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.

The Last Christmas Ball – Lily Seabrooke

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
A sweet second chance romance about family meddling, strange Christmas traditions and chosen families.

This is the second book in the series after The Christmas Ball. Alice and Lisette are from two close families who have a Christmas ball every 10 years to ‘pair off’ everyone in the traditional debutante ball kind of manner, something I find hard to comprehend and certainly have no experience of, so I’m fascinated by the concept and the group of characters this brings together.

I’ve liked Seabrooke’s work in the past and I enjoyed her writing again. The setting means things can feel a little repetitive at times, especially if you read both books in quick succession, but I think Seabrooke does a good job of not making it too repetitive. This second book is more character focussed and diverse as she draws out the strangeness of the arrangement and how to modern the families.

I’m not really in the Christmas mood, I’m more in the it’s been a long 18 months and I just want to sleep mood, so at first I wanted to put this book down because I couldn’t connect with the Christmas theme, however I’m glad I persevered as I liked both of these characters in the first instalment and was happy to find out the resolution to their story.

There are a lot of secondary characters, all with their own issues and reasons for wanting things to either stay stuck in their ways or for things to move in a new direction. I was impressed that I was never lost as to who anyone was, even with two large families involved.

It’s a little on the long side, so you’ll need to make time for this book, but the storyline is worth it in the end. I’d also recommend reading the first in the series The Christmas Ball as whilst this could be read as a standalone, I don’t think it would be particularly enjoyable, as all of the characters appear in the first instalment and it sets up the romance of Lisette and Alice falling in love and all of the family dynamics that are so important in this narrative.

Also, whilst this is set at Christmastime, I don’t think you have to read it at Christmas, should you be considering this at a different time of year. There are some inherently Christmas elements of it, but at its heart it’s really about chosen families and love.

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

The Simple Answer – Lily Seabrooke

Rating: 3 out of 5.
I really enjoyed this. It’s mostly a sweet enemies to lovers story. Emily returns home from college, back to living next door to her best friend Percy and her number one enemy – her best friends sister – Vanessa.

Emily and Percy are geeks and Emily is a bit on the bumbly unsure of herself side. Whilst Emily has been away Vanessa has been trying to make amends for her previous behaviour and wants to convince Emily she’s changed.

I enjoyed Emily’s friendship with Percy, the way Vanessa’s amends were written and the build up of Emily and Vanessa becoming friends then lovers. Emily’s bumbling was a little bit frustrating at times, as was Vanessa’s being inside her head so much but I’d still classify these scenes as written well. The sex scenes are also really steamy.

I haven’t read any of Seabrooke’s other novels, but I’m definitely going to check them out now. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys the enemies to lovers trope.

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