ARC Review: How the Wallflower Was Won by Eva Leigh

How the Wallflower was Won by Eva Leigh
How the Wallflower Was Won
Eva Leigh
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: September 27, 2022
Series or Standalone: Last Chance Scoundrels #2
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:2 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: Sexism; ableism; misogyny

Oh boy – I struggled with this book. I had such high hopes for this as I adored Finn, but Tabitha ruined the whole thing for me in the end. I’m still angry at how this story played out. If I could, I would rate the beginning of this story 3 stars, but I’d give the ending zero stars.

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ARC Review: Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean

Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean
Heartbreaker
Sarah MacLean
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: August 23, 2022
Series or Standalone: Hell’s Belles
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: Violence; blood; child abuse

This review is a tough one for me to write. I’ve had to sleep on my rating for this book as there were many things I liked, but a few things stopped me from loving it. Weirdly, I think this is a book I’ll enjoy more on reread than on the first read.

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How To Fake It In Hollywood by Ava Wilder feature image

ARC Review: How to Fake It in Hollywood by Ava Wilder

How to Fake It in Hollywood by Ava Wilder
How to Fake It in Hollywood
Ava Wilder
Publisher: Dell
Publication Date: June 14, 2022
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4.5 Stars


MY REVIEW

CW: Alcoholism; drug use; death of a friend; grief; references to cheating (not the main couple); references to physical abuse

Don’t be fooled by the illustrated cover and fun-sounding premise, How to Fake It in Hollywood tackles some heavy topics, most prominently alcoholism and grief, but Ava Wilder managed to write a story that perfectly balances the romance with the heaviness. This book felt like something magical, real and raw, and I cannot recommend it enough.

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ARC Review: An Impossible Impostor by Deanna Raybourn

An Impossible Impostor by Deanna Raybourn
An Impossible Impostor
Deanna Raybourn
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: February 15, 2022
Series or Standalone: Veronica Speedwell #7
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4 Stars

MY REVIEW

Starting a new Veronica Speedwell book is like being welcomed with a warm hug from an old friend or family member. It’s so comforting and soothing to be spending time with Veronica and Stoker again and getting wrapped up in their latest unexpected mystery and adventure. 

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ARC Review: Duke Gone Rogue by Christy Carlyle

The Duke Gone Rogue by Christy Carlyle
Duke Gone Rogue
Christy Carlyle
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December 28, 2021
Series or Standalone: Love on Holiday #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:4 Stars

MY REVIEW

Duke Gone Rogue is a charming start to Christy Carlyle’s new Love on Holiday series! The romance between Maddie and Will, the Duke of Ashmore, was sweet with relatively no angst. While lower on the sexy scale, I still found myself really enjoying this one as it was just so stinking cute how much these two characters came to care for each other.

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ARC Review: When You Wish Upon a Duke by Charis Michaels

When You Wish Upon a Duke by Charis Michaels
When You Wish Upon a Duke
By Charis Michaels
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: August 24, 2021
Series or Standalone: Awakened by a Kiss #2
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 4 Stars

MY REVIEW

Content warning: This book contains discussions of miscarriage

When You Wish Upon a Duke is book two in Charis Michaels Awakened by A Kiss series. This book offers Michaels’ spin on Peter Pan, focusing on Tinker Bell. While I enjoyed this one, I didn’t find it as magical as A Duchess A Day, the first book in the series that I absolutely adored. The tone in this one felt a little more serious at times, which isn’t a bad thing, but it wasn’t as light-hearted a romp as A Duchess A Day. However, I still really loved the spin Michaels put on the classic tale of Peter Pan and how she wove different elements of that story into this historical romance.

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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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ARC Review: A Scot to the Heart by Caroline Linden

A Scot to the Heart by Caroline Linden
A Scot to the Heart
by Caroline Linden
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 29, 2021
Series or Standalone: Desperately Seeking Duke #2
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 3.5 Stars

MY REVIEW

I have to say, I wasn’t sure what I was going to get with A Scot to the Heart. I liked the first book in the Desperately Seeking Duke series, About a Rogue, but I didn’t love it and the story wasn’t particularly memorable. However, A Scot to the Heart was a delightful story that I felt I instantly connected to and ended up really loving!

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The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Future of Us

Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: November 21, 2011
Series or Standalone:  Standalone
ISBN: 9781595144911
Format: ARC
Pages: 309
Source: BEA
Websites:
Jay Asher – Website/Blog 
Carolyn Mackler – Website 
Jay Asher – Twitter
Carolyn Mackler – Twitter


Rating: 4 Stars
I was super excited to read The Future of Us and it did not disappoint me. The Future of Us is a fun read that really makes you question what you would do if you could see what your life would be like in the future.
This book is told from alternating points of view of Josh and Emma. I really liked both of these characters. They were different from each other but I still really liked them. Emma and Josh are both effected by seeing their future on Facebook differently. Emma, I think, went a bit overboard with seeing her future. For Emma, she was constantly worried about being unhappy, about having a bad future. She got a bit obsessed with creating her own perfect future, that she ended up making decisions that made her future even worse. Emma was so obsessed with getting her perfect future, she seemed to neglect living in the present.
Josh, on the other hand, was the boy next door (literally). The disc that brings them both to Facebook brings them back together. I loved Josh. He was a sweet guy and you really could see that. Emma and Josh have a history, one that involves some heart-ache. I really liked that Emma and Josh had a past relationship that was not perfect, but that this weird fluke of seeing the future could bring them back together as friends. Josh was the more level-headed one of the pair. Josh, unlike Emma, realized that seeing his future was not the best thing and that maybe they should just let it be.
I really like how Josh and Emma’s relationship grew over the course of the book. There were ups and there were downs for Emma and Josh, mostly because of what Emma was learning in her future, but their relationship was perfect. I loved the ending and how their relationship was building to that point the entire book.
While I was reading this book, I felt like I was thrust back into my childhood. I grew up in the 90s and this book just reminded me of everything from it with dial-up internet that used the phone lines, walk-man, CD-roms for free internet, and a world without Facebook. I loved it. I also really liked how Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler incorporated Facebook into the story. Facebook is a completely foreign concept in 1996 and I loved Emma and Josh’s reactions to the website. Who would have imagined that through Facebook we would be sharing our life’s details with the world. I liked how Facebook was integral to the plot, but the story did not focus solely on Facebook. This book was very character driven and what they learned on Facebook influenced the characters. 
The Future of Us is an enjoyable read that makes you question if you had the chance to see your future would you and would you try to change it? With friendship, romance, and the future, The Future of Us is an interesting new story that is fun to read. 

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

A Long, Long Sleep

Anna Sheehan
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Series or Standalone:  Standalone
ISBN: 9780763652609
Format: ARC
Pages: 352
Source: BEA
Websites:
Anna Sheehan – Website 
Anna Sheehan – Facebook
A Long, Long Sleep – Candlewick Page 

Rating: 4 Stars
I was really surprised by A Long, Long Sleep. I don’t know what I was expecting from this book when I started reading it, but I was very happy with what this book turned out to be.  A Long, Long Sleepwas a lot more than just a new retelling of Sleeping Beauty, it felt like it’s own new story.
Initially, this book started out a bit slow. I had to set it down and come back to it, but once I picked up again, the story really began to come into it’s own. Around a hundred pages in, I became engrossed by the book. I really wanted to know more about Rose’s past. Rose wakes up 62 years after she was put into stasis by her parents. Everyone she knows has passed away, the world she new has changed. One thing that kept me constantly engaged in reading was the mystery of why she was constantly stass as a child. That was a mystery that I really wanted to learn more about. And I was shocked and sadden when I found the answer.
I felt really bad for Rose, the life she knew has disappeared while she was in stasis. The world has changed, with half the world’s population getting wiped out by disease in the Dark Times and then being rebuilt. Rose awoke to a world were she was an outsider, and a famous outsider at that has inherited basically everything. Initially, I was really annoyed by Rose because she was weak, and self-deprecating. But then I began to see why she was that way and sympathized with her. Over the course of the book, Rose really comes into her own too. Her world has changed, and she too has to change. With the help of Brendan, the boy who awoke her with a kiss, and Otto, a very sweet alien friend, Rose starts to gain self-confidence and self-respect and strength.
When I started this book, I was worried it was going to be a heavy sci-fiction book. However, the sci-fi element was just a platform for the rest of the story. Sure, the book does take place in the future and there are stasis tubes and such, but the sci-fi element of the story isn’t overbearing and provides the basis for a story that is very driven by characters.
The story and the characters really grew on me as I continued reading. I wanted to learn about Rose’s past, about her parents and what happened between her and her boyfriend Xavier. When Rose’s past is finally revealed I was deeply sadden and shocked. I really wanted to give a Rose a hug because her life SUCKED. And if you thought your parents are bad, wait until you learn about Rose’s parents.
I loved how the different plot lines were woven together to reveal the bigger story arc. I loved how the thing that was chasing Rose tied into Rose’s mysterious past and helped reveal answers to bigger questions. And I must say, this book did have a twist that left me shocked and deeply saddened for poor Rose. It was a bittersweet twist I would say.
A Long, Long Sleep is an emotional, unique, new read. The book and the characters grow on you as you continue reading. I really liked the ending, not everything was wrapped up in a neat bow, but enough was wrapped up to leave you satisfied. I really enjoyed this fresh take on a classic fairy tale.