Review: To Sir, With Love by Lauren Layne

To Sir, With Love by Lauren Layne
To Sir, With Love
Lauren Layne
Publisher:Gallery Books
Publication Date: June 29, 2021
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

I want to preface this review by saying I’m a sucker for anything written by Lauren Layne. I will automatically be excited and buy whatever book she is publishing without even knowing or caring what it is about. In my book, she’s one of the top contemporary romance authors out there. With To Sir, With Love, Layne once again hits it out of the park.

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ARC Review: The Wrong Marquess by Vivienne Lorret

The Wrong Marquess by Vivienne Lorret
The Wrong Marquess
Vivienne Lorret
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 29, 2021
Series or Standalone: The Mating Habits of Scoundrels #3
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

If My Kind of Earl was the definition of fun, then The Wrong Marquess was the definition of delightful. Vivienne Lorret has written a pitch-perfect romance that hits all the right notes!

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Review: Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster

Cover of Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster
Mission: Improper
By Bec McMaster
Publisher: Lochaber Press
Publication Date: August 11, 2016
Series or Standalone: London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

When I found out there was a spinoff series to the London Steampunk series, I was excited yet also nervous. I loved the London Steampunk series so much – would the spinoff live up to my expectations? After reading Mission: Improper I think it is safe to say it the series will – and it might even surpass those expectations.

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Review: My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster

Cover of My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster
My Lady Quicksilver
By Bec McMaster
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Series or Standalone: London Steampunk #3
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

Oh, man. My Lady Quicksilver starts off with a bang and does not let up! In the third entry in the London Steampunk series, the story shifts to focus on Sir Jasper Lynch, the leader of the Nighthawks, and Rosalind Fairchild, aka Mercury the leader of the humanist movement.

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Review: Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster

Cover of Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster
Heart of Iron
By Bec McMaster
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Series or Standalone:London Steampunk
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

This is my second attempt at this review as I somehow lost the first version I wrote, which I bet was a lot better than this one since I’m writing this over a week or so since I read the book instead of the next day. Sigh. Technology.

Heart of Iron is book two in the London Steampunk series by Bec McMaster and it does not disappoint! I am in love with the world that McMaster has created and she manages to build on it even more in this book as we get even deeper into the politics at play within the Echelon and learn more about the verwulfen.

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Feature image featuring Scoundrel of My Heart by Lorraine Heath

Review: Scoundrel of My Heart by Lorraine Heath

Scoundrel of My Heart
By Lorraine Heath
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: March 30, 2021
Series or Standalone: Once Upon a Dukedom #1
Links: Amazon Barnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

I was so excited to have a spinoff series of the Sins for All Seasons series and I knew I was going to enjoy this. What shocked me was just how much I enjoyed this – it far surpassed my expectations.

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The Earl Takes a Fancy by Lorraine Heath

Review: The Earl Takes a Fancy by Lorraine Heath

The Earl Takes a Fancy
By Lorraine Heath
Publisher: Avon
Release date: May 21, 2020
Series or Standalone: Sins for All Seasons #5
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW:

This might be my favorite book in the Sin for All Seasons series and I’m a bit shocked by that. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going in for Fancy’s story. Her upbringing is so different from that of the other Trewlove siblings. Born to Ettie Trewlove, the matriarch of the Trewlove clan who took in the nobility’s bastards and raised them as her own, Fancy was destined for greater things in live – a fancy house, a fancy man and fancy life. Being so much younger than her siblings and raised with these expectations, she was a bit a question mark to me, but I ended up loving her. I love her passion for books and you could tell she was truly happy when she was in her book shop.

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Review: Make It Sweet by Kristen Callihan

Make It Sweet cover by Kristen Callihan

Make It Sweet
By Kristen Callihan
Publisher: Montlake
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Series or Standalone: Standalone (though it can be a companion to Dear Enemy)
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


Kristen Callihan baked up a treat with Make It Sweet! Make It Sweet was the perfect feel-good romance novel with complex characters, a great romantic build up and not too much drama.

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Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Better Off FriendsBetter Off Friends
Elizabeth Eulberg
Point
Release Date: February 28, 2014
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 9780545551458
Websites:
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Elizabeth Eulberg has done it again! Better Off Friends is another great contemporary from Elizabeth Eulberg that left me grinning from ear to ear. 
It’s hard to review a book you liked so much. I’m finding it difficult to start off this review. There is so much I want to say, but I’m having issues figuring out how to say it. 
I loved the structure of the story. Macallan and Levi were recounting the story of their relationship, starting from when they first met in 7th grade. Between each chapters, present day Macallan and Levi would provide commentary on their actions in the past. The chapters alternated point of view between Macallan and Levi, and it was great getting into each of their heads to see how they interpreted the same events. I loved that because the story started in 7th grade, you got to see the full progression of Macallan and Levi’s friendship. You got to relive their relationships’ ups and downs. I loved that their friendship wasn’t perfect, because no friendship ever is. 
I loved both Macallan and Levi. They were extremely well written; they felt like real people. While they sometimes made stupid decisions, I couldn’t help but like them because they felt real. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when it comes to relationships with friends, and it was great to see them tackle the ups and downs of their friendship. Levi and Macallan made the book. Macallan was such a strong character. I loved how protective she was of her family and of those she cared about. Levi was adorable, and it was great seeing him trying to adapt to his new home. 
Their friendship is what drives the story. I loved seeing their relationship develop, from friends to something more. They both care deeply for each other, despite the rough patches their friendship hits. It reminded me a lot of friendship’s I’ve actually had. Their relationship wasn’t perfect, but they managed to work through their arguments and road blocks. I loved how we got to see the relationship transform and grow. Levi and Macallan realize at different times that they feel something more than just friends, but something is always getting in the way of them getting together. 
This book was so cute. While the romance is important, it is really a book that focuses on their friendship. It was great to see such a strong and complex friendship between a guy and girl. While the book does have romance, I would have enjoyed it just as much without it. This story would still be great regardless of how their romantic relationships ended up. It was really a story about friends, family and were your heart feels at home. I think this beautiful quote sums up what this book really is about: “But in truth, home isn’t necessarily where you sleep at night. It’s where you feel like yourself. Where you’re most comfortable. Where don’t have to pretend where you can just be you.” 
Elizabeth Eulberg is an author I know I can turn to for a great contemporary YA novel. Her books never fail to put a smile on my face and improve my mood. The Lonely Hearts Club helped improve my rejection from my number one college, and Better Off Friends had the same effect. Elizabeth Eulberg’s book always lighten my mood; her books remind me of the why YA books are so great. For the few hours of reading Better Off Friends, you can escape from your troubles and just enjoy the story of Levi and Macallan. Their story will lift your heart and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. I would highly recommend this book, along with Elizabeth Eulberg’s other books, to everyone and anyone as they are magical and have the power to leave you grinning from ear to ear. 

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave
Rick Yancey
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Series or Standalone: The Fifth Wave #1
ISBN: 0399162410
Pages: 480
Websites:
Rating: 4.5 Stars
I stumbled upon the 5th Wave by accident on Facebook as was extremely worried going into this book that it would not live up to all the marketing and hype. From page one I was hooked. It seems like aliens might be the hot new thing in YA (Icons was also about an alien invasion as well), and if all stories were like the 5thWave, I really wouldn’t mind.
Yancey creates a world decimated by an alien invasion. Currently on what the survivors call the 5thwave of the invasion, no one knows who to trust. Anyone can be one of the others. The world that the character live is one full of sadness, hopelessness, and distrust. Cassie, one of the main characters, is all alone, having watched her mother and father die in front of her eyes and watched her younger brother taken away. Cassie has nothing really left to live for but the slim chance that her younger brother might still be alive. In a world so desolate and bleak, it is strange that there is a small glimmer of hope for each character. I couldn’t help but want these characters to survive, despite all the horrors they have seen.
The writing in this book is fabulous. I was captivated from the prologue. I literally put the book down and told my roommate “I have never been that quickly hooked to a book. That prologue was an amazing piece of writing.” While the story jumps around from the point of view of a few characters, it wasn’t really jarring, and all the characters were connected, as the connections between each one slowly comes together over the course of the novel. I would say Cassie’s perspective, which takes up most of the book, was probably the strongest and we got more into Cassie’s mind and emotions than the other characters.
For a long book, almost 500 pages, I flew through it, finishing most of it in one night. While a book that long might feel like it took forever to get through, I didn’t have that issue. The plot rarely dragged, and I didn’t feel like I had to force myself through any of the sections of the book. I was eagerly turning backs to find out more about what was happening and learn more about this finely crafted world Yancey had created it. When I reached the end, I was shocked to find there was no more book left! I cannot wait to see how the next book in this series is as that ending was killer and this book was fantastic.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey lives up to the hype. It’s definitely one of my favorite books of the year. This book is full of emotions and managed to provide an entertaining read while also taking a look at what it means to be human. I cannot wait for the next book in this series.

P.S. You guys should check out the 5th Wave and their online marketing. It’s really awesome and I love how it promotes and ties into the book.