Review: Boyfriend (Sarina Bowen)

Boyfriend
Series: Moo U, #0
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: October 12, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance, New Adult

Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A new hockey player to steal your heart this fall…

The dreamiest player on the Moo U hockey team hangs a flyer on the bulletin board, and I am spellbound:

Rent a boyfriend for the holiday. For $25, I will be your Thanksgiving date. I will talk hockey with your dad. I will bring your mother flowers. I will be polite, and wear a nicely ironed shirt…

Everyone knows it’s a bad idea to introduce your long-time crush to your messed-up family. But I really do need a date for Thanksgiving, even if I’m not willing to say why. So I tear his phone number off of that flyer… and accidentally entangle our star defenseman in a ruse that neither of us can easily unwind.

Who knew that Weston’s family was even nuttier than mine? He needs a date, too, for the most uncomfortable holiday engagement party ever thrown.

There will be hors d’oeuvre. There will be faked PDA. And there will be pro-level awkwardness…

Boyfriend is a full-length book for Weston and Abbi!


Boyfriend is one of those books where I want to scream “I LOVED IT!!!” and be done with my review. Everything about it was perfect. I don’t even know what to start with. I think I will make things easy on myself and give you a little list of some of the things I loved about this book.

  • The secret crushes Abbi and Weston had on each other were adorable. It made their interactions at Biscuits so much fun.
  • The direction the fake dating situation went was cute and entertaining, but also brought out big emotions for Abbi, Weston, and me. I loved how they got to know each other better through meeting each other’s families.
  • The chemistry between Abbi and Weston was always hot, but the emotional connection made the transition from fake dates to friends to more all the more real. I adored Abbi and Weston — probably why I wanted the novella to be a full length book in the first place.
  • The Moo U hockey team was as fun as ever.
  • This book may have started off as a novella, but I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t already read the novella. It was so seamless. Any changes or additions felt natural and perfect for the story.
  • Sarina Bowen proved once again that she can write NA sports romance like no other. I know she said she didn’t think she was going to be writing this age group again before writing this book, but I hope how amazing it turned out gives her motivation to write more NA romances.

I could probably go on and on praising both Boyfriend and Sarina Bowen. This was such a great read that I want to start all over at the beginning again. I already miss Abbi and Weston. A big thank you to Bowen for giving Abbi and Weston (and us!) the full length novel they deserved.

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Review: The Love Hypothesis (Ali Hazelwood)

The Love Hypothesis
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope. 


If you are a romance fan, chances are you’ve at least seen the cover for The Love Hypothesis if not heard the hype surrounding it. I hate to admit it, but I was hesitant to read it. I had kind of been avoiding it because of said hype and the fact that illustrated covers tend to dupe me at times. Basically, I wasn’t planning to read it. Then, the 5 star reviews started rolling in. Some of my most trusted blogger and reader friends started reviewing it. All said it was worth the hype. What I was reading in reviews made me change my mind, so I read it. IT WAS SO WORTH THE HYPE. So worth it.

I adored The Love Hypothesis. I was immediately pulled into Olive’s world. I’m not the biggest fan of third person narration, but it worked for me here. Olive, with her doubts and insecurities, was totally relatable. I loved how she wanted to make sure her friends were happy, but also felt for her with what she was willing to do to make sure that happened. Olive was a smart, nice, and overall good person. I loved her.

I also loved Adam. He might have been the most hated professor on campus with his blunt deliveries, but I loved that he was unapologetic about it and was trying to better the grad students. What I loved most about him, though, was how he treated Olive with so much care.

Olive and Adam were cuteness overload. I couldn’t get enough of their fake relationship — especially the more real it got. Their interactions were constantly making me swoon. I could go on and on about how perfect Olive and Adam were for each other.

As with any good romance novel, there were some amazing side characters. Olive’s best friend Anh and her pushiness cracked me up. Malcolm and basically everything he did made me smile. Adam’s friend Holden was another fun character. I wouldn’t mind a book for either Anh or Malcolm. I would love for this to be a series! I don’t know if that’s planned, but it would make me happy.

I was a little worried going in that all the STEM and academia stuff might overwhelm the story, but it was worked so well into the story and felt subtle despite it being a major topic. It was actually kind of fun to learn more about the grad school and academic life since I didn’t go that route. And I loved how Olive and Adam’s love of science and experiences in the field brought them closer together.

Yeah…I could probably go on and on about this book. It’s definitely a new favorite debut romance novel and one that you will most likely find on my list of favorite books for 2021.

Review: Waylaid (Sarina Bowen)

Waylaid
Series: True North, #8

Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

It’s a tale as old as time: the bad boy meets the good girl. He makes a daring proposition. Then the boy gets a mysterious head injury and loses a year of his life…

The first time I meet Rickie, I don’t know what to make of him. The second time we meet, he doesn’t remember the six hours we spent together. Or standing me up afterward.

I’m not the same, either. I’ve got secrets. I’ve told lies. Bad boys aren’t my type, anyway. Even the ones with seductive gray eyes.

But now we’re roommates. Cue the awkward moments in the hallway when he’s wearing only a towel and a smile. He’s determined to win me over, and his talented hands weaken my resolve.

It’s all fun and games until my past rears its ugly head and his secrets come to light, shaking our fragile connection, maybe even breaking it…

Note: this is Daphne Shipley’s story. Contents include Vermonty ice cream flavors, nerdy awkwardness, tattoos, and a playboy grandpa.


Sarina Bowen is back with some True North magic. I love this series. I don’t know how she continues to come up with new and exciting plots to bring to the Shipley family and friends, but she does and it’s amazing. Each book is so different while maintaining the True North feel. I love that and I loved Waylaid.

Being a True North fan, I hate to admit that I didn’t remember who Rickie was before reading this book. I knew all about Daphne Shipley, but Rickie just didn’t stick with me. Which actually made me mad at myself when I figured out he was Dylan Shipley’s college roommate. Rickie was a complex character. I loved his happy go lucky attitude and his flirting with Daphne. Rickie wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though. He couldn’t remember a year of his life and the lingering affects of that caused him a lot of grief and fear. I enjoyed how his loss of memories played out and what it meant when it came to Daphne. It gave a little bit of romantic suspense to this book, which was fun.

I have always been curious about Daphne. She had the giant crush on that previous character and then there was something that had happened to her that I wanted to find out about in Heartland. I loved that I got to know her better in this book. She learned a lot about herself, her goals, and her relationships. Daphne was a good person, but learning those things made her even better. Plus, I loved her with Rickie.

If you’re a fan of this series, you’re going to love seeing the Shipley extended family show up. There are some great moments. Some of my favorites involved Grandpa Shipley. Others involved Rickie and Dylan. Readers are going to be extremely happy with all the cameos.

One last thing I feel like I need to mention is that there are a flashback chapters in this book. I’m not normally a fan of flashbacks, but I loved how Sarina Bowen did them in this book. The few flashback chapters were in third person instead of first and that brought a different vibe to them that worked well.

Overall, Waylaid was another great addition to the True North series.

Review: Broken Hearts (Rebecca Jenshak)

Broken Hearts
Series: Campus Nights, #3

Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

She’s a figure skater. He’s a hockey player. Things are about to heat up on the ice.

 

Rhett Rauthruss is single for the first time in six years. He’s fresh off a long-term, long-distance relationship and ready to make the most of what’s left of college.
Party with his boys, get to the Frozen Four with his team, and maybe play the field for a change.

Sienna Hale knows a thing or two about heartbreak. She’s a college athlete about to skate for the last time, and nothing is going to throw her off course. Not her worries about finding a job after college, not the whispers of last year’s accident on the ice, and not the cute hockey player who keeps asking her out.

 

They think they want different things, but when it heats up between them, there’s no denying they have something in common–even if it’s just for a night. 


If you’re a fan of the Campus Nights series you know just how excited I was to get Rhett Rauthruss’ story. He’s been a prominent side character in this series from the beginning and one of my favorite characters in it. Rhett’s always been a curiosity because of his dedication to his long distance girlfriend, Carrie. In the last book they broke up, and I wanted to know what truly happened between them through Rhett’s eyes. Those loose ends were tied up in Broken Hearts, but I honestly didn’t care about what happened between him and Carrie anymore once I met Sienna.

From their first bumpy meeting, I knew Rhett and Sienna’s romance was going to be fun. Rhett and Sienna didn’t exactly get off to the best start, and that made the time they took to get to know each other very entertaining. It took Sienna a little longer to figure out what I already knew: Rhett was a nice, stand up guy. Sienna was just as nice of a person as Rhett. They had a lot in common being athletes in their senior year of college. I loved how Sienna being a figure skater contrasted with Rhett being a hockey player. Their relationship felt natural with their chemistry and emotional connection. I loved how their story played out on and off the ice.

Something that made this book feel even more special was seeing some of my favorite characters from the previous books. Heath, Adam, and Mav all supported Rhett and Sienna through this book. Don’t worry — their ladies make appearances, too. It’s always so much fun to be with this gang again.

I feel like I have a lot more to say about Broken Hearts, but can’t because I don’t want to spoil it. There are some great emotional ups and downs for both Rhett and Sienna in this book. Fans of this series are going to love everything Rebecca Jenshak throws at them.

Broken Hearts by Rebecca Jenshak is now live!

Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Barnes & Noble!

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Meet Rebecca

Rebecca is a new adult romance author, caffeine-addict, and lover of all sports. She’s a Midwest girl at heart, but currently resides in Arizona.

Connect with Rebecca

Website: https://www.rebeccajenshak.com
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Reviews: Jock Royal (Sara Ney)

Jock Royal
Series: Jock Hard#4 
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis: 

IT’S EASY TO TAKE ONE DARE WHEN YOU THINK IT’S HARMLESS.

Ashley Dryden-Jones is the best rugby player on the field—when I take a dare I instantly regret, I had no way of knowing he was a gentleman. An athlete. British with no plans to stay in the States.

He makes me forget myself, bruises, 5 o’clock shadow, accent and all.

He makes me forget I cannot crawl into bed with him at night—or get drunk and throw caution to the wind for once in my overly cautious life.

Because he’s my new roommate.

ONE STUPID BET LEADS TO ONE UNFORGETTABLE NIGHT.

When I win a trip to Vegas I need a plus one; he’s the strapping, strong and responsible choice. Besides—I’ve never been anywhere and he has.

He is the best friend I didn’t know I needed.

Ashley is one of the good ones—but I’m about to find out how bad this good boy can be. 


Jock Royal is a hard book for me to rate. I could have easily slapped on a 5 star rating by how much fun I had reading it. It had Sara Ney’s trademark humor (which I enjoy) and there wasn’t a ton of drama or angst. Ashley and Georgia were great characters and I loved their chemistry. Reading it made me happy and that says a lot.

Why did I end up giving it 4 stars then? There were a couple of times the flow of the story didn’t feel smooth due to some passages of time. It wasn’t anything bad, but I did notice it. The book could have been longer with those time frames filled in and I wouldn’t have complained about having to read more pages. I was that invested in Ashley and Georgia. Also, Georgia thought Ashley spoke in dated English and it made me wonder if people of his status and age actually talked like that? The fact that so much attention was drawn to it made it weird. I can’t answer whether or not the language fits, so it didn’t detract much from my rating. I would be curious to know what English readers think. I can get over these things that bugged me in the long run because this rom-com left me in a good mood, so 4 stars it is.

Review: On a Wednesday (Whitney G.)

On a Wednesday
Series: One Week, #2
Author: Whitney G.
Publication Date: July 7, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Synopsis:
We met on a Wednesday.
Became enemies, then lovers, on a Wednesday.
And we made a final promise before saying goodbye, on a Wednesday …
Kyle Stanton is the cockiest playboy who has ever set foot on this university’s campus.
He’s also the last person on earth that I want to interview for my senior thesis since:
1) I haven’t forgotten how he left me hanging for a group project during our freshman year. 2) He has a tendency to believe that any woman who breathes in his direction wants him. 3) Did I mention how infuriatingly cocky he is?
If I hear him utter the phrase, “No need to stare, I’ll let you ride it up close and personal, just say the word,” one more time, I will scream.
At least, those are my initial impressions until he proposes “a perfect deal” that works in our best interest. Until one filthy kiss changes everything, and he shows me a side of himself that makes me fall in love.
We only have one semester left together, though …
He’s bound for the professional football league, and I’m bound for London.
We promise to remain long-distance “friends,” but a brutal argument tears us apart, and we haven’t spoken to each other since.
Until now.
We met on a Wednesday.
Became everything, then nothing, on a Wednesday.
And now he’s shown up to my engagement party, all these years later, on a Wednesday …
On a Wednesday is a standalone inspired by Adele’s “Someone Like You.”

On a Wednesday was another fun read from Whitney G. We finally get Grayson’s (On a Tuesday) college teammate and friend Kyle’s story.

Kyle’s story is pretty entertaining. I can’t say that I immediately loved Kyle. Cocky is an understatement when it comes to his personality. It took Courtney getting to know what was underneath his attitude to like him as a character. I still would have liked to see both his and Courtney’s characters fleshed out a little more, but there was enough to get to know them well. Courtney was way easier to like. The two of them together were pretty sweet. I liked how their relationship/friendship advanced. Their movie stuff made me smile a lot.

There were a couple of things that had me considering a 3.5 star instead of 4 star rating. I had mixed feelings about the jumping back and forth between present and the past. I liked both timelines, but I’m not a big fan of flashbacks. The way the timelines were intertwined worked for me, but I might have liked it more if things happened chronologically. It would have taken some of the surprise out of the fallout, but I don’t know that I would have minded that. The other thing was that whole cocky Kyle thing I mentioned. I ended up giving this book a full 4 stars because these things didn’t bother me as much once I made it to the adorable ending. Everyone and thing came full circle and I loved that.

So, yeah. Overall, I really enjoyed On a Wednesday. It fit this series well and made me swoon at the end.
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Whitney G. is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author. Her books have been published in twelve languages.

Whenever she’s not penning a new novel, you can find her blogging about self-publishing at The Indie Tea, drinking hot coffee, or traveling the world in sweater boots. 

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Series Review: Moo U (Books 8-10)

Good morning! I have something fun to share with you today. It’s a series review for the next three books in the Moo U series in Sarina Bowen’s World of True North. Get ready for some college hockey romance fun!

Playmaker
Series: Moo U, #8
Author: Sierra Hill
Publication Date: June 7, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

My thoughts: 

I loved everything about Playmaker minus the conflict. Cal and Aria were so cute together. Their relationship was totally swoon worthy. I just hated that Aria didn’t confide in Cal when she should have. I understood why Aria was trying to distance herself from her father’s problems, but I hated that she was keeping things a secret and building a life upon half truths at Moo U. It made her seem immature and took away from everything she had built with Cal, in my opinion. It brought my enjoyment of Playmaker down, which makes me sad because I enjoy Sierra Hill’s writing. I wanted to be completely in love with this book.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3iFVKDT
Purchase here: https://geni.us/AmazonPlaymaker
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Snowballed
Series: Moo U, #9
Author: Melanie Ting
Publication Date: June 7, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts: 

Snowballed was the first book I’ve ever read by Melanie Ting and I enjoyed it. I loved Noah’s character and his family dynamics. It brought so much to the story. The same can be said for Zoe — although I liked Noah more than I liked Zoe. I think that was because Noah faced his hardships head on and Zoe let hers build up waiting to detonate. I could feel that tension and it made me uncomfortable at times. That being said, I loved Noah and Zoe together. The way they connected through hockey, farm chores, food, and animals was sweet.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/366wdyu
Purchase here: https://geni.us/AmazonSnowballed
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Goalkeeper
Series: Moo U, #10
Author: Andi Burns
Publication Date: June 7, 2021
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: goNew Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts: 

I’ve got another book to add to my Moo U favorites list! Goalkeeper is exactly what I’m looking for when I pick up a book in this series. It was so adorable! Shy goalie Spencer and party girl Paige were a perfect match. They got each other. I love when a couple gets each other the way these two did. It makes me believe they could go the distance. This book was so much fun. The amount of drama was just right and I loved how it all resolved. I hadn’t read a book by Andi Burns before, but I will be checking out her backlist for sure!

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/39Xy4H2
Purchase here: https://geni.us/AmazonGoalkeeper
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Series Review: Bergman Brothers (Chloe Liese)

Here we are again with another series review. This time it’s for Chloe Liese’s Bergman Brothers series. I decided to read this series because everyone and their sister is gushing about it. I listened to the first two books and read the third because the audio isn’t out yet.

Only When It’s Us
Series: Berman Brothers, #1

Author: Chloe Liese
Narrators: Nelson Hobbs, C.J. Bloom
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Only When It’s Us is a college sports romance. Willa Sutter is a star soccer player who is trying to get her team to the championship while doing well in school and spending time with her sick mom. Ryder Bergman is a college student dealing with the loss of his hearing. Willa has to ask Ryder for help in a class and she thinks he ignores her, but really he can’t hear her. This sets up an epic frenemies situation with humorous drama which leads to Willa Ryder becoming more than just classmates.

I adored this book, even though Willa wasn’t always easy to swallow. She had some only child syndrome going on a lot. Willa had a hard time seeing past herself and what was going on in her life (even if it was traumatic). I didn’t always love how she reacted to Ryder, but I got it. There was a major lack of communication on both of there parts. Despite that, I still enjoyed Only When It’s Us immensely. It brought me a wide range of emotions and a new couple and family to love. Add in the fabulous narration and it was winner — even if I wanted to throttle Willa for some of her choices.

Always Only You
Series: Berman Brothers, #2

Author: Chloe Liese
Narrators: Nelson Hobbs, C.J. Bloom
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Always Only You was SO FREAKING GOOD! Seriously AMAZING. Ren and Frankie are going on my list of all time favorite couples. I couldn’t stop swooning over them together. Ren is this geeky but hot professional hockey player who is always smiling. Frankie does social media publicity for his team. She’s known to be super cranky, but is hiding her pain and autism underneath her frown. They have been secretly crushing on each other for like three years until something throws them closer together. He was such a sweetheart and she was such a badass. The way they got each other was the best thing! Ren and Frankie warmed my heart. The narrators only added to the fun of this book. It was such a delightful listening experience.

Ever After Always
Series: Berman Brothers, #3

Author: Chloe Liese
Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Ever After Always was every bit as amazing as Always Only You, but in a completely different way. This book was less cute and more emotional for me. It’s about a couple going through a rough patch in their marriage. Freya feels abandoned in more ways than one. Aiden is consumed with anxiety of pretty  much everything and has been keeping it to himself. The communication in their relationship has all but disappeared. I felt sad for both Freya and Aiden for completely different reasons. I rooted for them to figure out and fix things. Despite being a heavier book, there were moments of sweetness and romance. There was a also a hilarious parrot and some Bergman brothers foolery. I was impressed with how Chloe Liese wrote Ever After Always. Despite the sadness, there was always hope.

Series Review: Dearest (Lex Martin)

One of my goals for 2021 is to read some of the books that have been hiding in the depths of my Kindle for years. I decided to start things off with Dearest Clementine. I had no idea at the time that it would turn into a series binge. Here are my mini reviews for the Dearest series.

Dearest Clementine
Series: Dearest, #1
Author: Lex Martin
Publication Date: April 17, 2014
Publisher: Lex Martin
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Dearest Clementine might have been written in 2014, but six years later it doesn’t feel dated. It was a classic new adult romance set in college. I was immediately addicted to the story. There was a little bit of angst, a sweet romance, and an air mystery. Clementine was a broken character, but not annoyingly so. She opened up and learned a lot in this book. Gavin as her love interest was perfection. The friendships and side characters added even more fun to the book. I’m mad at myself for waiting so long to read Dearest Clementine!

Finding Dandelion
Series: Dearest, #2
Author: Lex Martin
Publication Date: July 9, 2014
Publisher: Lex Martin
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

My thoughts:

Finding Dandelion didn’t start out on the best foot with me. This book is Clementine’s twin brother Jax’s book. His love interest is her newest roommate, Dani. At the beginning, before they are together, Jax’s promiscuous ways are highlighted. Honestly, I would have preferred to keep things on a tell rather than show way with that. Jax also continued to be an idiot throughout most of the book for different reasons. That being said, I LOVED Dani. Her story was fun to read. When Jax wasn’t being a turd, I thought the two of them were adorable together.

Kissing Madeline
Series: Dearest, #3
Author: Lex Martin
Publication Date: April 26, 2015
Publisher: Lex Martin
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Never did I think I would want a redemption book for Clementine’s high school ex Daren, but I’m glad I got one. It was the most mature of the three romances, and I could see how Martin’s writing grew from her debut to this book. Daren had definitely grown up and matured. I loved that he could look back at his younger years, see his mistakes, and own them. Maddie was a young woman who knew her worth and fought hard for what she wanted. I adored Daren and Maddie together. How they fell into love felt like a natural transition. All of the drama that happened in this book kept it moving quickly, too. It was a fun read — especially with that epilogue!

Review: Roommate (Sarina Bowen)

Roommate
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: January 12, 2020
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ+
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:
Wanted: One roommate to share a 3-bedroom house, split the rent, and ideally not be the guy I can’t stop thinking about.
I’m a man with too many secrets, so the last thing I need is a new roommate with a sexy smile and blue eyes that see right through me. Eight years ago, Roderick left town after high school. We’re not friends. I owe him nothing. But back then, I let one of my secrets slip, and he’s the only one who noticed.
Part of me knows I should run far, far away. But the other part wants him to come upstairs and spend the night. But if I let him in, I could lose everything.

Seeking: A room to rent in town. I’m tidy, have no pets, and I will feed you homemade bread.
I should probably add: Gay AF, and has no filter. It’s no wonder my new landlord is so wary of me.
A smarter man would ignore those hot glances from Kieran Shipley. The broody lumberjack wants more from me than another homemade pretzel, but if I push my luck, I’ll end up back on the street.
Too bad I’ve never been smart with my heart …


Being back in Vermont and on the Shipley farm was a pleasure. It’s a place where Sarina Bowen’s writing shines. (Although, it shines in all her settings.) In Roommate, we got to see another side to the Shipleys and farming. This time it was a Shipley cousin who gets a story.

Kieran Shipley was my favorite type of Sarina Bowen character: a little gruff, a lot quiet. Behind those qualities was a man who was loyal to his family despite their actions and a good friend. Kieran was someone who was searching for his place in the world, but tried to do it without ruffling anyone’s feathers. I immediately liked him and wanted him to end up happy.

The newcomer to this small Vermont town was Roderick. Roddy had once lived nearby, but had left to pursue his calling. Now he’s back, broke, and looking to start all over. Roddy’s character was a lot more upfront and comfortable with his sexual orientation than some of Bowen’s previous MM couples. I think he might be Bowen’s first openly gay character, and it took me a while to get used to that in terms of what I’ve been used to in the MM romances she’s told before. I liked that she went this direction. It made Kieran and Roddy’s story standout from her other MM romances. There were some of the same aspects in relation to Kieran’s story compared to her others, but Roddy’s was all his own.

Kieran and Roddy had a sweet romance. It was almost a slow burn. Their attraction and relationship built naturally. They took their time getting to know each other as roommates and co-workers before moving onto anything romantic. That worked well for both Kieran and Roddy’s histories.

One of the things that made Roommate fun was seeing those Shipleys and friends from past True North books. Kieran’s branch of the family was a new experience, but I loved how Griffin, Audrey, and Zara framed Kieran’s life. I loved their reactions to Kieran and Roddy. That being said, this book is a standalone and can be read without reading the True North series.

Kieran’s immediate family members weren’t my favorite. I had a feeling why and it was proven correct. I didn’t have much respect for them. That didn’t really change by the end, sadly. There were some things I appreciated about them, but they kind of just sucked.

I’m so glad Sarina Bowen took us back to the True North world with Roommate. It was a special story and it deserved this magical setting. I loved how it was inundated with old characters who surrounded the new characters with love and acceptance. It was a joy to read.

PURCHASE LINKS

All Links in one spot: https://shor.by/roommate
Audible: https://geni.us/Audible-RM
Amazon: https://geni.us/Amazon-roommate
Apple: https://geni.us/Apple-roommate
Kobo: https://geni.us/Kobo-roommate
Nook: https://geni.us/Nook-roommate