Book Review: XOXO by Axie Oh

Release Date: 13 Jul 2021

Description

Jenny’s never had much time for boys, K-pop, or really anything besides her dream of being a professional cellist. But when she finds herself falling for a K-pop idol, she has to decide whether their love is worth the risk. A modern forbidden romance wrapped in the glamorous and exclusive world of K-pop, XOXO is perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Maurene Goo.

Jenny didn’t get to be an award-winning, classically trained cellist without choosing practice over fun. That is, until the night she meets Jaewoo. Mysterious, handsome, and just a little bit tormented, Jaewoo is exactly the kind of distraction Jenny would normally avoid. And yet, she finds herself pulled into spending an unforgettable evening wandering Los Angeles with him on the night before his flight home to South Korea.

With Jaewoo an ocean away, there’s no use in dreaming of what could have been. But when Jenny and her mother move to Seoul to take care of her ailing grandmother, who does she meet at the elite arts academy she’s just been accepted to? Jaewoo.

Finding the dreamy stranger who swept you off your feet in your homeroom is one thing, but Jaewoo isn’t just any student. Turns out, Jaewoo is a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world. And like most K-pop idols, Jaewoo is strictly forbidden from dating anyone.

When a relationship means not only jeopardizing her place at her dream music school but also endangering everything Jaewoo’s worked for, Jenny has to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love. XOXO is a new romance that proves chasing your dreams doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your heart, from acclaimed author Axie Oh. 


My Review

Delightful book.

To me, it showed that what truly matters is universal. It crosses cultural boundaries. These are: Family. Friends. Hope. Love. Themes that I love in books.

The story is fast past, and does give you enough to feel complete. But it also makes you want to read about the other characters.

I received an ARC from the publisher. (Thank you!)


Let’s Chat Books

Now I’m going to bring up other books. (After all, this is a book blog. You might want to check these out too! ) This book reminded me of some other books I’ve read. For one, for a girl who is into classical music who runs into a successful pop star, there is Buxton Peaks by Julie Spencer. In XOXO, Jenny Go is an aspiring cellist. The pop star is Jaewoo. Just like in Buxton Peaks, Jenny has no knowledge of who the celebrity is. Yet, during the course of meeting him, and falling in love with him, she’ll come to know and love his music. This is probably a common theme in celebrity romance novels.

As for Kpop/Kdrama books, I thought of Jennie Bennett’s charming romances. In XOXO, Jae Woo runs away for a moment and meets our female leading lady In Runaway Pop Star, we have the same thing happening. And I enjoyed how this book made me think of other good books I have read.

For traveling to Korea, and a short whirlwind romance, I also thought of Flower Boy Tour Guide by Shannon Kent.

Again, these are delightful books. If you like Axie Oh, you’ll enjoy these too.

Remember, LOVE is UNIVERSAL! It transcends cultures. It is a powerful uniting force.

New Release: Reality Show Romance (My Korean Crush Series Book 4) by Shannon Kent

‘Til the end of the show do us part

Letty McDonnell—a hug first and ask questions later kind of gal—stumbles into an unexpected scandal with her favorite K-pop star when she spots him at the airport. Is it bad timing or a blessing in disguise? The international publicity leads to a job offer from the reality show Marry My Stalker, where the two pretend to be man and wife as they complete a variety of crazy couple missions.

Wacky challenges, jealous fangirls, and a language barrier can’t slow Letty down. Especially when she has handsome translator, Ben Park, whispering in her ear. He steers her away from cultural faux pas and offers behind-the-scenes encouragement as she maneuvers the unfamiliar public arena. But is he sincerely interested or just doing his job? The affectionate words her fake husband says for the cameras are always repeated by Ben’s caring voice, and Letty begins to wonder if a romance without spotlights or red carpets is the real path to true love.


My Review:

This book was a lot of fun.  This book starts after Flower Boy Tour Guide, where we first met our leading lady, Letty.

We start off at the airport, where a classic K-drama scene unfolds. Letty literally bumps into her favorite star and becomes an overnight gossip sensation. Not to miss out on the free publicity, the Kpop singers  agency launches a web show, Marry My Stalker. Because Letty doesn’t speak Korean, she gets her own charming translator, Ben.

From the array of  reality brides, to the camera crew, the Kpop stars themselves, and to Letty’s developing relationships with her co-stars and translator, this story will keep you turning (digital)  pages.

A delightful modern day fairy tale.

Only  $0.99 today, January 23, 2019.

Review: The Roses of Feldstone

Standing before Feldstone Manor, site of so many happy memories, Rose Davenport feels nothing but dread. Her family’s annual visit to the stately home was once brightened by her friendship with the earl’s youngest son, William, but everything changed the day his elder brother was disinherited and William became heir to his father’s earldom. From that moment, William made it clear he has no interest in continuing an acquaintance with Rose. Heartbroken, she sets out to prove that she will simply not be ignored—or outdone—by the arrogant future lord of the manor.

When his elder brother marries for love, William’s entire life changes in an instant. He does not have the same option to marry whom he chooses, and he must let go of the feelings he has harbored for his dear friend, Rose. He steels himself against her annual visits, determined to keep his feelings for her a secret. But when he makes the hasty promise to marry within six months, he never dreams that his actions will lead Rose to impulsively undertake the same challenge


 

My Review:

The beautiful cover caught my eye.   With this story, I struggled to connect and like Rose. She seemed to misread everything in her dealings with William.  The romance between the two felt forced to a few touches and kisses, and seemed out of place for a (clean) Regency romance. These two desperately needed to sit down and talk with out the snark.

Rose does have a huge heart though, and that kept me reading. I wanted a happy ending for her and William. And this book delivered that.

I received an ARC.

Review: Healing Hearts by Sarah M. Eden

 

healing hearts sarah m eden

 

Wyoming Territory, 1876

As the only doctor in the frontier town of Savage Wells, Gideon MacNamara knows his prospects for a bride are limited. The womenfolk in town are either too young, too old, or already spoken for. So, being a practical man, he decides to take advantage of the matchmaking service of the day—mail-order brides—and sends away for a woman with nursing experience.

When Miriam steps off the stagecoach in Savage Wells, she sees a bright future in front of her. But when the town—and Gideon—meets her, ready for a wedding, her excitement quickly turns to horror. Somehow Dr. MacNamara’s message had gotten turned around. He didn’t want a nurse, he wanted a wife. When she refuses to marry him, she finds herself stranded in Savage Wells with some very unhappy townspeople.

But Gideon is not like the other men Miriam has met. Embarrassed by the misunderstanding, he offers her a job, and the two begin an awkward—and often humorous—dance of getting to know each other as they work to care for the people of their town. Romance blossoms between the two, but when a former medical associate of Miriam’s arrives in town, Gideon and the other townsfolk must rally around Miriam to protect her from a dangerous fate. Gideon and Miriam must decide if they are willing to risk their hearts for each other even as buried secrets are brought to light.


My Review:

I am going to start by saying I LOVED this book.  I laughed. I cried. I felt so many emotions as I was reading.  In fact,  I finished this book quickly, staying up most of last night to finish it.  I don’t often give star ratings here in my blog, but I would give this one 5 out of 5 stars.

The   story begins  swiftly, establishing that Miriam is heading to a new life after accepting a job as a nurse in a remote western town. Right off the bat I liked our leading lady. She had some big worries, but she was obviously strong and determined. Not once was I disappointed.  Arriving in Savage Wells, eager towns folk meet her at the station and whisk her away to a wedding–which happens to be for her and the much loved town doctor, Gideon.

Gideon is in for a shock.  But he’s a good guy, and decides to give Miriam a chance. We also start seeing Gideon’s beliefs on being a doctor, which run contrary to what Miriam’s experiences have been.

The supporting cast is filled with delightful characters and one dastardly villain.

This book is set to be released February 5, 2019, just in time for Valentines Day.

I received an ARC from Shadow Mountain.

#HealingHearts #Netgalley

 

Review: Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

 

The Lie
Women in Hollywood are just pretty faces. But Silvia Bradshaw knows that’s a lie, and she’s ready to be treated as an equal and prove her worth as one of Hollywood’s newest film editors.

The Love
She and Ben Mason had worked together as editors before Silvia got her big break, so he’s the perfect person to ask for feedback on her first major film. But even as their friendship begins to blossom into something more, a lawsuit surfaces, jeopardizing both of their jobs—as well as their fledgling romance. Audrey Hepburn once said: “The most important things is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” Silvia agrees. Or she used to. It’s one thing to risk her job and her heart, but can she really risk Ben’s too? Does she have the right to make decisions for her own happiness when they affect so many other people?

The Breakfast
With everything to lose, Silvia meets Ben for breakfast at his favorite diner, Tiffany’s, for one last conversation before the credits roll on true love.


My Review

This book was fun in a lot of ways.  Silvia, a cancer survivor is both a courageous spunky woman and a woman that  is afraid of what she can’t see. Both literally and figuratively.  Will she take the risk and tell  Ben she loves him?

Ben is the perfect book boyfriend. He is loyal and willing to give up his dream for Silvia. Will she figure it out before she loses him?

Rounding out the cast is Grandma, Emma, and Walt.

Highly recommended. To say anymore will give spoilers.

 

I relieved an Advanced Reader’s Copy. (Thank you Shadow Mountain!)

New Release: How a Star Sines by Rachael Eliker

 

Kiki Loveless is the queen of pop music and has done it all on her own, without a man’s help. So, when her record label hires a bodyguard, she’s determined to protect her independence by driving him away. She soon realizes that might be a challenge since her new bodyguard is Josh Coleman, a hunky former classmate who’s surprisingly persistent.

As much as she wants to hate having him around, she can’t. He helps navigate cringeworthy paparazzi photos, handle vain male co-stars, and hold back rabid crowds who would do anything to have a piece of Kiki.

When Kiki’s ex shows up, he makes it clear he’d love nothing more than to see Kiki fail—even if it means dragging Josh down, too. With so much at stake, Kiki must decide if keeping her spot at the top of the pop charts is more important than risking it all on love.


Price: $0.99   (throughout October)
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Heat Level: Mild+


 

New Release: Barefoot Seouls

Tired of trying to make it in LA, Heather North jumps at the opportunity to teach English in Seoul. But the land of kimchi and hanboks proves problematic when she unexpectedly finds herself jobless, homeless, and friendless in a foreign country.

Enters Hwa Yoon Joon, a young man Heather met at LAX and who wants her to teach him acting lessons. This is something Heather could do, especially if it helped her with her other problems. But in his youthful enthusiasm to get training he had to lie to his mother and manager that Heather is his American girlfriend and sneak her into his own apartment, going against his contract, until he can find a better situation.

When Heather discovers that the cute Yoon is really a Kpop star she realizes that going against his “contract” has much bigger ramifications than he let on. Even being seen with him could jeopardize everything for him. She knows she has to leave him behind but she has nowhere else to go, and no one she would rather be with.


 

My Review:

This was  a darling little romantic comedy. From the moment Heather loses her shoes at the airport, she’s on a downward spiral of disaster. This is also when her Prince Charming, Yoon, steps in.

If you like sweet romance and a fairy tale happy ever after then this book is for your.


 

 

New Release: Mending the Duke by Rose Pearson

 

Lord John Royston knows about loss.

Although he was one of the richest men in the country, even all the money in the world couldn’t save his wife and first child from passing.

Even a year later, the effects of tragedy linger through the halls and empty rooms of his estate.
Wealth, though, brings an opportunity for special remedies, and out of desperation, Lord Royston’s sister arranges for a special guest from an orphanage to hopefully bring light and laughter into the Duke’s life once again for a short time.

If only the Duke was more receptive to the possibility of joy still.

Now Laura Smith finds herself chaperoning Eloise, a delightful young orphan from the house she herself was raised, for a temporary visit to the opulent but mirthless estate of Lord Royston.

As it turns out, maybe Eloise is not the only person the Duke might need to heal.

No stranger to loss herself, Laura might be the only person who can mend the Duke and help him discover love and laughter once again.

Welcome to the world of the Smithfield Market in Regency Era London, a new standalone series by Rose Pearson.

Other books by Rose Pearson:

A Smithfield Market Regency Romance Series

  • A Rogue’s Flower
  • Saved by the Scoundrel

The Duke’s Daughters Series

  • A Rogue for a Lady
  • My Restless Earl
  • Rescued by an Earl
  • In the Arms of an Earl
  • The Reluctant Marquess

rose pearson trio

New Release: Heart of Mine by Lindsay Bergman

 

 

They were never supposed to fall in love. He was the Crown Prince of Coradova. She was his best friend from childhood. Their forbidden love will cost them everything.

Twenty-year-old Madison Kavanaugh grew up in the small modern-day kingdom of Coradova, nestled on an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Enchanted by seaside villages, exotic wildflowers and the breathtaking views of an endless shimmering sea, Madison fell in love with the paradise she called home and gave her heart to the last person she ever expected.

Alexander was charming and handsome, with eyes as warm and blue as the sea. But he was more than just the loyal and protective friend Madison had grown up with. He was also the Crown Prince of Coradova.

Battling through the waves of scandal, cruel gossip and political intrigue that hounds them, Madison will fight for the hope of a life with him. But danger lurks nearby. When she starts receiving anonymous threats, Madison is caught up in a tangled web of revenge and deceit.

The enemy is closer than they realize. Although Madison’s life hangs in the balance, she will willingly risk everything for the prince who holds her heart.


 

Free for a Limited Time: A Begrudging Bride by Amelia C. Adams

Double check the price before buying.

Price is free for a few days!


Suddenly left an orphan and forced to leave behind her beloved Kentucky ranch, Camille Waterford answers an ad for a mail-order bride and begins her journey to Wichita, where she will begin her new life. When she reaches Topeka, however, she’s plagued with doubt, and decides to remain where she is, taking a job at the Brody Hotel. She plans to pay her groom back for whatever he spent to bring her out west, but she just can’t go through with the wedding. He’s not happy when he hears the news, but she needs to find her own path and discover for herself what love really is.