BOOK REVIEW: The Dating Charade by Melissa Ferguson.

This review is going to focus on The Dating Charade, written by Melissa Ferguson. I received an eArc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cassie Everson’s story is an interesting one, and one I feel isn’t written very often. Though the trope of not wanting kids, and ending up with kids is done, but not normally to this scale.

Cassie has had a lot of bad dates. So many that she decides to delete her online dating profile. But not before Jett sees her profile and remembers his childhood crush on her. Jett’s charms, with the help of Cassie’s best friend, seem to be succeeding at winning the girl. Until each feels they need to keep as secret from the other.

Cassie is the director of the Haven, a program to help at risk girls. Her favorite teen is Star, who has two young sisters. After her first magical date with Jett, Cassie become aware of the abuse and neglect Star and her sisters have been hiding as she sees the police and child protective services at their apartment. She takes temporary custody of the girls while waiting to hear if there is a family member able to take them in.

Meanwhile, Jett’s sister surprises him by stopping by with his twin nephew and niece, and surprise, a newborn nephew, TJ before leaving them there with their young uncle. Jett struggles to figure out raising a newborn and two toddlers with the help of his roommate Sunny and their neighbor Sarah.

The problem is, Cassie and Jett are both thoroughly aware that each other’s dating profiles stated that the other does not want children. Afraid of scaring off the other, they try to hide the children from each other coming up with lame excuses as to why they need to cancel or cut dates short.

Though I found both lead characters admirable, I became fed up with how long they kept the truth from each other. There is more drama to this book than romance. It was an enjoyable read, but not what I was expecting, nor what I was quite looking for in a read.

I think those interested in romantic comedies, blended families, and hot firefighters would find this book worth reading 😉 It was released on December 3, 2019, so find a copy and pick up this debut by Melissa Ferguson.

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: The Painted Castle by Kristy Cambron.

This review is going to take a look into the world of historical fiction and castles. The Painted Castle is the third and final novel in Kristy Cambron’s Lost Castle series. I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It was published October 15th and I highly recommend readers pick up a copy.

Kiera Foley had been working on a PhD in Art History when she was ostracized from the art world. She retreated back to Dublin and we find her working in the family pub when a dark and mysterious man shows up and makes her an offer. Little does she know, it’s an offer that she can’t refuse. She arrives in the English countryside and is delivered to a rundown manor housing a painting of Queen Victoria the she must study for authenticity.

This book tells the story of the manor and those that lived there in three different points in history. The life of the viscount and artists in the 1840s, the widow of the viscount and a base full of soldiers during World War II, and that of Keira in modern day, as they work to restore the honey cottage and beautiful library that was found bricked up on the premises.

Cambron does an outstanding job of using the three couples’ stories to create the big picture of one place throughout time. And although this book is categorized as Christian fiction, it is not as heavily based on the Christian faith as some. I think those that love to get lost in the English countryside and read about art would thoroughly enjoy this book. I will definitely be going back to read the first two books in the trilogy to learn more about Keira’s mysterious brothers.

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: Unmanageable by Lavinia Kent

This review is going to focus on Unmanageable by Lavinia Kent. This is the second book in her Forbidden Cove series. I received an eARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The main character of this title is lawyer Veronica Andersen. She lives in Forbidden Cove and commutes daily to the city. Sometimes it’s hard for her to get back home with work events at night, which makes it hard for her to care for her dog she got from her brother after he passed away in a car accident. She’s hired a neighbor to walk her dog when she needs it.

But when she opens the door she doesn’t find the older woman she’s expecting. She finds the woman’s nephew, the sexy Brian Walsh. The two feel an immediate connection, and after an initial hook-up Veronica invites him to be her date to her sister’s wedding.

The two insist they don’t want anything serious, and Veronica doesn’t take the time to get to know Brian. She even judges him for his current lifestyle of being a dog walker and doing sunset yoga on the beach.

But what she doesn’t know is that he was a star goalie in the NHL until a recent injury ended his career. Eventually the two can’t be kept apart and they work on their differences and learn about each other.

This was a fun, interesting read, and I will definitely be picking up other titles in this series.

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: Husband Material by Emily Belden

This review will take a look at the book Husband Material by Emily Belden. I received an eARC of this romance through NetGalley. It’s release date is December 30, 2019, and I encourage romance fans to pick it up once it is released since I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Belden’s charming story Husband Material centers on Charlotte Rosen, a 29-year-old with a secret she has worked hard to keep from literally everyone in her life. She works in data and risk analysis, and surrounded herself with learning to avoid her past. Other than her cute dog, and weekly phone calls with her mom, Charlotte has also effectively removed all contact with people in her past life from her life.

But life has a way of giving you lemons when you least want to deal with them. An unexpected package brings Charlotte crashing into her past and reeling about how to deal with its contents five years after tragedy struck. This brings her back in touch with friends and family she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years, and stirs to life past emotions that Charlotte needs to handle.

Can Charlotte learn to forgive those from her past, and move forward in life? I found this romance had so many layers to it than just your typical romance normally has. Charlotte must deal with grief, loss, love, and forgiveness, while chasing a future of happiness. It was a touching read, so I hope you’ll grab a box of tissues and read a copy of Husband Material by Emily Belden.

Happy Reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han.

This review is going to take a look at the second installment in Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series; P.S. I Still Love You. Netflix just released the trailer for its sequel adaptation.

In this second book, Lara Jean realizes that she has fallen for Peter. The plot points at the beginning of this book take place in the first film. It begins with the viral posting of Lara Jean in the hot tub with Peter. Lara Jean feels insecure by the rumors that start flying around school and decides to stay away from Peter despite her feelings for him.

When Margot is preparing to return to college after her holiday break, she suggests that Lara Jean get a job to fill her time so that she can get over Peter. Lara Jean begins volunteering at Belleview, the local retirement home. At Belleview she meets a feisty old lady named Stormy who teaches LJ about life.

Lara Jean’s little sister, Kitty, who was just a baby when their mother passed away spends a good portion of this book trying to set up their father with their neighbor Trina.

Unlike in the film, by the end of the first book she hasn’t gotten a surprise visit from the last person she sent a letter to: John Ambrose McClaren. In the book he writes back to her and the two become pen pals. She invites him to a party of all of their old friends group from middle school when she learns that the neighborhood treehouse that they used to hang out in will be torn down. The group also decides to play a game of Assassins.

While Peter and Lara Jean are trying to make each other jealous and fighting LJ gets to know John Ambrose again, and finds out that he is Stormy’s grandson. He begins to spend more time at the retirement home and LJ takes him out in the game of Assassins.

Lara Jean and Peter eventually talk about their problems and he confesses that Genevieve’s father is having an affair and she’s having a hard time with it. Peter tells LJ that he loves her.

I enjoyed reading this book, and it was yet another page turner. I can’t wait to review the third book!

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han.

This review will focus on To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. It is the first installment in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy and was published in 2014. If you haven’t heard of it, I recommend you dig yourself out of the hole you’ve been living in and read the book, and watch the Netflix adaptation before it’s sequel airs.

I watched the Netflix adaptation before I read any of the books. But once I started the book, I couldn’t put it down. It was a great decision of mine to buy all three books at once because I read them all very quickly.

This story centers on Lara Jean, a 16-year-old that is dealing with her older sister going away to college, being the only big sister at home for her little sister, missing her mother that passed away when she was little, and everything a typical teenage girl worries about. She typically hides her feelings, and in the case of any major crush she has had–she wrote a letter to that boy, but never sent it.

Somehow, her hatbox of letters has been mailed out and each boy approaches her about her letter. Josh, her sister’s ex-boyfriend is hurt by the letter, as he’s still grieving over the loss of his relationship with her sister. He doesn’t know what he’s feeling, but he turns on the over protective act when Peter shows up.

Peter is the first boy that Lara Jean ever kissed during a game of spin the bottle. He has had a long term relationship with Lara Jean’s ex-best-friend, but with that relationship on the rocks, Peter figures he can use Lara Jean to make his ex jealous, and Lara Jean figures she can hide from Josh this way. So Lara Jean and Peter write out a contract laying out the terms to their fake relationship.

Obviously, along the way they fall for each other, but they are both too proud to admit it, and have their own ways of hurting each other when they think it’s all for show and not real.

I really enjoyed this book, and although the characters have their problems to work out, overall it was a light, quick read. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out so I can see how it compares to the second book.

Happy reading 🙂

BOOK REVIEW: Let It Snow by Nancy Thayer

This review is going to take a look at Nancy Thayer’s latest Christmas novel, Let It Snow. This book was released on October 15, 2019, so it’s available for all of you looking for more holiday reads as we get closer to Christmas! I received an eARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Let It Snow is set on the lovely island of Nantucket, and follows shopkeeper Christina Antonioni, and her fellow three shopkeeper friends, and the family of their landlord–the Bittlesmans. Christina is a likable thirty year old woman who has recently lost both of her parents. She runs a toy store on the wharf in a shed with heat provided by an electric heater.

Every day for lunch she meets with the other wharf shopkeepers for lunch. Oscar Bittlesman has sent a letter to them all that he will be increasing their rent by 10%, a sum that will put them all out of business.

In time, Christina meets Wink, Oscar’s granddaughter, and puts her to work in her shop. She also meets Wink’s handsome uncle, Andy. Through the book Christina spends a lot of time with Wink and Andy, and falls for Andy. It’s a cute story and it spends time showing what small town life on the island is like.

Much of the story is spent trying to get Oscar to realize what the wharf stores are like so he won’t raise the rent. But honestly, the rent problem doesn’t seem to be as realistic of a problem to me as the problems in the book from my review earlier this week. By the end of the book Christina is engaged to Andy and would no longer have the financial issues if Oscar raised the rent. Her fellow shopkeepers would have the problem, but because they aren’t the main characters the consequences of the stores closing is glossed over.

Also, I had a hard time believing some things. Yes, she lives on a small island, but she’s also thirty. I don’t think that she was written like a thirty-year-old. Other than finding a partner, and having children her life is completely settled.

I enjoyed the romantic plot of Christina and Andy, and really enjoyed the storyline between Christina and Wink. I think readers looking for a light holiday romance would enjoy this.

Happy reading 🙂