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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Comic Review: Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd


Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5-5
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Release Date: June 2018
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Soppy meets Sarah’s Scribbles in this sweet collection of comics about the simple, precious, silly, everyday moments that make up a relationship.

What began as stray doodles on scraps of paper became an internet sensation when Catana Chetwynd’s boyfriend shared her drawings online. Now, Catana Comics touches millions of readers with its sweet, relatable humor. Little Moments of Love collects just that – the little moments that are the best parts of being with the person you love.

Review:

I love this little collection of comics. It's starring this cute couple, and we get to see moments from when they first started dating, expectations versus reality, and moments as they live together and stay adorable and odd and cuddly at all times. They have a cat, and they're both introverted and sometimes work at home. It's definitely from a cute perspective, but it's also honest.
It's so very simple, and yet I love it. It was a lot of fun to read, and I will definitely pick up the next one.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Manga Review: The Water Dragon's Bride, Volume 11, by Rei Toma


Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: November 2019
Volumes: 11.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 10.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A modern-day girl gets whisked away to a strange land where she is sacrificed to a water dragon god!

In the blink of an eye, a modern-day girl named Asahi is whisked away from her warm and happy home and stranded in a strange and mysterious world where she meets a water dragon god!

Facing the gravity of his impending demise, the water dragon god vows that he will send Asahi back to her world before all his power disappears. As Asahi struggles to find a way to stay with him, she can’t deny that the day when they must part is coming. Is it truly the end for these two star-crossed lovers?

Review:

The Water Dragon God is dying, because of his relationship with Asahi, and he has the option of eating her to save himself. He's formed too many human emotions, too much of an attachment, though, to be willing to do that.
This series wraps up in a way that I definitely didn't expect. Most stories will discover a crazy solution at the last second, like he'd become human with her or something. That's not what happens here. Instead, we get to see the series all over again, only from the Water Dragon God's perspective, with new insight for how things happened and leading to this new ending.
I actually really appreciate how this worked out. And it definitely makes me want to re-read the series with these new realizations.
I feel a little bad for how Subaru fell so far in the background, given how much I loved him in the beginning. On the other side, I'm really happy with where Asahi is at the end of the series, and I'm glad we get to see her family again.
I'm really happy with how this series wraps up. It's a pleasant surprise that leaves me very pleased.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Manga Review: Shortcake Cake, Volume 5, by suu Morishita


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 2019
Volumes: 12.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 4. 6.

Goodreads Synopsis:

An unflappable girl and a cast of lovable male roommates at a boardinghouse create bonds of friendship and romance.

When Ten moves out of her parents’ home in the mountains to live in a boardinghouse, she finds herself becoming fast friends with her male roommates. But can love and romance be far behind?

Ten comes to a realization. Chiaki and Riku both have feelings for Ten, but Riku doesn’t feel that he can pursue her.

Review:

Chiaki is watching as Ten tries to get closer to Riku, trying to stay out of it and yet still ending up next to her all the time. It's no surprise that he does what he does at the end of the volume.
Honestly, I think I like the boys in this series more than Ten. She's okay, and there are definite moments that I relate to her. But also she's not all that memorable or particularly stand-out. And yet, I relate the most to Chiaki and I love him. And Riku is super sweet, too. I like that we get to see inside each of their heads, too, since the boys stand out so much and even their friendship is as important to me as everything else.
I'm a little iffy on this series, but also there's scenes that stand out and that I love so much, all at the same time.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Series Anouncement + Cover Reveal!: Hot Cakes Series by Erin Nicholas - Sugarcoated out March 24th!



Hot Cakes Series - CR Banner

Hot Cakes, an all-new delicious, laugh-out-loud series of standalone romantic comedies from New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas, is coming this spring and we have the irresistible covers!
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Sugarcoated is heating things up March 24th! 

A hot, funny brother’s best friend rom com . . . with sugar on top!
She's his best friend's little sister. He's known her all his life. He's practically part of the family. There is nothing either of them could do to surprise the other at this point.
Then she showed up in his bedroom in lingerie and asked him to take her V-card.
Now, that was a surprise.
Aiden is pretty sure Zoe was equally surprised when he told her no.
To say that he didn't handle it well would be a massive understatement. Almost as massive as the amount of work he's going to have to do now to convince her that he wants her. Forever.
Right after he tells her that he's bought the company that's her bakery’s biggest competitor.
Maybe if he tells her he’s in love with her first, that will help sugarcoat the whole we're-rivals-in-business-now thing.
So, first "I'm in love with you", then "take off your clothes", then "I'm now your business adversary".
Piece of cake.

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Pre-order your copy of SUGARCOATED today!  
  Google Play: Coming Soon!
Add Sugarcoated to your Goodreads TBR: http://bit.ly/36Etef8
 
Each Hot Cakes Title can be read as a complete standalone.
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Look out for:
Forking Around: May 2020
 Making Whoopie: June 2020
 Semi-Sweet on You: September 2020
 Gimme S’more: January 2021
Cover designed by: Angel Waters Art, LLC.
Photography by: Lindee Robinson Photography
Sugarcoated models: Chelsey Nicole & Adam Johns
Forking Around models: Kelly Marie & David Turner
Making Whoopie: Cristy Mazaris & Michael Pack
Semi-Sweet On You: Christina Engel & Camden Grigsby
Gimme S'more: Kayle Berry & Andrew Wilson


About Erin Nicholas

author-photo-1-air-232x300New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as she’s been reading them. To date, she’s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as “toe-curling,” “enchanting,” “steamy,” and “fun.” She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.

Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be “shocked” by the sex scenes in her books).

Connect with Erin
  Stay up to date with Erin Nicholas by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/38a5Fv5

Manga Review: Waiting for Spring, Volume 11, by Anashin


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: July 2019
Volumes: 13.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 10. 12.

Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s time for the New Team Tournament, and the stakes are high. If Seiryo wins, the basketball team’s ban on dating will be lifted, and if Mitsuki agrees, she and Towa can finally be an official couple. But then, Towa has a dream that he misses a crucial shot and loses to Aya … Could it be an omen?!

Review:

Both sides are amping up for the big game. There's a lot at hand, it feels like. Towa is trying hard and he's determined to win this, even if Aya is a hard competitor. They're both using this game as a reason to be bigger in real life.
Mitsuki is also using this as a reason to finally be honest about her feelings. No matter how it goes, though she's clearly rooting harder for one side.
There's a couple of sweet moments in this volume, and the new year happens. But mostly there's lots of anticipation, and then it's finally here. The game happens with a little twist at the end, which doesn't change anything for Mitsuki.
I still really like the main couple in this series, and I'm excited and curious to see where they go next.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Manga Review: Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, Volume 11, by Yasuo Ohtagaki, Hajime Yatate, and Yoshiyuki Tomino


Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: VIZ Signature (VIZ Media)
Release Date: May 2019
Volumes: 14+
Spoilers?: Yes.
Volume: 1. 8. 12.

Goodreads Synopsis:

An epic story of war and survival set in the legendary Gundam universe!

In the Universal Century year 0079, the space colony known as Side 3 proclaims independence as the Principality of Zeon and declares war on the Earth Federation. One year later, they are locked in a fierce battle for the Thunderbolt Sector, an area of space scarred by the wreckage of destroyed colonies.

Abandoning their allegiance to Zeon, Daryl Lorenz and Dr. Karla Mitchum join Federation defector Claudia Peer and head for the Nanyang Alliance's Taal volcano base to dedicate themselves to the cause of Sojo Levan Fu. Once there, they learn the full extent of the Nanyang operation to mass-produce the Psycho Zaku and the Reuse P. Device, and Sojo Levan Fu’s ultimate plan to end humanity’s fall toward inevitable destruction! Daryl and Karla are the keys to this plan, but unlocking their shattered memories has unexpected dangers.

Review:

All is apparently revealed in this volume, as Daryl shows what side he's really on and betrays the team he was originally on. Daryl and Karla join the Levan Fu side, as Daryl wants Karla to get her memory and self back. This could be great or terrible for them, though.
Everything Daryl does here is kind of hard to take, and yet his and Karla's relationship is important to him, as much as his stance on fighting. Their romance seems sweet, but also with an underlying tragedy, it seems.
Then there's the Sojo Levan Fu cause. This just feels like a terribly misleading, brainwashing cult. It felt very off reading that entire arc, as Daryl and Karla arrive and are introduced fully to it.
I'm not following this series, as I'm not a mecha reader. But this was an interesting volume.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Manga Review: Jujutsu Kaisen, Volume 1, by Gege Akutami


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: December 2019
Volumes: 9+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Yuji Itadori is resolved to save the world from cursed demons, but he soon learns that the best way to do it is to slowly lose his humanity and become one himself!

In a world where demons feed on unsuspecting humans, fragments of the legendary and feared demon Ryoma Sukuna were lost and scattered about. Should any demon consume Sukuna’s body parts, the power they gain could destroy the world as we know it. Fortunately, there exists a mysterious school of Jujutsu Sorcerers who exist to protect the precarious existence of the living from the undead!

Yuji Itadori is high schooler who spends his days visiting his bedridden grandfather. Although he looks like your average teenager, his immense physical strength is something to behold! Every sports club wants him to join, but Itadori would rather hang out with the school outcasts in the Occult Club. One day, the club manages to get their hands on a sealed cursed object, but little do they know the terror they’ll unleash when they break the seal...

Review:

From the beginning, I'm unsure who we're following. We meet Fushiguro investigating a cursed object, and then go to Itadori, who's an average high school boy. He's in the occult club, but mainly because he needed to join a club that wouldn't overlap his outside-school responsibilities. Though he's found friends there, this is all interrupted when Fushiguro shows up and demons attack the school. When Itadori swallows the cursed finger, everything for him changes.
This was a wild volume. We get thrown to a couple of different places and we follow Itadori most of the time, but Fushiguro sometimes, too. The whole plot itself is a bit crazy, really. And then we're in danger as the volume ends, so I'm curious where that will go, as I'm a little doubtful that the warning we're given will be true.
I appreciate that, while this does take the stereotypical shonen route, it feels a bit new. Particularly, the lone female character is not just here for her big boobs—she's kind of awful, honestly. We'll see how that goes, though.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Manga Review: Ao Haru Ride, Volume 7, by Io Sakisaka


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: October 2019
Volumes: 13.
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 6. 8.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The popular shojo manga series that was adapted into the Blue Spring Ride anime!

Futaba Yoshioka thought all boys were loud and obnoxious until she met Kou Tanaka in junior high. But as soon as she realized she really liked him, he had already moved away because of family issues. Now, in high school, Kou has reappeared, but is he still the same boy she fell in love with?

Futaba Yoshioka has encountered her first love again in high school, but he seems different from the boy she once knew. At the cultural festival, Futaba and Kou kiss by accident and then for real. Futaba is on top of the world until she sees Yui in Kou’s arms…

Review:

I think the drama is amping up in this series. I will admit it might not be what we expect of either Sakisaka or this series—but I'm still enjoying it.
Futaba is still having a hard time with Kou, and that Kou has kind of chosen Yui. But Futaba doesn't think that Yui is good for Kou, and that she's dragging him down. I did appreciate this sentiment, but I also didn't think her decision on how to confront this was a good idea. There was no way it was going to turn out any other way.
It's really too bad for Kikuchi, honestly. He's a good guy, and he likes Futaba a lot. But Futaba's too stuck on Kou to see anyone else. I like that we got to see Kikuchi's friends more here, and how Futaba's friends interacted with them. There's some potential there.
These series definitely don't beat around the bush. Futaba doesn't keep her feelings hidden for long. And so of course Shuko finally confronts her feelings for Tanaka, especially after she gets a reality check about what her feelings could do to his career.
I'm hopeful about where this is going, but I definitely think there's some more drama ahead.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Blog Tour (Excerpt & Review): Getting Off Easy (Boys of the Big Easy, #4) by Erin Nicholas

GOE - BT banner.jpg

Getting Off Easy, an all-new sexy, single parent romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas is available now!


GettingOffEasy300.jpgNew Orleans firefighter, James Reynaud’s true love is hanging out in the jazz clubs on Frenchmen Street and playing piano with some of the best musicians in the city. But driving his cute, bookworm neighbor Harper Broussard crazy is right up there on his list of favorite things.

The buttoned-up linguistics professor across the hall is a little older, a lot smarter, and way too good for him. And she knows it. But wow is she beautiful when she blushes.

She’s equally gorgeous when she’s saving his butt. Because now things just got serious. A baby has been, literally, dropped off on his doorstep and to say he’s in over his head is an understatement. Not that Harper knows anything about babies either. But at least they now have something in common.
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Download your copy today!
Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2rcacg1

Excerpt:

Harper reached out to lift the baby off of James, but just as her hand touched his back, James stirred.
She froze.
“Professor?”
His voice was husky from sleep, low and gravelly, and Harper’s belly flipped, heat sliding from her stomach lower, between her legs. They were in his bedroom. One of them was in bed. And that voice. And the nickname. She could hardly be blamed for her reaction.
“Hey,” she said softly.
“You okay?”
It was the middle of the night, and he was the one asleep with the thing that had just turned his life upside down, but he was asking about her? She never came to him with needs. He came to her. She nodded. “I thought I’d take him so you could get more comfortable.”
He looked down at the baby, and seemingly instinctively, his hand slid from the baby’s butt to his back. James’s hand was huge on the tiny baby, and Harper swallowed hard at the sweet picture. “He’s okay.”
“You sure? I don’t mind.”
He looked up at her. He was clearly still sleepy, maybe not fully awake. “You wanna help?” he asked.
She nodded. “Yeah.” She felt terrible for leaving earlier. It had gone against every instinct except the one that screamed at her to protect her heart no matter the cost. But she was afraid she was far past the point of that being possible.
“Then come here.”
Harper wet her lips. “Come… there?”
“Yeah.” He reached for her with his free hand and caught her around the wrist, tugging her forward.
She could have easily pulled back, broken free, resisted. But she let him urge her onto the mattress.
Harper knelt with a knee next to his hip. “How does this help?”
“Gets you up against me,” he said, his voice still sleep roughened.
Her heart skittered. “That’s helpful?”
“Can’t imagine how it will hurt.” He gave her a sleepy, but still devastatingly sexy smile. “This way you’re here if he does need something.”
Well, he had a point.
Harper stretched out on the mattress beside James. He put his arm up above his head again, not holding her, but definitely exposing plenty of surface area for her to be up against.
Oh, what the hell. She wouldn’t sleep well at her place now, wondering what was going on over here. This way she was very much here for whatever went on. And she’d wanted to be up against him for a few months now. Lord only knew what the next few days were going to bring with the baby and everything. She might as well enjoy this moment while she had it.
She scooted closer. His body was hot and hard. She swallowed with some difficulty.
Then the baby made a little grunting sound and curled and stretched against James.
This was so not how she’d ever pictured being in bed with James Reynaud. That was for sure.


 *****

Review:

 
~4 Stars
The final book in the New Orleans-based series by Erin Nicholas. Took a little longer for this one to come out, but it was definitely worth it, and was a nice ending to the series.
James is a firefighter and in a jazz band, and people know he's always there to help them. His university professor neighbor, Harper, was quiet and reserved next door, up until he started bringing his surprise problems to her for help, and thus started their courtship. When James discovers a baby at his door, it causes a whole new adventure for them to discover together.
James is a really great guy. He's always willing to help people, and they know it, and he knows it. Harper is similar, but in a different way. She's a teacher, she's smart and quiet, more reserved than he is. It takes a while for her to accept the ways that James is pulling her in. I definitely related to Harper a few times in this. She's a quiet reader, and yet she worked really well with James, because they were also a lot alike.
The ending was actually a big surprise to me. I hadn't quite clued in to where the baby came from, and I definitely didn't expect it to go in the direction that it went, to that extent. And I'm actually really happy with where it ended up. There's zero disappointment in me for this; it makes perfect sense for the characters, and I think is a really sweet way for their relationship and their dynamic to go. I was genuinely surprised and delighted by how their story concluded.
This was a really fun book in the series. I'm sad to see this arc of stories ending, as I've loved all of them. I'm curious for what's next, though.

An ARC was provided by the author and Social Butterfly for an honest review. Thank you so much!

****
author-photo-1-air-232x300.jpg About Erin Nicholas 
 
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as she’s been reading them. To date, she’s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as “toe-curling,” “enchanting,” “steamy,” and “fun.” She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.

Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be “shocked” by the sex scenes in her books).

Connect with Erin
Stay up to date with Erin Nicholas by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/38a5Fv5

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Manga Review: One-Punch Man, Volume 17, by One and Yusuke Murata


Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Shonen Jump (VIZ Media)
Release Date: August 2019
Volumes: 21+
Spoilers?: No.
Volume: 1. 15. 18.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Life gets pretty boring when you can beat the snot out of any villain with just one punch.

Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem—he just can’t seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on!

Despite his best efforts, Garo is no match for the overwhelming skill of Bang and his brother. In fact, the hero hunter is near death when the Monster Association attempts to steal him away, unleashing Centichoro in the process. Bang and company take the threat-level Dragon monster head-on before Genos boldly enters the fray!

Review:

This league of monsters is starting to get serious. Garo is fighting three heroes off, and is only interrupted when an even bigger monster comes out to play. This interrupts their fight, and makes Saitama come out of hiding long enough to win without anyone knowing. These fights where Saitama comes and wins with a single hit, after chapters of fighting, could be seen as anticlimactic. But I just find it funny how it all dwindles so quickly and goes from such serious panels to a more comedic art-style.
After all of that, there's some recovery needed. And Saitama doesn't really want to get involved unless he absolutely has to. Which now he's being forced to do, as the monster hide-out is getting closer to being discovered and a lot of deaths are going to be on the line.
This is a fun series. I do actually enjoy reading it, mainly because of how Saitama reacts and the parody of his whole character in contrast with the uber-serious heroes.


A review copy was provided by the publisher, VIZ Media, for an honest review. Thank you so, so much!