Blog Tour – IRIS KELLY DOESN’T DATE by Ashley Herring Blake @berkleyromance

Blog Tour – IRIS KELLY DOESN’T DATE by Ashley Herring Blake @berkleyromanceIris Kelly Doesn't Date (Bright Falls, #3) by Ashley Herring Blake
Also by this author: How to Make a Wish, Girl Made of Stars
Series: Bright Falls #3
Published by BERKLEY, Berkley Romance on October 24, 2023
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, LGBTQ, Romance
Pages: 400
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Thank you so much to Berkley Romance for the free copy of Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date and to Kristin Cipolla for the invitation to take part in the blog tour for this book!

Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date is the third installment in Ashley Herring Blake’s Bright Falls series. I have loved every book in this series and every wonderful character we’ve met along the way so I couldn’t wait to dive in and finally get to know more about Iris.

When we meet Iris in this new book, she has embarked on a new career as an author of romance novels.  Her debut novel went well, but she is struggling to write her second book and her own lackluster love life might be part of the problem.  While Iris is thrilled that Astrid, Delilah, and everyone else in their friend group has found love, she often finds herself the odd man out, so to speak.  One night, she decides to forget all of her troubles and heads to a bar in Portland.  She meets, and is immediately attracted to, a sexy stranger named Stefania, and the two of them really hit it off.  Instead of the hookup Iris was hoping for, however, the night ends in disaster.  What Iris doesn’t realize at the time, however, is that Stefania is about to become a very important person in her life.

Following her agent’s advice to get out there and do something to take her mind off her writer’s block, Iris decides to try out for a local play that is a gender-bent retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.  When she finds out who is playing the lead, Iris can barely believe it.  It’s Stefania, whose real name turns out to be Stevie, and it becomes apparent that Stevie has told everyone involved with the play that she and Iris are dating.  Stevie begs Iris to go along with it, so as not to embarrass her in front of everyone, and Iris decides to play along, figuring this ought to at least spark some ideas for writing her novel.

I loved this book so much!  In spite of their failed one night stand, it’s obvious that Iris and Stevie have major chemistry.   Iris is a fun and confident bisexual woman, but in this book, we finally get to see a vulnerable side to her that we haven’t seen before.  Stevie is a former actor who has been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, and the two of them were just so messy and flawed and  honestly just perfect together.  It was wonderful watching their relationship transform from fake to real, and to see how much they grew to care for, respect and support one another. Some of their more in-depth conversations about things they have gone through just really tugged at my heartstrings because it really made their relationship feel so authentic.

It wasn’t just all heartfelt, vulnerable moments between these two characters either. There was of course plenty of steam and humor, plus several fun appearances by the other members of Iris’ friend group.  It also didn’t hurt that Much Ado About Nothing is my favorite Shakespearean comedy. Watching Iris and Stevie actually act out scenes from that play was just icing on what was already a fabulous cake for me.

Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date is another immensely satisfying and heartwarming installment in the Bright Falls series.  I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys sapphic romance, fake dating, and stories that feature fabulous friend groups/found families.




About Ashley Herring Blake

Ashley Herring Blake is a reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and watching Buffy over and over again on Netflix with her friends. She’s the author of the young adult novels SUFFER LOVE and HOW TO MAKE A WISH.

Blog Tour – THIS SPELLS DISASTER by Tori Anne Martin

Blog Tour – THIS SPELLS DISASTER by Tori Anne MartinThis Spells Disaster by Tori Anne Martin
Published by Berkley Romance on September 12, 2023
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, LGBTQ, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Tori Anne Martin’s debut novel This Spells Disaster is a queer witchy romcom that takes place over the course of a spellcasting festival. Not only does it feature fantastic worldbuilding and lovable characters who are easy to root for, but it also features one of my favorite romance tropes, fake dating.

The story follows Morgan Greenwood, a potion witch who considered herself to be a hot mess.  Morgan has had a crush on Rory Sanders, a badass elemental witch, but is too intimidated by Rory to even approach her.  Instead, Morgan has admired her from afar for ages, that is, until fate puts Rory in her path one night at a bar.  Rory is complaining about the unreasonable expectations her family always puts on her and that she is dreading spending time with them at the biennial New England Witches’ festival.  A drunken Morgan volunteers to fake date Rory and act as a buffer between her and her family.  Morgan can’t believe she did that, but even more unbelievable to her is that Rory decides to take her up on her offer.

I adored both Morgan and Rory.  Morgan is just the most adorable protagonist.  She’s incredibly loyal to those she cares about.  Her heart is always in the right place, but she can definitely be a bit chaotic and impulsive at times.  Rory is equally fabulous but in a much more reserved way than Morgan.  She can be standoffish at first, but once you get to know her, Rory is a sweetheart. She’s also a brilliant spellcaster and both she and Morgan have a competitive streak that makes for some of the most entertaining banter. I just loved watching the two of them get to know each other.

My favorite part of the fake dating trope is when those fake feelings start to become real, and in This Spells Disaster, the author has added a unique complication to this trope.  Morgan crafts a relaxation spell for Rory and after Rory starts taking it, she starts behaving as if she has romantic feelings toward Morgan. Morgan can’t believe that Rory could ever feel that way about her and is soon horrified to realize that her feelings for Rory may have slipped into the potion, accidentally turning it into a love potion.  Love potions are illegal in the witching community because they take away a person’s right to give or refuse consent. I felt so bad for Morgan since it’s clear she didn’t intend for this to happen, but at the same time, it made the story all the more compelling for me, waiting to see how this would all play out, especially once Rory realizes the truth. I was rooting for them to work things out so hard because fake relationship or not, they were perfect for each other.

I don’t want to give anything else away, so I’ll just say this is a delightfully witchy romance.  If you’re a fan of witchy romcoms, adorable characters, and fake dating, This Spells Disaster needs to go on your fall TBR.

Thanks so much to Kristin Cipolla and Berkley Romance for the invitation to take part in this blog tour!




About Tori Anne Martin

Tori Anne Martin lives in New England where she collects pen names, tattoos, and hoodies in shades of gray and black. Previously, she collected degrees, including a doctorate in psychology where she studied interpersonal power, consent, and sexual assault. She much prefers writing romance. If you can’t find her online, it’s because she’s lost in the woods.