Tag Archives: jen deluca

TOP TEN TUESDAY – SCHOOL FREEBIE

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is a SCHOOL FREEBIE. I went with books that are set in or around schools, colleges or universities!

Of these, Well Met, The Raven Boys, and A Discovery of Witches are my favorites. Which one would you like to go to school in? I think I’d pick time-travel study from Oxford in To Say Nothing of the Dog, myself.

TOP TEN TUESDAY – IDK MAN, MY BRAIN IS BROKE.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is COMPLETED SERIES I WISH HAD MORE BOOKS, but uh, my brain is literally not working so I instead made you a very pretty rainbow of book covers. Enjoy.

I’ve read all of these BESIDES The Kiss Curse, which I am getting to next month! (I recommend all of these, too!) I’m blaming my lack of coordination and thought on the fact that Will woke up at 3, and would only try to sleep while I was singing to him. So I sang ‘This Old Man’ for an hour, and he finally fell asleep. ANYWAY, I’m brain dead, tired, and just want to go home. Have a post, my friends.

TOP TEN TUESDAY – BOOKS SET IN A PLACE I’D LOVE TO VISIT

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is BOOKS SET IN A PLACE I’D LOVE TO VISIT. So my problem with today’s topic is that most of the books I read aren’t set in peaceful times. Quite the opposite, sooo, there’s not that many that I’d actually want to visit. I picked through my books and these are the ones I’ve found with settings I actually want to go to.

VELARIS — Okay, who wouldn’t want to visit Velaris? It sounds like paradise on earth — an artist’s quarter, outdoor markets, restaurants with outdoor seating, an enormous library, a river running through the actual city…it all sounds perfect.

THE SHIRE — I maintain that if I had to pick a fictional fantasy place to live, it would 100% be The Shire as a hobbit. PROVIDED it is during peaceful times. It looks so pretty there.

CRESCENT CITY — Who wouldn’t want to visit Crescent City? Even with all the shenanigans that have happened there, it still sounds like it would be an awesome place to visit. So many different types of people, such different ways of living, it sounds awesome.

WILLOW CREEK RENAISSANCE FAIRE — I’ve been to a Ren Faire twice in my life and had a BLAST both times. I hope to go to our local one this year, but if I don’t get to, maybe I’ll just reread Well Met. EITHER WAY, I’d love to visit the Willow Creek Ren Faire. Maybe get a glimpse of Simon as a pirate…

CABESWATER — This is another one of those it sounds so pretty kind of places. Cabeswater sounds so fascinating in The Raven Cycle, but I definitely would just want to visit. For a tiny bit. Before things got creepy or scary or weird.

HOGWARTS / HOGSMEADE — C’mon, who, to this day, does not want to visit Hogwarts? I know Rowling is awful, and I am never giving her my money again, but Hogwarts will always have a small special part of my heart.

Where would you want to visit?

TOP TEN TUESDAY – BOOK COVERS THAT FEEL LIKE SUMMER

Good morning, my darlings. I hope today is treating you right so far! It’s Tuesday again, so that means it’s time for another TOP TEN TUESDAY, which is probably my favorite book meme that I do.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is BOOK COVERS THAT FEEL LIKE SUMMER. This was relatively easy for me – apparently blues, teals, and bright yellows equal summer? Who knew!

I’ve read and enjoyed most of these! Have you read any? Which one was your favorite? Alternatively — what’s your favorite summer activity?

TOP TEN TUESDAY – ANTICIPATED BOOKS FROM SECOND HALF OF 2022

Hi everyone! I hope you had a good holiday — if you celebrate / happen to be American / happen to have July 4th off. I wouldn’t say we celebrated — we were just outside all day to my toddler’s extreme happiness. Now that we’re all exhausted from being in the sun, well, here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS COMING OUT IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2022. That’s a mouthful of a topic this week, but one that’s rather easy to fill out, honestly.

Most of these I haven’t read yet, but the first three I have! My review for The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy will be out later this week, so keep an eye out for it. I absolutely adored that book. I’m stupidly excited for The Lost Metal — it’s a Sanderson book set on my favorite world of his! And don’t even get me started on A Dowry of Blood. I’m desperately hoping for an ARC of it, still, but who knows. I probably won’t get one. The rest of these books, well… I’M JUST REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THESE, OKAY? Do we share any of the same books? Let me know!

TOP 6 CONTEMPORARY ROMANCES FOR BEGINNERS

Now, unlike my Beginner Fantasy Recommendation list, I can’t claim to be someone who knows the ins and outs of contemporary romance. I’ve read a fair few, mind, but nowhere near the amount of fantasy books that I’ve read! But despite that, I thought I’d put together a little list of some contemporary romances that I recommend!

Please note — these are all cis/het romances. There is queer rep in most of them, but none of the main relationships fall under the LGBTQ+ banner. In the future, I do plan to do a queer romance recommendation list!

THE FLAT SHARE by BETH O’LEARY

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.

After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.

Desperation makes her open minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.

Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.

But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.

What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.

WHY THIS BOOK? I picked this book up on a whim, and ended up absolutely loving it. My favorite bit was that Leon is not your typical male lead in a romance novel. He’s a bit awkward, and his POV is written quite differently than that of Tiffy’s! If you’re looking for the feeling a there’s-only-one-bed fanfic gives you, start no further than The Flat Share!

  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? The Flat Share
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 1
  • CW: Emotional abuse, toxic relationship, gaslighting
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: 500 Miles From You by Jenny Colgan 

WELL MET by JEN DELUCA

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

the book cover for Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek. 

WHY THIS BOOK? I adore the town of Willow Creek that Jen DeLuca has come up with. Every character has their own personality, their own history, and well, it gives the books in this series a very homey feeling. I also just flat out love the setting of a Renaissance Faire! Simon is semi-based on Once Upon A Time’s Hook, too, so you can picture Colin O’Donaghue while you read…

  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? Well Met
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 5
  • CW: Sexual content, death, grief, mentions of cancer
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade, The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren, The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

JOSH AND HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING by CHRISTINA LAUREN

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right? 

WHY THIS BOOK? This is one of the first contemporary romances that I ever picked up ever, and well, it’s got a huge forever spot on my list. I just absolutely adore Hazel’s entire personality. It’s not for everyone though, (surprise baby) and I realize that.

  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 1
  • CW: Sexual content, pregnancy
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey, 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB by LYSSA KAY ADAMS

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

WHY THIS BOOK? A difference perspective on the whole ‘romance’ genre! A group of men desperate to either seduce their wives, or gain love turn to romance novels to understand the ‘female’ mind. These books are hilarious, but also a little heart-breaking.

  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? The Bromance Book Club
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 5
  • CW: Sexual content, pregnancy, miscarriage
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey, You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

SECOND FIRST IMPRESSIONS by SALLY THORNE

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Dazzle (n): Brightness that blinds someone temporarily.

Position Vacant: Two ancient old women residing at Providence Retirement Villa seek male assistant for casual exploitation and good-natured humiliation. Duties include boutique shopping, fast-food fetching, and sincerely rendered flattery. Good looks a bonus—but we aren’t picky.

An advertisement has been placed (again!) by the wealthy and eccentric Parloni Sisters. The salary is generous and the employers are 90 years old, so how hard could the job be? Well, none have lasted longer than a week. Most boys leave in tears.

Ruthie Midona will work in Providence’s front office, and be at the Parloni’s beck and call, forever. That’s sort of her life plan. If Ruthie can run the place in her almost-retired bosses’ absence, with no hijinks/hiccups, she has a shot at becoming the new manager. She might also be able to defend her safe little world from Prescott Development, the new buyer of the prime site. Maybe after all that, she can find a cute guy to date. All she needs to do is stay serious—and that’s what she does best.

Until, one day, someone dazzling blows into town.

Teddy Prescott devotes his life to sleeping, tattooing, and avoiding seriousness. When Teddy needs a place to crash, he makes a deal with his developer dad. Teddy can stay in one of Providence’s on-site maintenance cottages—right next door to an unimpressed Ruthie—but only if he works there and starts to grow up.

Ruthie knows how this sweetly selfish rich boy can earn his keep—and be out of her hair in under a week. After all, there is a position vacant… 

WHY THIS BOOK? Teddy Prescott is a precious cinnamon roll and I will hear no further arguments. And also the supporting cast in this novel are just all *chef’s kiss*. The Parloni Sisters in particular are just…ah they’re amazing.

  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? Second First Impressions
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 1
  • CW: Sexual content, death, panic attacks
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: THIS BOOK IS HARD TO COMP…but I’ve been reliably informed The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler is at least similar. If you squint.

SPOILER ALERT by OLIVIA DADE

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. The world may know him as Aeneas, star of the biggest show on television, but fanfiction readers call him something else: Book!AeneasWouldNever. Marcus gets out his frustrations with the show through anonymous stories about the internet’s favorite couple, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone discovered his online persona, he’d be finished in Hollywood.

April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s long hidden her fanfic and cosplay hobbies from her “real life”—but not anymore. When she dares to post her latest costume creation on Twitter, her plus-size take goes viral. And when Marcus asks her out to spite her internet critics, truth officially becomes stranger than fanfiction.

On their date, Marcus quickly realizes he wants more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. But when he discovers she’s Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to keep from her.

With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?

WHY THIS BOOK? Okay first off, if you’ve ever written/read fanfiction, than you will absolutely 100% without a doubt love this book. The fan representation in here is just…you can tell Olivia Dade has been a member of a fandom at some point! Secondly — holy crap does Marcus appreciate and love the hell out of April.

  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? Spoiler Alert
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 3
  • CW: Fatphobia, body shaming, sexual content, ableism
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Meet Cute by Helena Hunting, Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

What’s your favorite contemporary romance out there? My favorite didn’t even make this list because it’s the second in a series! So honorary mention to Melt For You by JT Geissinger!

BOOK REVIEW: WELL MATCHED BY JEN DELUCA

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Well, that was a goddamn delight. I blasted through this in a matter of hours, because I desperately needed something I didn’t have to think about too much. Well Matched absolutely delivered. It was so much fun, without being overly cheesy or ridiculous.

This entry into the Well Met universe is about Emily’s sister, April, and the kilt-wearing hottie, Mitch. It starts out with some fake-dating to appease family members, and ends up with a hot friends-with-benefits situation that totally devolves into actual love. C’mon, I’m not about romance novels without HEAs. Of course this one ends happily, of course they end up together.

And MITCH AND APRIL ARE SO CUTE TOGETHER. Mitch is totally head over heels for her and she has no idea until close to the end of the novel. She’s blind, obviously, because his feelings for her so totally blatant you could see them from outer space. In a good way. At first sight, Mitch is a bit of a himbo, but once more is revealed about him through the story, it’s clear he’s much, much more than that. He’s an intelligent man who absolutely cares about his students, and the people in his town. I loved him so much. Best part of the book.

April, on the other hand, I wanted to shake silly. GIRL, YOU WANT TO STAY. YOU WANT MITCH. JUST GIVE IN. But that’s par for the course for me and contemporary romance heroines.

If you’re looking for something fun, and easy to read, I absolutely recommend the Well Met Series!