One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London

Dial Press – Review: 5 Stars

All opinions are entirely my own. All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

TW : very fat-phobic comments and situations, mention of sexual assault

You guys. I love watching The Bachelor and all of the spin-offs in the franchise. I do. I am not afraid to admit it. But that being said, I really wish that the franchise was so much more inclusive than it is currently. So this book is everything that I ever could have hoped for and more.

First, let’s talk about the way that this book tells this story. We do get a good portion of the story told from our female lead Bea’s perspective. Her thoughts and emotions, her conversations, her experiences, all of that. But we also get so many other types of story telling. We get some of Bea’s blog posts, conversations in a fantasy-football-type-group for the reality show that she is on, we get text and email conversations, we get online news articles, we get everything! I loved it so much. And it made this such a quick and easy read!

Now let’s talk about Bea. I loved her. She was such a strong a sassy woman, who you know has been through some real crap and come out the other side stronger and wiser, and by the time the story starts she is a boss-ass woman who doesn’t take other people’s shit. Mostly. Obviously she isn’t perfect as a character or as a feminist or whatever. She still gets caught up and lets people make her feel small sometimes. Sadly, who doesn’t? But I think watching her struggle through those moments when she couldn’t be strong, and still finding her way through them, made her all the more real and lovable. No one can be strong all of the time. And I loved getting to be a part of this journey with her. I would seriously read so many books about her and her blog and her life.

Overall I really, really loved this book. I can already tell that this is going to be a contender for my favorite read of 2020. It has moments that I was laughing out loud, it had moments that I was tearing up reading it, it had everything that I could have been looking for out of this read. It had some serious moments, some not so serious moments, and a really cool and bad-ass plus sized female lead. Honestly, I would recommend this book to just about everyone. Hey you, go read this book! I think that the perfect way to read this book is with a glass of wine, a group of girlfriends (maybe a book club?) and some really fun and trashy TV playing in the background.


The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Berkley Publishing – Review: 5 Stars

All opinions are entirely my own. All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

Listen to me discuss this book more in depth on the new episode of The Same Page Podcast, which will be released on Wednesday 9/30! Find us on iTunes and Apple Podcasts by searching The Same Page.

TW : steamy read, some medium strength language, estranged parent, some toxic masculinity

You guys. I am honestly so mad that I waited so long to read this one. This was almost a perfect read. This is the rom-com written specifically for romance readers, but that none romance readers would also potentially enjoy. So obviously, I loved it. I couldn’t put it down. I flew through this book in two sittings.

One thing that I really liked about this book was how it took the “second-chance romance” trope on it’s head a bit. When you pick up a second-chance romance book it typically involves a first love coming back and becoming your new co-worker, or the boy who broke your heart accidentally becoming your next door neighbor, or the like. And I love those books and stories. Who doesn’t at least once in their lives daydream about what it would be like it *that* ex happened to come back into our lives, see us thriving, and realize what a fool they were for letting us go? I have definitely been there. But coming at the idea of a second-chance romance from the perspective of a couple who is technically still “together,” since they are still married, was a really interesting way to change it up! I loved seeing this different side of that trope that I already love.

All in all, I seriously loved this book. Like, not only would I recommend it, but I want to make my husband and my friends and also just about everyone else in my life read this. I mean it, I really loved it. I would have started reading the second book the next day if I had a copy of it already. I can’t wait to read the second book, and I can’t wait for the third book in the series to come out. I think that this book should be read under a cozy blanket with a beer (or something equally stereo-typically “manly”) in the early evening.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown & Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Avon Books – Reviews

Hi there, friends! I read both of these awesome books back in July as a part of the Reading Rush, but I never got around to posting my reviews! Since I read them both so close together, practically one right after the other, I decided to just include both reviews in the same blog post. Let me know if you like this format for series that I may fly through like that in the future as well!

Now, without further ado, let’s jump into those reviews!

All opinions are entirely my own. All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown – Review: 5 stars

TW: chronic pain, discussion of emotional abuse

This was such a fun enemies-to-lovers read! I think my favorite thing about this read was the characters. Chloe was such a charming female lead! She is a young woman dealing with chronic pain, and trying to reinvent her life after a near death experience. And sure, maybe we can’t all relate to that exact story line, we’ve all gone through some sort of reinvention throughout our lives, which made hers a really fun and sweet story to follow. I also really loved the brief interactions that we got with Chloe’s sisters. They seemed like the three of them would have been hilarious to grow up with! All three of them are sassy, witty, and strong women that honestly, I kind of wished I was related to. I’m so glad that the next two books in the series follow her sisters, so that I get to spend time with each of them!

I do want to say that I love how it handles the diversity of it’s characters – basically never is the fact that the female lead, Chloe, is a person of color a main plot point in the way that a lot of stories make it when they are aiming to tell diverse stories. And I don’t mean that in a negative way at all – the stories with race at the center are also incredibly important, and I think that people should be reading more of them. But this wasn’t one of those stories, it was a contemporary romance. Her race wasn’t something that seemed like it needed to be explained or made relevant, she just was who she was, and looked how she did, and it felt subconscious as I was reading it, just like it would if you were reading a similar story with a white character in the lead. And while I love reading black stories where the race of the person in the lead may be a key factor in the plot (and again, I think it is important to read those stories as well to get more perspective), I also love this sort of diversity and representation. I think both types of representation are incredibly important – the struggles that people of color face every day, and stories like this that could just as easily be about our own best friend.

All in all, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a next contemporary romance read! You may be able to guess how the story goes before you necessarily get to the ending, but the journey to get there is so sweet and engaging that I don’t think they would regret the read at all. I think that the perfect setting to read this book would be taking a page out of Chloe’s book – some really comfy pajamas (maybe even a onesie!) and with lots and lots of dark chocolate at the ready.

Take a Hint, Dani Brown – Review: 5 Stars

TW : character processing grief, anxiety attacks

Oh. My. GOSH. I think I’m in love with the Brown sisters. Truly. I really loved Get a Life, Chloe Brown and thought that there was no way the sequel could top it (I mean, sequels are never as good, right?) but I almost think I might like Take a Hint, Dani Brown even better! Or maybe I just want to be Danika Brown when I grow up. Yeah, that might be part of it too.

Dani Brown is a bisexual, full-figured, bad-ass of a woman of color, and dang if she doesn’t know it! She is such a strong and confident character that she was almost addicting to read about – I absolutely needed to know what was going to happen to her next, and I needed to immediately get to the end to make sure she would get her Happily Ever After. Now throw Zafir into the mix, and it was a really great friends-to-lovers and fake-dating story! I think Zafir is definitely my latest book boyfriend. He is a former professional athlete and hopeless romantic with a heart of gold, who reads romance novels and runs his own charity. Ummm what? I loved him. And getting to see this story from both of their perspectives was so much fun, getting to see all of their sassy banter and clashing personalities meld with their intense sexual tension to create a really charming and steamy romance that I just couldn’t get enough of. And I mean it when I say steamy. I would say it is about a 4 out of 5 on the steamy scale.

I also really loved the parts of this story that circled around social media, since that is why they initially start their fake-dating journey. We get to see a couple of the comments that people are leaving on posts about them, and watch them give an interview to see if they are really #CoupleGoals, and it was all just so very sweet. I honestly just devoured this book.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone looking for a fun contemporary romance that they could potentially read and finish in a weekend. I can’t wait for the last book in the series to come out! You know I’m going to be buying and reading it that same night! I would say that the perfect way to read this book would be with a big cup of tea (or glass of wine, both good) in your favorite over-sized t-shirt and in your favorite spot on the couch. Just make sure that you get comfy, because if you’re like me you won’t want to put it down!

Links to Purchase on Amazon:

And Pre-order the third book here!

The Player Next Door by K. A. Tucker

Blog Tour: Courtesy of Valentine PR

Thanks so much to the author and Valentine PR for the complimentary advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, and blog tour participation. All opinions are entirely my own. { partner } All of my reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads

Book Description from Goodreads:

Scarlet Reed has returned to Polson Falls, convinced that twelve years away is long enough to shed her humiliating childhood identity as the town harlot’s daughter. With a teaching job secured and an adorable fixer-upper to call home, things in her life are finally looking up.

That is, until she finds out that Shane Beckett lives next door.

Shane Beckett, the handsome and charismatic high school star quarterback who smashed her heart. The lying, cheating player who was supposed to be long gone, living the pro football dream and fooling women into thinking he’s Prince Charming. Shane Beckett, who is as attractive as ever and flashing his dimples at her as if he has done no wrong.

Scarlet makes it abundantly clear that old wounds have not been forgotten. Neighbors they may be, but friends they most certainly are not. She won’t allow herself to fall for the single father and firefighter again, no matter how many apologies he offers, how many times he rushes to her aid, or how hard he makes her heart pound.

But as she spends more time with him, she begins to fear that maybe she’s wrong. Maybe Shane has changed.

And maybe this time she’s the one playing herself—out of a chance at true happiness.

Review: (4 Stars)

TW : childhood trauma, mention of infidelity, mention of bullying, injury to a minor

Despite what my “Dates Read” will say (I started this book and then put it down to finish another current read), I DEVOURED this book! The Player Next Door is a brand new second-chance romance from author K. A. Tucker. It was fairly lighthearted compared to some of her other work (though there were definitely some more intense scenes), a good middle-of-the-road steamy, and overall a delicious binge read during this continued quarantine.

Much like many others, I am a huge sucker for second-chance romances. Doesn’t everyone have that fantasy at least once or twice that their big ex, possibly love of their life, turns around and realizes that you’re the best thing that ever happened to a fool like them? Or maybe that they come back into your life just to see how you’re #thriving? I definitely have been known to. So what better type of story to throw yourself into and read over the course of about 48 hours! I loved getting to dive into all of the backstory of Scarlet and Shane’s past, and sort of getting to see both timelines (through Scarlet’s memories). It really helped me to feel invested in their story right from the word go.

As far as characters go, I thought both of our leads were extremely likable, while not immune from annoying characteristics or dumb decisions. But again, I think that getting to hear so much of their backstory really helped with falling in love with not only the characters, but also their love story in general. I found myself really aching for them when things weren’t going their way. I wanted them to succeed, and to be happy. Which I always think goes a long way! Although I will say that a few of the other characters, while more minor players in the story, really shone through for me in a way that almost stole the show for a few of the scenes! Characters like Justine specifically had me laughing right out loud at how ridiculous she could be, but how I could see myself being friends with her too. And if down the line a sequel were to come out putting my girl Justine in the spotlight, I would definitely not turn it away!

One of my favorite parts of this story was the setting – at the beginning of the book Scarlet is moving back to her small town that she grew up in. That’s another thing that always seemed so idyllic and charming to me – small town living, where you have fun town events and everyone knows everyone else. (Or maybe I just watched too much Gilmore Girls growing up?) But my favorite thing about it as a setting for this type of story that while it is a charming town, and she is getting all of that “new beginning” excitement by moving into her childhood dream house, the small town is also the catalyst for a good number of the mix-ups and challenges as well. Yes, everyone knows everyone, but that means that they also know everyone’s private business, and that is always an angle that I find really fun to read about.

Overall, I really, thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have already recommended it to more than one friend who I know will tear through it as quickly as I did, and I’m sure it will continue to come up for me in those conversations with girlfriends. As I said in the beginning, I think it is close to the perfect story to lose yourself in during what is still a fairly uncertain time. Because, much like those pesky neighbors in the book – it’s much better to get to focus on other people’s drama than on your own, right? At least, it’s certainly more fun!

About the Author:

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge. She is the USA Today bestselling author of 17 books, including the Causal Enchantment, Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, and The Simple Wild. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, First for Women, and Publisher’s Weekly. She has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance 2013 for TEN TINY BREATHS and Best Romance 2018 for THE SIMPLE WILD. Her novels have been translated into 16 languages.K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her family.

Connect with K.A. Tucker:


Link to buy on Amazon: