What I Read This Week: July 24, 2022

Due to technical difficulties, I wasn’t able to post yesterday, so here’s my update for last week’s reading. I finished four books.

Something Wilder by Christina Lauren

Contemporary romance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a wild ride for sure! It’s not like anything else I’ve read by these authors and I appreciate that. It’s also not a straight forward romance novel. While that’s a huge part of the plot, it’s also an adventure story with a mystery at its core. Lily is the daughter of Duke Wilder, a notorious treasure hunter. He’s no longer around, and she makes her living taking tourists through the desert in search of “treasure.” When Leo shows up as part of group on vacation, Lily is take right back to their past together and their abrupt ending. I enjoyed the geographical aspects of the story, it’s all well written. I could see the orange of the desert and smell the dust. There’s some great humor and also heaviness. I liked this book a lot but something kept it from being a five star read for me. Probably because things wrapped up a little too neatly for all the drama that took place. I highly recommend this one for romance readers and also those who like adventure stories.

Dream On by Angie Hockman

Contemporary romance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’ve read 64 romance novels this year and this is by far the most unique! I loved the premise and the storytelling was top notch. After a car accident, Cass wakes up from a coma asking for her boyfriend Devin. The only problem is he doesn’t exist. Yet she has lots of memories of their relationship. Her neurologists say her brain created the false memories, and there’s even a journal article written about her. Almost a year later, she’s returning to her regular life when she stumbles upon Devin, the exact man from her memories. Compelling right?! I was sucked into the story from start to finish. Most of the time with romances, I can guess where things are headed (and I don’t mind that) but here I wasn’t sure and I loved it. All the side characters are wonderful and add to the story. I want books following them too! This was a funny, touching read. While it’s definitely about finding love, it’s also about figuring out how to be true to yourself while facing others’ expectations, which is very relatable. I highly recommend this one for romance readers!

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune

Contemporary romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a very sweet story and I enjoyed it but it’s not anything groundbreaking for the genre. The story alternates between the present and summers 17-12 years in the past. Percy and Sam spent summers together as kids and always had a special bond. Until one summer when it fell apart and Percy bolted, never to return. Except now she is returning to Sam’s mother’s funeral and she doesn’t know what to expect from Sam. I enjoyed the glimpses into the past summers, but felt the current timeline was a bit rushed. It’s a touching look at first love and regrets, and second chances. It felt like the author couldn’t decide if this was a YA novel or for adults. It would have been much better if she’d picked one and stuck to it. There’s graphic sex descriptions, so it isn’t YA but the characters are young for the majority of the book. One thing I did really like about this story as the Canadian setting. The descriptions of the lake, cabin, and small town were well done. I recommend it for adults who enjoy YA stories (this is NOT for young readers).

My Favorite Half Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Contemporary romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

These authors are hit or miss for me and this one was a miss. This friends to lovers romance was fun at times but an overall disappointment, mostly because there is a dishonesty thread that runs throughout the storyline. I didn’t like our heroine Millie much and couldn’t get myself to root for her. She created a lot of her problems and didn’t take responsibility for them. She’s the lone woman in her group of male friends, and I did enjoy their banter. I also liked our hero Reid, and felt he tolerated mistreatment more than he should have. But I always enjoy friends to lovers so that transition was fun to see. I recommend this one for romance readers who enjoy internet dating stories.

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