Book Review: Learning Curves by Cathryn Fox

NetGalley sent me an email encouraging me to “wish” for some select titles. I hadn’t wished for any up to that point, but this one seemed interesting, so I went for it. And I got approved! Wish granted!


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A sexy bet turns into a hot weekend and an unforgettable experience. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Watching From the Sidelines
Lauren is attracted to Linc, but he never talks to her. In fact, he spends most of his time talking and flirting with beautiful, outgoing women. He has a reputation for being a ladies man, a fact which irritates Lauren since she figures she’s the one lady he doesn’t want.

Bet Me
Linc has had a thing for Lauren for a year, and though she’s cool towards him, he can’t help feel a bit obsessed with her. At a work function hockey game, he finds out she’s actually a fan of the opposing team and makes a bet with her: winner gets the loser for a weekend to do whatever they want with them. Which would be great, except that Lauren’s ex convinced her she was bad in bed, and now she’s worried about what Linc will think of her when it proves to be true. Because Linc makes no secret about the fact that “doing whatever they want” doesn’t mean drawing unicorns and playing checkers.


Hidden Feelings
This was a short read, so the plot was straightforward and moved fast. Which means, to an extent, there was insta-love. However, I thought it was plausible within the context of the story. Linc and Lauren had been lusting after each other for a long time, but she didn’t think she was good enough for him and he got a major cold vibe from her. I’m not sure what the catalyst was for Linc to finally make his move, but I’m a fan of “secret lust that turns out to be mutual” trope.

All Rolled Into One
Short or not, all the elements of a fun romance where there: cute banter, convenient miscommunication, and the sad feels of the characters when the weekend comes an end. There’s even the misunderstanding moment where one character suddenly believes the other lied/had an ulterior motive/will never give them a chance. So pretty much all of my catnip.


The Romance Factor
There’s something satisfying about a ladies’ man being brought to his knees by a woman who doesn’t think she could ever be his type. Linc even admits that Lauren isn’t the type he’s gone for in the past, but his feelings for her are stronger than they’ve ever been for anyone else. 5/5

The Steam Factor
Basically, the book is sex. I mean, there’s romance there too, but it’s really a lot of sex. Good sex. Well written sex. And sex positivity in that Lauren has been mentally beat down by her ex and Linc is all about helping her find her pleasure and building her confidence back up. 5/5

Final Thoughts
Sometimes in short works, there’s not enough story to satisfy me, but this one did. It wrapped all of my favorite elements into a quick read that kept me hooked. I will definitely be looking for more by this author.

Book Review: Christmas Cravings by Emma Hamilton

I don’t get excited about the holidays every year. In fact, there have been some years where I’ve avoided them altogether. But this year, I’m getting pretty jazzed about them, so I’ve enjoyed grabbing some holiday themed romance novels to continue that Christmas spirit. I grabbed this one on a whim, because the words “short read” appealed to me.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

One-Sentence Synopsis
A woman starts off a melancholy holiday trying to figure out what went wrong between her and her boyfriend. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Much Christmas
If you’re looking for Christmas, there is a lot of Christmas in this book. Mia goes to Christmas festivals, eats Christmas meals, does holiday time with the family…there was no doubt that this was a Christmas book.


Renegade Elves Would Be Cool
While I think this is perfect for readers who enjoy mellow novels, there was a distinct lack of conflict and angst for me. There was a little bit, mostly centered about the misunderstanding between Tom and Mia. But overall, it was a little too slow. When the conflict ended, things became pretty standard.

Even though this can be read as a standalone, I think if I had read the other ones in the series, I might have connected with all the characters more. As it was, I didn’t really jive with any of them.


The Romance Factor
There’s romance there, mainly in the form of Mia’s memories of Tom and Tom’s heartbreak when he thinks Mia has one back to her ex-boyfriend. It wasn’t that I didn’t think there was a romance between them, it just seemed unexciting. 3/5

The Steam Factor
I think there was one reference to sex? Possibly to oral sex? I’m not even sure. I think the only steam in the story was coming off whatever cider or hot chocolate drinks they were drinking. 0/5

Final Thoughts
I think the book was solidly written and I thought the recipes at the end were a cute touch. Though I might have connected with the characters more if I’d read the other books, I’m not sure if these books fit my general reading personality.