Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Year of Reviews - 2022

Review – Hey, Mister Marshall by Saffron A. Kent

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Hey, Mister Marshall; St. Mary’s Rebels #4
(An interconnected standalone within a series)

Publication Date: June 14, 2022

Genre/Tropes: Age Gap/Guardian-Ward/Forbidden Romance

Author: Saffron A. Kent

Review Rating: 4.5 Gold Stars



Hey, Mister Marshall was the slowest burn out of the St. Mary’s books in the series and it also took several different turns that I wasn’t expecting, which is always a good thing as a reader. Keeps me turning pages so I can find out more.

I think for series fans, readers will adore this book, it’s the culmination of St. Mary’s, plus Saffron drops a few hints of what’s to come in a future series. However, there were times that both characters, and I’ll mainly say Poe, but then I’ll also put onus on Alaric because he is older and WTF, where her juvenile and childlike behavior was just too much. I didn’t see the appeal, but maybe that was the attraction and everyone has their thing…sooooooo.

This is an age gap, that is no secret. Mr. Marshall is Poe’s guardian and he’s approximately seventeen years older than her. He hasn’t been her guardian for long before he sends her to St. Mary’s and their relationship is pretty non-existent up until he arrives to take over as the Principal, which makes Poe angry for several reasons. I won’t list them all out, but the moment he sends her away he also leaves the country and he’s gone for three years. It makes it hard to get to know your guardian when he isn’t around.

They both have emotionally stunted backgrounds, but as they now have proximity and time to uncover this attraction what once was a simmering dislike and annoyance of being shackled to each other turns into something more. While uncovering years of misinformation and anger that’s where the emotional depth and passion really lies in the story. It’s also in the small moments of reconnecting with past characters and in the crumbs of the future.

This is a big book, but the small moments make up that add tension and build that slow burn make it all worthwhile. A 4.5 star read overall.

At eighteen, Poe Blyton’s life is in shambles and the reason is Alaric Marshall.

After her mom’s death, he appeared out of nowhere and became Poe’s controlling guardian. When she protested his tyranny, he had the audacity to send her away to an all-girls reform school. A school full of iron clad rules and regulations.

But at least she’s graduating soon.

Until Alaric himself arrives at the school as the new principal and takes that away from her as well.

That devil.

He’s really asking for it, isn’t he?

And Poe is going to give it to him.

It doesn’t matter that her sworn enemy has the prettiest dark eyes she’s ever seen. Or that he looks really, really good in his boring tweed jackets. So much so that she wants to rip them off his body and see what’s underneath.

Because scorching hot or not, her new principal or not, Poe is going to ruin Alaric’s life.

NOTE – This is a STANDALONE set in the world of St. Mary’s
St. Mary’s Rebels #4

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Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Year of Reviews - 2022

Review – Controlled Chaos by Nikki Ash

Book cover for Controlled Chaos: a Single Mom, Rock Star Romance (Love & Lyrics Book 1) by Nikki Ash

Controlled Chaos; Love and Lyrics #1
(An interconnected standalone within a series)

Publication Date: June 23, 2022

Genre/Tropes: Best Friends/Single Mom/Rock Star Romance

Author: Nikki Ash

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars


This is an emotionally charged best friends to lovers story. It’s also not your typical rock star romance, with drugs, sex and well…rock and roll. Camden Blackwood comes from a musical powerhouse family, so I love the respect behind the story when it comes to not diving into cliches. Instead this first book dives into the beginnings of four best friends who form Raging Chaos, their rock band that takes off right after high school, and the relationship between Camden and his best friend Layla.

This was a fantastic book to begin Raging Chaos. There were pathways into each band member; Braxton, Gage, and Declan and the potential for where their stories could lead. I loved their brothership with each other and their loyalty never wavered. It was ‘chef’s kiss’ perfect!

Layla moved in next door to Camden sophomore year of high school and he was basically in love with her from that very moment, however the chance to say something to her was never there. She either had a boyfriend or was healing from a breakup. After eight years he finally has the opportunity to tell her how he feels and he refuses to let that moment pass him by again. Camden is eternally patient and kind, super sweet and caring. He’s Easton’s son, so I should have expected nothing less.

Layla has a sweet little boy, Felix, who is just adorable. While he is the result of a marriage Layla second guesses all the time, she never second guesses having her son. I love how Nikki writes these moments, because we all have them; the what if I hadn’t done this…but then I wouldn’t have that…kind of moments. Doubt and guilt are funny things, but when Layla reconnects with Camden he helps ease those doubts, just like when their friendship was at its peak, and watching their relationship reblossom, it’s another great reminder that things happen for a reason.



I’ve been in love with my best friend since high school.

My biggest regret? Walking away without telling her.

I planned to. But then catastrophe struck, making us part ways without a word.

She left for Boston with her fiancé, while I left for L.A. with my band–Raging Chaos.

For the next five years, I lived and breathed music, trying to forget the beautiful girl who shattered my heart without even knowing it.

Until I see her again…

I walked away once, and I’ve learned my lesson.

Layla is my forever, not another item in my pile of regrets.

And she’s about to find that out.


The moment I saw Camden on stage, something inside me came to life.

His tragic song of unrequited love was a confession that had me questioning everything.

Five years might’ve changed who we are—he’s a rock star and I’m a single mom—but my feelings for him are as strong as ever.

His lyrics make falling in love seem easy. For him—maybe it is.

Only I’ve learned the hard way that real life isn’t as simple as writing a love song.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Like real life, the characters are far from perfect, make morally gray decisions, and deal with subjects that may be sensitive for some readers. If you are looking for a safe romance, this series is not for you. Trigger warnings (which contain spoilers) can be found on my website.

Controlled Chaos: a single mom, rock star romance that’s releasing June 23rd!

If you’ve read A Chance Encounter, this is Camden’s book. If you haven’t, you can grab it here:

Preorder Controlled Chaos:
Add to your TBR:

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