Review: The Roommate by Rosie Danan

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Steam Level: 🔥🔥🔥

“Being with you doesn’t provide some warped sense of validation. You were never a fling I had to get out of my system. Our love feels like…freedom. The kind people give their lives for.”

This one grabbed ahold of my heart from the very beginning and didn’t let go until the very last page. I went in not knowing a ton about it except that a lot of my romance loving pals have been raving about it, and I think that made it even more enjoyable. This is steamy, hilarious, awkward, forced proximity fun from start to finish. There’s not a ton of angst, the premise is pretty unique, and the characters are so likable even at their worst. Clara is an adorably uptight nerd and Josh is so fun and laid back and suuuuper dreamy, especially when he says things like, “Every body is different, but none of them are wrong.” 🥰😍 I mean, COME ON. None of us stand a chance if a book boyfriend is saying stuff like that!

This is my favorite kind of slow burn—a page turner that has you wanting them to rip their clothes off, but also savoring every word because the buildup is almost as steamy as the pay off. Believe the hype and don’t sleep on this one, friends!

Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Steam Level: 🔥🔥🔥

Was this my favorite Tessa Bailey novel? No. But I do think some of the reviews are unfair and I also think that while this one had some aspects I didn’t love, I think there’s a lot of stuff to celebrate here too.

Dom and I did not hit it off. I can’t tell you how many times I muttered, “use your words” while I was reading this. While he can be hard to like at times, he is sexy AF, has a really great character arc, and the fact that he owned up to his mistakes and did the work to save his marriage, makes him a pretty good guy in my book. The point that I think a lot of reviews aren’t bringing up is that yes, Dom is difficult, but Rosie played a role in the deterioration of their marriage too. She was the one to make the last ditch effort to save their relationship, but she was silent for a really long time before that. The point is, they both allowed their marriage to slip away from them, but they both also worked their asses off to save it, and I think that’s really beautiful.

I saw some reviews that said that Dom & Rosie certainly should’ve gotten a divorce and I couldn’t disagree more. They lost their way, but they really did some hard work and had some tough conversations that allowed them to find that balance between who they are and what they need as individuals and as a couple.

There were lots of emotional moments, but supporting characters and more from the Just Us League lightened things up a bit and gave us some much needed levity.

Review: Well Played by Jen DeLuca

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Steam Level: 🔥🔥

Stacey is tired of everyone around her moving on with their lives while she’s stuck in her hometown living in an apartment attached to her parents’ house. It was fine when she was sticking around to help care for her sick mother, but now that her best friend is getting married, Stacey is feeling a little stuck. A drunk message to her former summertime kilt wearing fling turns into a romance of the digital age. But as time goes on, Stacey starts to think that the person she’s been messaging for the better part of a year can’t possibly be the emotionally unavailable Dex MacLean, but could be someone very close to him.

Huzzah! What a fun and flirty follow-up to Well Met. While this one didn’t slap quite as hard for me, I loved how the premise was a bit different and several parts of Stacey’s personality really resonated with me. It was so refreshing to read a character who is equal parts confident and self-conscious; someone who is known for their fun and approachable personality but who also has their own shit to work though. Just like in Well Met, the steam kind of came out of nowhere in the best possible way and I really loved the way Daniel & Stacey’s story played out. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden urge to eat a turkey leg and chug a tankard of mead.

Review: You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Steam Level: 🔥🔥🔥💥

Hello & Happy Friday! This is a PSA to add picking up this book to whatever weekend plans you already have because woweeeee I loved it so much!

Jasmine has just gone through a really awful and very public breakup. Ashton’s telenovela character was just killed off. When they’re flung together to star in a new Netflix-like series, they’re not so sure about each other. Ashton is stand-offish and aloof while Jasmine is the darling of the set, making friends with everyone and organizing fun group outings. After a kissing scene takes seventeen takes because their on screen chemistry isn’t really there, the two decide to buckle down and start meeting in private to run lines together. Once they both start to open up emotionally, their physical attraction brims to the surface. And when I say sparks fly??? Ummmm they SOAR.

This was just the book I needed right now! Full of diversity and representation of the Latinx community, this book is everything you want in a romance…a slightly broody/misunderstood hero, a badass heroine, fun and diverse supporting characters, fantastic chemistry, and suuuuper steamy sex! I mean, it was a bit of a slow burn the first 50% of the book and then BAM! 🎆🥵🎇 It was perfectly paced, wonderfully written, and tied up with a lovely bow at the end. Can’t wait to read more by this author!

Review: The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Steam Level: 🔥

This was such a delightful breath of fresh Alaskan air! Y’all know I’m not really the outdoorsy type, but books like this kind of make me want to be…for a sec 😂 No but seriously, Zoey & Graham are such a cute opposites attract, sunshine & grumpy couple! Zoey is fulfilling her lifelong dream of visiting Alaska and Graham owns and operates the divey-est of dives where he serves gross food with a poor attitude, and people love it! He’s a grumbly grump to the max and Zoey is a precious lovely angel. Their dynamic is so fun and flirty from the start they had me grinning constantly with their adorable and honestly, pretty wholesome, yet hilarious antics.

Review: The Trouble With Quarterbacks by R.S. Grey

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Steam Level: 🔥🔥🔥

Yummy American football player meets quirky British teacher in this hilariously adorable new RomCom from R.S. Grey. I LOVED Candace & Logan. So much. Their chemistry and attraction was instant and things only got hotter from there. Candace is just the cutest little British crumpet but she’s also an over the top stone-cold weirdo and I loved that Logan just rolled with it and loved her more for it. Logan has the protective nature of an alpha, but the gentleness good humor of a beta and honestly is there a better combination? I also loved that this explored the sacrifices that come with fame and that celebrities are actually people who have feelings and deserve privacy and boundaries just like the rest of us.

This one is a new R.S. Grey of mine and I’m already looking forward to a re-read or future audiobook listen!

Thank you so much to Rachel & InkSlinger for the e-arc in exchange for my honest review. The Trouble with Quarterbacks is out TODAY.

Mini Review: Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare

Genre: Historical Romance

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Steam Level: 🔥🔥🔥💥

Welp. Another day, another pool background photo, and of course, another Tessa Dare book that I completely devoured and loved so dang much 😍🥰.

Pauline & Griffin are actual perfection. I loved Griffin’s extra, grumpy, boujee ass from the start and Pauline is the smart-mouthed heroine we love and lift up as the queen she is! 👸🏼 If you haven’t read this one, move it up to the top of your TBR stat! And I highly recommend the audiobook. Eva Kaminsky is incredible!

July Wrap-Up

July was another weird one. Went back to work, then got sent home for two more weeks. Right now the plan is to return again on 8/5 but anything is possible at this point! Amidst all that, I read a bunch of crazy good books! It’s Leo szn now y’all, and there are some exciting things happening in August including the launch of The Romance Report with @ & my birthday!

What was your fave July read & what are you most looking forward to reading in August? Here’s the nitty gritty on what I read this month.

🎧Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥🔥

🎧Pucked by Helena Hunting (re-read) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥🔥🔥

🎧Forever Pucked by Helena Hunting (re-read) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥🔥

🎧📖The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫🔥🔥🔥

📖The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan (arc) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥

🎧Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥

📖The Subway Girl by Lisa Becker (arc) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥

📱What’s Left of Me by Kristen Granata (arc) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥

🎧Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall (ALC) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥

🎧American Love Story by Adriana Herrera ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥🔥

🎧Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥🔥

🎧Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (re-read) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥💥

📱The Rules by Lauren H. Mae (arc) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫🔥🔥💥

🎧When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🔥🔥

📱Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday (arc) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫🔥🔥🔥

🎧Mermaid Inn by Jenny Holiday ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫🔥🔥

Review: Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Steam Level: 🔥🔥🔥

Okay, friends. Saying this was a tough read would probably be the understatement of the century. I mean, if you know, you know but if you don’t, I can’t stress enough that if you’re considering reading this one, please proceed with caution. There are trigger and content warnings left and right, but parts of this book are hard to read even if you haven’t experienced any of the same trauma.

August & Iris meet on the eve of the NCAA basketball championship game that August is set to play in. They share a rare connection and chemistry, but oops—Iris has a boyfriend who just happens to be August’s longtime basketball rival, Caleb. Flash forward a bit and August and Caleb have both been drafted to the NBA. Their paths cross from time to time and therefore, August sees Iris and can’t help hoping what might have been. Everyone thinks Iris is living the dream with her NBA boyfriend, with a baby on the way. But no one knows what a nightmare her life has become behind closed doors. Caleb’s emotional abuse and gaslighting quickly escalates to unspeakable and disgusting physical and sexual abuse. Iris will stop at nothing to protect herself and her daughter and when she sees a possible way out, she takes it. She disappears for awhile, but knows if she and August are meant to be they’ll find their way back to each other.

I cannot stress this enough: please check the content warnings for this book before you read it. There are some very graphic scenes that could most definitely be triggering. But also please know that that’s not all this book is about. It is also about hope and power and motherhood and love. Iris is such a fighter who has to endure some of the most horrific abuse, but she persists and soldiers on. She changes the mother f’ing narrative, flips the script, and comes out on top and in love with the person she was meant to be with all along. Oh, and August is a freaking DOLL and I one thousand percent pictured him exactly how he’s depicted on the cover because 😍🥵 YUM.

This was my first book by Kennedy Ryan and holy wow is she talented! Can’t wait to read more by her.

Please DM me if you would like more info on the content/trigger warnings.

Review: The Rules by Lauren H. Mae

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Steam Level: 🔥🔥💦

Dani & Dylan have known each other for a couple of years now. After fulfilling their Best Man & Maid of Honor duties at their best friends’ wedding, the attraction that’s been brimming between them finally bubbles over the surface and they end up falling into bed together. Dani is a serial dater and Dylan a notorious player. So when Dani begrudgingly agrees to try an online dating experiment, she decides to keep Dylan on the hook as her booty call since she’s not allowed to have sex with any of the online dates until the experiment is over. Soon, they both catch feelings and start picturing things neither of them ever imagined they wanted.

This is the second installment in the Summer Nights stand-alone series by Lauren and she’s quickly becoming such a fun and fresh voice in the indie author community. Just like The Catch, The Rules hooked me from the beginning and I was quickly swept up in the easy chemistry between Dani & Dylan. They fit so perfectly together and it seemed so natural to root for them. This book perfectly balanced the conflict with the laid back and indulgent moments of a new couple who just enjoy each other’s company. Dani is so relatable and the kind of friend every gal wants. And if you read this book without swooning over Dylan more than once, then you’re surely made of steel.

Can’t recommend this Lauren’s books enough and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. Thanks so much to the author for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review. The Rules is available now on Amazon and KU!