Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Summerween Reviews | Middle of the Night and One Perfect Couple

Posted July 9, 2024 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Summerween Reviews | Middle of the Night and One Perfect Couple

Summerween is a readathon hosted by GabbyReads that runs in early July each year. This year’s readathon was hosted July 5th through 11th with the following prompts: read a book in the dark, read a thriller or horror book, read a book with a night sky on the cover, read a book with 5 words in the title, and read a book set during the summer. For more information click HERE. I read one Riley Sager book before and didn’t love it as much as I had hoped. MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT was much better for me – I’m a big true crime consumer but only if it’s about missing persons and unsolved cases. This book scratched that itch for me for sure. The story follows Ethan as he returns to his childhood home 30 years after his best friend Billy was kidnapped from the tent they were camping in in the backyard. The crime remains cold and unsolved… until Ethan begins noticing some hints of Billy around the neighborhood. He sets out to solve the mystery with the help of old friends and neighbors. I really enjoyed this! The way that Sager structured the book is alternating chapters between present day and the day in 1994 when Billy went missing. There were a lot more POVs in the past chapters, which I really enjoyed – they were well-timed with what Ethan was discovering in the present. I was always itching to keep reading; Sager had some kind of cliffhanger or dramatic […]

Recent Reads | The Midnight Feast and The Ballad of Darcy and Russell

Posted July 8, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Midnight Feast and The Ballad of Darcy and Russell

I am a Lucy Foley fangirl and kind of think she can do no wrong. I even loved THE PARIS APARTMENT and would tell you if you didn’t, this one may bring you back to her. For some reason this was yet another highly anticipated book that took me forever to get into but really paid off by the end. Like her other books, I totally could have read it in one sitting if I tried. The book centers around multiple POVs and I thought all of them were super interesting (and relevant by the end). As the synopsis states, we follow the founder, the husband, the mystery guest, the kitchen help… and then a couple more I won’t spoil just in case. Foley does such a good job with the initial slow drip of information through each person and timeline that makes you curious to learn what happened, and then the multiple twists toward the end bringing everything home. I was convinced I wouldn’t love this one compared to her others but there were a LOT of good twists. The little horror-esque elements didn’t turn me off like I expected, and I really loved how all of that ended up. The Birds and local lore were fascinating elements and I can now see how the info she shared during her book signing connects to everything. She was inspired by similar events (non-local people buying up land and making posh getaways in the farm-y countryside to piss off locals) but […]

Recent Reads | This Summer Will Be Different and Falling

Posted May 30, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | This Summer Will Be Different and Falling

I read both of these books Memorial Day weekend but also managed to finish one book per day across Sunday and Monday. Finally brought me current on my reading challenge! Carley Fortune has been an interesting author for me (and many other readers, as far as I can tell!). Many of us fell in love with EVERY SUMMER AFTER and all of its messiness. MEET ME AT THE LAKE didn’t quite have the same charm or affect on its audience but, to me, was still a worthwhile read. I was looking forward to checking out whatever she did next… and boy did she knock THIS SUMMER WILL BE DIFFERENT out of the park. One summer, Lucy heads to PEI to visit with her best friend and hooks up with a hot restaurant worker named Felix. The next morning, they quickly realize that Felix is actually Wolf and Lucy is Bee – she just hooked up with her best friend’s brother and she’s already landed at their summer home. The two of them end up hooking up on and off throughout the years and it’s just an occasional secret fling… or is it? I loved that this was sort of quiet and slow-moving throughout the romance/plot, despite the initial hot start between the characters. Lucy and Felix really needed to find themselves and it didn’t feel rushed at all, even though every reader probably knew exactly where it was heading. While I do think this is her actual best book, it’s […]

Recent Reads | The Paradise Problem and The Search Party

Posted May 24, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Paradise Problem and The Search Party

Man, Christina Lauren has truly done it again. I know I’m a relatively new reader of theirs but I just think they’re in the top-echelon of contemporary romance / rom-com writers. I noted on my Instagram caption that each year I most look forward to new books by Emily Henry, Abby Jimenez, and Christina Lauren. These gals are my top auto-read authors for romance… and none of them have disappointed. ALL three 2024 releases by them were five stars for me. THE PARADISE PROBLEM has a marriage of convenience trope, super duper rich people with inheritance on the line, a tropical setting with a wedding involved… genuinely what more could I want? Excellent characters with fun personalities, a ton of sexual tension, and really funny moments? Yes, all of those too! Anna and West got married almost five years ago to secure cheap family student housing. Anna didn’t exactly read the finer details of their contract and surprise! They’re still married and West needs her to be his guest to his sister’s wedding on a private island in Indonesia so he can collect his multi-hundred-million-dollar inheritance. While this was the usual steamy, tension-filled rom-com from Christina Lauren, there were definitely some heavier elements involved too. West’s family is…something else. The two of them were not set up for an easy trip, especially with Anna actually being a broke artist instead of the med student he thought she was when they first got married. It was so frustrating to read about […]

First Read of the Year: Bright Young Women

Posted January 12, 2024 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
First Read of the Year: Bright Young Women

This was a really surprising first book of the year for me. I thought about making it my last book of 2023 but it was too clean and nice to end the year at 115 books instead of 116 😉 I just took a little reading break for a few days as we ushered in the new year and I got over being sick. BRIGHT YOUNG WOMEN follows two women on opposite coasts affected by the same serial killer. Pamela’s sorority house is broken into – two girls are murdered and two are gravely injured, and she is dealing with the fallout as sorority president and friend to these girls. She soon encounters Tina, a woman who believes she knows who the killer is… Her friend Ruth (the other POV we get in the book) was one of his victims before he made his way from Washington to Florida. As you may be able to tell, this story is based broadly on Ted Bundy and his horrible acts across the US. I was on the fence about reading this book and hadn’t even marked it as “to read” on Goodreads when I bought it on a whim at the store and started it within the week. I don’t follow serial killer true crime stories or podcasts because the victims aren’t at the forefront so my only knowledge of the man “featured” in this book was the Zac Efron movie (watched only because of said actor). This reads like a true […]

Review Roundup | Sister of the Bride, Drowning, and Murder in the Family

Posted September 27, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Sister of the Bride, Drowning, and Murder in the Family

I’ve enjoyed Morrill’s YA books before – they’re usually nice and bantery, super easy to read, and a lot of fun. I was so excited when I saw she wrote an adult contemporary romance and requested it immediately. SISTER OF THE BRIDE is apparently a Father of the Bride retelling (?) but I haven’t seen the movie. I loved the premise of a girl having to plan her sister’s wedding while falling in love with her best friend. This is the kind of book that you could easily sit and read in one sitting so I’m a little annoyed it took me so long to finish it! I started it right before my birthday weekend, which always gets too busy for reading. In any case, the Italian food and Boston vibes were immaculate in this book. I’m from Connecticut so Boston is an hour and a half from where I live. It was fun to see what they included and how they presented the story. It was a really unique situation for the MC Pippin and it was fun to see how she would move on with her life after literally everything changed. She was occasionally frustrating but I have to say, the lack of drama and miscommunication in this one (especially in a few key areas near the end) was just perfect. She would get annoyed about something and freak out, then come back to earth and apologize. It was refreshing that she didn’t let things get to her for too long and […]

ARC Review: Something Close to Magic

Posted June 12, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Something Close to Magic

I’m a huge Emma Mills fan. Every New Years Day for a few years in a row, I would hang out and read her next release that day, basically in one sitting, to start the New Year off on the right foot. I think I still have one contemporary romance from her backlist to read but I was really excited to see her foray into fantasy… especially one that sounded on the cozier side! I’ll admit that it took me a while to get into this. I think the problem was mostly having to read on my iPad because of the file type but I also just wasn’t hooked like I thought I would be. Her writing style is really different here and fantasy-oriented. I never would have guessed it was her writing without knowing. It just took a little getting used to! There are some elements of her signature clever dialogue between the characters though, so that helped! The story centers around Auralie, a baker’s apprentice in a small village, who suddenly finds herself hanging out with trolls and princes and bounty hunters. They go on a little quest at the beginning and then there’s an interlude of letter-writing (cute!) before some fun drama and action at the end. I’d definitely say this qualifies as a cozy fantasy because it’s breezy and fun to read while not having high-stakes action and worldbuilding. The second half of this book honestly REALLY took off for me. The trouble I had trying […]

Review Roundup | The Do-Over, The Appeal, and Cold Clay

Posted March 13, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Do-Over, The Appeal, and Cold Clay

I’m a sucker for Groundhog Day / time loop stories, as everyone knows by now. I was intrigued by THE DO-OVER when I saw so many people reading it but didn’t set out on a mission to read it until (a) I realized it was a Groundhog Day book and (b) it took place on Valentines Day. I was so determined to read it during Valentines Day that I went to three different stores and attempted two store pick-up orders before I finally snagged it in the fifth and final attempt (another Target store pickup). When Emilie sees her boyfriend cheating on her on Valentines Day, she wakes up the next day only to find it is yet again Valentines Day. Can she stop him from cheating? Does she even want to? The story progresses in a similar way to other time loop stories with the MC trying new ways to live out the day and see if it resets the loop. She ends up getting close to Nick, her surly lab partner, on and off throughout the days and sparks fly on one of her repeating days. All in all, the book was really cute and enjoyable to read! There were absolutely has some cringe-worthy levels of cheesiness toward the end but I got through it. Every Groundhog Day book has at least one day where the MC does whatever they want, damn the consequences, because there ARE no consequences. That particular day for Emilie was definitely cringey. These […]

Recent Reads: Made in Manhattan, The Family Game, and You’re Invited

Posted January 4, 2023 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Recent Reads: Made in Manhattan, The Family Game, and You’re Invited

I’ve read a few books at the end of last year (that didn’t really involve the holiday season) and just wanted to share some quick thoughts, so we’re here today with mini reviews! I’ve become a huge sucker for Lauren Layne’s books. I adored the Central Park Pact series and found them super addicting, and her follow-up (TO SIR WITH LOVE) was excellent too. I just think her writing is so easy to read and exactly what I need in my life when I’m struggling with books holding my attention! MADE IN MANHATTAN was a reverse “My Fair Lady” retelling. Posh NYC heiress Violet is asked by her de facto grandmother to help whip her newly discovered grandson, Cain, into shape so he can (hopefully) take over their family business. The two spend time getting to know each other and disagree on a ton of things before the obvious happens. This was a cute story and I’m glad I finally picked it up – I definitely needed something light and breezy. Cain and Violet were nice characters with more in common than they thought. The ending was sweet and the drama was minimal, which is generally what I prefer from my romance these days! I’d recommend it if you like her other books for sure. THE FAMILY GAME was a was super intriguing and addicting! Harry and her fiance begin spending more and more time with his family and she’s quickly brought into their world. His father seems intense (and […]

Review Round Up | One Italian Summer, All Good People Here, and The Final Gambit

Posted September 8, 2022 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | One Italian Summer, All Good People Here, and The Final Gambit

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I picked this one up from my shelves on a whim when I was trying to read 7 books in 7 days. It was short and had an audiobook available on Scribd, so I was able to read it in a day and feel good about my progress! I was pleasantly surprised for the most part, after really enjoying Serle’s other adult fiction books (and not loving her YA lol). She writes such unique and creative concepts! The book starts with a lot of raw grief as Katy is mourning the loss of her mom, Carol. Her mom was legitimately her best friend and it sounds like she really relied on her for pretty much everything. I don’t usually gravitate toward books where someone is actively grieving like this – I don’t mind books with someone trying to move on but usually not right after, if that makes sense… I try to stay away from sad reads! I also couldn’t relate to her relationship with her mom. I really love my mom and get along well with her, but she isn’t my go-to person for every problem or question. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the way Katy spoke about her, but it was clear they […]