I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.Wait for It by Jenn McKinlay
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Published by Penguin Random House on August 10, 2021
Format: eARC (352 pages) • Source: Publisher
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A woman looking for a new lease on life moves to Arizona where she rents a guest house on a gorgeous property with a mysterious owner--a man who teaches her about resilience, courage, and ultimately true love, in this funny, bighearted novel about hope and healing from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay.
Stuck in a dreary Boston winter, Annabelle Martin would like nothing more than to run away from her current life. She's not even thirty years old, twice-divorced, and has just dodged a marriage proposal... from her ex-husband. When she's offered her dream job as creative director at a cutting-edge graphic design studio in Phoenix, she jumps at the opportunity to start over.
When she arrives in the Valley of the Sun, Annabelle is instantly intrigued by her anonymous landlord. Based on the cranky, handwritten notes Nick Daire leaves her, she assumes he is an old, rich curmudgeon. Annabelle is shocked when she finally meets Nick and discovers that he's her age and uses a wheelchair. Nick suffered from a stroke a year ago, and while there's no physical reason for him not to recover, he is struggling to overcome the paralyzing fear that has kept him a prisoner in his own home.
Despite her promise to herself not to get involved, Annabelle finds herself irresistibly drawn to Nick. And soon she wonders if she and Nick might help each other find the courage to embrace life, happiness, and true love.
The cover of this book completely sucked me in right off the bat. Super obsessed, but who’s surprised? I decided to, very randomly, read this book ASAP when I was approved on Netgalley. I read it in just a few sittings because honestly it was pretty addicting and enjoyable!
The setup here is that Annabelle’s friends invite her out to Arizona to work at their up-and-coming graphic design studio. They’ve hooked her up with a rental on the property of a mysterious retired man named Nick. She doesn’t lay eyes on him for a long time and incorrectly assumes (because he’s retired and he writes her curmudgeonly letters) he’s an old guy. Wrong – he’s her age and super hot.
I enjoyed that there were a lot of things happening in this book – each character had a ton going on in their life and all of the side characters did too. Lots of history and current drama with work or family/friends. At times it felt like a bit much, but for the most part it made everyone feel very fleshed out. I always appreciate that. I also liked that the POVs went back and forth between Anna and Nick – it was important to actually get in his head to understand why he was acting a certain way. On the surface he just seemed super terrible.
The writing style was a little repetitive and sometimes annoying (there were a number of things that rubbed me the wrong way). As usual, I can’t put my finger on it. Annabelle’s inner thoughts were the more repetitive ones and she talked to herself in a weird way that I can’t describe properly. I liked her as a character for the most part, but I wanted to punch her for constantly being late. You’re almost 30 years old and you don’t know how to set a recurring weekday alarm on your phone to get to work on time? HOW? She was also married and divorced twice by this age, which isn’t a big deal when you learn the context, but just reminded me of Ross from Friends lol.
The ending was not necessary at all so the final couple pages annoyed me, which is not how I like to end a book lol. I won’t spoil it but it was just a completely ridiculous way to end the story based on Annabelle’s life. It didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth overall.
I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon
Series: The Boyfriend Project #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Published by Hachette on August 17th 2021
Also by this author: The Boyfriend Project
Format: eARC (384 pages) • Source: Publisher
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When a personal trainer agrees to fake date her client, all rules are out the window in this "fun, heartfelt, and totally relatable" romantic comedy (Abby Jimenez, NYT bestselling author of Life's Too Short).
When it comes to personal training, Taylor Powell kicks serious butt. Unfortunately, her bills are piling up, rent is due, and the money situation is dire. Taylor needs more than the support of her new best friends, Samiah and London. She needs a miracle.
And Jamar Dixon might just be it. The oh-so-fine former footballer wants back into the NFL, and he wants Taylor to train him. There's just one catch—no one can know what they're doing. But when they're accidentally outed as a couple, Taylor's game plan is turned completely upside down. Is Jamar just playing to win . . . or is he playing for keeps?
I seriously loved the first book in this companion series and was super excited to read from all of the girls’ POVs. The setup for this (three girls dating and being played by the same guy get together as besties after their confrontation with him goes viral) is perfection.
Jamar, the ex-football player trying to make it back in the league after a major knee injury, and Taylor, the perfect fitness coach for his needs, had a ton of chemistry. I love a fake dating situation and these two did a good job with my favorite trope. I like how open they were throughout the book about their feelings and wishing they could be together, but not wanting to risk their professional lives just yet. They always planned to make it work though.
I usually get nervous about proper football terminology when it exists in books, but this was well-done and logical… even a quick reference to my Panthers too!
My one complaint about this book is more of a personal one – I’ve been trying to get out of the diet culture mindset and reading a lot about counting macros/calories and so much exercise was a bit triggering for me, based on where I am in my journey right now. I was able to mostly compartmentalize that this dude was an elite athlete who had to pay more attention to those things than the average person, but still – it was a little tough at first!
As is usually the case these days with romance novels, the black moment was logical and not based on miscommunication. The two of them had always been honest with each other about where they were at so I love getting to the end of the book and have them work through something reasonable and real.
Cannot wait to get to London’s story – I’ll be sad to see this girls go, though!