Worth The Whisk (Donut Disturb #2) by Melissa

worth the whisk

arc review

official blurb
Oh, you know a phallic pipe joke? Cool. I’ve heard them all. Trust me, they don’t make me blush anymore. As the only female plumber in the family business and the newest member of an all-male construction crew, I’ve developed a thick skin. Usually I’m ready for anything. Doing my cousin a favor, I take a late-night plumbing call thinking it’ll be an easy fix. What I’m not prepared for is to be mistaken for a homeless man or to find a soaking wet hunk glaring at me. I have to work fast not only to fix his perception of me, but also the burst pipe that is flooding the Bake, Rattle & Roll bakery. Working around pastry chef Harrison Daniels throws a wrench in my plans. I’m going to have to use every tool in my arsenal to resist falling for him and his sweet, tempting words. He’s out to prove he’s worth the risk and I’m starting to agree.

3 out of 5

🔥🔥🔥🔥  out of 5 steam level

This book was much like the first so I think if you liked book one you’ll also enjoy this one! Like the first book, this a romcom with a bit of suspense in it. It was good to see the characters from book one. The rising star in the books for me is the mom – she just cracks me up!

Content warnings: stalker, death of a loved one, cancer.
There is cursing in this book.

The book is such a quick read which I really like. There were some really funny moments throughout the book. The downside is that I don’t fully get immersed in the characters and feel their connection to each other. Again, similar to the first book I found the words telling me things that I didn’t end up feeling while reading.  I really liked the switch up of the majority gender roles that the two main characters did for their jobs. August was a female plummer, while Harrison was a tattooed male baker.

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Only When It’s Us (The Bergman Brothers #1) by Chloe Liese

only when it's us

official blurb
Ryder :Ever since she sat next to me in class and gave me death eyes, Willa Sutter’s been on my shit list. Why she hates me, I don’t know. What I do know is that Willa is the kind of chaos I don’t need in my tidy life. She’s the next generation of women’s soccer. Wild hair, wilder eyes. Bee-stung lips that should be illegal. And a temper that makes the devil seem friendly. She’s a thorn in my side, a menacing, cantankerous, pain-in-the-ass who’s turned our Business Mathematics course into a goddamn gladiator arena. I’ll leave this war zone unscathed, coming out on top…And if I have my way with that crazy-haired, ball-busting hellion, that will be in more than one sense of the word. Willa: Rather than give me the lecture notes I missed like every other instructor I’ve had, my asshole professor tells me to get them from the silent, surly flannel-wearing mountain man sitting next to me in class. Well, I tried. And what did I get from Ryder Bergman? Ignored. What a complete lumbersexual neanderthal. Mangy beard and mangier hair. Frayed ball cap that hides his eyes. And a stubborn refusal to acknowledge my existence. I’ve battled men before, but with Ryder, it’s war. I’ll get those notes and crack that Sasquatch nut if it’s the last thing I do, then I’ll have him at my mercy. Victory will have never tasted so sweet.

 

5 out of 5🔥🔥🔥🔥  out of 5 steam level

REQUIRED READING FOR ROMANCE LOVERS

 

Omg I am not going to be able to move on from this book anytime soon. I’m obsessed. Buy me a flannel shirt and throw me a soccer ball bc I am implanting myself into the lives of Willa and Ryder and I’m never leaving. Seriously. Never. Leaving.

I guess I should start from the beginning. This is a steamy romcom and I would feel confident saying that but it’s also a drama. So let’s say steamy romcomdrom.

What makes the book unique is the characters not “completing” each other. You know what I mean… Tom cruise made it famous but it’s lived on well past Jerry Maguire. The characters are living through a lot of intensity and they grow and address it with therapy and taking chances on themselves. With opening up to their friends and family and just trying to keep trying.  But they don’t start dating and suddenly their lives are good.  I really liked this aspect and didn’t realize I was missing it in a lot of other reads!

There were SO many lines I loved in this book. I’ll leave you some teasers here that I think capture the book well:

Refastening my grip on her hair, I dig in my jeans for a hankie. Yes, a hankie. Cloth over Kleenex gives Mother Nature a hug.

I thought I was past grieving what I lost, but maybe grief isn’t linear. Maybe I can accept what I’ve lost and still mourn it. Maybe I always will.

I laughed and cried while reading it. I stayed up WAY too late (thank you insomnia) and read it in two sittings. And I am telling you- I want back in!!! The good news is I get to hang out with Willa and Ryder again bc there will be a second book featuring another Bergman brother out at some point. (Cue me pre-ordering it STAT).

This was my first Chloe Liese book but CLEARLY will not be my last. I loved it! Hence the required reading status. Oh and did I mention you can read it for free with Kindle unlimited?! I mean… You’re welcome.

Okay one last praise for the book. The banter was very Gilmore Girls – ish. The Willa thoughts had me LOLing and feeling like we were part of the Ya Ya Sisterhood of Gilmore Girls fandom.

Did I say I was done praising the book? Because I lied.  Oh come on, it’s not that big of a deal, right? We still have trust?  This book featured a lot of soccer.  One of my favorite sports!  (Seriously, it’s not abnormal for me to really irritate people around me with my profound belief that the USWNT could beat the USMNT in a scrimmage…) And I loved reading a book that feature this sport in all of it’s amazing goodness.  

I think you’ll like this book: well I guess first you have to like steamy romcoms, but also if you grew up reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (bridget…soccer… just saying). Also if you liked The Winston Brothers series (bearded men!)

Tropes: Enemies to lovers, slow burn, college romance, sports romance.
Content warnings: (If you don’t like these, skip the next line!)
cancer, loss of a loved one.

while reading you should
Eat: Tacos, or Swedish meatballs
Do: go out and juggle the soccer ball
Listen to: 
Things I’ll Never Say by Avril Lavigne
When You Move by Parachute
Song Beneath the Song by Maria Mena
These Times by Safetysuit
Won’t Go Home Without You by Maroon 5
Never Stop by Safetysuit

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Donut Disturb by Melissa Williams

3 out of 5
🔥🔥🔥🔥  steam level

Thank you to the author for this complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

what i liked
This book had some really funny moments. Cassidy’s inner dialogue made me laugh out loud.  It was a really quick read that definitely made me crave donuts!  

Ready for my favorite quotes?  I knew you were ready:

Were they…blasting country music?  Inconsiderate and bad taste. This was a nightmare, it had to be.

“Mom, you hate exercise.”
“No, I don’t!” she yelled.  “I’m very active.”
I rolled my eyes. By her definition, fast walking from the couch to the kitchen and back before Netflix started playing a new episode was “very active.”

what i didn't like
My biggest hold up with the book was how things were said on the page that I didn’t feel off the page.  Cassidy had some relationship hold ups that I didn’t get to learn about as a reader.  I didn’t feel Bax’s and Cassidy’s relationship develop even though I was reading it.  

Overall it was a quick fun read which was what I needed when I needed it!

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Yours Truly, Cammie by SJ Sylvis

yours truly cammie

5 out of 5🔥🔥🔥🔥 out of 5 steam level

REQUIRED READING FOR ROMANCE LOVERS

official blurb
I follow one rule in life: Don’t get involved with a Marine. After this past year of heart-wrenching misery, and an entire childhood as daughter of one of the highest ranked officers in the Marine Corps, I’ve had enough of saying goodbye. I’ve had enough heartbreak to last me a lifetime. But in an attempt to avoid an awkward run-in with a previous blind date, whom I may or may not have abandoned mid-dinner, I found myself standing in an exam room with Lucas Wells. He was exceptionally handsome on the outside, but the second he started to run that egotistical mouth of his, I wanted to do one of two things: smack him or kiss him. Lucas Wells, the United States Marine, has me bending my rule in more ways than one. But the real question is, will I succumb to breaking my rule altogether, or will he break me before I even get the chance? This was a reread of this book for me. I loved it the first time and I still devoured it the second time.  (That’s such a weird sentence to write about a book that it almost makes me uncomfortable but it also made me laugh, so I kept it.)

what i liked
I love Luke.  Did SJ Sylvis choose his name because she’s a Gilmore Girls fan? I don’t know but I will pretend the answer is yes. (Even though we all know that I’m team Christopher).
Speaking of Gilmore Girls there is room full of sunflowers scene in this book that is VERY reminiscent to a room filled with daisies.  If you know, you know.
I liked Cammie’s BFF named Jojo. I like it when the characters have a good crew around them.
I recently started watching Hart of Dixie (which the author also watches)  and there’s a very lovable character in the show named Wade. He refers to the main character in the show as “Doc” the whole time.  And Luke in the book always refers to Cammie as “Doc” (even though she’s a nurse).  I personally liked this nickname! I know, I’ve complained a lot in the past about cutesie nicknames in romance novels. But I liked this one, what can I say?
This book is hilarious.  I laughed out loud a lot at how ridiculous Cammie’s train of thought was because I was so here for it!  Here are some examples:

“He was what you’d call a nice, tall glass of water. Actually, I almost felt as if I needed some water to moisten my now drying mouth. Jesus, take me now.”

“Whenever I’d acted bitchy (read as: beautifully sarcastic and witty) toward someone, it was only ever because I either: (1) knew the person really well, so they knew I was kidding, or (2) knew that I would never see them again.”

Trigger Warnings:
If you do not like reading a book with cussing, then this book is not for you.
If you do not like a book with a high steam level, this book is not for you. (4 out of 5 steam level according to my steam meter)
This book features the loss of a loved on, specifically a military loss.

I read this book quickly both times I read it. It even features multiple epilogues- You know I’m a sucker for an epilogue!

what i didn't like
I really love this book- hence the required reading on my romance novel list status.  I would say if there’s something that readers won’t like about this book it is maybe how little we actually know about Luke. Or maybe the way that Cammie deals with conflict.  I wasn’t bothered by either of these very much.  But I would TOTALLY be down with a novella from Luke’s perspective.  Maybe a second book featuring Luke’s brother featured in the epilogue and then Luke can be in it too?!  I know, I’m an idea girl- and I only require 2% of the commission from these ideas! (Just kidding, SJ Sylvis, write more about these two!!!! )

when to read
Because this is required reading- you can read it anytime. BUT I recommend it during warmer weather, or during a crazy rain storm.

while reading you should
Watch: Gilmore Girls and Hart of Dixie
Eat: chocolate chips
Do: prank someone
Listen to: Nothing But You by Bob Moses

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Doctor Dearest by R.S. Grey

arc review

2.5 out of 5
🔥🔥🔥🔥 out of 5 steam level 

It’s no secret that I love R.S. Grey’s steamy romcoms. In fact a few of her books have made their way on MY required reading list for romance lovers!  This book features the signature wit of Grey that I always love and tropes that I can’t help but get behind.  (Tropes in this book include: confined space, in love with brothers best friend, coworker romance, age gap).  Unfortunately this book didn’t capture me like Grey’s others.  I had some issues with the overall romance in it.  The couple’s relationship seemed a bit unhealthy with passionate scenes occuring after huge fights and poor communication.  Sex scenes featuring tears and anger and avoidance.  I had a hard time moving past that and it made me overall not root for them as a couple.  In the background of this book are two characters that I hope will have a book next because I was really into them! (I’m purposefully not using their names… no spoilers from me!)  So it’s a bummer that I wasn’t the ideal reader for this particular book, but that won’t stop me from picking up all of Grey’s books in the future!

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The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

Remember me screaming about my love for The Friend Zone?  Well this book takes place after that one… it can definitely be read as a standalone book but honestly… why would you ever skip The Friend Zone?

arc review

happy ever after playlist

official blurb
Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back. Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?

my blurb!
An amazing grieving girl falls for a famous world traveling boy…before she realizes she would have to travel all of the time too.

4.5 out of 5

 

🔥🔥🔥🔥 out of 5 steam level

what i liked
I loved this story! I read it really quickly… like in two sittings.  It had me hooked! I loved the love story and meet cute!  Revisiting Josh and Kristen from The Friend Zone added so much to the story!  The best part of this book was easily how in love Sloan and Jason were.  I kept thinking that the whole time I was reading it!  I think a lot of people who may not have bonded with Kristen as much in TFZ will love Sloan.  Jimenez wrote both characters really well and their personalities are so different from one another – I could just see a lot of people being #teamsloan.  I loved the closeness of Jason and his family in this book- that was a big highlight for me.  I hope to even see more glimpses of the family in future books!  (Hey, it’s a three book deal! Maybe book three will be about his family!)

what i didn't like
I think one takeaway from this book could be that the main couple was codependent.  It might be a turn off for some readers.  This was easily my favorite rockstar romance that I’ve ever read- in general that trope really doesn’t hit home for me.  With that being said- there were still moments in this book that I wanted to hurry the rockstar drama along.
There was a bit of mystery (strong word here… more like a plot point that is revealed later on in the story) regarding a character named Lola and I solved that really easily and early on.  It didn’t take away from the storyline per say – but I felt it should be noted.  Overall this book had high drama.  I didn’t love this aspect of it, but I adored the love story so much that it was able to drive the story home for me and still had me adoring this book.

while reading you should
Do: Go through a car wash
Do: Make a new playlist!
Listen to: …well the entire playlist that the author includes at the back of the book. but if you’re too lazy to flip there I’ll include one song… Keep Your Head Up by Ben Howard
Eat: A cupcake. And if you’re close to Nadia’s cupcakes – go there! (The author owns that bakery!)

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The Honey – Don’t List by Christina Lauren

the honey don't list

arc review

official blurb
Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other. James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus. Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

my blurb!
A dysfunctional version of Chip and Joanna Gaines go on tour and need to be managed by two employees who think they’re better than each other.

2 out of 5
 🔥🔥🔥🔥 (maybe  🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥) / 5 steam level
[this rating is mainly for speech used rather than action]

This book was a hard one for me. It wasn’t particularly funny by any means and the characters that you’re supposed to be rooting for didn’t really have much of a love story.  The first few chapters set the groundwork for the reader to understand the empire that Carey and James are working for.  This was tough for me because I thought it was pretty easy to grasp that the Tripps were indeed the Gaines’ but with a crappy marriage.  I tried to push through that part assuming that the Gaines’ don’t exist in the world that Christina Lauren created- but alas, at the end of the book Mrs. Tripp makes a reference to Chip and Jo!  So that theory went out the window…
The formatting is a bit like Big Little Lies (the show… because I still haven’t read the book!) where they’re being interviewed by the police about something secretive and you don’t find out what it is until the end. I would’ve been really into this storytelling technique if it paid off. I didn’t think it paid off.
Around 31% into the book I made a note that I was ready to start skimming.  Instead I put the book down and read a different book and came back to this one.
I think what I struggled with the most is not rooting for Carey and James.  They were more like side characters than the main characters of the novel.  Carey lacked a lot of gumption and I really dislike that in a character.  There was a communication issue that could have been easily avoided but was maybe necessary for the climax of the book (only if you thought of James and Carey as the main characters… which I did not and therefore didn’t find the drama necessary).
I would be wrong to not acknowledge that there is a weirdly abusive (verbal and emotional?) relationship in this book that is completely unhealthy and doesn’t resolve in a way that was pleasing for me.
Remember that awesome movie Set It Up on Netflix? This was kind of like a take on that movie but not done as well.
I will say also that as much as I wasn’t wrapped up in the love story of the book, I did like James quite a bit.

So overall this book wasn’t for me.  There will definitely be readers that love this book and like the variation from other CL books.  The good news is that this is the exception to the rule from me with CL books and I will happily still pick up their next book without thinking twice about it!

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