Gear up for an all-the-feels, steamy slow-burn in this enemies-to-lovers sports romance about fighting for love when life’s taught you it’s a losing game.
Gavin We’ve been teammates for two years, but it feels like a lifetime that Oliver Bergman’s been on my last nerve. A demanding captain and veteran player, I’m feared and friendless, while he’s the beloved rising star, all sunshine smiles and upbeat team spirit. To make matters worse, he’s obscenely attractive. In short: he’s genetically designed to get under my skin. Avoiding Oliver has been my survival tactic on and off the field. But when Coach drops the bomb that we’re now co-captains, avoiding him becomes impossible, and keeping the truth from him–let alone my distance–is harder than ever.
Oliver Life was great until soccer legend Gavin Hayes joined the team and proved he’s nothing like the guy I grew up idolizing. Instead, he’s a giant–albeit gorgeous–grump who lives to rain on my parade. I’ve sworn off pranks since entering the public eye, so rather than settle our differences the Bergman way, I’ve had to settle for killing Gavin with kindness. There’s just one problem: killing him with kindness is killing me. To make matters worse, Coach gives us an ultimatum: put an end to our enmity or say goodbye to being captains. I’m prepared to be miserable while we meet her demands and make nice, but the last thing I expect is to discover an explosive attraction we can’t help but act on, and worse yet, to realize the man hiding beneath Gavin’s gruff exterior is all I’ve ever wanted.
It’s hard to believe that we’re already over a quarter of the way through 2022—the year feels like it has just begun and I can’t even process how quickly time goes! 😂 But I digress… I’ve seen a couple of bloggers do this tag and I’m a little late as it’s already mid-April (somehow?!) but it looked like fun so I thought I’d do it anyway!
This original tag was created by Roisin @ Roisin’s Reading over on BookTube. Check out her OG video below!
On that note, let’s get this tag started:
How many books have you read so far?
According to Goodreads, I’ve read 84/150 books this year putting me 42 books ahead of schedule! 🥳 I’ve never had such a fab start to the reading year before and I’m hoping I can keep up this momentum for the rest of 2022!
Have you already found a book you think might be a 2022 favourite? If not, what was your favourite book you read that wasn’t quite five stars?
I have a surprising number of 5-star reads already this year but I can definitely already pick out two that will for sure be in my top five(!): Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee and Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree!
Any 1-star books / least favourite book of the year?
I have one 1-star book this year: Now and Then by Brenda Rothert. I apparently purchased this NA Romance back in 2016 although I have no recollection of doing so and I found it on my Kindle when I was cataloguing my ebooks at the start of this year. I read it for a reading challenge prompt and it’s safe to say that it really didn’t work for me!
Most read genre so far?
It’ll surprise absolutely no one that my most read genre so far is contemporary romance. This has been the case since mid-2021 and these romances have really kept my reading momentum going. Give me all the romances, please! 😍
A book that surprised you?
This series was making rounds on romance booktwt and after seeing these covers I had zero expectations going into it. So I was more than a little surprised by how much I lovedThe Mindf*ck Series by S.T. Abby! Like holy granola, these covers are literally the worst (sorry not sorry) BUT the story? So forking good!
A book that’s come out in 2022 already that you want to read but haven’t yet?
One of my goals this year is to cut down on my backlist and according to my tracker, almost 60% of the books I’ve read this year are from my backlist so… WOO! 🥳 I’m really happy that I’m reading more of the books that I’ve already owned pre-2021/22. Let’s hope I can keep that up! 🤣
One goal you made that you need to focus on
Every year I make the goal to read more non-fiction… This year my goal is to read at least four non-fiction books and so far I’ve read none. Ha! I know it’s still early days but I hope I can at least get one read before mid-year? 🙃
New to you Bloggers*/Booktubers/Bookstagrammers/Booktokers for 2022 you recommend?
I don’t think I’ve discovered new booktubers/bookstagrammers/booktokers in 2022 but I have discovered new bloggers, so I added us to this prompt! 😉 There are honestly too many to name them all but here are a few new-to-me bloggers whose posts I’ve really enjoyed reading this year:
This week’s prompt is: 21st Century Books I Think Will Become Classics (Submitted by Lisa of Hopewell)
I found this week’s prompt to be a toughie and I wasn’t entirely jamming with it because I don’t tend to read a lot of classics, but I was also too tired to find a new topic to do, so I decided to dive in and see what I could come up with! I changed the wording of the prompt slightly because I’m not confident at all in my ability to discern which books will become classics but I feel like maybe these books have potential? For starters, I needed to refresh my memory of what makes a classic.
A classic usually expresses some artistic quality—an expression of life, truth, and beauty. A classic stands the test of time. The work is usually considered to be a representation of the period in which it was written, and the work merits lasting recognition. A classic has a certain universal appeal. Great works of literature touch us to our very core beings—partly because they integrate themes that are understood by readers from a wide range of backgrounds and levels of experience. Themes of love, hate, death, life, and faith touch upon some of our most basic emotional responses. A classic makes connections.
With this definition in mind, I managed to come up with a list of books that I think fit the bill— plus, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of these books and not only have they left a strong impression on me but they’re ones that I frequently recommend to others! I know many people would disagree with at least one of these for sure 😂 Without further ado, let’s get right to it…
I mostly read romance these days so it’s no surprise that this list will focus on my favourite romance tropes! Honestly, there are so many that I love but I decided to focus today on hate to love/enemies to lovers/rivals to lovers and friends to lovers! I have a feeling the enemies to lovers trope will be a very popular pick today… 😉
Eight weeks of forced proximity is a long time to hate someone you’re trying not to love.
Sebastian Stremmel doesn’t need another headache. He has enough of his own without Sara Shapiro, the noisy new reconstructive surgeon, stomping all around his surgical wing with her chippy, chirpy cheerfulness. But Sebastian doesn’t usually get what he wants.
No one gets under his skin like Sara – so much so a heated “debate” and an exam room left in shambles later, they land themselves in eight weeks of hospital-mandated conflict resolution counseling. Now they’re forced to fight fair…which quickly leads them to playing dirty when no one’s looking.
They know it’s a mistake. They promise themselves it will never happen again. They swear they got it out of their systems. They didn’t.
Author’s Note: Grumpy/recovering people-pleaser sunshine. Introverts attract. Enemies-to-lovers in the workplace. Banter, bicker, and button-pushing foreplay. Don’t tell the friend group, get jealous when the friend group tries to fix her up. Heat: rip her clothes off before you get the front door open. Angst: big laughs, big feels, no ugly crying.
TL;DR: Just as I was thinking how I’ve never read a grumpy x grumpy romance, enter Sebastian and Sara, two screeching grumpy guts who are just a little fragile and lonely and honestly couldn’t be more perfect for each other. This was so devastatingly heart-swooningly good that it was just rude? Like, the audacity of this author to write something that gutted me the way this did! Anyway, say hi to my new favourite Canterbary romance (now tied with The Belle and the Beard)!If you love an intense enemies-to-lovers workplace romance between two headstrong and amazing characters, I’d highly recommend checking this out. 👏🏽
Special thanks to Oni Press for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
Goodreads: Chef’s Kiss Publisher: Oni Press Published: 12 April 2022 Genre: Graphic Novel
Watch things start to really heat up in the kitchen in this sweet, queer, new adult graphic novel!
Now that college is over, English graduate Ben Cook is on the job hunt looking for something…anything…related to his passion for reading and writing. But interview after interview, hiring committee after hiring committee, Ben soon learns getting the dream job won’t be as easy as he thought. Proofreading? Journalism? Copywriting? Not enough experience. It turns out he doesn’t even have enough experience to be a garbage collector! But when Ben stumbles upon a “Now Hiring—No Experience Necessary” sign outside a restaurant, he jumps at the chance to land his first job. Plus, he can keep looking for a writing job in the meantime. He’s actually not so bad in the kitchen, but he will have to pass a series of cooking tests to prove he’s got the culinary skills to stay on full-time. But it’s only temporary…right?
When Ben begins developing a crush on Liam, one of the other super dreamy chefs at the restaurant, and when he starts ditching his old college friends and his old writing job plans, his career path starts to become much less clear.
TL;DR:This was an absolute treat to read and I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a wonderfully illustrated graphic novel about new beginnings and finding your way in the world, with wonderful characters and great friendships that are sure to make you smile!
High Fantasy with a double-shot of self-reinvention
Worn out after decades of packing steel and raising hell, Viv the orc barbarian cashes out of the warrior’s life with one final score. A forgotten legend, a fabled artifact, and an unreasonable amount of hope lead her to the streets of Thune, where she plans to open the first coffee shop the city has ever seen.
However, her dreams of a fresh start pulling shots instead of swinging swords are hardly a sure bet. Old frenemies and Thune’s shady underbelly may just upset her plans. To finally build something that will last, Viv will need some new partners and a different kind of resolve.
A hot cup of fantasy slice-of-life with a dollop of romantic froth.
TL;DR:If you’re looking for a feel-good fantasy that’s full of cosy emotion and a heartwarming message, and immersive writing that will make you feel like you’re right there at this cafe with its wonderful found family of characters, then I would immediately recommend getting your hands on a copy of this book! Trust me when I say you won’t regret it. Also, snacks. Bring snacks!
With so much focus on romantic couples this month, I wanted to stick to friendship duos for this week’s prompt and I have to admit, I struggled (oh, this weak memory of mine)! 😂 I was tempted to go in the same direction as Leslie this week but although it took me *a while* to do it, I eventually managed to come up with a list of ten of my favourite dynamic friendship duos! Without further ado, let’s get right to it…
So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books Too Good to Review Properly (I have no words!) (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer).
Yay for a topic that I don’t think I’ve seen done before and one that I kinda struggled to make a list for! 😂 For the first three books, I was left too speechless to write a review and by the time I composed myself, I was too intimidated to write one because I knew my words could never do the book even a smidge of justice. The other seven I read before I thought to start writing reviews but they were all 5-stars and I can still recall the thrill of discovering the magic and the gutwrenching emotions these books made me feel! I’m hoping to attempt re-reading a few of them at some point but for others, such as A Little Life, I don’t think I could handle anymore! 🙈
I’m always terrible at answering prompts that ask for my “best” anything 😂 I know I’ve read some amazing books but it’s also been a very weird reading year? I’ve read a lot but I’ve had a hard time retaining much of what I’ve read but also, I’ve had a hard time focusing on reading, in general, this year! I’ve only had a few 5-star reads this year so it is a bit surprising that I’m having trouble picking a top 10… but in the end, I decided to not include series’ on the list and now, before I keep waffling on, let’s get to it!