Book Review: Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Goodreads: Take A Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2)
Publisher: Avon
Published: 23 June 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.

When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?

Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs.

Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?

Yes. Yes. YAAAAAS to this book!!! Oh my lordy lordy. MY FEELS. The swooning. I just… THE FEELS! If you love the fake dating trope, witty banter that will have you simultaneously swooning and cracking up, smart AF badass bisexual heroines, super soft hopeless romantic heroes, crackling chemistry and intensely steamy scenes: don’t sleep on this one. Talia Hibbert really brings it all with this romance I’m so here for it!

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Book Review: The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Goodreads: The Switch
Publisher: Quercus
Published: 16 April 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Leena is too young to feel stuck.
Eileen is too old to start over.
Maybe it’s time for The Switch…


Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen… So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn’t straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?

It took me a while to get around to it but I’m so glad that I finally picked up The Switch. I buddy read this with Leslie @ Books Are The New Black and it was so much fun! It made me wonder why I didn’t do buddy reads more when it’s so great to have someone to gush and whine to while reading 😂 We both tried to pace ourselves but we ended up devouring this book because it was so easy and mostly enjoyable to read! Don’t forget to check out Leslie’s review! This has, without a doubt, cemented O’Leary in my auto-buy and favourite authors list because she definitely knows how to write those feel-good heartwarming stories that leave you wanting more. 🥰

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ARC Review: Ever After Always by Chloe Liese

Special thanks to Chloe Liese for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

🥳 Happy Book Birthday to Ever After Always! 🥳

Ever After Always (Bergman Brothers #3)
Publication date: 12 January 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)


Buckle up for an emotional journey of hijinks, heartache, and a hot slow-burn in this marriage-in-crisis romance about going the distance to make love last.

Aiden
I’ve spent twelve years loving Freya Bergman and twelve lifetimes won’t be enough to give her everything she deserves. She’s my passionate, tender-hearted wife, my best friend, and all I want is to make her happy. But the one thing that will make her happiest is the one thing I’m not sure I can give her: a baby. With the pressure of providing and planning for a family, my anxiety’s at an all-time high, and I find myself pulling away, terrified to tell my wife how I’m struggling. But when Freya kicks me out, I realize that pulling back has turned into pushing too far. Now it’s the fight of a lifetime to save our marriage.

Freya
I love my cautious, hard-working husband. He’s my partner and best friend, the person I know I can count on most. Until one day I realize the man I married is nowhere to be found. Now Aiden is quiet and withdrawn, and as the months wear on, the pain of our growing distance becomes too much.  As if weathering marriage counseling wasn’t enough, we’re thrown together for an island getaway to celebrate my parents’ many years of perfect marriage while ours is on the brink of collapse. Despite my meddling siblings and a week in each other’s constant company, this trip somehow gets us working through the trouble in paradise. I just can’t help worrying, when we leave paradise and return to the real world, will trouble find us again?

GET YOUR COPY: Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

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Book Review: The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

Note: This review was originally written on 27 December 2020 right after I finished reading the book!
Special thanks to Lana Grace Riva for sending me a physical copy in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: The Existence of Amy
Publish Date: 02 August 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no immediate obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead.

TL;DR: This was a fast and fairly easy read thanks to Riva’s no frills writing, and it paints a very realistic and often relatable picture of what it’s like to live with debilitating mental illness. Your heart will break for Amy but you will also root for her success. There’s not exactly a ‘happy ever after’ but it is very much a hopeful one. I would recommend this to everyone but especially to those looking for a book about mental health!

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First Lines Friday – 30 October

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, 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? Here are the rules:

  • 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!

First lines:

“She couldn’t remember the first book she had eaten.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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Review: The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Goodreads: The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1)
Published: 15 July 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Panda Rating:

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

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Mini blogging break…because times are not good

Hello, my lovelies! How are we all doing?

I feel like this week only just kicked off but it’s already mid-week tomorrow (what how) and at this rate, May might just end up speeding by as quickly as April did! I’m honestly not even mad at that thought because right now I wish that May was already over. In fact, I think 2020 just needs to be over! 😂 But I digress…

I’m just here to make a quick announcement to let you know that I’ll be taking a mini blogging break this week. I have two blog tour posts to make but other than that I won’t be making my weekly barrage of posts. I know it’s silly but it actually makes me sad that I have to take a break because of how much I love blogging and how much joy it brings me. That said, the situation at home right now is so bad and it’s severely affecting my mental health. Being in this weird situation where I can’t leave home to escape the person who is making my life miserable AF is just awful. I know running away from problems isn’t healthy (etc. etc.) but sometimes it really helps to get a breather. What with work also being mental, it seems like all the space in my head has been taken up by these two things and I feel completely overwhelmed and so drained just thinking about trying to make room for anything else.

Sadly that means pulling the breaks on blogging. I’m still hoping to engage and blog hop as much as possible, but I don’t think I’ll be creating content until… Well, hopefully just the end of this week (or otherwise until further notice). I’ve really come to appreciate this community so much and the constant stream of support you all have to give, so I hope you’ll stick around until I get back but I totally understand if you don’t 💞

Until next time, I hope you all stay safe, healthy and happy 🐼

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays in Bed With… meme! This meme dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

I spent a good part of the day in bed finishing Words in Deep Blue and I was a silently blubbering hot mess by the time I reached the end. This one basically screamed at me to FEEL MY FEELS (I definitely did that) and who doesn’t love a book about books? There is a little bit of teenage angst in the romance and although one of the characters begged to be throttled throughout the read, I thought all of them were portrayed realistically and well. What I’m trying and failing to say is: READ THIS. You won’t regret it!

This is a love story.
It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets.
It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea.
Now, she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal and looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind. 

What are you currently reading?

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Top 5 Saturday: Mental Illness Rep

We’re back with another Top 5 Saturday! I might’ve missed last week’s topic but I will come back to it at some point 🙂 Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂

This week’s topic is: mental illness. I have so many books with mental illness rep on my TBR and it’s so hard to just pick five. I think these are the ones that I’d like to read as soon as possible though, plus they’re all already on my physical/Kindle shelves! I also just realised all of my picks are YA?

I’ve only read one book by John Green although of course I’ve heard plenty of rave reviews about his books, this one included. I’ve heard that the mental health rep is very well done!

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Notes On A Nervous Planet by Matt Haig – #MiniBookReview

Goodreads: Notes On A Nervous Planet
Genre: Non Fiction, Self-Help, Mental Health
Panda Rating:

Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index.

– How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad?
– How do we stay human in a technological world?
– How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious?

After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him.

Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century. 

This was my first book by Matt Haig and it certainly won’t be my last! I’m not much of a nonfiction reader but I’m so glad that I decided to read this book because Haig touches upon incredibly relevant issues that we face today living on this increasingly overloaded and sensitive nervous planet.

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