Mini Reviews: A Series Redeems Itself and Another Falls Flat

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Handle With Care (Shacking Up #5)
by Helena Hunting
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads: HE WANTS TO LOSE CONTROL.

Between his parents’ messed up marriage and his narcissistic younger brother, Lincoln Moorehead has spent the majority of his life avoiding his family. After the death of his father, Lincoln finds himself in the middle of the drama. To top it all off, he’s been named CEO of Moorehead Media, much to his brother’s chagrin. But Lincoln’s bad attitude softens when he meets the no-nonsense, gorgeous woman who has been given the task of transforming him from the gruff, wilderness guy to a suave businessman.

SHE’S TRYING TO HOLD IT TOGETHER.

Wren Sterling has been working double time to keep the indiscretions at Moorehead Media at bay, so when she’s presented with a new contract, with new responsibilities and additional incentives, she agrees. Working with the reclusive oldest son of a ridiculously entitled family is worth the hassle if it means she’s that much closer to pursuing her own dreams. What Wren doesn’t expect is to find herself attracted to him, or for it to be mutual. And she certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Lincoln. But when a shocking new Moorehead scandal comes to light, she’s forced to choose between her own family and the broody, cynical CEO.

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

I don’t know what it is about this series, but the Shacking Up world and I have never really clicked. Our relationship started off on a rocky note after I DNF-ed the first book in the series and I truly thought I was done with the series. But then the synopsis for the third book piqued my interest and I decided to give it a read and surprisingly, I didn’t hate it. So I thought, why not give the next book a chance? Big mistake on my part as I ended up DNF-ing that book too. I would’ve thrown in the towel at this point and written the series off my TBR off for good, but I already had Handle With Care sitting on my eReader so instead, I crossed all my toes and fingers and started reading and hoped that somehow this book wouldn’t end up sucking like the rest.

After the death of his father, Lincoln Moorehead is forced to come back home to save the family company from falling apart. But being back home brings back the worst memories from Licoln’s childhood and his younger brother’s lack of competence isn’t making the situation any better. To top it all off, Lincoln has a babysitter handler who is all business and no play. Wren Sterling has always done her best to keep Moorehead Media’s image as clean as possible and has never let anything distract her from doing her job, that is until she meets Lincoln. As Wren and Lincoln find it harder and harder to keep their relationship professional, family secrets will come to light that will threaten their relationship. Can Lincoln and Wren find a way to keep the past from ruining their future or will some secrets prove to be to hard to keep under wraps?

WELL THANK FUCKING GOD THIS BOOK DIDN’T SUCK! That was literally my immediate thought upon finishing this book as I let out a sigh of relief. I’m not even sure if Handle With Care is the final book in this series, but if it is then Helena Hunting definitely saved the best story for last. Handle With Care is an office romance with hate-to-love vibes and lots of family drama. The first thing that really worked for me with this book was the plot. It starts off on the funnier side as we see Lincoln and Wren try to work together while also trying to keep their attraction to one another in check, but then things gets more serious as family secrets start to come out of the wood work and it throws everyone for a loop. The plot twist in this book was very well executed. I didn’t even see this story going in that direction at all and while it made me want to fight certain characters at times (mainly Armstrong because he’s such an incredible douchebag!), I loved how everything came together in the end. I liked both Wren and Lincoln. Wren is so freakin’ sassy and hardworking and she has such a big heart. She has this dream of opening her own foundation one day and I love how she’s so determined to do it all on her own without the help of her parent’s connections. I didn’t like Lincoln at first because he’s a bit abrasive but holy shit that man knows how to swoon a woman! He goes to great lengths to protect Wren and he fights for them to be together despite the obstacles threaten to keep them apart. Lincoln marches to the beat of his own drum and he really don’t give a fuck and I was so here for it! Wren and Lincoln are by far my favorite couple in this series and they couldn’t have been a more perfect match. They both have this passion for helping people and just making the world a better place. I was also living for their banter and the chemistry between these two is undeniably steamy. Handle With Care is hands-down my favorite installment in the Shacking Up series and if you’re like me and you’ve haven’t had the best of luck with this series, then I definitely recommend giving this book a chance!

 

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Superfan (Brooklyn #3)
by Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC

Add to Goodreads || Buy on Amazon  

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads: Sometimes lady luck shakes your hand, and sometimes she smacks your face. Sometimes she does both on the same day.

Three years ago I met the most amazing girl in the world. We were both down on our luck. Then I got that call—the one that tells you to get your buns on a plane to go meet your destiny.

But the girl was left behind. I didn’t have her phone number, and she didn’t know my real name.

While I became a professional hockey player, she became a superstar, with platinum records and legions of fans. And a slick, music producer boyfriend who treated her badly.

But fate wasn’t done with us yet. When Delilah turns up at a hockey game, I can’t resist making contact. The internet swoons when I ask her out on a date.

She might not remember me. But her jerkface ex does. He’ll do anything to keep us apart. 

Good thing athletes never give up. This time I’m playing for keeps.

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

It’s no secret that the Brooklyn Bruisers world is one of my favorite so I was excited to dive into Superfan to see what was in store for our pop star loving goalie. 

Three years ago, Delilah Sparks walked into a bar and stole Silas Kelly’s heart. But life got in the way and they both headed down different paths. Now Delilah is a famous pop star and Silas still carries a torch for her. When opportunity strikes and he manages to snag a date with Delilah, will Silas finally get his chance at being with Delilah or will life once again get in the way?

So I might be the odd one out here, but Superfan ended up being just an okay read for me. What sucks even more is that I’m total sucker for second-chance romances but even that couldn’t win me over with this book. Let’s first start with what didn’t work for me. I couldn’t connect with Delilah at all. Honestly, I know Delilah is still young, but she’s kind of irresponsible with her career. She’s very blasé about certain things like her contract and she was so used to letting other people run the show and I so didn’t get that because one would think that even a pop star would be concerned about her own money and future as an artist. Like writing music isn’t the only important thing, you gotta make sure you have money to continue putting out music. The romance also fell very flat for me. Delilah and Silas spend most of their time on opposite ends of the coast and we barely got enough scenes with these two together which is why I couldn’t buy their connection. I felt like Silas was more invested than anything. Now onto what I liked. I really liked Silas. He’s a low key teddy bear and he’s so sweet. I thought his crush on Delilah was so cute and I loved how he was so patient with her when she asked him to be. I also loved seeing my children get married! NATE AND BECCA FINALLY TIED THE KNOT AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL! Superfan is probably my least favorite installment in this series so far but I still looking forward to the next book and hopefully that will be a much better read for me.

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I'm Ari, a local NYC bibliophile and a forever daydreamer. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book and my head up in the clouds. I am also a coffee addict and a chocolate connoisseur. I fell in love with the romance genre about three years ago and I haven't been able to stop reading about happily-ever-afters, which is ironic because I'm a bit of a cynical romantic in real life, haha. I hope you all enjoy my blog and fangirling with me about all the smutty reads!

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