The Soulmate Equation | Arc Reveiw

HAPPY FRIDAY!! We made it to the end of another week. We hope everyone had a great week and it wasn’t too stressful!

We are still working our way through our list of netgalleys and we are so excited to bring y’all our review for The Soulmate Equation 🙂

The Soulmate Equation

Synopsis:

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate.

But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River.

As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.

First we would like to thank Netgalley and Gallery Books for providing us with eARCs in exchange for our honest review. We have really enjoyed Christina Lauren books in the past and we were ecstatic to be given the opportunity to read this one early and provide our thoughts on it!

With that part out of the way, lets just say this might be our favorite Christina Lauren book to date! This book provided us with everything we are looking for and more. It has love, it has friendship, it has family, and man oh man does it have humor! We can’t tell you how many times we actually laughed out loud while reading this book.

Let’s dive into the characters a bit. Jess is a single, independent mom with one hell of a village in her corner! Her grandparents were such a great addition to this story. And don’t get us started on her seven year old daughter, Juno, who is full of all sorts of questions! But hands down, the best side character in this story has got to be Fizzy, Jess’ best friend. That girl had us rolling, she was so funny. The interactions between Fizzy and Jess were probably one of our favorite parts and at times reminded us of our own friendship, with funny banter and quick wit.

Lastly, what we have all been waiting for, the romance!! The relationship between Jess and River felt so genuine and realistic. We really enjoyed the way their story flowed and played out. Not to mention it was a breath of fresh air to read a rom com that didn’t have the male character doing something wrong and having to put forth a huge grand gesture in order to win back the girl. This was a realistic miscommunication that we felt was done well.

This book is out on Tuesday, May 18th and we hope you will be at your local bookstore picking up a copy!

Book Details:

Title: The Soulmate Equation
Author: Christina Lauren
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Have you read this one? Does it sound like one you would enjoy? Have you read any of their other books? Lets have a chat down in the comments!

As always, thank you so much for stopping by our blog. We really appreciate all of your support!

Happy Endings | Arc Review

Happy Sunday friends! I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend, filled with lots of reading!!

I am working my way through my stack of arcs and I am so excited to bring ya’ll my review for Happy Endings 🙂

Synopsis:

With her debut novel, Thien-Kim Lam serves up a sexy second-chance romance about exes with unfinished business. When working together reignites their passion, will these former flames sizzle or get burned all over again? 

Trixie Nguyen is determined to make her sex toy business a success, proving to her traditional Vietnamese parents that she can succeed in a nontraditional career. She’s made a fresh start in Washington DC, and her first pop-up event is going well—until she runs into the ex who dumped her. With a Post-it note.

The last person Andre Walker expected to see in his soul food restaurant was the woman he left behind in New Orleans. Their chemistry is still scorching, but he’s desperately trying to save his family restaurant from gentrifying developers. The solution? Partnering with his ex to turn Mama Hazel’s into a vibrator pop-up shop for hungry and horny clients.

Thanks to their steamy truce, both businesses start to sizzle and their red-hot desire soon reignites deeper feelings. But when Trixie receives an incredible career opportunity, will pride ruin their second chance at happiness?

To start I would like to thank Avon books for providing me with an arc! I was so thrilled to get the opportunity to read this book and share my thoughts will all you lovely people.

Where do I start talking about this book? Let’s begin with the fact that this is an #ownvoice story about a Vietnamese-American heroine. Trixie is a hard working, go getter that is adamant to open her own sex toy boutique and prove to her traditional Vietnamese parents that she doesn’t have to be a pharmacist in order to be a successful woman.

Not only does it show the struggles that Trixie goes through to show her parents and herself that she can be successful in a non traditional career, it also tackles what happens when you get a second chance at love. What happens when the one love got away, only to reappear in a different place two years later?

I really enjoyed the relationship between Andre and Trixie. It was sweet and also very steamy, which is too be expected when the female lead is all about selling vibrators 😉 I am all for some steamy sex scenes in my romances, and this one did not let me down.

My only gripe in this story is that while Andre was a sweet and caring love interest, he did at times come off a little too overbearing for me. I could understand his reasonings for some of his actions. He does have a pretty good character development by the end of the story, though it did seem a bit rushed. However, I still love them together and see bright things in their future 🙂

All in all this is definitely a book I would recommend to all my romance readers out there. The Vietnamese representation was such a pleasure to read. One warning I will give you, don’t read this book hungry 😉 Between the Vietnamese coffee and New Orleans soul food, I was drooling all over the place.

Be sure to run to your local book store and pick yourself up a copy on May 18, you won’t regret it!

Book Details:

Title: Happy Endings
Author: Thien-Kim Lam
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Does this sound like something you would like to read? What are other hard hitting contemporary romances you would recommend?

As always, thank you so much for stopping by our blog. We really appreciate all of your support!

Blog Tour | The Kindred Spirits Supper Club

Hello friends! It has been a while since we have posted on our blog and we are really hoping to fix that. Just so much going on lately and life has taken over.

With a hope to get back to regular posting, we are so excited to share with you our thoughts on The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy E. Reichert.

Book Cover

Synopsis:

Jobless and forced home to Wisconsin, journalist Sabrina Monroe can tolerate reunions with frenemies and kisses from old boyfriends, but not the literal ghosts that greet her in this heartwarming tale of the power of love and connection from acclaimed author Amy E. Reichert.

For Sabrina Monroe, moving back home to the Wisconsin Dells–the self-described Waterpark Capital of the World–means returning to the Monroe family curse: the women in her family can see spirits who come to them for help with unfinished business. But Sabrina’s always redirected the needy spirits to her mom, who’s much better suited for the job. The one exception has always been Molly, a bubbly rom-com loving ghost, who stuck by Sabrina’s side all through her lonely childhood.

Her personal life starts looking up when Ray, the new local restaurateur, invites Sabrina to his supper club, where he flirts with her over his famous Brandy Old-Fashioneds. He’s charming and handsome, but Sabrina tells herself she doesn’t have time for romance–she needs to focus on finding a job. Except the longer she’s in the Dells, the harder it is to resist her feelings for Ray. Who can turn down a cute guy with a fondness for rescue dogs and an obsession with perfecting his fried cheese curds recipe?

When the Dells starts to feel like home for the first time and with Ray in her corner, Sabrina begins to realize that she can make a difference and help others wherever she is.

First, we would like to thank Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for providing us with our e-ARCs in exchange for our honest review.

If you know anything about us, you will know that we very rarely read the synopsis before we start a book. Or if we do, we tend to forget it by the time we start reading the book. Such is the case with this story, and let us tell you, not reading the synopsis for this one threw us for quite the loop when ghosts began appearing early on.

Though the ghosts might have thrown us off at the beginning, the paranormal touch in this book is woven in so flawlessly that the ghosts started to become some of our favorite aspects of this book.

Let’s talk about the MC for a second! Sabrina struggles with anxiety and is most definitely an introvert, yet all she really wants is to make people happy with her random acts of kindness and plan/organize all the things (did you know there is a specific way to color code with sticky notes and sharpie pen colors?!). Taking into consideration that she has to deal with seeing ghosts that other people can’t see on a daily basis and a mean girl boss, she is definitely an endearing character.

Are we ready to dive into the romance? OF COURSE, that is what we are here for isn’t it 😛 We couldn’t love Sabrina and Ray’s dynamic more if we tried. Ray was always attentive to Sabrina’s needs and truly accepted her as she was. This is a couple we were rooting for and a relationship that just felt authentic in its progression.

Lastly, what is a book without its supporting cast? This book is no exception! As we stated earlier, the supernatural touch became one of our favorite aspects because these ghosts truly made this story so much more enjoyable. Whether you were reading about Molly, Sabrina’s best friend, or Betty, the ghost that just wants to be left alone, there was never a dull moment when the spirits were around.

All in all, we definitely enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys a good rom-com with talks of food dishes, a touch of magic, and a few cheesy puns. Be sure to check this one out when it releases on Tuesday!

Book Details:

Title: The Kindred Spirits Supper Club
Author: Amy E. Reichert
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

What book are you currently reading? Does this sound like a book you would want to read? Let’s have a chat down below!

As always, thank you so much for stopping by our blog. We appreciate all your support!

Float Plan | Blog Tour

Happy Saturday friends!! We hope everyone is having a great start to their weekend! Down here in the south eastern US we are finally having some spring weather and we could not be more excited!

Another thing we are excited about is our tour stop for Float Plan by Trish Doller. We were so excited to read and review this book and we cannot wait to share our thoughts with ya’ll!

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SYNOPSIS

Critically acclaimed author Trish Doller’s unforgettable and romantic adult debut about setting sail, starting over, and finding yourself…

Since the loss of her fiancé, Anna has been shipwrecked by grief—until a reminder goes off about a trip they were supposed to take together. Impulsively, Anna goes to sea in their sailboat, intending to complete the voyage alone.

But after a treacherous night’s sail, she realizes she can’t do it by herself and hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help. Much like Anna, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned. As romance rises with the tide, they discover that it’s never too late to chart a new course.

In Trish Doller’s unforgettable Float Plan, starting over doesn’t mean letting go of your past, it means making room for your future. 

As always, we would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing us with e-ARCS in exchange for our honest review.

First and foremost, we would like to say that this book is not your typical rom com. Right from the beginning the story takes you into the debilitating grief of Anna after her fiancé commits suicide. From there, this story hits the open seas when Anna takes the sailing trip that her fiancé had been planning.

It is clear from the start that she is not prepared to take on the waters by herself. So when she stops in to port, she decides to hire someone to help her finish out her journey to Trinidad. Enter Keane, (swoon) an experienced traveler on the seas to lend a hand!

Where do we start with our thoughts on this book? The characters of this book are just so relatable and at times we could truly feel the grief flowing from Anna like it was our own. This is an emotional story about learning who you are after a tragedy and as a person.

Anna and Keane’s dynamic on board the sail boat also moved at a realistic pace. So many times we are thrown into romances and the main characters fall in love within the very first meeting. Luckily this was not one of those books. More than anything this book brings out a realistic view of grieving in the raw form and learning to love yourself and others after the tumult.

Do not go into this book expecting a fluffy read with hearts and butterflies. This book is romance, but as we have mentioned before in many reviews, the things that draw us to these reads are the deeper issues that make it more realistic. This book touches on mental health in a respectable way and sheds light on the topic of suicide.

If you cannot tell from this review, we 100% recommend this book. What are you waiting for? It is in stores now, so why aren’t you there? 😉

Book Details:
Title: Float Plan
Author: Trish Dollar
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Does this sound like something you would like to read? What are other hard hitting contemporary romances you would recommend?

As always, thank you so much for stopping by our blog. We really appreciate all of your support!

Meet Me in Paradise | Arc Review

Welcome back to our little corner of the internet. You guessed it, it’s another arc review! Thi and I got a little click happy on Netgalley and now we are flooded with a whole bunch of arcs we have to read.

So without further ado, here are my thoughts on Meet Me in Paradise.

Meet Me in Paradise

Synopsis:

Marin Cole has never:
Seen the ocean
Climbed a mountain
Taken a risk on love
….But if her sister’s plan works, she just might do all three.

Ever since her journalist mother died on assignment, Marin has played it safe, refusing to set foot outside the state of Tennessee. Her wild-child younger sister, Sadie, has trotted the globe as a photographer, living off of art and adrenaline.

When Sadie returns from a tough assignment abroad and looks a little worse for wear, Marin reluctantly agrees to a sisters’ spa weekend on the tropical island of Saba. But her lifelong fear of travel is affirmed when Sadie misses the flight, Marin’s luggage gets mixed up with another passenger’s, and an episode of turbulence sends her hurtling into the lap of Lucas Tsai, the handsome stranger who stole her sister’s seat.

For the first time in a long time, Marin has to step outside of her comfort zone as she explores the island with Lucas and learns what she’s been missing out on. With each breathtaking new experience, Marin gets closer to her real self, the man she’s falling for, and the heart-wrenching truth about why she’s there in the first place.

First and foremost, I would like to thank Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for providing me with an eARC and the opportunity to read this beautiful book in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start this review with a little heads up, this is not your typical rom com! It is so much more than romance. This book grabbed a hold of my heart and has not let it go. I finished this book last night and I am still an emotional mess.

This story follows two sisters who could not be more different, they are truly polar opposites. Marin has never left Tennessee and is a constant worrier. She likes to plan and be in control of everything that happens in her life. On the flip side, her younger sister, Sadie, is a free spirit. She lives life spontaneously, traveling the world as a photographer.

When Sadie convinces her control freak of a sister to go on a sisters retreat to paradise, Marin reluctantly agrees. However, there is a hitch, Sadie misses the flight and Marin must fend for herself.

On the plane Marin meets the handsome, yet arrogant, Lucas Tsai. From there Marin has to learn how to let go and enjoy herself. Learn how to live life without control and a planner. Go on adventures, have fun, smile a little.

I thought these characters were relatable and found their way into my heart. I fell in love with them and the story of sisters moving on in separate ways after the death of their mother. This book has romance in it, but it is also about family, sisterly love, grieving, and finding yourself.

One warning I will give you if you decide to read this book, have tissues nearby! I have not ugly cried to a book in a while and this one definitely had me full blown sobbing. I cannot recommend this book enough, just know going into it, that it is not a warm and cuddly rom com. To be fair, life is not generally warm and cuddly.

So all that to say, you should run, not walk to the bookstore on March 23rd to pick up your copy!

Book Details:

Title: Meet Me in Paradise
Author: Libby Hubscher
Publication Date: March 23, 2021
Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

What book are you currently reading? Does this sound like a book you would want to read? Let’s have a chat down below!

As always, thank you so much for stopping by our blog. We appreciate all your support!

Accidentally Engaged | Arc Review

One more ARC down, another million to go!

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SYNOPSIS

Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall–with hopes that Reena will marry him.

But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-jour that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren’t enough, the man appears to love eating her bread creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? And when Reena’s career takes a nosedive, Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams.

As cooking at home together brings them closer, things turn physical, but Reena isn’t worried. She knows Nadim is keeping secrets, but it’s fine— secrets are always on the menu where her family is concerned. And her heart is protected… she’s not marrying the man. But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved.

What a fun and enjoyable read Accidentally Engaged was. Meddling parents and a fake engagement seems to always make for a fun story, fiction or not. This book will knock your socks off from the first page and keep you laughing throughout.

What’s even better is there is food involved. Maybe I’m biased to food-centric themed books, but if that is wrong, then I don’t want to be right! I would definitely suggest going into this with food or snacks nearby, because you are going to be HUNGRY watching the cooking competition and sweet romance brew!

That being said, I totally adore the love interests. Their fun bantering and chemistry is undeniable! More than that, the supporting characters are amazing! I felt like they added so much value to the book.

As always, it goes without saying, but when a book offers more than just romance, I can’t help but get more smitten with the book. Reena’s personal growth was one of my favorite aspects of this book. Without giving too much away, dealing with some real life issues, it is unfortunately normal and understandable that your confidence gets depleted at times; however, it was so refreshing watching Reena grow and learn to love and believe in herself. Also, the representation is worth noting. Though it is a desi-representation book, as an Asian American, I can totally relate to a lot of the cultural aspects in this book.

It goes without saying that I would highly recommend this book! Accidentally Enagaged is my first novel by Farah Heron and definitely will not be my last! A wonderfully woven story centered around family, love, and food. I cannot thank Netgalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) enough for giving me the chance to read this book early in exchange for an honest review!

Book Details:
Title: Accidentally Engaged
Author: Farah Heron
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Have you guys read any of Farah Heron’s books? I added Chai Factor to my list and am now ready to go get some chai latte, haha! As always, thank you so much for stopping by our little corner and supporting us as we maneuver through this fantastic book blog community!

Let’s Get Back to the Party | Arc Review

Happy PUB DAY to this book and happy Tuesday to you lovely people! I cannot believe we are already halfway through this month. 2021 has so far seem to be flying by! Does anyone else feel that way? I’m not sure what I have been doing with my time, Some days I feel like I don’t even have a minute to breathe, and the next- I have watched almost a whole season of Schitt’s Creek. Anyway, so I had to buckle down and get some reading done because new books just keep coming out and I need them all! HAHA
So without further ado, I present my review of Let’s Get Back to the Party!!!

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SYNOPSIS

What Does It Mean to Be a Gay Man Today?

It’s just weeks after the historic Supreme Court marriage equality ruling, and all Sebastian Mote wants is to settle down. A high school art history teacher, newly single and desperately lonely, he envies his queer students their freedom to live openly the youth he lost to fear and shame.  

So when he runs into his childhood friend Oscar Burnham at a wedding in Washington, D.C., he can’t help but see it as a second chance. Now thirty-five, the men haven’t seen each other in a decade. But Oscar has no interest in their shared history. Instead, he’s outraged by what he sees as the death of gay culture: bars overrun with bachelorette parties; friends getting married, having babies.

While Oscar and Sebastian struggle to find their place in a rapidly changing world, each is drawn into a cross-generational friendship that treads the line between envy and obsession: Sebastian with one of his students and Oscar with an older icon of the AIDS era. And as they collide again and again, both men must come reckon not just with one another, but with themselves.

Rich with sharply drawn characters and contemporary detail, provocative, and emotionally profound, Let’s Get Back to the Party is sure to appeal to readers of Garth Greenwell, Alan Hollinghurst, Claire Messud, and Rebecca Makkai.

Before I proceed with my review, I would like to put out a disclaimer. I try to make sure when I pick my books that I am making a conscious effort to support all my bipoc, own voice, lgbtqia+ authors and friends. That being said, though I am an ally for the lgbtqia+ community, I cannot speak first hand for the pain and problems they have to deal with so please read my review with that in mind. I would implore you to also read reviews by members and readers of the lgbtqia+ community to get a more accurate judgment of this book.

A very heartfelt debut, Let’s Get Back to the Party is told from dual perspectives of two friends who have floated in and out of each other’s lives throughout life. Sebastian and Oscar are both flawed characters, so you could read into the rawness and trauma of the characters. This book is candid in how the characters talk about how they don’t belong and feeling out of place in society is exhausting. That being sad, I thought the characters were well-developed even if I found it hard to root for them at times.

What did not work for me in this book was the writing style. The long chapters unfortunately had me zoning out more often than not. There was also an issue with the usage of quotation marks. Some sections included it, and some did not. While it did not necessarily take away from the overall story, it was just a bit hard for me to stay focused. Fortunately, I ended up getting approved for the audio by Workman Audio, so I was able to listen to the second half which worked a lot better for me.

While I did have some difficulties with the writing of the book, I would still recommend this book to people, because I think as messy and unrelatable as the characters are, they are human and in their own complicated ways, they are just trying to navigate their way through life.

Let’s Get Back to the Party is definitely a thought-provoking story, because it explores what it means for individuals to be a part of a larger community while highlighting the struggles and prejudices gay men continue to face in today’s society.

If you are someone like me who is not a fan of long chapters, or get bothered with the lack of quotation marks, I highly recommend the audio!

**Many thanks to Algonquin Books, Zak Salih, and Workman Audio for providing me with a review copy and the audiobook in exchange for my honest review.

Book Details:
Title: Let’s Get Back to the Party
Author: Zak Salih
Publication Date: February 16, 2021
Genre: LGBTQIA+, Contemporary

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

As always, thank you so much for stopping by our blog. We appreciate all of your support!

A Pho Love Story | Arc Review

I’m a day late with my blog review (WHOOPS), but YOU GUYS! I jumped on this book as soon as I saw the author’s name. I love a good #ownvoice book, but there’s something about actually being able to relate to a book that I haven’t figured out how to describe it yet. Being part Viet and growing up in a primarily Asian household means eating a lot of Vietnamese food. So, naturally, we grew up eating lots of pho and banh xeo (think savory crepes- DELISH!) amongst other dishes. Being a vegetarian now, I don’t get to enjoy pho as much as I’d like because most restaurants use beef broth, but it still does not mean I crave it any less!

That being said, this book made me so hungry and with this cold weather in Georgia, I definitely wanted to warm myself up with a nice hot bowl of pho (Hmmmm..) I even planned to take my kindle to a pho restaurant for picture purposes, but realized there was a slight technical difficulty, so alas- it’s the thought that counts, lol.

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SYNOPSIS

If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Not ideal.

If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.

Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants. 

I really enjoyed this book. It is cute and food-centric (so prepare to be craving a lot of food)! I can’t say I have read too many Vietnamese-American reps before, so this really was exciting for me. I can’t relate to being a restaurant-kid, but culturally speaking- this book was very relatable to me. I could hear my mom in a lot of the scenes, which was oddly weird yet comforting knowing I wasn’t the only one who had to go through some of these things. I mean, let’s be honest- I’m almost thirty, and my mom still expects me to sit at the kids’ table when we have gatherings! HAHA

Told from a dual POV, it was a heartwarming Romeo and Juliet-esque romance. A lot of the dilemma and rivalry stems from their parents way back, then that has just carried into current day. I really enjoyed watching Bao and Linh maneuver their way through school and really try to find what they are passionate about and pursing it.

I thought their potential career paths was such a breath of fresh air because it was something they were enthusiastic about and not because Mom and Dad pressured them into it. I also loved how much they cared about the community, their families, and each other. You can’t help but cheer them on. I also loved the supporting characters and their friendships and support for one another.

My one critique is that this book was a tad bit long. It was quite wordy, but I think the same message would have gotten across in less pages. As much as I enjoyed the book, I didn’t feel like I was breezing through a YA romance until the last quarter of the book.

That aside, it is a really adorable book. I would definitely suggest having your favorite Vietnamese food around to munch on while you read, because you are going to be hungry!

Book Details:
Title: A Pho Love Story
Author: Loan Le
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Have you read this book or plan to?

I’d also love to hear any other #ownvoice book recommendations you have!

As always, Christie and I are extremely grateful for you guys! Thank you for stopping by and supporting our blog and listening to us divulge about one of the greatest joys of life- reading!

The Ex Talk | Arc Review

Hey friends! Christie and I are seemingly cruising through January while keeping up with our arcs as well as reading books on our shelves, so that is quite exciting! With January slowly coming to an end, we have just a couple more arcs to wrap up the month. Today, we are both super excited to bring you the review for the Ex- Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon! Also, HAPPY PUB DAY!!

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SYNOPSIS:

Public radio co-hosts navigate mixed signals in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s sparkling romantic comedy debut.

Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio.

When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.

As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers. 

So this has been a highly anticipated read for both of us. Ever since Thi read Today, Tonight, Tomorrow she has been praising Rachel Lynn Solomon. Add that to the fact that this book is an enemies to lovers romance and we are sold.

And with all the anticipation we had for this book, it did not disappoint. Between the blooming romance, the unforgettable and diverse supporting cast, and tackling issues on grieving, as well as, sexism in the workplace, there is a little bit of everything packed into this book.

Lets start off with the romance. Shay and Dominic were a couple we found ourselves rooting for. Their relationship seemed to progress at a realistic pace and was easy to fall in love with. Between their radio banter and steamy scenes, it was easy to see these two together. Shay’s character development throughout the story was just so genuinely nice to read about. As she came to terms with changes in her life, both personally and professionally. She was highly relatable and someone we could see ourselves being friends with. We also liked that the characters had flaws and weren’t perfect. They made mistakes and had emotions that just made them easy to relate with.

Now on to the supporting cast *swoon* one thing you know we love in a book is diversity and representation and this book has all of it! This book doesn’t shy away from any kind of relationship. There are representations for interracial and various LGBTQIA+ relationships. It really made our hearts so happy to see so much inclusion. Not to mention the fact that the supporting cast are just wonderful in their own rights. Shay’s mom, for one has got to be one of our favorites!

Lastly, as ya’ll are probably already aware, we are always looking for something more in a rom com than just romance. And this book tackles two important themes and does them both really well. This book delves into grieving and how losing a parent can sometimes alter how you view life. It is a tough subject to broach at times, but this one was done flawlessly. The other issue this book takes on is sexism in the workplace and don’t get us started on how angry some parts made us with Shay’s boss. It is a common problem in professional settings across the world and this story shows that issue and makes you want to scream at the injustice of it all.

All in all this book is truly a masterpiece of a romance novel. It is a book that will stay with us for a while and likely one we will reread again and again. It is also an ownvoice novel, so needlessly to say, we highly recommend you pick this one up TODAY and let us know what you think as well! Seriously, sprint to the bookstore!

Book Details:
Title: The Ex- Talk
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thank you again to Berkley Publishing, Netgalley, and Rachel Lynn Solomon
for giving us a chance to read this beautiful book in exchange for our review.
And always to you all for stopping by our blog. We appreciate you!

Everywhere You Don’t Belong | Blog Tour

Happy Monday lovelies! We would like to welcome you all to our stop on the Everywhere You Don’t Belong paperback release blog tour. We would also like to give a big shout out and thank you to Algonquin YA for providing us with our copies in exchange for an honest review!

Synopsis:

In this alternately witty and heartbreaking debut novel, Gabriel Bump gives us an unforgettable protagonist, Claude McKay Love. Claude isn’t dangerous or brilliant—he’s an average kid coping with abandonment, violence, riots, failed love, and societal pressures as he steers his way past the signposts of youth: childhood friendships, basketball tryouts, first love, first heartbreak, picking a college, moving away from home. 
 
Claude just wants a place where he can fit. As a young black man born on the South Side of Chicago, he is raised by his civil rights–era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America. 
 
Percolating with fierceness and originality, attuned to the ironies inherent in our twenty-first-century landscape, Everywhere You Don’t Belong marks the arrival of a brilliant young talent.

This book is a coming of age story set in South Shore Chicago. And the thing that drew us into wanting to read this book was the fact that it tackled important issues on racial injustices with a slew of diverse characters.

Claude McKay Love was abandoned by his parents at the age of five and spent the rest of his childhood being raised by his activist grandmother, who we were quite fond of, and her friend Paul.

Throughout this book we are on a journey with Claude as he tries to find his footing in this world. While he navigates through high school and on to college and gains an understanding of what it means to be black in America.

While this book is short (under 300 pages) and reads fairly quickly, we felt it was a bit disjointed. There are some parts where we couldn’t figure out the point of it being mentioned. Some characters were introduced, never to be brought up again. So we both wished that was all tied together in a more cohesive manner.

With that being said, this book does not shy away from tackling the issues of race, identity, family, friendship, and love. It is definitely a book that we would recommend to those looking for a good YA coming of age book.

Book Details:
Title:
Everywhere You Don’t Belong
Author: Gabriel Bump
Publication Date: Paperback release January 12, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Coming of Age

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Thank you again to Algonquin YA for providing us copies for review! And as always, thank you all for stopping by our blog and supporting us!