Review: Beach Read (Emily Henry)

Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Publication Date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.


Okay. I am going to apologize, but this review is going to start out with a bit of a rant. Beach Read is a classic example of why the illustrated cover trend needs to go. When I look at this cover, I think cute and happy romance. Then, I read the blurb and it confirms cute and adds funny to the happy romance. I seriously thought I was going to be reading a rom-com. People, I have not been this bamboozled by a cover and blurb since Meet Cute by Helena Hunting. The marketing for Beach Read is ALL wrong. This story does have a romance and there are some funny moments, but this is NOT a rom-com. It’s women’s fiction. Beach Read is an emotional journey filled with ups and downs. Plus, the cover and title don’t even fit the book. There’s not really much beach or a beach read involved. I struggled the first 15% of this book because I was expecting a rom-com. I was in the mood for a rom-com. I seriously debated DNFing. I had to put the book down for a day and come back to it with adjusted expectations. That’s the only thing that saved it for me. If this book hadn’t had such a sunny cover and a blurb that sounded more fun than emotional journey, I don’t think this all would have been an issue.

Okay, end rant. Let’s move on to the actual story. Emily Henry is a talented writer. She takes the characters (and reader) through some pretty heavy stuff while managing to add in some funny and romantic moments. This kind of gave the story a feel of being out on a lake — up and down with the waves of happiness and sadness. I really enjoyed the mix of emotional journey, mystery, romance, and familial relationships this book tackled.

January was a mess of a character. I understand why she had to be this way, but I kept thinking she felt more like a teenager than someone close to thirty. The way she avoided what needed to be dealt with was both annoying and understandable. I liked how she grew over the course of the book.

Gus was a lot of a mystery because we don’t get his perspective. It didn’t do him justice not to have his POV. It made him come off as a bad guy more than once. That being said, I loved it when he and January were in a groove together. They were a great couple who totally clicked.

So, yeah. I ended up enjoying Beach Read way more than I expected while I was in that first 15%. I enjoyed the journey it took me on and felt its impact at the end. Fans of the women’s fiction genre are going to like what this book has to give.

Review: What You Wish For (Katherine Center)

What You Wish For
Author: Katherine Center
Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From Katherine Center, the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.

Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.

When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.


Katherine Center is one of those authors who manages to impress me with each new book she releases. Somehow, she is able to take the saddest, most serious topics and write an inspirational and upbeat story about them. That’s what she did with What You Wish For.

Sam Casey is someone who has been through a ton of crap in her life. She’s finally managed to get to a point in her life where she’s truly happy with her situation and then everything changes. I loved Sam’s positive outlook on (almost) everything and how she’s willing to take charge and fight for what is most important. Sam was quirky, but her quirkiness wasn’t odd or crazy. It was relatable in the way she explained herself. I loved how she accepted herself and her insecurities. I especially loved how she dealt with her feelings for Duncan, then and now.

There’s so much more to this story than just Sam’s life. There’s a huge part of this story that involves her school community. I won’t go into it because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I loved it. I loved how Duncan was woven into that, how Sam and her friends came together. It was all fun to read about.

I honestly am not sure what else to say about What to Wish For. It was just such a good reading experience. It shows once again how talented of an author Katherine Center is and why I will continue to reach for her books when they are released.

Review: How Lulu Lost Her Mind (Rachel Gibson)

How Lulu Lost Her Mind
Author: Rachel Gibson
Publication Date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Gibson comes the story of a mother-daughter journey to rediscover the past before it disappears forever.

Lou Ann Hunter’s mother, Patricia, has always had a passionate nature, which explains why she’s been married and divorced five times and spooned enough male patients to be ousted from three elderly care facilities. She also has Alzheimer’s, which is why she wants to spend her remaining months or years surrounded by memories at her family’s decrepit old plantation in Louisiana with her only daughter.

Lou Ann, a.k.a. Lulu the Love Guru, has built an empire preaching sex, love, and relationship advice to the women of America—mostly by defying the example her mother has set for her. But with her mother suddenly in need of a fulltime caretaker, Lou Ann reluctantly agrees to step out of the spotlight and indulge her mother’s wishes, even if it means trading in her Louboutins and Chanel No. 5 for boots and mosquito repellant.

Upon arrival at Sutton Hall, Lou Ann discovers that very little functions at it should, least of all her mother’s mind. She is haunted not only by creaky floorboards and things that go bump in the night, but also by the living ghost sleeping downstairs. Every good day Patricia and Lou Ann have treasure hunting in the attic seems to be followed by two days of meltdowns and cold shoulders. And as Lou Ann adjusts to this new and inevitably temporary dynamic, she is forced to confront the fact that her mother’s fate is completely out of her hands—and the end may be coming quicker than she even thought possible.

Heartrending at times and laugh-out-loud funny at others, How Lulu Lost Her Mind is the book for anyone whose mom has ever made them cry—whether tears of joy, regret, frustration, love, or all of the above. Fans of Emily Giffin, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis won’t be able to forget it.


I have been a fan of Rachel Gibson’s contemporary romance novels for a long time. She’s one of the first authors I really got into and binged on back in the day. When I saw she was releasing a book in the women’s fiction category, I was both intrigued and slight disappointed. So many of my longtime favorite romance authors have been moving over to this genre. It makes me a little sad. That being said, once I got started on How Lulu Lost Her Mind, I knew I was in for something special.

How Lulu Lost Her Mind was a gem. It was all about character growth for Lulu. She got to reexamine her relationship with her mother, her job, and her feelings. All of that was done in a beautifully described setting. I have to admit that I didn’t love Lulu at first due to her nature, but she quickly grew on me.

The rest of the characters were just as fabulous. I loved Patricia, Lindsey, Simon, and Raphael. Patricia added both funny and heartbreaking parts. Lindsey added a special friendship aspect. Simon added just the right tough of romance to the story. And Raphael… Well, that parrot was something else.

How Lulu Lost Her Mind was a heartwarming tale that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Rachel Gibson’s foray into women’s fiction was a smashing success!

Review: Marriage on Madison Avenue (Lauren Layne)

Marriage on Madison Avenue
Series: Central Park Pact, #3
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne, the “queen of witty dialogue” (Rachel Van Dyken, New York Times bestselling author), comes the final installment of the Central Park Pact series, a heartfelt and laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that’s perfect for fans of Sally Thorne and Christina Lauren.

Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother—announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey.

But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?


Lauren Layne ended her popular Central Park Pact series on a high note with Marriage on Madison Avenue. Audrey and Clark’s romance was other readers might have been wanting since the very beginning on the series, but it was one I didn’t know I needed until I read it. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good friends to lovers romance. I also know Lauren Layne excels at that type of story. I just didn’t pick up romance vibes between Audrey and Clark prior to reading this book.

That’s actually a cool statement because Audrey and Clark didn’t feel the vibes until Marriage on Madison Avenue either. Nothing like a little fake engagement between best friends to put things in perspective. I loved the way they navigated their new feelings for each other and how their relationship changed with this engagement. The only thing that would have made it better for me was if the book had been in first person instead of third. I would have connected to it even more than I already did.

Marriage on Madison Avenue was a very sweet fake relationship romance between best friends. I wouldn’t have expected anything less from Lauren Layne. I can’t wait to read what she’s got coming next!

Reviews: Would Like to Meet (Rachel Winters)

Would Like to Meet
Author: Rachel Winters
Publication Date: December 3, 2019
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

In this charming, feel-good debut novel, a cynical assistant at a screenwriting agency must reenact the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedy movies in order to help her #1 client get his scriptwriting mojo back–but can a real-life meet-cute be in store for someone who doesn’t believe in happily ever after?

After seven years as an assistant, 29-year-old Evie Summers is ready to finally get the promotion she deserves. But now the TV and film agency she’s been running behind the scenes is in trouble, and Evie will lose her job unless she can convince the agency’s biggest and most arrogant client, Ezra Chester, to finish writing the script for a Hollywood romantic comedy.

The catch? Ezra is suffering from writer’s block–and he’ll only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. With the future of the agency in jeopardy, Evie embarks on a mission to meet a man the way Sally met Harry or Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts.

But in the course of testing out the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedies IRL, not only will Evie encounter one humiliating situation after another, but she’ll have to confront the romantic past that soured her on love. In a novel as hilarious as it is heartwarming, debut author Rachel Winters proves that sometimes real life is better than the movies–and that the best kind of meet-cutes happen when you least expect them.


Would Like to Meet was a strange reading experience for me. I loved the opening scenes, but then I hit a weird patch where I wasn’t really into the book. I think I need to blame that on my mood. I was super tired. I set the book down for the day and when I came back to it, it picked up for me in a couple of chapters. I was into the story for pretty much the rest of the book.

What I liked about Would Like to Meet:

  • The meet-cutes. They were hilarious!
  • Ben. He was quiet and a little judge-y, but I totally identified with his judging. I was judging Evie in a similar way. Plus, he was the perfect love interest for the story.
  • Anette. She’s Ben’s daughter and involved in all the cuteness of the story. I loved the part she played in this romance.
  • Ezra/NOB. He was a great villain. I loved his ridiculousness.
  • All the awkward, horrible mistakes Evie made.
  • The writing was good for a début author.

Things I disliked:

  • The screenplay sections at the beginning of each chapter. They fit the story, I just wasn’t a fan of them. They bogged down my reading experience.
  • Evie. I wasn’t a fan of her. She drove me nuts because she was so oblivious. If I could see what was coming, why couldn’t she? It was that predictable.
  • It needed more Ben and Anette.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Would Like to Meet. It wasn’t my favorite book, but there were a lot of great things about it. I really loved all the awkward meet-cutes and the parts with Ben and Anette. It was a strong début novel, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for this author.

Review: The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street (Karen White)

The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street
Series: Tradd Street, #6
Author: Karen White
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Holiday, Mystery, Paranormal, Fiction, Contemporary
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The Christmas spirit is overtaking Tradd Street with a vengeance in this festive new novel in the New York Times bestselling series by Karen White.

Melanie Trenholm should be anticipating Christmas with nothing but joy–after all, it’s only the second Christmas she and her husband, Jack, will celebrate with their twin babies. But the ongoing excavation of the centuries-old cistern in the garden of her historic Tradd Street home has been a huge millstone, both financially and aesthetically. Local students are thrilled by the possibility of unearthing more Colonial-era artifacts at the cistern, but Melanie is concerned by the ghosts connected to the cistern that have suddenly invaded her life and her house–and at least one of them is definitely not filled with holiday cheer….

And these relics aren’t the only precious artifacts for which people are searching. A past adversary is convinced that there is a long-lost Revolutionary War treasure buried somewhere on the property that Melanie inherited–untold riches rumored to be brought over from France by the Marquis de Lafayette himself and intended to help the Colonial war effort. It’s a treasure literally fit for a king, and there have been whispers throughout history that many have already killed–and died–for it. And now someone will stop at nothing to possess it–even if it means destroying everything Melanie and Jack hold dear.


I’m always excited when I hear Karen White is releasing a new book. It’s even more exciting when that book is part of a series I have loved and has a holiday theme.

If you’re not familiar with Karen White or the Tradd Street series, it revolves around Melanie Trenholm and her ability to communicate with ghosts. Melanie lives in Charleston, South Carolina where the rich history of the area makes for some interesting paranormal interactions. There’s also some romance (Melanie & Jack), family relationships, and mystery to add to the fun. I will warn you that you can’t just see the words “Christmas Spirits” in the title and jump right into reading this book because you want holiday themes. While the mystery is new, the characters and their relationships are not. You would be completely lost. I have good news for you, though — the Tradd Street series is a fun read and you won’t be mad if you go back and read it from the start.

So, what did I think of The Christmas Spirits on Tradd Street? I had some mixed feelings. I’m going to lay them out for you in a way that makes sense to me.

The writing: Karen White’s writing never fails to pull me in. It did have moments where things felt slow to me, but I think that’s because of some of the feelings I had for one of the characters. Otherwise, Karen White left me on the edge of my seat wondering how it was all going to turn out.

The characters: Melanie is same old Melanie. She’s quirky. In all of the other books that worked for me. In this one, it did and it didn’t. I just feel like her character needed to mature a bit. Melanie’s stayed stagnant throughout the entire series. Now, she’s married with children and her family and friends are still having to manipulate her to act like an adult at times. I did love how all of her relationships and the relationships around her have grown. It was fun to see how the gang reacted to her.

The mystery: This was my favorite part of the book. As always, I was enthralled with the mystery and how the ghosts related to it. It’s what kept me reading when Melanie was driving me nuts. I refuse to say more because I’m not giving anything away.

The end: I loved how the mystery wrapped up. It was perfection. All of the pieces of the puzzle revealed themselves in a great way and fit perfectly. What I didn’t love was how everything else ended. There was a cliffhanger that irritated me. I got it, but it wasn’t a fun way to end the book. Now I have to wait for the next book and I’m hoping it’s not going to be a long wait.

As you can see, there were some great things and some that drove me nuts. If you’re a fan of this series, you are going to want to read it no matter what.

Review: Love on Lexington Avenue (Lauren Layne)

Love on Lexington Avenue
Series: Central Park Pact, #2
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes the second delightfully charming installment in the Central Park Pact series, following a young widow whose newfound cynicism about love is challenged by a sexy, rough-around-the-edges contractor.

There’s never a bad time to fall in love in the city, right? Wrong. According to the recently-widowed Claire Hayes, it’s very, very wrong. In fact, after finding out her late husband was a liar and a cheat, Claire’s convinced there’s never a good time for romantic notions. Determined to rid her home of anything that reminds her of her philandering husband, Claire sets out to redesign her entire Upper East Side brownstone and make it her own. But when she meets gruff and often-cantankerous contractor Scott Turner and realizes not all men are scumbags, Claire must decide if she’s ready to risk her heart again.

Scott needs a change of pace from the corporate offices and swanky hotels he’s been building lately, and bluntly makes it clear to Claire that he only took on her house for that reason, adding that he has no patience for a pampered, damaged princess on his job site. But when long work days soon turn into even longer nights, their mutual wariness morphs into something more complicated—a grudging respect, and maybe even attraction…? Scott knows he’s not one to settle down, but then why can’t he bring himself to put the finishing touches on Claire’s house and move on to the next job?

Filled with laugh-out-loud scenes that blend perfectly with the touching friendships Layne brings to life on the page, this “hugely entertaining” (USA TODAY) novel is perfect for fans of Lauren Weisberger.


If you know me, you know I love a Lauren Layne romance. She’s one of my go-to authors for all things contemporary romance. That being said, the first book in this series, Passion on Park Avenue, wasn’t my favorite. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It made me wonder how I was going to feel about Love on Lexington Avenue. I had nothing to worry about. I absolutely loved it! Love on Lexington Avenue was everything I expected it to be. It continued the strong friendships from the first book, had a cute romance, and was fun to read.

Claire, Audrey, and Naomi were back and ready to support each other. This was Claire’s second chance at love so she was the star, but it was nice to see her friends there to give her advice. Even Oliver and Clarke got on the advice giving. It was fun for them all to be involved. I also liked seeing things from Claire’s perspective since she was Brayden’s wife.

I was surprised at how much I identified with Claire. It had nothing to do with the relationship aspect of the story and all to do with the way she felt about herself. I liked that Claire knew what she didn’t want out of life, but needed help figuring out what she did. It was inspiring to see her step out of her normal self-imposed boundaries. This didn’t pertain to me, but I also liked what LL had to say about having children through Claire.

Scott Turner was the perfect person for Claire. He was one of the good guys. I liked how her experiences meeting him to falling for him made a difference in her life. He was the opposite of what Claire expected to want, and I thought that was cool. Plus, he had a cool dog named Bob. I also liked how he was connected to the gang through Oliver.

I really loved Love on Lexington Avenue. It was fun, sweet and just a feel good romance. Now, I cannot wait for Audrey’s book!

Review: Well Met (Jen DeLuca)

Well Met
Author: Jen De Luca
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.


Well Met is a book I picked up because all of my romance reader friends have been raving about it. Since they all loved it, I figured I would as well. I was right! It was so good. I couldn’t believe Well Met is Jen DeLuca’s début novel. It was so well written. It felt like a book by a seasoned author. It packed so much emotion — it even brought tears to my eyes. I was impressed by this début.

Normally, I like my romances to have dual points of view. Well Met didn’t have that. The entire story was told through Emily’s eyes. I was surprised at how well this worked for me. I think it’s because the romance, while a big part, wasn’t the complete focus of the story. It was more about how Emily was healing from a break up, moving to a small town, reuniting with her sister and niece, and working through what was next for her. I loved experiencing her figuring it all out.

I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about the Renaissance Faire theme. I wasn’t sure if this setting would work for me or not. It did. I found myself loving the scenes at the faire. They added another level to Emily and Simon’s relationship that I wasn’t expecting.

As for Emily and Simon… I really liked them together. I liked them together so much that I was a little sad that there wasn’t as much to it as I was hoping. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of deep and important moments between them. It’s hard to explain, but their romance was a slow burn that felt kind of like insta-love. It took a while for them to get together, but they were in love the minute they were finally together. I felt like I missed something in between those stages. Maybe I just had a hard time combining their acting at the faire with their real life romance.

Overall, this was a strong début novel. It was filled with memorable characters and a great story line. It’s made me very excited to find out what’s next for Jen DeLuca. Selfishly, I’m hoping this novel becomes a series and I get to know more of the other characters better.

Review: On the Corner of Love and Hate (Nina Bocci)

On the Corner of Love and Hate
Series: Hopeless Romantics, #1
Author: Nina Bocci
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

For fans of Christina Lauren and Lauren Layne comes a delightfully sassy and sexy romance about a campaign manager who reluctantly works with the local Lothario to help revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections, only to discover that he’s hiding something that can turn both their lives upside down.

What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.

When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.

Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.

A perfect blend of humor and heart, On the Corner of Love and Hate is the first in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci.


Today, I have a book I’m excited to share with you for a couple of reasons. If you’re a romance blogger like me, you have probably communicated with Nina Bocci or at least heard of her in some way. It’s always exciting to see a name you’re familiar with publish a book. Or maybe you’re like me in another way and became a fan of Nina Bocci’s writing with her collaboration with Alice Clayton on Roman Crazy. Either way, I was excited for On the Corner of Love and Hate for both of those reasons. Here is what I thought of Nina Bocci’s solo début.

What I liked:

  • I knew I liked Nina Bocci’s writing based on what I read in Roman Crazy. I wasn’t sure how that would translate to a solo novel. I was very happy to find that her writing felt just as strong by itself.
  • Emma was a strong female character. She was successful in life. She didn’t need a man to hold her hand through life. I liked that when she finally had a man in her life, it was because she wanted one instead of needing one.
  • Emma’s family. Her relationship with her dad was sweet, but her relationship with her mom was sweet and funny. I loved the texts they shared.
  • Emma’s friends were adorable! I loved Nick and Henry! I can’t wait to see them again.

What I disliked:

  • There was too much going on. There were three big things going on all at once and it was a little overwhelming. I didn’t know where to focus my attention: the mayor’s race, Emma’s tense relationship with Cooper, or Whitney?
  • The lack of Cooper’s point of view. Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of Cooper because all I got to see through Emma were the bad things. Even when she moved from hate to love, it was hard to understand why. There wasn’t much to show their love for each other. It was so slow burn, the romance was almost non-existent.

Overall, On the Corner of Love and Hate was a strong solo début for Nina Bocci. It made me excited to find out what’s next in the Hopeless Romantics series.

GIVEAWAY

Review: My Crazy (Sick) Love (Drica Pinotti)

My Crazy (Sick) Love
Author: Drica Pinotti
Publication Date: March 14, 2019
Publisher: Adriana Da Silva Gomes
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Amanda Loeb is a single, intelligent New York City attorney coming up on the eve of her thirtieth birthday. With a stable job, circle of supportive friends, and close relationships with her mother and sister one detail sets Amanda apart from others – she is a hypochondriac. Her medicine cabinet is home to a stock of medications sourced from an actively managed A-Z list of the best doctors in NYC. When Amanda meets Brian Marshall, a handsome and charismatic restaurant owner, her heart beats in undiagnosable somersaults. As their relationship develops Amanda learns the intricacies and complications love brings may be the cure-all ‘pill’ she needs to free herself from the affliction – for the rest of her life.


My Crazy (Sick) Love exhausted me. One of the reasons I read it was because I was curious about Amanda’s hypochondria. I know I have had moments where I was filled with anxiety and worried that something was wrong with me, so I thought it would be easy to relate to. I was also curious how this mental illness would work in a romance. Unfortunately, it didn’t work all that well for me in this case. Amanda’s suffering was completely overwhelming. Her thoughts took over the whole story and made it hard to focus on any other aspect of it. I didn’t find anything about it humorous.

That’s not to say that writing wasn’t good. I thought it was very good and felt like it was well researched. I also really liked Brian’s character. My Crazy (Sick) Love might just be one of those books that works better for others than it did for me.