Book Review

Book Review: Snow Angel Cove (Haven Point #1) by RaeAnne Thayne

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 378 pages
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Release Date: October 28th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne welcomes you to a small town full of big surprises that are both merry and bright…

Nothing short of a miracle can restore Eliza Hayward’s Christmas cheer. The job she pinned her dreams on has gone up in smoke—literally—and now she’s stuck in an unfamiliar, if breathtaking, small town. Precariously close to being destitute, Eliza needs a helping hand…for her sick young daughter’s sake as well as her own. But she’s not expecting her holiday hero to almost run her down with his car!

Rescuing Eliza is pure instinct for tech genius Aidan Caine. At first, putting the renovation of his lakeside guest lodge in Eliza’s hands assuages his guilt—until he sees how quickly he could fall for her. Having focused solely on his business for years, he never knew that what his life was missing was Eliza and her little girl. But is he willing to risk hoping for a yuletide romance that could lead to forever?

A MIXED BAG.

To break this down, what I enjoyed was the romance. I thought the chemistry and relationship between Eliza and Aiden was sweet. It moved well for the short time-period and I was invested. The banter, passionate kisses and everything was great.

I also really enjoyed the setting. The small town, holiday/Christmas vibes was perfect for the season. With an awkward meet cute and lovable family members it made for a good started book for the series.

What I struggled with was the tragedy that enveloped every single person. Each one of them (as in, each character) had a backstory that was intense and took away from the story. It was then repeated way too often and sentiments were added every time they looked at another character. Repeat this scenario every few pages and I was exhausted from it all.

A bit good, a bit eh. It was a nice quick read though. I flew through it and it was overall enjoyable to check this off of my holiday TBR read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: main character with cancer, loss of a loved one(s), a child with a life-threatening condition, getting hit by a car

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Book Review

Book Review: The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 404 pages
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback
Release Date: July 19th, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She’s made a mistake so huge, it’ll wreck any chance of a partnership.

Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they’ve hired a lawyer–and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can’t sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the #@%# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope–and finds love–is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake.

But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back?

FIRST KINSELLA BOOK.

Was it the best one to choose? I have no idea. I did enjoy this one at least. A comment to the audio book though, did not love it.

Anywho, Samantha definitely had me laughing at some of the antics she got wrapped up in. It was funny and great to see her struggle with some of the very basics of house care. I didn’t love her at first (and that was probably the intention) because of how much of a workaholic she was. The change over the course of the book for Samantha was very needed and well crafted. Her new persona felt like it really matched the true Samantha by the end.

I wish the romance was more developed. Her and Nathaniel went from zero to one-hundred like whoa. Granted, there were some cute moments, especially near the end, that worked in their favor. Overall though, I wanted more.

I’m so glad that this story had some great resolutions. Getting more to Samantha’s life as a lawyer and what happened with her law firm helped me appreciate the entire story. I needed to know that it worked out in Samantha’s favor one way or another and this is why I love a good happy ever after!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance / Fiction
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; some closed door scenes and a mild open door scene

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Book Review

Book Review: My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: December 4th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

AMUSING.

What a quick, cute, simple read. I’ve had this one sitting on my TBR stack for awhile and in interest of clearing out some of those books picked up an audio version from my library to read it (which I highly recommend, I enjoyed the audio book!).

One of the things I loved was that there was a guy’s perspective in this book. We got to see the story from Reid’s point-of-view and I felt that help me understand him and Millie more. Millie’s group of friends were funny, a bit ridiculous, and caring all rolled together. I laughed at their text/IM interactions and the amusing charade of everyone using a dating site together.

I didn’t know how I was going to feel about Half-Night Stand starting off with a half-night. I’m not a fan of too steamy books and these scenes were definitely a bit much for me. While that bothered me a bit, it didn’t take away from the story and especially the clear chemistry between Reid and Millie. I actually really liked this friends to lovers trope and how the catfishing issue worked out too. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’m not a fan of lying online like that (who is?), but I thought it allowed for some great character development in Millie. She went to him, honestly apologized, and was able to have a constructive conversation about her inability to let other people in. It made me appreciate her character all the more.

The setting was perfect. I love the idea of professor friends hanging out and the older ages of the group (late 20’s, early 30’s). All-in-all this was a great Christina Lauren pick and I’m enjoying slowly going through their backlist, while keeping up with their new releases.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs; three very detailed/explicit love scenes
  • Trigger warnings: loss of a parent at a young age, coping with a parent with dementia

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Book Review

Book Review: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Rating: ☆☆☆ 
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Abby Jimenez
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: June 11th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Kristen Petersen doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen — especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

HMM.

I’ve had a lot of friends read this. And I have heard literally every review under the sun. All things from 1 star rants to 5 star raves. I have decided that I’m smack in the middle. There was some parts I did like (hint: Josh) and some parts I didn’t like (hint: Kristen).

Good stuff first, JOSH. Dude, this guy put up with so much crap throughout this entire book and I feels deserves more praise. He was sweet, funny, attractive and the kind of guy I would enjoy being around. The only thing that happened that I didn’t love was his drunk confession of love. I personally just don’t like those scenes.

Bad stuff next, Kristen. I was really hoping to see a bigger character arc from her. I knew the main subject of the book was infertility and the struggles Kristen was going through involving that. Her despair was palpable and I truly felt for her (and those) in that situation. I thought I would see her come to a better understanding of herself and knowing she is more than whether or not she can have a child. There was no change until the last page of the epilogue where I finally felt she was at peace. I wish this had come sooner. Her sarcasm and wit were on fire and she had me laughing at some point. Yet, Kristen’s CONTINUAL pushing away of Josh instead of just LISTENING for a minute almost annoyed me.

The romance was good. I liked the build up. The only thing that bothered me was the emotional cheating. I know some people don’t consider this cheating, personally I do. After that point I loved watching the banter and heat between Kristen and Josh.

I was emotionally attached to some parts of the book involving Kristen and Josh. I was HIGHLY involved emotionally in Sloan and Brandon’s story. I’m still a bit shaken up over it because I was blind-sided by that whole bit. Makes me curious where Jimenez’s next book will take us (I’ve heard good things about it too!).

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult contemporary romance
  • Language: A LOT of strong language
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs, two love scenes that were too descriptive for me personally (on the very explicit spectrum)
  • Violence: car accidents, discussion of a firefighters life
  • Trigger warnings: infertility

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