Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Heat Wave by TJ Klune

Book Review logo

Thank you to Tor Teen and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Heat Wave releases July 19, 2022.

"Heat Wave" by TJ Klune (cover)
Image via NetGalley

Genre: LGBTQIAP+ Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary Fantasy
Series: The Extraordinaries #3
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Nick, Seth, Gibby, and Jazz are back in action bringing justice, protection, and disaster energy to the people of Nova City.

An unexpected hero returns to Nova City and crash lands into Nick’s home, upturning his life, his family, and his understanding of what it means to be a hero in the explosive finale of the thrilling and hilarious Extraordinaries trilogy by New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune.

 

REVIEW: Heat Wave was the best possible ending for this trilogy. It wonderfully emphasized the importance of owning yourself and who you are while embracing both your strengths and weaknesses.

Nick really comes into his own in multiple ways in this book, learning what it truly means to be a hero. That not all heroes wear capes and being neurodivergent is its own kind of superpower. I also loved how his relationship with his dad and Seth progressed

It was somewhat difficult to get into the story in the beginning. Ironically, I felt just as confused as the characters because I couldn’t remember past established facts.

I loved the many incredible, adorable, funny, and heartwarming moments between the characters. Literally, family goals, squad goals, friendship goals, relationship goals. Also, Dad Squad is the best and Burrito Jerry is a down-to-earth national treasure, the hero we didn’t know we needed but are forever thankful to have. And everyone deserves a special someone to share their Swinkles Salsagheti with. Simon Burke proves once more how wicked and devious a villain he is. I thought Simon’s story-line and that of those associated with him came to satisfying, logical conclusions.

A few breaks in scenes when characters would start having a side conversation in the middle of something went on for too long in a “do we really have time for this?” kind of way. A mix of short attention span irritation and eager reader needing to know what’s about to happen next.

Looking back, I don’t know if the tensions between police and the black community ever saw a “resolution” of sorts. Are things going to stay the same or is change for the better going to happen? Also, what happened to Rebecca Firestone? Her character elevated in this book in a way I didn’t see coming. Even though she’s Nick’s sworn enemy, there was no mention of her in the conclusion.

Heat Wave was an entertaining read in which love, family, and friendship conquered all.


More by TJ Klune

The Extraordinaries
The Extraordinaries (#1)
Flash Fire (#2)

Tales From Verania
The Lightning-Struck Heart (#1)
A Destiny of Dragons (#2)
The Consumption of Magic (#3)
A Wish Upon the Stars (#4)

Green Creek
Wolfsong (#1)
Ravensong (#2)
Heartsong (#3)
Brothersong (#4)

The House in the Cerulean Sea

Under the Whispering Door


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Batter Royale by Leisl Adams

*delayed arc review*

Book Review logo

Thanks again Amulet Books and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Batter Royale is OUT NOW!

"Batter Royale" by Leisl Adams (cover)
Image via NetGalley

Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel
Rating: ⭐⭐☆☆☆
Recommend to Others?: No

ABOUT: In this fun graphic novel, a talented young chef is selected to participate in a baking reality show and finds herself mixed up in spicy competition, bitter rivalry, and sweet romance.

In Leisl Adams’s debut graphic novel, Batter Royale, an aspiring amateur baker enters the toughest, ugliest, most fearsome fight she’ll ever experience: a baking reality show.

When seventeen-year-old small-town waitress Rose impresses a famous food critic, she and her best friend, Fred, find themselves thrust into the tough world of competitive baking. The contest is an intense ten days of bizarre challenges, and the competition is cutthroat. Some competitors are willing to lie, cheat, and sabotage their way to the top. Rose may be in over her head, but she is determined to show that she can become a top chef.

Batter Royale is a fish-out-of-water style romantic comedy about climbing out of the circumstances you’re in and making your dreams come true.

 

REVIEW: Rose is a passionate baker who just got into the culinary school of her dreams. But with money tight and her parents’ relationship so strained, her dreams may be over before they’ve even begun. When Rose sneaks a dessert she made to a top food critic, she’s invited to be a contestant on a food competition show. Winning could be the answer to her problems.

Batter Royale was a cute story that flowed nicely. I liked the artwork a lot even having to view it all in black and white. Everything came full circle. I expected more and wanted more from the story, so it was a disappointing and okay read. While there was a dash of romance, Battle Royale didn’t really feel like a rom-com. More cutesy and low-key than anything.

Rose has the natural, raw talent to become an excellent baker. I normally love characters who are so passionate about what they love to do. But I had a hard time liking Rose. She’s eager but very impulsive to prove her worth as a baker that it often gets her into trouble. I feel she kind of took advantage of her friendship with Fred by not listening whenever he said when something was a bad idea. Fred’s a nice guy. I wish she’d been more considerate of his feelings.

I’m conflicted about Rose and Fred as a couple. These long-time childhood friends clearly like each other. They had good and bad moments, but were kind of a hot mess together, especially since both want different things at this point in their lives.

As for the competition itself, it’s not one I’d watch myself. I love food competition shows, but this one was a little over the top and the logistics didn’t make much sense even for fiction. Nichole, one of the contestants, made a good adversary. And I liked how helpful and considerate Rose was to the other contestants even when it risked losing the competition.

I think one of the best things about Batter Royale was that it includes several dessert recipes in between sections. Definitely made me hungry for all of it.

I wanted to like Batter Royale, but it just fell flat for me. It’s a cute story with great artwork. And I think some readers will be able to relate to Rose, her passion, and her struggles. I just needed more.


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

Book Review logo

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! The Bodyguard releases July 19, 2022.

"The Bodyguard" by Katherine Center (cover)
Image via NetGalley

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
Recommend to Others?: No

ABOUT: She’s got his back.
Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindergarten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.

He’s got her heart.
Jack Stapleton’s a household name—captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.

They’ve got a secret.
When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it.

What could possibly go wrong???
Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.

 

REVIEW: A good bodyguard rom-com that lost me at times. But I liked the story’s theme of realizing your self-worth, loving yourself, and taking chances.

Hannah is an Executive Protection Agent, the best of the best. This quirky workaholic with an endearing personality often desires escape when things become too much. Sometimes it was hard to grasp who Hannah was and what she really wanted or feared, lots of back and forth. But it’s clear she’s closed off her heart to love or close relationships given the few she has/had. I like her character though and hated seeing her doubt herself or her worth.

Jack is an uber famous actor who has lived isolated and emotionally distant from everyone and everything due to survivor’s guilt after his younger brother’s death. I liked getting to know the real Jack. Not the Jack Stapleton, renowned, beloved, charming actor extraordinaire that everyone thinks they know. But Jack, a simple, ordinary man who loves his family.

Some of the best moments of the story were during the humorous interactions between Hannah and Jack, especially knowing how much of a hardcore fan Hannah is of Jack’s film career. I liked how as they got to know each other better it put their pasts into perspective enough to reconcile and move forward. Because Jack is so widely famous and liked it’s hard for him to relax or be the real Jack. Hannah makes him laugh, happy, and relaxed. Hannah in turn slowly learns that it’s okay to take a break and enjoy life (something we should all remember to do, especially when it comes to work).

To me, there was more telling than showing as a whole. I didn’t like that there wasn’t much guessing or inferencing for the reader to do as it was continuously indicated when something bad or adverse was about to happen. Lots of “and that’s how this” or “I was going to do this” or “I was doing this when blank happened” or “ when blank entered the room” type of language. You learn pretty much far too early on what happened to Jack’s younger brother, Drew, because it’s very obviously said.

I also didn’t like the last 15% of the story. I’m not sure if we needed that last section of tension and pain, especially for Hannah. Didn’t add much value to the story given the state of Hannah and Jack’s relationship at that point. The story could’ve easily ended there. I will say, there was one line in particular that was too real in a good but heartbreaking way. Otherwise, I wasn’t a fan of this section of the book.

All of Hannah’s coworkers (except for one) I adored. Glenn Schultz is the best, grumpy boss ever. Kelly is a hoot. I also adored Connie, Jack’s mom. Despite being diagnosed with cancer, she still shines so bright with such unwavering strength.

So this was a good, maybe okay read. I had some issues with how it was told. But there were enough lighthearted, enjoyable moments that carried me through to the end.

CW: cancer, survivor’s guilt, gaslighting


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
#PubDayTuesday ARCs Book Reviews

#PubDayTuesday | ARC Review: Finding Jupiter by Kelis Rowe

Book Review logo

Thank you to Crown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Finding Jupiter is OUT NOW!

"Finding Jupiter" by Kelis Rowe (cover)
Image via NetGalley

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Sparks fly when Orion and Ray meet for the first time at a roller rink in Memphis. But these star-crossed souls have a past filled with secrets that threaten to tear them apart before their love story even begins. Found poetry, grief, and fate collide in this powerful debut.

Ray: Just once I’d like my birthday to be about me, and not the day my father died. I want to be Ray Jr., the tall girl from Memphis with the poetry beats and the braids that stay poppin’. And when I meet Orion at the skating rink, that’s exactly who I am. He pulls my hand, and instead of being defined by my past, he races me toward my future.

Orion: When I dive into the pool, it’s just me and my heartbeat. There’s no dad, no dead sister, and no distracting noises. But I can’t hold my breath forever. And since I met Ray, I don’t want to. The closer we get, though, the more I see I’m not the only one caught in her wake.

With a lyrical blend of found poetry and poignant prose, this stunning debut captures young Black love and a decades-old family secret that may shatter a romance that feels written in the stars.

 

REVIEW: Finding Jupiter is one of the best YA contemporary romances I’ve ever read. I was so impressed by this sweet and heartwarming, black love story. It was a uniquely told story of star-crossed lovers with all the Romeo and Juliet vibes without being obvious or overshadowing the characters and plot.

Orion is a swimmer with Olympic potential. He is also kind, romantic, and charming. He wears his heart on his sleeves even though his dad wishes he wasn’t so sensitive. The first time he sees Ray performing a routine on the skating rink with her friends, it’s love at first sight.

At an early age, Orion was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder (SPD), “a condition in which the brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through the senses.” His SPD ties tightly linked into his character and how he connects with others. You can see this in his sometimes tense relationship with his dad, the solace Orion finds underwater, certain compulsive routines, and his interactions with Ray.

Ray is a super talented poet who has walls around her heart. Seeing her mom still grieving the loss of her husband has made Ray wary of love. It’s too risky, so she just wants a summer fling before heading back to boarding school. But she never expected to feel so strongly for Orion.

I wasn’t too sure about Ray at first because internally she seemed very adamant about her dislike of love and relationships. I wish she’d been a little more upfront with Orion, especially when it was clear how open and honest he is about his thoughts and feelings. But I understand where she’s coming from and why she’s so hesitant. Not to mention meeting Orion kind of throws her off. He is everything she didn’t know she wanted or needed. That kind of powerful attraction can be scary.

In the end, I loved the buildup of their relationship. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions for all involved. And when family secrets are revealed it is a devastating, heartbreaking blow that I didn’t see coming at all.

Finding Jupiter is a real page-turner that will captivate you. I highlighted many great quotes throughout the book. I wish there’d been an epilogue to see where the MCs are down the road since Orion is starting college in the fall and Ray is entering her senior year of high school. Their love is so true, pure, and enviable. I would love to read more about Ray and Orion.

I highly recommend this amazing story!


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Built to Last by Erin Hahn

Book Review logo

Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Built to Last releases October 18, 2022.

"Built to Last" by Erin Hahn (cover)
Image via NetGalley

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Erin Hahn’s Built to Last is a sparkling second chance romance about owning what you’re worth and fighting for the one who got away.

Shelby Springfield has spent the last ten years trying to overcome her past, sanding it away like the rough spots on the vintage furniture she makes over. But as a former child star, it’s hard to forget a widely documented meltdown and huge public break up with her former co-star Lyle Jessup. It’s also hard to forget her other co-star and childhood sweetheart, Cameron Riggs—the one who got away.

Anytime Shelby has called, Cameron has come running… And then he runs right off again to chase stories around the world by making documentaries, too scared to admit what he really wants. But when Lyle stirs the pot, getting the two back in the spotlight with a home renovation show, Cameron can’t help but get on board.

There’s something in it for everyone—almost. Cameron wants to set down some roots. Shelby wants to prove she’s not the messy party girl anymore. And a jealous Lyle can’t help but try to get in the way. But for his two childhood friends who had more chemistry than he could ever dream of, nothing is getting in the way of their second chance at love.

 

REVIEW: I adored this story about two child stars and sweethearts with a messy history getting a second chance at love!

I was wary at first but the story gradually got better with each passing page. There was so much pining and angst between Shelby and Cameron. Even after so many years apart, their chemistry remains undeniable and strong on and off screen. It was a slow burn worth reading about. I was hooked!

I liked that Shelby and Cameron got to reconnect as they worked on the pilot for the home renovation show. Also, I loved how they had each other’s back through the whole process, especially with Lyle (who is the worst, as well as Shelby’s mom) constantly meddling. It’s a rocky slope for the main characters. They have to reconcile with their pasts (as individuals and together) in order to figure out what they most want from life and to have a future together.

I love how interchangeable the theme of renovation is throughout the story. Shelby’s discovered passion for refurbishing things. Mending family ties (or not). Revamping a once-thought lost romantic relationship. Restoring one’s self-worth. And so much more. It’s a well-done, exquisite use of theme.

The interview with the main characters at the end was nice to read. I liked the brief hint to who the next book will feature (please, let there be a book 2!).

Overall, I ended up really enjoying Built to Last. Shelby and Cameron’s romance was so sweet and tender and funny. Cameron was so loyal and charming. Shelby was so strong and passionate. I can’t wait to read whatever Hahn writes next!


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
#PubDayTuesday ARCs Book Reviews

#PubDayTuesday | ARC Review: Camp Famous by Jennifer Blecher

Book Review logo

Thank you to Greenwillow Books and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Camp Famous is OUT NOW!

"Camp Famous" by Jennifer Blecher (cover)
Image via NetGalley

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: The Princess Diaries meets Harriet the Spy when Abby—the most ordinary girl in the world—finds herself undercover at a summer camp for famous kids. From acclaimed author Jennifer Blecher, Camp Famous is an accessible and fun summertime adventure about fitting in, being brave, and letting others see who you truly are. Camp Famous is pitch-perfect for anyone who loves Disney’s Camp Rock.

Eleven-year-old Abby Herman is beyond excited that her parents are letting her go to summer camp for the first time ever. Maybe camp will be the place she’ll finally find what she’s always wanted: a best friend. But—surprise!—she’s not going to just any summer camp, she’s going to Camp Famous, the one exclusively for famous kids escaping the spotlight.

Desperate to fit in with the pop stars, princesses, and geniuses, Abby creates a fake identity as a famous author. Everything goes as planned: the other girls welcome her, she participates in camp activities, and she even inspires a pop star! But as camp comes to a close, Abby finds herself torn between who she has pretended to be and who she truly is.

 

REVIEW: An ordinary girl attending a summer camp for famous kids instantly drew me in. What a fun summer camp story about friendship and being your true self! It was easy to relate to Abby and her desire to fit in, be accepted, and make friends easily as everybody else.

The difference between Abby and the other kids presents a compelling juxtaposition of perception versus reality. Abby feels compelled to lie about her identity in order to fit in. She already has preconceived notions about celebrities and is adamant that pretending to be a famous writer will help her chances of making friends. Minus the lying, Abby’s actions are genuine

I liked getting to know some of the other campers. At Camp Famous, these kids are getting the summer camp experience and a break from the spotlight and people who think they know them but actually don’t. For a few secluded weeks, these famous children can be their true selves. To just breathe and be kids. I felt bad for one girl in Abby’s cabin whose mother has clearly been exploiting her for fame and fortune without her consent. The reality these child celebrities display is that they are still just like other kids with thoughts, feelings, and wishes. Slowly, Abby begins to see this in her interactions and discussions with them. I think it also helped that there’s variety in what each camper is famous for that kids of today connect to (i.e., inventing slime, viral dances).

I would love to read a story of how Abby navigates her new friendships with famous people in the real world. The ending was great and I think set up the right conditions for a sequel.

Camp Famous was endearing, enjoyable, and unputdownable!


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
#PubDayTuesday ARCs Book Reviews

#PubDayTuesday | ARC Review: Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas

Book Review logo

Thank you to Amulet Books and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Wildseed Witch is OUT NOW!

"Wildseed Witch" by Marti Dumas (cover)
Image via NetGalley

Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary Fantasy
Series: Wildseed Witch #1
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
Recommend to Others?: No

ABOUT: A fun middle-grade contemporary fantasy with an all-BIPOC cast, about a social-media-loving tween who gets sent to an ultra-private witch camp.

Hasani’s post-seventh-grade summer to-do list is pretty simple: get a bigger following for her makeup YouTube channel and figure out how to get her parents back together. What she does NOT expect is that an emotional outburst will spark a latent magical ability in her. Or that the magic will be strong enough to attract the attention of witches. Or that before she can say #BlackGirlMagic, she’ll be shipped off on a scholarship to a fancy finishing school for talented young ladies.

Les Belles Demoiselles is a literal charm school. Here, generations of young ladies from old-money witch families have learned to harness their magic, and alumnae grow to become some of the most powerful women across industries, including politicians, philanthropists, CEOs, entrepreneurs—and yes, even social media influencers. Needless to say, admission to the school is highly coveted, very exclusive . . . and Hasani sticks out like a weed in a rose bouquet.

While the other girls have always known they were destined to be witches, Hasani is a Wildseed––a stray witch from a family of non-witches, with no background knowledge, no way to control her magic, and a lot to catch up on. “Wildseed” may be an insult that the other girls throw at her, but Wildseeds are more powerful than they know. And Hasani will learn that there are ways to use magic and thrive that can never be taught in a classroom.

 

REVIEW: Wildseed Witch was a good story but left me with mixed feelings.

I loved that this book takes place at a charm school for young witches to learn to control their magic (“Charm, not magic.”) and eventually become powerful women in high-profile positions. It’s enhanced by being located in New Orleans, Louisiana and backdropped by the rich Louisiana Creole history.

The unique setting mixes with the classic outcast trope in which Hasani is a (potentially overpowered) wildseed among “normal,” generational witches. The people who pass through this school have a distinct idea about what a witch should be like, who counts as a witch, and the use of magic. Hasani is at a disadvantage economically, socially, and culturally the moment she accepts the invitation to attend Les Belles Demoiselles.

Up until then, she didn’t even know magic or witches existed. She is a wildseed among elitists attending a private school (figuratively, only for witches). She doesn’t have the benefit of learning from an experienced witch/relative. She’s not forewarned about the negative perception people tend to have about wildseeds.

Hasani’s time at the school is rough and disheartening. There were too many unlikable characters. Most of the girls were either outright mean or followers to the popular girls. Only was real with her. Hasani is belittled and talked down to even by a few of the teachers as an ignorant wildseed. Some judgements about certain mishaps Hasani had were harsh or uncalled for, such as when she found out her dad was getting married and lost control of her magic again. And she just had to accept these criticisms and play the game in order to graduate and be a belles demoiselles.

I somewhat liked Hasani’s character. I think she’s a relatable tween of today. I love her enthusiasm towards growing her makeup YouTube channel. But it was hard to continue to like and root for her as she kept making clearly bad/rash decisions (plus ignoring sound advice) about fitting in at school, her parent’s divorce, dad’s unexpected girlfriend, and her YouTube channel.

About halfway through the story the charm school part ends and Hasani focuses on her channel and getting her parents back together. From then on, the story felt over, like what could happen now? Nothing noteworthy really happened, which left me feeling disconnected. I kind of wish the story took place predominantly at the charm school.

Wildseed Witch was a miss for me. There are things that were done well and that I liked, such as the cats and how each person had their own flower. I loved the setting and the fact that this was an all-BIPOC cast. And the cover art is stunning! But I don’t have much interest in reading book 2. Based on the ending, I don’t know what more there could be to the story. It felt like the story was dissatisfying-ly over over.


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: That Cowboy of Mine by Donna Grant

Book Review logo

Thank you St. Martin’s Paperbacks and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! That Cowboy of Mine releases April 26, 2022.

"That Cowboy of Mine" by Donna Grant (cover)
Image via NetGalley

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Is he an enemy?

Dillon Young is proud that she inherited her aunt’s ranch. The problem: someone is trying to run her off and is willing to do whatever it takes. Strange, dangerous things keep happening. Dillion suspects her no-good neighbor and fellow wealthy rancher Hank Stephens. Never a man to get his hands dirty, he sends others to get the job done. So, when the irresistible Cal Bennett is found passed out drunk on her property, Dillion is on high alert. Until someone takes a shot at her and Cal springs to her rescue. When the hard-bodied, no-nonsense-talking cowboy points out that she may need some help, Dillion is inclined to reluctantly agree.

Or a lover?

Waking up on a stranger’s property with a shotgun in his face is not Cal Bennett’s idea of a good time. Never mind that the person on the other end of the barrel is one of the most fiercely beautiful women he has ever seen. Things get more interesting when he finds himself shielding her from flying bullets. It’s clear that this smart, savvy woman could use a hand and Cal is all too happy to lend any part of his body she requires. His proposal: pose as lovers until they find out who is after her ranch. As the danger rises and secrets are revealed, the passion explodes between them and there is no turning back.

 

REVIEW: Donna Grant outdid herself creating such a captivating mystery with a nice spicy layer of romance on top. The suspense was real! Who to trust was the big question that plagued the entire novel in all the right ways.

Dillion never expected to find home on her late aunt’s ranch nor did she expect to inherit the ranch. Ranching may be considered a man’s world but Dillion is determined to not let “accidents” or a greedy neighbor stop her from keeping the ranch afloat forever. Her determination makes you sit up and take notice. Her loyalty to home and family is endearing. I wanted so much for her to succeed (and maybe find love in the arms of a kind-hearted cowboy).

Love at first gunpoint? Odd but it adds to the overall conundrum since even Cal has no clue how he ended up blacked out drunk on the ranch.

Beforehand, Cal was still feeling down about not qualifying at the rodeo. He begins to find a new purpose in protecting Dillion from unknown dangers and possibly exploring the attraction between them. Cal is a sincere and honorable man. His protective instincts kick in after someone tries to kill Dillion. BUT since even he doesn’t know how he ended up on the farm and considering his surprise connection to Dillion’s situation, it’s understandably difficult for Dillion to trust Cal.

I like that we get Dillion’s, Cal’s, and the bad guy(s) pov! I loved the way Grant wove the plot and built up the tension between all of the characters and the romance between Cal and Dillion. The scene at the town dance? So many feelings! And the twists later on? Did not see coming (though I should have)!

I really enjoyed That Cowboy of Mine from the start to its thrilling conclusion.


More by Donna Grant

Heart of Texas
A Cowboy Like You (#4)
Looking For A Cowboy (#5)
A Cowboy Kind of Love (#6)

Reaper
Dark Alpha’s Awakening (#7)
Dark Alpha’s Redemption (#8)
Dark Alpha’s Temptation (#9)

A Dark Kings Novel
Fever (#16)
Flame (#17)

Home for a Christmas Cowboy


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Summer Nights with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews

Book Review logo

Thank you to St. Martin’s Paperbacks and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Summer Nights with a Cowboy is OUT NOW!

"Summer Nights with a Cowboy" by Caitlin Crews (cover)
Image via NetGalley

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: Kittredge Ranch #3
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: He doesn’t believe in love…

Traveling nurse Janie Atwood has come to Cold River to uncover old family secrets and maybe, if she’s lucky, find a new home. That the gorgeous, glowering sheriff next door thinks her caring for his elderly neighbor is a nefarious scheme is a bonus. Having never been anything but a good girl, Janie finds Zack Kittredge’s simmering suspicion an excellent reason to try being a little dangerous instead…

She doesn’t believe in squandering it…

Sheriff Zack Kittredge is okay with being… intense. He takes his loner status as seriously as he takes his responsibilities to protect Cold River. And he thinks cheerful Janie might be a threat to the town. But the more he gets to know her, the more he faces the truth—she’s brighter than sunshine and he’s like a moth to her flame. When Janie suggests he could use a few charm school lessons, he surprises them both by accepting. He doesn’t need help. But it’s clear he might need her…

Because the only thing hotter than the summer sun in the Rockies is the forbidden passion that burns between them…

 

REVIEW: Families are complicated. I loved how the author juxtaposed different family dynamics and relationships within in all its messy, beautiful, loving and sometimes painful ways.

Zack lives a carefully built life as a loner after leaving his family’s ranch to get away from his father. While he may seem content with his life in the town and with the family he loves, it’s clear the burdens of the past and a deeply guarded secret still weigh heavily upon him. Janie moving next door disrupts Zack’s world. He’s immediately suspicious of her and her peculiar interest in Cold River’s history, suspicions that surely explain his unusual feelings for her. I loved seeing Zack slowly loosen up and relax some and see things from a different point of view.

Janie is a complete opposite to the gruff cowboy sheriff. She’s delightful, funny, but adorably clumsy when it comes to Zack. Accidentally tripping and spilling her coffee on Zack is the best worst thing to ever happen to her. I liked how the story basically starts off with this rather cute moment as Janie laments lustfully about Zack in her head. And I love how she plays into Zack’s belief that she’s up to no good. I was pleasantly surprised as we learned what brought Janie to Cold River because it contrasted so well with Zack’s story.

All the family histories uncovered were interesting, heartbreaking, and exquisitely interwoven. Love is a profound, complicated matter in this story/series. Understanding it all and how individuals expressed their love made for a captivating read.

Crews really outdid herself with Summer Nights with a Cowboy. I really enjoyed Janie and Zack’s passionate story.


More by Caitlin Crews

Kittredge Ranch
Secret Nights With A Cowboy (#1)
All Night Long with a Cowboy (#2)


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Wednesday Wilson Fixes All Your Problems by Bree Galbraith, Illustrated by Morgan Goble

Book Review logo

Thank you Kids Can Press and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Wednesday Wilson Fixes All Your Problems releases June 7, 2022.

"Wednesday Wilson Fixes All Your Problems" by Bree Galbraith, Illustrated by Morgan Goble (cover)
Image via NetGalley

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: In this second title in the early chapter book series about everyone’s favorite young entrepreneur, Wednesday Wilson is only trying to help her brother when her latest business idea strikes! Sometimes the best business ideas pop up when you least expect them. Or that’s what happens to Wednesday Wilson, anyway, the morning her brother, Mister, locks himself in the bathroom because he’s nervous about a school presentation. When classmate Emmet convinces Mister that a worry stone will calm his nerves, Wednesday offers Mister her marble — with the promise that a Worry Marble will fix all his problems! But then Wednesday starts thinking about just how many things kids get nervous about. And, hmm, she does happen to have a whole collection of marbles. Has Wednesday just hit entrepreneurial gold?

This is the second title in the early chapter book series by Bree Galbraith that follows the ever-evolving, but always entertaining, antics of girl entrepreneur Wednesday Wilson. The highly engaging series encourages ingenuity, creative thinking and resourcefulness. It’s also loads of fun! Wednesday’s enthusiasm and energy and her one-of-a-kind take on the world will delight and inspire. Short chapters enhanced by Morgan Goble’s illustrations along with lists and clever business-themed definitions help bridge the gap for emerging readers. Wednesday has two moms, one is Black and one white, and the story features an expanding diverse cast of BIPOC and disabled characters. It also contains character education lessons on initiative and perseverance.

 

REVIEW: Another delightful business adventure with Wednesday Wilson, future entrepreneur!

Wednesday Wilson usually has a lot of big business ideas to try. But lately she’s been in a funk. As she tries to help her little brother, Mister, overcome his nerves about giving a presentation in front of the whole school, Wednesday is suddenly struck with a new business idea: the Worry Marble, guaranteed to fix all your problems..or get Wednesday into trouble once again.

I love Wednesday’s perseverance to see an idea through. She’s earnest, organized, and very persuasive. She has a vibrant personality that draws others in.

Kids can learn important skills from these books, such as basic business terminology, problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork. I like how Wednesday, her friends, and brother work together to make a genuine product that will help others.

The illustrations are expressive and bring the story to life in all the best ways. The cast of characters is wonderfully diverse. And I like how the story talks about and celebrates different types of families.

I hope there will be more books forthcoming because this is a really enjoyable series. I love that it’s equal parts entertaining and educational with great lessons to learn. Wednesday Wilson is such a fun character with a lot to offer the world.


More by Bree Galbraith

Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business (#1)


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram