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I’ve totally become a romance / happily ever after book junkie. And I’m 100% unapolagetic about it!

I fell into this whole romance book genre quite by accident (thanks Lexi Ryan for your Facebook-boosted post with your enticing headline and photo for Shay’s story in the Jackson Harbor series). There was no coming back after that first introduction – Amazon and my local bookstore sincerely thank you.

After that very first book, I was down the rabbit hole – and there was no turning back. Within a timespan of less than a year I had read over 300 books – reading a book, on average, every 1-3 days. And the more that I read, the more authors I was introduced to thanks to my favorite authors’ newsletters, social media posts and groups, Goodreads, and Amazon recommendations. There’s just no kicking this habit!

The idea for this blog came when I neared that 200 book mark. My thinking was, “why not?” I was reading the books, absolutely loving them and their stories, becoming obsessed with the characters, and as a result I had found numerous communities of likeminded people who were also obsessed – just like me. So “why not” spend a little time and share feedback on my favorite books? That was at least my thought process. This way, I could keep reading (but now with a little more purpose) and enjoy experiencing new stories and authors, and hopefully help others find these gems – these books that are, yes of course, sexy and romantic, but that have amazing characters, jaw-dropping twists and turns, phenomenal writing, and complete page-turning stories that are so hard to put down – you simply can’t get enough!

In addition to your average book review, I’ve added a design element to my reviews. As a graphic designer (amongst other things), I have intimate knowledge of design. I am also someone who has always loved books and book design. For that reason I wanted to add a rating for the design of the books that I review here. Obviously, the authors aren’t the designers, but the design of a book plays such a big part. Firstly, a book’s design can dictate whether or not you even decide to pick it up and look at it. From there a book’s design can impact your entire experience of- and with a book. So for me, a book’s design is extremely important.

With that said, I hope you enjoy my book reviews and find some new favorite stories and authors just like I seem to do every week!

the book/heart rating scale

FIVE HEARTS – 5/5 – oh-my-gaaaawd!!

My 5 heart rating is reserved for my absolute favorite stories, ones that I simply cannot put down and have become an obsession – the stories that take page-turner to a different level – ones that are just perfect. These stories are the ones that have amazing characters, flawless writing, have my undivided attention the entire time, great dialogue and/or humor, are sexy as sin, and I get so lost in the story that I want to be transformed through time and space. The books receiving my 6 heart rating are the ones that everyone NEEDS to read and the ones that I’ll most likely be re-reading, many times.

FOUR HEARTS – 4/5 – just sooo good

My 4 heart rated books are the ones that are just soooo good! These, much like my 5 heart rated books, are ones that I couldn’t put down, had fantastic characters, a great storyline, humor, intrigue, are super sexy, and amazing writing. These books are the ones that checked all of my boxes and kept me completely captivated throughout. These are the books that everyone should definitely read and that you’ll find on my favs list.

THREE HEARTS – 3/5 – loved it

My 3 heart rating is reserved for the books that I loved and would highly recommend. But for me, although I loved different aspects of the story, characters, and the writing, these books are the ones that I wasn’t 110% connecting with a character or part of a story plot and it made me go “hmm” at some point – but I was still captivated and entertained by the story nonetheless – I still loved it! The books receiving my 4 heart rating are ones that I still highly recommend and read with enthusiasm and fervor..

TWO HEARTS – 2/5 – really liked it

My 2 heart rating is for the books that I really liked but left me either wanting more or left me feeling not quite connected to the character(s) or part of the story line. These are books that I had no problem flipping the pages, getting lost in- and enjoying the story, but just left me wanting something a little more that would have pushed it over the proverbial edge. And for the books receiving this rating, I’ll explain what it is that I felt was lacking for me or what I would have loved to read more of.

ONE HEART – 1/5 – it was OK

My 1 heart rated books are the ones that I found to be good but they left me wanting much more – hence they were just “OK.” I either found an issue with a character or part of the story line or even found the story line to be too predictable or just lacking, and that effected the outcome for me. These are books that I was happy to read but struggled with on some level and they left me wishing for more. With all of that said, you will most likely not find any books here with a two heart rating. Instead of giving a book a “not so desirable” rating and with the air of positivity, I’ll most likely read the book, personally just take away the positives from it, and keep the critique to myself – and not share it here.

design rating

FIVE STARS – 5/5 –
it’s perfect!

My 5 star design rating is for the books whose design is simply perfect. There’s nothing I would change and I sure as hell wish that I had designed it!

FOUR STARS – 4/5 –
i wish i designed it

My 4 star design rating is reserved for the books whose design blew me away – and I wished I had designed them – because it is outstanding in all aspects. Perhaps most importantly, the design of the books rated here helped enhance the reading experience in all aspects, beginning with the design of the cover which for this rating has an amazing (and beyond relevant) image, fonts, colors, and the layout is kick-ass! And that kick-ass design is then carried throughout to the interior design of the book. The layout, fonts, and graphic elements on the book’s interior design are thoughtful, have purpose, and help enhance the reading experience. And critically, the book’s text font choice is a great one with an appropriate size and makes reading and legibility a non-issue. The design of the book has also adjusted (as possible) for weird breaks, widows, and orphans so it is a non-issue. Overall the 4 star rating is reserved for the books that I wished I had designed, I love them that much.

phenomenal design

My 3 star design rating is for the books whose design I found to be phenomenal. This rating is almost exactly like the 4 star rating, but the design just had a thing or two that made them miss out on a 4 star rating. Most of the time it is the result of what I deemed a “design miss” or typography issue in the book itself – OR – the cover didn’t quite captivate me. But despite those, I found the design to be phenomenal

TWO STARS – 2/5 –
great design

My 2 star design rating is for the books whose design I found to be great. The books receiving this design rating are ones that, although showing a great cover, layout, font and graphic elements, missed the mark a little bit. Oftentimes these books could have had a better font choice, or could have had a tighter layout, but most often books falling into this rating showed examples of typography issues such as widows and orphans (that could have been avoided), or the book’s reading font should have been better or larger to help with legibility – OR – the cover just wasn’t quite there for me.

ONE STAR – 1/5 –
OK design

My 1 star design rating is for the books whose design started impacting how I perceived the book. These books, starting with the cover and following through to the interior, had design flaws that started negatively impacting my experience of the story. That said, the design was more or less OK, but could have been better.

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