Review: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Goodreads: Words in Deep Blue
Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance
Panda Rating:

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

So wow, I really wasn’t ready for my feels to be completely shattered reading this book. I was a quietly blubbering hot mess by the time I reached the end! I’m not even sure what I can say other than I absolutely loved it. This one reached right into my heart and gave it a big ‘ole squeeze and basically screamed at me to FEEL THINGS.

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Review: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Goodreads: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Panda Rating:

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’ve had this one sitting on my shelf for quite a while now and have been excited to read it ever since I first heard about it. There’s a lot of hype around this book and while I did have some issues with it, overall I’m glad to say that this second-chance romance lived up to the hype for me!

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#TopTenTuesday: Spring Possibility Pile!

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: spring TBR possibility pile!

To say that I’ve got a ton of eARCs that need to be read over the next few months would really be a mild understatement. Why do I keep requesting more books and why do I keep signing up for more blog tours after telling myself I’d take a nice long break from it for a while? *shrugs* I got problems. As fun as it’d be to list all those books here, there are a few others that have been sitting on my TBR that I’d like to get to soon as well, so this is my possibility pile for those reads!

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Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab – #BookReview

Goodreads: Vengeful (Villains #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

Magneto and Professor X. Superman and Lex Luthor. Victor Vale and Eli Ever. Sydney and Serena Clarke. Great partnerships, now soured on the vine.

But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she’s finally gained the control she’s always sought—and will use her new-found power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She’ll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other.

With Marcella’s rise, new enmities create opportunity–and the stage of Merit City will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning.

Holy heck. What can I even say?! I loved Vicious but I’m surprised to say that I might love Vengeful even more?! I just finished reading it earlier today (when I wrote this on Saturday) so my thoughts are still a jumbled mess but I’m going to at least try writing something semi-coherent. Also, sorry but there will be spoilers for Vicious as this picks up after that!

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Well Met (Well Met #1) by Jen DeLuca – #BookReview

Goodreads: Well Met (Well Met #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.

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Romancing Mini-Reviews: ‘Texting’ Series by Teagan Hunter

Last week I posted my review for the first book in Teagan Hunter’s Texting series: Let’s Get Textual. This weekend I binged on the rest of the series and decided to share mini-reviews for the remaining three books. I was really in the mood for some romantic comedies this weekend and this series definitely fulfilled the funny and romance needs and I would highly recommend it if you don’t mind books that are also a little bit on the steamier side 😉

Goodreads: I Wanna Text You Up (Texting #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

When I put up a ROOMMATE WANTED poster, he was the last person on earth I thought would respond. He was also the last person on earth I’d agree to let live with me…on purpose. But, here we are⁠—roommates. I’m certain we can coexist without it being awkward, and I’m determined to make it work. There will be no sexual tension building with each accidental touch, no flutters when he wears that stupid backward baseball cap, and definitely no flirting when we text back and forth.

Caleb Mills can’t be the guy for me. He’s my best friend’s ex-boyfriend.
And that would be wrong…right?

The second book in Teagan Hunter’s Texting series was no less cute and funny as her first! I fell in love with both Zoe and Caleb’s characters when they were introduced in book one and I’m so glad that we finally got their stories — although I was initially surprised to learn that they end up together! They were a very sweet and wholesome couple though and I enjoyed their journey from roommates, friends and eventual lovers. I continued to love Zoe’s fresh and spunky attitude. She was so easy going and it wasn’t difficult to like her character. Caleb was a total sweetheart and my heart absolutely broke for him in this story. He has a much darker past than I expected, I jumped right on that bandwagon thinking he was the typical boy-next-door jock type (just wholesome), but his past and family history was sad to read about. They were so wholesome and this was much more of a slow burn than I anticipated. Their chemistry was undeniable and the steam in this would be a 3 out of 5 on the steamy scale! The one thing I missed in this book was seeing more of Delia and Zach but obviously it’s not their story anymore so they wouldn’t play as much of a role… I missed their hilarious banter though!

Goodreads: Can’t Text This (Texting #3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

“Hi Monty. Wanna see my python?”
That’s how I ended up in the bathroom of some dive bar with a stranger.
Me, Monty Andrews, the quintessential virgin girl next door.
I was so out of my element, but there was no denying our explosive attraction, even via text.
Commence Operation Bang Each Other Out of Our Systems, because that was all it was⁠—unfinished business. I had no intention of falling back into the sheets with the tattooed, muscly, dirty-in-the-best-kind-of-way single dad over and over again…but I did.
Everything was going great—until we discovered I was his son’s teacher.

Did I simultaneously cringe so hard and laugh my ass off reading that pick up line? Yes. Yes, I did. I can’t deny the cheese factor is high in this one but I think I’ve discovered my second fave book in the series! This was super fun, super steamy and I was cracking up multiple times. To say that I have a thing for guys with tattoos all over would be an understatement — I’m obsessed (with tattoos in general but tattoos on guys? *swoon*)! So it’s safe to say that I really loved Robbie’s character. Robbie is basically my type? He’s a bear with the softest and kindest heart and reading his interactions with Monty not only cracked me up but had me swooning and giggling like a little school girl. Not only that but seeing how he took care of Xavie really had me ‘awwing’. The single dad trope isn’t normally my thing but damn if it didn’t work for Robbie! His constant sexual innuendos and cracks did come off a little bit too much at times but what a laugh! Monty was of course the total opposite to Robbie. She’s conservative/reserved but being with Robbie makes her want to step out of that shell and while you wouldn’t think they’d work, they really work together! I love how her confidence grew throughout the story but I liked that she also didn’t change who she was after meeting him. She was adorable! Yes, the innocent virgin getting with the player ‘bad boy’ is a trope that’s been overdone but I still really enjoyed it here. Their chemistry was intense and so swoon worthy! I’d give this read a 4.5/5 on the steamy scale. It was legit fire! I absolutely loved this one.

Goodreads: Text Me Baby One More Time (Texting #4)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

I love you, he said.
Forever, he said.
Turns out, he lied.


When he leaves me high and dry after a cross-country move, I push him out of my life as much as I can, which is hard to do when the guy who broke your heart also happens to be the most famous dude in town.

After a disastrous year, he’s aiming to rehab his reputation, and I just so happen to be aiming for a promotion at the paper. So, we strike a deal, and it’s a win-win all around. Besides, what’s the harm in a few dates to charity galas anyway? He’s arrogant, a total jerk. There’s no way I’ll fall for him…again. I used to love him. Now I hate him…I think.

Out of the whole series this one probably had the most ‘complex storyline’. If you’ve read the first book of the series you’ll remember our man Shep and the deplorable thing he did at the end. I wanted to smack the shit out of him and I’m glad that someone in the book actually did (and good too)! So you can bet I was surprised to learn that the last book was about him. Was I excited to see if he’d get a HEA? Meh… But I liked the glimpses we got of our female MC in the previous book, so I read on…

The story switches between past and present day. Denny and Shep have a long history that pretty much no one knows about. A history that started with a strong friendship foundation that slowly moved into romance as they continued to exchange texts and got to know each other back in high school. It was an easy progression that didn’t feel at all forced. I did enjoy getting to know more about the two characters and we see how drastically Shep changed over the years, but sadly not for the better. And this is where I face problems with the situation because all of it was a bed of Shep’s own making. I mean, I get it. Being in love can be scary AF and it’s even more shocking when you’re young and you least expect it to happen. At the same time I didn’t feel like his reasons for doing what he did came through strongly enough for me to feel sympathy for him in this situation… There was so much angst that could’ve been avoided if he wasn’t such a knobhead… I loved Denny’s super sassy and feisty character and I wish that she was better treated. There’s no denying that people can change, grow and learn from (terrible) mistakes though! That said, the chemistry between Shep and Denny was also pretty intense and undeniable. All that tension built up over the last five years definitely made itself known and on the steamy scale this was a solid 5/5 lol

Overall, I am glad that I read all the books in this series. Although the last book was my least favourite, we got closure for certain things and of course you can’t feel bad with HEAs! I’m sad that this series has ended because I really enjoyed it and I’m glad that I picked it up thanks to the puntastic title(s)! I’m looking forward to reading more by Teagan Hunter and I think I will read more very soon 😉

Have you read the Texting series or is it on your TBR?
Did you have as much fun reading it as I did?

Let’s Get Textual (Texting #1) by Teagan Hunter – #BookReview

Goodreads: Let’s Get Textual (Texting #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

A wrong number is supposed to be just that—a wrong number.
Delete. Done.
Do not continue to text. Do not flirt.

A wrong number shouldn’t be the first person on your mind in the morning, or the last at night…and you’re definitely not supposed to talk them into buying a baby goat.

Because that would be weird.

When Zach Hastings and I get into a wrong-number mix-up, we don’t follow the rules. We keep texting and flirting, because he’s wicked funny and perfectly nerdy and a wonderful distraction.

I’m not looking for love, and Zach definitely had the wrong number.
But maybe…
Maybe he’s the right guy.

This was such a fun and funny romance! I’d never heard of Teagan Hunter before but I came across this book while looking at recs for “books with puns in the title” for the 2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. I started it on a whim yesterday and I don’t regret it! I found myself bursting with laughter half the time and caught in giggling fits the other half. While we don’t really go too “in-depth” with the characters, the banter between our MCs, and even the side characters, was just too good and I had a really great time reading about them all!

As the book and series title indicates, the main form of communication between is text but the whole story isn’t only told through their messages. I’m not always the biggest fan of this format because I don’t usually get a good sense of personalities and the all important “spark” that’s supposed to exist between characters, but that was definitely not the case with this one! I already mentioned it once but I’ll say it again: the banter was so great. I loved the sassiness, sarcasm, and spectacular nerdery of both Zach and Delia (especially Zach), and the progression of their relationship from strangers-to-friends-to-lovers was believable and well-written. It wasn’t a slow burn romance but there was some good anticipation and build up that I was pleasantly surprised by! I loved that it was more than just sex but that you can feel the strength of their friendship! That said this did get pretty steamy at points and I’d give it a 4/5 on the steaminess scale.

For the most part, I found Delia and Zach level-headed and mature and I always find that refreshing in a romance! They complemented each other really well. Delia was head strong and vocal but she was also compassionate and hard working. Zach was whip smart, sweet and a total goofball. Its been a while since I had such a huge crush on a fictional character but as Delia was falling head over heels for Zach, so was I! He is the epitome of a hot nerd and I was here for it. His nerd humor was on point and I was swooning hard.

Did I mention that there’s also an adorably cheeky baby goat called Marshmallow in the story? Yep, he’s a thing. I didn’t think I was about that baby goat life, but Marshy was a certified cutie pie and I wanted baby goat cuddles too. Not to mention that I also really loved the side characters: Zoe (an awesome BFF) and Caleb (the total sweetheart of an ex), even Robbie. I’m hoping that we get to learn more about them and their stories in the Texting series because they grew on me as much as Zach and Delia! Overall, I’m really glad I read this wonderful romcom and I’m looking forward to trying other books by Hunter — it’s quite possible that I’ve found a new romance favourite in 2020! 😍

Have you read Let’s Get Textual or is it on your TBR?

2020 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Announcement & Possibility Pile

Last year I decided to participate in the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge for the first time. I liked the idea of completing the challenge but I’m also 100% sure the reason I even looked at it in the first place is because of the cute and colorful list of prompts that they came out with. I’m sorry I just really like pretty things 🤣 That aside, I failed to complete it because I just wasn’t organised. I filled a spreadsheet with possible book options for some prompts at the start but gave up before I even really started trying. Bad panda 🐼

BUT I’m ready and eager to make this year different! I’ve not only identified many possible options for each prompt but I’ve even decided what I’ll read for a few of the 40 regular prompts. I haven’t started looking at the 10 advance level prompts yet though I’m not sure that I will this year!

There are basically no rules to this challenge. You can complete it whatever way you want and on Facebook it got a little ugly when people seemed to judge others for saying that they’d use one book for multiple prompts. It wasn’t a fun time 😒 Why can’t we just let people read whatever and however they want without making them feel like they’re “cheating” when there aren’t even any rules on how to complete this challenge in the first place? Sure, a challenge means you push yourself but it’s really nobody’s business but your own, isn’t it? #tea. BUT I DIGRESS! What I meant to say before going off on that rant is that I’ve made some bookish choices that count for multiple prompts but if I complete the regular challenge early (haha) I’ll go back to some of those prompts and choose a different book for it. That way, I’ll feel like I’ve pushed myself even more but I will also have happily completed the challenge in a relaxed and fun way without putting unnecessary pressure on myself. On that note, here are the books that I’ve chosen for some of the prompts. There’s still a possibility that these may change based on my mood but I’m going to do my best to stick to them.

A book published in 2020
A book by a trans or nonbinary author
A book about a book club + A book that has a book on the cover
A bildungsroman
A book with a map + A book by a WOC

A Western
A book by or about a journalist + A book with only words on the cover, no images or graphics
A book with a robot, cyborg or AI character
A book with at least four stars on Goodreads
A book with a pink cover

So far I’ve also managed to complete three of the prompts with the books that I’ve read so far this month:

A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins
A book with a bird on the cover
A book with a three-word title
☝🏽 (I’ve been on the fence about counting this last one though… Would you count it?) ☝🏽

Just like I’ll do for the ARC Apocalypse challenge, I’ll share a quarterly update for the POPSUGAR, which will only help to hold me accountable for my participation and so I don’t half-ass anything lol

Are you also participating in the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge? What do you think of my possibility pile? Do you have any suggestions for what I should read for some of the other prompts?

2020 Bookish and Blogging Goals

Yesterday I already talked about Looking Ahead to 2020 but I didn’t really cover all the bookish and blogging goals that I hope to achieve this year. I’ve always been one of those people who like the idea of setting goals more than keeping track and achieving them 😅 But I hope that I’ll be able to stick to these ones!

GOAL 1: Read 100 books (Goodreads Reading Challenge)

I feel like a broken record every time I say that 2019 was a crazy reading year but it really was! I read over 200 books and I’ve never ever read that much in one year before. But knowing that I can read that much, I’ve set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 100 books this year.

Continue reading “2020 Bookish and Blogging Goals”

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – #BookReview

Goodreads: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Historical Fiction
Panda Rating:

“Gosford Park” meets “Groundhog Day” by way of Agatha Christie – the most inventive story you’ll read this year.

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… again.
It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

I guess it’s time for my unpopular opinion because this one has received really great ratings on GR. This book was chosen as the January read by the Goodreads group for the 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge following the prompt: “a book revolving around a puzzle or game”. I was really excited to start reading this, especially for my first reading challenge book of the year; but unfortunately, I think this book just really wasn’t for me.

Continue reading “The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – #BookReview”