Review: It Takes Heart (Heart Resort #1)

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Rating: ★★★

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

I thought this was a solid second chance romance and start to a new series.

First off, I really enjoyed seeing all the Filipino culture. I am half Filipino myself so it was so amazing seeing the representation. From the Filipino names of the tiny homes to a discussion on “Filipino time,” there was so much culture woven throughout the book. Additionally, the family dynamic of the Puso family was very typical of a Filipino family. Side note, I loved that the resort was named Heart Resort because their last name, Puso, is Tagalog for heart. That was very clever.

I also liked “cozy” feeling of the storyline. The plot was so family oriented and you could tell there was a lot of love between the family members themselves and their friends. 

My biggest issue with this book is the pacing. The book dragged in parts, mainly in the beginning and middle. There wasn’t a whole lot happening besides set up for future books in the series (i.e. relationship issues for Brandon’s other siblings). At times there was little focus on Brandon and Geneva’s romance. Towards the end the book finally picked up speed and became more exciting. 

Overall, I can tell this will be an amazing series. This book just fell a little short on Brandon and Geneva’s story. 


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Review: Beyond the Point

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received copy of this book for free from the publisher as part of an Instagram book tour I did to promote the book. 

Omg what a beautiful book! It definitely lives up to all the hype. 

The story was mesmerizing. I became so invested in the lives of the three women. I felt like I personally knew them and that I was right there with them through their ups and downs. All three of them felt so realistic.

The author’s writing style is phenomenal. There’s something utterly captivating about it. 

Some people mention that this book should be classified as Christian fiction because of the talk of God and religion. I have read my fair share of Christian fiction and I don’t think this book quite fits that. There are mentions of God, but that’s mainly due to one character being religious. Just because the Christian religion is discussed in a book does not mean it is Christian fiction. There is so much more to this book than that (friendship, love, grief, etc.). 

My edition had a little bonus section at the end with filled background behind the novel, including interviews with real life West Point women. I enjoyed hearing their experiences. 

Lastly, I wanted to share a quote from the book about love that really struck me. The author writes,

“Love starts in the body. It starts with the tingling of toes and the rushing of blood and the lightness in the head. It feels a lot like pain…There are convulsions, nausea, heartburn, and breathlessness. There is a physical ache you feel when falling in love. It’s your heart making room for someone else, like a gardener is there, digging out a hole for a new plant. There is pain, and there is fear. The fear that the hole might stay forever”

pg. 151-152

Overall, I LOVED this book and consider it a new favorite of mine. If you’ve been putting off reading this book like I did (it had been sitting on my shelf since 2019), just pick it up already and read it! 


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Review: The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1)

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Rating: ★★★★

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

To preface, I just want to say that I have not watched the show yet so I cannot say how it compares to it nor did I have any particular expectations going in. I wanted to read the book first before watching the show.

I ended up really enjoying this book!

The book was a lot funnier than I expected it to be. The humor was woven throughout the novel nicely. The little excerpts from Lady Whistledown were a very entertaining touch that added to the hilarity. 

As for the two leads, I did prefer the Simon over Daphne. Daphne did some things that I was not a fan of. She wasn’t completely terrible; she just wasn’t my favorite. As for the supporting characters, I loved them all, especially the other Bridgerton siblings. I can’t wait to learn more about them in the rest of the books. 

This edition did include the bonus Second Epilogue (which was originally published separately online) which I also enjoyed. It’s relatively short so it didn’t reveal that much, but it was still fun revisiting the characters again.

Overall, I found this to be a delightful read. I am looking forward to finally watching the show and continuing the series. 


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Review: Victor and Nora

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (DC Comics) in exchange for an honest review. 

What a tragic love story! 

This was another great comic from the DC Graphic Novels for Young Adults imprint. This one followed a young Victor Fries (aka Mr. Freeze) as he first meets Nora (aka Mrs. Freeze). I thought this comic set up their origin story nicely. 

The comic really delves into the emotional states of the characters and the tragedies of their lives. There was a lot of depth and complexity to them. Both Victor and Nora have a lot of grief and it was interesting to see how they dealt with that. If you like tragic young adult love stories, then you’ll probably like Victor and Nora’s story! 

Since this is a comic, I have to talk about the artwork. It is amazing!The use of colors in showing their relationship was very clever. Victor was cool blues, while Nora was warm hues. The colors were also useful in distinguishing whose point of view was being shown. There were also a few art style changes in the comic that were super fun. For example, on pages 38-39, the art changes to the Tim Burton skeleton look, which was so spot on! 

Overall, I really enjoyed this young adult take on a famous Gotham villain couple! 


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Review: Hot Texas Sunrise (Coldwater Texas #2)

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Rating: ★★★★½

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

I actually have the first book in this series but for some reason decided to start with this one. I’m glad I did because I loved it!

This book has the perfect blend sexy and heartfelt moments. The foster care system is at the center of the story so there were so many heart tugging scenes related to that. I really liked that the book dove deep into the complexities of the foster care system. You really got to see the good and bad sides to it. I really felt for the three boys and what they were going through. 

I loved the two leads, Cleo and Judd. They had sizzling chemistry and they made a great couple. I was rooting for them the whole time. 

I also loved the supporting characters. Judd’s sponsor (Judd is a recovering alcoholic), Mercy, was quite the character and juxtaposition. Her and Judd’s dynamic was unique to say the least. 

My only critique is the ending. The ending felt a little rushed and I wanted a little more closure, especially in regards to Cleo and Judd’s relationship and their future together.

Overall, this story was both spicy and heartfelt! I recommend this book if you want a romance with a little more substance than your typical romance novel. 


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Review: Secret Crush Seduction (The Heirs of Hansol #2)

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Rating: ★★★★

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

After reading the first book in the series, I was very excited to read this one since I loved Adelaide in the first book.

This installment was definitely a step up from the first book. The first book had a lot of awkward time jumps, while this book luckily avoided that. 

As a whole, I really liked Michael and Adelaide as a couple. They had sizzling chemistry and I liked the fire Adelaide had. She was so driven in what she wanted in terms of both career and personal life. 

I also loved that Adelaide’s fashion show centered on creating fashionable and sensory friendly clothes for people on the autism spectrum. I was happy to see attention brought to autism awareness. I was not expecting that from a short Harlequin romance novel.

Since this is part of series, the two main characters from the previous book have cameos in this book. It was nice to see what they were up to and how their relationship had strengthened. 

My one critique of the book is that the ending could have been fleshed out a bit more. It ended rather abruptly and I wanted a little more closure. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable installment to the series! 


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Review: Christmas Reunion in Paris

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Rating: ★★★★

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

This was a short and sweet romance set in France! 

First off, for such a short book, there was a lot of chemistry between the two main characters. Since this was a second chance romance, the characters already knew each other and had history. I enjoyed learning their backstory and seeing them get back together. 

Also, there was quite a bit of plot which I was happy about. Given the length, I wasn’t expecting too much to happen but I was pleasantly surprised with the storyline. 

The Christmas aspect was pretty minimal. The book takes place during winter/Christmastime but doesn’t have any super Christmasy scenes. So if you’re looking for a Christmas romance, this doesn’t quite hit that mark. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this second chance romance! If you’re looking for something quick to read this winter, then give this book a go! 


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Review: Cracked Marble

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Rating: ★★★★★

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

This was such an emotional poetry collection! 

This collection is focused on heartbreak and healing and the author just pours her heart on every page. Books like this is why I love poetry. It’s real. It’s raw. It’s unfiltered. It’s emotion on a page. I can tell that every poem came from deep inside her. 

There is also a good mix of prose in the collection which I loved. The prose was just as strong as the poems and added variety to the book.

Some of my favorite pieces were:

  • East Coast (pg 23)
  • Grievance (pg 43)
  • For the people who fall in love with potential (pg 59)
  • Past me (pg 106) 
  • You have what it takes (pg 110)
  • On behalf of him (pg 111) 
  • Re-connect (pg 142)

I also loved that she made the reader a part of the book. At the end she has a little note to the reader where she describes the book being a conversation. I found that to be a really nice touch and made me feel really connected to the poems. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of poetry and prose. If you are looking for a poetry book that packs an emotional punch, then read this one! 


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Review: The Subway Girl

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Rating: ★★★★★

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

Omg this was so damn cute! I loved it!

This was my second book by Lisa Becker and once again it was a hit. I love that her books are the perfect blend of sexy and sweet. It’s exactly what you want from a romance. 

I loved the main characters. Ryan was so swoon worthy and precious. Angie really complemented him well. They were so good together and I loved the big city girl with small town boy dynamic. 

I also loved the supporting characters, like Angie’s roommate, Josie. Ryan’s two best friends, Luke and Diego, were also standouts. I particularly loved the bromance between the three of them. I would love to see a spin-off featuring one of them. 

Sprinkled throughout the book were comments from The Subway Girl web series and I thought they were a nice touch. They were really accurate and showcased the range of comments made on the internet. 

Lastly, I loved the little Easter egg nod to her previous novel, Starfish, with the mention of Kings Quarters. Kings Quarters is the band featured in Starfish (I highly recommend that book too). 

Overall, if you’re looking for a good romance to read, then pick this book up! 


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Review: You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher (Celadon Books) for promotional purposes.

Given all the craziness right now, the world could use a little humor so I thought it would be the perfect time to read this book. I was right. This was such a funny little read!

The book basically consists of little cartoons about relationships/love/marriage. I am not married so I can’t necessarily relate to everything, but a lot of the cartoons reminded me of my parents and their relationship. 

I found the cartoons to be really funny. Obviously some were better than others but I did laugh out loud at quite a few of them. For example, “Celebrate the little things…” on page 13 was hilarious. I also loved “If you are still fighting, it means you are still together” (pg. 91) and “Remember: if you were single, there’d be nobody to watch your luggage in the airport while you go to the restroom” (pg. 131). 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a super quick read and is the perfect gift to give to your significant other. Also, given the quarantine, I think it’s the perfect thing to read if you’re stuck at home with them and need something to lighten the mood.


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