#BookReview: Palmetto Passion by Christina Benjamin

Premium Presentation. This is a solid start to a new series from Benjamin, and one that does its job of telling a compelling romance, creating a new world, and introducing the remaining series leads. The romance here is a tad trope heavy (billionaire heir questioning family legacy, woman on the run), but it works well even so. Overall a solid and fairly standard-ish Christina Benjamin Young Adult Romance – meaning if you’re open to the genre at all and haven’t read her works, this is a good place to start. If you’re a fan of hers already, you’re going to like this one as well. And I, for one, am looking forward to seeing just where the stories go next. ๐Ÿ™‚ Very much recommended.

This review of Palmetto Passion by Christina Benjamin was originally written on January 22, 2021.

Featured New Release of the Week: Once Upon A Cowboy Christmas by Soraya Lane

This week we are looking at a romance book written by someone I previously knew as a historical fiction author. This week we are looking at Once Upon A Cowboy Christmas by Soraya Lane.

The book itself is, as I titled the Goodreads review below, a “solid romance”. It hits billionaire, cowboy, and second chance tropes all in one book, which is a feat unto itself at times. And it works well as an entry point into the series, even though it is Book 3.

But really what I want to talk about here is that dichotomy between the genres Lane writes in and how brave – and skillful – she is for doing so. Some authors may shy away from risking splitting their fan base or not wanting to take the effort to grow a “second” fan base, and let’s face it, far too many readers will absolutely refuse to read outside of a given genre. I’ve spoken with those types online numerous times, and honestly I just don’t get them. A good story is a good story, no matter the genre or language or anything else. And Lane has conclusively proven to me that she can give me a good story in at least two different genres – so I for one would *love* to see her try even more. ๐Ÿ˜€

I absolutely love when authors are willing to take risks, whether that means staying within one genre but doing nearly every subgenre possible within it, ala the “Modern Day Master of Science Fiction” Jeremy Robinson or pushing the bounds of their given genre ala Laura Heffernan’s Gamer Girl series or outright writing in multiple genres as Lane does. And I genuinely wish more authors had the balls to do it and more readers had the balls to follow authors they know can give them good stories no matter where that author decides to push themselves. Everyone involved in publishing, from the authors through the publishers through the sellers and all the way to the readers themselves would be stronger for it if authors would challenge themselves in this way. I get playing it safe and the reasons there, and let’s face it, there is arguably a steadier income stream from the author/ publisher side when authors choose to go that route. But, well, I’m a guy that has always lived by the words of Garth Brooks’s Standing Outside the Fire: “Life is not tried it is merely survived if you’re standing outside the fire.”

Take the risk. Live a little. If you’ve never read romance before, give this one a try. If you’ve never read Lane’s work before, this is as good a place as any to start. Stop reading this review and go buy the book already. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Featured New Release Of The Week: The Man The Myth The Nerd by Maggie Dallen

This week we look at the exciting conclusion to Maggie Dallen’s High School Billionaires trilogy. This week, we’re looking at The Man The Myth The Nerd by Maggie Dallen.

This book was Tieg Larson’s long awaited story, and it did not disappoint. Dallen did the best friends to lovers thing in the first book in this series – Tall, Dark, and Nerdy – but honestly, she outdid herself by coming back to the same trope in this tale.

I’m not going to bother with a description of the tale other than this: It is effectively a happy version of A Star Is Born. Same romance-with-a-musician concept, but to me done so much better because it doesn’t have the depressive notes of that tale. Instead, we get a lot of angst about a three year separation, but we also get a truly epic concert scene to close the book.

And really, while the rest of the book was solid, it is that concert scene that really works to truly elevate this book into phenomenal territory. The entire series is fairly quick, fun reads, and this was one epic way to cap it all off. Very much recommended.

As always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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#BookReview: Tall Dark and Nerdy by Maggie Dallen

Nerds Rule! Ok, so this one was particularly fun for me because I *am* the nerd that can’t communicate well with others and often both doesn’t understand others and isn’t understood by them. Never developed an app that I then sold for mega money (or any money) but I’ve been coding almost as long as Oliver has been alive in this book, and I’ve developed a few tools to solve problems presented in my own life, much as Oliver does here. So yes, very relatable to me in particular. But also a genuinely good book with a lot of laughs and an appropriate amount of angst – let’s face it, these are teenagers we’re talking about – and it does in fact have the RWA-required Happily Ever After. Very curious to see where Dallen takes the next book in this series, and this book itself is very much recommended.

This review of Tall Dark and Nerdy by Maggie Dallen was originally published on June 17, 2019.