Tag «now a series»

Series Review: P.S. by Winter Renshaw

Series Review: P.S. by Winter Renshaw

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for PS I Hate You (from Goodreads):

Dear Isaiah,

Eight months ago, you were just a soldier about to be deployed and I was just a waitress, sneaking you free pancakes and hoping you wouldn’t notice that my gaze was lingering a little too long.

But you did notice.

We spent a “week of Saturdays” together before you left, and we said goodbye on day eight, exchanging addresses at the last minute.

I saved every letter you ever sent, your words quickly becoming my religion.

But you went radio silent on me months ago, and then you had the audacity to walk into my diner yesterday and act like you’d never seen me in your life.

To think … I almost loved you and your beautifully complicated soul.

Almost.

Whatever your reason is—I hope it’s a good one.

Maritza the Waitress

PS – I hate you, and this time … I mean it.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Author: Winter Renshaw
# of Books: 3 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: March 28, 2018 – October 2018
Source & Format: Hidden Gems Books–eARC (#1); Own (#2, #3)

ARC provided for PS I Hate You only

thoughts

**This post was originally published as a standalone review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Over the last year, Winter Renshaw has become a must read author for me–and this book definitely reaffirmed that.

I’ve been looking forward to this one since I read its blurb a few months ago. I couldn’t wait to learn more about Isaiah and Maritza and uncover just what had happened between them. Of course I had my theories but you never know what to expect with a Renshaw book 😉

The Concept:

This story starts from the beginning of Isaiah and Maritza’s story–starting when they meet for the first time. It’s a little bittersweet watching their story unfold because you, thanks to the synopsis, that something terrible happens to draw them apart. But that just sucks you in more as you get invested in their story.

And I just want to say that despite the synopsis format, this novel isn’t only told through letters. Just a heads up.

The Plot:

I really enjoyed the fact that we start at the beginning of their relationship; that this isn’t a second chance romance right from the get-go. As I said above, the anticipation of knowing that things go awry (all the while hating that they do because you’ve come to love these two together) adds an addicting quality to this story.

I had my theories going in about what draws them apart, but Renshaw completely threw me for a loop with her twist and that made me love this book even more.

The Characters:

The main reason I loved this book so much was our two leads. They’re absolutely great and bring this story to life in a way that just makes it addicting to read.

Maritza is honest to a fault I think but I loved her candour and approach to life. I don’t know how else this story would work if she wasn’t the lead.

Isaiah is a hard nut to crack and I loved watching Maritza slowly ebb away his gruff exterior to see who he truly is. Because as the reader, you do get his inner monologue and know his struggles. It’s just fun watching his evolution thanks to Maritza.

The Romance:

At the start, they are a little like oil and vinegar–not completely mixing thanks to their candour and stubborn personalities. Of course that changes as they get to know each other but I loved the tension their early interactions invoked.

As they get to know each other through conversations and activities, you start to see how these two would work. That was one of the things I appreciated the most about their story was actually reading the conversations these two would share. Seeing them interact on a daily basis enhanced their relationship and made their situation more realistic than not.

updates

–September 10, 2019– Book #2: PS I Miss You

I devoured this book in one sitting thanks to its sweet and sexy nature. But unlike the previous novel—while I still loved these two together—I feel like we didn’t get as deep with this characters. I couldn’t help but feel like this book was short a chapter or two to help really cement that great relationship.

–September 15, 2019– Book #2: PS I Dare You

I’m not sure if my rotten mood made me dislike this book–or if this book brought out an awful mood in me. This book felt rushed and not in a good way. The chemistry just didn’t seem to be there and that didn’t help me get behind the romance. I also thought more could have been done with the character backstories–just seemed like a missed opportunity and an unfortunate way to end an entertaining series.

Series Rating: 4/5

PS I Hate You 5/5 | PS I Miss You 4/5 | PS I Dare You 2/5

overall

With the exception of the final book (but maybe get a second opinion) this series strikes a great balance of romance, drama and passion.

Read if You Like: sweet romance, army heroes, time limited romances
Avoid if You: want erotica

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DNF Series Review: A Chance of Light by Claudine Kapel

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for A Chance of Light (from Goodreads):
Spaceships don’t just disappear…

When an alien spaceship vanishes after crashing in the Mojave Desert, Ryan Cole and his team are tasked with finding the craft and securing its cache of advanced technology.

The investigation proves perilous as others are also hunting for the ship, including arms dealer Antoine Drake and his alien allies.

When Cole agrees to help a woman from his past, it leads to a dangerous encounter with Drake and startling revelations about the alien presence on the planet. He finds himself in a race against time to uncover the location of the spaceship and the nature of its mission.

But discovering the secrets of beings from other worlds comes with a price. Because when humans and aliens collide, the truth can be deadly.

breakdown

Series: Ryan Cole Adventures
Author: Claudine Kapel
# of Books: 2 (A Darker Rain, A Chance of Light)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes–as far as I can tell
Genre: Adult, Science Fiction, Adventure
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: A Chance of Light–June 2016
Source & Format: Publisher–eARC

disclaimer

thoughts

Disclaimer: This review is only for A Chance of Light, which I stopped reading at 17%. Find out why below…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I was asked if I wanted to read A Chance of Light, I was excited to dive into the world of Adult Science Fiction. I love Science Fiction (anything from Star Wars to Star Trek and the galaxies in between) but when it comes to reading, I mostly stick to the occasional YA series. And with the Lorien Legacies (aka I Am Number Four Series) ending this year, I needed a new Sci-Fi work in my life.

Now, I want to be clear that I never read the first Ryan Cole adventure, A Darker Rain. I was assured that I could read A Chance of Light without reading the previous novel. So this review is only about A Chance of Light and why I didn’t finish it.

What I Liked:

–The Danger of the Unknown–

I really enjoyed the premise of the novel: mysterious ship goes down and no one knows why or how. Add to that a mortal enemy to Ryan Cole in the form of an inter-galaxy arms dealer and I was intrigued. This captured my attention and I was curious to see what this could mean for Cole and his crew…but it just took too long to get anywhere with this plot.

What I Didn’t Like:

–Too Many Characters at Once–

While I don’t think it is truly necessary to read the first Ryan Cole adventure, A Darker Rain, I think it would help reduce the character overload that occurs in the first 7 chapters of this novel. I felt like I was on the outside looking in for the first few chapters, trying to orient who was who as they were introduced.

Is that their last name or their first name the other characters refer to them as?

Is that the IT guy or another ex-military personnel?

It was overwhelming and really threw off the pacing of the story. It seemed like the idea was to throw out all the potential plot conflicts in the first ten pages and then simultaneously uncoil them all. It just didn’t work for me.

–Slow Plot–

Like I said above, this story didn’t feel like it was going anywhere anytime fast despite the various character and plot introductions.

Will I Finish It?

At this time no. It just wasn’t my cup of tea when all is said and done.

A Chance of Light Rating: DNF

overall

I don’t think I’m ready to make the leap into adult Science Fiction quite yet. If you enjoy slower stories with lots of characters, this is the Science Fiction novel for you!

Read if You Like: slow stories, lots of characters
Avoid if You: want a faster paced Sci-Fi novel

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Single Sundays: Silver Heart by Victoria Green

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Silver Heart (from Goodreads):
There comes a moment in everyone’s life when they must decide which road leads to personal happiness. For Dylan Silver, this is that moment…

For the past twenty-two-years, Dylan has been living in her parents’ carefully crafted world, always putting her own dreams on hold to play the role of a dutiful daughter. When her best friend coaxes her into a winter getaway to a mountain resort, she sees it as a chance to forget about the responsibilities waiting for her at home. At least for a little while.

But then her past catches up to her—in the form of sexy snowboarder, Sawyer Carter. Six long years had passed since Dylan bid goodbye to the only boy she ever truly loved. Now he’s standing right in front of her, bringing up bittersweet memories and igniting suppressed desires as he dares her to be the person she has always wanted to be.

Dylan and Sawyer’s unexpected meeting is a second chance, but will a girl who doesn’t believe in fate and taking risks be able to overcome her fears of losing control and finally embrace the life she desperately wants?

Only one thing is certain: after a week in Whistler, Dylan’s world will never be the same.

Review:

I actually bought this book by accident one day when I was browsing the Amazon Bestseller Freebie list. I’m not sure how I managed it but it wasn’t a big deal in the end. Truth is I probably would have bought it anyways another time. I’m glad I did buy it as I enjoyed reading it!

I was expecting a sweet read but it was definitely spicier than I thought; which isn’t a bad thing. However, at times I found it a little tedious to get through because I would have rather read about their hidden feelings for each other or have seen them interacting on a more emotional level instead of a physical one all the time. Really, it isn’t a big deal because I feel like I got enough emotional connection to keep me happy in the end.

Sawyer definitely knew all the right things to say and had me swooning practically anytime he opened his mouth. He was definitely the highlight of the book for me. I almost wished his POV was included because I really enjoyed his character and his history. But he is such a good talker and constantly shared his feelings and thoughts so I didn’t feel like I was seriously deprived of anything.

But having his POV would have given me a bit of a break from Dylan. One of my biggest pet peeves about Young Adult novels is unnecessarily angsty leads and that also goes for New Adult genre novels as well. However, with New Adult novels most of the time I find that they legitimately have a reason for being angst-ridden so it doesn’t bother me as much. In the Silver Heart, I find Dylan was right on that border for me. I understood why she had the mind-set that she did given her family history but I found she harped on the same point all the time.

Warning, I’m about to go on a bit of rant. Feel free to skip to the bottom paragraph in this section if you don’t want to read it 😉

I also think it doesn’t help that I’m the same age as Dylan and I can’t fathom why she just doesn’t tell her parents “no”. Like grow a backbone and take charge of your life–you’re 22 years old for goodness’ sake and have a degree! It’s not like she was a fish completely out of water. I can understand the psychology behind why she would have a hard time telling her parents but she seemed so self-aware of it that I’m surprised it took her as long as it did to breakdown. Maybe because I have a great relationship with my parents I don’t understand why people struggle with their own independence but it drove me a little nuts.

End Rant

As for the plot: there isn’t much other than Dylan trying to find herself and trying to find out where a relationship with Sawyer fits in. So mostly it is a romance with a dash of character development.

Also, I just need to ask the following spoiler question to satisfy the logical part of me: |why couldn’t Dylan just tell Sawyer she would talk to him after the tournament? It wasn’t like she didn’t have his cell phone number…communication people!|

Conclusion:

If you are looking for a sweet (yet spicy) read about second chance romances, this is a great one for you!

Rating: 3.5/5
Would I Recommend this Book to a Friend: Perhaps.

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Snowboarding, Second Chances, Coming of Age
Recommended for: 18+
Heat Rating: getting hot
Point of View: First Person
Similar Reads: Out of Line by Jen McLauglin (Out of Line Trilogy #1); Playing Pretend by Juliana Haygert and He Belongs With Me by Sarah Darlington

Series Review: All that Glows by Ryan Graudin

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for All that Glows (from Goodreads):

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

breakdown

Series: All that Glows
Author: Ryan Graudin
# of Books: 2 (All that Glows, All that Burns)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Faeries, Magic
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: February 2014 – 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Single Sunday standalone review of the first book of the series. I have opted not to pick up the sequel.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I was really excited to read this novel because it has been a long time since I read a faery based novel and this one had a very interesting premise that hooked me in.

The Plot:

I think if you are expecting this book to be an action-packed young adult novel–you will be disappointed. While Emrys is powerful in the Guard, she isn’t a hands-on fighter as she mostly uses magic to disarm her enemies: so there are no big action scenes. I also found that the scenes where she confronts enemies are few and far between so that was disappointing though the end of the novel has a bit more action.

The Romance:

This book mostly focuses on the romance between Emrys and the prince (Richard) which was really fine by me because I wasn’t expecting a high action novel (though I would have enjoyed it!). I wish there was more interaction between the two (though it does improve later in the book) so that their relationship with each other isn’t simply based on the “connection” they have. Because this is a world of magic, I understand that something more is happening between them and it did improve as the novel progressed so that made me happy. I just wish that Richard was a few years older than 17 because I felt like he was older based on the events that unfold.

As for the plot of the “ancient force” I enjoyed the premise and how it unfolded. I wasn’t entirely sure how it was going to end so I enjoyed that aspect of it. I just wish it was a little more suspenseful along the way because it felt a little dull at times: I think it was a little bit too long and could have been a few pages shorter as a result.

updates

–January 31, 2015– Book #2: All That Burns

I coincidentally found out that this book now has a sequel when I was browsing my “New February Books” list on Goodreads today. I’m undecided about whether or not I will read this sequel. At this time, I have opted not to read it but if becomes available at my library, I might randomly grab a copy on day just to see what happens next–but I’m not dying to do so.

Series Rating: 3/5

overall

Nothing really wowed me about this book. I liked it but I wish it just had that little umph to it to make it that touch more memorable. If you want a slower paced faery-magic novel with a dash of romance, you will probably enjoy this!

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Series Review: Waking Up by Mira Lyn Kelly

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Synopsis for Waking Up Married (from Goodreads):

Her first thought: “Who are you?”
It’s the morning after her cousin’s bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she’s in a stranger’s penthouse having woken up with something else as well – a funny, arrogant, sexy…husband!

Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible – been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter…no, Connor Reed and she’s gone from first meet to marriage in one night!

Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor’s shocking bombshell?

“I don’t want a divorce.”

breakdown

Author: Mira Lynn Kelly
# of Books: 2 (Waking Up Married, Waking Up Pregnant)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Date: December 2012 – March 2014
Source & Format: Own (Kindle)–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Standalone review of the first book of the series. I have opted not to pick up the sequel.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I got this book for free for my Kindle and read it right away.

My Review:

Although I don’t enjoy reading love at first sight novels, this one didn’t bother me too much despite being a one. I actually felt like there was a good connection between Megan and Connor–not enough to get married within 24 hours of meeting each other but, hey, it’s fiction after all (and set in Vegas)!

It was a good, light-hearted read that had me smiling by the end of it. It was funny and charming and the characters were likeable.

My Rating: 4/5

overall

Fans of contemporary romance will really enjoy this book! Just be sure to go into it looking for a light-hearted read and have some fun!

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  • The Secret Wedding Dress by Ally Blake

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Series Review: Billionaire by Vanessa Waltz

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Break (from Goodreads):

What if a handsome billionaire offered you thousands to pretend to be his girlfriend? And what if you started to believe the lie?

Jessica has never had a boyfriend, and that’s just how she likes it. She’s still trying to rebuild herself from a sexually abusive past, and a guy – no matter how gorgeous – would only mess up the fragile balance of her life.

Almost-billionaire Luke Pardini is gorgeous, that’s for sure. He’s also desperate. His dying father thinks he’s too irresponsible to inherit the family estate, and Luke needs to convince his dad that he’s grown up and ready to settle down with a girl. Any girl.

With five billion dollars at stake, Luke can’t mess this up. But as he pretends to date Jessica, he finds himself drawn to her more than he’d like to admit. He has been hurt too many times to count, but Jessica is the one person who makes him feel safe. It could have been a Cinderella story, but both of them made a promise that their relationship was just for show, and neither of them is going to step over the line.

When Jessica’s secret past emerges on the front page of the tabloids, his dad threatens to disown him if he doesn’t sever ties with her. If their relationship was only a charade, the solution would be easy. But if it’s not…

breakdown

Series: Billionaire
Author: Vanessa Waltz
# of Books: 2 (Break, Crash)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: –
Publication Dates: February – April 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Standalone review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to reflect my conclusion to DNF this series. It will not be further updated.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

For some reason, as soon as I picked up this book on Amazon for free one day, I just had to read it. I didn’t go in expecting a lot but I felt like there was a lot of promise and it was a free, quick read.

The Plot:

While the book was quick to read it greatly suffered from it.

The beginning, as I said, showed a lot of promise despite being extremely stereotypical of the New Adult Contemporary genre. I liked their initial connection and how they meet (it’s a good combo of the current books out there) but it just moves way too fast for me from there.

Throughout reading this novel, I just felt like pieces were missing from the plot. In one moment we were dealing with this plot issue and suddenly another issue is brought up and dealt with quickly. The dialogue was awkward and it was mostly dialogue which made reading the story equally awkward at times. The story overall could have used an editor to just build it up a bit more and make the story stand out on its own.

The Characters:

Now, the characters are another story. Jessica was just plain irritating. Honestly, grow a back bone because as a female myself, I was embarrassed by your lack of self-respect. There is a particular scene near the end that absolutely floored me because she didn’t think twice about her decision when she should have. But she truly has nothing on Luke who was a complete asshole throughout the novel. I admit, I have a huge soft spot for asshat-jerk leads but even I have a limit! He was just a complete tool and not in a loveable way. Frankly, he wasn’t worth the time Jessica spent on him but I guess they deserve each other based on their stupidity alone.

The only positive I felt from this book was their sexual tension. Before I realized what idiots they were, I enjoyed the sexual tension between them but it wasn’t enough to carry the book.

Rating: 2/5

overall

I’m glad I got this for free because I would have had to punch myself for spending good money on this. Pass!

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Book Review: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Macguire

NOTE: I feel it is important to clarify that this book is actually part of the “Wicked Years” series. However, I have never read, nor do I plan to read, the rest of the books in this series. As such, I have decided to review Wicked as a stand-alone novel.

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
In Baum’s land of Oz, animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. Green-skinned Elphaba, future Wicked Witch of the West, is smart, prickly and misunderstood; she challenges our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

Review:

I have never watched the musical Wicked; however, it is on my bucket list and has been on my “MUST SEE” play list for YEARS. It just never fails that when it comes to my area that I can’t make it to the show and I won’t be going to Broadway anytime soon so I decided to read the book in the hopes it would satisfy my craving.

Yeah, that was my first mistake.

I really feel like I should have read the book reviews about this book before I decided to read this book. If I had, I probably would have saved myself the hours it took me to drag myself through this book :S

I just didn’t enjoy this book. It was boring, and just plain weird at times. I also feel like it didn’t answer any of my questions about why the Wicked Witch becomes “Wicked” in the first place. I can see why the events Elphaba has gone through in life would make her “wicked” but it wasn’t enough to convince me. I felt like I should finish the book and sympathize with her character but when I finished, I was indifferent to her. I think the recent Disney movie, Oz, does a WAY better job at explaining the pre-story to the Wizard of Oz than this does.

I only finished this book for the sake of my pride and in the hopes that it would get better. I think for the most part it got a little more interesting for Elphaba once she reaches university but it still wasn’t enough to make me happy that I continued to read the book. I really should have put it down.

From what I have learned, this book is nothing like the musical and thank goodness or else I would be very concerned and curious about how it is so successful!

Conclusion:

This book is definitely more for adults, but I still wouldn’t recommend it for anyone unless they enjoy reading bizarre stories. If you want an interesting prequel for the Wizard of Oz, I highly recommend watching Oz: The Great and Powerful recently released by Disney–much more enjoyable and makes much more sense!

Rating: 1/5
Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Adult, Prequel, Fantasy,
Recommended for: no one, but it is geared more for the 18+ crowd

Book Review: A Black Tie Affair by Sherril Bodine

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):

Fashion curator Athena Smith will do anything to get her perfectly manicured hands on the Clayworth family’s celebrated couture collection for her exhibit. So when she’s called in to make sure the gowns are the real deal, she’s ecstatic…until a dress she’s examining turns out to be loaded with toxins (talk about killer threads!) and Athena faints, only to wake up face-to-face with the One That Got Away, notorious Chicago bachelor Drew Clayworth.

Drew still believes Athena betrayed him all those years ago, and he’s sure he can’t trust her. But when the priceless gowns go missing, she offers to help track them down. Reluctantly allied in the quest, Drew and Athena are soon stunned by the barely restrained passion still sizzling between them…and memories both bitter and sweet. Is their new partnership just a business arrangement? Or is this something more than…

Review:

I wanted to read this book because on the Goodreads Page it stated that fans of Jennifer Probst would love this one. Not sure who feels this way, but I sure didn’t. This was nothing like a Jennifer Probst book!

Therefore, it’s no surprise that I wasn’t overly impressed with this book. I’ve never read Talk of the Town which is set within the same universe (just before the events of this book) but it isn’t required to read it before this one.

I was hoping it would be more suspenseful with the crime but it wasn’t. I’m not even sure the crime was fully resolved (if it was I missed it completely). The romance built slowly and it was mostly mild sexual tension until the last few chapters.

I liked the characters enough. They were well developed, but I found that I was more interested in the secondary characters, like Athena’s sisters and Conner than I was in Athena and Drew.

I feel like this book would have been better as a short novella. It felt like it dragged (which is something to note considering the ebook is 170 pages in length–not very long at all) but it mostly just built up everything for a sequel (which I gather is All I Want is You). I plan on reading the sequel, but not with as high of hopes as I had for this one.

Conclusion:

If you want a quick, warm romance about reuniting with the love of your life, this is the contemporary romance for you.

Rating: 2.5/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Contemporary Romance; Second Chances
Heat Rating: lukewarm
Recommended for: quick contemporary reads
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