Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Mini Book Reviews: April 2021

Angie Hockman

Release Date: January 19, 2021

Book Description
The Unhoneymooners meets The Hating Game in this witty, clever, and swoonworthy novel following a workaholic marketing manager who is forced to go on a cruise with her arch-nemesis when they’re up for the same promotion.

Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.
The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.

Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos - best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: They have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands...together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.

With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?
Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne, Shipped is a fresh and engaging rom-com that celebrates the power of second chances and the magic of new beginnings.
5 stars

Great read and it's wonderful on audio as well - Inés del Castillo does a great job as narrator! 

This book really had strong The Hating Game vibes, which I also loved. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

(Audio)Book Review: Loathe at First Sight

Loathe at First Sight 
Suzanne Park 
Great Jung (Narrator)

Release Date: August 18, 2020

Book Description:
Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with challenges: an insufferable CEO; sexist male coworkers; and an infuriating - yet distractingly handsome - intern, Nolan MacKenzie, aka “the guy who got hired because his uncle is the boss.”

Just when Melody thinks she’s made the worst career move of her life, her luck changes. While joking with a friend, she creates a mobile game that has male strippers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Suddenly Melody’s “joke” is her studio’s most high-profile project - and Melody’s running the show.

When Nolan is assigned to Melody’s team, she’s sure he’ll be useless. But as they grow closer, she realizes he’s smart and sexy, which makes Melody want to forget he’s her intern. As their attraction deepens, she knows it’s time to pump the brakes, even with her Korean parents breathing down her neck to hurry up and find a man.

With her project about to launch, Melody suddenly faces a slew of complications, including a devastating trolling scandal. Could the man she’s falling hard for help her play the game to win - in work and in love?

Amazon US | Goodreads

3 stars

This book was not what I expected. It was more about perception and hardship of working in a male-driven industry for an Asian-American woman, which I guess is one of those "it" topics these days. But the description of this novel sells at as romance, that basically is an afterthought here. I'm not mad about reading (or rather listening to) this book, but I wasn't thrilled with the presentation and execution.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Book Review: A Court of Silver Flames

A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4)
Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: February 16, 2021

Book Description:
Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she's struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can't seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre's Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta's orbit. But her temper isn't the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.
Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other's arms.
5 stars


It was an engrossing roller-coaster ride and is a strong fantasy romance on its own. (I dare say this reads as a stand-alone and not a spinoff, although one would greatly benefit from prior knowledge of these characters and this fantasy world’s lore). There is a lot of emotion and other aspects of the story that are brutal in many ways - Nesta takes a long road in rebuilding her character. I honestly, didn't think I would care as much but to my surprise I quite enjoyed it. To me the love story was not as strong/interesting, as Nesta's journey of coming to terms with herself and carving her own pass in life with her new friends. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

It’s been awhile… :)

Life has a way of getting busy. Priorities change so do views and interests. And then there are the everyday to-dos, endless projects, a myriad of wishes and wants. Things tend to get away from you (or rather me). I certainly don’t have the time or the freedom (or maybe even a wish) to blog as I used to some years ago (as you can tell, it’s been a few years since I did this last). I’m also not the same voracious reader that I once was. Still an adventurous cook though. Thankfully that comes in handy when one is mostly stuck at home.

2020 was not a good year for reading. Even though we were stuck home most of the year I found it hard to keep reading – something that I love(d) to do. These days I find audiobooks more my style. Nonetheless there are always at least a dozen books on my nightstand waiting for the spur-of-the-moment all-nighter or (who am I kidding?) at least five minutes for me to get a few pages in.

In the words of Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie: “and just like that” I thought to dust off my writing skills. Perhaps share a few good reads from the past few years and maybe some great recipes and ideas too. This is by no means to be a regular thing, but hopefully the mood strikes more than this one time. ;) So here are some books/series and authors that I’ve been reading and listening to:


By Christina Lauren – I’ve been slowly making my way through CLo’s back catalog ever since I read Love and Other Words, which is such a touching and sweet story. From Macy and Elliot to Josh and Hazel, and others – there is humor, love, family… gah! These novels give me all the right feels. Also, I just scored an early copy of The Soulmate Equation from Goodreads and am so excited to dive in! If you are a fan of romance, I highly recommend you check out at least one of this writing duo’s novels.

The Happy Ever After Playlist (2020) – Dreamy and romantic! Highly recommend it on audio as Zachary Webber and Erin Mallon do an excellent job as Jason and Sloan.
The Friend Zone Series
By Abby Jimenez

Monday, July 3, 2017

Book Review: Mystery Man

Mystery Man (Dream Man #1)
Kristen Ashley

Release Date: December 11, 2012

Book Description:
Night time is the right time...

Gwendolyn Kidd has met the man of her dreams. He's hot, he's sexy, and what started as a no-names-exchanged night of passion has blossomed into a year and a half-long pleasure fest. Sure, it's a little strange that he only appears in her bed at night, but Gwen is so sure he's the one, she just can't turn him away...

Hawk Delgado knows more about Gwen than she could ever imagine. She's gorgeous, headstrong, and skittish about relationships. But Hawk is facing his own demons, demons that keep him from connecting with anyone. Yet when Gwen is drawn into Denver's lethal underground scene, Hawk's protective nature comes out full force. The problem is, when Gwen gets a dose of Hawk's Alpha attitude in the daylight, she's not so sure he's the one anymore....

Amazon US | Goodreads

3.5 stars

I'm struggling a bit here with how to honestly rate and review this novel... On one hand, I was pretty engrossed with the story. On the other, I had major issues with some plot details and characters' behavior. So I decided I needed a list to sort my feelings:

There were many great moments throughout the book, both touching and emotional, as well as humorous. I always enjoy humor and sarcasm - you have to be able to laugh at yourself and situations you are in. (I even noted a bit of self-promotion from the author on her other series, and it was done in a good, fun way. As Gwen would think it: "Nice!").

If you are a big fan of the Hot Alpha man trope then this book is certainly for you! There were plenty of alpha men here (yup! multiple alpha men, lots of them). Although, I think they might've be a tad too alpha for my taste.

Add hot, steamy sexy time galore! There was palpable chemistry on these pages. Gah!

It was an addicting read - my first KA, and I'm afraid aside all the problems I had with both hero and heroine, I would still read it. (Towards the end of the book I started thinking of it in terms of Ward's BDB series except without the paranormal [I used to roll my eyes at that series as well and look where it got me!])

Did I mention? Hot alpha men everywhere - the testosterone was a little suffocating. Major control issues, caveman attitude with a bit of stalker syndrome mixed in. Yikes! -- Rein it in MM, would you!?

The heroine was a major problem for me. First, I don't really have a problem with one-night-stand turned epic-love storyline, but when that one night stand turns into [a year-and-a-half long sex-only relationship on a I-don't-need-to-know-your-name basis] I got an issue with that. Also, can someone please tell me what was so extra special about Gwen that everyone wanted to be with/save her? Can you say: damsel in distress?

And I can't even go into all the ridiculous nicknames, and over-the-top descriptions. It felt a bit cheesy, but again, when I started to think of it in BDB terms it seemed somehow okay...

So, would I read another KA book? I think the answer is "yes" - I am really tempted to know what happens to all the other alphas.

Proceed with caution! Fair warning: If phrases such as, "my woman"and "Badass World" make you cringe and throw away your beloved reading device/book, perhaps this book is not for you. *winks*

Dream Man Series:
Mystery Man (Dream Man #1)
Wild Man (Dream Man #2)
Law Man (Dream Man #3)
Motorcycle Man (Dream Man #4)
Merry and Bright (Dream Man #4.1)
Law Man Short Story (Dream Man #4.2)
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