Series Mini-Reviews: Holiday Brothers Series by Willa Nash

I’m not much of a seasonal reader but apparently, this is the year when holiday romances are my jam and I’m having a blast with them! I binged the Holiday Brothers series by Willa Nash in two days and they were delightfully festive holiday novellas that I have no doubt will put many in a merry mood!

Goodreads: The Naughty, The Nice and The Nanny (#1)
Publication Date: 04 November 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

One week with one little girl—an angel, according to my staffing agency. Acting as the short-term nanny for a single dad should have been an easy way to make some extra cash. Until I show up for my first day and face off with a demon disguised as a seven-year-old girl wearing a red tutu and matching glitter slippers.

Oh, and her father? My temporary boss? Maddox Holiday. The same Maddox Holiday I crushed on in high school. The same Maddox Holiday who didn’t even know I existed. And the same Maddox Holiday who hasn’t set foot in Montana for years because he’s been too busy running his billionaire empire.

Enduring seven days is going to feel like scaling the Himalayas in six-inch heels. Toss in the Holiday family’s annual soiree, and Christmas Eve nightmares really do come true. But I can do anything for a week, especially for this paycheck, even if it means wrangling the naughty, impressing the nice, and playing the nanny. 

This little novella was a fun and quirky holiday romance with characters that had great chemistry and a story with a good dose of touching family moments. While ultimately the romance ended up being very insta-love, it didn’t feel like it initially as Natalie and Maddox built up a good foundation of trust and respect through their bond with Violet. This was a novella, so of course, I kind of expected the insta aspect of the romance, but I also thought it was handled well enough that it didn’t bother me overly much.

I really liked Natalie—she has such a good heart and I loved how she understood and came through for Violet when her mother was inattentive and constantly let her down. Nat was so bubbly and passionate about the children she took care of and it shone through. I also really enjoyed her more comedic monologue as she reflected on how high-school Nat would feel about working closely with Maddox and having flirty interactions with him—she was a really fun heroine and so easy to root for! Maddox was your slightly typical hot billionaire single-dad who doted on his little girl. I really liked how much he adored Violet and wanted to change his lifestyle to be better for her. He was a sweet guy and I’m glad that this was told in alternating POVs so we get a good insight into both their mindsets. The chemistry and pull between Mad and Nat was undeniable and was built up really well! It’s mildly steamy but the main sex scenes are fade-to-black, so if on-page sex isn’t your jam in romances, you’ll be okay with this one!

Goodreads: Three Bells, Two Bows and One Brother’s Best Friend (#2)
Publication Date: 04 November 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

I pride myself in being grounded. Sure, I’ve had my share of childhood fantasies. Winning an Oscar. Winning the lottery. Winning an Olympic medal for an athletic talent I have yet to discover. But the only fantasy I ever thought might actually happen was winning my brother’s best friend.

Heath Holiday.
My crush on him has ebbed and flowed over the years, but the day I started working for his construction company was the day I smothered it for good. Sort of. Mostly. It was on my to-do list. Making it a priority would have been easier had he not arrived at his family’s annual Christmas party looking ridiculously handsome in a suit.

Then he kissed me. We stepped into an alternate universe and he kissed me. I assumed the next day I’d just be Guy’s little sister again. The office newbie. Our kiss forgotten. Except he keeps showing up at my house. With gifts.

A gold bracelet carrying three jingling bells. Two dainty jeweled earrings, each shaped as a bow. And finally, he brought himself. One brother’s best friend, asking if I can keep a secret

If you read the first book in the Holiday Brothers series then you’ll probably remember the first cheeky glimpse we get into the blossoming romance between Stella and Heath, and if you were like me, you probably also couldn’t wait to find out how they got to that point! I ended up really enjoying the romance between these two and so far, this is my favourite book in this series. There were definitely some not-so-great moments that had me cringing and also shaking my fist in rage (on Stella’s behalf) but ultimately, these two had a wonderful connection that gave me the warm fuzzies and I was here for their happiness!

Again, because this is a novella, things move pretty quickly on the romantic front; however, I thought their connection as a result of their lifelong friendship and the mutual attraction they felt (and that they kept secret from each other) was established well enough that the fast pace didn’t feel unnatural. I’m not one for pining and angst but this had some great mutual pining that had me giggling because I just wanted them to get together already! I thought they suited each other really well and I loved how both of them were all-in from the beginning; despite the pretty uncool and bumbling secret-keeping fiascos instigated by Heath once they got together! I really liked them individually as well. Stella was a bit of a typical quirky heroine but I can’t lie, I loved the way she twisted aphorisms (and ngl, most of her twists make so much more sense)! 😂 I also loved the way she became an adorably *awkward* mess whenever she’d meet Heath—it’s just so relatable! Despite a few fumbles himself with the secret-keeping, Heath was a pretty good guy. He was a player in his younger days but I never got those vibes from him, even when we met him in book one, and his steady and hard-working presence was only proven in this story. I wished we got a little bit more character depth from both of them but I thought they were decently developed for a novella-length romance!

Goodreads: A Partridge and A Pregnancy (#3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(2.5 pandas)

There are a lot of places I’d rather spend Christmas Eve morning than on a cold, snowy sidewalk outside someone else’s home. I’d kill to be sitting beside a fireplace, drinking cocoa, wearing flannel pajamas and reading a book.

Instead, I’m here, standing in front of my one-night stand’s house, working up the courage to ring the doorbell and tell him I’m pregnant.

I hate that term—one-night stand. It sounds so cheap and sleezy. Tobias Holiday is neither of those things. He’s handsome and caring. Witty and charismatic. And once, a long time ago, he was mine.

Our one-night reunion was only supposed to be a hookup. A fling with an old lover. A parting farewell before I moved to London and put my feelings for him an ocean away. How exactly am I supposed to explain that to Tobias that I’m having a baby? His baby? Maybe I could sing it. He always loved the silly songs I made up in the shower.

Three French hens, two turtle doves.

And a partridge and a pregnancy. 

In the previous two books, we briefly learn about Tobias and the surprise pregnancy with his ex, Eva, but of the three brothers, he’s the one who has been around the least. It was great to finally meet him and get his story, but out of the three Holiday Brothers books, this one was probably my least favourite! I’d seen some mixed reviews and wasn’t even sure that I wanted to read it anymore cos I thought I’d end up annoyed but I’m glad I did and finished the series. It wasn’t that the story or writing was bad, I just didn’t connect with the characters.

From the reviews I’d seen, I had expected to find myself hating the heroine, but I felt more indifferent than anything. I mean, I didn’t particularly like or understand her, but I also empathised with her situation. With a job that has her frequently relocating on little notice, she lives a pretty lonely life and with her next big move already in the works, and now a surprise baby on the way, I think her being thrown for a loop was realistic. I would also probably be freaking out in this situation! But I did think she was a little selfish and I never really understood her desire to not stay when it was clear as day that Montana was home to her—what point was she trying to prove and to whom? (view spoiler)

That said, they also never properly discussed the situation because she either ran away as she doesn’t like confronting problems, or Tobias would get frustrated and say hurtful things, or both of them would get overwhelmed by the sexual tension and instead of talking, they’d have sex (which happened a few times). Tobias definitely could’ve been more communicative too and said what was on his mind—well, actually, they both definitely should’ve used their words and been y’know, adults about the situation (lol), but after being unceremoniously rejected by Eva at the end of their college years, I get why he felt that way and why he believed she didn’t want to stay.

Overall though, while they did have the chemistry of old lovers and their steamy moments were hot, I just never really felt invested in their story because it was just overly dramatic and I didn’t feel like it was for any good reason (or at least not a reason that I understood or that I felt was clearly explained). Obviously, their HEA was nice and I’m glad that they both found their happy place together, I just think their journey would’ve been better had they actually talked. 

Have you read the Holiday Brothers series or is it on your TBR?

ARC Review: With You Forever by Chloe Liese

Special thanks to the author for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: With You Forever (Bergman Brothers #4)
Publication date: 14 September 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)


Axel
Rooney Sullivan is sunshine incarnate. Warm, bright, always smiling, she’s everything I’m not and the last person I have any business desiring. Desperate to hide a hopeless attraction, I’ve done everything possible to keep my distance…until a charades game gone wrong brought that to a grinding halt. 

Since then, steering clear of Rooney has been impossible. In a matter of months, she’s kissed me speechless, commandeered my art career, and infiltrated not only my dreams but my home. The woman who was once avoidable has become the last thing I needed: temptingly within reach.
 
Rooney
Axel Bergman is a gorgeous grump who doesn’t have the time of day for me. Thankfully, I’ve kept my crush under wraps…well, until I kissed him. Charades got away from me, okay? It was an accident! I haven’t seen him since, which is for the best. My life is a mess, and the last thing I need is to embarrass myself further with the man who avoids me like that’s his job rather than painting modern masterpieces.
 
It seems the universe, however, has a different plan. When Axel and I unexpectedly find our paths—and problems—converging, a marriage of convenience proves the perfect solution. At least, until I’m facing my most serious problem yet: a once-loveless marriage of convenience that’s inconveniently become a love match, after all.

THIS BOOK IS OUT IN TWO DAYS!
PRE-ORDER NOW:

Continue reading “ARC Review: With You Forever by Chloe Liese”

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)

Continue reading “ARC Review: Ever After Always by Chloe Liese”

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Ever After Always by Chloe Liese

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine

This is my first week joining in on Can’t Wait Wednesday and it’s because I’m really excited to be sharing this upcoming book with everyone. I simply cannot wait until I can get my grabby little hands on it because I loved the first two books in this fun romcom series and it definitely takes one of the top spots for my favourite romance of 2020!

Note: this is the third book in the series and while it can technically be read as a standalone, trust me, you won’t want to! 😉

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

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?

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Ever since stumbling across her first book, Only When It’s Us, earlier this year and absolutely loving the slow-burn romance between a fiesty sports heroine and lumberjack hero, I immediately knew I needed to read more by Chloe Liese. I was over the moon when I managed to get an ARC for her second book, Always Only You, and I fell even more in love with the characters. The whole Bergman family are a trip to read about and I dare you to not fall in love with all their loves! Chloe Liese’s books are such underrated gems and if you’re a lover of own voices and diverse romances with realistic and relatable characters, you should definitely read her sooner rather than later! 😉

If you’re not yet convinced, take a peek at my reviews for book 1 and book 2!

Have you read any books by Chloe Liese or any of the books in the Bergman Brothers series? Are you excited as me to get book three?!

Blog Tour Review: The Heart of a Peach by Jess B. Moore

I’m back with another blog tour and this time it’s for The Heart of a Peach by Jess B. Moore. Thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour, and to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: The Heart of a Peach
Release Date: 14 August 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Panda Rating:

Olivia Hamilton can do no wrong. Or at least that’s what the community of Fox River, North Carolina thinks of the odd but sweet young lady. She’s hiding a past she’d rather forget, engaged to the town’s most eligible bachelor, and longing for someone to see past the mask she wears. Olivia wants to find herself, forgive herself, and fall in love with someone who sees and embraces her flaws. 

Denver MacKenna grew up the fiddle-playing prodigy of not only his hometown of Fox River but of North Carolina and the surrounding states. He plays obsessively and tours as often as possible, escaping a life of loneliness at home. Until he meets a beautiful siren who calls to him and has him making plans to settle down. Denver knows it’s wrong to covet the elusive Olivia, but finds himself inexplicably drawn to the brief glimpses she gives him of her true self.

BUY NOW: Amazon (US)

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ARC Review: Always Only You by Chloe Liese

Thanks to author Chloe Liese for providing the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Always Only You (Bergman Brothers #2)
Publication date: 04 August 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance

Panda Rating:



Ren
The moment I met her, I knew Frankie Zeferino was someone worth waiting for. Deadpan delivery, secret heart of gold, and a rare one-dimpled smile that makes my knees weak, Frankie has been forbidden since the day she and I became coworkers, meaning waiting has been the name of my game—besides, hockey, that is. I’m a player on the team, she’s on staff, and as long as we work together, dating is off-limits. But patience has always been my virtue. Frankie won’t be here forever—she’s headed for bigger, better things. I just hope that when she leaves the team and I tell her how I feel, she won’t want to leave me behind, too.

Frankie
I’ve had a problem at work since the day Ren Bergman joined the team: a six foot three hunk of happy with a sunshine smile. I’m a grumbly grump and his ridiculously good nature drives me nuts, but even I can’t entirely ignore that hot tamale of a ginger with icy eyes, the perfect playoff beard, and a body built for sin that he’s annoyingly modest about. Before I got wise, I would have tripped over myself to get a guy like Ren, but with my diagnosis, I’ve learned what I am to most people in my life—a problem, not a person. Now, opening my heart to anyone, no matter how sweet, is the last thing I’m prepared to do.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Always Only You by Chloe Liese”

Series Mini-Review: Loveless Brothers by Roxie Noir

I’m back with some mini-reviews of another romance series that I’ve recently discovered and enjoyed! I didn’t end up loving the characters as much as hoped I would but all of the books did have me laughing out loud and at one point or another gave me that *swoony* feeling.

I’d give the Loveless Brothers series a ★★★½ average based on my rating of each book.

Enemies with Benefits (#1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Panda Rating:

I don’t love him. I don’t even like him.
I just want him.

Eli Loveless was my nemesis from the first day of kindergarten until we graduated high school. Everything I did, he had to do better – and vice versa. The day he left town was the best day of my life.
Ten years later, the day he came back was the worst.
Now he’s my co-worker.
Grown-up Eli Loveless is sexy as sin. He’s hotter than asphalt in the summer. The irritating kid I once knew is gone, and he’s been replaced by a man with green eyes, perfect abs, and a cocky smile.
It’s bad that I want him. It’s worse that he wants me back.
There are looks. There are smirks. There are smiles that make my panties burst into flame.
And then there’s a shared kiss that leads to the hottest night of my life.
This is no office romance. This is a five-alarm fire.
What’s a girl to do when the man I can’t stand is the one I can’t stop lusting after?
Enter into a friends-with-benefits agreement, of course.
No dates. No relationship. Just blisteringly hot sex, because if there’s one person I could never fall for, it’s Eli.
…right?

Continue reading “Series Mini-Review: Loveless Brothers by Roxie Noir”

Book Review: That Second Chance by Meghan Quinn

Goodreads: That Second Chance (Getting Lucky #1)
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: 07 May 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating:

(4 pandas)

It was supposed to be an innocent night, celebrating my brother’s birthday. Nothing was supposed to go wrong. We’d vowed to be on our best behavior after all . . .
But it only took one rowdy night with my brothers to flip my world upside down. One unlucky encounter saddled us with a family curse and the promise of doomed relationships. I laughed it off immediately. “Yeah, right,” I thought. “A love curse. Ha!” Boy, was I wrong.

Word spreads quickly in a town like mine; rumors about that night soon made us the most eligible yet untouchable bachelors in Port Snow, Maine. As a subject of endless gossip and speculation, I could kiss my dating life goodbye. It would have stayed that way if Ren Winters, the new girl in town, hadn’t crashed into my life. Brave, beautiful, and smart—her vivacious thirst for a fresh start has given me hope that maybe, just maybe, I can have one too. Everyone wishes for that second chance . . . but could this really be mine?

A funny and sweet story about second chances, featuring a hilariously embarrassing family full of meddlers, and a picturesque town that sweeps you off your feet!

This is a perfect light and fluffy romantic comedy that had me laughing out loud several times! Although I was initially wary what with the ‘love curse’, I’m glad that I kept on with it because it was exactly what I was looking for! The story is told through alternating POVs between Griffin and Ren and I really liked both of their characters. They have an almost immediate connection but thanks to Griffin’s wariness with the curse, they build a strong friendship before anything romantic happens. Their banter was so cute and sweet and gave me all the warm fuzzies (like stupid grin on face and giggles fuzzies). The build up in sexual tension was also great. There are some steamy scenes but the more explicit ones are minimal (I think there are two).

The best part of the book for me was the Knightly family though; especially the relationship between the four brothers who were all so sweet and funny. It was so refreshing to see how they all wore their hearts on their sleeves and how supportive and invested they were of Griffin’s love life (enough to meddle and boy, did they ever! It was too funny). They were genuinely good guys! Can I also say how cute and picturesque this town sounds? What with an adorable gift shop, pastel colored decorations dotting the town, and a lighthouse amongst other small-town landmarks? I love stories that involve small towns and this one basically had me wanting to move there myself!

Now let’s be real. Was it predictable? Yes, it was. But sometimes you just really need a good, easy read that makes you feel happy and hopeful, and this ticked all the boxes! Being even more real with you, I actually picked this up because of the guy on the cover (omg), so I’m really happy that I ended up loving this! I’m so looking forward to the reading the rest of the series and seeing how all the brothers defeat the ‘love curse’. I’m particularly excited about Rogan because he’s the “brooding brother” (weakness!) and I’m so curious to learn more about his back story!

Have you read That Second Chance or is it on your TBR?