First Lines Fridays – July 30, 2021

Welcome back to my blog! It’s that time of the week again where I bring you another First Lines Fridays post! I skipped last week because I posted a review that day, but to read my previous FLF, click here.

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today’s First Lines

When Andromeda woke, she was drowning.

They’d warned her this would happen–that her lungs would burn and her eyes would sting and she’d have to fight for that first breath. But you must take it, they said. If you don’t, your lungs will collapse and we’ll have to put you in a coma and just hope for the best.

Okay, maybe those weren’t their exact words.

Can you guess what book it is? It was featured in a popular book box. I actually got Rob to agree to put this on his TBR when I read these first lines out loud.

Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

When Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.

Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists—including her family and friends—are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.

Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne—if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her.

With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?


If you’re interested in Goddess in the Machine, you can purchase it on Amazon (affiliate link)!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Review: A Summer of Surprises by Rosie Green

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An incredibly cute cozy mystery with added romantic undertones.

Foreword

Thank you so much to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ and Rosie Green for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary eBook and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Her series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘Sweet Pastries & Sourdough’, is out now.

Look out for more Little Duck Pond Café tales in 2021!

Follow Rosie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green88 

Review

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

When Ruby Watkiss lands a job at the True Loaf Bakery, she feels as if the sun has finally come out. Having been through a traumatic time that wrecked her confidence levels, it’s a joy to be working for Ellie, and now all Ruby wants is to lead a quiet life and support her mum in getting the help she needs.

But life, it seems, has other plans for Ruby.

Working alongside the bafflingly rude Hudson Holmes would be bad enough – but then odd things start happening. It seems that someone is out to sabotage the café and bakery, and to her horror, Ruby finds the finger pointing at her.

Desperate to prove her innocence, she teams up with the most unlikely person in order to get to the bottom of what’s going on. Tailing suspects and hiding in bushes isn’t something she ever imagined she’d be doing, although her partner in mystery-solving seems the perfect man for the job. Can they clear Ruby’s name by discovering the real culprit?

With all the drama afoot, at least there’s no time for romance. Because that’s the very last thing on Ruby’s mind these days. Or is it…?

Review (No Spoilers)

I’m not sure if I paid attention to the fact that this was book 16 in a series when I signed up for the tour but thankfully all these books can be read as standalones! I had no problem following along with the story despite this being my only experience with this series.

This book starts off feeling like a classic hate-to-love contemporary romance novel (and I was digging that) and then suddenly I was in an intricate cozy mystery novel (and I was digging that as well). Throughout the novel, we follow Ruby Watkiss and Hudson Holmes (spot-on name btw) as they work together to figure out who is sabotaging Ruby’s old workplace and clear her name.

Ruby was such a joy of a main character. She has a dark past filled with memories of a previously abusive relationship, but she basically never lets these ghosts stop her from trying to do her best. And while she still experiences some panic flare ups as a result of her trauma, she preservers through it. I admired her deeply for that.

Holmes, as a supporting character, was also a treat. Similar to Ruby, he has some ghosts from his past that he’s still trying to come to terms with. The added depth that we get from watching Holmes through his highs and lows during this process of recovery was really nice in my opinion. I was worried that he would miraculously get better (as happens in a lot of contemporary stories) but this book didn’t shy away from showing the darker side of attempting to overcome mental health issues and I appreciate that.

The end of the book gives a teaser for a possible sequel adventure with these two, and I’m incredibly excited to get my hands on it! If you’d like to purchase A Summer of Surprises, you can find it on Amazon (affiliate link)!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Kings and Daemons by Marcus Lee: Tour Schedule

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!

TheWriteReads tour for Kings and Daemons by Marcus Lee is starting tomorrow! To help you all follow along with the tour, I’ll be listing the tour schedule below (using the reviewer’s Twitter username) along with links to where you should be able to find the posts on that day.

If you’re interested in subscribing to TheWriteReads’ mailing list for information on future tours, just DM @The_WriteReads on Twitter!

I look forward to reading everyone’s thoughts! Kings and Daemons is out now! Pick up your copy today!

ARC Review: Dead in the Water by S.C. Merritt

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A cute cosy mystery with irresistible dogs and likable senior leads.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Premise (from Amazon)

They say opposites attract. The only thing these two unlikely friends seem to be a magnet for is murder.

When Maisie Mitchell sold her restaurant and retired to sunny Florida, she couldn’t wait to get out of the kitchen and do absolutely nothing except enjoy lazy days by the pool.

Thirty-five years with the Chicago Police Department was enough for detective Donna “Dot” Pinetta. She was ready to escape the daily stress of big city crime and retire under a palm tree with a tall glass of something cold and a little paper umbrella.

But, as these two friends soon find out, retirement can get a little, shall we say, tiring? Sometimes you just need a vacation from your vacation. Maisie and Dot concoct an exciting plan of hitting all the destinations on their bucket lists, but when the dead body of handsome recreation director, Mason Jacobs is discovered floating in their own little piece of paradise, chaos ensues. Maisie and Dot’s plan for adventure gets shoved to the back burner when a good friend tops the suspect list and Dot jumps back into detective mode dragging Maisie along with her.

With a millionaire, an aging beauty queen and a jealous husband among the long list of suspects, can they expose the real killer and clear their friend’s name? Or will their first road trip be to the prison on visitor’s day?

Dead in the Water is the first book in a brand, new series by cozy author, S.C. Merritt. Join Maisie and Dot on their travels in the Bucket List Mysteries.

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review (No Spoilers)

Thank you Stephanie (@bookfrolic) and S.C. Merritt for providing me with a digital eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Around a year ago I decided to start trying to read cozy mysteries. I honestly didn’t even know about this sub-genre until I noticed the cozy mystery section in Barnes & Noble with covers fill with cats, dogs, baked goods, and hilarious murder puns. I think I’ve read around 5 at this point, so I’m slowly making my way into the genre!

This novel follows two older woman (I think they’re both in their 60s): an ex cop and an ex restaurant owner. I’m not sure why, but I really enjoyed that aspect of their partnership. Dot, the ex cop, is a no-nonsense, hard-working woman. Maisie, our main character and local cooking instructor, has a more kind and nurturing personality. Their opposing personalities tend to even each other out as they work together to solve a murder that occurs in their retirement community. Not only that, but both of them have DOGS. I’m a huge dog person (despite having a cat) so I love when dogs are featured in stories. Much like their owners, the dogs also have opposite personalities and it was a joy to watch them interact with each other.

I do want to mention early on in this review that this book is a Christian cozy mystery, just in case reading Christian novels aren’t your thing. The only real influence this has on the book though is when Maisie does her daily devotion in which a verse is quoted from the Bible. It happens around three times and is easily-skippable, so I don’t think it will be a big problem for readers who aren’t Christian. There’s no religious bigotry or anything like that to worry about.

In general cozy mysteries aren’t the most realistic of the contemporary genres, but I think that’s part of the fun. It’s nice to believe that a rag-tag team of random citizens can come together to solve a crime before the police do. It’s basically a genre dedicated to the underdogs of the world and I love that.

There were really only two things that concerned me when it came to the plot in this book. The first was the fact that the woman in charge of the community is a HUGE security risk. She holds sensitive and confidential files on all of the residents but doesn’t seem to care all that much about keeping them confidential. At one point she even mentions that the records could be used to steal these resident’s identities right before readily sharing the information with the two main characters. I know we are supposed to trust that our two leads are innocent and all that but I put the book down and was like isn’t this illegal or something??

The second was that the ending was a bit too rushed for my tastes. The book itself is very short and a quick read, so I think that there could have been more time spent on the big reveal at the end. In fact the characters were so sure that they had their perp despite not having…like…any legitimate evidence.

Regardless, Dead in the Water was a joy to read and was a wonderful introduction to the Bucket List Mysteries series. I’m a bit sad that the rest of the series will probably leave the lovable side characters we met in this book behind, but I also can’t wait to see what these two women experience next!

Dead in the Water comes out on July 27, but you can preorder your copy today!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Three Bookish Things Book Tag

Hello everyone and welcome to a new week! Today I bring to you another book tag! I was tagged by Esther earlier this month (thank you, Esther!).

I can’t seem to find who initially created this (it may have started on Instagram?) but if you know, please tell me!

Three read once and loved authors

  • Victoria Schwab is an author that is super hyped but so far I’ve only read one of her books, City of Ghosts, which is a middle grade. I enjoyed it a lot and have been on the hunt at local bookstores for the sequels but so far none of them carry hardcovers.
  • Sally Thorne. I read and loved The Hating Game but I have yet to pick up another book by her.
  • Casey McQuiston. Red, White & Royal Blue is one of my favorite books of all time, but it’s the only McQuiston books I’ve read so far. We do own One Last Stop though and I’m planning on reading it next month!

Three titles I’ve watched but haven’t read

  • The Vampire Diaries. I binge watched this one summer without internalizing the idea that it was a book first. There’s a used bookstore near me with two TVD books for cheap but none of them are the first so I haven’t bought the ones available.
  • Harry Potter Series. It was hard to be alive and not watch these films with everyone else but I never made it past book 3 in the series. And now that the author has decided to be violently and unapologetically transphobic, I’m not really in any hurry to try to read them.
  • Game of Thrones. I only watched like one season of this show with my partner, Rob, before we gave up. I’m not a fantasy reader and I hate when a series is never completed, so I doubt I’ll ever pick this series up.

Three characters you love

  • Ronan Lynch from The Raven Cycle. RONAN IS MY BB BOY AND I WILL PROTECT HIM AT ALL COSTS.
  • Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games is the definition of cinnamon roll. I will rant at you for hours about how Katniss did not deserve that boy.
  • Andie Bell from A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. She had the determination and self-drive that I wish I had! I think she could destroy anything by sheer force of will and I am in awe.

Three series binged

I’m not much of series binger so these answers are kind of random

  • Inuyasha was the series that introduced me to the magic of manga. I haven’t read all of the English volumes available, but I did binge like 20 of them in March.
  • Cased Closed has been one of my favorite series (both anime and manga) since I first read and watched it. I own a bunch of them and binged the first 30 volumes August of last year.
  • The Shades of London. This one isn’t complete yet, but the fourth installment was supposed to be published in like 2017 and is being delayed for unknown reasons. I’ve reread the first book MULTIPLE times and there was one period where I listed to all three on audiobook back to back.

Three favorite book covers

  • With the Fire on High was 100% a cover buy for me back when we purchased it and thankfully the book was absolutely worth it!
  • The Inheritance Games (US edition) has such a great cover but for some reason there’s an alternate cover that I hate a LOT. I’m glad I was able to purchase the cover I liked.
  • Cinderella is Dead (UK edition). I am so freaking thankful that I won this book in a giveaway by a UK person so I got the UK cover from Book Depository. I’m firmly in the UK cover > US cover camp for this book.

Three goals for this year

  • Post more on my blog. I kind of let this blog fall to the waist side recently and I’m trying to pick it back up again. Sometimes I debate whether or not I should purchase a hosting plan instead of using free WP but idk yet.
  • Start graduate school successfully. I’ve registered for fall classes for graduate school (to get my PhD) and I’m crossing my fingers very tightly that I’m cut out for it. I have a masters already, but I left without pursuing my doctorate because it was taking a giant toll out of my mental and physical health.
  • Learn how to promote my blog, Twitter, and Instagram properly. My Twitter followers have been slowly dwindling in the past month and my Instagram followers have been stuck at the same-ish number for months. I’m trying to post more regularly in the hopes that I can get more following and make more friends. I really want bookish friends IRL to hang out with. I don’t know how to make friends as an adult.

I tag:

First Lines Fridays – July 16, 2021

Welcome back to my blog! It’s that time of the week again where I bring you another First Lines Fridays post! To read my FLF from last week, click here.

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today’s First Lines

THERE WILL BE NO AWAKENING.

The sleeping woman will feel nothing the next morning, only a vague sense of unease and the unshakable feeling that someone is watching her. Her anxiety will fade in less than a day and will soon be forgotten.

The memory of the dream will linger a little longer.

In her dream, a large owl perches outside the window, staring at her through the glass with huge, white-rimmed eyes.

She will not awaken. Neither will her husband beside her. The shadow falling over them will not disturb their sleep. And what the shadow has come for–the baby within the sleeping woman–will feel nothing. The intrusion breaks no skin, violates not a single cell of her or the baby’s body.

It is over in less than a minute. The shadow withdraws.

Did this catch your attention? It sure did catch mine! I’m hoping some people will guess this one since it was even adapted into a movie.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.


If you’re interested in The 5th Wave, you can purchase it on Amazon (affiliate link)!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Review: The Best Man by A.S. Kelly

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A romantic contemporary novel that tackles many difficult issues.

Foreword

Thank you so much to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ and A.S. Kelly for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary audiobook and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

A. S. Kelly was born in Italy but lives in Ireland with her husband, two children and a cat named Oscar.

She’s passionate about English literature, she’s a music lover and addicted to coffee.

She spends her days in a small village North of Dublin, looking for inspiration for her next stories.

Rainy Days is her debut novel.

Review

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

Narrator: Jenn McGuirk

I always turn up at just the wrong moment. I never know how to make the most of a situation; I don’t know the right thing to say, or when I should come or go. 

Let’s just say I have really shit timing.

I’m not a smart guy. I don’t have great ideas. 

I’m practical, a hard worker; someone who lives for his family, and for the air that she breathes.

It’s just a shame that the “she” in question never knew this. It’s a shame that I waited all these years to make my move. It’s useless to tell you, readers, that it was already too late; that I’d screwed everything up, once again. And, this time, my mistakes forced her to come home.

Except she didn’t want to stay.

And now she hates me – or maybe she doesn’t. I still haven’t worked out what’s going on between us, but like I said, I’m not the sharpest tool in the box. And even though this could be my last chance, I’m not going to be the one to ask her to stay. Not even if she turns out to be the one I’ve always waited for.

Because she doesn’t belong in this place.

And she doesn’t belong in my life.

My name is Alex Brennan, and this is my story: of how I realised I’d lost the most important person in my life, before I even had her.

Review (No Spoilers)

It’s day three (aka the final day) of my back-to-back blog tours! Today’s featured tour was a completely new experience for me because I’ve never done an audiobook tour before. In the past, I only listened to audiobooks for books I had previously read, but I’ve been branching out recently to explore new titles as well.

Listening to The Best Man was a very interesting experience. The blurb for the book doesn’t give you much information about what the plot will involve, so I had no idea what I was getting into. The very beginning of the story was an absolutely wild ride. The plot begins with a woman, Ellie, getting married to a man named Chase. Alex, the best man, has been in love with Ellie since they were children. Without spoiling too much, I’ll just say that in an attempt to stop the wedding from going down, Alex causes a bit of a scene.

The craziness of the first chapters set a really high tone for the way I thought the story was going to go–and I was super excited to see what would happen next–but then the story took a turn, in both tone and plot, in a way I hadn’t at all predicted. In fact, for around 40% of the novel, I had no idea what it was supposed to be about. When I tried to explain the plot to my partner, I ended up describing it as one of those stories that doesn’t really seem to be about anything in particular. And that’s not a bad thing. A lot of contemporary novels aren’t really about anything, and some of the best movies/books are very hard to describe (try to describe Pulp Fiction right now). There does end up being a solid plot-arc at the end of the book, but it doesn’t begin until around 70/80%.

Since I wouldn’t describe The Best Man as a plot-driven novel, I’d definitely say it is character-driven. The book not only explores the relationship between Alex and Ellie, but it also dives into several other connections both within and between Ellie and Alex’s families. I really appreciate when books take the time to show the importance of not only romantic relationships, but familial and platonic ones as well. Unfortunately for me, I never actually felt connected to anyone in the book which made it hard for me to stay engaged. I’ve never experienced anything similar to what Alex and Ellie have, so I’ll probably put it down to that.

In the end, I think that The Best Man is a novel that carries a lot of meaningful life lessons. It tackles heavy discussions about what it means to love and what it means to be family. It was, quite honestly, a very difficult book for me to rate, and I can definitely see how this will be a book loved by many.

If you’d like to purchase The Best Man, you can find it on Amazon (affiliate link) or on Audible!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Review: The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A slow-burn contemporary romance that tackles the dangers of both peer and parental pressure.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond and Whitney D. Grandison for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary eARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: July 13, 2021

He’s never met a rule he didn’t break… She’s followed the rules her whole life… When they meet, one golden rule is established: stay away. Sparks fly in this edgy own voices novel, perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon, S. K. Ali, and Kristina Forest.

They were supposed to ignore each other and respect that fine line between them…

Guillermo Lozano is getting a fresh start. New town, new school, and no more reckless behavior. He’s done his time, and now he needs to right his wrongs. But when his work at the local community center throws him into the path of the one girl who is off-limits, friendship sparks…and maybe more.

Regan London needs a fresh perspective. The pressure to stay in her “perfect” relationship and be the good girl all the time has worn her down. But when the walls start to cave in and she finds unexpected understanding from the boy her parents warned about, she can’t ignore her feelings anymore.

The disapproval is instant. Being together might just get Guillermo sent away. But when it comes to the heart, sometimes you have to break the rules and be a little bit reckless…

Purchase/Information Links:

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

About the Author

Whitney D. Grandison is an American young adult fiction writer. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over sixteen million reads. Outside of writing, she is a lover of Korean dramas, all things John Hughes, and horror films. Whitney currently lives in Akron, Ohio with her two cats Poe & Hemingway. A Love Hate Thing is her first novel.

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

I have to admit that I’m a HUGE SUCKER for illustrated covers like these. Every time I go to a bookstore and see these books, I have to resist the urge to buy all of them. When I opened my email and saw that TBR and Beyond Tours was offering this book for review, I jumped at the chance.

The Right Side of Reckless is tagged as a romance on Goodreads, but as you can see above, I definitely think this is more of a contemporary with romantic elements. While there is a slow-burn romance involved, the point of the story (to me at least) was about watching these two teenagers grow into themselves despite constant pressure to do otherwise.

On one hand of the spectrum, we have Guillermo, a confident young man who made a lot of mistakes in the past and is now attempting to atone and learn from them. On the other hand of the spectrum, we have Regan, a young woman who has for far too long let everyone else dictate her life for her, forever refusing to stand up for herself. The two of them may seem like complete opposites, but they share a common ground when it comes to dealing with societal pressure.

I’ll admit that there were a few times where I found myself extremely frustrated with almost everyone in the book, but as an adult, it’s probably just be because this is a YA novel. I personally have a really hard time with reading toxic parental relationships but they’re almost impossible to avoid (especially in YA contemporary). This book falls into the category of “parents who are so overbearing that they are ultimately hurting their children in an effort to protect them”. Every time I read a YA novel like this with unsupportive parents, I feel like I need to cleanse my soul by reading 5 books with extremely supportive parents. I really hope to see less of these parent-child relationships in future YA novels.

As a whole, I thought this book was pretty cute. The plot was predictable, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the story. I do think that the pacing could have been done a bit better. The majority of the book happens in 2 months, which was way too short of a time period for me to feel comfortable with the pacing the romance as well as some of the other side plots. I also think the character growth/change that occurred within both Regan and Avery happened all at one time rather than gradually. I’m honestly still super confused about Avery’s personality, but who knows? Maybe we’ll get a spin-off?

If you’re on the hunt for a slow-burn, diverse novel that tackles peer and parental pressure, I’d definitely recommend checking The Right Side of Reckless out. It was released yesterday so you can also pick up your copy in store or at any of the purchase links listed above!

Blog Tour Review: Clueless in Croatia by Joy Skye

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A cute and heartfelt romance about second chances at love.

Foreword

Thank you so much to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ and Joy Skye for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

Joy lives on the seductive island of Corfu with her four dogs and an embarrassing number of cats.

Her many years working in the tourist industry on this sunny isle and her love of all things literary inspired her first novel Corfu Capers which recently hit the #1 spot in Parenting and Family humour much to her delight.

She loves to cook, dance and drink wine, usually at the same time, and is currently working on book number three, due to be released later this year.

She also loves to travel, absolutely anywhere, and is looking forward to jumping on a plane!

Review

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

D.I. Fierce always gets his man, but can he get his woman?

Actor Leonard Lupine is sick of his life, both on and off-screen, so when his agent suggests a luxury villa holiday in Croatia he leaps at the opportunity to escape. What he doesn’t realise is that his greatest mystery of all is waiting to be solved on the tiny island of Brač.

Does he have what it takes to follow the clues to love? 

Purchase Links

Review (No Spoilers)

Welcome back to my blog for another book tour! I once again have three tour posts due back to back lol save me from my ill planning.

Clueless in Croatia is a heartfelt romance about learning to re-open yourself to love. Our female love interest is Isabella, who lost her previous partner to a tragic car crash and is afraid that loving someone else would serve as a betrayal to him. On the other side, we have Leonard, a depressed alcoholic with a not-so-great ex-wife. Both of them believe they’re not worthy of new love, but neither of them can deny the attraction they feel for each other.

There are many adorable moments and lovable characters in this book, most of them coming from the children of the main characters. If I’m remembering correctly, the children are all between 5-7 years old, and they are complete angels. I’m not even a fan of children in real life, but these boys stole my heart from the very beginning. I felt so bad for them at certain moments and wished that they could just have everything they ever wanted. PLEASE PROTECT THESE BOYS AT ALL COSTS.

There were a few things, however, that bothered me about the book from the get-go. The first thing that I noticed was that my copy has a strange amount of typos and long almost undecipherable sentences. I had to stop to read some passages multiple times because I couldn’t quite tell what it was meant to say. I’m actually not sure if I have an unedited proof for this tour, so these might have been fixed in the currently-available copies.

The other main thing that bothered me was the constant use of the miscommunication trope. It is one of my least favorite tropes of all time, so this probably bothered me more than it would bother the average reader. In order to drive the plot forward, there were several miscommunications throughout the book and a bunch thrown in all at once towards the very end. The reason the miscommunication trope bothers me so much is because it makes me want to grab the characters and just be like “bro, are you okay???”. By the time I got to the final chapters, I was legitimately worried about the way these two adults were behaving and about the well-being of their children.

In fact, while I do think that Isabella is a great mother (with flaws), the book never actually sold me on the idea that Leonard was a good father. Between his alcohol-induced black outs and volatile mood swings, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad would befall the boys at any moment as a result of his negligence. I had hoped that the epilogue would have clarified more about how the relationship between Leonard and his children had grown, but unfortunately it doesn’t (at least not explicitly). It might be one of those things where the ending is ultimately left up to the reader to fill in the blanks.

All that being said, Clueless in Croatia is definitely a story that will be cherished by many. It’s got many elements that I know people love to see in adult contemporary romance stories. There’s the snarky and practical best friend (that you secretly hope will get a spin-off), a bit of grumpy vs. sunshine dynamic, and adorable meddling children.

So while there were some things that didn’t vibe with me personally, I still very much enjoyed myself while reading. It’s a fairly short read (less than 300 pages) and I tackled it in a single day. If you’re looking to escape from the world with an atmospheric and light read, definitely check this one out!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

The Book Snob Book Tag

Hi Everyone! I haven’t been very active on my blog lately, but I’m hoping to change that very soon!

Today I’m doing the Book Snob Book Tag! I had to do a bit of sleuthing to find out who created this originally, and I think it was tia and all the books. I was tagged back in October by Leah; thank you, Leah!

Questions

ADAPTATION SNOB: Do you always read the book before watching the film/ TV show?

My answer would be ALMOST always. There are a few movies and television series that I watched before reading the book because of how hyped they were and there are a few that I watched without realizing they were books beforehand. In general, though, I try to read the books before watching.

FORMAT SNOB: You can only choose 1 format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose: physical books, eBooks, or audiobooks?

Definitely physical. I can do eBooks but they hurt my eyes/head if I read too many back to back. eBooks also tend to make me sleepy for some reason. I’ve started listening to more audiobooks lately, but I sometimes have a hard time staying focused while listening to them which results in me missing some things and having to rewind. For me, nothing beats reading a physical book.

SHIP SNOB: Would you date or marry a non-reader?

I’m not really sure what a “non-reader” is? Does that mean they don’t read at all or that they read but not a lot? Either way, I’m pretty sure the answer is yes just as long as they’d support my reading. I would never date/marry someone who tried to keep me from reading or from having my dream library.

GENRE SNOB: You have to ditch one genre – never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

I was gonna cheat and say a non-fiction genre but I’m assuming that since I’m a primarily fiction reader I have to choose a fiction genre for this. I don’t like fantasy books, but sometimes one comes out of nowhere and is really good so I’ll probably go with horror. I’m already a scaredy cat anyways so it would probably benefit me in the long run haha.

UBER GENRE SNOB: You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

My heart wants to scream ROMANCE but my brain says Contemporary Fiction because YO IT CHANGES WITH THE TIMES SO ITS LIKE MULTIPLE GENRES IN ONE. Like, if I really wanted to read a book set in like the 1980s or something, I’d just have to go find a book written in the 1980s! How cool is that?? Contemporary novels also tend to have romantic subplots in them as well and as you know, I’m a sucker for romance.

COMMUNITY SNOB: Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

Probably romance. Many who don’t read claim that it’s just pornography or that it’s not “real” writing. And even amongst those who do read it, I see a lot of people bashing authors for how they write their romances. In particular I think many arguments in the romance realm involve how steamy romances “should” be. Idk I’ll read all of it hehehe ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I Tag: