I’ll be the first to admit that “Act Your Age, Eve Brown” was, out of the Brown sister’s series, the one I was looking forward to reading the least. From the brief snippets I saw of Eve in Chloe and Dani’s books, she always kind of annoyed me. So, to say I was a bit apprehensive about her book would be putting it mildly, but man, did Eve prove me wrong just like she did to her family. Eve is a super sunshine character with certain… quirks. She’s so afraid of failing that she quits just as things start to get hard to avoid the stigma of being a failure. It’s terribly relatable, and her parents’ reaction to their twenty-six-year-old child “failing to launch” is totally understandable, too. That’s how Eve finds herself in the country interviewing, on a whim, for the chef position of an adorable bed and breakfast. Typical romance hijinks ensue, and Eve is forced to take the job, and take care of the owner who she hit with her car, out of guilt. I really enjoyed the kind of twist on the sunshine and grumpy love interests that came out of this too, because neither is happy or grumpy just for the sake of it, which is why Hibbert is my favorite romance author.
What a perfect little novella! I was immediately enmeshed in the characters lives and their predicaments and felt like I knew them for much longer than the short novella actually allowed for. This sapphic, regency story included so many great tropes, too: one bed, forbidden romance, plus a nice little revenge plot for good measure.
I first fell in love with Axelrod’s work through “The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes”, the first book in the Lillys contemporary romance series, all featuring absolute rock star women. In this book, we follow the best drummer around—Kayla—as she tries to stay one step ahead of her secret identity getting out, and their booknerd, kilt wearing tour driver—Ty—as he tries to reclaim his life after being falsely accused of a crime. Both of them are trying to live their truth, while still hiding aspects of themselves that don’t represent the people they are. It was that connection—plus an absolute love of literature and the same taste in alt-rock music—that became the basis for this instant attraction, and slow burn romance where authenticity and consent are key.
I can’t say exactly what I was expecting from my first Ali Hazelwood book. Her romances are so beloved, and I love that they feature amazing STEM women being smart and getting the guy. And quirky. My goodness were all the ladies in this book the quirkiest things around. I didn’t read “Love Hypothesis” because the Reylo vibes aren’t my jam (but you all do you, I support it) but even so, I feel like a lot of “Love on the Brain” and “Love Hypothesis” were the same? It’s probably just the authors style, and if that’s the case, if all her books feature these things, I may be out.
This book fell victim to the hype for me—both positive and negative. I was honestly expecting amazing things from this book because it has, I thought, so many of the things I adore: dragons and riders where the dragons choose who they want based on merit, and a heroine that no one expects to survive. I love everything about that. But the hype train on this sold me on the idea that this was THE book I had been waiting for all year and, while it had a strong start and an exceptionally strong finish, I soon found the middle to be lackluster, to feel like it was slogging through a checklist of tropes that are better suited in YA novels, where this book definitely does NOT belong (not a dig at YA either, just saying).
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