2020 Book #29 – The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson

Title: The Accidental Beauty Queen
Author: Teri Wilson
Date finished: 5/17/20
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: December 4, 2018
Pages in book: 305
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

In this charming romantic comedy perfect for fans of Meg Cabot and Sophie Kinsella, critically acclaimed author Teri Wilson shows us that sometimes being pushed out of your comfort zone leads you to the ultimate prize.

Charlotte Gorman loves her job as an elementary school librarian, and is content to experience life through the pages of her books. Which couldn’t be more opposite from her identical twin sister. Ginny, an Instagram-famous beauty pageant contestant, has been chasing a crown since she was old enough to enunciate the words world peace, and she’s not giving up until she gets the title of Miss American Treasure. And Ginny’s refusing to do it alone this time.

She drags Charlotte to the pageant as a good luck charm, but the winning plan quickly goes awry when Ginny has a terrible, face-altering allergic reaction the night before the pageant, and Charlotte suddenly finds herself in a switcheroo the twins haven’t successfully pulled off in decades.

Woefully unprepared for the glittery world of hair extensions, false eyelashes, and push-up bras, Charlotte is mortified at every unstable step in her sky-high stilettos. But as she discovers there’s more to her fellow contestants than just wanting a sparkly crown, Charlotte realizes she has a whole new motivation for winning.

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I read this book as part of Bout of Books 28.

I hadn’t had a chance to read this when it came out back in 2018 but I had originally requested it because it sounded very interesting and the cover is so cute. I’ve never read anything by this author before but this book was great! This book was a perfect blend of Miss Congeniality, The Parent Trap, and Pride and Prejudice. There were so many great bookish references – lots of Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice references. This is a great read for a book lover! Overall it was a really sweet story and the plot line was well constructed and implemented. I thought that the ending all wrapped up a little quickly though. There was a lot of emotional growing that Charlotte went through during the book and I would’ve liked to witness more of the confrontation / result with Charlotte and her parents and also Ginny. This book was just so fun and entertaining, I really enjoyed it and I would recommend reading it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2018 Book #9 – A Wedding at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer

51INum1JGELTitle: A Wedding at Two Love Lane
Author: Kieran Kramer
Date finished: 1/25/18
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Pages in book: 346
Stand alone or series: #2 in the Two Love Lane series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Never say never when it comes to love in A Wedding at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer.

Greer Jones has made a real name for herself at the elegant matchmaking agency Two Love Lane. For a lot of reasons—including a past engagement she broke off—practical tech expert Greer is more interested in the business of love than the experience of it, but she can’t help but covet a gorgeous wedding gown that’s the prize in an upcoming cocktail-party contest. In a moment of brazen inspiration, Greer asks a handsome Brit she’s only just met to accompany her to the party. He agrees—and Greer believes her date is a starving artist. Little does she know the truth. . .

Ford Smith, as he calls himself, is actually Stanford Elliott Wentworth Smythe, the Eighth Baron of Wickshire. Fresh off a breakup with a money-grubbing siren who deceived him all the way to the altar, Ford has no desire to fall in love—especially with Greer who, like the desired wedding gown, is beautiful but only skin-deep. But soon Ford realizes that there’s more to Greer than meets the eye. Her professionalism is matched only by her passion for life and love. . .and, best of all, she has no idea that he’s to the manor born. Could it be that true love is priceless after all?

My rating:  1.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I didn’t care for this one, as is fairly evident by my rating on it. I don’t like to give books low ratings but I also have to be honest about how I personally felt about the book. That’s not to say that others won’t like it (it has a fairly high average rating on Amazon) but just says that I didn’t care for it based on my own tastes. This would be a good book for someone who likes a love story and is looking for a book that is a light read full of quirky characters. That being said, these were a few of the things that I personally did not care for about the book:

-The main character was supposedly this smart tech geek who created an algorithm for her match making company, and yet she talked constantly like a complete ditz and it was really jarring for her character to be such too polar opposites
-I could not get on board with a lot of what was going on in Greer’s life. She has a call with her parents that makes her start to feel like a loser for being single and makes her question herself which I didn’t agree with. I tend to like stronger female leads who are secure in who they are first and are looking for a partner to complement them, not necessarily complete them
-There were a lot of plot points that didn’t make logical sense to me. There was just a whole lot going on in this book and not all of it got resolved. What ended up happening with Teddy? Why did Ford renege on his promise to have a painting for this fancy show, won’t there be a lot of repurcussions for that? And who in their right mind asks a complete stranger to split a bid at an auction over $5,000 for a dress and tell the male stranger that if you win you can share it? That one really just floored me.

So overall suffice it to say I didn’t end up enjoying this one. Not that it was bad, just that too many pieces of the story line and the characters didn’t fit for me.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #2 – Ready Set Rogue by Manda Collins

513l5lczll-_sx303_bo1204203200_Title: Ready Set Rogue
Author: Manda Collins
Date finished: 1/6/17
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: #1 in the Studies in Scandal series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

WHO WILL WRITE THE BOOK OF LOVE?
When scholarly Miss Ivy Wareham receives word that she’s one of four young ladies who have inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate with a magnificent private library, she packs her trunks straightaway. Unfortunately, Lady Celeste’s nephew, the rakish Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is determined to interrupt her studies one way or another…
Bequeathing Beauchamp House to four bluestockings―no matter how lovely they are to look at―is a travesty, and Quill simply won’t have it. But Lady Celeste’s death is not quite as straightforward as it first seemed…and if Quill hopes to solve the mystery behind her demise, he’ll need Ivy’s help. Along the way, he is surprised to learn that bookish Ivy stirs a passion and longing that he has never known. This rogue believes he’s finally met his match―but can Quill convince clever, skeptical Ivy that his love is no fiction?
Don’t miss Ready Set Rogue, the first in Manda Collins’ new series set in Regency England!

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I was lucky enough to do an author interview with Manda, you can see my post with that, an excerpt from the book, and other information here. This book was about Ivy Wareham, the daughter of a professor and an extremely talented linguist/translator who has recently been granted a partial inheritance from someone she’s never met. Lady Celeste Beauchamp has left her estate to 4 intelligent young women, all of whom are extremely eager to use Lady Celeste’s extensive library and other resources to continue expanding their knowledge and the body of their own work in their separate fields of study. But Celeste’s nephew (Quill) is determined to fight this as he is not happy about his aunt giving away his childhood refuge to four strangers. Then Ivy and Quill discover Celeste was murdered and they must join together to solve the mystery of who murdered her and why. And as they spend more and more time together trying to solve this particular mystery, they realize that fate may have brought them together for a reason: true love.
Overall I really liked this book. I loved that the heroines in this series are all extremely intelligent young ladies, and after being introduced to them all in the first book I can already see how different and interesting each of their characters will be. Ivy was fierce and intelligent and I just loved her as a character. And the relationship that developed between her and Quill was passionate but it was more than that too, it was full of real emotion and love. This book did have a lot of characters to keep track of but I think that will only add more depth to the other girl’s stories when they each get told. I think this was a good read and a great start to a new series. I would definitely recommend.

The bottom line: This was a great book! I loved that the author chose to portray such intelligent heroines, they were all very interesting. The plot was creative and kept me interested. And the tension between the hero and heroine was emotional and heart-warming. Loved it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

Read-a-Romance Month!

readaromance

For all of you who didn’t know, August is National Read-a-Romance month! And to celebrate, there is a website and Facebook page designed by Bobbi Dumas dedicated to all of us readers who just love romance novels. Each day multiple romance authors are interviewed about how they began writing romance novels and why the genre means so much to them. There are also contests, giveaways, and suggestions from authors on their favorite reads. 

read a romance calm

So make sure to check out the interviews as they are posted this month! Below are 2 of my favorites from last year’s interviews:

1. Kristan Higgins: http://www.readaromancemonth.com/2013/08/day-5-kristan-higgins/

2. Elizabeth Hoyt: http://www.readaromancemonth.com/2013/08/day-11-elizabeth-hoyt-adventure-and-spirit-and-love/

And if you’re new to romance and aren’t sure where exactly to start, I read an article recently that might be helpful! The article was written by Kelly Faircloth and posted on jezebel.com. The article gives good suggestions on books to read if you’re new to the romance genre. I’ve only read 2 on the list so far but the rest are on my TBR listing. Here is a link to the article: http://jezebel.com/so-you-want-to-get-into-romance-novels-start-here-1597552701

So make sure to read a romance novel this month! Or at least check out the interviews on ReadaRomancemonth.com. The authors being interviewed are all so inspiring and many of them last year reminded me why I love romance novels so much!

celebrate romance

Link to Read-a-Romance month website: http://www.readaromancemonth.com/

Link to Read-a-Romance month facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ReadARomanceMonth