In Case You Missed It by Lindsey Kelk

Who’s ready for a super quick review? You? Oh well, perfect- I’m glad I can accommodate you!

I requested this book because I’ve heard amazing things about the author and I was so excited to be awarded an ARC. The premise sounded great to me! In the end, I ended up DNFing at 50%
The heroine was making bad choices that were stressful for me to read. She was too wistful about holding onto the past.
I really liked John and wished I would’ve gotten more scenes with him at this point.
I enjoyed the writing style a lot and found it witty! I would definitely pick up another book by the author – but overall this one just wasn’t for me.

I think if I would’ve finished it- it would’ve been a three star read for me – so feel free to pick this one up if it interests you!

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins for this advanced readers copy!

Christmas at Holiday House by RaeAnne Thayne

christmas at holiday house

 

official blurb
This New Year will bring widowed nurse Abigail Powell a fresh start in a different city. Excited about the chance to create an unforgettable Christmas for her young son in picturesque Silver Bells, Colorado, Abby has been hired to take care of her dear friend’s recuperating grandmother. But sprightly senior Winnie insists she doesn’t need looking after. What she does need is help decorating her historic mansion, Holiday House, for a seasonal town fundraiser. Abby warms to the festive task, but she’ll have to contend with her own personal Grinch: Winnie’s prickly grandson, Ethan Lancaster. Ethan Lancaster is good at a lot of things. Relationships surely aren’t one of them. His ex-fiancée convinced Ethan he was incapable of love, and he believes her…up until the moment he impulsively kisses Abby. What is it about this vibrant woman and her sweet son that knocks his world off-kilter? He knows they’re leaving town after Christmas. He just didn’t expect they’d be taking a little of his heart with them. But as he and Abby work together on the magical Holiday House through the record cold weather, visions of a different future dance in his head…one filled with warmth, love and a new beginning for them both.

 

arc review

 

3 out of 5
🔥  out of 5 steam level

This was my first book by this author. I am all about Hallmark and Christmas and this book delivered with those vibes. Instead of having a dual point of view, I was surprised to find this featured three POVs. The main two POVs you read are between Abigail and Ethan. I liked Ethan overall but found Abigail to be less appealing. There was a specific scene regarding sledding and her fear of heights. Personally, I have a huge fear of heights and don’t even like standing on a chair – but am easily able to go sledding. For this reason, that scene felt unrealistic and a tad eye rolly.
The third POV was from Ethan’s sister, Lucy. I actually found I liked her story the best even though it was featured the least.
I liked that the book featured diverse characters, from a latinx family, to a character with down syndrome.
Overall this book fell a bit flat for me, but if you’re looking for a sweet holiday read with low steam levels then this one’s for you!

Content warnings: loss of a loved one, violence (very little described on the page)

Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn

dating makes perfect

arc review

 

official blurb
The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed. Until now. In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school. In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster. The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him. If only he weren’t her sworn enemy.

5 out of 5

REQUIRED READING FOR YA FANS!

what i liked
I finished this book over a week ago and I’m still so dang excited about it.  This book was so good! You are going to smile read through it, you’re going to read through your hands cringing during embarrassing moments and you are going to be so glad you watched all of those romcoms throughout the years because those warm and fuzzies have prepared you to fall in love with the Tech family!
If you loved the Song Sisters from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, then you are going to adore the Tech sisters.  The Thai culture weaved throughout this book is refreshing to read.  The traditions and food are delightful in every way.  But that’s nothing compared to the actual family!  I mean, I could just grab this family- they were so real for me!  I was in this book the whole time and didn’t even want to pick it up the last night to read it because I didn’t want my journey with Winnie to be over.
If you don’t believe me that I loved this book- let me tell you this, I wrote in the margins of this book the whole time! I know, this is nuts!  I never do that unless it’s a five star read!
I don’t want to give too much away from this but it does include so many amazing references to cute romcom moments in your favorite movies.  And it does make you smile.  It does make you want to hang out with your family.  And it does make you want to eat.  Can you ask for anything more?!  I don’t think so either!

Good news, this book is out 8/18/20!  Preorder your copy now!

while reading you should
Eat: Authentic Thai food!
Watch: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Listen to: Catching Feelings by Justin Beiber

DuxSignature smallercopy

Get a Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

I found another old review! This one is coming at you from November 2019! (What?! I was pregnant!)

get a life chloe brown

4 out of 5🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 out of 5 steam level

 

what i liked
Loved someone tackling chronic illness as a heroine! Seriously loved this aspect!  Chloe has fibromyalgia and chronic pain.  And in her words:  “fibromyalgia and chronic pain were invisible afflictions, so they were easy to dismiss.” I felt this quote in my bones!  (If you’re new here, I am an endometriosis sufferer).

This book also features an interracial couple.  Again, I’m team interracial couple because I’m in one and I’m a product of one! But do you remember ever reading books with interracial couples growing up? No! Because they weren’t around, but it’s another big perk of reading romance.  I finally get to see myself in the pages of a book!

This book shows the positives of going to therapy. We need more books like this!

This is gonna be a series with the next book being about her sister Danni. And I will read that one as well!

So many lines I loved in it- here are a few…

Chloe used cuteness to disguise her inner evil. Sort of like Professor Umbridge.

I climbed that tree like . . . like Lara Croft!”
“With sweaty cleavage and frequent, strangely sexual grunts?” Dani mused.
“With effortless expertise,” Chloe corrected. Inaccurately.

“That track is the biggest waste of vocal talent ever created.” Dani arched an eyebrow. “Darling. You act as though you’ve never heard a Miley Cyrus song.”

“They’re judgmental.”
“I had no idea that it was such a reprehensible trait. I expect to see you on the news soon, protesting the judiciary.”

As for Instagram, you really should get over your Too Cool for School reluctance and just sign up. This behavior is modern hipsterism.

Okay I could have done liks 7,000 more quotes but I think you get the jist.  This book was hilariously quoteable.

 

what i didn't like
The climax of the book was almost juvenile-y dramatic. Is love worth it? That was too much for me.

 

Content warnings for emotional and some physical abuse in a previous relationship- more description of the emotional than the physical. Lots of f bombs and crass language.

DuxSignature smallercopy

 

 

 

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

THE SWITCH_COVER

arc review

official blurb
Eileen is sick of being 79. Leena’s tired of life in her twenties. Maybe it’s time they swapped places… When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen. Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

my blurb!
The Holiday meets Gilmore Girls meets The Golden Girls…. in Britain.

5 out of 5

🔥  out of 5 steam level
REQUIRED READING FOR FICTION LOVERS.

 

what i liked
Well that was just perfectly lovely.  You know when you finish watching the Kiera Knightley version of Pride & Prejudice and you just want to go around drinking tea, taking long walks and speaking in an English accent? No? Just me?  Well this book left me with similar vibes.
There were so many quotes I loved throughout the book but since it was an advanced readers copy I can’t share them all with you. But trust me, you’re going to love it.
The characters were so likable. I loved them! It took me a while to get everyone’s names down because there are strong friendship groups for both Leena and Eileen, but it’s worth the effort.  And honestly as you continue reading you catch on to who is who even if you can’t remember initially.  I’m personally very much hoping that Fitz and a girl with a car get a book of their own!
You know I love Gilmore Girls, which features two (well, three if you’re paying attention) Lorelai Gilmore’s.  This book features two Eileen Cotton’s and I was so here for it!
It was so well written that I could picture every scene. I can’t always do that with neighborhoods or cities, but I really could in this book!
What else did I love? You know when you’re watching a Hallmark movie and you’re rooting for some characters to get together and you just have a feeling that the guy you don’t like is really a schmuck but you just haven’t seen that yet?  …oh come on… that’s just me too?!  Well anyways, that happened in this book and I was so here for it.
This has romance in the novel, but it’s not the driving force. You should know that going in if you’re looking for a romance read.  It is a fiction novel with romance elements.
Overall I found this book to be like a hot cup of tea on a rainy day.  And just the coziness I needed during this insane time in the world. Highly recommend!

what i didn't like
I pretty much loved this book.  Leena had a personal climactic moment that I didn’t love her response to, but it didn’t make me subtract from the star level.

Content warnings: family member with cancer, death of a family member, infidelity, depression, panic attack, verbal abuse (secondary character).

Looking for a book featuring LGBTQ characters? This book features a secondary character who you’ll like.

while reading you should
Listen to: Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran (mentioned 98% of the way into the book)
Do: Call your grandma and your mom.
Drink: tea of course!

DuxSignature smallercopy

Engagement and Espionage by Penny Reid

engagement and espionage

official blurb
Jennifer Sylvester made her deal with the devil . . . and now they’re engaged! But all is not well in Green Valley. A chicken choker is on the loose, 61 dead birds most “fowl” need plucking, and no time remains for Jennifer and her devilish fiancé. Desperate to find a spare moment together, Jenn and Cletus’s attempts to reconnect are thwarted by one seemingly coincidental disaster after another. It’s not long before Cletus and Jenn see a pattern emerge and the truth becomes clear. Sabotage! Will an undercover mission unmask the culprit? Or are these love-birds totally plucked?

3.75 our of 5🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 out of 5 steam level

 

I loved diving back into the Winston brothers lives. I struggled through a lot of the “pennyverse” books so I was not sure how I would feel revisiting this world again, but in the end I was happy I did.

Cletus and Jenn are as adorable as ever. This was a different genre of book than the Winston brothers- I would call this a steamy cozy mystery, with the steam level being quite high.

I really liked this book! It was a little stressful for me (that’s normal with me and any suspense even if it’s minimal), even with it being pretty predictable. It was fun to try to piece together where this book intertwined with the other books in the timeline. I almost had to remember what I didn’t know yet.

One of the things that this book mentions is how rude Cletus is to Roscoe – I had no memory of this whatsoever! This is probably to be expected when you read 628183772 books in this universe but it was kind of funny to me that I didn’t remember that at all.

Like most PR books there are plenty of content warnings: abuse (emotional and physical), kidnapping, gun violence, attempted murder.

Overall I read this book quickly and really loved the time I got to spend in Green Valley. I loved seeing Cletus and Shelley interacting a lot.

One last complaint is the last chapter was from Cletus’ perspective and it felt as though it should’ve been from Jenn’s. it didn’t keep the same cadence or tone that Cletus’ chapters usually did.

While this is technically a stand alone novel I would not recommend it without reading Beard Science (but in all reality you should read the Winston brothersseries up through beard science and then read this book). And if you really wanted to go for it, it would give you additional knowledge of you read Ashley and Drew’s book (Beauty and the Mustache)  before the Winston brothers series. I know, that’s a lot before this but the series is on my required reading list for romance lovers, so really you should read it anyways.

while reading you should
listen to bluegrass music – may I suggest the civil wars?
Eat: a new cupcake from a local bakery.
Do: change your oil and have your tire pressure checked. (Cletus is a mechanic after all).

DuxSignature smallercopy

Beach Read by Emily Henry

I had the HARDEST time rating this book.  Because there were things I really didn’t like about it.  But then I also loved parts of it and thought it should be five stars! Gah.  Okay I’m going to go with four stars for now, but I might revise it later.

4 out of 5

🔥🔥🔥 out of 5 steam level but level 🔥🔥 description used.

 

what i didn't like

Two authors are in a relationship. Only one reads the others books. Do you root for them? I mean you do…but do you really? Because you’re pretty sure one is more invested than the other.

There wasn’t a love triangle exactly but enough of one where I felt like…so are you in love with two people at the same time? I’m confused how you can make grand proclamations after it took multiple days to decide which person you want to have a future with.

I feel I should mention this even though I really don’t want to because it’s a dumb reason to not like something in a book..  But January cried a lot in the book, and at one point I thought…sheesh.  I think if I felt that she was facing her feelings and crying I wouldn’t have minded it on the page at all. But she is avidly avoiding resolution in her life so it made the tears more eye roll inducing for me.

There were multiple communication issues that drove the plot but would get resolved pretty quickly. I’m not a communication issues fan, and even though there were resolutions taking place, I eventually got tired of the couple’s poor communication.

what i liked

I loved the banter, it was quick witted and had me smile reading quite a lot.

Shout out to a book that points out all of the positives of reading and or writing romance!

13 chapters into this book and I was positive it was going to be five stars. I read it quickly and it easily could’ve been a one day read for me if I didn’t have a newborn and two toddlers.

I loved the best friendship between Shadi and January.

 

Lots of content warnings in this book. If you find content warnings (previously called trigger warnings) to be spoilers then skip the next sentence! Content warnings include: physical abuse, living in a cult, death of a loved one, cancer storyline, infidelity.

DuxSignature smallercopy