MUST-READ SPORTS ROMANCE: Playbook Series Review

Sports romance is one of the many ways you could describe my reading life in 2019 and 2020. From Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus and Briar U series to Lyssa Kay Adams’ The Bromance Book Club, I have been especially craving new adult and adult romance series that involve protagonists who are in relationships with professional athletes. I find myself rating almost all of these books 5 out of 5 stars because I genuinely enjoy them so, so much!

Enter Alexa Martin’s football romance series, Playbook, which includes Intercepted, Fumbled, and Blitzed. The wife of an ex-NFL football player, I love how Alexa Martin brings some personal experience to this series. As a football fan myself, I really appreciated how this series incorporates football alongside romance, family, friendship, and the plot overall.


My Rating: 5/5 Stars

41V+0iO3ZkL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Intercepted was easily one of my favorite binge-reads of 2019. I read this book in two sittings, between the first one hundred pages and then the remainder of the book. Intercepted follows Marlee, a website designer and long-time girlfriend of Denver Mustangs football player, Chris. Marlee struggles fitting in with the Denver Mustangs WAGS (wives and girlfriends) club, the Lady Mustangs. Things get way more complicated when a football-playing, one night hook-up from her past, Gavin Pope, joins the Mustangs. When Chris cheats on Marlee one last time, Marlee finds herself once again falling for Gavin.

Intercepted was such a fun and entertaining read. A few reviews I’ve read have had problems with Marlee’s use of hashtags, but I didn’t really mind them and found myself relating to a few. “#SaintLukeBryan” is a personal favorite of mine! Much of the plot revolves Marlee’s combatting of the Lady Mustangs with her best friend, Naomi,  and the pressure and gossip surrounding her relationship with Gavin. However, one of the other major plot lines that I really enjoyed was Marlee’s balancing her career and personal apsirations with dating a NFL star like Gavin. Marleee does not at all want to give up her career and personal goals to become Gavin’s personal cheerleader- not that Gavin expected her to. Marlee is such a strong character and Gavin gives her space while yes, helping her fight some battles.

When it comes to the romance, Alexa Martin certainly delivers on the steam. There aren’t too many romance chapters, but the five to six scenes were very well-written. Outside of the romance, I really liked this installment’s balance of plot with football Marlee certainly knows her football, and I loved how realistic the story became when it came to contracts and free agents.


My Rating: 4/5 Stars

fumbMy final read of 2019, Fumbled was another great binge-read. I didn’t loveeeee it as much as I loved Intercepted, but it was a really solid installment in this companion series. I wasn’t into the premise as much as I had been with Intercepted, but the relationship development, plot, and characters were still really well done. Fumbled follows single mother Poppy Patterson, who feels like she’s finally found a new normal while raising her nine year-old son in Denver. When she unexpectedly runs into her ex-boyfriend and starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, TK Moore, at the club she works at, their suppressed feelings for one another suddenly rush back in. There’s some pretty big secrets between the two that make their relationship anything but easy.Read More »

A 2020 FAVORITE: Harley in the Sky Review

harley-in-the-sky-9781534437128_hrSummary (from the publisher): Harley Milano has dreamed of becoming a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her heart and soul that she would be up there herself one day.

After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family, and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion, and collaboration. At the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams.


My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: 

I never thought I would prep for writing a review by watching trapeze videos, but here we are!

Akemi Dawn Bowman’s Harley in the Sky follows Harley’s dream of becoming a trapeze artist. After watching aerialists perform all her life in her parents’ famous Las Vegas circus, Harley is ready for her turn to be up there in the big top. After her parents refuse to let Harley to train with the lead artist and insist on Harley going to college instead, she feels that she has no other choice but to join the rival circus, Maison du Mystère. While training and trying to prove her worth, Harley must also face how her decisions affect her family, friends, and the past that she cannot let herself repeat.


When I picked up Harley in the Sky in early February, I had read only one 5 star read so far in 2020. That quickly changed as soon as I started reading it, soon becoming one of my favorite books of the year! I devoured Harley in the Sky over the course of three sittings, instantly falling in love with Akemi Dawn Bowman’s writing style and atmosphere. Harley in the Sky originally had me intrigued for its circus setting and The Greatest Showman meets Sarah Dessen premise. I am here to confirm that the book absolutely delivered on both fronts, while delviving into such important storylines revolving around family, friendship, mental health, identity, and yes, romance.

Although Harley in the Sky is certainly more than a ‘circus book,’ I can’t help but talk about this setting first. This is the first book I’ve ever read that takes place in the circus realm, and Akemi Dawn Bowman does such a fantastic job of setting the reader in this world. From the performers to the circus tents themselves, she does such as great job describing life at both Teatro dell Notte and Maison du Mystère.

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Book Sleeve Wishlist Part 2

The spring seems to be one of my biggest spending times of the year, right next to the start of summer and holiday season.  It must be something with the nice weather calling my wallet, as I prep for and spend days & nights out with friends, spring formals, and school ceremonies & events (including my own graduation!!). There are  also many amazing books coming out this season, so I know a trip or two to the bookstore are soon in my future. That being said, while I’m trying to be diligent about my spending, I am still my fangirl self and find myself looking at new book sleeves.

Trends come and go in the book community, but book sleeves are so here to stay! I started using book sleeves in 2018 and I 100% believe that they are worth the investment. As someone who almost always has a book in her bag, book sleeves protect my books from getting damaged. And yes, the cute designs add to my love.

Since I just received two new sleeves over the holidays (they’re Jumbeau sleeves from Book Beau and the size & zippers are EVERYTHING), I’ll be honest and admit that I probably won’ be adding any new sleeves to be collection anytime soon. However, the following sleeves may just call my name too strongly when stress window-shopping on a busy homework night.

Book Beau: Anatomical Book-Beats Traveler


I’m definitely interested in trying out Book Beau’s new Traveler size. I think the shape of it may be more friendly towards handbags, and I really like the extra storage pouch.

Book Beau: Lumos 


I’m in love with all of Book Beau’s Harry Potter inspired prints. I’d love to add them all to my collection, but Lumos particularly catches my eye. I’d probably get this one in XL, especially since all of Book Beau’s new sleeves have zippers now.

The Cozy Life: Little Red Truck

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Renegades Series Review

As a fan of  Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles and Heartless, I knew that I had to pick up her supherohero-inspired series, Renegades. Between the fact that I’m not the biggest superhero or action fan and the mixed reviews about the trilogy (at least compared to readers’ absolute adoration of The Lunar Chronicles), I admit that I put off picking up Renegades longer than I should have. However, Renegades really reminded me why I love Marissa Meyer’s writing so much! Her stories are just so unique and different from other books, and her writing style always sucks me right in. I think it’s the balance of her unique worlds with common tropes that she executes so well.

I really think the only superhero series I’ve read outside Renegades is the DC Icons series. Renegades’ superhero system is really unique, following two rival superhero groups, the Renegades and the Anarchists. Aside from the action and relationship development between rivals, Adrian and Nova, there’s so much about politics and morals to explore within the two organizations.


Today I’ll be sharing my three mini reviews for each book in the series: Renegades, Archenemies, and Supernova. I’ve provided the official summary for Renegades, and there are labeled spoiler sections for Renegades and Supernova.

511b2omc9-l._sx340_bo1,204,203,200_Renegades Summary (from the publisher):

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.


 My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I liked Renegades from the get-go, but it took me the first one hundred and fifty pages or so to get fully invested in the story. Things really picked up once Nova decides to enter the Renegades trials. I had been reading on a Friday night the week intending to read until the 200 page mark, but found myself staying up way past my bedtime and reading until the 400 page mark instead! Nova’s entrance into the trials really gets the action going. While I loved the world-building- something I love in a lot of my favorite fantasy and action reads- I was ready for the plot to really get going.

I loved the tension between Nova’s placement as an Anarchist and as a Renegade. I wouldn’t say she really transforms as a character, but there is so much to be explored about Nova. There’s definitely more chapters from Nova’s third-person perspective than Adrian’s, but I really liked both of their perspectives. Adrian’s power was my favorite. I also really liked Nova and Adrian’s relationship. Romance is not at the book’s forefront, but I loved the growth of their (very much complicated) feelings.Read More »

February 2020 Wrap Up

February was filled with some fun moments with family and friends- and all the homework and school/senior year stress- but I was content with the amount of time I was able to commit to reading this month! March is going to be an even busier month with school and work, but I have some really exciting weekend plans with friends and family coming up. While I do have work and homework to do, I just started my spring break and I’m hoping to dedicate some serious time to reading and blogging this week.


Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug | 4/5 Stars

My friends are reading Belonging in a course on the Holocaust that I’ve already taken, and I was really intrigued by this graphic novel while looking over their syllabus. Exploring her family’s life in World War II Germany, Nora Krug’s memoir is told through a variety of historical documents, letters, and photographs. It had such a unique format and a very interesting story.

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton | 4/5

I finally gave into the hype and read Chanel Cleeton’s Next Year in Havana, which I really enjoyed! Despite all of the reviews I had read before, there were a few twists I was not expecting at all!

Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman (ARC) | 5/5

My favorite read of the month and so far in 2020, I was blown away by Akemi Dawn Bowman’s Harley in the Sky. The circus setting absolutely sold and I loved the focus on Harley’s relationship with her parents.

Night by Elie Wiesel (reread) | 5/5

I’ve been reading Holocaust memoirs for my independent study this semester, which made me want to reread Elie Wiesel’s Night– I hadn’t read it since the eighth grade!

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