Cure for Insomnia – Laina Villeneuve

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I found this to be surprisingly enjoyable. It’s my first Villeneuve book and reading the blurb I wasn’t sure if this would be too science heavy for me. Instead I found that the science was one of the things I really liked about the book.

Karla is a research scientist, spending the majority of her time working on a research project to cure blindness in those with diabetes. Her family are convinced that she works too much, and when she is volunteered to help her niece with a sleep study for her science fair, the conclusion is that she needs a girlfriend.

Remi is a judge at the science fair. She’s not sure a relationship is the right thing for her, but she’s just as intrigued by Karla as Karla is by her.

The background characters in this really helped make the narrative for me. I loved how they made the story not just about the romance and kept things really interesting. The use of these characters, especially Karla’s niece and the student she is mentoring, not to mention her amusing best friend, kept the narrative moving at a decent pace and kept me interested.

The science discussions that Karla has are depicted in a way that is not so bogged down in terminology that a lay-person can’t understand the meaning behind the scenes. I also especially liked how Villeneuve used Karla’s science and research background to allow her to communicate effectively with Remi’s brother.

Whilst I found some of the communication breakdowns between the MCs frustrating, I could understand why they happened the way they did and Remi’s reactions to the things that took place.

I wanted more from the ending. I’m not a fan of the conflict, everyone get back together, we don’t see the happy for now fully taking place, and to me that’s how this ended. I wanted more of them starting to learn to be a family, how they fully integrated properly into each others lives, that kind of thing.

I’ll definitely want to read more of Villeneuve in the future and would recommend this to romance fans.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One Little Yes – Jamey Moody

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Having enjoyed the Your Way series, I was definitely looking forward to reading One Little Yes, and it didn’t disappoint. Whilst it was missing something for me to be a five star book, I thought Moody did a great job of looking at the characters situations and approaching them from a different point of view.

Gina needs a kidney transplant. She’s had kidney disease since she was a child, and the time has finally come to look for a donor. At her best friends New Years party she meets Angel, a loner workaholic, who instantly catches her eye.

I liked both characters a lot. I especially liked how Moody dealt with Gina’s embarrassment about having to ask her friends to support her and get tested to be a donor – it’s done in a sympathetic way that doesn’t inspire feelings of sorrow for Gina.

The growth in both Gina and Angel’s feelings for each other, and the acceptance of their past reasons for not letting themselves connect with other people is also done well.

i liked the cast of characters that make up their friendship groups, and the addition of the ‘Rainbow Warriors’ from the LGBTQ+ youth group is a nice touch in giving us more opportunities to get to know Gina.

There’s no crazy conflict, a heartwarming ending and genuine communication between the pair, making this a nice romance to read when you need a bit of a book hug.

I received an e-ARC directly from the author in exchange for an honest review.

A Perfect Mess – Sienna Waters

Rating: 4 out of 5.
3.75 stars. This is a sweet, return to small hometown romance.

Del left her hometown as soon as she could. Having never quite found home elsewhere, when she gets a phone call from her father asking her to return home and look his shop whilst he’s on the run from the IRS, she takes it as a sign to quit her job and see where life takes her.

Bree never left said home town. Cheerleader and dating a football player last time she saw Del, life has changed for her somewhat. She now works at the store Del is looking after.

I enjoy reading Waters work and this definitely has some enjoyable qualities. One of my favourite parts of the book is both Del and Bree having to confront their feelings for each other. For Del, there is the not wanting to be near her high school crush, for Bree, the new feelings surrounding Del and her recent life changes. The push pull between them keeps the book interesting and the narrative flowing.

I liked how both characters weren’t what I was initially expecting from the opening chapters, and I enjoyed the small town feel of the book. I liked Del’s growth and acceptance of the town’s occupants and what it might mean for her future. Her father is also an interesting character.

Romance fans will find something to enjoy in this one.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Reach the Stars – Lily Seabrooke

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
This was a cute novella from Seabrooke.

Emmy finds herself competing in a reality TV singing contest, something she never expected would be a possibility. She’s a kind, bubbly, sweet person, who stands out both for her demeanour and her talent.

Kat is a singing contest veteran. Bowled over by Emmy, she finds herself stuck with Emmy in more ways than one. She’s just there to win and go home. Not horrible, but not exactly personable either, she is the grumpy to Emmy’s sunshine.

I have to admit the premise of this confused me at first. Reality singing contests to me mean unknown singers competing for recording contracts, not people with fan bases already, or people that have competed in these contests before, so it took me a little while to catch up my thought process on this one.

The characters work well together though. i enjoyed Emmy’s eternal optimism and the banter between her and Kat. I loved the beginning of the novella, it had me in stitches which always helps!

The way the relationship develops into a semi-friendship, then them admitting their feelings for each other always plays out well on the page. I especially enjoyed the fans shipping them and the denials that they knew anything about it.

This is a nice sweet novella that works as an interesting romance, and as a nice break from other longer reads. I’d recommend to any romance fans, especially those that are fans of musician based stories.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Spellbound – Ophelia Silk

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I really enjoyed this one. It’s not my usual thing, I rarely read fiction that involves magic and the like, nor am I historical fiction fan, but I found myself attracted to the potential storyline here and I’m really glad to say I liked it a lot.

Jane lives a relatively normal life for a farm girl, seemingly destined to marry, expected to do the things her parents want and tell her to do. We meet her at the local market, where the weather takes a turn for the worse, causing Jane to make a fateful decision.

Adelaide lives in the woods on the outskirts of Jane’s town. Born there, she’s known as the witch that scares the townsfolk. She’s guarded, protective of her lifestyle and the forest. The last thing she needs is Jane stumbling onto her patch.

I loved the blend of gentle magic and a historic tone that didn’t lean too hard into any particular historical period, or discussion of the times. The combination of the two meant I could really enjoy this, despite not normally being a fan of either genre. I was able to be taken along by the story, which moves a good pace, despite it only taking place for the most part in a time period spanning approximately a month.

I liked both Jane and Adelaide’s growth in the narrative. I appreciated them both coming to terms with their feelings, both through their exploring their own attempts at communicating with each other, and the corresponding romantic thoughts about each other. I also welcomed the fact that they didn’t magically become perfect at talking to each other, and that the conflict and communication meshed well together.

Towards the ending of the story there are some aspects I really enjoyed about the story and the inclusion of those that are different from the townsfolk. I enjoyed the sense of community and both Jane and Adelaide finding the things they had been searching for.

The magical aspects of the storyline made sense to me and were written in a way that I could enjoy and picture. It added to a kind of heartwarming sense that I got from the whole book.

I would definitely recommend this to others, and will be keeping an eye out for future Silk works.

I received an e-ARC directly from the author in exchange for an honest review.