L-L-L-Little Reviews #30: 2 from 2017, 3 adult romance, and 2 YA

Posted June 17, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 2 Comments

Still behind as you can see from the number of books I’m sharing again. And even this post got started at the beginning of June, but didn’t get finished until later in the month. But let’s get on with the reviews, shall we?

Retreat (Getaway #1) by Jay Crownover:

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

L-L-L-Little Reviews #30:  2 from 2017, 3 adult romance, and 2 YARetreat by Jay Crownover
Series: The Getaway Series #1
Published by Avon on December 28, 2016
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 364
Source: the author
Format: E-galley
My Rating: four-stars

Every once in a while, you need to get away from it all.
I was a woman on the edge, shaken and shattered after a breakup that felt like it tore my entire world apart. My best friend, sick of watching me drown in misery and melancholy, harassed me until I agreed to go with her on a week-long wilderness retreat.
She promised days spent bonding and getting in touch with our inner bad-asses. It was supposed to be all about the two of us roughing it and making do with the bare minimum. She assured me we were going to be pushed to our limits in ways that were unimaginable. Neither one of us could have ever guessed just how right she was.
Nowhere in the glossy brochure did it say anything about the fact I was going to have to battle the insufferable but deliciously rugged and sexy trail guide instead of the elements. The brochure also forgot to mention the part that warned when you left civilization behind, there was no place to pack your inhibitions and fears.
I was told that I would be facing a week where the only thing I should expect was the unexpected. However, no one mentioned that I was going to have to fight for my life…and my heart as soon as I ventured into the unknown.
I was a pro at hiding from my feelings but when it came time to face a real threat, one that could change everything, I learned I was more of a no surrender, no retreat kind of girl.
Retreat is a standalone novel, the first in the Getaway series which centers on the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women that dare to love them. These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.

My review:

So I actually read this one back in 2017, and I don’t have a lot of memories of it to share. I remember it had some very steamy sex scenes in it based on comments I wrote as I did my reading status updates on Goodreads, including a shower scene. I know I liked it, I gave it 4 stars. But I wish I remembered more to give a better review. I never got around to reading the rest of the series. I think that was partly because maybe I was late getting this read and posting anything about it? I also think 2017 was when I was getting really busy with blogging and also finally starting to get things in order.

Boots (Boots #1) by Megan Erickson:

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

L-L-L-Little Reviews #30:  2 from 2017, 3 adult romance, and 2 YABoots by Megan Erickson
Series: Boots #1
on December 3, 2017
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 195
Source: the author
Format: Newsletter serial
My Rating: five-stars

I meet him in the bar of a town where people run to get away from their past. That's why I'm here. His dark eyes promise a good time, and I take him up on it. Maybe I'm weak, or maybe I'm just lonely. Except it isn't only one night, because with one touch, we're addicted.
We're both in town for a different purpose. I want to save a life, and he wants to end one. The truth won't set us free--it will destroy us. Unless he keeps his promise, and I give up mine.
HIDDEN TRUTHS is a standalone romance that was originally published as a newsletter serial. It has since been revised and expanded. Enjoy the ride!

My review:

Now I’m normally not the type of person who reads the newsletter/email serials that authors send out. Mostly because I just don’t have time to read every little bit of every email I get because I get so many emails! I also prefer to read the whole thing at one time. Which means I rarely read the little sneak peeks at the end of books either. I want to wait for the whole thing. However this one hooked me from the start. I don’t know if it is because the title of it was the nickname for a guy I knew in college, or if it was just the writing/story itself. But I loved this one and eagerly awaited the author’s newsletter every week to find out what would happen next. This is another one that I read back in 2017, so I don’t have a lot more detail to give on it.

Thick Thighs Save Lives: A Bite-sized BBW Romance (The Chub Club #1) by Penn Rivers:

L-L-L-Little Reviews #30:  2 from 2017, 3 adult romance, and 2 YAThick Thighs Save Lives: A Bite-sized BBW Romance by Penn Rivers
Series: The Chub Club #1
Genres: Adult Romantic Comedy
Pages: 81
Source: Purchased
Format: eBook
My Rating: three-stars

Thick thighs save lives.
My sister has it emblazoned on a t-shirt. But I'm not convinced until her curvy best friend walks into my gym, looking for a personal trainer.
Haley's got my attention with her lush lips and shy eyes. I want to wear her thick thighs like ear muffs, and if that's wrong, I don't wanna be right. When my heart pounds at her nearness, I know the truth immediately...
I'm a thigh guy.
She wants to feel more comfortable in her skin. I know exactly how to make that happen. And it has nothing to do with lifting weights.
I'm going to show her what it's like to be utterly adored. Worshipped. I plan to kiss every sumptuous curve, every hill and valley until I make Haley mine forever.

My Review:

So I bought this after seeing an ad for the third in the series on my Facebook Page. It was a very quick read. It had some good things about it, had promise. It didn’t blow me away, so I don’t know that I’ll read on in the series. Yeah it was only 99 cents, but usually I prefer to get the first book in a series free, especially when it is an author I haven’t read before and am not sure of.

The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1) by Julia Quinn:

L-L-L-Little Reviews #30:  2 from 2017, 3 adult romance, and 2 YABridgerton: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #1
Published by Avon on December 1, 2020
Pages: 416
Source: FFBC Tours, Give Me Books Promotions, Purchased, Valentine PR
Format: Paperback
My Rating: five-stars

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn comes the first novel in her beloved Regency-set series featuring the charming, powerful Bridgerton family— Look for BRIDGERTON, coming soon to Netflix.
In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince—while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable…but not too amiable.
Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too deuced honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen.
Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society—just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar.
The plan works like a charm—at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty:
Love ignores every rule…

My Review:

Like everyone else, I was swept in by the tv series Bridgerton, and so I went and bought the first book. I didn’t read it until after the show, but I still loved it! I have also bought the second book in the series, we’ll see if I get around to reading it before the second season comes out.

Must Love Wieners (A Rescue Dog Romance #1) by Casey Griffin:

L-L-L-Little Reviews #30:  2 from 2017, 3 adult romance, and 2 YAMust Love Wieners by Casey Griffin
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on August 2, 2016
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 359
Source: InkSlingerPR, Purchased
Format: ARC, Paperback
My Rating: four-stars

First in a wickedly funny new series brimming with mystery and romance!
Piper Summers works like a dog juggling three jobs to put herself through veterinary school—driving taxis, delivering pizzas, and singing telegrams. Thankfully, Piper has her devoted dachshund Colin to help her keep things in line. That is, until she gets fired...and someone throws her a bone that is too good to resist.
Aiden Caldwell is an Armani ad come to life—a billionaire CEO who’s just adopted a dachshund from the rescue center where Piper volunteers. He’s hot on Piper’s tail to be his personal dog walker...but he may be after more than a walker for his wiener. The gorgeous, spirited Piper is everything he’s ever wanted from a woman—and more. But can Piper ever love, and trust, a man who has never learned to open his heart—or has she bitten off more than she can chew?
Must Love Wieners is the first book in Casey Griffin's Rescue Dog Romance series!

My Review:

So I’ve had this book sitting on my bookshelf at home for years, like since 2016 when I bought it. If you know me or have followed me, you know that I adore all things that have to do with dachshunds, and so I had to buy this. I finally picked it up and got started back in October. But then I think there was a SmartyPants Romance release? And I got behind on anything that wasn’t a review book. So I kept this by my bed to read in between other books. It was a little rough for me at first. As I’ve mentioned I’m not always the biggest fan of third person for romance, but by the end of this book I really liked it. Back in April I saw the author posted that she will be renaming the first two books in this series because supposedly people don’t buy it because the word “wiener” is in the titles of those two. Well, as I commented to the author, and she agree with me, only someone who doesn’t own or love dachshunds would have a problem with that. I mean personally, one of the things I love to do on a daily basis is say something funny using the word wiener but referring to my dogs, but sounding like it is an innuendo or just funny. Oh well, I will still promote the book!

Day Zero (The Arcana Chronicles #3.5) by Kresley Cole:

L-L-L-Little Reviews #30:  2 from 2017, 3 adult romance, and 2 YADay Zero by Kresley Cole
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #3.5
Published by Valkyrie Press on August 1, 2016
Genres: YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 180
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
My Rating: four-stars

Arcana means secrets, and these Arcana Chronicles short stories from #1 New York Times bestseller Kresley Cole are filled with them. Experience firsthand the beginning of the end and behold the apocalypse through the eyes of characters you only thought you knew.
Ashes to ashes . . .Evie Greene's story of the Flash is just one of many. All over the world, those connected in some way to the lethal Arcana game--like Death, Jack, and Fortune--must first survive a horrifying night of blood and screams.
We all fall down.Some will have to grapple with new powers; all will be damned to a hellish new existence of plague, brutality, desolation, and cannibalism. Find out who they lost, why they endure, and what they sacrificed in order to live past Day Zero. . . .

My Review:

I loved this series so much. This is a little novella that goes through the actual Tarot card arcana, or the characters in the story. It was fun to get back into it that way, and even see backgrounds of some of the characters we barely know. I bought this from the author when I got to meet her at NOLA StoryCon I think? Anyway, I haven’t read on in the series, and there are three more to go. One of which just got published, or is being published this year I think. I really need to get back to this story!

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold:

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

L-L-L-Little Reviews #30:  2 from 2017, 3 adult romance, and 2 YADamsel by Elana K. Arnold
Published by Balzer + Bray on October 2, 2018
Genres: YA Retelling
Pages: 312
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: four-stars

The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.
When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.
However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.

My Review:

I got this ARC at ALA Annual in NOLA a few years ago. I even got the author to autograph it. But sadly, at that time I wasn’t being as good as I have started being with scheduling ARCs. So I added it to my list of books to try to get through off my Backlist challenge this year. It took me a bit to get into it. However as the story went on, I really did want to see where the author would take this very interesting take on Sleeping Beauty. It is YA, but has a touch of mature themes in it, but that is the point the author was trying to make, and she does it very well. Towards the end all I could think was how Ama couldn’t do anything without getting in trouble. There was nothing she could do for her own enjoyment that didn’t soon get taken away. But wow, the twist at the end, that was one I didn’t see coming, and made up for the slowness of the beginning.

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2 responses to “L-L-L-Little Reviews #30: 2 from 2017, 3 adult romance, and 2 YA

    • Lisa Mandina

      You should! It is pretty much just like the book, although there are some extras in the show that I wonder if they come in the other books in the series. Also you don’t find out the big reveal in the book like the show did.

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