Tag Archives: rom com


Book Review: Flirting With Fate, by J.C. Cervantes

I accepted a copy of J.C. CervantesFlirting With Fate for review, as part of it’s blog tour with Literary Bound Tours.

flirting with fate cover

Ava Granados will never forgive herself for being late to her beloved nana’s deathbed. But due to a flash flood that left Ava in a fender bender with a mysterious boy, she missed her grandmother’s mystical blessing— one that has been passed between the women of her family upon death for generations. Then Nana’s ghost appears with a challenge from beyond the grave. As it turns out, Nana did give Ava a blessing, but it missed its target, landing with the boy from the night of the storm instead. Was it fate? Ava refuses to believe so.

With the help of her sisters and Nana’s rather bumbling spiritual guide, she’s determined to reclaim her share of the family magic and set Nana free. For guarded Ava, befriending some random boy is the last thing she wants to do. She’s gotten along just fine protecting her heart— keeping people at a distance is a great way to ensure no one ever hurts you. But as Ava embarks on her mission to retrieve the lost blessing, she starts to wonder if getting close to thunderstorm boy is worth the risk.

my review

This was a super sweet, low drama, young adult fantasy romance (probably closer to magical realism, honestly). True, the whole grandma can’t remember the details, but we have to do X, Y, and Z to succeed felt contrived. But not so much it ruined the story. I loved how solid the sisters’ faith in one another was. I appreciate that the different families had different, though equally valid responses to the trauma of lost family. (Though I 100% didn’t believe Achilles sudden 180° personality shift, even if it was explained.) I liked the way the older generation described fate, and that the book started out from fate’s perspective. The writing was clean and easy to read and the whole thing wrapped up satisfactorily. YA isn’t my go-to genre, but I still very much enjoyed this.

flirting with fate photo

Other Reviews:

REVIEW: Flirting with Fate by J.C. Cervantes

a christmas date banner

Book Review: A Christmas Date, by Camilla Isley

I received a Bookfunnel audio copy of Camilla Isley‘s A Christmas Date (narrated by Tami Raistrick). I read it as part of my Christmas Reading Challenge.

a christmas date camilla isley audio

No one wants to be single at the holidays.

Even Little Miss Grinch, Nikki, a successful and independent woman, must face her bachelorette status at the most horrible time of the year.

December is her personal version of holly-jolly hell: a merry torture made of couples kissing at every corner, forced vacation days, and an inescapable family reunion.

And when her baby sister announces she’s engaged—to Paul, the man Nikki is secretly in love with—and that he’s spending the holidays with them, Christmas starts looking bluer than ever.

Nikki can’t possibly survive an entire week trapped home as the family’s spinster. But she has no time to meet men or to try the newest dating app, she’s too busy working as a video producer for an advertising agency.

So what’s a girl to do?

Nikki has the perfect solution: to hire a fake boyfriend.

Luckily, her job gives her access to an endless catalog of gorgeous actors to choose from.

But Nikki will soon discover that keeping business and pleasure from mixing isn’t so easy, and that she might not be immune to a little mistletoe magic. Especially not when she picked out the perfect man as her Christmas date…

my review
I thought that this was a sweet, if formulaic holiday romance. Some of it stretched credulity. I mean Nikki believed the actor when he inferred he suddenly caught real feelings for her, when I think most people would have just thought ‘he’s a good actor.’ And I wouldn’t say there is much in terms of burgeoning romance. Love just sort of suddenly appears. The sister’s ‘Oopsie, I fell in love with the man I know you’ve loved for years, when I only meant to date him a little to annoy you’ was forgiven far too easily. Similarly, years of animosity between the sisters was erased with a single conversation. So, I wouldn’t call it overly believable. But how many Christmas rom-coms are? Diego was super sweet and the writing and narration were both good. I’d happily read another Isley book.

a christmas date photo

Other Reviews:

A Christmas Date by Camilla Isley – Book Review

Book Review: A Christmas Date by Camilla Isley

Come back tomorrow. I’ll be reviewing Mine To Five, by Tara September.

Book Review: Boyfriend Material, by Alexis Hall

I pre-orded a copy of Boyfriend Material, by Alexis Hall. (Though it must not have been through someone participating in the pre-order swag pack because I never got the activity book. No biggy, I’m not going to complain about not getting something for free, but sad face all the same.)

boyfriend materialDescription from Goodreads:

One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every way

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.


Not my favorite Alexis Hall book, but still very sweet. I’ll start with what I liked, which was everything except for two particular things. I loved Oliver with a passion that frightens me a little. I liked Lucien fine, but Oliver shook me. I liked the supportive groups of friends who tease and mock one another. I laughed a lot. And Hall writes queer books for queer readers. In a world full of MM romance written by women for women, that’s a gift (and I say that as a woman).

The two things that held me back from giving this 5 stars were kind of amorphous. One, Hall loves himself some messy heroes. Which is fine. I like messy heroes too. But I have somewhat limited patience for them. The reason is that so often, in their mess-a-tude, they slip over into cruelty towards those who care for them and I sometimes have a hard time forgiving them for it. Luc did that here. I suppose toward the end Oliver did too. But it was Luc I had trouble forgiving because it felt like a pattern with him.

And two, while I laughed a lot, some of the characters played for humor went overboard. Most of the aristocratic characters are unbelievable buffoons. I would have liked this aspect a lot more if it had been pulled back a little bit and was a tad more believable.

All in all, I call this a success in the more general sense. I did enjoy the last half more than the first half, but on the whole, it’s a winner for me. I’ll close with a humous personal anecdote. For a while, in the beginning, I was driving myself absolutely crazy because I was certain that I remembered another of Hall’s books with an Oliver in it and thought there might be a crossover. But I couldn’t figure out which book. I suspected For Real, but it seemed unlikely that Oliver would be into BDSM. Finally, a friend (P.), who has all the book on kindle started simply opening them one by one and searching Oliver. I was just deciding that I’d made the whole thing up when she messaged me that there is in fact an Oliver in In Vino, but it’s a completely different one, no crossover. What a relief to discover, at least, that my brain didn’t just decide to make it up and taunt me with it.