L-L-L-Little Reviews #41: Five Romances, a YA Sci-Fi, and a Paranormal Romance.

Posted June 25, 2022 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 6 Comments

So I’m behind on some reviews of paperback books from March and April, and then I’ve got three audiobook reviews from last month, and one from this month I may as well add in as well! And then as I was typing this up I finished a review book I was behind on, and decided to get that added in as well. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Well Matched (Well Met #3) by Jen DeLuca:
L-L-L-Little Reviews #41: Five Romances, a YA Sci-Fi, and a Paranormal Romance.Well Matched by Jen DeLuca
Series: Well Met #3
Published by Berkley on October 19, 2021
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Source: a gift
Format: Paperback
My Rating: five-stars
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Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she's decided to move on from her quaint little town, and asks her friend Mitch for his help with some home improvement projects to get her house ready to sell.
Mitch Malone is known for being the life of every party, but mostly for the attire he wears to the local Renaissance Faire -- a kilt (and not much else) that shows off his muscled form to perfection. While he agrees to help April, he needs a favor too: she'll pretend to be his girlfriend at an upcoming family dinner, so that he can avoid the lectures about settling down and having a more "serious" career than high school coach and gym teacher. April reluctantly agrees, but when dinner turns into a weekend trip, it becomes hard to tell what's real and what's been just for show. But when the weekend ends, so must their fake relationship.
As summer begins, Faire returns to Willow Creek, and April volunteers for the first time. When Mitch's family shows up unexpectedly, April pretends to be Mitch's girlfriend again... something that doesn't feel so fake anymore. Despite their obvious connection, April insists they've just been putting on an act. But when there's the chance for something real, she has to decide whether to change her plans -- and open her heart -- for the kilt-wearing hunk who might just be the love of her life.
An accidentally in-love rom-com filled with Renaissance Faire flower crowns, kilts, corsets, and sword fights.

My Review:

So I loved the first book in this series: Well Met, the second one – Well Played – was okay, and then this one again I loved! And I am thrilled that there is going to be another in the series! While there was some stubbornness on the part of April that annoyed me after a while, I loved how the whole story unfurled and the bits and pieces of our characters from the first two books. And once again I wished I could have someone dress me up in the fun outfits I see at the RenFest here in my town, but even when I think of buying one, they are sooooooo expensive! Another fun addition to this series.

Replaced Parts (Transformed Nexus #1) by Stephanie Hansen:

I received this book for free from the author, 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 #41: Five Romances, a YA Sci-Fi, and a Paranormal Romance.Replaced Parts by Stephanie Hansen
Series: Transformed Nexus #1
Published by Fire & Ice YA on February 23, 2021
Genres: YA Science Fiction
Pages: 240
Source: the author, the publisher
Format: Paperback
My Rating: two-half-stars
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In the year 2163 a corrupt World Government controls everything on our planet and beyond.
Sixteen year-old Sierra has been so caught up in her own world of saving animal test subjects and her father’s disappearance, she hasn’t paid much attention. When she finally finds his location, she and her friend set off on a covert interplanetary mission to rescue him, she begins to see the corruption first hand.
Discovering that her father has been on the front lines secretly trying to save human test subjects inspires her to join a revolution. But she is afraid of the collateral damage of hurting the people she loves. Will she find the strength to make a deal with the mad scientist Cromwell to save not just her friends and family but everyone?

My Review:

The publisher reached out to me to read this, and when I politely declined, she requested again for me to read this and the sequel, saying the author had really wanted me to read it. So I said okay, if I could have a physical copy. Which they were happy to send along. Unfortunately, even though I made it all the way through this one, it just wasn’t for me. There was so much more telling as opposed to showing. I had trouble keeping interested in it. If it wasn’t that I was on my conference in a hotel room by myself I probably wouldn’t have finished it if I’d been back home with my normal daily life going on around me. So I finished, but let the publisher know I just wasn’t going to be able to read the second book, I just knew I didn’t want to fight through it. So this one wasn’t for me. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, because I guess it wasn’t horrible. But here on my blog, I’m dropping it to a 2.5 stars.

Stuck With You (The STEMinist Novellas #2) by Ali Hazelwood:
L-L-L-Little Reviews #41: Five Romances, a YA Sci-Fi, and a Paranormal Romance.Stuck with You by Ali Hazelwood
Series: The STEMinist Novellas #2
Narrator: Meg Sylvan
Published by Penguin Audio on March 8, 2022
Genres: Adult Romantic Comedy
Length: 03:23
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: five-stars
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3 hours, 23 minutes
Nothing like a little rivalry between scientists to take love to the next level.
Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn…
Logically, Sadie knows that civil engineers are supposed to build bridges. However, as a woman of STEM she also understands that variables can change, and when you are stuck for hours in a tiny New York elevator with the man who broke your heart, you earn the right to burn that brawny, blond bridge to the ground. Erik can apologize all he wants, but to quote her rebel leader—she’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.
Not even the most sophisticated of Sadie’s superstitious rituals could have predicted such a disastrous reunion. But while she refuses to acknowledge the siren call of Erik’s steely forearms or the way his voice softens when he offers her his sweater, Sadie can’t help but wonder if there might be more layers to her cold-hearted nemesis than meet the eye. Maybe, possibly, even burned bridges can still be crossed….
To read Mara and Hannah’s stories look for the novellas Under One Roof, available now, and Below Zero, coming soon from Berkley!

My Review:

Just like with the first novella in this series, Under One Roof, I loved this one! It was predictable, although what he thought had happened was definitely a little different than what I expected. I felt like she was being overly stubborn, but overall I really ended up enjoying this one and can’t wait to get the next one!

Better Than a Box of Chocolates by Emily March:
L-L-L-Little Reviews #41: Five Romances, a YA Sci-Fi, and a Paranormal Romance.Better than a Box of Chocolates by Emily March
Published by Audible Originals on February 3, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Length: 02:29
Source: Audible Escape
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: four-stars
Goodreads
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Get ready to savor this delectable romantic treat - an audio-first novella by New York Times best-selling author Emily March!
Valentine’s Day has always meant trouble for wedding photographer Ali Lovejoy. All her worst romantic disasters have happened on V-Day, so she’s made a habit of hiding out at home in her pj’s until it’s over. But when her best friend begs her do an engagement photoshoot on the dreaded holiday, Ali reluctantly agrees and travels to the quaint Colorado mountain town of Eternity Springs to help her bestie.
While scouting romantic locations for the shoot, Ali is stunned to encounter a naked man skinny dipping in the hot springs. After the most awkward meeting of her life, she eventually agrees to a Valentine’s date with the sinfully delicious stranger. Is she destined for a fresh new disaster - or will she finally find real love?
©2022 Emily March (P)2022 Audible Originals

My Review:

Another short and sweet novella audiobook. My biggest complaint was that it was in 3rd person, and that always makes audio a little harder for me at times, or any book. But other than that the story was cute and I liked all the different characters. Definitely interested in reading some of the full length stories that go with the characters we met!

Seatmate (Love Lines #3) by Cara Bastone:
L-L-L-Little Reviews #41: Five Romances, a YA Sci-Fi, and a Paranormal Romance.Seatmate by Cara Bastone
Series: Love Lines #3
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi, Zachary Webber, Josh Hurley, Carol Monda, Corey Allen, Allyson Johnson, Eric Yves Garcia, Tanya Eby, Dina Pearlman
Published by Audible Originals on March 24, 2022
Genres: Adult Romantic Comedy
Length: 05:10
Source: Audible Escape
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: five-stars
Goodreads
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Listening Length: 5 hours and 10 minutes
Ride along on this endearing road-trip rom-com from Audie Award nominee Cara Bastone - scripted exclusively for audio!
I have exactly 5 hours and 10 minutes to get from Boston to New York City or the professional opportunity of a lifetime disappears. My only travel option? The second to last seat on a discount bus. Across from the bathroom. Wearing last night’s clothes (don’t ask). All worth it if I can make it in time.
My nerves almost get the best of me, but then there he is, sitting down in the seat next to me. Tall. Friendly smile. Bright indigo streak in his brown hair. The perfect distraction. Turns out he’s on his way to reconnect with an old flame. The one who got away. We can both make it on time - just barely - if the traffic keeps flowing.
Playing road-trip games, avoiding calls from his mother, and effortless conversation keeps us from clockwatching...until the bus breaks down. And my seatmate turns into my copilot as we wrangle a ride in a car three decades old. And hit all the traffic. And oh, Lord, the detours. And somehow I end up careening cross-town on the handlebars of a Citi Bike carrying a box of kittens. (Yeah, don’t ask.)
He’s my hero every step of the way...and I might be falling for him. But what happens when we reach our final destination? Could my seatmate really be my soul mate?

My Review:

Another story by Cara Bastone just blew me away! Once again I listened to it on a long drive, and it was the perfect story to be able to just listen straight through basically! So many good things in this fun rom-com. Like my whole life when we split a check at a restaurant, every one pays for what they ordered. When I visited my sister after she moved to NYC, it turns out that there people just split the check evenly. Personally that sucked for me because she and her friends drank a lot of alcohol, and I think I had either water or a soda to drink. The mentioned being the NYC type of splitters in this story. I love how on the cover he is manspreading in his seat, while she even made a point to say how awesome he was that he didn’t do that. The other thing I wanted to mention was the bit about when people do or don’t set you up on blind dates. I feel the same way. I’ve only had like 2 people set me up on blind dates. And I feel like people just don’t care enough about me to do that. I don’t know. Her reasoning in the book was good! Loved this story, and I can’t say enough to recommend this whole series! I wish I could buy actual physical copies of the books to put on my bookshelves.

By A Thread by Lucy Score:
L-L-L-Little Reviews #41: Five Romances, a YA Sci-Fi, and a Paranormal Romance.By a Thread by Lucy Score
Narrator: Sebastian York, Erin Mallon
on June 23, 2020
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Length: 14:21
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: four-half-stars
Goodreads
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Dominic was staring at me like he couldn’t decide whether to chop me into pieces or pull my hair and French kiss me.
Dominic

I got her fired. Okay, so I’d had a bad day and took it out on a bystander in a pizza shop. But there’s nothing innocent about Ally Morales. She proves that her first day of her new job… in my office… after being hired by my mother.
So maybe her colorful, annoying, inexplicably alluring personality brightens up the magazine’s offices that have felt like a prison for the past year. Maybe I like that she argues with me in front of the editorial staff. And maybe my after-hours fantasies are haunted by those brown eyes and that sharp tongue.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be the next Russo man to take advantage of his position. I might be a second-generation asshole, but I am not my father.
She’s working herself to death at half a dozen dead-end jobs for some secret reason she doesn’t feel like sharing with me. And I’m going to fix it all. Don’t accuse me of caring. She’s nothing more than a puzzle to be solved. If I can get her to quit, I can finally peel away all those layers. Then I can go back to salvaging the family name and forget all about the dancing, beer-slinging brunette.

Ally
Ha. Hold my beer, Grumpy Grump Face.

Author’s Note: A steamy, swoony workplace romantic comedy with a grumpy boss hero determined to save the day and a plucky heroine who is starting to wonder if there might actually be a beating heart just beneath her boss’s sexy vests.

My Review:

This is my first Lucy Score book, and it will NOT by my last! I loved the story. Loved the banter between the two characters. Loved all the different things going on around them, all the side characters, all the back story. I got a little frustrated with some of Ally’s fighting but overall it was a wonderful story and I can’t wait to pick up more by this author!

The Date From Hell (Not Your Average Hot Guy #2) by Gwenda Bond
L-L-L-Little Reviews #41: Five Romances, a YA Sci-Fi, and a Paranormal Romance.The Date from Hell by Gwenda Bond
Series: Not Your Average Hot Guy #2
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on April 5, 2022
Genres: Adult Paranormal Romance
Pages: 336
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
My Rating: four-stars
Goodreads
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"The apocalyptic beach read that everyone needs." - Alix E. Harrow, Hugo Award-winning author on Not Your Average Hot Guy
In The Date from Hell, the sequel to Not Your Average Hot Guy, New York Times bestselling author Gwenda Bond brings the journey of Callie, Luke, and their friends to a wonderful close. This is another laugh out loud, action-packed romantic adventure you won’t want to miss.
After saving the world and stopping the apocalypse, Callie and Luke are looking forward to a quiet, romantic weekend together. When you’re human and dating the Prince of Hell, quiet moments are hard to come by. But their romantic weekend in Hell takes a turn when Lucifer tasks Callie and Luke with chasing a wayward soul around the world. If they can prove it’s possible to redeem a soul, Lucifer will allow the two of them to make some changes in Hell.
But this wayward soul, Sean, doesn’t have any interest in being redeemed. Instead, now that he’s back on Earth, he’s decided to take a leaf out of Callie and Luke’s book and wants to find the Holy Grail. Now Callie, Luke, and their friends—and enemies—must race Sean around the globe on a Grail quest and bring peace between Heaven and Hell before they can finally (maybe) get around to that date.

My Review:

So technically this started out as a review book for me. But I didn’t schedule well enough to get it read before the pub date. And then I tried to go back and read it in between other review books, but trying to keep up an e-book that I wasn’t reading all the time was hard. So I gave in and ordered the paperback. I did love this one as much as the first one, Not Your Average Hot Guy. Gwenda Bond is a favorite author of mine, and this one did not disappoint at all! Sad that there won’t be another in the series, because I could totally go for some shenanigans now that Callie ends up where she does in the end.

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6 responses to “L-L-L-Little Reviews #41: Five Romances, a YA Sci-Fi, and a Paranormal Romance.

  1. I’ve heard really good things about Seat Mates, I’d love to listen to it but I gave up my audible subscription a while back. I’ve definitely been apart of a group that splits things evenly and it sucks when you don’t drink as much as they do.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I should give up my subscription like I did my book of the month club, it’s not like I don’t have a ton I’ve already bought I can listen to!

    • Lisa Mandina

      yeah, the first was my favorite too. I felt the same about April almost ruining this! Thanks for stopping by!

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