Review

Review: Stronger Than Hope by Katherine McIntyre (2022)

Chesapeake Days, Book #1

Heat Factor: 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨🍆🍑🍆🍑🍆🍑👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨

Character Chemistry: OMGGGGG, he’s so hot (and he has a great personality, too)

Plot: Nate, recently dumped and starting over in a small town, almost runs over Linc, single dad widower who’s stifled in the small town, so obviously they’re MFEO but it takes a while to get there

Overall: This was a very chill read

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Review

Review: The Devil in the Deep South by Amy Craig (2022)

Heat Factor: It gets pretty steamy, but it’s later in the book and it’s not heavy.

Character Chemistry: One of those hate then love ‘em type books

Plot: Christopher is a billionaire and grandson of a state senator/presidential hopeful from Georgia who took over his brother’s business and is looking for a new place to build a state-of-the-art factory. Taylor is a small-town, southern, bookseller who is the glue of her community. Then Christopher can’t stay away, and Taylor and Christopher both end up having to re-examine the lives they think they wanted.

Overall: One of the more accurate depictions of a small town I’ve seen—slow, but with good character development.

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Series Review

Series Review: Copper Valley Fireballs by Pippa Grant (2020-21)

Copper Valley Fireballs, Books 1–3

Heat Factor: Like all Pippa Grant, there’s a healthy dose of sexual tension and plenty of heat.

Character Chemistry: They’re all kind of bumbling but hot. It’s the Pippa special.

Plot

Jock Blocked – Brooks Elliott kept his V-card for baseball luck and upon being traded to the Copper Valley Fireballs, decides he’s going to finally do away with it. Ultra Mega Fan Mackenzie can’t let that happen, so she goes out of her way to stop him. Hilarity ensues.

Real Fake Love – Luca Rossi is in the baseball Hall of Fame and does a lot of modeling and commercials. Henri is a secretly famous romance author who can’t stop getting engaged and wants Luca to teach her how to stop falling in love with every guy she dates. There’s an Italian Nonna who is pretty absurd.

The Grumpy Player Next Door – Max Cole is a super anxious, grumpy baseball player with a really difficult past, who desperately wants to belong in the small town he’s in. Tillie Jean is like the backbone of the community, and his best friend’s sister. She basically needles him into making out and then everything falls apart. But in a good way.

Overall: This series is classic Pippa–a lot of physical humor, absurdity, and inside jokes–and it was absolutely good but I think I overdid the Pippa books.

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Series Review

Series Review: Hidden Sins by Katee Robert (2017)

Heat Factor: It’s more focused on the crime drama than on the sexy sex

Character Chemistry: “I’m attracted to you and also we’re going through some intense things.”

Plot: Murder most foul! (Why else would the BAU be in a small town romancing the locals?)

Overall: Pretty satisfying romantic suspense

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Dueling Review

Dueling Review: Then, Now, Always by Mona Shroff

To kick off Secret Baby Week, Holly and Ingrid buddy-read Then, Now, Always by Mona Shroff. And you know what that means: time for a duel! (Moderated by Erin) 

Holly’s Take:

Heat Factor: The door is firmly closed.

Character Chemistry: Um. It’s complicated. But also love at first sight.

Plot: Maya and Sam were in love. But they broke up. Now it’s 16 years later and Maya finally tells Sam that he has a daughter.

Overall: This was kind of a weird book and I’m still processing how I feel about it.

Ingrid’s Take:

Heat Factor: This is not a book with a temperature.

Character Chemistry: It’s both “at first sight” and also a slow, complicated development at the same time.

Plot: Maya and Sam had a good thing going until everything blew up and incredibly bad choices were made. Then, 16 years later, Maya fesses up that she’s kept their child secret from Sam and he’s an emotional wreck, understandably.

Overall: I maintain that this trope is a massive romantic buzzkill and this book is like a case study in why that is.

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