Friday Fun Review: “Accidentally Engaged” by Farah Heron

Accidentally EngagedAccidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this one! (and loved the audio version too!)

This book is delicious. Well, not the actual book, but all the food mentioned had my mouth watering.



And the story was delightfully cute and funny. It’s just the right combination of food and fun for a novel.

Premise: Reena Manji hates her job. She’d rather be nurturing sourdough starters (that she’s named) and cooking than doing finance. Not to mention entertaining her parents’ meddling in her love life. Enter Nadim–an Indian Captain America with a British accent. Nice … until Reena finds out her father’s arranged for them to be married.

What I loved:
I got a view of East African-Indian culture with this novel, and it made me appreciate how connected we all are, and we don’t even realize it. The cultural descriptions and experiences were unique to these set of characters, so I didn’t get that “this is how East Africans are” or “this is how Muslims are (or aren’t in this case)” kind of feeling, but I was learning about a culture that I barely knew.

The cooking show contest scenes were AH-MAZ-ING! I am not really a fan of reality TV competitions, but I would totally watch this play out. All the purely fun and romantic stuff seems to come out in these scenes for me.



I also managed to get the audiobook, and I listened to part of it. The uplifting music, the narrators, it was an experience that made the words even more fun and cute! it was all wrapped up in this feel-good bow. Next is for this to be a Netflix movie.

What I sort of Liked:
The meddling parents that want to get her married already were hilarious! Especially near the end when family secrets are revealed. What I did not appreciate was the father’s motivation for getting her together with Nadim. That made me so angry! (But I’m pretty sure I was supposed to be). I wish Reena would have been more angry, though.



The heat level. I didn’t really research the heat level or even know what it was before reading. Sometimes I do because I specifically want a steamy romance. This one is sweet-steamy I guess is the best description. There’s heavy making out on page and language, but the sex is closed door. I usually find that as a let down. Here, it works, because everything else is so sweet and fun and cute. Also, Heron has just enough of the steamy making out that you don’t miss the unseen sex.

Overall:
This one was a deliciously wonderful read. Okay, beyond hungry right now. Gotta end this and eat something.

Did you like Accidentally Engaged? Agree with this review? Let me know in the comments.

Friday Fun Review: The Player series by Nana Malone

The review below is for Bryce the first book in Nana Malone’s 6-book series. Check out the rest of my reviews for each of these on Goodreads (link after the Bryce review) if for nothing but to see the .gifs I chose for each book! 😁😉

Bryce (The Player, #1)Bryce by Nana Malone
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s only been what… Oh, 8 months since I listened to this audiobook! High time I actually get to a review on this!
A little different than most of my reviews, I’ll talk about the series on all of these then drop a small bit about what stood out from each one in each book’s review section.

THE SERIES
The Player Series
The series itself is a sports romance series and follows a wealthy family full of athletes in different sports. Each of the kids (5 boys and a girl) finds love in the 6-book series by Nana Malone. This reminded me a lot of Jaci Burton‘s Play-By-Play series, but with the generational athlete and wealth of its prominent family added. Entertaining series that I binged on in audiobook form.


Audiobook experience
This was my second foray into audiobooks, specifically in romance audiobooks (check out my first one in this podcast episode). Sebastian York and Traci Odom are dual narrating these as this series has dual H/h POVs. As a fan of Christian Fox’s, I didn’t think I would like Sebastian York, but that low gravelly voice of his is made for steamy and erotic romance! Traci was good. However, when she did voice a few male dialogue parts, she sounded comical. Some said she sounded too old for the female MCs. I think they both sound too old. But they were good voicing the story. It didn’t take away from the plot at all. Plus who cares?
Of course, these are steamy/erotic romances, so NSFW listening (or in the carpool or kid drop-off lane).



THE BOOK
Bryce
Speaking of age, Bryce is the oldest of the siblings. This is probably why I liked this book more than some of the others in the series. As someone who’s old enough to be a few of these kids’ mother, the younger the MCs, the less I identify with them or what they’re going through. And each one of these books has these characters going through something.

Bryce is suffering from a potential career-ending injury. Tami is dealing with a dream of a tennis career put aside to deal with her mother’s illness. These two go through some struggles to make it to or back to success and to be together.

While I may not be scrambling to listen to these again, they are entertaining, sexy and they have full plots. However, listening to these would be my preferred method of consuming them 😉



Check out the rest of my reviews on each of the Player Series books HERE

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“Rock the Curves” by Twyla Turner hits the right notes

Nerdy Romantics Podcast gets a group discussion going on Episode 5, which looks at the novel Rock the Curves by Twyla Turner. In this book review and discussion, Y. M. Nelson is joined by fellow Nerdy Romantics readers Dana and Staci from YouTube’s L-5 Podcast to review what they liked…and didn’t like about the interracial romance novel with a plus-sized heroine.

This episode contains book spoilers.

We discuss:

  • The cover (which is what led me to the book. )
  • Lyris as plus-sized heroine
  • Gage as a good guy and formerly plus-sized hero
  • Lyris’ insecurities with fame, social media, and dating “out of your league”
  • Interracial romance novels in general

Other authors and books mentioned on this episode include

  • Stephen King
  • Ida B. Wells (Ida B. Wells-Barnett)
  • Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff (This is a Bookshop.org link. As an affiliate, I will receive monetary compensation for purchases from this link.)
  • Dean Koontz
  • John Saul
  • Theodora Taylor (Alien Overlords series)

Rock the Curves by Twyla Turner is available now on Amazon in eBook and paperback and in Kindle Unlimited. (This link is not an affiliate link. I do not get paid for any clicks to purchase from this link.)

The L-5 Movie Podcast episodes are available on YouTube. Subscribe by going to their channel. (Click photo for link).

Can’t find the Nerdy Romantics Podcast?

CHECK OUT THE EPISODE HERE!

Ep.5 Rock The Curves by Twyla Turner Book Chat Nerdy Romantics Podcast

Friday Fun Reviews: “The Accidental Senator” by Laura Heffernan

For those who’ve been reading my reviews, you’ll probably notice the tone of this one is different than my usual review. It’s funny! That’s probably due to being on some of the same social media networks as Laura Heffernan, author of The Accidental Senator. She’s a snarky, funny woman, and when I read this novel, I definitely heard her voice and channeled it for my review. It happens. And it makes for one enjoyable review. 🙂

The Accidental Senator (Push and Pole, #2)The Accidental Senator by Laura Heffernan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Premise What happens when a lawyer-turned write-in candidate actually becomes a state senator? Lana Chen was supporting her best friend’s campaign for Senate. Now she’s found herself occupying the seat. Don’t worry, there’s no hard feelings between the friends. But there are some hard feelings between Lana’s new mentor (Jason) and a certain lobbyist who’s caught Lana’s eye (Steve). And with a jumble of congressional bills on her desk and a crucial vote coming up, can Lana swim these political waters safely?

The story/The characters
I know, I know I know. You probably don’t want to read about people in government taking stances and debating on issues right now. Especially after the violence in the Capitol only a week or so ago (Jan 6, 2021). But this chicklit read is worth it.
No surprise that the main character is a Democrat–if you follow Laura Heffernan on Twitter, well let’s just say she’s not pro-GOP right now. It’s the thing you most want to know in a story with characters in the government, but it never really is the point is it? It’s so beside the point. You’ll quickly realize it’s more about whether your public servants are good stewards or bad ones, no matter what their political leaning.

And Lana does her best to be the Senator her constituents hoped for and need. And what a way she does it! To be someone who takes pole fitness, Lana is adorably clumsy and funny in other situations. Right away, I loved Lana. She would fit right in with those characters from Clueless if they had done a Clueless 10 years later edition. So, not like those boring people on CSPAN. Oops, those are real Congresspersons.



Lana and Jason are so unbelievably cute together (even though readers know it before Lana does).
And while I’m always about the romance, the stronger story is how Lana took a job she wasn’t prepared for, and tackled it, and won. And found out a little something about herself in the process. (icing!)



The Writing
So now I guess I should be writerly. Fine. The pacing of this one is amazing. I don’t usually talk about that, but I really appreciate when a book is a page-turner because you’re so engrossed in the story, not because you want to skim to get to the good part. In fact, if you skim, you’re going to miss something here. This story moves, baby! The language is approachable, despite being a book full of lawmakers and lawyers who tend to bloviate, (hey, I didn’t even have to look that word up!) and the antics are funny. And even though I’m not one for physical humor even the scene on the Senate floor was funny. (You’ll know the one)



Overall
If I still haven’t convinced you to pick up this book (you really should), read some of Laura Heffernan‘s other books. And then put this one (and part 1) in your TBR list for calmer political times.


View all my reviews

Friday Fun Reviews: “How to Fail at Flirting” by Denise Williams

This review is one I wrote for BookTrib.com and is featured on its front page carousel. (I’m not going to lie, I’m darn proud of that!) And for ONCE, my Friday Fun review is for a book that is NEWLY RELEASED! How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams is a great holiday present for all your girl friends (and for you!) who need a funny cute romantic comedy with some “real life complications.”

How to Fail at FlirtingHow to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dad jokes, bad jokes, single nerd sad jokes.

Whatever you call them if you love them, then you’ll love Jake and Naya’s “witty” banter in this book! But that’s not all you’ll love. Check out my full review on BookTrib.com!



View all my reviews

My Journey into Romance audiobooks with Shayla Black and Christian Fox

Why did I want to start a podcast? The idea all started with my Friday Fun Review of More Than Crave You by Shayla Black. Episode 1 goes all in on romance audiobooks. (This episode may contain book spoilers.)

I break down that whole situation plus I talk about:

  • Shayla Black’s More Than Words series in general and this book in particular
  • Connection between Evan and Evan in the freeform TV series Good Trouble
  • The erotic romance audiobook experience
  • My crush on Christian Fox (should I call it that?)

More than Crave You by Shayla Black is available in Audible. (It’s also available in eBook and paperback formats.)

Or listen to this episode here!

Ep.1: Falling in Love with Romance Audiobooks Nerdy Romantics Podcast

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FOR ANDROID USERS: Click the button below and leave a review on my podchaser page.

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Fan Love for Jennifer Weiner and “Big Summer”

Episode 2 of Nerdy Romantics Podcast is all about Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner. I have loved Jennifer’s books since Good in Bed which is now over 20 years ago. In this episode I talk about:

  • Backstory of how I became a Jennifer Weiner fan (Hint: it’s all about body positivity and being plus-sized and about my motivation as a writer.)
  • Connection between Good in Bed and Big Summer: plus-sized main characters
  • Review of Big Summer–Spoiler alert!
    • Pacing in the beginning–and what that has to do with Daphne being plus-sized
    • Friendships
    • Being a Sidekick

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