Erotica, New Adult, New Adult Romance

My Review: Flock (The Ravenhood #1): by Kate Stewart

Publish Date: July 27th , 2020
Number of Pages: 364 Pages
Publisher: Independently Published
Genre(s): New Adult Romance, Erotica

Total Star Rating: 4.5 Stars

The truth is, I do expect a lot out of my love story and the man I’ll share it with. I expect passion and butterflies, and one or two fairy tale moments. When we fight, I want it to hurt. When we fuck, I want to feel it with every fiber of my being. When a man confesses his love to me, I expect him to mean it. I don’t want to question the words’ authenticity. I want to be claimed and owned and ruled and possessed by love.

– Kate Stewart, “Flock”

What It’s About:

The official synopsis:

Can you keep a secret?

I grew up sick.⁣

Let me clarify.⁣

I grew up believing that real love stories include a martyr or demand great sacrifice to be worthy.⁣

Because of that, I believed it, because I made myself believe it, and I bred the most masochistic of romantic hearts, which resulted in my illness.⁣

When I lived this story, my own twisted fairy tale, it was unbeknownst to me at the time because I was young and naïve. I gave into temptation and fed the beating beast, which grew thirstier with every slash, every strike, every blow.⁣

Triple Falls wasn’t at all what it seemed, nor were the men that swept me under their wing. But in order to keep them, I had to be in on their secrets.⁣

Secrets that cost us everything to keep.⁣

That’s the novelty of fiction versus reality. You can’t re-live your own love story, because by the time you’ve realized you’re living it, it’s over. At least that was the case for me and the men I trusted my foolish heart to.⁣

Looking back, I’m convinced I willed my story into existence due to my illness.⁣

And all were punished.


Okay, so I can definitely see what the hype about with this book was all about!

I don’t remember when exactly, but it felt like not too long ago this trilogy made a big sweep into bookish social media and it was EVERYWHERE…so many people were all of a sudden talking about these books, but also how they tore open their chest and made them cry their eyes out and stole a piece of their soul….you know, normal stuff booklovers say. I even had friends send me pics of them bawling their eyes out from these books and I’m more like “okay……….consider me more intrigued!”

It was a fast read despite being a character-driven storyline; the fact that the main drive of the story is told through the perspective of the main character, and she’s constantly guessing what’s happening and is obviously being kept out of the loop on A LOT of things going on….and so of course, we as readers are too.

The story revolves around Cecilia moving to a small town named Triple Falls to move in with her estranged father. Things had been tense growing up as he’s abandoned her and her mother but suddenly wants to change all that and have her in his life. He is defs not winning any father of the year awards and remains cold and distant and even has her refer to him as “sir” whenever they actually speak amongst one another. Her father is the richest man in town and owns the largest factory where she’ll have to work for one whole year in order to get an inheritance and own the business herself one day. The reason she even decides to go with this ridiculous sounding plan is because her mom’s health is deteriorating, and Cecilia figures her father can pay them back for all he’s robbed them of since her birth.

Cecilia also meets two particular boys: Sean and Dominic. Sean is like a golden Cali-surfer boy without a care in the world, and Dominic at first feels like a very stereotypical teen romance love interest: stoic, broody, tall, dark, handsome, and a total asshole that the girl somehow still gets the hots for. Despite being polar opposites, both are drawn to Cecilia–oh and she’s feelin it too–and the book follows the three of them on what is an eventual summer for the three of them…in more ways than one!

The book was both intriguing and frustrating at the same time with the guessing, but I will admit it definitely keeps you wanting to read to see how the answers are laid out before you.


That’s the truth,’ I add, ‘people don’t want the brutal truth in love stories anymore, but that, there,’ I gesture at the screen, ‘is the brutal, ugly truth.’

– Kate Stewart, “Flock”


What I Liked:

  1. It Really Keeps You Guessing! The main drive of this story is that the author really does a wonderful job of keeping you out of the loop with what is all going down for so much of the story.
  2. The Characters! Cecilia had some sass to her, which I can appreciate! She was very typical feisty teen heroine, but that’s honestly okay with me! She was still likable which is the most important part for a main character for me. The author made me care about her and root for her in the end!
  3. The Spice! Insert pun about things heating up in the summer with this book! There’s a float scene that was very eyebrow raising and I wish more scenes like that appeared throughout!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Not Much of an Outer Plot Until End of Book…Until you reach the near end of the book and an outer plot is finally revealed to you, most of this book is very character driven with it being told by Cecilia’s perspective with plenty of guessing games, but @chan on Goodreads says it perfectly in her review: imagine if in Twilight when Edward is being all sketchy and shady and eventually reveals he’s a vampire…imagine if that was the end of the book and that’s kind of the situation here a little bit. Once the big reveal of Flock makes itself known, a lot of things start to make sense and things tie together and you become invested, but again…some readers might not enjoy that this doesn’t happen until 95% into the book.
  2. The Guessing Got Tedious…Part of you definitely becomes frustrated alongside Cecilia when over and over again she asks questions and she gets no answers, or a lot of it is simply left up in the air. Most of it is even with Sean, who even says he’s more open and honest than most people so that felt really contradictory, and I feel like maybe even the author does this a little too much to drive the fact home about how well kept the secrets are and how tightly knit it all is. Or maybe not…I’m kind of torn on it. I think I’m not too annoyed about it, but I can see other readers really turned off by this. I’ll admit I got frustrated, but more in the sense that kept me wanting to read and get answers, so in a way it works! I guess this critique depends on the type of reader you are…


Overall, I easily got into this book and saw what the hype about it was! It kept me reading late into the night and can say I think this book is a great choice for anyone to read who is in a slump and just needs something to jolt themselves awake with their reading. It definitely did just that for me!

I was happy to say this book didn’t tear apart my insides and rip my heart from my chest and leave me a broken husk of a human…I’m still going strong!

Fair warning, there is a major cliffhanger at the end of the book so if you do start reading this, I do recommend having Exodus either close by or on the way in the mail because if you like this book, you’ll defs want to start the next one IMMEDIATELY!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell


My Review: It Happened One Summer (It Happened One Summer #1): by Tessa Bailey

Publish Date: July 13th, 2021
Number of Pages: 397 Pages
Publisher: Avon
Genre(s): New Adult Romance, Romance

Total Star Rating: 4 Stars

‘Eh.’ She waved a hand. ‘There are thousands of me there.’

Brendan snorted at her joke. And then he realized she was serious.

‘Piper, there is nobody like you.’

She smiled like she was humoring him…

He pulled the car onto the side of the road, slammed on the brakes, and threw it into park. ‘Did you hear me?’ He reached over to tilt up her chin. ‘There is nobody like you.’

‘Why are you getting so worked up?’

‘Because I . . .thought I was an intuitive man. A smart man. But I keep finding out new ways I’m flying blind when it comes to something so important. You. You are important.’

– Tessa Bailey, “It Happened One Summer”

What It’s About:

The official synopsis:

Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. 

Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong.


Schitts Creek is easily one of my top favorite shows; I watched it 7 or 8 times in 2020 alone to get me through that train-wreck of a year, and In loved the comedy, the themes of family and perseverance, and even the queer acceptance and representation! It is perfect and I felt like I related to both David and Alexis Rose on different levels based off their personalities and behaviors…but the reason I’m mentioning all this in a book review is because this book was heavily compared to the hit comedy show, and once I heard this, I knew I had to get my hands on this book!

It Happened One Summer was a fun, uplifting, cute and even a little spicy summer romance read that is definitely one to pick up! The Schitts Creek is spot on, and I can even add that anyone who really enjoys those small town stories like Heart of Dixie, Virgin River, or even Sweet Home Alabama will absolutely love this book!

The story is about Piper Bellinger, a total Paris Hilton, Elle Woods, Kardashian, Alexis Rose type character who goes a little too far with a rooftop party one night after she gets dumped, and then as punishment is forced to relocate to a small fishing town in Washington; she and her younger sister must operate her late father’s dive bar.

From there, she learns about what sort of legacy her father and their family have left on the town, and she meets burly fisherman, Brendan Taggert, who is convinced she won’t make it a week without all her luxuries she’s taken for granted for so long…but before you know it, sparks begin to fly as they discover there’s more than meets the eye with each other…

The romance was done incredibly well, and both characters really helped each other out with their own inner baggage, which is so integral in order to make a romantic relationship believable and engaging. They really did have some great chemistry and some equally sweet and sexy moments between them.

It’s an easy, breezy sort of novel that’s easy to put up and down on the side table next to your beach bag while you catch some rays and/or sip on some drink with a mini umbrella as garnish–whether there’s alcohol in there too is entirely up to you!–but with how well written this story is, if its the kind of book you’re into, this is another great addition to your library or summer reading list!


It won’t let me just use my own name as my username.

‘Yeah, probably because about nine hundred Brendan Taggarts joined before you.

‘So what should I use?

‘CaptainCutie69,’ Fox spat out.

‘IGotCrabs4U,’ Deke supplied.


Brendan stared. ‘You’re all fired. Go home.’

– Tessa Bailey, “It Happened One Summer”

What I Liked:

  1. The Spicy Sex Scenes! Okay, so looking at the cover, it’s pretty subtle and makes you assume this story is going to be pretty clean and wholesome, right?……..WRONG! I was happily surprised to see that were was some spice sprinkled into the romance and while I’m not unfamiliar with erotic content, I still raised my brow at a few things that went down in this book, ONLY because I wasn’t expecting it to happen in this type of romance novel!
  2. The Hint of More to Come With Another Character! So while this book revolves around Piper and her personal story of growth moving from LA to a small town, I liked that her sister, Hannah, also got some attention and it’s hinted at how there’s more to her story that continues! I’m glad Piper had a more level headed sister to help her with her predicament, it also gave us some lovely moments of family and sisterhood.
  3. The Grumpy/Sunshine Trope! Total opposites attract here with Piper and Brendan when they meet each other and unexpectedly start to fall for each other! Think a Hollywood Paris Hilton, Elle Woods, Alexis Rose type of character falling for the rough, tough, burly, rugged, and moody fisherman, and they’re dynamic is actually such a huge highlight! I loved their romantic development as they went from weary acquaintances-to-friends-to-lovers.
  4. The Deeper Messages/Themes! You’d probably expect a story like this would be pretty shallow and just pure fluff entertainment, but much to your shock, you’ll discover that there is actually some hidden depths to the story and that there were some worthwhile lessons to be learned! Stuff like inner vs. outer beauty, change vs. tradition, grieving the death of a loved one, moving on, self confidence, materialism and wealth, growing up, and of course family!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Some of The Dirty Talk is CRINGE…While I loved that there were some pretty sexy scenes within this book, I will also admit that once or twice there were times where the dirty talk was so bad, I swear i’ve heard better lines in a bad porno…It made me laugh, and while this book is a fictional rom-com, I wasn’t laughing for the right reasons.


Overall, this was a funny, uplifting, heartwarming, and even heart-rate accelerating summer romance novel that is a great selection for anyone who loves these sorts of books, or for anyone who wants a book to read because of their love for movies/shows like Schitts Creek!

I originally thought this was going to be a standalone novel, and it totally could work as one if the author wanted it to, but there is a sequel titled Hook, Line, and Sinker expected to release March 1st, 2022 according to Goodreads! You can bet I’ll want to get my hands on a copy and keep reading this wonderful story full of wonderful characters!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell