Monday, January 27, 2020

Melinda's Mini Reviews for January (Part 1)

Melinda has a few mini reviews for you today, from 3 to 5 Stars.

Open House by Ruby Lang
Publisher: Carina Press (November 11, 2019)
Series: Uptown Series, 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance (M/F)

Love can take root where you least expect it.

Tyson Yang never imagined that one day he’d be the de facto spokesperson for an illegal community garden. But when the once-rat-infested-but-now-thriving Harlem lot goes up for sale, Ty can’t just let all their hard work get plowed under.

Even if he is irresistibly drawn to the lovely but infuriatingly stubborn real estate associate.

Magda Ferrer’s family is already convinced this new job will be yet another flop in her small but growing list of career path failures. But her student debt isn’t going anywhere, and selling her uncle’s historic town house and the lot nearby means a chance to get some breathing room.

Ty is her charming rival, her incorrigible nemesis, the handsome roadblock to her success.

Until one hot Harlem night blurs the hard line drawn between them, and the seeds of possibility in this rocky garden blossom into love…

Where to Buy*:
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Melinda's Review:

The second book in Lang’s Uptown series really touched me and it made me really love this entire world that she’s created. Magda is a real estate agent with a ton of student debt and self-doubt, which makes me immediately relate to her. She doesn’t really know what she wants in life, but she does know that she wants to prove to her family that she can do this real estate thing. Magda is entrusted to sell her Uncle’s townhouse and it’s not going the greatest. The problem arrives in the form of Tyson, who is trying to block everything about the sale in an effort to save the community garden.

I just loved the emotion in this book, which seems so dry when you put the plot on paper! How is the gentrification of New York City sexy in any way? I have no idea! But Ruby Lang manages it deftly with Tyson and Magda having this delicious tension between them. There is this scene on a roof that is simply…FIRE. This is a longer novella and it’s really the perfect length for this story and it had everything I wanted.

4 1/2 STARS!

In a Badger Way by Shelly Laurenston
Publisher: Kensington Books (April 1, 2019)
Series: The Honey Badgers Chronicles, 2
Genre: Paranormal Romance (M/F)

Petite, kind, brilliant, and young, Stevie is nothing like the usual women bodyguard Shen Li is interested in. Even more surprising, the youngest of the lethal, ball-busting, and beautiful MacKilligan sisters is terrified of bears. But she’s not terrified of pandas. She loves pandas.

Which means that whether Shen wants her to or not, she simply won’t stop cuddling him. He isn’t some stuffed Giant Panda, ya know! He is a Giant Panda shifter. He deserves respect and personal space. Something that little hybrid is completely ignoring.

But Stevie has a way of finding trouble. Like going undercover to take down a scientist experimenting on other shifters. For what, Shen doesn’t want to know, but they’d better find out. And fast. Stevie might be the least violent of the honey badger sisters, but she’s the most dangerous to Shen’s peace of mind. Because she has absolutely no idea how much trouble they’re in . . . or just how damn adorable she is.

Where to Buy*:
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Melinda's Review:

Shelly Laurenston has a completely unique voice that I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything close to similar to. Her female characters in particular are incredibly strong, and I’m sure some would say unlikeable, but I love them. In this one Stevie is afraid of herself and what embracing her true self could potentially mean. She’s a honey badger shifter – and if you’ve read the first book, you know that means she’s truly the bizarre of the shifter world. Just willing to go completely out there, but she’s also afraid of who she may hurt which she’s in that form.

I love the relationship with Stevie and her sisters – they love and hate each other, like real like family does so often. And her relationship to therapy seemed very realistic to me as well with the push and pull of both wanting to get better, but also being afraid of the work and the possibility of changing. Her relationship with Shen Li was hilarious and touching. I can’t wait for what’s next in this series.


Mermaid Inn by Jenny Holiday
Publisher: Forever (January 28, 2020)
Series: Matchmaker Bay, 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance (M/F)

Escape to Matchmaker Bay in this hilarious and heartwarming second chance romance from the USA Today bestselling "master of witty banter" (Entertainment Weekly).

Eve Abbott has a problem--actually, make that a lot of problems. And they're all going to get worse the moment her toes hit the sand in Matchmaker Bay. Once a blissful summer escape, now the tiny town just reminds Eve of loss. Inheriting her aunt's beloved Mermaid Inn is the only reason Eve is coming back. She's definitely not ready to handle nosy neighbors, extensive renovations, or the discovery that a certain heartbreaker still lives down the street...
Police Chief Sawyer Collins always does the right thing, even when it costs him everything. Like Evie. He's spent the past ten years trying to forget her--to forget how right she felt in his arms, to forget the pain in her eyes the day she left. The last thing he expects is to see her back in town or to find that the spark between them is as strong as ever. Sawyer knows this is his only chance to prove that his feelings have always been real... before Eve turns tail and leaves for good.

Includes the bonus novella Meant to Be by Alison Bliss!

Where to Buy*:
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Melinda's Review:

This is a quick and enjoyable read from Holiday, however I do not think I will be thinking about it or going back to read it again like I have with Holiday’s last series, Bridesmaids Behaving Badly. Eve comes back to Matchmaker Bay to settle her Aunt’s estate and it’s quickly obvious that this will be a second chance romance with her high school love who is now the Police Chief Sawyer Collins.

I really enjoyed the matchmaking from the townspeople and overall this was a cute book. What kept me from rating this a star higher is a specific plot point that I saw coming from the beginning of the book that seemed very obvious, yet ridiculous to me. Sometimes the obvious is the answer, but here it just seemed a little *too* pat for me.

 3 STARS! 

Thanks for the reviews, Melinda!

Don't forget: Part 2 of January's Mini Reviews will go up on Friday. :)


Until Next Time,

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