Plot Twist – Bethany Turner

57229420._SY475_Plot Twist by Bethany Turner
Publishing Date: June 14, 2021

February 4, 2003, is just another day for Olivia Ross—a greeting card writer whose passion project is a screenplay of her own. After she and a handsome, struggling actor have a near-magic encounter in a coffee shop, they make a spontaneous pact: in ten years, after they’ve found the success they’re just sure they’re going to achieve, they’ll return to the coffeehouse to partner up and make a film together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget the date.

For the next ten years, every February 4, Olivia has an exceptional day, full of coincidences and ironies. As men come and go and return to her life, and as she continues to write her screenplay, she still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain was Hamish McDougal, now a famous member of the Hollywood elite.

But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the epic romance playing out right before her eyes. 


I received an ARC of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Ok, so I used to very much be a fantasy only reader, but then I started dipping my toes into a bit more romance, and I won’t lie the more “Rom-Com” type of books are one of my favorites in the Romance genre. I was so excited when I got approved for this ARC via NetGalley, because this SCREAMED Rom-Com, and it delivered for the most part.

So I’d like to start with talking about Olivia. I think she’s a phenomenal character…at times. As a thirty year old woman who has self esteem issues and issues in pursuing life goals that seem like a pipe dream, she really resonated with me. But she seemed to stay that way over the course of ten years, which first off, I hope that those life hurdles don’t stay with me that long but I feel like we didn’t get enough outside of just February 4th of each year to really see her in any other light, so I feel like she had trouble developing as a person until towards the end of the book. But at the same time I understand the choice to really hone in on just February 4th.

Even though we got one date over the span on ten years to take a peek into Olivia, Fiona, and Liam’s life, I feel like it did a great job of keeping the plot moving and being a very unique way to setup a book. I don’t think I ever read a book the centered on one day a year for a span of ten years.

Now let me take a minute to talk about well…the romance or love journey. I figured Olivia was going to go on a twisty journey from the beginning (title of the book giving that a way a bit) but I didn’t expect there to be this weird love triangle. Don’t get me wrong, I literally felt my heart pounding when the whole coming back from Italy and THE DINNER, oh my god, I felt it. It was terrible, but it just felt a bit that the whole love triangle kind of went on for a really really long time, which I felt like was a tad much.

I found the ending to be a bit predictable, especially towards the end, I figured the man she met wasn’t going to be Hamish but props for making him someone I really didn’t expect, and it totally bummed me out that even HE wasn’t the final, but I could tell who was Olivia’s OTP by like half way through the book, and it made sense, and just seeing that journey, for me was pretty enjoyable.

I had a really good time with this read, although one would probably call it a very slow burn, it’s a clean and fun romance, that I actually flew through. Would I call it an all time fave? Not necessarily but if I was looking for something to entertain me and really just give me an enjoyable quick read, yes, yes, a thousand times yes!

3/5 Stars

Rhapsodic – Lauren Thalassa

32731881._SY475_Rhapsodic by Lauren Thalassa
Published November 15, 2016

Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear.

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want … at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects.

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more.

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken.

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.


So, i’m not sure if a lot of you know, but I’m a twitch streamer, and I started a bookclub for my community. This was our read for March.

This book had so much potential and it really missed the mark for me. I read through a good few Goodreads reviews and I feel like I understand why others enjoy this book, and I would say for what it is, it’s a pretty OK book, but there were a few things that really just kept just bringing down the rating of this book for me.

I felt like these characters where vastly underdeveloped. There was no character development and it was kind of annoying because I felt like Callie could have a good amount of potential to be this really great character. Especially since she’s supposed to be this female supernatural P.I. if you know me, you know I LOVE The Dresden Files. And when I found out Callie was a P.I. I was like OMG YAS A FEMALE DRESDEN….but no dice. 

Also, I felt so distracted by all the flashbacks. Every chapter for most of the book had a flashback and it didn’t feel like they helped the flow of the book at all. I actually found it extremely disruptive and there were better ways to bring those moments or memories, or at least the information from those flashbacks into the plot in a less disruptive way.

The way Callie and Des’ romance just kind of randomly happened was just frustrating to me. Yes, you understand she’s got this crush on Des, and he doesn’t reciprocate but never in the flashbacks does he seem remotely interested until right before he leaves her for seven years. Like WHAT!? And how I do believe there was a moment where he mentioned he started loving her when he met her which was when she was like a pre-teen, which felt kind of weird for me. Again, I just felt like the romance was wayyy underdeveloped. 

I think that’s just the best way to sum up this book for me “underdeveloped” I really REALLY wanted to like this, I swear. But with all the fantasy and romance I read, it really just didn’t make it for me. I give it credit for becoming a really popular book lately in the book community but, I just feel like if this book was worked on a bit longer, and really dove deep into more plot and development, it would have been unstoppable. 

1.5/5 Stars

Lore – Alexandra Bracken

Lore byAlexandra Bracken
Published January 5, 2021

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.


Other than Percy Jackson, I don’t think I’ve taken the plunge into Greek mythology based books. Being Greek I find myself to be hyper-critical but I got this in my first OwlCrate of 2021 and I loved everything that came with it so I decided to take the leap. This book was a really cool concept. And I think I enjoyed it because it didn’t go too deep into the Gods and Goddesses which is where I find that mythology books could fall short for me. But the idea of mortals taking God’s powers is so interesting to me.

So the Agon happens every seven years, where Gods and Goddesses walk the earth as mortals, and if they get killed the mortal who killed them obtain the God/Goddess’ powers and then becomes the New God. Melora (Lore) is the last of the Perseous line and has kind of left the world of Gods and Goddesses behind. She kept a low profile and hid for years until she comes face to face with an old friend, Castor. And if that wasn’t enough, when Lore heads home from her encounter with Castor who warns her that Ares is looking for her in hopes to jump start his plan to end the Agon and rule everything, she finds and almost dead Athena at her doorstep, binding their fates together, their journey to bring down Ares.

So I love the premise of this book and I even loved a lot of the plot but it fell flat a bit for me in terms of this just dragging every now and then, I found some of the flashback chapters mostly filler and not really useful to the progression of the story. Especially towards the end of the book, things were really cranking and BAM a flashback. I think I actually said “OH COME ON!” one time. I felt like there was a lot in there that was just info dumps and made the book feel a bit more dense than it had to be.

Other than that, this was great. I loved the portrayal of the God’s and Goddesses. Lore’s inner conflict and just general growth was great. And I really liked the action and the plot twitsts that were in here. Were they like INSANE PLOT TWIST no, but they fit really well into the story. I did feel a little let down by the ending but for it being a stand alone (which I surprisingly don’t read enough of) I think it got wrapped up as best as it could.

I would seriously recommend this book if you’re looking for a cool twist on mythology.

3.5/5 Stars

Den of Vipers – K.A. Knight

Den of Vipers by K.A. Knight
Published July 10, 2020

Ryder, Garrett, Kenzo, and Diesel—The Vipers.

They run this town and everyone in it. Their deals are as sordid as their business, and their reputation is enough to bring a grown man to his knees, forcing him to beg for mercy. They are not people you mess with, yet my dad did. The old man ran up a debt with them and then sold me to cover his losses.

Yes, sold me.

They own me now.

I’m theirs in every sense of the word. But I’ve never been meek and compliant. These men, they look at me with longing. Their scarred, blood-stained hands holding me tight. They want everything I am, everything I have to give, and won’t stop until they get just that. They can own my body, but they will never have my heart.

The Vipers? I’m going to make them regret the day they took me.

This girl? She bites too.


I have lately been reading a bunch of romance in between my fantasy books. It’s been a newer genre for me the past almost two years reading romance now. So I’m still figuring what I like and what I don’t like. And I’m 100% OK with some spicy reads. But I find sometimes the spicer things get, the worse the writing gets. NOT IN ALL CASES, but more often than not.

But wow, this book was just…absolutely not for me. Mind you, the goodreads description gives a warning of :  this book contains scenes and references of abuse/assault that some readers may find triggering. Along with graphic sex scenes and violence. This is a dark book.  Like…I don’t even think that was a good enough warning. This book was extremely dark and intense. I don’t understand how this book blew up so much. It was all just way too intense in terms of the sex scenes I just felt like they were…all abusive.

I also have to say this book had like zero plot. It started off okay and then it was just sex sex sex sex and nothing going on in terms of progressing the plot and it was kind of frustrating. I would enjoy it so much more if there was plot progression between the extreme sex scenes.

Anyway, this book seems to be extremely polar in the sense of you love it or you hate it. And unfortunately, I hated it. I didn’t even finish it, and thank GOD it was free on Kindle Unlimited or I would have been even more frustrated that I spent money on it.

Sorry but I actually didn’t finish this book. It’s been my first DNF in years.
0/5 stars 

Quick Update

Hello my bookish friends!
Just wanted to drop a quick update on why reviews have stalled a bit. First off, my first book read in February was a DNF which was kind of a bummer, but THEN my mom had a procedure done that ended up with me having to watch my 1.5 year old son while also working full time every day. So my ability to hop online and write reviews has been cut to a very short window, and I’ve been using that window to re-read The Bone Season as well as ACOTAR as well as read Lore by Alexandra Bracken.

I’m so sorry I haven’t been able to drop more content, but have been debating on ramping up the Bibliophile Gathering instagram again, as well as possibly a personal ticktok where I review and recommend books.

Talk to you all soon! Much love,
Stephanie

Starsight – Brandon Sanderson

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson
Published November 26, 2019

All her life, Spensa has dreamed of becoming a pilot. Of proving she’s a hero like her father. She made it to the sky, but the truths she learned about her father were crushing.

Spensa is sure there’s more to the story. And she’s sure that whatever happened to her father in his starship could happen to her. When she made it outside the protective shell of her planet, she heard the stars–and it was terrifying. Everything Spensa has been taught about her world is a lie.

But Spensa also discovered a few other things about herself–and she’ll travel to the end of the galaxy to save humankind if she needs to. 


Ok so… I have feelings. And they’re mostly good, which I’d say is a good thing. But, I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that there were some parts of this book that I didn’t like. I feel like I had really high expectations for the book and did it live up to them? It’s about 50/50. I re-read Skyward just to prepare myself FULLY for Starsight. But anyway…let’s really dive into why I feel a bit conflicted on how much I truly loved it.

The beginning of the book picks off kind of where you’d assume Skyward left off. The DDF has studied M-BOT to help their technologies, they use Spensa and M-BOT to defeat the Krell which they know more about etc. But when an alien craft crash lands of Detritus and Spensa goes to check out what happens, she finds out the alien is also a cytonic and imprints her destination in Spensa’s mind, her destination being a Superiority ship called Starsight where she was going to learn to be a fighter pilot… I won’t go too much further into this, but I thought this was such great set-up for this book. And setting it up kind of like an Ocean’s 11/espionage type of mission was SO GREAT. Spensa’s mission being to learn exactly how the Superiority creates hyperdrives so the people of Detritus can GTFO. So I was HOOKED when I caught wind of this being like a spy/espionage type of book, those are my absolute favorites.

And then, it happened, it all just slowed down. To a pace that I hate to use the word, but it dragged. It did, just a bit. And I know there’s a lot of setup in terms of espionage/spy books and they’re a bit slower paced but I mean, there’s usually some suspense or a slip up here or there, but there was nothing, for a whole middle section of a book, other than Spensa training these alternate alien races how to be fighter pilots. It was mostly regurgitation from Skyward (I feel like an ass for writing all this but…it’s my F E E L I N G S. Please, Brandon Sanderson if you see this don’t hate me.)

But then, THEN, the catalyst to all of this was great. Once you hit that late middle/end section of the book. Boy, does it redeem itself. It was seriously hard for me to stop. I had to keep going because it was like getting back into the twists and turns and just overall amazingness of Skyward. I just got so invested into all the new characters, and everything going on it was so wonderful. Everything between M-BOT, Doomslug, Kitsen, Vapor, Cuna, Morriumur (yes, these are all new characters, and yes you’re going to love them) was so well done, it completely turned around my feelings for this book.

All that being said, I’m really hoping this third book gets back into the action because I’m not quite sure where this will go next. There’s a lot of just loose ends, which is great to keep going down but I’m interested to see what Brandon Sanderson has in store for Nowhere which I do believe is set for a Spring 2021 release.

4.25/5 Stars

Kingdom of Flesh and Fire – Jennifer L. Armentrout

Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published September 1, 2020

A Betrayal…
Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice…
Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…
But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.


Ok so. Let’s see here. There’s a lot to unpack… 

I’m not sure if rushed is the word I’d like to tag onto to this book, but I feel like it is. I feel like it was mostly just build build build build build and BAM. But the building of the story didn’t really go anywhere…if that makes sense. I felt like there wasn’t a lot of substance between where Poppy ended (location wise) in the first book, and then like a week long trek to Atlantia…SO MUCH could have happened yet nothing did, nothing that impacted the story at least. And then WHAM out of nowhere the last like 10 minutes of the book, this huge thing/reveal happens OUT OF NOWHERE. I’m trying to be really respectful of those who haven’t read this yet. 

But man, I don’t feel satisfied with this book as much as I did with From Blood And Ash. First of all, I feel like Poppy ended up randomly overly violent out of the blue, there was no build up to it, why she decided she needed to resort to violence all of a sudden, I mean I know we see a glimpse of it in the first book but that’s for a legitimate reason. Then, I feel like there was so much depth and amazingness in the Wolven, like…why not spend time on them? I feel like there was so much that could’ve been replaced that was unnecessary that could’ve had some really cool Wolven stuff in it instead. AND THEN. My god, the end. WHY WHY WHY unleash an ending like that when there’s no precursor to any type of power/magic/being like that. We know Gods exist, magic exists, but like…how HOW does that reveal just happen out of the blue? I don’t understand it, unless I’m missing something completely I feel like Poppy went from 0 – 1000 really quickly. 

There was a good amount I enjoyed about this book though. I have to give it to JLA, her writing is just overall great. I love it, I can’t ask for anything better really. It just flows and keeps you hooked. I’ll admit it, I usually read two books at a time, this book was my SOLE FOCUS when I was reading it because I literally couldn’t be bothered with anything else because to me it’d be considered sub-par. Her writing style is just something that HAS TO be mentioned, it can’t be overlooked. THE SMUT SCENES. DEAR LORD. – do I need to say any more? I literally was blushing by the end of some scenes, my goodness. And I love Casteel and Poppy, they’ve quickly become one of my favorite couples. They remind me a lot of Jude and Cardan from the Folk of the Air trilogy. Which I also loved. 

I just think overall, yes it was entertaining but there was a lot that could be worked on. For a 600+ page book, I felt like there was a lot of dead air, in a sense. So hopefully the next book will be better, because I’m still excited to read it! 

3.75/5 Stars

 

Skyward – Brandon Sanderson

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
Published November 6, 2018

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul. 

 


I’ve read a few Brandon Sanderson books, I do believe this is my 5th one, and my goodness. He always blows me away. When I first came back to reading about four years ago, I randomly picked up Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, and  I couldn’t believe I had been missing out on such good books like the one I had just read. Between the Reckoners trilogy, the first Mistborn book, and Skyward…this man can do no wrong. Seriously. I felt like I was in the middle of watching an epic Star Wars dogfight about 85% of this book, and all the other times, I was just so engaged and into the perseverance and uniqueness of Spensa that I couldn’t put it down.  His writing is so entrancing and it pulls you in like a siren’s song. I kick myself sometimes for devouring his work so quickly, but I just can’t put it down! 

Let’s start with Spensa, our main character. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy with a main character than I had with Spensa. She’s determined, strong, her tenacity and personality overall is just *chef’s kiss*. I felt like reading a book with a character like Spensa, makes me feel like I’m capable of doing anything. Which, as an almost thirty year old woman, I know I can do anything if I put my mind to it but Spensa for some reason makes it feel like that phrase is more attainable for whatever reason. She’s a wonderful main character and would recommend if anyone is looking for a strong female MC to pick this up because she makes this book worth it alone. 

Now, during this book, Spensa finds a ship wrecked in a cavern. This lovely being is M-BOT. He’s a ship with high tech and artificial intelligence which Spensa is NOT familiar with. And I ADORE this ship. And no spoilers but the end, I couldn’t handle it. He had such great character growth even for a silly little ship A.I. it was impeccable. I loved it. I love love love how much time and thought Sanderson puts into each and every one of his characters in his books.

The story is so great, wonderful pacing, a lot of just chipping away at the main plot but also keeping a good bit of mystery along the way. I think that was my favorite thing about it really. You had some really big moments, suspenseful ones like all the dogfighting etc, and then you had flight school, and M-BOT etc. which was still great paced but help keep you engaged the whole time. I loved how Brandon Sanderson revealed all the big reveals. It was great, and he left just enough to make you want to continue reading more into the series. 

This is going to be a 4 book series (so far) and I feel like this first book is just such a great foundation to be able to expand and continue with some great stuff so just like with From Blood and Ash, the sequel is my immediate next read 

On to “Starsight”!  

5/5 Stars

 

From Blood and Ash – Jennifer L. Armentrout

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published March 30th 2020

A Maiden…

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…

The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.


Ok well, I wasn’t expecting to start my year off with a read like this, but I did. I decided I wanted to get myself to try and read one book a week. And damn it, I read this book like I was getting paid to do it. I finished it SO QUICKLY. I couldn’t put it down. I have been asked to read Jennifer L. Armentrout books for a while, and none of them really spoke to me (SORRY JLA!) but this one, after reading this I would roam the earth recommending this author to people.

I felt like this book was like seeing an old friend after being apart for a long time. It just felt like the right read, and it was somehow reading a favorite book I had set aside for a very long time. The writing was so smooth, approachable, and just the flow of everything worked and felt familiar, it made it so easy for me to get lost in this book for hours on end. And I know sometimes reading a book you have to read it at the right time to really strike a good rapport with a book, let alone a 600+ page book that’s you’re first read of 2021 coming out of a slump. 

There are a few small things I have to get off my chest though…as much as I’d hate to. I was getting a bit antsy at the beginning of this book to really get moving with some sort of catalyst. It took a while to really get things moving plot wise, and as much as I love how strong Poppy is, witty Hawke is, loving Tawny and protective Vikter are, there’s only so much of that content I could absorb. I also felt like it got a bit repetitive with all the Maiden stuff and what it was like being the Maiden day to day and the sneaking out. I was beginning to get bored, and then BAM! COMING IN WWITH THE SECOND ACT. The book really rose to the occasion of a stellar read at about 25% I’d say. So if you’re struggling with this read I BEG YOU to tough it out and wait because it’s so worth it. 

My small tiny other piece that kind of made me go “oh bummer” was, I’m not sure if I just have really good deduction skills or figuring out plot twists, but I knew it all along. I won’t spoil, but I knew the twist the whole time. Not sure if it was supposed to be that obvious, but I figured it out and it made the reveal really anti-climactic for me. But that’s not to say that it wasn’t a great plot twist. But it just was a bummer that I had already put the clues together to figure it out so early on. 

Everything else in this book really worked for me. The romance was steamy and amazing (probably some of my favorite steamy scenes I’ve read from an author) and I just loved the progression of Poppy and Hawke’s relationship through the book. I loved Poppy as a main character. A strong-willed, strong bodied, smart woman suppressed to be this quiet, submissive “chosen one”, and as much as that can sometimes be a trope, I feel like JLA wrote Poppy so wonderfully that it didn’t feel like an over done trope or that I’ve read about this character a million times. And I loved that. Poppy felt like such a unique character to me (and I might have some bias towards the name as I’ve always wanted to name a daughter, if I have one Penelope). 

I also feel like I’ve never read anything like Armentrout’s writing before. It felt lyrical, heart-felt, and just some overall strong writing. I literally would feel my heart clench or my stomach drop, and just FELT while reading this which is the best sign of great writing, truly, and the fact that I haven’t had a book do that in a while, I appreciate it so much. This book had almost everything I’ve been looking for in a book and I’m so glad I picked it up. And I want to thank JLA for taking the time to really make an amazing book, I wasn’t expecting it at all. 

On to “A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire”! 

4.75/5 Stars

The Bromance Book Club – Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
Published November 5, 2019

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.


I had such high hopes coming into this book, it didn’t sound like any other romance I’d ever read before, so I was really excited to read this. I was hoping that it would be well written, have good pacing, and just keep me hooked. And to be quite honest, it 1,000% delivered.

I was really excited to start reading a book about a married couple. I don’t think there’s enough romance or at least romance that intrigues me enough to pick up that starts with married couples. I’m married with a kid so I feel like I really connected with this book. Especially with some of the struggles that Gavin and Thea went through.  I also absolutely adored the way that Gavin’s teammates and other friends showed up for him especially since he seemed like the wallflower or quiet one of the group, being that myself, I know I don’t open up to many people so it’s hard for friends to notice when something is wrong or how to help in a difficult situation.

Bringing in the book club as a “manual” to help Gavin win back Thea I thought was SUCH a brilliant idea. And I loved the little excerpts of “Courting the Countess” I thought it was a really good way to set up new stages of the book. And I was always looking forward to seeing how Gavin took the book in terms of bringing it to life and how it translated to working back towards a solid relationship with Thea.

I feel like being connected to this book in terms of being a married woman and having the fear of hitting a real hard spot at some point in our relationship (mind you, my husband and I have been married happily for 3 almost 4 wonderful years) just made me connect so hard with what was going on. And made me want to read more and more just to make sure Gavin and Thea ended up working out. I was truly rooting for them.

In the end The Bromance Book Club was pretty addicting, had some really sweet moments, and things that were so real that I feel like I ended up appreciating it more than I would other romances. It was a pretty quick read for me due to just being sucked in. But I have to say, this was probably a top 10 for 2020.

5/5 Stars