The Cheat Sheet
By: Sarah Adams
|I received a complimentary copy of this eARC from NetGallery and Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.|
I was unreasonably excited and simultaneously nervous to start 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝘾𝙃𝙀𝘼𝙏 𝙎𝙃𝙀𝙀𝙏 by Sarah Adams
You see I fell deep into the Sarah Adams RomCom rabbit hole sometime after Covid hit, yup totally smitten by her work but especially her writing style. When I heard her new book would be available as an eARC I immediately signed up not thinking I would have even the slightest chance of being selected as I wouldn’t exactly call myself a bookstagrammer though I shamelessly recommend her books to just about everyone. So imagine my surprise when a copy of 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝘾𝙃𝙀𝘼𝙏 𝙎𝙃𝙀𝙀𝙏 dropped on my shelf.
You may be wondering why I’d be nervous to start this book. Have you ever discovered an author who writes such amazing and well-rounded characters you do not want the book to come to an end because you need to follow their story past the last page? That for me is Sarah Adams and even before I laid eyes on the first page I knew I it would be break me to let these characters go.
𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝘾𝙃𝙀𝘼𝙏 𝙎𝙃𝙀𝙀𝙏 is a perfectly balanced tightrope between the friends-to-lovers and fake-dating tropes. It is obvious from the very first page that Bree Camden has is bad for her best friend since HS Nathan Donelson ... only one slight problem, so does just about every other woman in the country. You see Nathan is the starting QB for the LA Sharks who are in the run for the Super Bowl. It doesn't help that he is sculpted like a Greek god either. Oh and she's pretty sure he views their relationship as completely platonic in a brother/sister kind of way. Yeah so no chance of that happening.
"𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘺 𝘨𝘢𝘻𝘦 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘳𝘦, 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦, 𝘶𝘮𝘮 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘰, 𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘥𝘰𝘯'𝘵 𝘰𝘨𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴' 𝘣𝘶𝘵𝘵𝘴" - Bree Camden
Just as Sarah's other RomComs 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝘾𝙃𝙀𝘼𝙏 𝙎𝙃𝙀𝙀𝙏 is a dual perspective book and it doesn't take long before it is revealed Nathan would move heaven and earth for Bree. She is the rock he can always count on while his career has taken on a life of its own and requires him to stretch himself to the limit if not further. He grew up in a home where success wasn't an option it was a requirement so he tends to overwork himself and carry more than his fair share of the load. Bree however sees Nathan for who is really is - generous, kind, reliable and drop-dead-gorgeous. Yet somehow they are stuck in the dreaded 𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘥-𝘻𝘰𝘯𝘦, Nathan enlists his team mates to come up with a plan to show Bree he is ready to risk it all for a chance to be with her.
"𝘐 [...] 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘵 𝘮𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘴 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘭 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘪𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘮𝘺 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘣𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘦. 𝘊𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘮𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘪𝘭 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘤𝘬? 𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘣𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵." - Nathan Donelson
I love that Sarah isn't afraid to be quirky, goofy and downright embarrass her characters. you can always count on a few laugh-out-loud moments from Sarah's books and 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝘾𝙃𝙀𝘼𝙏 𝙎𝙃𝙀𝙀𝙏 is no exception. Another layer to this book was addressing mental health. I loved seeing that representation in this book and felt Sarah dealt with it beautifully. It can be messy, it can be scary and it was wonderful to see our MCs setting an example of how to care for one another.
This was such a fun, easy read. I loved the tug and pull between our characters as they tested their feelings under the guise of a fake relationship. This is definitely one of my favourite Summer 2021 reads and I cannot wait to add the paperback to my collection when it release August 17, 2021.
Thank you Sarah Adams, Netgalley and Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op for the opportunity to review this book.
From the Author:
Hi, my name is Bree Camden, and I’m hopelessly in love with my best friend and star quarterback Nathan Donelson (so is half of America, judging by the tabloids and how much the guy dates). The first step is admitting, right? Except, I can never admit it to him because he clearly doesn’t see me that way, and the last thing I want is for things to get weird between us.
Nothing but good old-fashioned, no-touching-the-sexiest-man-alive, platonic friendship for us! Everything is exactly how I like it! Yes. Good. (I’m not crying, I’m just peeling an onion.)
Our friendship is going swimmingly until I accidentally spill my beans to a reporter over too much tequila, and now the world seems to think me and Nathan belong together. Oh, and did I mention we have to date publicly for three weeks until after the Super Bowl because we signed a contract with...oops, forgot I can’t tell anyone about that!
Bottom line is, now my best friend is smudging all the lines and acting very un-platonic, and I’m just trying to keep my body from bursting into flames every time he touches me.
How am I going to make it through three weeks of fake dating Nathan without anything changing between us? Especially when it almost-sort-a-kinda seems like he’s fighting for a completely different outcome?
Buckle up for a slow burn, sports romance with combustible chemistry from the first chapter, laugh-out-loud humor, and easy to love characters. The Cheat Sheet has all the sizzle, but no on-page explicit content
My Cone and Only
By: Susannah Nix
I received this book for free from NetGallery in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This is my very first book by Susannah Nix but it certainly will not be my last. If you enjoy a relatively light and easy read, the brother’s best friend trope and some steamy open door romance then 𝘔𝘺 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘖𝘯𝘭𝘺 should be on your Summer 2021 must read list.
Talk about steamy. Andie Lockhart and Wyatt King have secretly loved each other since high school ... the only issue is neither of them knows how the other feels. Wyatt being the best friend of Andie's older brother Josh knows she is off limits and swore to his friend years ago he wouldn't mess with her. For good reason, you see Wyatt has a bit of a reputation as a ladies man, he knows how to work the room and and often leaves with a new girl on his arm. Wyatt comes from a big family and much like a Hallmark movie they employ most of the population of the small town he calls home. However, he has aspirations and dreams of his own and never really was one to fall in line and do as his father told him.
Andie works for the state park and wildlife department as a resources specialist and isn't much of a girly girl. After she inherited her grandmothers house and her parents moved away it has just been her, her brother Josh, their aunt Birdie and Josh's best friend Wyatt. Actually she'd spent a lot of time with her brother and Wyatt over the years and while she hasn't been able to recover from her high school crush she is convinced Wyatt sees her more as a little sister than a potential love interest.
Things really start to turn around when Andie runs into some trouble with her HOA and calls Wyatt for help. 𝘔𝘺 𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘖𝘯𝘭𝘺 may sound like your run of the mill brother’s best friend trope however author Susannah Nix adds so many layers to her characters and has build the MCs relationship on such a strong foundation of friendship and mutual respect for Josh. Andie is portrayed as a strong independent woman and I quickly found myself rooting for her to find "the one". Wyatt took quite a while to grow on me but there is so much to his story and as the author peels back the layers of this character you really start to fall for him. There is just one (OK maybe a few) things standing in their way. At the end of the day will Andie and Wyatt risk it all for love or will Josh get his way?
One last note; I really appreciated the author including a trigger warning about the mentions of cancer and past death of a parent/sibling at the beginning of this book.
From the Author:
Wyatt King isn’t looking for love…because he’s already found it.
Too bad she’s off-limits. He’s not going to be the jerk who messes around with his best friend’s little sister, so he keeps his feelings bottled up and settles for acting as her protector instead.
Andie Lockhart’s dreamed of kissing Wyatt for as long as she’s known what kissing is. But since he’s dated nearly every woman in town but her, she’s long since accepted he’ll never see her as anything more than his best friend’s tomboy little sister.
When a real estate developer threatens the beloved old house Andie inherited from her grandmother, her white knight Wyatt swoops in with his handyman skills to save the day. But the more time they spend working on the house together, the harder it becomes to ignore their irresistible attraction.
Until the night an accidental kiss blows the lid off those feelings they’ve both kept buried.
After that, things between them get a lot hotter—and a lot more complicated. Forbidden love, broken promises, family secrets, and jealousy all threaten to tear them apart. If he intends to hold on to the woman he loves, Wyatt will have to put everything on the line.
One Night Only
By: Catherine Walsh
I received this ARC for free from NetGallery and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I loved it! I cannot believe this is Catherine's debut novel, it was so good! If you are going to read this book make sure to carve out some time because you will not want to put it down.
Sarah Anderson is a thirty something single woman living in New York City. She has a very strict "one night only' rule when it comes to men in part due to a previous relationship and her family history. She does not get involved and so far it has been working out just fine. That is until she meets Declan Murphy. Not only is he reluctant to leave the next morning but as it turns out he is the younger brother of her best friends fiancée.
When the two meet again at said best friends gorgeous Irish wedding just days later things take a turn. She tries to play it cool but Declan doesn't get the memo and outs their previous encounter in front of friends and family. Try as she might Sarah just can't seem to get away from Declan. Away from him and his charming, confident and annoyingly handsome self.
The chemistry between Sarah and Declan is undeniable but they both carry a heavy load from the past which complicates matters. Sarah is reluctant to let herself fall and trust in love again after a previous boyfriend broke her heart and Declan's past isn't exactly tied up in a neat little bow.
This book offered lots of back and forth, highs and the lows. Some moments were so laugh out funny and other times I found myself so frustrated with Sarah for her inability to let go of her past and give Declan a chance. I loved that the characters weren't perfect, they had baggage, the relationship build slowly, they made mistakes but in the end kept being drawn to each other. Too often romcoms lean too close to fairytales but this seemed real and slightly messy.
I would definitely recommend this book, it is the perfect summer read.
From the Author:
Who could have predicted this? Being at the same wedding. In Ireland. There’s a reason one-night stands are one-night stands. You’re not supposed to see each other again, especially not when you’re the maid of honor, and he’s the groom’s brother…
Sarah Anderson has never been more excited about anything in her life. She’s going to her best friend’s wedding. And not just any wedding. An Irish wedding. Goodbye New York, hello rolling green hills and men with beautiful accents and twinkling eyes.
But Sarah should have known that not all guests are fairy-tale princes…
There’s the chinless Uncle Trevor, whose idea of small talk is to claim climate change is a conspiracy.
Then there’s Great Aunt Eileen, who doesn’t talk at all (she’s too busy replacing the hotel cutlery with her own set).
Worst of all, there’s Declan Murphy. Best man. Brother of the groom. And the man Sarah last saw naked.
Is there anything more mortifying than bumping into a one-night stand halfway across the world? Especially as Declan seems determined to embarrass Sarah at every turn. At least when the wedding’s over she’ll never have to see him again.
But, back in New York, Sarah finds the more she tries to forget Declan, the more she can’t shake the thought of that infuriatingly charming smile and the way he wears a tux…
Was he really just for one night only, or might Declan Murphy be The One?