Book Review: Well Met

All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek.

Published September 3rd 2019 by Berkley

What did I think?

Some books grab you from word one and this is one of those for me. I’m not even particularly into the Ren Faire fandom. But, if you want to dip your toes into the genre that is Romance, this may be your gateway book. Also, I don’t know that much about Romance yet, but if hot English teacher turned roguish pirate is a thing, someone comment and point me to more books please. Of course the two MC don’t get along at first, and you are just waiting for something to drive them together. It was a delicious wait, the story is the perfect length, and although small towns aren’t for me, the whole plot was completely plausible. This book is the perfect beach/winter day/escape your own life book, and it has zero calories, unlike peanut butter cups. I’ll be pre-ordering the sequel for sure.

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ARC Review: Meg and Jo

From the publisher:

The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger.

Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.

One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.

Reading this take on Little Women was so fun. This story centers more on the older two sisters (as the title implies), but all the characters you’ll want in a retelling make an appearance. It’s not a spoiler to tell you there will be a second book centering on Amy and Beth.
Now, if you somehow skipped reading Little Women, that doesn’t matter, this stands alone as a modern-day Romance novel. If you did read the original, I think you’ll love the modernization of the March Family.
I enjoyed the alternating chapter viewpoints, and overall it was like a doughnut for my brain. I’d call it a beach read, only you can’t buy it till December, so maybe a Christmas Break read whether you are on a beach or not.

Book Review: Finding Christmas

Dipping my toe back into the Romance genre again and I couldn’t be more pleased with this go around.
This is another book that reads like a Hallmark Christmas movie. Emmie spends a lot of time setting up a treasure hunt type challenge for her current boyfriend, Grant. Although, in my estimation, he put Emmie and her feelings last on his priority list.
He knows she loves Christmas, and he is ambivalent at best. She thinks if he completes this hunt, he’ll magically turn into the jolly elf boyfriend of her dreams. Of course, there is a twist of fate.

Emmie’s (just a friend) friend Sam accidentally finds the first clue and follows it. He’s pretty into the whole thing, and it’s clear from the get-go that they are the better match.

Christmas Point is one of those cookie-cutter TV towns where everything is perfectly decorated, and the roads are wholly plowed while snow is falling. I pictured it being a mix of Stars Hollow (from Gilmore Girls) and any small town of black and white film fame.

So, yes predictable in plot, but (shrugs) that can be just what you need as a reader. It’s a bit of fluff that will take your mind off whatever your real problems are that week. This would be an excellent read for Christmas break, it’s light and got me thinking about decorating for Christmas even though it isn’t quite Halloween.

Book Review: The Bride Test

Is this book the equivalent to a gateway drug in the Romance genre? Maybe, yes.

If you read Romance you probably already know the genius of Helen Hoang from The Kiss Quotient. If not, and you are thinking of dipping your toes into the Romance Pool, this is a great story to begin reading.

The mail-order bride premise gave me pause and since I haven’t read a ton of Romance yet, I was hesitant at the start. I mean, in this day and age that kind of plot could quickly devolve into some kind of patriarchal fantasy. But- guys, it’s smart. Both main characters even acknowledge the weirdness in this day and age. I loved it.

Here’s the quick synopsis: Esme Tran has lived her entire life in Vietnam and is working at a hotel  when a woman approaches her with the idea that she go to America and marry her son. Esme doesn’t have much to lose, so she takes the chance and goes.  Khai  isn’t too thrilled with his Mom’s idea either but is also willing to see how it plays out. Right away the reader can see that they are meant for each other.

This is a fun, light read for an afternoon where you just want to escape your own world for a bit.

Book Review: Waiting for Tom Hanks

*Swoon-Worthy* in a Rom-Com sappy sort of way. As long as you know that going in, and you want that kind of a read, you’ll be golden. It’s a fluffy, cotton candy, (insert your favorite sugary treat here) story and that may be just what you need this week. If you love that sort of thing, you’ll be thrilled to learn that it seems like this may be book one of a series.

Annie Cassidy is holding out for what she believes will be her perfect, 1990’s style, Nora Ephron inspired, real-life Tom Hanks-esque, man. She knows that he’s out there in the world waiting to bump into her.

While she waits, she works on her writing, until one day when a major motion picture begins filming in her small Ohio town. What luck. It doesn’t take long for her to secure a job on set and meet the guy who may or may not be her Tom Hanks. I mean it is predictable, but I’m not going to tell you everything.
I laughed out loud enough that people asked me what I was reading.

ARC Review: Crashing the A List

Grown Up Books for Summer Reading a series all week long right here while I wish that I was going to have a Summer full of lounge chairs instead of drywall…

Loved this- it's only the second romance novel I've read this year, and I am getting more and more positive That I'll be reading more. 
The whole premise of regular gal ending up with a celebrity because of unusual circumstances- pulled me right in. Add in the fact that she worked in publishing and it was right up my alley. Clara loses her job in as a book editor, has to move in with her brother and ends up taking a job cleaning out storage units- yuck. 
A series of events lead her to a famous guy, and she ends up "fake dating" him- which turns into real dating- which made me laugh out loud. This is hilarious and real and perfect for reading at the beach this summer. July, 2019  
Crashing The A List by Summer Heacock