Bite Sized Books // Wonderful Reads From Before The Slump

11 August 2020

I may have been going through a blogging and reading slump but I read some good books before my slump and a few good ones during which sadly didn’t quite shift it. As such I have review back logs! I know, unheard of. Now, some of these reviews are older than others. Also, some books are fresher in my mind than others so we'll see how this goes.


Also, does anyone else forget what they have and haven't reviewed? I know I've not been blogging for a while but I had to go through and check my posts as I couldn't remember if I'd reviewed something before The Big Slump and simply forgotten about t. Book amnesia turns into blogging amnesia?


Meet Cute Club – Jack Harbon

Published: 5th May 2020

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, LGBT+

My Rating:

Jordan Collins doesn’t need a man.

What he needs is for his favorite author to release another one of her sexy supernatural novels and more people to sign up for the romance book club that he fears is slowly and steadily losing its steam. He also needs for the new employee at his local bookstore to stop making fun of him for reading things meant for “grandmas.”

The very last thing he needs is for that same employee, Rex Bailey, to waltz into his living room and ask to join Meet Cute Club. Despite his immediate thoughts—like laughing in his face and telling him to kick rocks—Jordan decides that if he wants this club to continue thriving, he can’t turn away any new members. Not even ones like Rex, who somehow manage to be both frustratingly obnoxious and breathtakingly handsome.

As Jordan and Rex team up to bring the club back from the ashes, Jordan soon discovers that Rex might not be the arrogant troll he made himself out to be, and that, like with all things in life, maybe he was wrong to judge a book by its cover.


Meet Cute Club was such an adorable read. I knew it was gonna be cute from the cover. I mean it's in the name! But it still surprised me how enjoyable it was. I ended up reading it in one evening! This was partially because it wasn't the longest book but also because I wanted Jordan to get his happily ever after. I was invested!

I will say I think if I'd have stopped reading and finished the next day (which would have been sensible as the next day I was like a zombie and had a video call with my friends) I might have found it a little cavity inducing to come back to. It was borderline too much but honestly, at the moment I read it it was perfect. And I enjoyed it. I can't say a bad word against it really, it being too cute? That's not a bad thing but very much mood thing on my part.

Jordan was an organised individual who liked to escape into romance during his free time. He loved the romance between the characters and sensibly acknowledged they were empowering. I think he also liked there were set rules for a romance and they always ended with a HEA (or happy for now ending as any decent romance should). And Rex was the douche at the bookstore who teased him about his purchases. Jordan gave him some sass back and thought that was the end of that but Rex's interest was piqued. He wanted to know what was so good about romance it had Jordan all wound up and ready to fight him on it? And that was how he read his first romance and joined the book club Jordan ran.

I loved the spark between these two. Jordan needed that teasing from Rex to keep him on his toes and Rex needed Jordan to show him how romance worked and prove that he can stay and be loved.

This wasn't too drama filled. And really when I think about it there wasn't that much story. There was the romance plot and then there was an exploration of Jordan trying to build up the book club and pursuing a new career. There was also a little Rex family drama. But I liked that the plot wasn't too heavy, it made this a great soft read to lose myself in. The cover should show it all, this a soft book... But don't let that fool you into thinking it's not good.

I haven't read that many M/M romances, but I hadn't realised I'd not read many F/F romances either. I definitely need to expand my reading. What was interesting is this was a romance written by a man, I don't read many male authors as it is but it was interesting to have romance from a male perspective.


40-Love (There's Something About Marysburg #2) – Olivia Dade

Published: 18th June 2020

Source: Author

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

My Rating:

This match is no game.

When a rogue wave strips Tess Dunn of her bikini top, desperate, half-naked times call for desperate, please-cover-me-kids-are-coming-closer measures. Enter Lucas Karlsson, AKA that flirty Swede in the water nearby. When he prevents her bare buoys from being exposed to fellow vacationers, even an ocean can’t drown the sparks that fly.

Lucas, a former top-level tennis pro now giving lessons at the resort, fled there after the abrupt, painful end to his injury-plagued career. But he’s finally ready to move on with his life—and after a few late-night, hands-on sessions with Tess, he’s eager to prove he’s the ace she wants.

But this match comes with challenges: She’s forty, and at twenty-six, he’s barely old enough to rent a car. Worse, they only have two weeks together before Tess returns to her assistant-principal life in Virginia. During that brief time, they’ll have to play hard, take a few risks, and find out whether their chemistry is a one-shot wonder…or whether they’re meant to be doubles partners for life.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Who doesn't love an age gap romance? And with the woman being older? Even better!

I always enjoy books from Olivia Dade, she just sweeps me up in her romances. I mean Teach Me? Still a favourite of mine. So it was great to see Marysburg again, even at a distance since this was all set in Florida while Tess was on vacation.

It was safe to say I loved every moment of this book. I mean, it began with boob jokes and puns and just carried on making me smile. I loved how Tess was so fine in her body and with herself. She was turning 40 and she was overweight but she was cool with that. I mean, when it came to her weight she acknowledged this may have led to her knee pain, but she was happier eating whatever and not having time to exercise rather than being miserable and thinner. She could still play a decent game of tennis so it’s not like she was unfit. I loved that message of being chill with yourself and prioritising your happiness and weight not being the be all and end of all of who you are.

Anyway, I loved Tess and she was even better when she was with Lucas flirting. I liked Lucas from the start, yes he had a dude-bro persona he projected but I could tell he was a genuinely good guy. He always let Tess set the pace but made his intentions known and he always checked in with her when he thought he was putting too much stress on her. Yes, he did learn to show more of himself, he had issues with not speaking enough about himself. But he knew his mind and what he wanted and I admired that, I didn’t have that kind of knowledge at his age… still don’t. I also liked that, for him, age was never an issue. He started his career young. He had to grow up at a young age and so yes he was younger than Tess but he is far more mature than many.

I liked that the age difference was always Tess’s issue and never Lucas’s. In fact, he fought her on it and it was a central issue Tess had to overcome in the book.

Basically, this was aces and you should all go out and buy. You’ll also really want to start playing tennis after reading (except, tennis looks hard so maybe not). It also made me want to rewatch the film Wimbledon, only for tennis related reasons obviously.


Finding Joy – Adriana Herrera

Published: 22nd June 2020

Source: Author

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBT+

My Rating:

As his twenty-sixth birthday approaches, Desta Joy Walker finds himself in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the one place he's been actively avoiding most of his life. For Desta, the East African capital encompasses some of the happiest and saddest parts of his life--his first home and the place where his father died. When an unavoidable work obligation lands him there for twelve weeks, he may finally have a chance for the closure he so desperately needs. What Desta never expected was to catch a glimpse of his future as he reconnects with the beautiful country and his family's past.

Elias Fikru has never met an opportunity he hasn't seized. Except, of course, for the life-changing one he's stubbornly ignored for the past nine months. He'd be a fool not to accept the chance to pursue his doctoral studies in the U.S., but saying yes means leaving his homeland, and Elias isn't ready to make that commitment.

Meeting Desta, the Dominican-American emergency relief worker with the easy smile and sad eyes, makes Elias want things he's never envisioned for himself. Rediscovering his country through Desta's eyes emboldens Elias to reach for a future where he can be open about every part of himself. But when something threatens the future that's within their grasp, Elias and Desta must put it all on the line for love.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Finding Joy was my first book from Adriana Herrera but it won't be my last. It was just so beautiful. I was in such a reading funk when I started, both because I'd just finished 40-Love (which was fantastic) but also my head just wasn't there with life stuff really getting me down and stopping me from wanting to read. Thankfully, I started reading this all the same and it honestly was perfect. I needed to read this to both put my real life problems into perspective but also because this romance was beautiful.

Desta was a little lost before he arrived in Addis Ababa. He had come out of a 2-year relationship he had put all of the work into only to find his boyfriend never viewed him as anything more than someone to sleep with. This was also the first time he had come to Ethiopia since he was young. The country his father had in fact died. It was a country of his childhood even though his memories of that country were fuzzy at best. And it was also a place where he intended to make some life choices about what was next. I'm so glad he went there because then we got to meet Elias. Let me tell you I was swooning as hard as Desta was for him and I loved their friendship which slowly developed before they ever admitted their feelings. I didn't realise that homosexuality was illegal there and the tension which built between them because they had to keep their feelings on the DL was brilliant.

This book was an excellent romance (although Desta needed some strong words spoken to him when he was messing Elias about because he did not deserve the cold shoulder) but it was also a celebration of such a wonderful country. When I read the author's note at the end I smiled because I could already tell there was a strong love for Ethiopia, you could feel it in how it was written, but I was so pleased to see that was because Herrera herself had such a strong love for it from her own experiences there. This was not an impulsive setting but instead a celebration of a brilliant country and the people there but also a chance to show we shouldn't be those ex-pats assuming the saviour role but instead be celebrating the loud and proud voices of those who live there.



And there are my reviews, anyone else read any of these? Do you have a favourite or have I introduced you to something new to read?

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