Blog Tour: The Country Escape by Jane Lovering [REVIEW]

Book Title: The Country Escape
Author: Jane Lovering
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Release: September 1st 2020
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Women’s Fiction

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Welcome to the idyllic country retreat of Christmas Steepleton, and let Jane Lovering whisk you away with the most heart-warming, romantic and comforting read of the year.

Leaving London and her ex-husband Luc behind, Katie and her 14-year-old daughter Poppy move into their very own, very ramshackle cottage near the village of Christmas Steepleton on the Dorset coast. 

Harvest Cottage has been unloved for many years, so the job of bringing it back to life is a slow and expensive one. So, with funds running low, Katie jumps at the chance when a film company asks to use the cottage as a location.  But even as things are looking up, as harvest time passes and autumn chill starts to bite, the prospect of a cold winter in the country is daunting.

Some light relief comes from new friend Gabriel, so different from Katie’s exuberant but arrogant ex Luc. Will their friendship blossom into something more romantic, or will the reality of a tough country winter send her and Poppy scurrying back to the comforts of town? 

Let Jane Lovering spirit you away to the perfect country escape, far away from the bustle of the city. Just right for fans of Emma Burstall, Fern Britton and Kate Forster.

Content/trigger warnings at the end of this post may contain spoilers.
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Blog Tour: More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood [Review, Moodboard & Favorite Quotes]

Book Title: More Than Just a Pretty Face
Author: Syed M. Masood
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release: August 4th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

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For fans of Becky Albertalli and Jenny Han, a sweetly funny YA rom-com debut about falling in love, familial expectations, and being a Renaissance Man.

Danyal Jilani doesn’t lack confidence. He may not be the smartest guy in the room, but he’s funny, gorgeous, and going to make a great chef one day. His father doesn’t approve of his career choice, but that hardly matters. What does matter is the opinion of Danyal’s longtime crush, the perfect-in-all-ways Kaval, and her family, who consider him a less than ideal arranged marriage prospect.

When Danyal gets selected for Renaissance Man–a school-wide academic championship–it’s the perfect opportunity to show everyone he’s smarter than they think. He recruits the brilliant, totally-uninterested-in-him Bisma to help with the competition, but the more time Danyal spends with her…the more he learns from her…the more he cooks for her…the more he realizes that happiness may be staring him right in his pretty face.

Content/trigger warnings at the end of this post may contain spoilers.
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Blog Tour: Meet Me in Outer Space by Melinda Grace [REVIEW + GIVEAWAY!]

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Book Title: Meet Me in Outer Space
Author: Melinda Grace
Series: None (Standalone)
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: March 12th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Smart and unflinching, this #OwnVoices debut contemporary novel stars an ambitious college student who refuses to be defined by her central auditory processing disorder.

Edie Kits has a learning disability. Well, not a learning disability exactly, but a disability that impacts her learning. It isn’t visible, it isn’t obvious, and it isn’t something she likes to advertise.

And for three semesters of college, her hard work and perseverance have carried her through. Edie thinks she has her disability under control until she meets her match with a French 102 course and a professor unwilling to help her out.

Edie finds herself caught between getting the help she needs and convincing her professor that she isn’t looking for an easy out. Luckily for Edie, she has an amazing best friend, Serena, who is willing to stitch together a plan to ensure Edie’s success. And then there’s Hudson, the badly dressed but undoubtedly adorable TA in her French class who finds himself pulled into her orbit…

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, Meet Me in Outer Space is a sweet, heartachingly real story of love and college life by debut author Melinda Grace.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours.

MY THOUGHTS

Good day, friends! I’m so happy to say that it’s finally my tour stop for Meet Me in Outer Space and I’m beyond ecstatic to be bringing you my review on this beautiful book. Having read this #ownvoices book really made me want to learn more about auditory processing disorder as I wasn’t really aware of it before.

I loved every single character in this one. They are all three dimensional and are written spectacularly, like they can jump right out off the pages at any time. I especially loved Edie, the main character. Sure, I didn’t agree with some of her decisions but that’s what made me like her even more. Her pure passion and determination for her ambition was really inspiring. She didn’t let her APD hinder her success, instead, she put in extra work on her studies and I really did see her efforts.

Hudson is a sweetheart as well! From the start of the story, he wasn’t perfect at all but as the story progresses, you can really see his genuineness. He felt this pull on Edie from the very beginning and from there on, he has been nothing but endearing; it warms my heart so much.

The romance in this book is so sweet, it got me smiling like an idiot one too many times. And can you believe that I finished this in only one sitting?? Considering that I read painstakingly slow, I’d say that having read this so fast says a lot about how much I’ve enjoyed it.

I could have easily given this a 5-star rating if it wasn’t for the ending. The last chapter was spectacular and everything I could have hoped for but… Man, the ending got me sooo put off. I’ve been longing to find out how the story would be wrapped up but it finished with an open ending and I’m not just one for those. (But I do know that there are readers who do love open endings!)

Anyway. I highly recommend you read this book, especially if you love contemporary!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MelindaMelinda Grace wrote her first piece of fiction in middle school, but didn’t write a complete story until an introduction to creative writing course at SUNY Oswego, where she earned a BA in human development. She went on to earn a MS E.D. in counseling and currently works as a school counselor. When she’s not guiding the youth of America, she’s planning her next vacation to Disney World, laminating anything she can get her hands on, and binge watching Netflix. MEET ME IN OUTER SPACE is her debut novel, publishing March 2019.

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GIVEAWAY

Win a print copy of Meet Me in Outer Space (US/CAN)

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Book Review: The Queen’s Game by Carla de Guzman

35692900Book Title: The Queen’s Game
Author: Carla de Guzman
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publisher: Midnight Books
Publication Date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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There are only two reasons why Nina would come back home to Cincamarre–one, if Auntie Delia promises to stop butting into her business, two, if her father died and she was made to ascend the throne to be queen.

Unfortunately for her, it was the second thing that brought her home.

As a princess who’s sunk a yacht and been caught kissing popstars, it’s easy for her aunt, the regent, to think she’s ill prepared for the throne. But Nina doesn’t think that having to fake date Felipe, the handsome, squeaky clean Prince of Concordia was the best solution for that.

Nina’s ready to learn the ropes of her new role and make it hers, and reconnecting with Felipe only makes her want to be a better queen. But is the monarchy ready for Queen Nina?


MY THOUGHTS

Y’ALL! This is my first ever #romanceclass and adult read, and I am so glad to have started with The Queen’s Game. Since I normally only read young adult and middle grade books, this one felt a teeny bit weird to read. Granted, this is a book intended for adult, a different audience, but nevertheless, I still thoroughly enjoyed this!

When I first read the synopsis, I was immediately sold. The fact that this was on sale on Kindle when I bought it was an added bonus! Royalty is one of my weaknesses when it comes to tropes and this one was incorporated with Philippine culture, and I AM SCREAMING!!! I loved seeing glimpses of our culture in the otherwise fantasy land of Cincamarre. It really warms my heart.

Aside from having a gorgeous name, Saturnina Inez Mercado, our main character, is a kick-ass woman that does not take shit from others when it comes to her life.  She has her own distinct personality! Also, being born as the king’s daughter and the next in line for the throne really puts a lot of expectations on her. I admire Nina for being her own person and not conceding to the norms set by her aunt and the title she holds. And Felipe, her love interest, is such a—and I cannot stress this enough—precious human being! Despite Nina’s horrid reputation, Felipe still believes that she can do wonders for her nation on her own. He has been a constant pillar of support for her and that is the energy I’m looking for in a relationship. Not to mention his swoon-worthy letters to Nina! *faints*

However, this book was too fast-paced for my liking. With only 165 pages, this one really was a whirlwind and I would have loved it if I got to spend more time with Nina and Felipe. Regardless, the romance here is just so sweet and got me smiling so much!

I feel so delighted to have supported, read and loved a book by a Filipino author. I highly recommend you read this one! I can feel that this is the beginning of my #romanceclass addiction.

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Book Review: The Expedition by Chris Babu

40584496Book Title: The Expedition
Author: Chris Babu
Series: The Initiation #2
Publisher: Permuted Press
Publication Date: December 4th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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THEY SURVIVED THE INITIATION. NOW THE REAL TEST BEGINS.

Drayden and his friends thought nothing could be harder than the Initiation. Little did they know it had only been a warmup for the challenge that lay ahead.

With New America’s situation dire, Drayden and the pledges venture out into the unexplored world outside the walls, escorted by a team of elite Guardians. The group seeks to contact another civilization in what remains of Boston, but Drayden has secret goals of his own.

Dangers abound in the real world, including Aeru, the deadly superbug that wiped out humanity. While they battle the elements of a desolate landscape, a power struggle emerges within their ranks. The Guardians seem to be carrying out a covert mission themselves, and the quest turns everything they thought they knew about New America upside down.


I received a copy of this book from Netgalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my thoughts in any way.

MY THOUGHTS

I have read and loved the first book in the series, The Initiation, which was spectacular in multiple aspects (you can read my review here) so I was so excited to read this next one! I was also a bit skeptical at first since I barely remember the nitty-gritty about the previous book due to my severe forgetfulness, but I pushed through, hoping for the best. Fortunately, everything came back to me and I got to really enjoy this book.

The Expedition was a fast-paced book that is equal parts action and strategics. This allowed the group of privates to maximize their own individual strengths during their mission, and I loved seeing, in the little things, how they have grown closer compared to the first book.

I still very much liked Drayden as a character. If I were to think about an expedition, I’d probably immediately think that physical strength is a prerequisite for undertaking such. I had my doubts as to how Drayden might cope in the expedition, yet it proved to be unnecessary. What Drayden lacked in physical strength, he made up for in quick thinking, wit and intelligence. And frankly, I admire the latter far more than the former.

The challenges that the group faced in the expedition were much more different and difficult than the ones in the initiation. In this books, the struggles that the privates experience were much more crucial since they deal with unexpected troubles now, in the part of their world they’ve never set foot on. So seeing them all work together, and contribute each their own skills for their collective objective was really invigorating since, as you can tell, I’ve really grown attached to this group of brave kids.

And although I did kinda foresee one aspect in the book that is supposed to be shellshocking, I did doubt myself more times than I would care to admit. Thus, the book really has some unexpected twists and turns that would make you second guess yourself multiple times.

But despite all those, I still ticked off a star from my rating since I was not keen on how the sentences in dialogues sometimes run waaaaay too long, as if they’re each doing monologues. Aside from that though, I think my mood contributed a lot on this decision as well since I was pretty distracted with life when I read this.

Overall, if I were to pick this book up some other time, when I really am in the mood for a post-apocalyptic-ish adventure, this really would have the potential of earning a 5-star rating from me. I highly recommend this series, especially if you’re a fan of the genre. I can’t wait for the next book!

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