Rating: 3 Stars
Genre: Historical Romance
Series/Standalone: Bridgertons #1
How I got this book: Bought
In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable… but not too amiable.
Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.
Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.
The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule...
It's probably no surprise that I, along with a huge number of the population decided to binge-watch Bridgerton while in lockdown over Christmas.
I enjoyed the show, for the most part, more on this below, and wanted to discover more about the origins of these characters. So, I grabbed a copy of The Duke and I and got reading.
This review is going to be a little different than my others as I'd really like to do a comparison of the book and its adaptation.
What I loved/hated about the show:
So, first of all, I loved the fact that this wasn't a completely white-washed show. I want more diversity when watching tv and movies so that it reflects my reality of living with and being surrounded by a variety of different people. The problem is that Bridgerton didn't take it far enough. Yes, they featured some black actors but we didn't get much in terms of other ethnicities, hardly any non-hetero sexuality was explored (don't even get me started with the queer-baiting we got with Benedict) and disability rep was at a zero.
I loved that we had a wonderfully intelligent, fat girl character in Pen, but I am oh so sick of the 'fat girl is miserable and hates her life' take that we get from pretty much every show/movie featuring anyone who isn't a size model.
Okay, so taking a step back, the books are about as white-washed and hetero as you can get. So yes, they did a fair bit with the casting but did they really do enough?
The music was one of my favourite things about the show. Listening to these gorgeous classical pieces and then thinking, oh, that's Girl Like You by Maroon 5 or Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift was really fun.
Penelope & Eloise
Yes, make the fat girl the most interesting and mysterious character in the whole thing, I bloody love it. Pair her with Eloise, a feminist riot and you have a fantastic, memorable pairing that I'd love to see more of.
What I loved/hated about the book:
Two Dimensional Characters
So, for the most part, the characters in the book are way less developed than they seemed to be in the show. Anthony, Colin, Benedict are all props, Lady Danbury speaks a mere couple of lines and features in a scene or two and Daphne has the emotional range of a teaspoon, although the same can be said for her tv character as well.
I loved Violet so much more in the book than in the show. She's a lot sassier and has more depth than she does in the show.
WHERE ARE ELOISE AND PEN???
Where is Marina?
Also, where is Hyacinth's personality in the show because she's hilarious in the book?!
I really enjoyed the language in the book and how the author has modernised and feminised it to make it more contemporary and easily accessible.
What I loved/hated about both:
You can't include a rape scene between the main love interests in a romance novel/show and expect it to be okay.
It doesn't matter that it was a woman taking advantage of a man. It doesn't matter if he was drunk (actually, this makes it worse). It doesn't matter if he changes his mind about wanting children later, and it doesn't matter if he was too caught up in the passion to pull out. The goddam point is that he said no. Explicitly. Multiple times. Before and after they got married.
She also (in the book) knew the exact reason, the trauma and abuse he had faced as a child that led to that decision and still, she took advantage. For the author to then try to pass this off later with both Daphne and Simon thinking to themselves that 'it wasn't as bad as all that' is really shocking and at complete odds with the feminist, modern take on the rest of the book.
I think that this scene is much worse in the book because Simon is drunk, but the show should have removed it entirely. Far better for Simon to have eventually felt accepted and loved enough (both by Daphne and himself) to change his own mind and make that choice willingly or, you know, just don't have kids. A couple can be a family without children being involved.
Anyway, it's for this scene that I just couldn't rate the book higher than I have, and in fact probably shouldn't have rated the book at all. I'm only rating it on the basis that, if that scene were removed I would have actually liked this book a whole lot more and I enjoyed the adaptation significantly more than the book itself.
Rating: 3 Stars
Series/Standalone: Deluge #1
How I got this book: ARC from the author
Some secrets are worth killing for
The ancient city of Kepos sits in an isolated valley, cut off from the outside world by a towering wall. Behind it, the souls of the dead clamour for release. Or so the priesthood says.
Kala has never had any reason to doubt their word – until her father dies in suspicious circumstances that implicate the city's high priest. She's determined to investigate, but she has a more immediate problem: the laws of the city require her mother to remarry straight away.
Kala's new stepfather is a monster, but his son Leon is something altogether more dangerous: kind.
With her family fractured and the investigation putting her life in danger, the last thing Kala needs is romance. She would rather ignore Leon entirely, however difficult he makes it. But when she learns the truth of what really clamours behind the wall at the end of the valley, she faces a choice: share what she knows and jeopardise her escape, or abandon him to his fate along with the rest of the city.
If she doesn't move fast, then no one will make it out of the valley alive.
Review by Sophie
TW: Murder/ Suicide/Attempted Rape/Discrimination/Homophobia/Slavery
When I first saw the cover of this book, I was immediately drawn in by the pretty illustration and the promise of a thrilling mystery set around the ancient City of Kepos.
I found the Greek setting and Lost City of Atlantis vibe really intriguing, and I couldn’t wait to get started.
"It was cool and dark, and the roar of the cascade gave Kala a perverse sense of silence. This was a place in which words and noise meant nothing, because there was nothing to be heard except the crash of water. Here, the water ruled."
The plot was interesting and fast-paced, with plenty of mystery. Almost immediately, you're thrown into the chaos.
We meet Kala, the main character, who learns of her father’s death and becomes convinced that it's murder.
Kala is a very strong-willed character who faces numerous challenges, but I was quite disappointed very early on because, despite all the trauma and heartache that Kala experienced, I found that not only her but all the characters in the book seemed to lack any real emotion and drive.
I think this was one of the main reasons I struggled to connect with the characters in the book, and at times felt I was only pushing myself to keep reading to find out who the mystery murderer was.
As the story progresses, we meet Leon. Leon was my favourite character. He's kind, witty and sarcastic, and added humour to the story.
But there were a few characters in the book that surprised me with how little they were mentioned. For a start, Charis (Kala’s mother) felt as though she should have been a more consistent character since detailing the pain of losing her husband in such an awful way, how she must quickly re-marry, and the worry of what would happen to her daughter at the order of her new husband, but Charis is barely mentioned, and I would have liked to know her character better.
Another character I felt should have had a much bigger role was Nikos (Charis’ new husband). He’s a wicked character, cruel and with no regard for anyone, including his own children, but despite his cruelty, I felt like he should have more of a backstory, some reason maybe as most of his actions felt pointless and again, he was only referenced a few times throughout the book.
The Wolf and The Water has really good LGBTQ+ representation through a very clean and sweet romance. Buuuut, I can honestly say the love triangle just didn’t work for me. Melissa and Kala seemed really sweet together, and then Leon comes along, Melissa encourages Kala to marry Leon, and they all get along great. And yes, I actually hate myself for saying this….because I really wanted it to work and be all sweet and have lots of aww moments, but it all just felt so forced!! There wasn’t any genuine love or passion.
As I said before, the book is quite fast-paced, and there were definitely lots of things happening while I was trying to sus out who the murderer was, and finding out further details of how Kala was to escape the City of Kepos.
I was honestly a few pages off finishing the book, and thinking to myself, there’s no way this is going to end in such a short amount of pages, and there was, for me, the biggest disappointment; I feel like the ending was so rushed.
Throughout the entire book, we’re discovering the plan to escape, and things keep going wrong and attempted murders are taking place, but we aren’t getting any closer to discovering who it is and why, and then it’s just over. There was no heroism, no action, no battles, and I felt like there were too many unanswered questions.
At first, I thought the plot sounded so good, but for me, how it played out just didn't justify the build-up.
I loved the setting of the book, though. Imagining a secret city, with woodlands, villages, temples and sacred waterfalls that has a huge wall built up around it, and despite all the bad things taking place in the book, the valley still had a tranquil and peaceful feel to it.
I definitely recommend The Wolf and The Water if you’re a fan of fast-paced mysteries, races against time and if you have an interest in Atlantis.
Book Review: How to Steal a Heart in 500 Kisses & How to Evict a Hot Jock in Three Weeks by Anyta Sunday
Overall, I definitely like the first book in the series more than the second, and I would have preferred fewer sex scenes in both books because I just felt that they took something away from the sweeter nature of these stories.
In the second book, I think it would have been nicer to see more of the character's interaction and the 'slow-burn' I've come to expect from Anyta Sunday. But, saying that, I think the character pairing was interesting, as were the unusual circumstances in each book that drove the characters together and I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.
Both books are available from today, just click the images above to visit Goodreads and follow the links to your favourite bookseller!
Rating: 3 Stars
Genre: YA/Fantasy/Clean Romance
Series/Standalone: When Wishes Bleed #1
How I got this book: Free on Amazon Prime
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate.
The upheaval in my life began the moment a prince stumbled into my house and asked me to read his fortune. Any other night, I might have made an excuse to get him to leave, but this was no normal visit. My fingers prickled to touch him. So, I granted his request by handing him a single wishbone. When he snapped it, the wish … bled.
Hearing me suck in a shocked breath, he asked what it meant. Such an ominous omen could only mean one thing: his death was imminent. Fate revealed that he wouldn’t die of natural causes. Someone wanted him dead. Stunned by the revelation, the man I now knew as Prince Tauren disappeared into a night I feared he wouldn’t survive. The following day, I received an invitation to the castle. While it seemed the prince believed I could intervene and uncover who was plotting his death, his motives didn’t stop there. I was being summoned to join twelve other women in vying for the opportunity to be his wife and future queen.
Going could mean jeopardizing my plans to reclaim my heritage and resurrect the House of Fate. But staying would guarantee Tauren’s death, and the blood of his wish would be on my hands.
Review by Sophie
I’ve had this book on my TBR for quite some time as the reviews are pretty mixed, but I finally read it when Amazon added it as a Prime free read.
I think the author did a fantastic job of the world-building in this book. It’s set in a modern-ish time, where the world is split into districts. The detail surrounding the magic, and the House of Fate, in particular, is immersive and drew me in from the start.
First, we meet Sable, an outcast from District 13, who’s come to accept life alone after being shunned by all the other witches, with only the voice of Fate himself to keep her company, whispering in her ear and guiding her on what she must do. I felt really sorry for Sable, especially seeing how she’s treated, even by her own family, but I love how having Fate guiding her added so much mystery to her character. Oh, and did I mention she’s a badass?
Once a year, the townspeople from the different districts go to the 13th for the Equinox celebration. This year, we meet the ever so lovely Tauren, a young prince who stumbles (drunkenly) to Sable’s hut for a reading. The two form an instant connection, and their relationship grows quickly.
”Now that we’re bound, you’ll be my shield, but I will also be yours. We’ll keep each other safe - and alive.”
I was quite fond of Tauren, just because he was so sweet, which is an interesting portrayal of a prince in a fantasy novel. So, like Sable, I really didn’t want him to die!
As much as I liked Sable and Tauren’s character, there’s one I really couldn’t stand, and that was Bren, Sable’s one and only friend since childhood. I found him so annoying! His behaviour and how he acted when things didn’t go his way, or he didn’t get what he wanted was just petty and had me hating his character.
The first half of the book really captured me, and I fell into the mystery of it all. However, as I journeyed through the book, my love for it faded. I felt that the author had built up the ending so much and I was expecting it to be epic, but found it disappointing, with no fire or intensity. There are also too many unanswered questions about Sable’s mother and how she just accepted things from the people that had cast her out and been horrible to her, made little sense to me. There was so much speculation and hurt that I just don’t feel like the author expressed that enough.
So, yeah, I enjoyed this book, and I wanted to read on; especially after switching from the audiobook to eBook. I usually love audiobooks, but the narrator was really killing the story for me.
If you liked The Hunger Games, but crave a magical twist, I’d highly recommend When Wishes Bleed by Casey L. Bond.
Rating: 3 Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Fantasy
How I got this book: Audible Purchase
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Review by Sophie.
TW: Racism, discrimination, animal abuse, institutionalisation.
OK, so here it is…The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E Harrow. One of the most highly rated and anticipated books that I’ve seen this year, and one that I was extremely hyped to read myself...
“It is at the moments when the doors open, when things flow between the worlds, that stories happen.”
…and I can honestly say that I did NOT enjoy it.
(And yes, I feel like I can actually hear everyone’s sharp intake of breath right now).
Alright, let's start at the beginning – it's not all bad. So, let just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful the front cover is, I mean its so pretty! And truthfully, I think the front cover reflects on the writing style quite a lot, and that is something I did like about this book. The writing was flowery and intricate, and really is a work of art.
"Words and their meanings have weight in the world of matter, shaping and reshaping realities through a most ancient alchemy."
But I can’t help but feel like the story got mixed up in all of that. The opening chapter was intriguing and filled with mystery and questions, and I’d already got such high expectations for the book, so I couldn’t wait to get started.
Unfortunately, after the first couple of chapters, I found that the introduction of new characters made the whole thing messy and confusing. I really wasn’t keen to pick it back up and carry on reading and struggled the rest of the way through.
At around the halfway mark I felt like I was starting to break through, the plot was making more sense and things seemed to be going places. For me though, this just wasn’t enough and truth be told the characters actually ruined this for me. I just couldn’t connect with any of them. The only character I cared about was the dog ‘Bad’ and was genuinely traumatised by what happened to him, which kind of left me on edge for the rest of the book.
Abuse and discrimination have a very strong role in the book, January is raised by a racist man, and the book is written in a place and time where discrimination is very real, institutional behaviour is recognised throughout, not only by January's guardian but also physiatrists, which I wish I’d known before I started reading the book.
I can understand why so many people love the story and I'm happy that they found the magic within, and I’d never want a review to tarnish or put someone off reading it just because of my opinion, so I would still urge anyone to read it, but all in all, it just wasn’t for me.
Rating: 3 Stars
Series/Standalone: VRC: Vampire Related Crimes #1
How I got this book: Kindle Unlimited
Getting into the vampire-only detective unit was the easy part; what’s going to be more difficult is dealing with my new partner, an ancient vampire who keeps threatening to eat me. The unit has never had a human in it, and Marcus—or as I like to call him, Fangy McFangface—would really prefer to keep it that way. He’s grumpy, short-tempered, and broody, but I have a way with words and I know he’s starting to like me, even if he swears he’s not. But what he doesn’t know is that I didn’t join the unit because I was tired of being a homicide detective, I joined because there is someone after me. They’ve already taken enough from me and I’m afraid they’re going to take all of me if I don’t find someone to help. That’s all Marcus was supposed to be, but now, he’s so much more and I can’t imagine my life without him.
The moment the pesky human walked through that door, I knew I had to get rid of him. He’s charming and almost everyone else instantly loves him, but he doesn’t understand how risky it is being part of this unit as a human. But as I get to know the stubborn man, I learn that perhaps he’s not as naive as I once thought. And maybe he’s what I needed to realize there is more to life than just work and my dog. A group arises who is threatening to disrupt the alliance between the humans and the vampires, but Finn is the one who shows me how strong that alliance can be and reminds me why it’s worth protecting. When threats hit closer to home, I realize I would do anything for Finn because he’s brought so much joy to my life—and because he’s mine.
TW: Trauma, physical and mental abuse, stalking, addiction
Ahhhh! This started so well...WTF happened?!?
Let me start from the beginning. I picked this book up on a whim when it came up on my Kindle Unlimited recommendations because the synopsis sounded interesting and had an enemies-to-lovers vibe to it.
It started off really well because of Finn. He's fantastic, he's sassy, cheeky and strong, but wears his heart on his sleeve, and reminded me so much of Sam from The Lightning Struck Heart by TJ Klune, who's one of my absolute favourite characters.
Finn is disabled, and I can't tell you how refreshing it was to have a disabled character as the hero, especially when paired with an old and powerful vampire. Finn holds his own throughout the entire book and, despite dealing with his own trauma, he's just as powerful and capable as any of the other characters.
Finn is full of awful jokes but he's lovable and gets everyone to like him, even grumpy, distant Marcus who becomes his friend without really knowing why or consciously agreeing to it.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I say as I draw the curtain over the window so I don’t have to look into Marcus’s eyes as I steal his dog.
Also, I should mention Artie at this point, an Irish wolfhound who is a gentle sweetheart...and a bit of a creep at times.
Marcus is the typical brooding vampire, but his character shines when Finn finally breaks down some of his walls, allowing his caring, protective side to come through.
The chemistry between Finn and Marcus worked well and built, as did the constant banter between the two.
“I will try… this,” Marcus says as he waves between us. “But I’m promising nothing. And if I eat you, it’s one hundred percent your fault.”
The plot and pacing also started off strong and intriguing until at some point the story just meandered off and completely forgot about the plot.
There were a few scenes that felt completely irrelevant to the story and it appeared, for a lot of the book, that the author misplaced the big bad villain, only to bring him out when things got a bit dull.
Then there's the snark and humour, which started off as one of Finn's best qualities, but which grew into something quite annoying and distracting as pages and pages were full of
random back and forth.
"Did… Did you just ask me out and tell me you might eat me in the same breath? That’s so romantic.”
After all of this, the big build-up, the back and forth, the ominous figure in the darkness and the promises from Marcus to take care of it, we're met with a goddamn cliffhanger that really pi**ed me off.
I'm now at the point where I'm really bloody struggling to understand how the author is going to fill an entire second book finishing this plot when it could have easily fit into this novel, but, a part of me still wants to find out what happens next, as I want to see Finn get the resolution and the closure from his trauma that he desperately deserves.
Overall, the book started off really well, it's fast-paced and full of humour that's interwoven with darkness and tons of emotion. I liked the characters, particularly Finn, but would have liked more clarity from the plot.
Rating: 3 STARS
Series/Standalone: Folk of the Air #3
How I got this book: Bought
He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.
Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.
Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.
Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.
And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…
Why are endings so often disappointing?
Maybe it's the fact that, as readers, we just don't want to say goodbye to characters that we've grown to love (or love to hate) or that we'll miss those worlds we lose ourselves in too much or that we just wanted MORE!
Sadly, none of those things is true for how I feel about the end of this trilogy.
For me, this entire book felt a little lost, pointless, and the ending was predictable and way too neat and tidy.
There were just so many moments where I felt that the whole thing was a bit stupid i.e. (no spoilers!) when Jude figures out Cardan's trick, when Nicassia DOES NOTHING and when Jude can't figure out the most obvious clue in the history of clues!
I feel a bit like the characters were done dirty by the author, they almost seemed dumbed down, their relationships rushed and everything tied up with a pretty little bow that made no sense and contradicted past behaviour and key character traits.
I was angry that Nicassia had almost no role in the book. Where was the vengeance, the drama, and the blinding jealousy we've come to expect from this series?
Why was Jude so compliant? Where's her spine, her defiance and the warrior nature that's she's built up over the past two books?
Maddox was boring, for want of a better word, and completely predictable. He had me rolling my eyes.
And Cardan was too damn tame. He completely stopped being interesting.
The big shock twist was completely predictable, and was I the only one picturing Jafar in Aladdin at this point?
Yes, this is a bit of a rant post, BUT I didn't completely hate this book.
I still enjoyed being back in the world of Elfhame. I enjoyed the politics and the scheming, even if it was more toned down than I'd have expected and I did still, in some ways, find the relationship endearing.
The pace moved quickly enough and I finished the book in just a few sittings. I can't say that I didn't enjoy reading the book, I did, but I didn't LOVE it the way I wish I had.
Overall, I can't lie that I am disappointed with the end of this series, but I am glad that I got to spend time in this world.
Welcome to my stop on the Match Me If You Can Blog Tour!
It's my first blog tour of the year and I'm so excited to be back since I haven't done one of these since Halloween.
As always, a huge thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to take part!
Now, on to the book at hand...
Rating: 3 STARS
How I got this book: ARC from Xpresso Book Tours
Mia’s best friend Robyn is known for her matchmaking skills, which is perfect, because homecoming is just around the corner. But Robyn refuses to set Mia up with the guy of her dreams, which forces Mia to take matters into her own hands. She uses Robyn’s matchmaking service to make sure popular Vince Demetrius falls for her.
Vince asks her out, but Mia doesn’t count on Logan, the persistent school newspaper photographer who seems to like her out of the blue. Now she has to choose between Vince – the guy she knows is right for her – and Logan, who insists that she give him a chance. And she needs to make sure Robyn doesn’t find out that Mia’s been matchmaking behind her back.
Mia has two weeks before homecoming. Can she fix the mess she made or will she have to kiss her perfect match goodbye forever?
Romance and YA are two of my favourite things and I was really excited to start reading Match Me If You Can.
First impressions of Mia made me think of a younger Bridget Jones. Mia is a bit clumsy and fumbling, so it made her a more real and relatable character, to begin with.
I noticed on Goodreads that the book is a re-telling of A Midsummer Night's Dream which becomes more apparent towards the middle of the book when certain relationships begin to entwine and clash.
Whilst the plot is super predictable and full of rom-com style clichés, the writing did keep me engaged throughout the story.
My favourite thing about this whole book is Logan, who I love. He's sweet, supportive, funny, flirty and heartfelt, and I can't get enough of his scenes.
I did have a few problems with Mia's character. To me, she seemed quite shallow and a little vapid, she's constantly ignoring the very obvious truth, as well as her own feelings, and I felt as though I was several steps ahead of her throughout the entire book.
The drama also irked me a little as it just seemed a tad over the top and unnecessary but it did fuel the plot and kept the pace moving quickly.
The romance was very sweet but I don't want to go into too much detail and ruin the particulars for you, so all I'll say is that this book is a very light, fun and fluffy read, perfect for fans of quick-paced teen rom-coms.
Click the cover photo above to add the book to your Goodreads TBR and enter below for your chance to win a print copy of Match Me If You Can. The giveaway is open to US/CAN only and is hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.
Don't forget to click the banner at the top to follow the rest of the tour and feel free to leave your comments below :)
Welcome to my stop on the Hush blog tour!!
As always, big thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to join in with the tour, I love doing review tours as it's a great way to discover new books and authors! This week's book is Hush by A.M. Salinger, which is book 8 of the authors' Nights series, although it can be read as a standalone.
Rating: 3 STARS
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Standalone/Series: Nights Series #8 - (Can be read as a standalone)
How I got this book: ARC from Xpresso Book Tours
Tom Sutherland is an arrogant prick. There, I said it. Okay, so he’s also my assistant and I couldn’t survive without him, but that doesn’t make him less of an irritating bastard — Lana
Lana Keele is a witch. A beautiful, frustrating witch placed on this earth to torment me. Yeah, she’s my boss, but she’s still the most maddening creature I’ve ever had the misfortune to cross paths with — Tom
When Lana Keele, president of Keele Industries and only surviving heir to business tycoon Oliver Keele, wakes up in her devil-of-an-assistant’s bed after a drunken night out, she fears the worst. That is, until prissy Mr. Perfect Tom Sutherland declares that she’s the last woman he’d ever want to sleep with.
After surviving four years in the company of the infuriating woman he’d lusted after since his teens, Tom has had just about enough of the unholy siren that is Lana, especially when she turns up inebriated on his doorstep one night and demands sex. Convinced that Lana will never return his affections, Tom decides that it’s high time to get over his unrequited love.
Except Lana doesn’t quite seem to agree with this plan. Not after she sees him with another woman. Not after she confronts him about it. And most definitely not after he succumbs to temptation and kisses her.
As they finally ignite the fire that has burned so long between them, Tom cannot help but be certain that for Lana, this is just about sex. Will he be satisfied with only having the body of the woman he loves and not possess her heart? Or will Lana convince Tom that she truly means to give him her everything?
Hush is the first book that I've read by this author and since I'm always looking to discover new romance authors I jumped at the chance to review it. The synopsis struck me as an enemies to lovers style trope (which I love) and I read the book in just a couple of hours.
It's also the first novella I've read in quite a while and I found myself flying through it.
As it's a novella, the story kicks off straight away with Lana waking up in her assistant's bed with a blazing hangover and no idea what happened the night before.
Tom and Lana's relationship quickly heats up, with the tension between them building rapidly. The chemistry between the two characters sizzles off the page and the love scenes are SUPER descriptive, if a little cringe-worthy at times, but that's just my opinion.
Some of the characters in this book are clearly from the other books in the series but I never really felt as though there was something I'd missed because the author gives a quick overview to introduce each character.
Although this book is categorised as a contemporary romance on Goodreads, I'd personally class it as erotic romance as it seems that the sex is at the forefront of the novella with the plot taking a bit of a backseat.
I did like that the secondary characters in the book were diverse in terms of their sexuality but I was massively confused by the fact that this book is supposed to be set in Shanghai but I think every single character is white. It would have been nice to have some cultural representation going on here, otherwise why choose Shanghai as a setting at all? Unless I'm missing something here....
The writing style was fun and fast-paced and after looking at the synopsis and reviews of some of the other books in this series, I'm definitely interested in finding out what more A.M. Salinger has to offer.
Overall, this was a fast paced, hot read with a simple, fairly drama-free plot and a guaranteed HEA.
Click the cover photo above to add the book to your Goodreads TBR and enter below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card + 2 signed paperback copies of Hush (Open Internationally - giveaway hosted by Xpresso Book Tours).
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About Kayleigh (She/Her)
Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
About Sophie (She/Her)
Sophie loves books (obviously). She has a passion for photography and spotting wildlife, and is interested in anything made with passion and creativity.
THIS BLOG IS SPOILER FREE!
5 Stars - AMAZING!!
4.5 Stars - Almost perfect!
4 Stars - I really loved it
3.5 Stars - I liked it alot
3 Stars - I liked it
(I don't typically review books that I rate below 3 stars)
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