Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert: A Review ( The Brown Sisters #3)

Summary: Eve Brown is considered the immature one of her family. She has gone on many professional endeavors, but leaves them all anytime she fails. Now her parents are forcing her to find a job and stick to it for a year, or be cut off financially. While driving the country side and wondering what to do, she comes across a quaint Bed and Breakfast and applies for the chef position. She and the B&B’s owner, Jacob Wayne don’t get along , but when she accidentally hits him with her car, she decides to stick around and give him a helping hand, until she can move on to finding the right job for her, but maybe working at  Castille Cottage is the right job after all.

My Review: I adored this book. The plot was fun and Talia Hibbert has a cheeky way of writing that  always makes me smile.  I also enjoyed the pop culture references to things I also enjoy like Totally Spies and AO3.

The characters are the driving force behind this book. I enjoyed the disabled representation and it was written with care.  I felt for Jacob and Eve and I loved how they supported each other. I also liked how natural their relationship was. I enjoyed them going from enemies, to friends, to lovers. There aren’t many enemies to lovers’ stories that show the two going through their platonic phase while fighting their attraction. Their banter was everything and the intimate scenes were beyond hot.

I could relate to Eve. She felt pressure on herself to succeed and gave up whenever things didn’t work out. I could relate to her because I am a bit of a perfectionist and am hard on myself, but it is important to also recognize your talents and not be so hard on yourself. Praise yourself for what you can do.

Moreover, I also adored Jacob Wayde and I think other readers will over him too. He was a Tsundere (one of my favorite character archetypes) which means he has a hard time expressing his feelings to Eve, but it was easy to see he cared for her. He complimented her whenever he got the chance and that really endeared him to me, along with other things.

These were two characters who deserved to be loved and I was rooting for them to the end.

In conclusion, it’s obvious how much I loved Act your Age, Eve Brown and I give it 5 stars. I loved the writing, the plot, and the characters. It was encouraging, amusing, and it made me swoon. I look forward to seeing what Talia Hibbert writes next.  I recommend this story if you love romantic comedies, slow burn, enemies to lovers, and work romance stories. I also recommend it if you’re looking for an own voice story with Autism representation.  It was a great ending to the Brown Sisters Trilogy.

The Devil in Her Bed( Devil You Know #3) by Kerrigan Byrne: A Review

Summary: Pippa has masqueraded as her deceased childhood friend, Francesca Mont Claire for a long  time  to track down the people who murdered  her loved ones. Now, she’s so close to finding out the truth.

Chandler has been in service to the crown as a spy and he goes by many disguises, tracking down the same men as Francesca. He is captivated by her, believing her to be the girl he fell in love with a long time ago. However, he doesn’t know that this Francesca is actually Pippa, the servant girl he saved from the Mont Claire house that tragic day and that she’s always been in love with him. What would happen when they two find out each other’s real identity and will they be able to track down the people who killed their friends?

My Review:  I have mixed feelings about this book. I started off enjoying it. The first chapter starts with “Francesca’s” past   and I was intrigued since then. I enjoyed how Chandler and she didn’t know each other’s true identities, yet were attracted to each other. Something about them both being undercover added to their chemistry. I also liked how they challenged each other. Furthermore, I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the story. There was twists I weren’t expecting.

However, the story fell of near the end for me. I lost enjoyment after Chandler revealed his true identity and “Francesca” was still holding on to hers. The stakes gave good reason why she took so long to tell him the truth, but by the time it was revealed, it was near the end of the story and I was skeptical about their ending. Regardless, this is the last book in the series and it wrapped up everyone’s story lines. The men Alexandria and Cecelia’s lives made a prominent appearance and the Red Rogue Society( Cecelia, Alexandria, and Francesca) continue to show their support for each other.

Overall, I rate The Devil in Her Bed, 3 stars.

Marriage and Murder by Penny Reid (Solving for Pie #2): A Review

Summary: The story picks up a year after Engagement and Espionage. Cletus and Jennifer are enjoying their engagement party when her uninvited father shows up at the party and later ends up murdered. With her mother listed as a suspect Jennifer and  her fiancé, Cletus must find the real culprit.

My Review: This book gave me everything I wanted from Engagement and Espionage, which was more sweet and hot moments between Cletus and Jennifer. (It definitely delivered by chapter three)  Cletus and Jennifer continue to be one of my favorite literary couples. Their love for each other is admirable.

     Moreover, I loved seeing how Jennifer has grown since Beard Science and how she continues to grow.  For example, there was one point I was afraid for her safety, but yet she proved to be bold while still showing her emotional strength. I felt for Jennifer while she struggled to understand her feelings about her father’s death.  There has even been some change in Cletus who is continuing to learn about redemption and mercy.

    I didn’t know what to expect from this book. the plot was a constant emotional rollercoaster, The mystery element of this story was complex, and I enjoyed being surprised by the killer. I appreciated the insight into Isaac, Diane, and Repo. I can’t wait to learn more about them  and their stories. Poor Cletus and Jennifer went through so much, but at least they had each other and the Winston family and friends to help them through it all.   

    Overall, I rate  Marriage and Murder 5 stars. I was still wanting more by the end and I can’t wait to read the next Solving for Pie Mystery. If you’re like me and  love Cletus and Jennifer like from the Winston Brothers series, than I definitely recommend giving this one a look.

Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins: A review( Women Who Dare #2)

Summary: Spring Lee comes across Garret in a snow storm and takes him in. She soon learns he came to Wyoming to interview her brother, Colton Lee who is a doctor. While Garret is in the town of Paradise, he finds himself for falling for Spring.

Spring has been through enough in her life. She owns her own land and doesn’t need a man telling her what to do, but Garret loves for who she is and doesn’t want to change her. Will she give in to Garret? And when will Spring do when her past comes backs to haunt her and her livelihood?

    My Review: I’ve been intrigued by Spring ever since I read about her in Tempest.She’s an admirable woman who knows how to handle her own. She’s independent, witty, and resourceful.   She’s a bit wary of men and I can understand why. However, I admire her bravery to trust Garret and I like how Garret was a man worth trusting.

    Garrett respected her regardless of what others in town thought about her.  I also liked how he respected that she didn’t want children and didn’t try to change her mind about it. He loved her for who she was.

     Furthermore, I liked how the story shows how minorities should work together instead of letting the white man divide us and how the media plays a role in how we perceive history. The whole story is never told and we should always look for its entirety. An example of this is when Garrett mentions what he read about Native Americans in a newspaper back home. Spring sets him right and tells him how the Native Americans were mistreated.

  In conclusion,  I rate Wild Rain 3.5 stars. It was nice to see Spring get her happy ending. This was also one of the hottest Beverly Jenkins books I read to date.  I recommend this story if you enjoy Beverly Jenkins and if you are new to her, I recommend starting with Tempest, which is the first book in the Women Who Dare series.

January 2021 Bookish Bingo

    In the first month of 2021, I read  11 books. Most of them were smutty novellas that I could barely write a review over, so I figured this month would be perfect for Bookish Bingo. I completed the second column on the left.

Character Has a Dog- Fit by Rebekah Weatherspoon. This was a novella about a TV producer name d Violet, who wants to lose weight and she is recommended a trainer, named Grant, who she later finds out uses sexual rewards as an incentive for working out.  (Also, he has a dog.)

I gave these story 2 stars. I was kind of put off by the way Grant approached Violet about the BDSM situation, but even he realized he went about tit the wrong way.  Otherwise I enjoyed the intimate scenes and it was a fun and quick read.

Body Positive Theme- When She’s Bold by Ruby Dixon. Lucy has had a crush on Rektar ever since he arrived in Resda iii. She arrives to his office often, flirts with him, and makes him food, but he never gets the hint. She then decides to step it up a notch to get his attention.

I rated this book 3 stars. It was cute and hot. I love a shy and oblivious love interest. Lucy is confident and I love it when heroines embrace who they are.

Set in a City You Wanted to Visit and Meant to Read  in 2020Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson.  When a  beloved member of her community, Mama Joy, dies. Kerry return to the knitting shop where she spend most of her time as a child and teenager. She resolves to help Mama  Joy’s adoptive sons reopen the shop. Also she is falling in love again with her childhood crush, Jesse Strong.

 The story is set in Harlem which is a city I also wanted to visit since watching the movie, Preaching to the Choir and  this book  has been on my Kindle since its release date.

I rate this book 2.5 stars. I wanted to love it, but there was more exposition than anything. There was great characterization and I loved the premise of the story, but it didn’t live up to its full potential to me.  However, I will be giving the sequel stand alone a chance when it comes out because I loved the Strong Boys just that much.

Award Winner-  Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

When Iris meets August in a bar before the  College Basketball  National Championships. it feels like fate, except Iris already has a boyfriend , Caleb who is a manipulative asshole and August’s  rival.

A year goes by, August and Caleb are  in the NBA , and August and Iris are constantly running into each other,  fighting their feelings. August knows Iris doesn’t belong with Caleb, but he only encourages her  to see her worth, follow her dreams and hopefully find her way to him.

There is a trigger warning  on this book for unwanted pregnancy, sexual abuse, and domestic abuse.

 This book has been on my kindle for a few years and was a RITA Award winner. I rate it 4 stars. I felt Iris and Caleb’s chemistry from the first chapter and I’ve been rooting for them since then. I adore Iris and her ambition. I also loved the relationship she had with her cousin, Lotus. Moreover, I love how August supports her.

This book isn’t the easiest to get through due to the trigger warnings and it’s an emotional rollercoaster, but I recommend it if you’re able to handle it

Those are the books I read for January Bookish Bingo. Most of them weren’t too memorable, but I really appreciated Long Shot. So what books have you read in January and did you participate in Bookish Bingo this month? What was your most memorable book? Let me know in the comments.

My Favorite Books of 2020

     2020 wasn’t that great of a year and although the circumstances weren’t ideal, I got a lot of reading done and read some great books by old and  new authors. Out of the 121 books I read in 2020,(humble brag) here are my most memorable 10. Some of these have reviews already, but I elaborated on the ones that aren’t previously posted.

  1. The One For You by Roni Loren (The Ones Who Got Away Book 4)

     This one was one  of the first books I read in 2020 and it’s the last in a series. It made me cry. I loved the chemistry between Kincaid and Ash and was rooting for them to finally get together.  Also, it partially takes places in a bookstore. What’s not to love?

2. I Think I May Love You by Christina C. Jones

This book was hilarious and Christina C Jones is now one of my favorite authors to read as a pick-me-up.

3. Hearts on Hold by Charish Reid.

4. The Lord I Left by Scarlet Peckham

    The hero was such a cinnamon roll and he and the heroine were great for each other. This book was a great slow burn and although I wanted a  more steamier ending, I enjoyed it all the same

5. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I’m not usually one for horror stories, but the cover was so gorgeous and the premise was so intriguing I had to give this one a try and I’m glad I did. This story brings up great discussion topics and I was truly creeped out by it all an. I loved that the hero was unconventional looking and I thought about the ending of this story a lot.

6. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

7. Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

8. If the Boot Fits by Rebekah Weatherspoon

9. How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole

 10. Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan

    This was the last book I read in 2020 and I was glad to end it on a high note. I loved the chemistry between Kimba and Ezra and I felt for them and everything they been through. This was a beautifully written friends to lovers story and I look forward to reading more books by Kennedy Ryan.

That’s the  list of my most memorable books from 2020 and If you  haven’t read them, I highly recommend you check them out. Thank you guys for checking out my blog over this past year and I hope you stick with me. Here is to more awesome books to read in 2021!

How to Catch Queen by Alyssa Cole : A Review

   Summary: Shanti has always wanted to become a queen. She gets her chance when she is chosen to be the bride  of Prince Sanyu who has to marry and take the throne before his father dies.

Their marriage is suppose to be a trial because Shanti is not considered a true queen , but she is determined to make the most of her new position anyway, despite the kingdom’s disregard for women and their opinions.

Sanyu doesn’t think he has what it takes to fill his father’s shoes and he knows Shani isn’t meant to be his wife forever, but he can’t help, but be drawn to her. Can these two find a way to make their marriage work and improve the kingdom?

    My review: The title is How to Catch A Queen, but it could also be called How to BE a Queen because Shanti is inspiring. She is ambitious when it comes to her goals and she is compassionate for the people.  She is also outspoken, smart, and she knows her worth.   She kind of reminds me of Hakeem’s Bride in Coming to America, Imani Izzi. If Imani Izzi had her own goals and personality. I want to be just like Shanti.

Moreover, I can relate to Sanyu. He has imposter syndrome and anxiety, but he is doing the best he can.  Shanti complements Sanyu and I can see how they make each other lives’ better. Shanti encourages Sanyu and  Sanyu admires Shanti; he  isn’t threatened by her  capabilities.  I think they give a good example of how a relationship should be–especially between Black heterosexual couples—since Black women are often belittled by Black men.–his  novel shows how Black women should be cherished.

Furthermore, I like how Alyssa Cole shows how even men can be effected by toxic masculinity. Sanyu was taught to depend on no one and rely on his own strength, but he realizes he can’t run the kingdom by himself. And what his father taught him wasn’t always right.  The books  shows how boys should be taught vulnerability and how it’s okay to love and show gentleness towards others.  In addition, I like how it shows the struggles women go through when they try to enact change in a patriarchal society.

Besides the romance, I liked the mystery aspect of this story where Shanti was trying to find out what happened to the missing past queens. I also like the allusions to the Jabari tribe in Black Panther.

I really enjoyed this book and   recommend  it to people who like royal romances. I especially recommend it to Black women who like romance stories. I rate this book 5   stars and can’t wait to see what Alyssa Cole writes next.

Layla by Colleen Hoover: A Review

  Summary: After going through a traumatic event, Leeds takes his girlfriend Layla to the Bed and Breakfast where they met to reconnect. However, the Bed and Breakfast has been put up for sale, so he rents the now abandoned building. While there, Leeds began to notice weird changes going on with Layla and  unexplainable happenings going on in the house. He wonders if the house is haunted and seeks to find answers. He finds them in the form of Willow.

My Review:  This was a very surprising story and I was engrossed in it.  I kept wondering what would happened between Leeds, Layla and Willow.  I loved how versatile this story is and from different perspectives it can read as a different type of story.  From Leeds point of view I see it as an AITA reddit post and from Layla’s perspective it could be considered a horror story.

However, I appreciated how I was stuck with Leeds the whole time. He got on my nerves a bit with his self-loathing, but I loved discovering things alongside him.  Moreover, I also appreciated his character development. My feelings about him changed constantly.

How I look every time I got to the Interview chapters.
How I looked every time I got to the Interview chapters.

The story has an easy transition from the past and the present and the pacing is a bit slow, but I enjoyed it never the less. Colleen Hoover brings an interesting concept about the afterlife and I like how she conveys it in the story.  I rate this story 4.5 stars.  I didn’t understand  the connection Leeds had with Willow at first( until the end) and I hated what little we see of Layla even though the story is about her. We get a good look at her personality at the beginning, but after that it is more about Leeds than anything else. This is a paranormal story unlike any I have ever read and I’m sure fans of Colleen Hoover or paranormal and romance fans would enjoy this story

See Me After Class by Meghan Quinn: A Review

Summary: Greer Gibson just got her first teaching job at a prestigious public school in Chicago as the new English teacher, what she doesn’t expect is the Head of the English Department and her classroom  neighbor,  Arlo Turner to be so against her and her unconventional teaching skills. Greer think Arlo is too uptight and forms a plan with her new teacher friends to loosen him up and from  there, begins their enemies to lovers relationship.

My Review:  See Me After Class had great character development and I liked seeing Arlo and Greer start to fall for each other. I liked seeing how their personalities influenced  each other and Arlo had a satisfying character arc. I also liked the idea of seeing teachers in an academic setting falling for each other.

  However, I found the story to be unrealistic at times. I was like, “These two are at work, how do they have time for all these pranks and why even get the kids involved in their personal lives?” I know it’s a work of fiction and it’s okay to take things at face value for a bit of fun, but I couldn’t’ t help, but find myself thinking about it. Moreover, the dark moment for this couple didn’t make sense for me. I didn’t understand why Greer would be mad about something she knew already.  

Overall, I rate this story 2.5 stars.   If you are a fan of Meghan Quinn,  or like enemies to lovers stories with a bunch of fun, then you might like this one, but it missed the mark for me.

The Tenant by Katrina Jackson: A Review

Summary: Noel is having a bad day. He is fresh out of college and can’t find a job in his field, he got fired from his job flipping burgers, and now he finds out his Great Aunt has died. At least his  Great aunt left him a house in Louisiana in her  will. With nothing else going for himself, Noel decides to take the house under the stipulation that states he can  only have it if he restores it to its former glory. What he doesn’t know is that he house is haunted and the ghost holds a grudge against his family from stealing the house away from  her.

Review: I had a lot of fun reading The Tenant. I related to Noel and I enjoyed his point of view. I felt like he reacted just like any other Black person would if they had to live in a haunted house, or came in contact with a ghost. It was a fresh new take for me when it came to the haunted trope. Moreover, I also enjoyed Ruby and her sassy comments. It was nice seeing a glimpse of what her life was like when she was live.

The story talks about  serious topics such as gentrification and  how it tries  to erase Black History, but  it also balances it with fun and heated moments between  Ruby and  Noel. The story even has a touching moment that almost made me cry. The relationship between Noel and Ruby was kind of hard for me to get into considering who Ruby was associated with when she was alive, but I enjoyed the story all the same. I rate The Tenant 4.5 stars. There is a trigger warning at the beginning of the book, which is nice and I recommend  The Tenant  if you want a change to the regular haunted house stories and like your Paranormal stories with a lot of heat. 😉