Book Review – Unpregnant

Published by – Harper Teen
Pages – 272
Publishing Date – September 10, 2019
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis – Seventeen-year-old Veronica Clarke seems to have it all – a great group of girlfriends, a hot boyfriend, excellent grades and an acceptance to Brown University in the fall. So when she realizes she’s pregnant, she decides to get an abortion. However, the closest clinic where she could legally get one is in Albuquerque, NM, exactly 994 miles away annnnnnd she doesn’t have a car. Too embarrassed to ask her friends or family for help, she reaches out to Bailey Butler, a notorious misfit at Jefferson High, and Veronica’s ex-best friend. Once on the road, Veronica quickly realizes the trip to NM would be adventure filled and they will have to face the pain of their broken friendship at some point. 

My Thoughts – Ok – A comedic abortion friendship story isn’t going to be for everyone. Yes, she decides to get an abortion so if you are uncomfortable and can’t separate it from a work of fiction to look at the big picture then this book isn’t for you. However, I thought this book was about a lot more than that. HOW she got pregnant was bonkers and her handsome boyfriend is a psycho. The mishaps Veronica and Bailey got into during their trip were funny and I loved how they both overcame the pressure of high school and recognized the beauty of their friendship. I can already envision the movie that’s already in the works! 

Thank you to BookSparks, Harper Teen, Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review – Mutts and Mistletoe

Publisher – P.G.Putnam’s Sons
Pages – 320
Publishing Date – October 9, 2018
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis – A super cute book around Christmas and dogs – what’s not to like about it?After Charlie’s boyfriend leaves her for his personal trainer and her London flat gets destroyed by a gas leak upstairs, she decides to spend the holidays at her cousin Jez who just happens to need some help at her doggy daycare. Too bad she’s not much of a dog person … but suddenly she’s in charge of the daycare center caring for a pregnant beagle, an anxious Great Dane, and other canine misfits. Perhaps the cute local vet, Cal, can give her a hand 😉 

My thoughts – This was a very cute and easy read. The romance is a slowwwww burn though. Very closed door so if you don’t do want a lot of steamy action then this is perfect. Or if you are looking for a fun romance for the holiday season featuring cute dogs, pick this one up!

Thank you to G.P. Putnam’s Sons for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review! It’s in mass paperbacks starting on 9/24/19!

Book Review – The Gifted School

Publisher – Riverhead Books
Pages – 450
Publishing Date – July 2, 2019
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Synopsis – Set in the fictional town of Crystal, CO, four young couples have been close friends since their kids were babies. However, when an exclusive new school for gifted children opens in the community, their friendship begins to crack and they are shocked by the lengths at which they are willing to go in pursuit for a coveted spot in the school. Children are pitted against each other, hidden resentments surface, and a shocking secret may destroy them all. 

My Thoughts – As a self proclaimed tiger mom, the premise is very appealing to me. There are mixed reviews of this book but I really enjoyed it – I even stayed up past midnight to finish reading it. I agree that it is similar to Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. It also reminds me of Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman. It’s written from various characters’ perspectives and the beginning is a bit confusing as you get all the characters down. I had to flip back a few times to make sure I got the names of the various families right. I definitely suggest writing them down. It’s 450 pages and it’s packed with details but you won’t want to put it down!

ARC – Love on Lexington Avenue

Publisher – Gallery Books
Pages – 288
Publishing Date – September 17, 2019
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis – The second book in the Central Park series. This one focuses on Claire Hayes, the widow of the cheating husband Brayden. Determined to erase her past with him, she sets out to redesign her boring and outdated UES brownstone house and make it something of her own. A brand new start for Claire and her home. What she didn’t expect was to fall for her sexy, successful, rough around the edges contractor, Scott Turner, and his big goofy dog. 

My thoughts – This series is quickly becoming one of my favorites of all time. The way Claire and Scott built their relationship made my heart swell. The dialogue in the book is so charming and witty. Also, any book with strong female friendships – I’m here for it! I love how they support each other and lift each other up. Even the men in the book just seem like super nice guys. The romance is cute but what really got me with the story were the friendships established. Can’t wait for the third one on Audrey!

ARC – Cilka’s Journey

Publisher – St. Martin’s Press
Pages – 352
Publishing date – October 1, 2019
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis – An excellent follow up to The Tattooist of Auschwitz! Cilka Klein, the friend of Lale and Gita from the Tattooist of Auschwitz, is sent to Auschwitz-Berkinau at the age of sixteen. There, her beauty catches the attention of the Commandant. She is forced to make choices for survival. When the war is over and the camp liberated in 1945, she is then charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia to serve a 15 year sentence at the prison camp. Faced with harsh weather conditions, she must once again learn to survive new and horribly familiar challenges. Despite everything that has happened to her, Cilka finds that there is room in her heart for love. 

My Thoughts – Another great novel from Heather Morris based on a true story of resilience, courage and love. Cilka is a great example of someone who is able to find compassion and strength even in dark times. The story contains a lot of flashbacks to her days in Auschwitz so it can actually be read as a standalone novel. This is an easy read – the writing is simple and easy to follow so if you are looking for a literary masterpiece then perhaps this is not for you. However, I thought Heather Morris did a great job bringing to light the struggles women prisoners had to face at such a horrific time in history. Please read her note at the end of the book!

Thank you to Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Publisher – Bloomsbury
Pages – 489
Publishing Date – January 29, 2019
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.

-A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Synopsis – Thank you to the Currently Reading podcast for pressing this book into my hands. Once I heard that it’s a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I knew I had to read it. Set in Emberfall, Prince Rhen is cursed by the enchantress Lilieth to repeat the autumn of his 18th year over and over, unless a girl falls in love with him. However, at the end of each autumn, he turns into a monster and loses all his senses, killing his family and citizens of his kingdom. Not exactly boyfriend material huh?

Harper and her family are struggling trying to make ends meet in Washington, DC. Her father ran away after borrowing money from loan sharks, forcing her brother to work for them to repay their debts. Her mother is dying and no-one seems to think Harper’s capable because of her cerebral palsy. But she’s one tough cookie. While trying to save a woman from an abduction, she gets sucked into Rhen’s magical world. 

Rhen and Harper must work together to save Emberfall from power seekers trying to claim his throne, all while trying to break the curse before the monster returns and kills them all. 

My thoughts – This book is so good I’m going to buy a copy to keep in my library and one to give away. I loved that Harper is not a damsel in distress. She’s flawed but she doesn’t care about that, even when people make excuses for her she ignores it and tells the truth. She turns into a warrior princess and gains the respect of everyone in Emberfall. It’s definitely more action packed than the traditional fairy tale and I’m ALL for it! The ending is a bit open ended and now I’m going to go beg for an ARC of A Heart So Fierce and Broken so I can find out what happens next!

Passion on Park Avenue

Publisher – Gallery Books
Pages – 288
Publishing Date – May 28, 2019
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis – Naomi Powell has come a long way as the daughter of a housekeeper from the Bronx to the CEO of one of the biggest jewelry companies in the country. Now her goal is to prove to the Upper East Side elites that she’s worth something. She finds out her late mother signed her up for an apartment in the building on Park Avenue where they used to live. When she goes interview with the board, she comes face to face with Oliver Cunningham, the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. He doesn’t recognize her but she hasn’t forgotten how he tormented her when they were children. Will they overcome the past and move on to find love? 

My thoughts – I am sad I did not discover this book sooner! It’s the usual enemies to lovers trope but I still thought it was really cute. Naomi and Oliver’s relationship felt really genuine and made my heart swell. The dialogue between them was witty and sexy. I loved Naomi’s friendship with Audrey and Claire too – they turned a crappy situation into a positive one. I wish I was friends with them!

This is a great palate cleanser between heavier books. You can finish it in a few hours. Bonus points to this book since my son is also named Oliver 🙂

My next book will be the next in the series – Love on Lexington Avenue. Stay tuned!

ARC – Met Her Match

Publisher – Mira Books
Pages – 400
Publishing Date – September 17, 2019
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis – Terri Rayburn grew up on the outskirts of Summer Hill, VA and spends her days taking care of the summer resort on Lake Kissel. She keeps herself busy so she can stay out of the small town gossip – there’re enough false rumors about her childhood already. However, when she returns home to find Nate Taggert, a handsome stranger living in her house, she thought she has met her match. Unfortunately, Nate is engaged to the mayor’s daughter and is strictly off-limits. 

Nate starts to throw himself into life at the lake and they become fast friends. As Nate starts to hear rumors about Terri, he’s determined to discover the source of the gossip. Terri doesn’t want to revisit her painful past, but Nate will stop at nothing to uncover the truth—even if the truth might be more than either of them can handle.

My Thoughts – Jude Deveraux is a household name when it comes to romances. Met Her Match is book two in the Summer Hill series. I haven’t read the first one but the storyline is pretty standalone. I thought it was a good read with well developed characters. I loved the banter between Terri and Nate and how perfect they were for each other. I just wished he wasn’t engaged. Technically he didn’t cheat on his fiancee but the situation he put himself in made me uncomfortable. Can’t wait to see what the next book in the series brings!

Thank you to Netgalley and Mira Books for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review! 

ARC – Bringing Down the Duke

Publisher – Berkley
Pages – 320
Publishing Date – September 3, 2019
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis – Set in the late 1800s England, Annabelle Archer, is a smart woman from the country who has earned herself a spot in the first female class at University of Oxford. In exchange, she must join the rising women’s suffrage movement and help convince men to support their cause. Her target is Sebastian Devereux, a handsome but cold Duke of Montgomery who is a close advisor to Queen Victoria. When they meet, sparks fly but they know they can never be together because they are not of equal standing. Will Annabelle succeed in bringing down the Duke?

My thoughts – This is Evie Dunmore’s debut novel and I thought it had a lot of potential. However, the story didn’t draw me in. I liked all the attention on the women’s suffrage movement and that Annabelle stood her ground when it came to the cause. But her relationship with Sebastian needed more development. It felt like they just had a few encounters and that was it? Seems a little unrealistic to give up everything just like that. Still worth a read though!

Thank you to Berkley and Edelweiss for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

ARC – Well Met

Published by – Berkley
Pages – 336
Publishing date – September 3, 2019
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Have you ever been to a Renaissance Faire? No? Me neither but now I WANT TO! 

Synopsis – Emily Parker relocated to Willow Creek for the summer to help take care of her sister after a car accident. Little did she know that she would be roped into volunteering as a tavern wench for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenage niece. She was determined to make the best of it anyway and ignore Simon, the school teacher in charge of the Faire who criticizes everything she does. However, once Simon got into character at the Faire grounds, he seemed like a different person and flirts with Emily. Soon she cannot tell if it’s real attraction or just part of the gig. 

My thoughts – This is Jen DeLuca’s debut novel and I’d say she nailed it. A classic enemies turned lovers story but I think the way she incorporated the Ren Faire into the story made it so much better. The characters and Faire came alive in my mind. It was a little slow to start for me; I’d say it didn’t start getting very interesting until about 35-40% into the book. Then I was hooked! Warning – the steamy scenes are pretty much open door so if you are into that, skip those pages! If you are a fan of Helen Hoang or Christina Lauren, this book will be perfect for you!

Thank you to Berkley & Edelweiss for a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review.