Thursday, February 15, 2024

Mini Reviews: More Romances

'Tis the season to curl up with a romance. Winter is not over yet! I am sharing my thoughts on a new release from the queen of romance, Ali Hazelwood. This is a departure from her usual STEM romances and while it wasn't entirely my thing, I am glad I read it. I also am sharing my thoughts on a sweet audio book that tugged on my heartstrings. 
Bride by Ali Hazelwood
Pages: 416
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pub. Date: February 6, 2024
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Loathe to Love You,
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "A dangerous alliance between a Vampyre bride and an Alpha Werewolf becomes a love deep enough to sink your teeth into in this new paranormal romance. Misery Lark, the only daughter of the most powerful Vampyre councilman of the Southwest, is an outcast—again. Her days of living in anonymity among the Humans are over: she has been called upon to uphold a historic peacekeeping alliance between the Vampyres and their mortal enemies, the Weres, and she sees little choice but to surrender herself in the exchange—again... Weres are ruthless and unpredictable, and their Alpha, Lowe Moreland, is no exception. He rules his pack with absolute authority, but not without justice. And, unlike the Vampyre Council, not without feeling. It’s clear from the way he tracks Misery’s every movement that he doesn’t trust her. If only he knew how right he was…. Because Misery has her own reasons to agree to this marriage of convenience, reasons that have nothing to do with politics or alliances, and everything to do with the only thing she's ever cared about. And she is willing to do whatever it takes to get back what’s hers, even if it means a life alone in Were territory…alone with the wolf."


Misery Lark (yes, that's her name) is the daughter of a big wig in the Vampyre world. She has gone through most of her life being used as a chess piece in various alliances with the Werewolf community. This time her father has arranged her marriage to Alpha Werewolf, Lowe Moreland. At first, Misery gives this whole opportunity a hard pass until she realizes that Lowe may be the key to finding out what happened to her best friend who disappeared in Were territory never to be heard of again. So, Misery enters this marriage of convenience with that mission in mind, but as time goes on, she realizes that there may be something between Misery and Lowe, even though they are vastly different. Also, she is surrounded by enemies, so things start to get difficult for her. Bride by Ali Hazelwood is her first paranormal romance that had me laughing out loud; it was a lot of fun!

Everything that readers have come to expect from Hazelwood can be found in Bride. There's a spicy romance that is a slow burn, witty dialogue, laugh-out-loud moments, and fantastic writing. My only issue was the world-building; I felt readers might have benefited from more setting in order to buy into the "fantasy" world a bit better. I also think I didn't love this book as much as the average romance reader because I am not sure paranormal romances are a genre I still enjoy. I really liked the genre in my twenties, but I think it didn't translate to this point in my life. I prefer Hazelwood's STEM romances, but keep this in mind--if you love paranormal romances, you will love



The Last Love Note by Emma Grey
Genre: Romance/Audio Book
Pub. Date: November 28, 2023
Publisher: Zibby
Source: Library
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "You may never stop loving the one you lost. But you can still find love again. Kate is a bit of a mess. Two years after losing her young husband Cameron, she’s grieving, solo parenting, working like mad at her university fundraising job, always dropping the ball—and yet clinging to her sense of humor. Lurching from one comedic crisis to the next, she also navigates an overbearing mom and a Tinder-obsessed best friend who's determined to matchmake Kate with her hot new neighbor. When an in-flight problem leaves Kate and her boss, Hugh, stranded for a weekend on the east coast of Australia, she finally has a chance, away from her son, to really process her grief and see what’s right in front of her. Can she let go of the love of her life and risk her heart a second time? When it becomes clear that Hugh is hiding a secret, Kate turns to the trail of scribbled notes she once used to hold her life together. The first note captured her heart. Will the last note set it free? The Last Love Note will make listeners laugh, cry, and renew their faith in the resilience of the human heart—and in love itself."



Kate and Cam are soulmates. Their romance is adorable and is told through flashbacks. Things are a little more difficult as they get older though. Kate is re-entering the workforce after having their son and things aren't going smoothly. It's one thing after another. However, their world is turned upside down when Cam receives a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. How could her brilliant professor husband have this horrible disease? As time passes, and Cam slips from her slowly, Kate receives a lot of support from her boss, Hugh. He is understanding and a great support for not only her but also Cam as they become good friends. The story also follows Kate after Cam's death and how she rebuilds her life as a single mother. Two years after Cam's death, Kate finds herself on a work trip with Hugh and not only does she finally see what is right in front of her, but she also realizes he may be withholding an important secret. Emma Grey's The Last Love Note, her adult debut, is a sweet audiobook that broke my heart and then pieced it back together slowly.  

The Last Love Note is a romance with a lot of substance. It is heartbreaking and raw, but I am glad I listened to it. The narration was outstanding (loved the Australian accent!) and the flashbacks were done well in that they developed the backstory which only further broke my heart. I applaud Grey for highlighting such a horrible and heartbreaking disease as every bit of awareness can help. I could also tell that Grey has experienced a lot of heartbreak in her own life because she writes so passionately and in a way that only someone who has experienced it firsthand could write like that. But have no fear, many moments in 
The Last Love Note were beautiful and hopeful. If you love romances with a lot of heart, look no further.

So, have you read Bride or The Last Love Note? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



  1. Oh my goodness, I don't think my fragile little heart could handle The Last Love Note!

    1. Agreed. It was really heartbreaking at times, but hopeful, too! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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