Mini Reviews: I Just Wanted To Read A Good Book, Dammit!

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Twice in a Blue Moon
by Christina Lauren
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books

Rating: ★★½

Synopsis via Goodreads: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment WeeklyMy Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

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

I’m back at it again reading another Christina Lauren book despite not loving their last three releases. I know, I know, why torture myself by reading yet another CLo book when there’s a chance I might not like it? Because I’m stubborn dammit and I really want to feel the same feels I felt while reading Love and Other Words. So I went into Twice in a Blue Moon expecting the worst and hoping for the best and well…let’s just say I’m not too surprised by the end result.

On her eighteenth birthday, Tate Jones and her grandmother take a trip to London to celebrate her adulthood before she’s off to college. There she meets Sam Brandis and his grandfather, Luther, and as she and her grandmother spend more time with them, Tate slowly finds herself falling more and more for Sam. She let’s him in and tells him her most inner secrets. Things take a turn when summer love soon becomes lover’s betrayal when Sam exposes Tate’s secrets to the tabloids and turns her world upside down. Now fourteens years later, Tate is an actress trying to make a name for herself. She takes on a role that she hopes will potentially change her career. But when the man who broke her trust all those years ago comes walking back into her life, Tate will find herself having to make a decision that will affect both or their futures. 

This story started off really cute and for the first 25% of Twice in a Blue Moon, I was glued to my eReader and was totally invested in this story. We get to see Tate, someone who has lived a pretty sheltered life, step out and just for a few weeks be able to be a normal teenager. She experiences her first love and her first heartbreak all in a matter of weeks. I felt like the beginning of the story was so relatable since most of us have been in Tate’s shoes when it comes to having our first love and going through those same emotions. It’s really sad to say that the first 25% of this book was my favorite part of this story but honestly after Tate’s secret was exposed and she was thrust back into the limelight, things really just went downhill when it came to the plot. While I enjoyed the writing (which clearly I did since I managed to finish the book), the story was extremely predictable. First we have Tate who is trying get out from under her famous father’s shadow and make a name for herself while also trying to build a closer relationship with said father and we don’t really get to see either of these two thing happen. I didn’t feel like we really got to see Tate thrive as an actress. Like Tate keeps saying she loves acting and how this role is her big break to shine but it’s just a lot of telling and not enough showing. Tate’s father is an egotistic asshat and I’m surprised he got away with the little stunt he pull. I was waiting for Tate to stand up for herself and tell her father that she’s done playing the happy father/daughter act but she never does. Next we have the romance, or rather the lack of romance. Yes we got some cutesy romance scenes at the beginning of the book but like where was the rest? Where was the passion? The heat? The emotion? Tate and Sam spend most of the book either avoiding one another or arguing. I wish more time was spent on these two rebuilding their relationship and falling in love once again as adults. Lastly we have the reveal of the reason why Sam betrayed Tate in the first place. Honestly, Sam’s reason was so obvious that I can’t believe it took until 70% for it to even be revealed. Like why drag this out for so long? Then once we do get the reveal, Tate just quickly forgives Sam and all is well again. I’m just really frustrated at this predictable plot and I feel like this story could’ve been so much deeper than it actually was. The ending was a mess as well because it was completely rushed and abrupt and left me unsatisfied. Twice in a Blue Moon was unfortunately another CLo flop for me and I’m gonna take this as a sign that maybe I need to take a break from reading this author duo’s books for a while. Maybe one day I’ll fall in love with their books again but for now, it’s gonna be a no from me.



by Sarah Smith
Publication Date: October 8, 2019
Publisher: Berkley

Add to Goodreads || Buy on Amazon  

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads: Debut author Sarah Smith nails this fun and sexy multicultural romance where two office foes hammer out their differences to build a love that will last…

Emmie Echavarre is a professional faker. She has to be to survive as one of the few female employees at Nuts & Bolts, a power tool company staffed predominantly by gruff, burly men. From nine to five, Monday through Friday, she’s tough as nails–the complete opposite of her easy-going real self. 

One thing she doesn’t have to fake? Her disdain for coworker Tate Rasmussen. Tate has been hostile to her since the day they met. Emmie’s friendly greetings and repeated attempts to get to know him failed to garner anything more than scowls and terse one-word answers. Too bad she can’t stop staring at his Thor-like biceps…

When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity construction project, things get…heated. Emmie’s beginning to see that beneath Tate’s chiseled exterior lies a soft heart, but it will take more than a few kind words to erase the past and convince her that what they have is real.

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

Faker is a debut romance that caught my eye after the cover was revealed and then I read the blurb and my excitement grew because I’m a sucker for enemies-to-lovers romances so I knew that I had to get my hands on this story. 

As one of the few female employees at a male-dominated company, Emmie Echavarre is a pro at being just “one of the guys”. She has tough skin, doesn’t let anyone put her down and stands her own ground. But there’s one person who has a knack for getting under her skin: her co-worker, Tate Rasmussen. When Emmie and Tate are forced to work together on a charity project for the company, will these two be able to find a way to put aside their differences and get the job done or will it all come crashing down? 

Let’s start off with the good stuff. If you were a fan of The Hating Game then Faker may be right up your alley. Just like with The Hating Game, Faker had great back and forth banter which was what immediately drew me into the story. I was living for the tension between Emmie and Tate and how they would constantly doing things to push one another buttons. All that tension made for one angsty romance! Not gonna lie, this romance was adorable. I loved the slow build up of these two tip toeing around their feelings for one another and seeing that spark turn into a flame. ALSO THIS BOOK HAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE KINKS! Emmie gets sick and Tate offers to take care of her and I was sobbing because it was so freakin’ cute! As for our characters, I felt like Emmie was such a relatable character. She spends most of her days putting on this tough girl act but as the story goes on we see that wall she puts up start to break down slowly and we get to see all that vulnerability underneath that tough exterior. Tate on the other hand, well I’m still not sure how I feel about him. At first, I thought he was a great fit for Emmie and I liked his awkward personality but then the twist happened and now I just can’t move past what he did. Now for the not so good stuff. One thing that really irked my nerve while reading this book was how Emmie would constantly bring up Tate’s paleness. She would go on and on about how his “skin glowed” and how “flawless” his skin was and the first two times I let it slide, but by the sixth time I was so over it. Like we get it, Tate’s skin glows like Edward Cullen’s, we got the picture the first time, lol. But the thing that made me really want to throw my eReader across was the conflict. The conflict for this book was slightly disturbing to say the least. I’ve never read a book with a twist like this and it just rubbed me all the wrong way. The conflict also happened so close to the end of the book that I felt like there wasn’t enough time for Tate to grovel and man did that dude deserve to grovel instead of having Emmie easily forgive him like she did. The conflict will definitely make or break this book for some readers. All in all, Faker may have started out as a fun read but the ending was a major flop for me and left a bad taste in my mouth.


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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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