Book Releases and Reviews August 23, 2022 and September 6, 2022

It’s only September 6, but it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas with this week’s book releases. We’ve reviewed two books with different takes on holiday romance genre.

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood


My new favorite Ali Hazelwood novel! A neuroscientist joins a NASA project only to discover her co-leader is the grad school student who absolutely hated her. Or did he? Yep, it’s got a similar sort of mistaken-enemies-to-lovers story to The Love Hypothesis, but other aspects were different enough that it doesn’t feel like the same story rewritten. Bee is a neuroscientist and Levi is an engineer working at NASA, where they’re creating a prototype for a helmet that will enhance astronaut brain function. It was a really fun and cute story– right up until the last 10%. At that point, right when you think it’s too late for the s*th to hit the proverbial fan, things get very stressful, very fast. I think those last few chapters probably took a year off my life. I’m not mad about it exactly, but it did come out of the blue in a way I wasn’t expecting! Otherwise, a really fun, predictable read.

I will admit I was hoping for some more ace / demi rep but no such luck. Still a really fun romance.

The Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish


Take The Holiday and make it queer, and you’ve got The Holiday Trap. I think a two couple romance is tough to pull off, but I was so invested in both Greta and Truman’s story lines that I never minded when the POV switched, and I loved all the side characters. The holiday elements are a little more subtle than a lot of the more Hallmark inspired romances, with mentions of Chanukah and Christmas shopping dispersed occasionally throughout the book, but I still thought it was a wonderfully cozy holiday romance.

There’s Something About Merry by Codi Hall


A fun, very Christmas-y read. I liked the way the romance played out between Merry and Clark first over email, which helped explain why their relationship moved so fast once they got together. I think anyone who enjoys Hallmark movies or holiday romances will enjoy this.

The Decoy Girlfriend by Lillie Vale, Self-Made Boys by Anna-Marie McLemore, and The Bachelor and the Bride by Sarah M. Eden are some of the other September 6 book releases we’re looking forward to checking out.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers of these ARCs for the books for review.