Review: Chloe Liese’s He’s a Brute


Happy publication day to Chloe Liese’s He’s a Brute. I am so very fortunate to have been sent a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Chloe Liese!

He’s a Brute is Chloe Liese’s debut novel, and it’s the first book in the Tough Love series. He’s a Brute tells the story of Zed and Nairne. Nairne is a brilliant scientist whose ambitions lie with making healthcare more affordable and accessible. Its why she takes a job at a nonprofit where she just so happens to run into “Adonis” himself. Zed is the chair of the board, but he’s also a lot more. He’s a mafia prince, a professional footballer, bad boy, oh and he’s totally hot for Narine.

You might like this book if:

  • you enjoy steamy romance novels (18+ sexual content – dom/sub)
  • you need a little thrill/suspense in your romance i.e., the mafia
  • you love well rounded, inclusive female characters

You might not like this book if:

  • you don’t enjoy slow burn romance
  • you dislike mafia romance
  • you prefer to read standalones as opposed to series

So much to talk about here, so lets get into it. I pretty much knew I wanted to read He’s a Brute the second I saw the synopsis. Hot footballer? Check. The Mafia? Check. Slow burn romance? Check. (!!!!) I have to say that this is my first mafia romance, and it certainly won’t be my last. It adds an element of suspense and danger that I didn’t know I even needed in my romance until now.

Perhaps one of my favorite elements of this book was a reveal about the main character at about the 20% mark. This reveal may sit differently among readers. For me, it totally worked, and I loved it. First I got to know a bit about Nairne – I learned about her job, her personality, her friendship – then I got to know about a significant part of her character/life. All are different facets to her and all are important. I just in particular liked the way this was deliberately withheld and then shown to the reader. I don’t want to say more because I don’t want to spoil anything!

I loved the slow-burn romance between Zed and Nairne. The push and pull between them built up a lot of tension, and I loved the inevitable pull between them. Plus, the scenes between these two are very saucy. Liese definitely delivered a new adult romance. The sexual content in this book has a dominant/submissive dynamic.

Another great aspect of this novel is the characterization. Both Nairne and Zed felt well written and fleshed out. They both had intense backstories, and some of it we still don’t know! (*waits impatiently for the sequel*) I haven’t read a romance series in awhile (I still mainly to standalones) so I’m going to have to remember how to be patient. More than our main characters, though, Liese did an amazing job on the secondary characters. I hate when I’m reading a book and the secondary characters feel thin, forced, and as though they are thrown in with no real purpose. That was not the case here. I loved Narine’s best friend and even Zed’s family. I can’t wait to see more from this cast of characters in the sequel.

If I had any complaint, it’s that I wanted to see more of the mafia aspect. I wanted to know more of the inner workings and experience some more of the danger that Zed was in. I’m assuming that we will learn a lot more about Zed’s involvement in book two as I know this book had a lot of “setting up” to do plot wise. I really hope book two delivers a healthy dose of danger (what can I say, I’m a sucker for it in my romances. Maybe I’ve watched too many crime shows? I’m looking at you, Bones.)

Overall, I really enjoyed this new adult romance. If y’all check it out, please let me know what you think! He’s a Brute gets a 4/5 from me.

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He’s a Brute is new adult romance, and it was published on May 6, 2019. It’s 236 pages and has a 3.86 rating on Goodreads. As of 5/6/19, it is available on Kindle Unlimted.

get more info: visit Chloe Liese’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; find He’s a Brute on Amazon; pre-order the sequel, She’s a Spitfire, now

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. The author was kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project


The Happiness Project is one of my favorite non-fiction reads. I received a copy of this graciously as a Christmas gift (thank you, Sarah!) and I knew pretty much immediately that I was going to love it. I actually spread reading this out over a few months in order to really digest the content. I started reading in early January and after reading the first chapter or so I was inspired to create this blog. Here I am, three months later, and I’ve finished the book and I couldn’t have made a better decision to start Whimsical and Witty. So for that, I have to thank The Happiness Project.

So what is The Happiness Project? The Happiness Project chronicles a year in Gretchen Rubin’s life as she explores what it means to be truly happy. How does one become happier? Well, Rubin takes a methodical approach and spends one year working towards measurable goals with concrete steps. She takes aspects of her life that are important to her (family, marriage, work) and divides them up into measurable goals that she can do to improve these areas. Every step Rubin takes is (hopefully) one step towards “happier.”

spoiler free: I loved The Happiness Project. It was a feel-good, inspirational read that had me analyzing and examining my own life. I was asking myself from the very first page – Am I as happy as I could be? In January, that answer was definitely no.

After reading the first few chapters of The Happiness Project, I was inspired to change things up in my own life. That’s one of the best things about this book. Although, Gretchen Rubin provides advice, examples, and overarching themes – the book is still ultimately her journey towards happiness. My journey, your journey, anyone’s journey is going to look different. The book is intended to inspire you to think about what would make you happier. The Happiness Project succeeded in this for me. I realized that I didn’t have anything to channel my passion for reading and writing. I was afraid to share my thoughts online. Why? It was a risk and I was afraid. What if no one reads it? What if someone I know in real life thinks it’s stupid? After reading The Happiness Project I didn’t have a good answer for this. The Happiness Project squashed these fears, because what if it’s something that really will make me happy? Thus, the blog, Whimsical and Witty, was born. Three months later, I couldn’t be more proud or happy with my decision.

Overall, I really loved this book. The author’s methodological approach meshed so well with my personality type. If there is any goal that I want to achieve, I’m automatically attempting to break it down into measurable steps. It’s how my brain works. So, when faced with something abstract like “happiness” sometimes I don’t know where to start. Gretchen Rubin’s book is great for this. By reading her story and seeing the small and big steps she takes to improve her life, you can’t help but feel motivated to inject more happiness into your own.

A small disclaimer though: The Happiness Project does not attempt to cure depression or any other type of mental illness. Gretchen Rubin herself admits that before beginning the project she is a relatively happy person. While I think anyone can benefit from reading her book, I still think this disclaimer is worth mentioning.

Overall, this was a fun and positive non-fiction read for me. I gave it a 5/5.

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get more info: visit Gretchen Ruben’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; explore the author’s podcast; find The Happiness Project on Amazon