Review: Blame It on the Brontes

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Rating: ★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from Books Forward for promotional purposes.

I was very excited to read this book because I love the premise (I love books about books/literature and I love the Brontes). Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. 

My main critique is that the book is too long. The book is roughly 370 pages (not including title pages, acknowledgments, etc.), but could have been whittled down to around 300. The book is very light on events that drive the plot forward. After the main character, Athena, moves back to her hometown to work on her book, not much really happens until the end. As for the romance aspect, there weren’t many fun rom-com moments to keep the book interesting. 

The mystery surrounding the identity of C.L. Garland (the subject of her book) was also not very exciting. I was expecting there to be a lot of crazy hijinks from Athena while she tries to uncover the truth, but those moments were also very limited. 

I did like some things about the book. I liked the small town vibes, especially with Athena working at the cafe. It felt very cozy. The townspeople made great supporting characters and added some humor to the story. I also enjoyed the literary references made throughout the book and the Bronte quotes that headlined every chapter. 

Overall, the book didn’t work for me. However, it might work for you if you want a second chance romance with some literary references and cozy vibes. 


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Review: Diary of a Contemporary Woman

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of the book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book was quite the ride!

First, I want to preface this review and mention that the story does contain multiple explicit sexual scenes. If that is not your thing, then you probably should skip this one. But I will also say that this book is so much more than just sexy scenes. 

There was a good balance between the sexy and the more serious. The book delves deep into the main character and her journey of self discovery. It also heavily explores complex family dynamics. The main character’s family is a piece of work to say the least! 

I loved the conversational tone of the book. It really felt like I was reading the main character’s diary and that she was talking directly to me as a friend. It made it such an easy and pleasant read.

As a bonus, the author made a Spotify playlist of the songs mentioned in the book. I love it when authors incorporate music into their books. It helps bring the story to life! 

My one critique is that the book ends rather abruptly and on a major cliffhanger. I believe this is just the first book but I wanted a little more closure.

Overall, if you’re looking for a quick and easy women’s fiction book, and don’t mind some hot and steamy scenes, consider reading this one! 


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Review: Counterfeit

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (William Morrow) for promotional purposes. 

This was such a fun and clever story! 

First off, I have always loved luxury goods, especially handbags so the premise of this book was right up my alley. 

Plot-wise, the twist halfway through was so smart and I did not see it coming. As soon as I got to the twist, I thought to myself, “This book is brilliant.” I won’t say much about the twist but I will say that it kept the book interesting. 

I enjoyed the author’s writing style. It’s very effortless and flows well. It made the book an easy and smooth read. 

The book also had some relatable quotes about being Asian American. For example at one point Ava reflects, “Asian families are different from white families. We don’t talk the way you all do. I mean, we talk, of course we talk, but not about our fears, our pain, our deepest, darkest secrets” (pg. 211). As an Asian American I find this quote to be so true. My (Asian) family talks, but it’s definitely not anything deep or soul searching. There is a lot of repression happening. 

I found that this book would make a great movie. I hope it gets adapted one day because the luxury handbag aspect would make for a very stylish film. 

Overall, I recommend this book to readers who love designer bags. Also, it gave me some Crazy Rich Asians vibes, so if you like that book, you’ll probably like this one. 


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Review: Fangirl, Vol. 2 (Fangirl: The Manga #2)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free for promotional purposes.

Full disclosure: I have not read volume 1 of this manga. However, I have read Fangirl, the novel that this is based upon, and have always been curious about this manga adaptation. I am familiar with the story so I was able to read and understand this volume without having read volume 1. 

If I could use one word to describe this book it would be cozy. It feels like such a comfort read, probably because the book is set during the fall/winter. It has those cozy vibes that makes you want to read this while curled up with a blanket and a hot beverage. 

I loved the art style. The illustrator specializes in black and white manga style and that is very evident. The art looks like a classic manga. The illustrator did a phenomenal job conveying all of Cath’s emotions. 

I liked that the manga followed in the book’s footsteps and used snippets from the Simon Snow books and Cath’s fan fiction. Since this manga doesn’t use chapters, it helped separate different parts of the story. Generally, I prefer chapters in manga to avoid it feeling like one long scene. 

Overall, this was such a warm and heartfelt read. I cannot wait to read the next one since this one ends on such a cliffhanger! 


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Review: Tokyo Dreaming (Tokyo Ever After #2)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free as part of a blog tour.

First off, I loved the first book in the series, Tokyo Ever After. It was one of my favorite books of 2021 which made me very excited to read the sequel. I still think that the first book was a tiny bit better, but for the most part I found the sequel to be a worthy successor. 

This book picks right up where the last book left off and from there continues Izumi’s story. It does not miss a beat and gets right into the drama of royal life. Like the first book, the writing style is easy and a breeze to read. 

I loved the character development, especially the development of Akiko and Noriko (aka the Shining Twins). I enjoyed seeing them get more of a spotlight and how dimensional they became. They could have easily stayed the villains, but instead got more depth. 

I also liked how the book explored growing up and maturing. The story explores Izumi’s post-high school life and contrasts it with her friends. The juxtaposition highlighted Izumi’s coming of age journey well. 

There was a love triangle, which I didn’t think was necessary. The book would have still worked without it. 

Overall, this was a sweet sequel and I hope Izumi’s story continues! 


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Review: Sari, Not Sari

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free as part of a read along.

This was such a simple and sweet story! 

I loved the premise of the story. I love stories about women reconnecting with their heritage and roots, so naturally I liked this. I enjoyed learning more about Indian culture, especially their wedding customs. I also liked that the book explored being “white-washed” and how it can make people feel disconnected towards their culture. 

The book is a very light and easy read. The prose flows nicely and the chapters are short which makes reading a breeze. The beginning of each chapter includes an email from a client that added a consistent touch of humor throughout the book. 

However, the book is very heavy on instalove. The characters fell in love after only knowing each other for a week which did not feel realistic. Also, Manny’s company, Breakup, did not seem like a viable company (it was an interesting concept but I don’t think that many people want to breakup via email). But this book is a romantic comedy so some suspension of disbelief is needed. 

Overall, despite a few flaws, I still enjoyed this debut novel and am looking forward to seeing what else the author publishes in the future. If you’re looking for an entertaining romance with some Indian culture woven throughout, consider picking this one up! 


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Review: Fake

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Harper Books) for promotional purposes. 

I previously read the author’s debut book, The Boys’ Club, and loved it, so I knew I just had to read this one. Once again, I was not disappointed! 

Like her previous novel, this one is highly engaging. From the very beginning it takes you on a roller coaster of a ride through the glamorous world of high art. 

The storyline unraveled at a steady pace. The use of the interview transcripts at the beginning of each chapter were a great foreshadowing tool. The book was a little predictable towards the end, but it was still an entertaining read. 

The characters are all fascinating and dynamic. I particularly liked the juxtaposition of Emma’s three friends, Sienna, Leah, and Jules. It was interesting to see her friend dynamic with each of them since they all came from different art backgrounds. 

I enjoyed the theme of being a “fake” and how it was explored throughout the book. I liked how the book incorporated being an Instagram influencer. I found its portrayal of what is “real” and what is “fake” to be so relevant and current. 

Overall, I found this book to be an enthralling read. I can’t wait to see what the author comes up with next!


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Review: A Girl Like You

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I was very excited to read this book because 1) the main character has my name and 2) I  have ventured also into the crazy world of dating apps. All in all, it was a very fun read.

Even though I am only 26 and the main character is in her 50’s, I related a lot to Jessica and her adult children when it came to online dating. I’ve been on my fair share of dating apps so I know how wild and frustrating it can be. The book really highlighted the range of people and experiences you can run into on dating apps. 

I also found it refreshing to read about a woman in 50’s dating and having (hot) sex. You don’t see that in very many novels. When it comes to books about women dating, the main characters are usually in their 20’s or 30’s. 

I enjoyed how short the chapters were. It kept the book moving at a fast pace. 

However, the ending could have been fleshed out more. It ended a little abruptly. The story was going and then something major happened (I won’t give any spoilers about what happened, but I will say it was something super relatable and sad) and then the book ended quickly after that. 

Overall, this was an amusing read. If you’re looking for something light and sometimes steamy (it does get explicit at times), consider reading this book! 


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Review: The Certainty of Chance

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

What a cute Christmas read! 

First off, I love that this book basically takes you on a tour of London during Christmas. I’ve never been to London (but have always wanted to) so that aspect was exceptionally fun for me. It felt like I was right there with the characters! 

I found the romance to be pretty cute. It is a little insta-lovey, but it’s a Christmas romance so that’s to be expected. I liked that the book gave the perspectives of both Madeleine and Julian. I always enjoy seeing what goes on in the minds of both the guy and the girl. 

I also liked that the book had a lot of depth to their main characters. One of the central themes, aside from the romance, was Madeleine’s grief. I liked how the book explored that topic and didn’t shy away from it.

Music also plays a role in the story and the choice of music was so spot on. At one point, it discusses a Christmas playlist Madeleine made and it included the songs, “River” by Joni Mitchell and “Something About December” by Christina Perri. “River” is such a heartbreakingly beautiful Christmas song and I love any song by Christina Perri. 

Lastly, I appreciated the glossary of British terms at the end. They were really helpful! 

Overall, if you’re looking for Christmas romance this holiday season, consider picking this one up! 


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Review: So We Meet Again

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Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I had previously read the author’s other book, Loathe at First Sight, and liked but didn’t love it. I knew I wanted to give her books another shot, so I jumped at the chance to read this one. This book was so much better! 

First off, I liked the romance in this one. This book had more of a romantic story than Loathe At First Sight. Daniel was a swoon-worthy love interest for sure! I loved his interactions with Jess. They had the most adorable meet-cute. As soon as I read their meet-cute, I knew I was going to like them as a couple. 

I also loved that the book was more than a romance and focused a great deal on Jess’s career change. It explored all the ups and downs of starting over. It was wonderful seeing Jess grow from an unsure former investment banker into a full fledged businesswoman. 

As for the supporting characters, Jess’s parents were so precious! You could tell that they really loved Jess, even if they didn’t always show it in the best way. I could relate to Jess’s experiences with her critical mom. 

I did find the book to be a little unrealistic at times. The book wasn’t super clear on the passage of time, but it felt like Jess’s business took off too quickly. But I will admit I don’t know that much about business so maybe it was realistic. Also, Daniel did something at the very end that could have got him in trouble as a lawyer. It wasn’t anything egregious (just a conflict of interest issue). It was only something I noticed since I am a recent law graduate. Most lawyers would have foresaw that conflict of interest and handled the situation differently. 

Overall, I enjoyed this read! If you want a light and fun romance and/or women’s fiction novel to read, pick this one up! 


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