The Blonde Bookworm

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey -- Review

Friday, May 31, 2019


Title: Waiting for Tom Hanks
Author: Kerry Winfrey 
Pages: 320 
Publishing: June 11th 2019 by Berkley


Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.


A rom-com about a girl who is obsessed with rom-coms, is writing a rom-com, and meets a boy while working on the set of a rom-com... OH I AM SO IN! This novel was so cute and had so many great nods to old romantic comedy films and I loved every second of it. It definitely had its cheesy moments and classic romantic comedy cliches, but it was really enjoyable and fast paced. The characters were really cute and I was truly cheering for Annie by the end of the novel. 

All in all, it was a fun, fast paced, and entertaining read. I would highly recommend this to readers who enjoy rom-com novels! Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review! 

Rating 4/5 

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg -- Review

Monday, May 27, 2019

Title: The Kingdom
Author: Jess Rothenberg
Pages: 352
Publishing: May 28th 2019 by Henry Holt & Company


Welcome to the Kingdom... where 'Happily Ever After' isn't just a promise, but a rule. 

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom(TM) is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species--formerly extinct--roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful "princesses" engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time... love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana's memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty--and what it truly means to be human.


Disney World meets WestWorld. That's all I could think in this novel. I absolutely loved the worldbuilding and I could picture every scene and every exhibit perfectly as if I was there in the room. The story was absolutely fascinating, fast paced and I loved that I didn't know what would happen next. The only negative thing I could find about this novel was that it was just a little too short and rushed. I wish there was a little more buildup. Other than that, it was an amazing read! 

I would highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy YA fantasy. It was a lot of fun and kept me on my toes from the very first page to the last. I loved the futuristic feel and it made me really think about what is morally right when it comes to artificial intelligence in the future. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Fierce Reads for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 4/5 

The Royal Secret by Lucinda Riley -- Review

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Title: The Royal Secret
Author: Lucinda Riley
Pages: 528
Publishing: May 21st 2019 by Atria Books


In this suspenseful and heart-pounding novel from New York Times bestselling author Lucinda Riley, an ambitious young journalist unravels a dangerous mystery that threatens to devastate the British monarchy. 

Keeping secrets is a dangerous game.

When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of ninety-five, he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, it could rock the English establishment to its core.

Joanna Haslam, an up-and-coming reporter, is assigned to cover the legendary actor’s funeral, attended by glitzy celebrities of every background. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind—the contents of which many have been desperate to keep concealed for over seventy years. As she peels back the veil of lies that has shrouded the secret, she realizes that she’s close to uncovering something deadly serious—and the royal family may be implicated. Before long, someone is on her tracks, attempting to prevent her from discovering the truth. And they’ll stop at nothing to reach the letter before she does.

Full of salacious scandal, shocking twists, and captivating romance, and written in Lucinda Riley’s signature “vividly drawn and lushly atmospheric” (RT Book Reviews) prose, The Royal Secret is “a full-throttle escapist adventure” (Lancashire Evening Post).


This novel started out with a bang. I loved how there was a mixture of romance, mystery, and history. I really liked the first half of the book, but I had a little difficulty following the story as it went on. There were a lot of portions where the characters would imply certain things instead of saying them outright, and that became a little confusing as the book went on. I really enjoyed the novel, but it was a little hard to follow at times. 

The characters were a lot of fun and I really enjoyed getting to know each of their pasts and some of the secrets they held. This novel was entertaining and kept me on my toes, but it was a tiny bit too long and confusing at times. I would still highly recommend this novel to readers who enjoy romantic suspense novels. Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 3/5

Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Perez -- Review

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Title: Sweet Black Waves 
Author: Kristina Perez 
Pages: 448 
Publishing: June 5th 2018 by Imprint


Not you without me, not me without you.

Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them. 

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what's right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she's ever loved. 

Inspired by the star-crossed tale of Tristan and Eseult, this is the story of the legend’s true heroine: Branwen. For fans of Graceling and The Mists of Avalon, this is the first book of a lush fantasy trilogy about warring countries, family secrets, and forbidden romance.


Ok, WOW. This was totally not what I was expecting... in a really good way. I thought this was just going to be another YA fantasy retelling that was just like every other book I've read. BUT IT WASN'T AT ALL. It starts out a little innocent and juvenile, but it quickly turns into an amazing drama filled and entertaining read. I absolutely loooooved Branwen's character and Essie, eh I could take her or leave her. She was pretty annoying to be honest, but that's how her character is supposed to seem so, I'll let that one slide. Tristan was also such an interesting character and he always gave me that "too good to be true" feeling. I let you find out if that feeling was accurate or not! 

All in all, Sweet Black Waves was a wonderful surprise and I can't wait to read book two in this series. I would highly recommend this novel to readers who love YA retellings and YA fantasy. Thank you to Fierce Reads and NetGalley for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 4/5 

Mine by Courtney Cole -- Review

Title: Mine 
Author: Courtney Cole 
Pages: 304
Publishing: May 28th 2019 by Gallery Books


Tessa was prepared for the hurricane. Lindsey was the storm she didn’t see coming.

When Tessa Taylor unlocked her husband Ethan’s iPad to discover nude photos from a twenty-six-year-old bombshell named Lindsey, her seemingly perfect life came to a screeching halt.

With a hurricane barreling toward Florida and Ethan stuck on a business trip, Tessa finds herself imprisoned in her own home with a choice to make: Does she ride out the storm until she can confront Ethan in person, or does she take matters into her own hands?

Increasingly restless and desperate for revenge, Tessa resolves to act. And when she lures Lindsey over a few hours later, there’s no turning back.

What ensues is a battle of wills between two well-matched opponents, blinded by love for the same man but driven by demons of their own. Like storm-ravaged Florida, neither woman will be the same when the skies clear.


You know that feeling when your mind wanders and you have crazy ridiculous thoughts, but you remind yourself, "Oh, those are just thoughts. I would never do that"? Well... all of those crazy thoughts come out in this book. Tessa finds out her husband is cheating on her so she decides to harness those evil thoughts and unleash them on the mistress. Yall, this book is so crazy and psychotic but so amazing. I literally felt like it was every girls worst nightmare, but also exactly what they would be wishing they could do if they were in the same circumstances. 

This novel was addicting, entertaining, and flat out crazy. I think I loved it the most because it is exactly what every girl would fantasize about doing if her husband ever cheated on them. Maybe I wouldn't actually do what Tessa did... but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't at least think about it! This was a great read and I would highly recommend it to readers who enjoy suspense novels. Thank you to Gallery and NetGalley for sending a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 3/5 

All the Wrong Places by Joy Fielding -- Review

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Title: All the Wrong Places
Author: Joy Fielding 
Pages: 368 
Publishing: March 12th 2019 by Ballantine Books


Four women--friends, family, rivals--turn to online dating for companionship, only to find themselves in the crosshairs of a tech-savvy killer using an app to target his victims in this harrowing thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of See Jane Run and The Bad Daughter.

A husband's death, a difficult divorce, a brutal break-up, dissatisfaction with a boring relationship: for various reasons, four women turn to online dating, hoping to right-swipe the way to love and happiness.

Paige and Heather are cousins, locked in a lifelong rivalry that recently culminated in Heather taking Paige's boyfriend for herself, although now Heather isn't quite sure she wants him. Paige's mother, Joan, is trying to get back on her feet after the death of the love of her life two years ago. And Paige's longtime friend, Chloe, is considering giving her unfaithful husband a taste of his own medicine.

Together, the women are navigating the choppy waters of online dating, until one of them unwittingly makes a date with a killer, starting the clock on a race to save her life.

New York Times bestselling author Joy Fielding has written a complex, electrifying thriller about friendship, jealousy, and passion--a deadly combination.


I didn't really know what to expect from this novel, but I was pleasantly surprised with a fun and entertaining read. It wasn't exactly as suspense filled as I was hoping, and most of the action didn't really happen until the very end. BUT, it still held my attention and had me flipping pages late into the night. The characters were interesting and I loved the family dynamic between Paige and her mother as well as Paige and her cousin. I'm always a fan of family drama (in books, not real life)!

This novel was a lot of fun and I would highly recommend it to readers who enjoy a light suspense novel filled with high strung family dysfunction. It was entertaining to read and I think readers of all genres will enjoy this novel. Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 3/5 

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews -- Review

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Title: Sunset Beach 
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Pages: 432
Publishing: May 7th 2019 by St. Martin's Press


Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.

It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions.

With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.

Sunset Beach is a compelling ride, full of Mary Kay Andrews' signature wit, heart, and charm.


As always, Mary Kay Andrews grabbed my attention on the first page and held it until the very last page. I don't know how she does it time after time, but she creates the most addicting and entertaining stories every summer. I loved Drue's character and really enjoyed her spunk and attitude in this novel. The other characters were a lot of fun as well and I loved everything they contributed to the story. 

If you're a Mary Kay Andrews fan or love a good summer read with a mixture of romance, family drama, and murder... then this novel is PERFECT for you. I would highly recommend this novel and, as always, I look forward to more amazing books from Mary Kay Andrews in the future! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for sending this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Rating 4/5 
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