was brought into the story. It showed a lot of different aspects of what he deals with, from bullying when he was younger to bullying still when he’s an adult, how people treat him or think he was thinking slowly just because he couldn’t get the words out, how much people understood it and appreciated him for who he was. It was just really great to see that incorporated into the story and how much it shaped Gavin’s character and even his relationship with Thea.

Despite all of my gripes about why they were separating, I also liked the “getting back together” story. Sometimes relationships aren’t meant to be and divorce may be the best thing. I liked that this showed that there are also times when you can communicate and work on a relationship to see if you do love each other and want to save it. I liked seeing the reality of going to the uncomfortable places to see if a relationship is something worth repairing and a couple who really does love each other but didn’t know how to grow together as the relationship grew.

I didn’t realize this was a series, so finding out now, will I continue? Probably. I’m interested to see what the author does with the next book (I’m assuming maybe Mack? Another character’s relationship?) and I’d like to see if I get along with a different relationship a little better.


Kept Me Hooked On: Romances with established couples. Usually I go for the falling-in-love books. Give me a good rom-com, meet cute, all that good stuff! I don’t love reading about relationships falling apart but it was a nice structure for this second-chance romance!
Left Me Wanting More: Communication. The lack of communication drove me nuts. This couple would have been a lot better off if either of them shared even a little bit.

Addiction Rating
Try it

Lots of my friends straight-up five-star loved this book. It didn’t quite work for me in some aspects but I also did enjoy it and I look forward to reading the next one!




No Judgments (Little Bridge Island #1) – Meg Cabot

No Judgments (Little Bridge Island #1) – Meg CabotTitle: No Judgments (Little Bridge Island #1) by Meg Cabot
Publishing Info: September 24, 2019 by HarperCollins
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Date Completed: September 17, 2019
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Related Posts: Size 12 and Ready to Rock (Heather Wells #4), The Bride Wore Size 12 (Heather Wells #5), The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries #1)

The storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina “Bree” Beckham’s love life…

When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too.


Meg Cabot was one of the authors that got me back into reading all those years ago and so her books always hold a special place in my heart! It’s been a long time since I’ve read a new one and I was so excited to read NO JUDGMENTS!

It was so much fun to be back in the world of Meg Cabot’s writing again! She always has such a fun feel with the perfect mix of sass and goofy and NO JUDGMENTS was no exception! It was such an easy read with some great things to ground it as well and I especially enjoyed the setting of the little island in the Florida Keys too. I haven’t been to the Keys but I could just so clearly picture it and I loved the little island feel, including all of its residents!

I did enjoy the romance aspect of it and I thought Sabrina and Drew had some great chemistry! I think there could have been a little bit more somewhere because while I fully enjoyed it, I didn’t quite love it. I think Bree was just a little too stubborn at times, which can bother me, and there were moments where I felt the hate-to-love was a little too drawn out and I was ready to get to the romance part.

I have to admit, I was expecting just a bit more from this book. Maybe I built it up too much in my head because I love Meg Cabot so much and her contemporary novels always sit well with me but I felt like it took a long time to get to a few different plot points. I think it was about halfway through when we finally go to why it’s called “NO JUDGMENTS” and I wished it had been introduced sooner. Ultimately what didn’t do it for me were the characters. I kind of felt like the island had more personality than the characters did and I wanted so much more backstory from them. They had good histories and I would have loved to see more of that in their every day encounters. Drew did have some good family moments but those were kind of more about than family than they were about him and I found some of the island residents more interesting than our main characters at times.


Kept Me Hooked On: A nostalgic author for me. I love being able to keep reading an author who got me back into reading, and that will always be special for me!
Left Me Wanting More: Character development. I just needed more from the main characters. They were just a little flat and having some more well-rounded characters could have made the book that much better for me

Addiction Rating
Try it

Even though it wasn’t my favorite book of Meg Cabot’s, I still found to it to be a fun, easy romantic read. If you like her adult contemporary books, I’d still recommend it and say it’s worth the read!




The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners – Christina LaurenTitle: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Publishing Info: May 14, 2019 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Date Completed: May 30, 2019
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.


This book was so cute! Another great hit from Christina Lauren and I think maybe my favorite one yet. I adore a good hate-to-love story and this book was cute on so many different levels.

The beginning really reminded me THE HATING GAME with its adorable hateful tension and the way the two main characters, Olive and Ethan, interacted with each other. I think the beginning with that spiteful tension was one of my favorite parts of the book. The snark and sass was just perfect and it really had that HATING GAME vibe like I mentioned. I am glad that it sort of moved away from that feel because I wanted the book to be unique but I did also kind of miss it when it did haha!

I really loved the whole set-up of the book. How these two managed to get stuck together on a not-honeymoon was very cute and very well planned! The perfect way to stick them together and have everything really make sense, plus some funny family hijinks in the beginning as well. I would have liked to see maybe a little bit more family throughout the book but I also did like that it didn’t take away from the main characters and their story as well. They made little appearances here and there but I think that could have added a little more depth to the story by adding just a little more family history!

The romance was positively adorable and I loved every minute of it! The unfolding was just lovely and these two characters had great chemistry. I think I could have used juuuust a little more tension (I’m a sucker for that hate-to-love chemistry) but I did like spending sometime in the cute moments of the romance too!

I also really appreciated how there were other plots in the book as well, not just the romance. Olive is dealing with being laid off and finding a new job. There are stressors in her sister’s brand-new marriage and things that she finds out that are very concerning. All of these things also put a stress on her evolving relationship with Ethan. It’s a great mix of real-life feels and grounding real-life situations.

I highly recommend THE UNHONEYMOONERS and I can see why so many people have loved it already! I’m really enjoyed all of the Christina Lauren romances I’ve read and I think this is my favorite so far.


Kept Me Hooked On: Hate-to-love romances. I love a good hate-to-love romance but there’s something so special when it’s done just right! Christina Lauren totally nailed this one and it was so much fun to read!
Left Me Wanting More: Family history. I feel like we could have had a few more appearances from the families since both of them played a role in the story. I would have loved that extra little layer of family/character/world building to really have me connect with the characters that much more.

Addiction Rating
Read it

This was such a fun story and I really enjoyed it from start to finish! A lot of other readers have been enjoying it too so I don’t hesitate to recommend this one along with some other romance favorites if you’re looking for a fun love story this summer! (Or any time)




My Favorite Half-Night Stand – Christina Lauren

My Favorite Half-Night Stand – Christina LaurenTitle: My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
Publishing Info: December 4, 2018 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Scribd
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Date Completed: February 7, 2019
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship...but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.


This was super cute! I almost always enjoy a good friends-to-more romance and I really loved how this one was handled. The online dating aspect was brought about in a cute way, really getting the whole group involved and not making it so singled out for the two main characters. I really loved how there wasn’t a love triangle or anything and how everyone didn’t have to get paired off in the end.

The big friend group was a ton of fun and I had a great time reading about Millie and all of her guy friends! I really loved the dynamic and how each guy had a unique personality. With so many, it was a little confusing at first but as I got to know the group, they really did stand out on their own.

I thought the romance was cute and handled well! It had a great pace, in my opinion, and I liked the back-and-forth with the characters’ feelings and how they were unsure of what to do. It really felt natural but still fit a novel well, not dragging anything out too long and not jumping into anything too quickly.

Quite enjoyable and one I’d recommend for a nice, light romance! I would recommend for fans of THE HATING GAME (except THG is just so perfect).


Kept Me Hooked On: Adult romance. I haven’t read a lot of adult/romance books lately and I’ve been dipping into a few adult contemporary/romance noels. These have been ranging more on the romance end than just a love story and they’ve been really fun!
Left Me Wanting More: Friend time. I really did enjoy the romance kicking off right off the bat but I also wished for a little more friend time as well.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

This was a great read and really fun all-around! The sass amongst the characters was perfect and I enjoyed the world-building and story.




The Best-Friend-Turned-Boyfriend Romance | Part 2

It was actually just about two years ago that I first posted the original “Best-Friend-Turned-Boyfriend Romance” post after watching an episode of New Girl that sort of inspired the whole thing. Immediately it set my feelings in tizzy because I LOVE best friends falling for each other and I felt inspired to write a post about it because it’s also one of my favorite tropes in literature.

In two years, I’ve done a LOT of reading (over two hundred more books and holy cow, when you put it that way, that number sounds crazy) so I thought it was time to update this post with a “PART 2”. I’ve read quite a few more “falling for the best friend” stories that I just HAVE to share with you if you haven’t read them! So open up Goodreads, get your TBRs ready — these are some books you HAVE to read!




ON THE FENCE had so many things that I love in a book — a tomboy, a great family dynamic, and a story about a girl and the boy next door. YES. Charlie (short for Charlotte) and Braden are best friends and next-door neighbors and I loved watching their friendship start to develop into something more. I absolutely LOVED them and this entire book from Kasie West! I highly recommend it for a fun and heart-fluttering read!
REVIEW: On the Fence – Kasie West


ALTHEA & OLIVER is a bit grittier of a novel, set in the 1990s. Althea has a bit of a rebellious streak and Oliver has a rare sleeping disorder that puts him out of commission for up to weeks at a time… But the two are best friends and stick together through thick and thin. Oliver is not RIGHT next door but he’s the boy down the street and that’s close enough for me! I really loved their friendship and it’s so intense seeing those romantic feelings develop after knowing someone for so long and so well.
REVIEW: Althea & Oliver – Cristina Moracho


LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE actually doesn’t come out until May, but I immediately picked up because of the romantic best friend possibility! It’s definitely an emotionally-charged book with feelings flying all over the place when Kelsey’s ex-best friend (and neighbor boy) David shows back up in her life. I was definitely on the edge of my seat trying to see what would happen to these two and even what DID happen to these two through the flashbacks throughout the book. Keep your eyes peeled for this one!



What I really loved about BETTER OFF FRIENDS was how much time we got to see these two characters — Macallan and Levi — as best friends before things started to happen. I LOVE witnessing that friendship portion and even though the book started out a bit younger (going from junior high through high school), I never felt like the characters were too young for me to relate. I also had a male best friend who lived next door (though I think Levi lived in the neighborhood and not really next door? But still.) and grew up with so it’s always something I really connect with! It’s always interesting when things start to escalate and then then characters have to reassess their feels. THE BUTTERFLIES I GET.
REVIEW: Better Off Friends – Elizabeth Eulberg


What’s interesting about this romance is that well A) it’s a fantasy trilogy so there’s a WHOLE LOT MORE than just a romance going on and B) it’s a three-book series so it develops over time instead of a single book. We meet Mal and Alina who have grown up together, who are best friends, and who would walk through hell for each other and it’s so incredibly interesting and touching to witness how their friendship evolves as the series progresses. At first I didn’t like them romantic feelings there — I know, with my affinity for this trope, how could I not? — but the more things developed, the more I loved the two together. It’s really fascinating to see this play out in a fantasy trilogy too!
REVIEWS: The Witch of Duva (Grisha Trilogy#0.5) – Leigh Bardugo // Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy #1) – Leigh Bardugo // Re-Read Review: Shadow and Bone // The Taylor (Grisha Trilogy #1.5) – Leigh Bardugo // Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy #2) – Leigh Bardugo // Re-Read Review: Siege and Storm // The Too-Clever Fox (Grisha Trilogy #2.5) – Leigh Bardugo // Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy #3) – Leigh Bardugo


Prom is a real struggle for Heart (yes, that’s her real name) as she tries to decide whether to go to the dance with her brother’s friend or with her group of friends… but all the while we see this THING start to develop between her and one of her best friends… and it is magical. I loved how everything unfolded and just thinking about everything that transpires gives me all the little feelings again! This was definitely a fun novel overall and I really fell in love with it.
REVIEW: Ask Again Later – Liz Czukas



I absolutely loved NANTUCKET BLUE. I just really related to Cricket overall but I also loved the romance in this book. It develops slowly but surely and it’s a teensy bit on the forbidden side due to who the boy is. It’s a friend but definitely someone she shouldn’t be falling for… so that kind of made me love it even more. I suppose you might be able to guess who it is once you start reading BUT I didn’t know going in how the story would unfold so you’ll just have to read it yourself to find out!
REVIEW: Nantucket Blue (Nantucket #1) – Leila Howland


Ellie Cahill is actually the pseudonym for author Liz Czukas for her new adult novels so if that name looks familiar, it’s because I just mentioned ALSO KNOWN AS above! WHEN JOSS MET MATT was absolutely perfection in my eyes. I loved every bit of it and it has an amazing friendship that of course turns into a jumble of feelings when friend Joss and Matt begin a sort of “friends with benefits” plan after a relationship gone very, very bad. I really just loved both characters and the friendship was fantastic so if you’re into new adult or looking to get into it, this one should be on your list!
REVIEW: When Joss Met Matt – Ellie Cahill


Well, the series isn’t over yet but it’s already broken my heart a few times (or really just set my feelings on edge). This is such a tight knit group of characters and it’s just so amazing to watch ALL of them interact. My feelings have sort of been all over the place but I think I’ve finally settled on a permanent space for them… that is, until the final book comes out this fall and everything could just totally break me. Anyway, if you haven’t read the series, there’s a major premise that if Blue (the main female character) kisses her true love, he will die. Naturally, that sets us up for all kinds of heartache and just THINKING about the scenes in the third book… Gah. WAY too many feelings. Soooo, if you like your feelings being messed with (in a good way?)DEFINTELY go read this series. You can binge read it this year. You’re welcome.
REVIEWS: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) – Maggie Stiefvater // The Dream Thieves (The Raven Boys #2) – Maggie Stiefvater // Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) – Maggie Stiefvater

 So that’s my new list of favorite best-friend-to-more books! Which of these have you read? Are there any more out there I’m missing? (I know there are… and I want them all!)

Guest Post from Lauren Smith: “How to Make a Rake Fall in Love With You”

Hi, friends! I just got MARRIED and am now on my honeymoon in Aruba!!! I won’t be able to attend to my blog this week since Shane and I are having fun in the sun and relaxing, but not to worry — I’ve left my blog in good hands. All this week, I have a series of guest post-ers (and they all have some pretty great posts!

Today’s guest post is from author Lauren Smith whose new novel, His Wicked Seduction, was just released on Tuesday, November 11th! She has a great guest post for us today so check it out below!

10 Ways to Make a Rake Fall in Love with You

A little bird recently told me that Brittany is getting MARRIED! How exciting and wonderful! I couldn’t think of a better love story than hers, a bookworm and a man into cars falling in love and tying the knot. That sounds just like the next great romance novel! (Hint hint.) Naturally I wanted to add my congratulations and Horatia Sheridan, the heroine from my latest novel, His Wicked Seduction, wanted to offer some good advice for all those other ladies out there still searching for the own happily ever afters.

  1. Always tuck your nose in a book. He can’t resist a smart woman who has better things to do than try to find a husband.
  2. When he comes over to visit your brother (his best friend), play it cool. He’ll like the challenge of a good seduction.
  3. During your first kiss, be sure to kiss him back at first, and then shove him away. He’ll see your passion and your good sense and want you all the more.
  4. When an old enemy from his past threatens your life, accept the rake’s invitation to go to his home for Christmas. It’s only fair to let him protect you since he wants to be a hero.
  5. Make sure to notice all the mistletoe and kissing boughs his younger brother hung all over the house. Rakes love a good surprise kiss.
  6. If he has brothers, make sure to dance with all of them. He’ll not want to share you with anyone.
  7. When engaged in a snowball fight with his family and friends, make sure you beat him. Rakes have egos but they love spirited, cunning ladies.
  8. Turn to him when you’re hurting because a good rake loves to ease a woman’s sufferings and will want to hold you while you cry.
  9. Don’t let your brother find out you love his friend. They might end up dueling on Christmas Day.
  10. If he runs into a burning cottage to save your injured brother, go in after him. He’ll see how much you love him, and he’ll be brave enough to love you back.

Congratulations Brittany! I hope you’ll post some fabulous wedding pictures for everyone to see!!

His Wicked Seduction by Lauren SmithLauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets, a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and Semi-Finalist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

Her latest book, His Wicked Seduction, released on November 11, 2014 (Samhain Publishing). Warning: This book contains an intelligent lady who is determined to seduce her brother’s friend, a brooding rake whose toy of choice in bed is a little bit of bondage with a piece of red silk, a loyal band of merry rogues and a Christmas love so scorching you’ll need fresh snow to extinguish it.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Thank you so much for guest posting on my blog today, Lauren!! I think that is VERY sound advice 😉 Such a fun post and I’m so happy to have had you on the blog today!

What do you think, guys? A surefire way to romance? 😀 And be sure to check out Lauren’s latest book from the links above!

Total Romance Domination?

A lot of my discussion posts happen to be based on current trends in my reading or trends I’m noticing throughout the blogosphere and lately I’ve been having issues with fantasy and dystopian books. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE them. I appreciate the action, adventure, and world building that they provide and they will always hold a special place in my heart, but I’ve been wondering if lately we as readers are being marketed books based off of their romances instead of the foundations of the stories themselves.

I love a good romance in ANY book. Of course I’m expecting (and hoping!) to see a good romance in most of the books that I read and I think romances add a great depth to any given book in any given genre. I tend to learn a lot about a character by who they choose as a love interest and how the two interact. My issue lately is that I feel like romance is taking over the non-contemporary reads. I love a good contemporary romance and hello, it says it right there — contemporary romance. I fully expect (and want) the romance to be one of the major plot points in those books… But I’ve been through a string of books lately that could have very easily been five star books, except for the fact that the romance seemed to take over the story, pushing a lot of the world building to the back burner. Then the world building didn’t reappear much until the latter half of the book when it was needed for plot twists or reveals or the history of a specific character. I know this is my personal reading preference, but for me? I need a lot of that world building up front. When I start a fantasy, sci-fi, or dystopian, I’m entering a totally new world. I don’t know the history of it. I don’t know the people. I don’t know the culture or the traditions and may not even know the language, and all of those things are really important to me in order to be immediately captivated by this new experience and this interesting place which admittedly, I’m always eager to explore.

Of course, I don’t need ALL of the world building right away. There’s a fine line between establishing a world and explaining as the book goes along and infodumping. I’m no author so I can’t say exactly how hard it is to toe that line because I haven’t attempted to do it. (Actually, I made one sad attempt during NaNoWriMo of 2012 and I wrote myself into a corner with both plot and world building so I’m gonna say, it’s pretty hard!) I guess what I’m saying is, I feel like a romance should be interspersed throughout the story. It should grow from beginning to end, whether that relationship was previously established or two characters are meeting for the first time. I don’t like when the heroine (as it’s usually a female in the books I’ve read) gets so overwhelmed with her current relationship issues (whatever they may be) that all of these amazing details about this new world that the author has created take a backseat. I always appreciate when an author is so skilled to mix in world building, plot, suspense, romance, and character development all in one and I honestly don’t know how they do it because it’s incredibly amazing when it all meshes so perfectly!


Part of it makes me wonder… Am I noticing this because it’s intentional? Is the market swinging toward heavier romance subplots (or in this case, becoming a main plot)? Are authors being swayed by editors and publishers and other industry professionals to amp up the romance? Or is this just a totally random thing happen to pick up with my recent reads?

Now, I know we all have different reading tastes and obviously that’s a good thing! Some of those books I ended up rating completely differently than I might have had the romance aspect not taken over the plot and dwarfed the world building. Is that a personal preference? Absolutely. But I’m also wondering if this is something that anyone else has noticed too. Those same books that I ended up rating lower because I felt so overwhelmed by the romance and underwhelmed by the world building, others really loved.  I always feel like I’m missing something when that happens, but I can’t help but feel like the book had so much potential and I was just too blinded by this love interest and the drama that surrounded it that so many other things just got lost.

Obviously I can’t agree with everyone on every book — and frankly, that would be boring! — but I have to ask if anyone else has been feeling like they’re drowning in romantic drama lately. Are we (Readers? Authors? Editors? Publishers?) putting a larger emphasis on the romances in the books that we’re reading nowadays? Or is it just something that I’m feeling personally because I’m someone who is obsessed with world-building?

So let me know! Do you have issues with certain romances in some of your dystopian, fantasy, or sci-fi reads? Do you ever wish for more world building in place of the stage time some of the romances take or is a good romance a key element of your non-contemporary reads?

The Book Addict’s GUIDE… to contemporary!

Looking for a good YA romance? One of my favorite things about writing reviews for my blog is the very end where I scour my previous reviews and carefully (VERY carefully) select two books to recommend based on how the book read and of course, what genre it is. It’s something that I really have a lot of fun with sooooo I was thinking (and who are we kidding, I was on Pinterest too) and I stumbled upon some infographics, which for some reason I totally love in the nerdiest way possible. I wanted to create something like that about books but let’s face it… I don’t wouldn’t really know where to start as far as info goes but I CAN make graphics.

Start here! I decided to make a neat little graphic as sort of a suggestion guide to my favorite books! I decided to start with contemporary and hope to tackle other genres in the future. Hope you guys like it and are able to find a good contemporary based on your current reading mood! So, without further ado, welcome to the very first Book Addict’s GUIDE! (Get it?!)

Contemporary Book Recommendations YA Guide Infographic



Here’s a list of the books mentioned! All links will take you to my reviews (books without links are reviews that have not been posted yet).

4. HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter
5. ALSO KNOWN AS by Robin Benway
6. TIME BETWEEN US by Tamara Ireland Stone
7. BEORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver
8. MEANT TO BE by Lauren Morrill
9. ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins
11. JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta
12. JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman
13. THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E. Smith
15. LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins
16. GOLDEN by Jessi Kirby
17. TORCHED by Andrea Lynn Colt
18. THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson
19. IF I STAY by Gayle Forman
22. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green
23. THE PRINCESSES OF IOWA by M. Molly Backes
24. PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry
26. CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein
27. GOING VINTAGE by Lindsey Leavitt
28. ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
29. THE REECE MALCOLM LIST by Amy Spalding
30. SUCH A RUSH by Jennifer Echols

Looking for more recommendations? Check out some other reading recommendation guides below!

The Best-Friend-Turned-Boyfriend Romance

Guys. I just finished watching New Girl the other day. THE episode…. You know the one…

And after immediately going to Twitter and gushing with Alyssa and Amy, I was like, YES! Another point for the best friend!!! I’m not 100% sure what it is I love so much about the best-friend-turned-boyfriend romance, but I CAN tell you that it is by far my favorite type of romance in almost any book. If I had to stop and think about it? YES. Here are my reasons:

  • It’s because this guy is someone you know so well and someone who gets you.
  • He’s always been there for you and it’s fiercely protective of you, but always in a good way.
  • He’s there if you’re happy or upset.
  • You don’t have to feel weird or stupid in front of him because he’s your friend — you’re already comfortable!
  • He’s already seen your boyfriends come and go and has known all along that none of them were right because it was always supposed to be him.
  • Because of that one incredible moment where his secret is revealed and there’s an incredible tension between the two… And you realize you feel it too… You always have.

EEEEP seriously. Giving myself goosebumps just thinking about it! So let’s go back to some of my favorite books with this relationship dynamic, shall we? WE SHALL!


Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Okay, so this isn’t a case of a life-long friendship, but you know what? Doesn’t need to be!! Of course there was an instant attraction between Anna & St. Clair, but as he was taken, they made a great friendship in the meantime. They were relaxed with each other and despite the ever-growing and unspoken tension between them, they made a great dynamic duo. Obvs we know how Anna feels about St. Clair (we know how everyone feels about St. Clair!) so we can see her true feelings from the start… But when we learn that — gasp! — St. Clair might actually feel the same way!? Wooooot!!! BEST THING EVER!!! My heart jumps for joy! All the feelings come rushing to the surface! THE WHOLE BOOK COMES TOGETHER. Words cannot express the feelings I felt at the end of this book. Just… just… love.


The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

THIS is one of my favorites. Violet and Jay!? Yes!!!! I’ve only read book one so far, but I loved seeing their relationship develop. When Violet first starts to see Jay in a different light and she’s finally starting to realize she has some feelings for her best friend… It’s like the whole book comes together and all the little butterflies are flitting and fluttering…
I just loved seeing those best friends get together!


Discussion: Saying ‘So Long’ to the Twilight Saga…

Yep. I’m going there. And I never thought I’d say it, but I honestly think Taylor Lautner helped this case (maybe he was the only person who could act in the movies…?) but I was totally on “Team Jacob” (I don’t know why but usually I have an aversion to “teams” – Jacob, however, seems natural). He had a lot of passion and he was just a better fit for Bella. Hey, he was closer to her in age than Edward was! (For real. It’s true) Anyway, I really think I was just a sucker for the whole friends thing. I know I’ve been in Bella’s shoes where there’s a friend that wants to be more and you’re like “No way! We’re friends, dude!” but still, that didn’t stop me for rooting for Jacob Black! I just really, really liked him.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) – J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) – J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) – J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) – J.K. Rowling
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Hogwarts Library #1) – J.K. Rowling
Quidditch Through the Ages (Hogwarts Library #2) – J.K. Rowling
The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Hogwarts Library #3) – J.K. Rowling

Okay, my FAVORITE ONE OF ALLLLLLLLL! Ron Weasley & Hermione Granger of my favorite series of all-time, Harry Potter. This was YEARS IN THE MAKING. We all saw it coming and yet, everyone was so thrilled to see it happen!!!! (If you weren’t…… We may not be friends anymore. No, kidding! But maybe not.) I absolutely loved seeing this relationship grow both in the books and on film and sometimes I think the actual actors Rupert Grint and Emma Watson really should be dating in real life….. Just saying, you guys….. Anyway. Definitely one of my favorite best-friend-turned-boyfriend romances. They faced trials and tribulations, fights, peril, even death together. You can’t get much closer than that. So let’s all fangirl over this one, please!!!


Okay, enough gushing from me. Which are you favorite best friend romances? Not a fan of the best friend? Who do you root for in books? Can’t wait to hear!Enjoy the best friend romance? Here are a few other posts you may enjoy!