Review: The Lion’s Den

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the Publisher (Grand Central Publishing) in exchange for an honest review. 

Wow. What a crazy ride! This book really took me on an adventure through the lives of the rich.

This is a summer mystery novel that kept me guessing until the very end. All throughout the novel you know something is up, but it won’t all be revealed until the end. The way it all came about was very smart and clever. I liked how there were small little mentions of things that would later become integral to the plot and mystery. 

One small issue that I had was that the book felt a little slow in the beginning. It took a bit to really get the book rolling. This was in part due to the flashbacks. The flashbacks were very important, but in the beginning I was super eager to learn more about the present day situation. As the book went on, I enjoyed the flashbacks more because they provided more insight into what was happening. 

Additionally, I wanted to know a little bit more about what happened to some of the supporting characters afterwards. The book wraps up everything with the main character, but not for the supporting characters. 

Overall, I recommend this book for anyone looking to get lost in a fun summer read! 


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Review: Big Summer

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Rating: ★★★½

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher (Atria Books) and a finished copy from BookSparks for promotional purposes.

I went into this book pretty blind which I think is the ideal way to read this book. The book description doesn’t give a whole lot of information. The only thing I really knew about this book was that it had a lot of unexpected twists and turns. That is 100% true. I can truthfully say that I did not see any of it coming. 

I found the pacing of the book to be a bit off. It gets off to a really slow start. It didn’t capture my interest until around page 90. There were a lot of flashbacks in the beginning that I felt slowed the book down. Fast forward to the last 90 pages, and that was incredibly fast paced. 

My favorite character was actually Drue. She reminded me a lot of Fallon Carrington from the CW’s reboot of the show, Dynasty. They had similar personalities to an extent. 

As for the plot, I still don’t quite know if I liked it or not. It was fun because it was unexpected, but at the same time I didn’t love it. 

Overall, I do recommend this book because of the unexpected surprises. It makes for a fun reading experience. This is not your typical summer beach read, so if you’re looking for something a little different, try it out! 


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Review: The Birthday Girl

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Rating: ★★★½

I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour (Storygram Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

I was really looking forward to reading this book because I love Melissa de la Cruz’s books. However, this book wasn’t as good as I expected it to be. 

As a thriller/mystery, the book falls kind of flat. There wasn’t much suspense. For a lot of the book I was waiting around for something big to happen. Nothing super thrilling happened until the very end. I was also expecting something to happen at her party but nothing really did. The big surprise happened in her past (the book is told in alternating timelines). 

One thing I did like were the descriptions. Melissa de la Cruz knows how to write about rich people and their lifestyle. I’ve read many of her books and that is a constant throughout a lot of them. I loved reading the descriptions of all the rich people at Ellie’s birthday party. They were hilarious; it was like watching a reality tv show. 

Overall, this book isn’t that surprising or thrilling but still has entertainment value. It’s a quick read, so if you want something short and entertaining to read, then go for it! 

Review: Faker

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher (Berkley Publishing) in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited to read this book because it is an own voices book written by a biracial Filipino American woman. As some of you may know, I too am a biracial Filipino American woman. I knew I had to read this book because representation matters!

All in all, I found this to be a cute romance. 

I loved Tate. Despite his tough exterior, he was such a softie and a generous lover. I loved that he put female pleasure first. Speaking of pleasure, I really liked the sex scenes. 

One of things I really liked was the communication between Emmie and Tate. Many times in contemporary romances there will be miscommunications and misunderstandings between the main characters and they will go their separate ways and sulk for a week instead of talking through it. In this book, the characters will almost immediately talk about the situation, which I find more realistic. 

This book does get comparisons to The Hating Game by Sally Thorne because of the workplace enemies-to-lovers trope. I have read that book, but it was a while ago so I don’t remember much. Because of that, I can’t speak to their similarities. 

As for the Filipino representation, I enjoyed seeing lit bits of Filipino culture like Illocano words and Filipino food. I was also happy to see Emmie talk about being darker skinned and how that has impacted her. There is also a lot of talk about Hawaii, since Emmie grew up on the Big Island. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am so happy to finally see some Filipino rep in romance! 

June 2019 wrap-up

Hi beauties! I’m back with another monthly wrap up. I read more this month than I did last month. I ended up reading 6 books. It wasn’t as many as I was hoping for but I’m still happy with it.

Here’s what I read:

Overall, I enjoyed most of what I read especially Patron Saints of Nothing. Patron Saints of Nothing is one of my new favorite books. It’s a must read!

How was your reading month? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo,


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Review: I Owe You One

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the publisher (Dial Press) in exchange for an honest review. 

I just want to start off by saying that I’m a huge Sophie Kinsella fan. Her books are always so funny and a feel good read. 

This book definitely takes a while to really get going, but once it does, it’s great. 

As usual Sophie Kinsella knows how to create an eccentric cast of characters. From Fixie’s siblings to the store employees, there was no shortage of hilarious characters. One of my personal favorites was Stacey, the overly flirtatious and sexually suggestive employee. 

I was surprised at how Christmasy this book ended up being. The last chapters centered around Christmas which I found totally appropriate for the message of the book. A lot of the book centers on Fixie and her familial relationships and the Christmas aspect brought it all together nicely. 

I didn’t find this book to be as funny as some of her other books, but I didn’t mind since it was so heart warming.  It had such a strong message of family.

I also liked the character development of Fixie. Fixie starts off as being very naive and a little bit of a pushover. But by the end she learns how to stand up for herself and what she believes in. 

Overall, this was another fabulous book by Sophie Kinsella. 


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Review: California Girls

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours as part of a review tour. 

This was my first time reading a book by Susan Mallery and I enjoyed it. 

This book was a classic chick lit novel. 

I loved the dynamic between the sisters. That felt very real and organic. The sisters did have their differences but were still able to come together when it mattered. 

I also loved how each of their stories were different. Even though they all had the commonality of getting dumped at the same time, they all went down different paths. I thought that was really important to show because everyone is different and deals with things in their own way. 

The one thing I didn’t like was how some of the situations that the characters found themselves in weren’t that realistic. For example, the way Finola found out about her husband’s affair (her husband told her right before she went on air, plus the mistress was the pop star she had to interview, who also confronted her about the affair). But this is a chick lit novel so I can look past that. Part of the fun of reading chick lit is the over the top scenarios that happen. 

Overall, this was a solid chick lit book perfect for reading while sunbathing in the warm California sun.


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SYNOPSIS:

The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters who get dumped in the same week…

Finola, a popular LA morning show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.

Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.

Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.

But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.

February 2019 wrap-up

Hi beauties! So I am back with my second wrap up. February was a pretty disappointing reading month for me. I only read 4 books. Life and school has been crazy this month so that is why. I’m hoping March will be a better month.

Here’s what I read:

Overall, I enjoyed most of what I read this month. I didn’t have any 5 star reads, but was still happy. The Gilded Wolves was probably my favorite of this month because omg the representation!

How was your reading month? Let me know in the comments!

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Review: Mistletoe Miracles (Ransom Canyon #7)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher (Harlequin) as part of their Bookstagram Christmas mailing.

This was such a heartwarming book!

This book tells three different romance stories and all of them were so cute and uplifting. They all had the common thread of finding love in unexpected places, which I loved. I liked how the author balanced the three stories. Griffin’s story seemed to get the most screen time but didn’t overshadow the other two. The other two stories got the proper attention they deserved and I’m glad the author didn’t force the stories to be longer. Sometimes less is more. 

The three storylines don’t really overlap or connect to one another (there is one or two instances of characters interacting with each other but that’s about it), but I wished they would have. That felt like a missed opportunity and it would have took it to the next level. 

This book does have a Christmas theme, but it is not super Christmasy so you can read it any time of the year. The central aspect of the book are the romances that blossom and romances are fun to read any time of year. 

Overall, this was a wonderful collection of three romance stories! I definitely recommend it if you want something sweet to read. 

Review: My Favorite Half-Night Stand

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Rating: ★★★½

I received this book for free from the publisher (Gallery Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

So I liked this book. But did I fall completely head over heels in love with it? Not really. 

Basically, I found this to be a solid contemporary romance. It was fun and a little sexy. It hit all the marks on that. I just wasn’t super blown away by it. Millie and Reid are a cute couple, but I I didn’t feel anything particularly special about them. I wanted to fall in love with their romance, but sadly it never happened for me. That being said, there were some things I really loved about it.

I loved how current it was, especially with the pop culture references. At one point (page 125) the main characters debate which is the most underrated comic in recent years and my fav, Squirrel Girl, gets mentioned (it’s totally true by the way, her comics are so underrated). 

I also really liked the layout of the messages that the group sent each other. They had cute little profile pics which I thought was a nice touch. 

Lastly, this isn’t completely relevant but I just had to share. This book hit close to home for me, but not in the usual way. My grandfather recently passed away a little over a month ago. I found it to be such a coincidence that Reid’s birthday is April 2nd (my grandfather’s birthday) and that Millie’s dad has Parkinson’s (which my grandfather also had). I just thought that was the weirdest thing ever. 

Overall, this was a really cute romance, but for me it was just missing that special something to really make me fall in love with it.