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♪♪ We'll have a happy ending now / Taking a chance on love ♪♪

Happy Thursday!

Wow, it feels like forever since my last Thursday post/wrap-up thingy. And wow, it’s October, how did that happen?

Life update: I turned 27 on Sept 20th! Honestly 27 doesn’t feel any different than 26… It’s kind of sad that birthdays lose their specialty as you get older. I didn’t do anything special on my birthday as it was a school day, but getting birthday wishes was still pretty exciting. Also, I’ve turned in the first full draft of my Master’s thesis to my supervisor so she can go through it and give her feedback. I’m expecting at least two more edits before the thing’s ready to be submitted—I’m so having a pizza party for one the day I submit my thesis, truly.

September reading recap: It’s been a good reading month for me, I think. There were so many September releases that I enjoyed. For one, A Kiss in Lavender by Laura Florand is my 5-star read this month; it exceeded my high expectations and I wrote a long email gushing to Laura about it. I’m going to reread it before writing my review here sometime soon. Acting on Impulse by Mia Sosa is also a very great one and pretty much flawless, and so is Completely by Ruthie Knox. Lastly, Jennifer Dawson’s latest, Head Over Heels is also a winner for me. I wrote my review almost immediately after I finished because I had so many emotions about it, which literally never happen to me—unlike books I dislike, it usually takes two reads for me to properly review a book that I love. I want to make sure that I cover everything, LOL.

October has some pretty exciting releases too, and I’m looking forward to a greater reading month.

Today I'll be reviewing two titles that share a common theme: taking a chance on love. The heroes and heroines in both books are stubborn and have their own reasons as to why they think love is too good to be true, but love (and HEAs!) can be just as stubborn. I'll just stop here before I get too corny but proceed for the mini reviews! 

Amazon | ARC is received thanks to the publisher via Netgalley

Take the Lead follows Gina and Stone, two reality TV stars, as they compete with the other contenders in The Dance Off, a network-TV dance competition. Both have different reasons of joining; Gina is in it to finally win it, since it’s already her fifth season, and Stone sees the prize money as a chance to alleviate his family’s financial troubles. However, Gina realizes immediately after meeting Stone that they’re being set up for the show’s romance bait, something she’s been adamant with the producers that she would not do.

What I love most about Take the Lead is the relationship between Gina and Stone. Gina is fierce about protecting her reputation. She recognizes her privilege by being Puerto Rican on a show with a nationwide audience, so she remains resolute about doing her job to the best of her abilities and not be stereotyped as another sexy Latina, which means she needs to keep things with Stone professional. She has dreams of making it big in this cutthroat business, and she will not let anything stand in her way. Stone, on the other hand, loathes the “celebrity” life. He never wanted to be a reality star, but was pulled into it due to his loyalty to the Nielson family. Stone has his own secrets, things that will affect his family and their livelihood if they become public. I love how they grew closer the more they spent time with each other, and how they became each other’s solace. Gina and Stone have strong chemistry with each other and it’s so entertaining to watch their bond shift from colleagues to lovers. 

My only issue with the story is that the pacing felt slow in some parts and rushed towards the end, but other than that it’s a pretty solid debut, and I’ll be keeping an eye on more of this author’s works.  

Amazon (out on Oct 10th) | ARC is received thanks to the publisher via Netgalley

It was a whirlwind romance for Hannah and Grant. They met on a cruise and spent the next two weeks with each other, fell in love, and decided to get married on their last night together, before they had to return to their separate lives. But then Grant woke up to discover that Hannah had disappear…

It’s the runaway bride thing that hooked me to this book. I’m also a big fan of second chance romance, so naturally I was very interested to know how their reunion would go, and I wasn’t disappointed. Ms. Ryan did a great job packing the reasons why they married into the flashbacks we got throughout the story. Hannah and Grant had intense sexual chemistry with each other, and they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company. Sometimes when you know, you just know. 

There were a lot of cute moments when Grant decided that his wife needed some wooing in her life and proceeded to do so, and the sexy moments were A+. It was a well-developed insta-love, if I may say so myself. The only reason why this didn’t get a higher rating is because Grant keeping The Secret from Hannah and not being upfront with her about it frustrated me so much, especially since I felt it was unnecessary for him to keep it from her in the first place.

What are your anticipated October releases?
Tell me in the comments!

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