Monday, April 15, 2024

REVIEW: The Social Graces by Renee Rosen


OUR REVIEW:

The Social Graces has been sitting on my kindle for a while and I'm glad I finally picked it up. This novel takes the real lives of the Vanderbilts and the Astors and fictionalizes aspects of their lives, while staying fairly true to many of the facts. I found myself stopping to google images and places because the way Rosen wrote their stories made me completely fascinated and dying to know more. 

I really appreciated how she made Alva and Caroline interesting and flawed and lovable--you couldn't help but root for both of them, even as you questioned some of their choices. I also enjoyed that she wrote about a large span of their lives, which made the novel feel very satisfying when you got to the end--it felt complete.

Interesting, historical read. 


BUY IT: https://amzn.to/3Uw82n1

SYNOPSIS:


Named one of 
2021’s Most Anticipated Historical Novels by Oprah Daily ∙ SheReads ∙ Frolic ∙ BookReporter ∙ and more...

The author of 
Park Avenue Summer throws back the curtain on one of the most remarkable feuds in history: Alva Vanderbilt and the Mrs. Astor's notorious battle for control of New York society during the Gilded Age.

1876. In the glittering world of Manhattan's upper crust, women are valued by their pedigree, dowry, and, most importantly, connections. They have few rights and even less independence—what they do have is society. The more celebrated the hostess, the more powerful the woman. And none is more powerful than Caroline Astor—the Mrs. Astor.

But times are changing.

Alva Vanderbilt has recently married into one of America's richest families. But what good is dizzying wealth when society refuses to acknowledge you? Alva, who knows what it is to have nothing, will do whatever it takes to have everything.

Sweeping three decades and based on true events, this is the mesmerizing story of two fascinating, complicated women going head to head, behaving badly, and discovering what’s truly at stake.

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

REVIEW: Avenging Angel by Kristen Ashley


OUR REVIEW:

Coincidentally, I just finished a reread of the entire Rock Chick Series and had no idea that Avenging Angel would happen to come out when I finished aaaaand be Rock Chick adjacent! NO IDEA. How I got so lucky, who knows but dang I hit the jackpot in my reading schedule. 

I loved Avenging Angel; it had all the things I love about the RCHB nation: hilarity, the best secondary characters, and the warmth and love that comes in all of Kristen Ashley's novels. In this first book in the new series, we get to watch Cap (aka Sniff) find his match in Rachel ("Raye"). He's opening the new Nightengale offices in Phoenix and she's a waitress in a funky coffee shop/cocktail/restaurant by day and a part time avenger at night. They "meet" when they both end up trying to bust a criminal at the same place/same time and are then inseparable. 

The narrative is told through Raye's eyes and her inner monologue is as goofy and endearing as all of the other RCs. And Cap is an evolved macho man--definitely has the sensibilities of one of the Hot Bunch but less caveman about it. They're both loveable, as are their friends, and I am DYING for the rest of the series. I can't wait to get to know them all (and how they see the RCHB, since they definitely make their appearances).

Great read! 

BUY IT: https://amzn.to/3PQzBVe

SYNOPSIS:

Rachel Armstrong has a burning need to right the world’s wrongs. Thus, she becomes the Avenging Angel.

And maybe she’s a bit too cocky about it.

While riding a hunch about the identity of a kidnapper, she runs into Julien “Cap” Jackson, who was trained by the team at Nightingale Investigations in Denver. Now he’s a full-fledged member at their newly opened Phoenix branch.

It takes Cap a beat to realize Raye’s the woman for him. It takes Raye a little longer (but just a little) to figure out how she feels about Cap.

As Raye introduces Cap to her crazy posse of found family and his new home in the Valley of the Sun, Cap struggles with his protective streak. Because Raye has no intention to stop doing what she can to save the world.

But there’s a mysterious entity out there who has discovered what Raye is up to, and they’ve become very interested.

Not to mention, women are going missing in Phoenix, and it seems like the police aren’t taking it seriously.

Raye believes someone should.

So she recruits her best friend Luna, and between making coffees, mixing cocktails, planning parties and enduring family interventions (along with reunions), the Avenging Angels unite to ride to the rescue.
 

Monday, April 8, 2024

Powerless by Elsie Silver

 


OUR REVIEW:
Elsie Silver is a new to me author; I think I found her after seeing other authors sharing some of her work and I thought I'd give Powerless a try. 


The first few chapters had me interested in the story of Sloane and Jasper, but if I'm being honest, there was a little bit of a drag after I got to know them and what their story was about and when things picked up for me. I think it was just a little too much of them in their heads about each other, when it was clear to everyone that they were both pining for each other...and yet they continued to deny it for what sometimes felt like forever. That being said, I still found their love story interesting with all of the side characters and subplots that were involved and that kept things moving for me and then things got moving for Sloane and Jasper and once that happened, the novel picked up steam and I flew through the rest of the pages. 


I enjoyed how sweet both Sloane and Jasper were and I also appreciated that they both were strong and weak and that when needed, they had each other's back. I loved the whole family aspect of the novel and am definitely curious about the other siblings and their books. So even though there were parts that were a smidge slow for me, I'm glad I stuck with it because it ended up being a solid 3.5 read. 


BUY IT: https://amzn.to/3u7VFmB

SYNOPSIS:

Two childhood friends. Two broken hearts. One impromptu road trip to get away from everything. That’s all this was supposed to be. After all, I’ve been living in the friend zone for years now.

But hockey heartthrob Jasper Gervais isn’t looking at me like a friend anymore. And he isn’t touching me like one either.


To his fans, he’s the handsome, talented athlete on TV. To me, he’s still the lost boy with sad eyes and a heart of gold.

The man I’ve loved in secret for years.

So when my life falls apart on my wedding day, it only makes sense that he’s the one to swoop in and save me. And when his world comes crashing down around him, I’m there to return the favor.

But the more time we spend alone, the more Jasper doesn’t feel like a friend at all. He feels like everything I’ve ever wanted and thought I could never have.

Our feelings aren’t straightforward though. They twist and turn around the pain of his past and the reality of my present.

Jasper Gervais acts like he wants me.

But after years of turning me away, he’s going to need to prove it.

Friday, April 5, 2024

REVIEW: Wild Card by Staci Hart


OUR REVIEW:

Staci Hart is baaaaack; thank the Lordt! And what a comeback! Wild Card is a delightful mix of humor and sexiness and sweet romance. We've got Remy, Mr. Hot Stuff, baseball player, smirking bartender and Jessa, Ms. Prim and Proper, British, Queen of snark...a match made in heaven. They get thrown together when his cousin's (aka her BFF) wedding takes over his small town and his rundown cottage is the last available space for her to stay. Day 1 shows us that their attraction to each other is instant and mutual and their snarky banter is going to be the absolute best. As the days go on and they get to know each other, it's easy to see how compatible they are. They're both kind and generous and a little lost, when it comes to their futures. With time to kill between wedding events, the conversations they have reveal things--his pushed aside dreams and her desire for a life beyond the social calendar her family wants her to abide. They also learn that they must keep their burgeoning romance a secret, as his cousin/her BFF has forbidden them to hook up. Fortunately for us, they can't seem to help themselves and they explore more than their personalities...that dryer scene!...lordy have mercy...the hotness...the filthy mouths...the chemistry...so hot. 

All this to say that Remy and Jessa are the perfect match and the perfect comeback for Staci Hart. 

BUY IT: https://amzn.to/3U7you7

SYNOPSIS:

The hot baseball player I’m forced to stay with for my best friend’s wedding is off limits.

Remy Winfield has more muscles than manners, and he’s on a mission to get me into bed by way of the filthiest mouth I’ve ever wanted to kiss. He doesn’t care about my long time crush or my certainty that we’re finally about to happen.

Remy's sure I’ll break first and kiss him, and he’ll tease me to the limit to make sure I do. I might be a Lady, but I can still play his dirty little game. It’s perfectly safe, totally harmless.

Until I fall for him.

Suddenly, Mr. Long-Time Crush doesn’t matter at all.

And my best friend can never know.
 

Monday, April 1, 2024

REVIEW: The Art of Scandal by Regina Black

 


OUR REVIEW:

The Art of Scandal came highly recommended by tons of writers and readers I really respect, so when I saw it on sale I snagged it to read over a break. 

This novel has all of the things I think wou"Love would be so much easier if it were perfect..." 


On the night of her husband Matt’s fortieth birthday, Rachel Abbott receives a sexy, explicit text from her husband that she quickly realizes was meant for another woman. Divorce is inevitable, and Rachel is determined not to leave her thirteen-year marriage empty handed. Meanwhile, Matt, a rising star mayor with his eye on the White House, can’t afford a messy split in the middle of his reelection campaign. They strike a deal: Rachel gets one million dollars and their lavish house in the wealthy DC suburb of Oasis Springs, as long as she keeps playing the ideal Black trophy wife until the election.

Then Rachel meets Nathan Vasquez, a very handsome, very lost twenty-six-year-old artist, and their connection makes Rachel forget about being the perfect politician’s wife. As Rachel reawakens Nathan’s long-dormant artistic aspirations, their attraction becomes impossible to resist. But secrets are hard to keep in a town like Oasis Springs, and Nathan has a few of his own. With the risk of scandal looming and their hearts on the line, they’ll have to decide whether the possibility of losing everything is worth taking a chance on love. 

The Art of Scandal is a sizzling, conversation-starting debut about rekindling passion, the transformative power of art, and finding love in unexpected places. ld make it go viral: a salacious premise of an older woman, Rachel, and a younger man, Nathan, a potential political scandal, commentary of class and sex and sexism and race and ageism and the hypocrisy of so many things, as well as secrets and lies. So many good things going on and while I definitely enjoyed it--it was a 3.5 to 4 star read for me--I think the thing that held me back from LOVING it like so many was that it was a little slow for me. It needed to be. Regina Black was exploring all the dynamics that went into her characters and their decisions and skimping on that would've made the novel feel flat. 

The synopsis tells you the outline of the story of these two, but it's the way they are drawn and filled in that makes this story what it is--one filled with two lost souls, trying to find themselves and somehow find each other. It's about figuring out who you are and who you want to be and conquering the natural fears that come with that knowledge. It's also filled with passion and love and grief and hope and one that I think many will enjoy. 


BUY IT: https://amzn.to/42cbsxd

SYNOPSIS:


© Must Read Books or Die. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.