REVIEW – Satisfaction Guaranteed by Karelia Stetz-Waters

I had SO MUCH FUN reading Satisfaction Guaranteed. Stetz-Waters pulls you right in from the first chapter – with countless laugh-out-loud moments packed into just a few pages. Not only is Satisfaction Guaranteed hilarious, but it’s also sweet (and spicy). What’s not to love about a sex-positive romance, filled with adorable, lovable characters and effortless humor? Even in the sweet moments, I found myself giggling at some of the subtle details and witty one-liners.

I don’t usually like to compare new books to other things, but I will say this: Fans of The Roommate, you’ll like this. Fans of huggable characters you want to be best friends with, you’ll like this. Fans of joy, you’ll like this.

Thank you Forever for sending me a copy of Satisfaction Guaranteed!

REVIEW – Back in the Burbs by Tracy Wolff and Avery Flynn

I had SO much fun reaching Back in the Burbs – it’s hilarious and heartfelt. Mallory’s life is a mess (no, really). She’s in the middle of dealing with a difficult divorce AND her favorite aunt has just passed away. However, when she learns that great-aunt Maggie left Mallory her house, she decides it’s time to take her life into her own hands and start fresh.

This is…easier said than done. Great-aunt Maggie’s house needs work. A LOT of work. And the cute guy across the street is a little bit rude.

This story ended up being more complex than I anticipated, and it was such a happy surprise. Back in the Burbs doesn’t get bogged down by the details – and while it covers a few heavier topics, it remains relatively lighthearted overall, with ample amounts of humor sprinkled throughout each chapter.

If you’re looking for a good summer or vacation read, this is it! Thank you Entangled Publishing and Valentine PR for sending me a copy of this book.

REVIEW – Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

“And that’s what it comes down to. We find the families we were desperate for and learn different ways of going about things. Ways that sometimes land us in places/positions we don’t really wanna be in.”

Dear Justyce is the follow-up to Dear Martin and WOW does it pack a punch. I read Dear Justyce in pretty much one sitting – Stone’s writing is compelling and accessible and she makes some stylistic choices throughout that really push the story along and keep you wanting (needing) to know what’s going to happen next.

Quan (who we met in Dear Martin) is an incarcerated teen awaiting trial for the shooting death of a police officer. Quan is smart and caring and…misguided. He faced some tough times as a child and eventually fell in with a group who gave him the care and love he was missing, but not without consequences.

This book really examines what leads Quan (and kids like him) into making some not-so-great choices, and how they can still move forward into a positive future. If you’re not familiar with the school to prison pipeline, i’d recommend doing a little bit of research before diving in to this book. Stone also addresses some of the events in the book in a note at the end, and that’s very much worth reading (especially if these topics are new to you).

REVIEW – The Roommate by Rosie Danan

Phew, okay. I had seen a lot of positive reviews for The Roommate, but I didn’t think i’d love it this much! It’s surprisingly sweet (but with no lack of spice…) Clara and Josh are fun a lovable, and i’m excited that Naomi is getting her own book later this year.

The Roommate features Josh who is a…uhh…”performer” with a heart of gold (no, really) and Clara, who is a seemingly uptight, prim and proper socialite from the East Coast. Be prepared to love these characters! Be prepared for some VERY open door scenes (if that’s not your cup of tea, steer clear). And be prepared for a feminist novel that will have you laughing and cheering and swooning all at once.

REVIEW – Always Only You by Chloe Liese

Chloe Liese does it again! I enjoyed the first Bergman Brothers book (Always Only You) so I knew this would be a great choice. Frankie and Ren are delightful as separate characters and, of course, they’re amazing together. Frankie is a big softie under that guarded exterior, and Ren can get pretty fired up even though he seems like a big happy teddy bear.

Liese handles differently-abled and neurodiverse characters so well – and she’s right: everyone deserves a love story. And, as always, the Bergman family is delightful and I love spending time with them.

REVIEW – The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

I figured I would like this book, but I didn’t expect to absolutely LOVE it. What a fun read! Gavin and Thea are adorable and you can’t help but root for them. Yes, they have a lot of issues (mostly due to poor communication, shocker) but their growth throughout the course of the story feels relatively realistic.

Every character is a delight – the guys in the book club are hilarious and sweet. Anything that can make me laugh out loud but also make me feel a lot of feelings is a winner for me. I am so grateful that this is a series – I can’t wait to spend more time with the Bromance Book Club!

REVIEW – Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan

This book is DARK. Full stop. It has a very strange and surreal vibe the entire time, like everything is smudged and dirty and unsettling. At the very least, Langan does a great job of putting you right into this suburban neighborhood (smack in the middle of summer, and there’s a heat wave…it’s just SO uncomfortable).

Good Neighbors is set in the near future in a seemingly perfect suburban neighborhood. I won’t give too much away, but there’s a sinkhole (complete with weird smells!) and a child dies and it turns into a modern-day (or future…) version of The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. There’s an uncanny valley element to this book – there’s nothing supernatural in the story but it doesn’t feel entirely realistic. All of the characters are exaggerated and irrational (however, maybe that’s not so far-fetched after all…) and the commentary about the “mob mentality” is jarring and scary.

One character, in particular, is absolutely psychotic and terrifying (and not even in a fun way). The entire book reminded me of The Regulators by Stephen King (although minus the gratuitious horror and violence).

This would be a great choice for a book club because there’s so much to discuss (although it’s a tough book to rate!)

Content warnings: child abuse, brief mention of rape, brief mention of drug use, brief mention of suicide, murder-suicide

Thank you Atria Books for the ARC!

REVIEW – The Forever Girl by Jill Shalvis

What a fun little read! The Forever Girl has a great balance of lighthearted, funny moments and heavier, heartfelt, emotional moments.

Maze, Walker, Heather and Cat are siblings of the heart. Cat’s parents fostered Maze, Walker and Heather a number of years ago. Their time together as kids was short-lived due to an unimaginable tragedy, but they have stayed in touch over the years. With Cat’s wedding weekend approaching, she takes the opportunity to force everyone back together to see if they can rekindle the strong bond they once had.

Although the events of this book are somewhat predictable (let’s say “reliable” – it’s a much more positive way of putting it!) it’s still a good read. There’s also a small amount of steam in this story that I wasn’t expecting!

Thank you Bibliolifestyle and William Morrow for the free book!

REVIEW – Lie, Lie Again by Stacy Wise

Lie, Lie Again is a popcorn-y contemporary novel (don’t call this a thriller!) about three women all in varying stages of life.

We follow a (very) young wife and mother of two, a teacher in her mid-20s dealing with some very uncomfortable feelings about her friend’s husband, and a 30-something professional with a lot of secrets. In fact, all three women have secrets that they want to hide. Some are more sinister than others.

This went in a direction that I wasn’t necessarily expecting, but the ride was fun.

Thank you Get Red PR for the ARC!

REVIEW – Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Oh boy, do I have mixed feelings about this book. Some of the chapters were really engaging and interesting to me, and others…there are some incredibly unlikeable characters in this book (which honestly is probably the point – women don’t need to be likable to be valid).

I did really enjoy the format – we follow 12 different women in groups of three. Each woman is related closely to her own group of three, and all 12 women tie together in some way or another at the end. Some connections were stronger than others, but Evaristo did a great job of making everything click.

The very end bumped this from a three to a four-star read for me.

Content warning: drug use, suicide, slut shaming, rape, domestic abuse, child abuse, manipulative relationship, infidelity, racism.