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The Shaadi Set-Up by Lillie Vale

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Putnam and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

High school sweethearts Rita Chitniss and Milan Rao were the golden couple, until the day he broke her heart. Now, six years later, Rita has turned her passion for furniture restoration into a career and has an almost-perfect boyfriend, Neil. The last thing she needs is for Milan to re-enter her life, but that’s exactly what happens when her mother, an unfailing believer in second chances, sets them up. Milan is just as charming, cocky, and confident as he was back in school. Only this time, he actually needs her business expertise, not her heart, to flip a hard-to-sell house for his realty agency.While Rita begrudgingly agrees to help, she’s not taking any risks. To prove she’s definitely over him, she signs herself and Neil up on MyShaadi.com, a Desi matchmaking site famous for its success stories and trustworthy enough to convince everyone that she and Neil are the new and improved couple. Instead, she’s shocked when MyShaadi’s perfect match for her isn’t Neil…it’s Milan. Ignoring the website and her mother is one thing, but ignoring Milan proves much more difficult, especially when she promises to help him renovate the beach house of her dreams. And as the two of them dive deeper into work—and their pasts—Rita begins to wonder if maybe her match wasn’t so wrong after all….

After seeing friends rave about Vale’s YA debut, I knew I was going to want to give her romance debut a try. I’m always a bit wary of second-chance romances, simply because I need to be in the right mood for the angst. But this one sounded like it was going to be amazing, with a match that is not expected and forced proximity. Plus, there are even dogs on the cover. I was eager to see what this book was going to hold!

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Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start. Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous–and it turns out he has a very different vision for the property’s future. Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.

I was looking forward to this book. I had really enjoyed You Deserve Each Other, with it’s hilarious humor and fantastic MC, so I was pumped to see what Hogle’s next book would be like! Then I found out that it would have a dreamer MC and a love interest with social anxiety and I became incredibly eager to read the book. Plus, the plot focuses around inheriting a house and clashing ideas on what to do with it! It sounded amazing. Trigger warnings: anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks

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Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

*Spoiler free*

Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan. Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush. Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had.

I have been incredibly eager for Crazy Stupid Bromance. I was so pumped for Alexis’s book, but if I’m being completely honest, I was in it for Beefcake. But, best friends-to-lovers, a cat café, a surprise sister, and a computer genius all in one book sounded like something that would be right up my alley. And I would get more Beefcake content. Trigger warnings: death of a family member, grief, surgery

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The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

*Spoiler free*

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.

I finally read The Bromance Book Club. I have seen so much of this book online, leading up to and after it came out. It seemed like so many people who read romance loved the heck out of it. But, I was reluctant to get into it. I have to be in a very specific mood to read second chance romances. And that’s part of the reason I read Undercover Bromance before this one. Though, since I loved that one so much, I decided to give this one a try.

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Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

*Spoiler free*

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef. Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club. Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

I finally plucked up the courage to try out The Bromance Book Club series. And because I wanted to live on the edge, I started with Undercover Bromance. Also because I need to be in a very specific mood to try out second chance romances. Plus, this one sounded like it would be something I really enjoy. Two people with lots of dislike between them teaming up to take down a horrible powerful man. And the heroine is a pastry chef! And I was intrigued about a book club made up of men, who read romance books, helping out to take down this powerful chef.

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Well Played by Jen DeLuca

*Spoiler free*

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One. When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it. Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.

I’ve been looking forward to this book basically since I finished Well Met. I fell in love with DeLuca’s writing and this whole little world she has created, and was so looking forward to more books set in Willow Creek. Plus, I loved Stacey in Well Met and was so pumped to read a whole book dedicated to her story. Plus, online romance, mistaken identities, and Renaissance Faires just added to my already overwhelming list of reasons I was looking forward to this book.

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The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Berkley, Rachel, and Netgalley for the e-ARC!

Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio. When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts. As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to catch feelings for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.

I will read anything Rachel Lynn Solomon writes. She swept me off my feet with her YAs, so when her debut romance was announced, I was ecstatic to read it. It didn’t even really matter what it was about, it was Rachel Lynn Solomon, so I was going to read it. But, it also sounded fantastic. Shay has to co-host a public radio show with her coworker, Dominic, who she does not like. She also has to pretend to have dated him. It’s enemies-to-lovers and faking dating with a twist! Trigger warnings: loss of a parent, social anxiety

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Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to St. Martin’s Griffin and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Love, romance, second chances, fairy-tale endings…these are the things Annika Dev believes in. Her app, Make Up, has been called the “Google Translate for failing relationships.” High efficiency break-ups, flashy start-ups, penthouses, fast cars…these are the things Hudson Craft believes in. His app, Break Up, is known as the “Uber for break-ups.” It’s wildly successful—and anathema to Annika’s life philosophy. Which wouldn’t be a problem if they’d gone their separate ways after that summer fling in Las Vegas, never to see each other again. Unfortunately for Annika, Hudson’s moving not just into her office building, but into the office right next to hers. And he’ll be competing at the prestigious EPIC investment pitch contest: A contest Annika needs to win if she wants to keep Make Up afloat. As if it’s not bad enough seeing his irritatingly perfect face on magazine covers when her own business is failing. As if knowing he stole her idea and twisted it into something vile—and monumentally more successful—didn’t already make her stomach churn. As the two rival app developers clash again and again—and again—Annika finds herself drawn into Hudson Craft’s fast-paced, high velocity, utterly shallow world. Only, from up close, he doesn’t seem all that shallow. Could it be that everything she thought about Hudson is completely wrong? Could the creator of Break Up teach her what true love’s really about?

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book since the deal announcement. Two people, with opposing apps about relationships, and they’re competing for in the same investment contest. And it’s by an author whose other books I’ve loved. It seemed like such a fantastic enemies-to-lovers romance and I couldn’t wait to read it!

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Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

*Spoiler free*

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Luc O’Donnell is tangentially–and reluctantly–famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything. To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened. But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go.

Gay fake dating. Was there really anything else that I needed to know to want to read this book? Not really, because that’s what sold me. There’s also enemies-to-lovers, having nothing in common, and a guy needed a respectable boyfriend to clean up his image. Yeah, I was ready to dive right in from “gay fake dating”, but now I was completely ready.

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Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Avon and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom. When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse? Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs. Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?

When I found out about Get A Life, Chloe Brown, a book with a main character that shared a whole ton of my qualities (including my name!), I knew I had to read it. I read it and fell absolutely in love. Then, I read another one of Hibbert’s books Work For It, and fell completely in love with that one too. So, I was very eager to read another one of her books!

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