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It is month three for my Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss book subscription service. If you are interested in what I thought of my first two boxes, here are those reviews.

This surprise book mail thing can be addicting. Just seeing the pink box in my mail had me doing a little happy dance.

So what did I receive? I am going to share the contents with you here. My review is not for the books I received because I haven’t read them yet, but instead will be for the content and subscription experience.


This is the first month that I received eBooks with my selections. The first book in the box was the eBook, Witches & Vampires by Brianna Witte (Paranormal YA, Atmosphere Press). Here is the back cover blurb:

“Venture into the heart of Elontra where wizards rule and a century’s long fight for power persists. The Dark Shadows’ cruel reign strikes fear into every magical being in the land, making their lust for control even stronger. Teenagers Merissa and Derik are caught in the struggle for power, their fates intertwined as they are forced to run for their lives. Witches and Vampires is a fast-paced adventure of love, betrayal, heartbreak, and the fight for freedom.”

The second book in the box was the eBook, A Reluctant Bride by Jess Michaels (Regency Romance, The Passionate Pen). Here is the back cover blurb:

“When the Jasper Kincaid, the Earl of Harcourt, offered to marry one of the infamous Shelley triplets, he was doing it for the dowry to refill his depleted coffers, not for anything so silly as love. But when he realizes it is Thomasina Shelley masquerading as his fiancée at their final engagement ball, not his true intended, a desire for her that he has been ignoring sparks. And when it becomes clear her sister has run away with another, an opportunity arises for a marriage with a much deeper connection.
Thomasina’s feelings for Jasper have never been appropriate and she doubted the prudence of pretending to be his even for just one night. Once she’s caught, everything escalates so quickly. Suddenly she’s going to marry this stern, fascinating man who is not particularly pleased at her perfidy. Add to that her worry about where her wayward sister has gone and it’s a recipe for both passion…and disaster.
As the two slowly grow closer, Jasper realizes his former fiancée’s disappearance may have more to do with his own past than he originally realized. And the longer he keeps that from Thomasina, the more painful it will be when the truth comes out. Can they let each other close enough to fight together against the dangers right around the corner? And will they survive to meet the future they could have if they do?”

The third book in the box was an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of My One True Cowboy by Soraya Lane (Contemporary Romance, St. Martins Paperbacks). Here is the back cover blurb:

“Angelina Ford is heading back to Texas hiding the biggest secret of her life: bankruptcy. The business she created in L.A. is shuttered, as are her hopes and dreams. Facing her family with her big, bad news isn’t going to be easy. Which is why bumping into Logan Brody is an unexpected gift. Instead of facing her failure―and future―she can play catch-up with her old childhood friend. . .who happens to have grown up to be a strong, gorgeous man.
Logan was always a responsible boy. It’s no surprise that the brawny ex-soldier has decided to return from active duty to run his family’s ranch. Still, Angelina can’t help noticing the changes in Logan, from the haunted look in his eyes to the retired military dog who never leaves his side. He puts up a good front, acting as Texas-tough as can be. But Logan is carrying a secret of his own―one that could bring him closer than ever to his tried-and-true Angelina. . .or tear them both apart.”

The fourth book in the box was The Playground by Jane Shemilt (Psychological Thriller, William Morrow Paperbacks). Here is the back cover blurb:

“Over the course of a long, hot summer in London, the lives of three very different married couples collide when their children join the same tutoring circle, resulting in illicit relationships, shocking violence, and unimaginable fallout.
There’s Eve, a bougie earth mother with a well-stocked trust fund; she has three little ones, a blue-collar husband and is obsessed with her Instagrammable recipes and lifestyle. And Melissa, a successful interior designer whose casually cruel banker husband is careful not to leave visible bruises; she curates her perfectly thin body so closely she misses everything their teenage daughter is hiding. Then there’s Grace, a young Zimbabwean immigrant, who lives in high-rise housing project with her two children and their English father Martin, an award-winning but chronically broke novelist; she does far more for her family than she should have to.
As the weeks go by, the couples become very close; there are barbecues, garden parties, a holiday at a country villa in Greece. Resentments flare. An affair begins. Unnoticed, the children run wild. The couples are busily watching each other, so distracted and self-absorbed that they forget to watch their children. No one sees the five children at their secret games or realize how much their family dynamics are changing until tragedy strikes.
The story twists and then twists again while the three families desperately search for answers. It’s only as they begin to unravel the truth of what happened over the summer that they realize evil has crept quietly into their world.
But has this knowledge come too late?”

The fifth book in this box was The Burning Chamber by Kate Mosse (Historical Thriller, Minotaur Books). Here is the back cover blurb:

“Power and Prejudice: France, 1562. War sparks between the Catholics and Huguenots, dividing neighbors, friends, and family―meanwhile, nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: She knows that you live.
Love and Betrayal: Before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, she meets a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon. Piet has a dangerous task of his own, and he will need Minou’s help if he is to stay alive. Soon, they find themselves on opposing sides, as forces beyond their control threaten to tear them apart.
Honor and Treachery: As the religious divide deepens, Minou and Piet find themselves trapped in Toulouse, facing new dangers as tensions ignite across the city―and a feud that will burn across generations begins to blaze. . .”

Here is the whole box. Two paperback books, one hardcover book, two eBooks and treats. The extra treats that I received with the books were a packet of Peppermint tea, a packet of Chai Spice tea, and  two Biscotti cookies.

Check out the unboxing video on YouTube!


What I liked:

  • Packaged well, even if the hardcover was a little snug inside the box.
  • I finally received an eBook—two of them.
  • Getting a hardcover was nice because they can be pricey.
  • There were five books total which is a good amount for the price.

What I didn’t like:

  • Both of the eBooks were not good for me. One was a paranormal YA which is not a genre I will read and the other was a romance but not what I would consider clean so I won’t be reading that one either.
  • The paperback contemporary romance was an ARC copy which I consider to be a freebie. I wouldn’t buy an ARC copy of any book online or in the store. Many times they are given to reviewers prior to the books release. I guess that was why there were more books this month.
  • The cookies that I have been receiving in these boxes always arrive completely crumbled. I buy the boxes for the books, not the treats, but I’d rather not have those at all since I couldn’t even enjoy them.
  • I am very careful about thrillers outside of the inspirational publishers because I find many of them to be too dark for my tastes. I’m a little concerned that I won’t like the other two books in this box.

Overall Opinion

I was disappointed in this box. Out of the five books I received, I definitely won’t read two of them, the ARC I wouldn’t have bought, one I’m worried will be too dark for me, and the hardcover, I’m just not sure what to expect. The cover on the hardcover book looked more like a fantasy genre than a historical thriller. If I had been shopping for books, I wouldn’t have gotten any of these selections, even after reading their back covers.

The cost of this service is $25.95/month including shipping. If you add up the retail prices of the four that I received (not including the ARC), it is $40.76 and that doesn’t include shipping or tax that I would pay if I bought them outright.

I’ve decided that I am going to give this subscription a six month try so even though I didn’t like this box, I will continue the subscription for a few more months.

-Loraine Nunley

Unboxing and review of the @FreshFiction subscription box for March 2020 #FreshFictionbox #SubscriptionBox Click To Tweet


2 thoughts on “Unboxing and Review: Fresh Fiction Box (March 2020)

  1. I have a copy of The Playground but haven’t read it yet. I thought The Burning Chamber sounded interesting, though I probably would only read it if I liked a review of it.

    Maybe you could take the books you won’t read to a used bookstore and get trade credit? You could also swap them on Paperbackswap.

    1. Yes, unfortunately for me but fortunately for someone else, I will be donating them. Probably to my local library. Thanks for reading my review Dianna. 🙂

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