Book Reviews

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a Life Chloe Brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1)

By: Talia Hibbert

Blurb:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Review:

Chloe has chronic pain and has been abandoned by all but her family. Redford was in an abusive relationship that has left him mentally and physically scarred. She has a dry, sarcastic wit that you need to know her to understand fully, while he is usually nice to everyone and has a smile on his face. It’s not an opposites-attract romance, it’s closer to an instant attraction. Only, they both react poorly to it.

Chloe’s humor reminded me of my own, but it didn’t always come off like I assume the author wanted. A couple of times, the only indication I had that she’d said something hilarious was Red laughing at it. Maybe it was a British thing? Apart from that, I enjoyed her as a character. I don’t know anything about fibromyalgia, so I can’t judge the accuracy there, but it did read like someone who was familiar with the subject.

I liked Red. He was a big hulking redhead with long hair that wore fake leather clothes. He loved his mom and, as previously mentioned, was super nice—basically, the appearance of an alpha male with the personality of a cinnamon roll consumed with lust.

I enjoyed the story, though, I do wish there had been some vengeance in it. There was no confrontation with exes, which was a bit of a letdown for my bloodthirst. However, I didn’t expect there to be. Everyone was very mature, and seeing shrinks and using all the words you use when you’re doing that. Promoting good mental health is good and very underrepresented in romance, while vengeance not so much. I understand the choices made, even if I would have liked something more than brief moments of seething from each of the characters.

3.5/5

The Carhart Series by Courtney Milan

The Carhart Series

The Carhart Series by Courtney Milan

Blurb:

This Wicked Gift: Lavinia Spencer is too poor to be anything but practical. But when her younger brother lands himself in trouble, she has no choice but to do the unthinkable. She accepts the help of the dishonorable man that she’s always wanted, even knowing that it might mean her ruination…

Proof by Seduction: When Gareth Carhart discovers that his vulnerable young cousin is seeing a fortune teller, he vows to prove her a fraud. But he soon discovers that Jenny Keeble is far more than she appears to be, and before he knows it, he’s caught in her spell…

Trial by Desire: Lady Kate Carhart has no use for the husband who left her years ago. But when he returns, disrupting her carefully-laid plans, she has no choice but to distract him…any way she can.

Review:

I hate to say it but this is easily my least favorite Courtney Milan series. Two full length books and a novella, they each had a strong heroine very accepting of their flawed men, and they each had men I couldn’t really stand.

The Wicked Gift had the “hero” pressuring the heroine into sex and while you learn later that he didn’t actually, it still didn’t sit well with me. It ended up being the story I liked the most.

Proof by Seduction once again had a strong heroine, that knew her mind, and was completely capable of taking care of herself. This time the hero was an ass that knew that he was better than everyone and made it very obvious. He didn’t listen to the heroine and ended up annoying the shit out of me.

Trial by Desire was the book I was looking forward to the most. The hero had been in the previous book and he seemed lovable and the fact that he had depression just endeared him to me further. Unfortunately, this book takes place three years after the last which was apparently enough time for the hero to become his own unique ass. I liked that the couple were already married and learning to live with each other, and once again the heroine was great, but I couldn’t get over how much I disliked the hero.

3/5

2020 Review So Far

First off, I’ve been reading a lot in 2020. It’s been an absolute shit year, for everyone, everywhere, and one of my major comforts was reading. My Goodreads Reading Challenge Goal was 60 books. I’m currently sitting at 79. I’m not going to go back and review everything I’ve read, but I’m going to list my favorite of the year so far, and I’m going to try to review all the books from here on out.

 

2020 Favorite Books So Far (in no particular order)

Castles Ever After

  • Castles Ever After series by Tessa Dare. I like this series and absolutely love books one and three. They made me laugh. The characters were great, and I really enjoyed the story. The final book was a crossover with her Spindle Cove series and didn’t have much to do with a castle, but it was still good. (I wasn’t much of a fan of the rest of the Spindle Cove books, which was a bit of a bummer). I’m enjoying going back and reading Tessa Dare’s back catalog.

Turner Courtney Milan

  • Turner series by Courtney Milan. For a time, there was a box set available of the entire series, and I was able to snatch it up for a fantastic price. I’m a huge Courtney Milan fan, and I was super happy to be able to get this entire series. I wasn’t as much of a fan of the second book, but the others in the series were very entertaining.

Girl Meets Duke

  • Girl Meets Duke series by Tessa Dare. This series is ongoing, but there are currently three books out. A seamstress, a governess, and a wallflower all find love. They do it on their terms too, which I enjoy. They’re all at least a tiny bit odd and are able to find men who accept them. It’s lovely.

Bromance Book Club

  • Bromance Book Club series by Lyssa Kay Adams. I absolutely love the idea of this series. A group of high power men get together to figure out how to make their women happy. The first book is about a baseball player whose marriage is on the rocks, so a friend reaches out and invites him to join the book club. It’s all men and they read romance novels to help them figure out what women want since they can’t seem to figure it out. I love it. The second book is out, and I enjoyed it as well. I am looking forward to the rest of this series.

Love Her or Lose Her

  • Love her of Lose Her by Tessa Bailey. I wasn’t as big a fan of the first book in the series. I found the heroine a bit odd and un-relatable, but I thought the second was excellent. It’s once again about a married couple on the rocks (I had no idea I would enjoy this trope) and how they fall back in love.

The Right Swipe

  • The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai. There’s a woman in tech dealing with all the misogyny in that sector. A pro football player that stands up against the NFL for their disregard for the health and safety of their players. I loved it.

 

I have a long list of books to read. I’m also hoping to finally tackle my ever growing stack of non-fiction books, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself. I’m reading a lot of romance books because I find comfort in them. That’s what my reading has been all year, comfort. I’ve re-read most of Ilona Andrews catalog because of that.

I need something with a happily ever after, where the world isn’t always dark, and people aren’t always dying. If you have any recommendations I’m open to them.

Good luck to everyone surviving the rest of the year.

2019 Top 10 Books of the Year

Yeah, so January is almost over, but it took me a bit to catch up on the books I was most looking forward to that came out in 2019. There are still books from 2019 that I haven’t read, but what’s left I don’t believe would make the list. Maybe I’m wrong, I’ll find out in ten years if I ever catch up on my to-read list.

  1. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell – Great LGBT fantasy with wonderful characters.
  2. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang – Love Helen Hoang, this book was a great romance with an autistic hero and a mixed race heroine.
  3. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite – Holy shit I never knew astronomy could be so hot. Same sex historical romance that was just beautiful.
  4. A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole – This is a book in the Reluctant Royals series and like all the others I devoured it. So freaking good.
  5. Wolf Rain by Nalini Singh – Book 18 in the Psy-Changling series and somehow this series just continues to deliver amazing stories. I loved this empath wolf story and all the development that was done in the universe.
  6. Well Met by Jen DeLuca – I never expected a book to make me want to attend a Ren Fair but this one did. Cute romance with wenches in corsets.
  7. Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews – I love Ilona Andrews, there will always be a book from them on my list (I hope)
  8. Paper Girls Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson– Final volume in this series and it was a wonderful wrap up to the story. I love the art in this series and the fact that it’s a mostly female cast.
  9. Embrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash Creativity by Felicia Day – This book was so positive and uplifting. Even though I haven’t finished it yet I had to include it on my list.
  10. Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore – I’m loving these historical romances that infuse a lot of modern day ideals. I don’t care if it bends historical accuracy, the books are fiction after all, I just want more.

 

Honorable Mentions

  1. Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon – This book was ridiculously hot. Like holy cow fanning my face as it turns beet red.
  2. Sweep of the Blade by Ilona Andrews – Maud is a kickass mom that is so smart and capable and I have a weakness for characters like that.
  3. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks – Great art, super sweet story, lovely characters.

A Prince of Paper

A Prince on Paper

A Prince of Paper (Reluctant Royals #3) By: Alyssa Cole

Plot:

The Reluctant Royals series returns with a good girl searching for the life that’s not too big, and not too small, and the bad boy prince who might be just right for her…

Nya Jerami fled Thesolo for the glitz and glamour of NYC but discovered that her Prince Charming only exists in her virtual dating games. When Nya returns home for a royal wedding, she accidentally finds herself up close and personal—in bed—with the real-life celebrity prince who she loves to hate.

For Johan von Braustein, the red-headed step-prince of Liechtienbourg, acting as paparazzi bait is a ruse that protects his brother—the heir to the throne—and his own heart. When a royal referendum threatens his brother’s future, a fake engagement is the perfect way to keep the cameras on him.

Nya and Johan both have good reasons to avoid love, but as desires are laid bare behind palace doors, they must decide if their fake romance will lead to a happily-ever-after.

Review:

Johan has lived the last decade of his life trying to make the life of his younger sibling better. He wanted to make sure they didn’t suffer the same way that he had done, but by doing that he sacrificed a lot of his own happiness and smothered them in the process.

Nya is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants. She wants love, but struggles with all the abuse her father subjected her too. She’s grown stronger, but doubts herself in some things.

These two are beautiful together. I cried through a lot of this book, especially the ending. I loved seeing Nya stand up for herself. My heart broke for all the pain that Johan was in and I only wanted to hit him upside the head once. They were perfect for each other and I’m very glad that Cole didn’t make the video game into a huge hurdle, they were adults and acted like it. Loved!

5/5