Romance

Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron

Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron

By: Julia Quinn

Illustrated By: Violet Charles

Blurb:

A madcap romantic adventure, Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron has appeared in several Julia Quinn novels and enthralled some of her most beloved characters. Now, this delicious tale of love and peril is available for everyone to enjoy in this wonderfully unconventional graphic novel.

Born into a happy family that is tragically ravaged by smallpox, Miss Priscilla Butterworth uses her wits to survive a series of outlandish trials. Cruelly separated from her beloved mother and grandmother, the young girl is sent to live with a callous aunt who forces her to work for her keep. Eventually, the clever and tenderhearted Miss Butterworth makes her escape… a daring journey into the unknown that unexpectedly leads her to the “mad” baron and a lifetime of love.

Review:

I kind of wish I hadn’t read the Author’s note at the end of the story. I thought Miss Butterworth was okay, but after reading the note I feel bad for not liking it more. I’ll probably not rate it on Goodreads just because I don’t believe I can give an honest rating without feeling bad.

Miss Butterworth was an interesting idea, but graphic novels are a different beast than regular novels and I wasn’t a fan of how it was written. The artwork was fine, just not my cup of tea. I’m picky on that front, though.

It was cute and if you’re a fan of Julia Quinn and the Bridgerton books go ahead and pick it up, but if not I wouldn’t bother.

Heartstopper: Volume 4

Heartstopper: Volume 4

By: Alice Oseman

Blurb:

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. The bestselling LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between: this is the fourth volume of HEARTSTOPPER, for fans of The Art of Being Normal, Holly Bourne and Love, Simon.

Charlie didn’t think Nick could ever like him back, but now they’re officially boyfriends. Charlie’s beginning to feel ready to say those three little words: I love you.

Nick’s been feeling the same, but he’s got a lot on his mind – not least coming out to his dad, and the fact that Charlie might have an eating disorder.

As summer turns to autumn and a new school year begins, Charlie and Nick are about to learn a lot about what love means.

Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

This is the fourth volume of Heartstopper, which has now been optioned for television by See-Saw Films.

Review:

Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I freaking love the Heartstopper series so much!! I am super late to the party and didn’t know about it till the TV show on Netflix, but I watched it. Loved the show. Then read the books and somehow each one is better than the last. Volume 4 is just so freaking good.

I’m thirty-six years old and it talks about things that I still need to learn. Like that I need to not just rely on my SO and talk to family and friends even when it’s just soooo difficult to do that. That I need to take care of my own mental health and that I can’t be responsible for someone else’s mental health.

Yes, there are deep things in these graphic novels, but the heart is the adorable romance between Nick and Charlie. I love them.

5/5

Teach Me

Teach Me (There’s Something About Marysburg #1)

By: Olivia Dade

Blurb:

Their lesson plans didn’t include love. But that’s about to change…

When Martin Krause arrives at Rose Owens’s high school, she’s determined to remain chilly with her new colleague. Unfriendly? Maybe. Understandable? Yes, since a loathsome administrator gave Rose’s beloved world history classes to Martin, knowing it would hurt her.

But keeping her distance from a man as warm and kind as Martin will prove challenging, even for a stubborn, guarded ice queen. Especially when she begins to see him for what he truly is: a man who’s never been taught his own value. Martin could use a good teacher–and luckily, Rose is the best.

Rose has her own lessons–about trust, about vulnerability, about her past–to learn. And over the course of a single school year, the two of them will find out just how hot it can get when an ice queen melts.

Review:

So one of my favorite books last year was Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade. When I saw that the library had Teach Me I immediately checked it out.

Teach Me is about two divorced teachers in their 40s. Not my usual romantic cup of tea, but I’m nearing that age so it’s nice to see that romance is still in my cards.

Rose is an ice queen, but Martin never hates her for it. He recognizes almost immediately why she is the way she is and is attracted to her ice queen side as well as the side that clearly loves her students. Martin has his own issues that Rose is quick to realize and she’s immediately on his side as well. These are two people who have lived life and know when it’s okay to “jump to conclusions”. They don’t judge each other and they listen completely when the other talks. It’s sweet and oddly comforting.

The side characters were few, but served their purposes well. I’m not sure who the next book in the series would be about since there was very little setup in that way. There wasn’t as much humor in Teach Me as there was in Spoiler Alert, but it was still there. Spoiler Alert was just hilarious for me and few books are going to hit that note.

I liked Teach Me. Olivia Dade is almost firmly in a must buy position for me when it comes to her new books. If the library doesn’t have the next books in this series I might have to buy them. Darn.

4/5

Count Your Lucky Stars

Count Your Lucky Stars (Written in the Stars #3)

By: Alexandria Bellefleur

Blurb:

Margot Cooper doesn’t do relationships. She tried and it blew up in her face, so she’ll stick with casual hookups, thank you very much. But now her entire crew has found “the one” and she’s beginning to feel like a fifth wheel. And then fate (the heartless bitch) intervenes. While touring a wedding venue with her engaged friends, Margot comes face-to-face with Olivia Grant—her childhood friend, her first love, her first… well, everything. It’s been ten years, but the moment they lock eyes, Margot’s cold, dead heart thumps in her chest.

Olivia must be hallucinating. In the decade since she last saw Margot, her life hasn’t gone exactly as planned. At almost thirty, she’s been married… and divorced. However, a wedding planner job in Seattle means a fresh start and a chance to follow her dreams. Never in a million years did she expect her important new client’s Best Woman would be the one that got away.

When a series of unfortunate events leaves Olivia without a place to stay, Margot offers up her spare room because she’s a Very Good Person. Obviously. It has nothing to do with the fact that Olivia is as beautiful as ever and the sparks between them still make Margot tingle. As they spend time in close quarters, Margot starts to question her no-strings stance. Olivia is everything she’s ever wanted, but Margot let her in once and it ended in disaster. Will history repeat itself or should she count her lucky stars that she gets a second chance with her first love?

Review:

The first book in this series, Written in the Stars, blew me away. I was not expecting to love it as much as I did because of the astrology aspect, but it was wonderful. The second book, Hang the Moon, I didn’t like as much. It was a solid 3 stars, but honestly a bit boring. So, I wasn’t sure what I was going to get with Count Your Lucky Stars. I ended up not loving it as much as Written in the Stars, but it was better than Hang the Moon.

The romance this time is between two bisexual/pansexual women. They used to be high school best friends, things happened, and they hadn’t talked to each other in eleven years. Then they’re thrown back into each other’s lives and things start back up pretty quickly.

I was glad it didn’t take them long to get back together, but their main issue was lack of communication and those issues were not even touched on until near the end of the book. They both had feelings they weren’t expressing and were completely unable to read the other’s emotions. Plus, one of them avoided conflict to the point where she always took the easier route when it came to people. That drives me crazy. I don’t like conflict, but when people avoid it to this degree it’s annoying and I find it hard to sympathize with them.

Anyway, the intimate scenes in Count Your Lucky Stars were *fans self* incredibly hot. There were also several scenes that had me laughing out loud. If you’re hoping for a direct conflict with the ex, though, it’s not happening. There is a little bit of payback, but not enough to satisfy me.

The characters in the previous books are all present, but you don’t technically have to have read them to understand what’s going on. Since there are no more unattached people I assume that there will be no more books in this series. I would be interested in another series by Bellefleur, but she hasn’t made her way onto my immediately buy list.

4/5

The Love Hypothesis

The Love Hypothesis

By: Ali Hazlewood

Blurb:

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding… six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

Review:

The Love Hypothesis started out as Kylo Ren/Rey(Reylo) fanfic before it was made into a novel. I’m not much of a fanfic reader, but I was informed of this on TikTok and because of that I couldn’t not see it the entire time I was reading. That is not a ship I sail, but it in no way impeded my enjoyment of this book.

I’ve read a book a day this month and this was by far my favorite. I love the trope of pairing the grouch with the sunny person, but only when the sunny person isn’t an idiot. Olive is definitely not an idiot. She’s a PhD student with an inferiority complex.

Adam also doesn’t kill his father in an effort to prove where his loyalties lie. He’s an asshole, but only because he wants people to do their bests. His misunderstood.

There’s a great meet cute. Lots of cute and funny scenes and the “villain” gets what’s coming to him. It also seems to be a standalone story. I loved it.

It would be amazing if this was made into a romantic comedy movie staring Adam Driver, but, considering some of the scenes in the book, I would understand if he wouldn’t want to do it. It is incredibly clear who is being lusted after in this story.

5/5