Review: Let’s Get Physical by Cassie Cross

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Title: Let’s Get Physical
Author: Cassie Cross
Series: Love Is… #2
Publisher: Self-published by Cassie Cross
Publication Date: March 26, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 5 stars

Corinna McKnight is a chronically single girl in need of toned abs and a hot date for a wedding that her highly successful, deliriously happy lifelong frenemy will be attending. The weddings is only six weeks away and she doesn’t have much time to make it look like she has her life together. Luckily, her best friend’s boyfriend owns the hottest gym in town and sets he up with Noah, the best personal trainer he has on staff.

Noah Cartier is at a pretty good place in his life. He has a job and he loves working for his best friend, Hinter. Noah is in high demand, mostly for his talent, but sometimes for his body and Hunter has one very firm rule: no fooling around with the clients.

It’s an easy rule to follow until he meets Corinna, who makes him want more out of life and leaves him straddling the line between breaking a promise and betraying his heart.

Review:

Corinna is going to be attending a wedding in six weeks, one that her frenemy/rival will be attending as well. She might not have the heart surgeon husband and the perfect instgram feed, but she is determined to have the hottest body. She decides to find a personal trainer and her best friend’s husband (who owns a gym) sets her up with his best personal trainer on staff.

Turns out, Corinna and Noah know each other from when they were young teens and she used to stay at her grandparents house during the summer, while Noah lived next door. The moment they lay eyes on each other, romance ensues.

Usually I’m not the biggest fan of novellas because everything develops so quickly. Characters fall in love in the blink of an eye or the turn of a page. However, this was such a feel-good novella. I flew through it and loved it.

This was the cutest novella. If you’re looking for an adorable romance read that you can easily get through in a day and is likely to boost your mood, then definitely check this one out!

About Cassie Cross:

Cassie Cross is a Maryland native and a romantic at heart, who lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes. Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for most of her stories, and when she’s not busy writing a book, you’ll probably find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80’s sitcoms.

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Review: His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey

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Title: His Royal Highness
Author: R.S. Grey
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by R.S. Grey
Publication Date: November 14, 2019
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 2.5 stars

I’ve spent eight years wishing I’d fall out of love with Derek Knightley. Blowing out birthday candles, chasing after shooting stars, making it rain spare change into mall fountains—every time it’s the same wish: forget about Derek.

But the day he walks back into my life, I realize there are two things time has yet to soften: my feelings for him and his chiseled jawline.

It’s infuriating that my heart still races when he walks into a room. I refuse to fall prey to old unrequited love, so I decide the less I’m around him, the better. Avoidance is key.

Unfortunately, Derek isn’t going to make it easy. As a teenager, I would have crawled on my hands and knees to attract his attention. Now I can’t seem to escape it.

I’m not sure why he’s bothering. He’s not just out of my league—he’s out of my tax bracket. As the sole heir to the Knightley Company, he’s as close to American royalty as you can get. As for me, I’m just a part-time princess at Knightley’s flagship magical theme park.

I spend my days playing make-believe, but Derek has no use for fairytales. His unwavering confidence makes it clear he thinks I’ll surrender in the end.

He’s just biding his time.
Making me sweat.

His Royal Highness always gets what he wants.
And he wants me.

Review:

It physically pains me to rate an R.S. Grey book at 2.5 stars, but here we are. In my eyes she is the queen of writing laugh out loud romantic comedies with heroines that are adorably relatable and heroes that make you swoon. Unfortunately, His Royal Highness just didn’t vibe with me.

The two things that bothered me most about this book with the main female character and the romance. Whitney and Derek first met 8 years ago when she was interning at the park. She was 18 and he was 28. He was her mentor. Doesn’t that sound like the beginning of a great age gap romance? Yes. Was it the beginning of a great age gap romance? No. Basically she had a crush on him and he then left to go work at the theme park in London.

Fast forward 8 years later and Derek comes back to the Unites States and is back working at the park. Has Whitney gotten over her school girl crush on Derek? No. Is she dramatic and acts immature? Yes. Does she overreact in thinking that he basically abandoned her when all there was between them was her crush and it’s not like he left her in the middle of a relationship? You bet your ass she did.

Listen. Age gap romances are my weakness. Sign me the fuck up for one of those any damn day of the week. But even though she’s now 26 and he’s 36, she somehow reverted back to 16 with her attitude and immaturity and that just wasn’t for me. Nothing grinds my gears more than adults who act like children.

I’m sorry. This one just wasn’t for me. Over 10 R.S. Grey books under my belt with mostly 5 stars, but I just couldn’t hop on board for this.

About R.S. Grey:

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R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels. She lives in Texas with her husband and daughter, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga!

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Review: Weekend Wife by Erin McCarthy

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Title: Weekend Wife
Author: Erin McCarthy
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by Erin McCarthy
Publication Date: February 3, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Amazon

Rating: 2 stars

Billionaire businessman in need of a fake fiancée…

It should be the easiest job ever for an out-of-work actress, right?

All I have to do is pose as Grant Caldwell (the Third)’s fiancé for a fancy-pants weekend in the Hamptons. Easy. Wear designer clothing and sip champagne? Don’t mind if I do. Flirting with Grant? It’s so delicious I should be paying him.

Nothing can go wrong as long as I can just keep my hands off of him.

But that’s the hard part. And I do mean hard.

Because Grant is sexy.

And bossy.

And surprisingly sweet, a real rarity in his pretentious family.

Oops. I’m not as good at faking it as I thought. Or maybe they call this method acting. Because it’s getting harder to figure out where my character ends and I begin…

It just might be the role of a lifetime.

Review:

I know I’m in the minority, but oh wow this was not the book for me.

Going into this I had such expectations of a cute love story. They make their arrangement, spend a weekend in the Hamptons and realize that “oh no this person is pretty great how do I deal with that” and then go back to their lives in New York and try to navigate around these feelings for one another and eventually (strong emphasis on the EVENTUALLY) fall in love. That sounds cute, right? Yeah, that was not what I got.

Everything seemed like it was done to the extreme. For example, Grant’s family. They were a caricature of what we would imagine a mean billionaire family to be like. His family would have been perfect for the dramatics of the CW. They were what I assume the family on Dynasty is like.

Then of course, there was the insta-love between Leah and Grant. To me, insta-love is a complete turnoff so when I read about it, it’s hard for me to come back from that. Sure, he went to the restaurant once a week for six months, but all he did was eat chocolate chip pancakes broodingly while Leah did her job. Staring at a woman once a week for six months does not a relationship make. After two weeks of knowing each other they’re both the human version of the heart-eye emoji saying “I love you” in the Hamptons. No. I can’t deal with that.

It probably didn’t help that I wasn’t too fond of either of the characters. I had no feelings towards either of them so I wasn’t even a little bit invested in their love story. Which made the dramatics at the end seem so much worse to me than it probably was.

This book just did not vibe with me. It wasn’t my thing. It wasn’t for me.

About Erin McCarthy:

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USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written over seventy-five novels and novellas in the romance and mystery genres. Erin has a special weakness for high-heeled boots, martinis, and Frank Sinatra. She lives with her renovation-addicted husband (he built her a bar, so it’s all good!) and their blended family of kids and rescue dogs.

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Review: Rules of Engagement by J.T. Geissinger

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Title: Rules of Engagement
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by J.T. Geissinger
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 5 stars

As the owner of Perfect Pairings matchmaking service, Maddie McRae earns her living helping others fall in love. Dubbed the Wedding Whisperer due to her success getting couples down the aisle, the sweet Southern belle knows that the foundation of wedded bliss is built on similarities: opposites might attract, but they don’t stay together.  

Which is why she’s holding out for her own Prince Charming, a perfect gentleman who will arrive one day and sweep her off her feet with his devotion, kindness, and charm. 

Enter Mason Spark. 

Rude, arrogant, and notoriously allergic to monogamy, the hottest quarterback in the NFL is Maddie’s polar opposite. He’s also her new client. Her gorgeous, infuriating new client who’s paying her an outrageous sum of money to find him a wife. With his multi-million dollar contract on the line due to his behavior on and off the field, bad boy Mason is willing to pretend to settle down.  

But when he starts to fall for the adorkable matchmaker who can’t stand him, the playboy finds himself in the game of his life to keep something he never thought he’d lose—his heart.

Review:

This book is everything I wanted in a rom-com. Everything. I want to shout it from the rooftops that you all need to pick this up and read it immediately.

Rules of Engagement gave me R.S. Grey vibes in terms of the heroine of the novel (which is a high compliment because in my eyes she is the rom-com queen). Maddie was sassy and sarcastic without ever actually being mean. Her sense of humour was her shining point. She could dish it and take it and that is the best kind of heroine you could ask for in a rom-com. She was also a little bit clueless about Mason, but in the way you would come to expect in a romance. That little bit of back and forth that makes things more interesting.

The romance between Maddie and Mason was the cutest. I can’t remember the last time I’ve rooted for a couple so hard despite knowing that they are obviously going to end up together. They were the perfect match. Opposites who complimented one another so well. They had also each gone through some familial trauma when they were younger and I think that allowed them to understand the other better in terms of how they react and adapt to more difficult situations.

Each of the side characters added their own flair to the story. They all had their place that added to Maddie and Mason’s romance. I love that Aunt Waldine and Dick each had a chapter or two from their perspective. It made the story that much more authentic and really added to the comedy aspect of rom-com.

I really really loved this book. I had high expectations going in, and it smashed them all out of the park. This is a rom-com you need to add your TBRs.

About J.T. Geissinger:

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J.T. Geissinger is a bestselling author of emotionally charged romance and women’s fiction. Ranging from funny, feisty rom coms to intense, edgy suspense, her books have sold more than one million copies and been translated into several languages.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. She has also been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Her first novel was published in 2012. Since then she’s written eighteen more novels. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking wine, surfing the internet, and daydreaming about all the things she’s going to be when she grows up. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles with her husband and deaf/demented rescue kitty, Ginger.

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Review: Dead Ringer by Kat Ross – Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title: Dead Ringer
Author: Kat Ross
Series: Gaslamp Gothic #5
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: December 13, 2019
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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Rating: 5 stars

A poisonous secret.

A terrifying curse.

And a client she’d just as soon see dead in a ditch…

Summer 1889. Harrison Fearing Pell hoped for adventure when she signed on with the Society for Psychical Research as an occult investigator. Slogging through New York’s sewers in pursuit of a “mud man” wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. But the reeking monster terrorizing the dance halls of the Tenderloin leads her to an even more peculiar mystery — and the last man on earth Harry wishes to become entangled with. 

James Moran is a prodigy in music, mathematics . . . and crime. Harry’s older sister, the famed detective Myrtle Fearing Pell, has vowed to put him behind bars. But Harry owes Moran a personal debt, so when he demands her aid she can hardly refuse. It turns out that the brilliant black sheep of New York Society is part of a secret club at Columbia College whose members have started dying in bizarre ways that may not be accidents. 

Thus begins one of the strangest cases of Harry’s career, a tale of murder, cold-blooded revenge and fairytale bogeymen to make the Brothers Grimm shudder. As the bodies pile up, each preceded by sightings of the victim’s doppelgänger, Harry and her stalwart friend John Weston must race against time to save a man who arguably deserves his macabre fate.

Review:

This is the third book I’ve read in the Gaslamp Gothic series and I must admit, it’s easily becoming one of my favourites. I adored A Bad Breed and The Necromancer’s Bride and my feelings toward Dead Ringer are no different.

James Moran has been one of my favourite characters of the series by far. Despite being the number one crime lord of the city, he was just so damn adorable. The way he would flirt with Harry (who was having absolutely none of his boyish charm)  had me grinning like an idiot every time. I also loved how vulnerable he was with her (and John when he was there). There was none of this macho crap. He realized the gravity of the situation surrounding his friends’ death and took it seriously.

I also loved Harry. She was a strong badass lady who was just a little bit sarcastic and took no crap from anyone. She takes her job very seriously and is 100% committed to her cases. If my life was in her hands, I’d have confidence I’d live to see another day. Her and John were great to read about as well. I loved their working relationship. They complimented each other so well. The way they figured out things together proved how great of a team they were.

The story and mystery itself was so good. I was absolutely flying through the novel wanting to know how the secret society came to be targeted and by who. With seven men in the society and James Moran being an untouchable crime lord, that leads to a lot of options of people that could want to kill them. Add in the paranormal and this story was just *chef’s kiss*

Seriously though. You guys need to pick up this series. I’m obsessed with it and I can’t wait to see what Kat Ross brings to the world next because everything I’ve read from her so far has been beyond amazing.

Giveaway:

  • Enter HERE
  • Prizes: $20 Amazon gift card, 5x eBook copies of A Bad Breed
  • International
  • Ends February 6, 2020

About Kat Ross:

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Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

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