Tag Archives: Heart Eyes Press

Homecoming by Rebecca Norinne

Overview

Title: Homecoming
Author: Rebecca Norinne, Heart Eyes Press
Series: Speakeasy Taproom #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2021

Thoughts

Rosalie and Preston have the cutest falling in love with the boy next door vibe. It’s such a pleasant little trope, one that was enjoyable to go along for the ride with. The fact that it’s not even a neighbour, but the guy who’s renting a granny flat across the driveway? It just became all that much cuter and more convenient. Rosalie and Preston also just work together beautifully in that they start out seeking each other’s companionship, which then blossoms into something more.

Rosalie’s interfering mother is kind of hilarious. She has more game than I could ever hope to have. And such a great joy of life. I honestly could not stop giggling right the way through. I mean, we’ve probably all had that awkward moment of a friend or family trying to “help” in our romantic endeavours. I don’t know how many would go full out with Marvin Gaye and candles under a starlit sky…

Rosalie’s ex on the other hand, is terrifying in his manipulations. Where her mother is doing all of her nonsense out of the good of her heart, her ex is just horrifying. The bullying, controlling attitude is bad enough. But the way he tries to manipulate things to not only destroy Rosalie’s happiness, but extort money from it? That’s bad enough. The potential for financial and legal, ruin just capped it all off.

Like certain people in Rosalie’s past, Preston’s family truly sucks. Except for his sister. Like, I believable levels of not okay behaviour going on there. Yet, for someone so strong and happy to encourage Rosalie to take back her own life, he puts up with a lot of nonsense. Yet, eventually, he figures out how to stick up for himself. Something I greatly appreciated and loved. Enough to make me look, forward to reading more Rebecca Norinne books.

<- HeartwoodSideways ->

Image source: Goodreads

Heartwood by J.H. Croix

Overview

Title: Heartwood
Author: J.H. Croix, Heart Eyes Press
Series: Speakeasy Taproom #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2021

Thoughts

Belle and Ty are a fun couple, and I found this to be a wonderful, easy contemporary romance. Plus, Phoebe, Audrey, Zara and so many others were constantly reappearing in this story. Heartwood was great and introduced me to a wonderful new author who has now been added to my shelves.

I loved that throughout this story, Croix constantly highlights that we all have our crap. That everyone is bringing some complexities and difficulties to the table. And that fact doesn’t make us unlovable. Although on the surface Belle’s issues are pretty full on, it’s actually Ty’s which almost torpedo their whole relationship. Again, everyone has their own nonsense and it’s sometimes just a little bit difficult moving through it.

I think this is my first book that features someone with bipolar disorder. I did absolutely love that fact. However, it was a very brief and broad mention. Yes, it’s Belle’s biggest challenge throughout the book. But it was more of a challenge in the fact that it made her rethink her life and thought she was letting down her loved ones. The people I’ve known living with bipolar (and there’s been many) take years to figure out their new baseline, and years to figure out their medications. On one hand, I loved that Belle’s story was so happy, but on the other, I think it oversimplified things a little.

All in all, Heartwood was a fantastic romance with a great happily ever after (as they all do). I love that mostly it’s about two people figuring out how to accept themselves and that they are worthy of love. It’s sweet and an easy read, with some really great issues at its heart. I’m definitely looking forward to reading some more J.H. Croix in the future.

<- TouchstoneHomecoming ->

Image source: Amazon

Boyfriend by Sarina Bowen

Overview

Title: Boyfriend
Author: Sarina Bowen, Heart Eyes Press
Series: Moo U #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2021

Thoughts

Oh man, Abbi and Weston are just too damn cute. And sweet. And all of the warm, happy, rainbows and puppies feelings. I mean, there’s a level of sweetness in every romance story’s couple, but for whatever reason, I found this couple even more adorable than usual. Or maybe it’s just the whole “fake romance” trope that sucked me right into all of the happy feels.

One of the standout moments in this story for me is the way that Abbi is able to completely hand it to Weston’s dad. I’ve never understood people who wallow and moan. I mean, life is too damn short and there is always a silver lining to be found. So, when Abbi gets up the father to tell him to enjoy what he has, I wanted to do a standing ovation. I wish I had the guts to stand up to people like this and tell them to find the joy in life. Gah! So much frustration.

Admittedly, alongside the amazingness of Abbi and Weston falling for one another, I loved all of the family dynamics. Particularly the moment when Weston highlights to Dalton how truly moronic he is. I feel like there tend to be 2 camps of men at times – those who are the creep/bastard/predators, and those who are kind of naive about the first camp. Dalton, whilst a well-meaning man, is firmly in the second camp. An absolute moron, but still a well-meaning one.

For those early morning baby feeds, I’m loving sinking into a good, easy book. And diving into the world of Sarina Bowen at the moment is incredibly rewarding. Boyfriend is yet another joyful step into that world. One that I look forward to repeating again and again.

<- More Heart Eyes PressBlindsided ->

Image source: Kobo

Sweetheart by Sarah Mayberry

Overview

Title: Sweetheart
Author: Sarah Mayberry, Heart Eyes Press
Series: Busy Bean #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2021

Thoughts

I was admittedly a little bit leery about reading this, after all, the blurb said that it’s a relationship between a woman and her sister’s ex. That just seems all kinds of wrong to me. But then I read it, and there is no wrong, just beautiful sweetness. I totally get why this story was called Sweetheart. It is honestly just too damn cute!!!

I found the personification of Jess to be really interesting and unique in this tale. For Beck, she’s the nightmare ex who totally messed him up, abused him and just shattered some of his sanity. In a normal story, she’d be the villain throwing a spanner in the works of the relationship going forwards. And it did do that, a lot. But then you see her through Haley’s eyes, and it’s impossible to hate her. Because although Jess has done some truly horrible things, she’s still Haley’s sister. And we tend to love and adore our families, even when they’re seriously difficult.

I also loved how Haley’s family dynamic was structured. From experience, I know that sometimes if there is a child with issues, the other one gets swept under the rug. And sometimes being the passive, easy-going one means that people can forget about your own needs and desires. Again, instead of just villainising the parents and having them as the “bad guys”, Mayberry is able to show how those dynamics can happen. Even when we love, we make mistakes and sometimes fudge things up a little.

I absolutely adored this book. The relationship between Haley and Beck was completely swoon worthy and adorable. Actually, it was just downright cute. But Mayberry was also able to deal with a whole heap of pretty intense and complex issues in Haley’s family dynamic. And provide a great reminder that even when we love each other (familial, romantic, platonic…), we still make mistakes. We just have to be open to fixing them.

<- More Heart Eyes PressCowboy ->

Image source: Goodreads

Touchstone by Karen Stivali

Overview

Title: Touchstone
Author: Karen Stivali, Heart Eyes Press
Series: Speakeasy Taproom #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2021

Thoughts

I have to admit, having Sam as the male lead was incredibly yummy. And I’m not normally all that interested in reading about hipsters. Or just hipsters in general. But, he’s Wiccan, so the hipster thing was forgiven, and I actually enjoyed getting to know this so very yummy man a little bit better… there’s just something about not only his characterisation, but also the gorgeous relationship he has with his grandmother and great-aunt that had me smiling and digging further and further into this story.

Although I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary romances lately, I actually haven’t read many that feature the internet. I love that this tale actually uses the internet and our current obsession with memes to drive the storyline. It’s kind of a cruel beginning – memes drive a woman out of her life and thrust her into a whole new one. But I do love that it is something that generally happens these days. Plus, I seriously can’t get the idea of Phoebe with a huge hunk of meat flung over her shoulder, righteously marching off.

I’ve never been to America, let alone Vermont (where I think this is set). But I love the feeling of this setting. It actually kind of made me think of the tiny towns scattered throughout the Adelaide Hills. That sense of greenery and seclusion is so peaceful as you’re travelling through the region. It’s certainly the feeling that I get when I’m journeying into this tiny town. A feeling that I look forward to returning to with the reading of Heartwood.

Not only did I really enjoy both Phoebe and Sam independently and together, I also really loved all of the cooking and food throughout. I’m definitely developing an obsession with any kind of romance that features food and cooking. It’s just too delicious and… yummmm. So I had multiple reasons to drool while reading this fantastic romance.

<- More Karen StivaliHeartwood ->

Image source: Goodreads