Month: March 2022

Book Lovers

Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

I’m writing this review fresh out of finishing this book, tears in my eyes, smiling so hard my cheeks hurt. My boyfriend is rolling his eyes at my, very typical, show of emotions. This won’t be a long review. I don’t have much to say without sounding like I’ve been paid to gush about this book.

Let me start by saying that Charlie Lastra is everything. You start with this grumpy, gruff man. You love him for his grumpiness, because let’s be real, we all love the grumpy/sunshine trope. Then you get to know him, and this character made my heart swell, and I just could not help the smile whenever you got to see a little bit more of him. Then there was the chemistry, and there was so much chemistry between him and Nora. The chemistry was enough to make a person combust.

Besides the romance you got a beautiful story of sisters and family. Having three sisters myself and being so close to my family it was so lovely to see a story that includes the importance of the family connection. That there are flaws and fights and things on the inside aren’t always what is projected on the outside, but family truly is everything. That family can be your best friends, not despite the bad, but because the good is so good it puts everything else into perspective. I love stories about family and this one was written so exceptionally well.

Overall, this book was so well rounded. Emily Henry writes exceptional love stories, but more than that she writes exceptionally stories all together. That romance is so much more than the love. It’s about all that goes on around the love story. That without all of the other stuff, love isn’t possible.


The Soulmate Equation

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Then her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Peña. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

I’m a newer fan of Christina Lauren, the writing duo that is compiled of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. I purchased my first of their books I would read in late 2020, after a hellish year and needing an escape. And then I purchased another and another until next thing I knew I had read 6 of their books, so when The Soulmate Equation was announced I was excited. I have a problem with reading hardcover books though, so if I can avoid it I will. Even though it killed me I waited for the paperback to be released, and it was on my doorstep 2 days later. Once I started, I didn’t want to put it down. There’s something so heartwarming about the stories this friendship creates.

The thing with Christina Lauren is that you don’t know the spice level of their books until you start reading them. Some books are downright dirty, while others have fade to black scenes. The sex in this book was mild and didn’t take up too much of the story. It felt like a good middle ground to their other books.

Overall, I would say this was a great book. It didn’t blow me away, and it wasn’t life altering. But that’s not what you’re looking for when you pick up on of these books. You’re looking for an escape. For a story you know will have a happily ever after. Christina Lauren succeeded in giving us that.


House of Sky and Breath

Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal–they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.

The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what’s right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.

Let me preface this review with this, Sarah J Maas is one of those authors for me. The ones that no matter what they publish you’re going to buy multiple copies of it. So as soon as this book was announced I had 2 copies pre-ordered. I’m going to make this review spoiler free for House of Sky and Breath, but there may be some spoilers for House of Earth and Blood, though I will try to keep this spoiler free for both.

It has taken me four days to gather my thoughts to write this review, and I’m still not sure I’m in the right mindset. I’m going to give it a shot anyway. Following the events of HOEAB I was justifiably cautious going in. SJM tends to be an emotional writer, but there was something so raw and real about the emotion in that book. Maybe it was because it was a more modern take on fantasy than she normally writes, maybe it was because it dealt so heavily with grief. Either way I knew HOSAB was going to be just as emotional, if not more so. I wasn’t wrong. Unlike HOEAB we got the POV of many more characters. Bryce and Hunt’s emotional trauma was something to expect, it was clear in book 1, and that kind of trauma doesn’t resolve itself in a single book. What took me by surprise was the emotional punch we got from characters like Ruhn, Tharion, and Ithan. From the first page the emotional turmoil of each character was clear, and that didn’t get lost as the story went on.

What I liked the most about this book was getting into the heads of so many characters. HOEAB was, for the most part, written in the POV of Bryce and Hunt. For the story we were given I think that it worked, but HOSAB was so much more than their story. This book really opened the world of Crescent City, and with that we needed to hear from more characters. I think what surprised me the most was how much I liked Ithan’s character. While there was some redemption at the end of HOEAB, I left with almost no opinion of his character. Getting some background about him, while simultaneously watching him in the present, gave me a better understanding of who he was in the first book. As I finished this book I found myself excited to see what was in store for his character.

Let’s talk spice. SJM has said that HOSAB has 500% more sex than HOEAB, boy was she not kidding. What made a big difference from A Court of Silver Flames (for all you ACOTAR fans) was its relation to the story. The sex in this book felt like it was there to enhance the story, whereas Silver Flames felt like sex for the sake of sex. I am in no way bashing spicy books, sometimes you need something spicy, I just enjoyed how it felt natural. It was in no way any less sexy (the boat scene holy shit), but it was meaningful as well.

Here’s where I’m going to sum up my feelings. Overall, I loved it. From start to finish I loved it. It took me way longer than it normally would to read it, but that was because I knew there was going to be a crazy ending. I knew that when this was over, and I had to begin my long wait for the next book, there was going to be something missing in my life. I was not wrong. The ending of that book will be on my mind for a long time, and I will find no peace until I see how this trilogy ends. The next book is as necessary as my next breath.


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