L-L-L-Little Reviews #60: March 2024

Posted March 30, 2024 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 14 Comments

Here are the books I read this past month that were not part of scheduled reviews. One is an e-galley I planned to get done earlier and post it in its own review, but I didn’t get it done in time, so it got added to this post.

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
L-L-L-Little Reviews #60: March 2024Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
Series: Legends & Lattes #1
Narrator: Travis Baldree
Published by Macmillan Audio on February 22, 2022
Genres: Adult Fantasy, Adult LGBTQ Romance
Length: 07:19
Source: the library
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: four-half-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & NobleBuy on Audible

High Fantasy with a double-shot of self-reinvention
Worn out after decades of packing steel and raising hell, Viv the orc barbarian cashes out of the warrior’s life with one final score. A forgotten legend, a fabled artifact, and an unreasonable amount of hope lead her to the streets of Thune, where she plans to open the first coffee shop the city has ever seen.
However, her dreams of a fresh start pulling shots instead of swinging swords are hardly a sure bet. Old frenemies and Thune’s shady underbelly may just upset her plans. To finally build something that will last, Viv will need some new partners and a different kind of resolve.
A hot cup of fantasy slice-of-life with a dollop of romantic froth.

My Review:

Of course I’d been seeing this one around, it has been pretty popular, so I decided to give it a shot. When I looked for the audiobook on the library Libby app, I had a long wait ahead of me. The first time it popped up as available I was in the middle of a review audiobook so had to drop my place in line. It came back right as I was finishing my last audiobook so went ahead and checked it out. I really, really enjoyed it! I’ve been getting into books that have a bit of a Dungeons & Dragons aspect, which while this is fantasy, I feel like it had that aspect to it as well. I loved the idea of opening up the coffee cage that Viv wanted, and I love how the stone she had used to help things get rolling might have actually ended up doing the things it did. I loved all the characters, especially the little baker Thimble. One thing that did bother me is that a couple of the characters had similar sounding names, Tandri and Pendry for instance. But other than that it was really good, and I definitely recommend the audiobook!

The Nerd and the Neighbor (Oak Creek #1) by Lainey Davis
L-L-L-Little Reviews #60: March 2024The Nerd and the Neighbor by Lainey Davis
Series: Oak Creek #1
on October 10, 2020
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 129
Source: Purchased
Format: eBook
My Rating: three-half-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & NobleBuy on Audible

an alternate cover edition can be found here
Meet the Crawfords: brilliant in business, lousy at love
Hunter Crawford is a grumpy astronaut who's fallen from grace. The brilliant scientist knows everything…except how to relate to other people. When his career comes crashing down, Hunter loses his stoic calm and flees to his hometown to wait out the media frenzy.
Abigail Baker needs a fresh start. Floundering in her father’s construction business, struggling with a boyfriend who terrifies her, Abigail takes off. She comes across a help wanted ad and heads east to see if Oak Creek holds the key to her happiness.
In the small college town, Abigail carves out an unlikely friendship with her landlord. Blunt, and brooding, Hunter just wants to lick his wounds, but his new tenant gives him other ideas for his tongue.
In a town full of nosy neighbors, hilarious antics, and Autumn Apple festivals, the unexpected lovers explore their budding passion. Will they overcome their baggage and find true love?
The Nerd and the Neighbor is the first book of the Oak Creek series. If you like small-town characters, a family who won't butt out, and scorching hot love scenes, then you’ll devour this sizzling next-door romance by Lainey Davis. Buy it today and fall in love with Oak Creek.

My Review:

I chose this from my freebie e-books to try to get another TBR book read. And it was short, so I figured I could fit it in at work in times where I couldn’t do much besides sit at my desk and wait for the next student to come in with a laptop problem. I enjoyed this enough that I did pick it up between finishing other books as well. I liked the neurodivergent main character, Hunter, who reminded me a bit of Sheldon. There were a few things that were a little cringey, like the sex in the lab and the gloves and a microscope slide. I get what the author was trying to do with that, but still it was a bit ewww for me. And one point with Abigail’s ex was a little darker than I expected as well. But not that it was bad, just not expected. The town was a fun little place and I could see enjoying more books by this author in the future.

House of War and Bone (Gilded City #2) by Leia Stone

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 #60: March 2024House of War and Bone by Leia Stone
Series: Gilded City #2
Published by Bloom Books on November 30, 2023
Genres: YA Fantasy
Pages: 272
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: four-half-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & NobleBuy on Audible

The only guy in the world who could kiss me was about to become the one thing he despised. A Nightling. And it was all my fault.

Fallon Bane thought that being cursed to feel pain every time she was touched was the worst thing that would ever happen to her.
She was wrong.
The worst thing was finding and falling for Ariyon—the only person in the realm who could touch her—only to accidentally trap him in the land of souls and swap powers with him.
Now she must act as Maven healer to Queen Solana while trying to figure out how to sneak into the Realm of Eternity to save Ariyon.

She drove me crazy, in both good and bad ways, and all I wanted to do was finally kiss her, hold her, feel her body relax into mine like it’d found its missing other half.

Aryion Madden had enough to deal with: heir to the throne, Maven healing powers that meant he would die young, and orphaned by Marissa Bane. Then, he met Marissa’s daughter and fell in love, upending everything he thought he knew.
Now, he has to fight for his life—and maybe his afterlife—against the undead using Fallon’s dark magic.

And if that’s not enough to worry about, all the while, the prophesied Nightling war is approaching.

My Review:

I loved the first book in this series, House of Ash and Shadow, and when I saw this was available to ask for the e-galley, I immediately requested and downloaded. This is a series that I really like! This one was another quick and intense ride. *Spoiler if you haven’t read the first one yet!* We had left off with Ariyon stranded in the kind of underworld for this world. He and Fallon’s powers had switched as well. Which worked out for him because he was going to have to fight while he was down there. Fallon experienced his healing powers and it turns out what she experienced made an impression on him at the end when they were able to see each other again. Fallon has to swear her loyalty to the queen in public in order to get the queen to give her a chance. Everyone expects Fallon will have no choice but to go bad as they say everyone in the Bane family did. There are a lot of history lessons in this about her family and the queen’s family. Of course each side has their own version, and it is easy to see how what happened to them could definitely affect how they saw those memories. But it also makes it harder to know who to believe and trust in. When Fallon finds out who actually cursed her it is a big deal. Once again the story ends on a cliffhanger, I won’t give it away. I’m a little worried though because I thought I already had the third book, but it is archived on Netgalley, last month even thought it isn’t supposed to come out till June, and then it is a request only on Edelweiss. So I hope I can get it!

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14 responses to “L-L-L-Little Reviews #60: March 2024

  1. Legends and Lattes is on my wishlist, I heard so many good things about it. I hope to get it eventually, I am glad to hear you enjoyed it and good to know the audio is good as well. The Nerd and the Neighbor sounds promising too and I like the sound of the neurodivergent main character. I hope you can get approved for the third book in the Gilded City series on Edelweiss, I never expect much from requests on Edelweis as I rarely get approved there. It sounds like a good series.

    • Lisa Mandina

      I hope you enjoy it when you get to it! Edelweiss I don’t request many on, for a while it wasn’t clear to me how to get those over to my e-reader. Now that I’ve figured that out though, I do request. Usually I am able to just download from there, haven’t had to request till this one.

  2. I love these mini reviews! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed Legends & Lattes! It sounds so cozy and cute… and totally like something that is not for me 😅 I need action in my books. Lol. I am intrigued by the Gilded City series though…

    • Lisa Mandina

      Yeah, it didn’t have much action per se. Although I think the epilogue had more of that, and amusingly I got bored with that, lol.

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