What I Read This Week: June 5, 2022

I was pretty busy this week preparing for and then having family visit to celebrate my nephew’s graduation from high school. I still managed to finish four books, though only one of them was worthy of five stars!

Confess by Colleen Hoover

New adult romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Colleen Hoover’s books are hit or miss for me. Either they’re extraordinary or totally meh, and this one was a miss. I suspect I’m not the target audience for this novel. I’m WAY past 21 and past being excited by a guy who tells me “No one deserves to make love to you except me,” and all that kind of crap. I just don’t enjoy reading about such a dramatic relationship. I like the story here though. Auburn is doing everything she can to put her life back together after loss. She stumbles upon a job at Owen’s art studio and the connection between them is electric. But she’s torn between being with him, which feels right, and continuing on the path she’s forged for herself. As Hoover’s novels usually are, this is intense and heavy. I was engaged in the story from start to finish but it felt manipulative of the reader in spots and the writing is weak at times. I recommend this for fans of the author but otherwise it’s unremarkable.

Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake by Mazey Eddings

Contemporary romance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication September 6, 2022 This is an absolutely perfect romance novel. It has everything I want from the genre: witty banter between the love interests, sharp writing, enjoyable side characters, heaviness, and of course hot sex scenes. I appreciated getting glimpses of characters from the previous book, too. What I liked most about this story is the realistic portrayal of life with ADHD. I don’t have it but I love people who do, and I really felt Lizzie’s pain when she was misunderstood and it makes me want to be better in my life. Lizzie’s life is chaotic and she doesn’t spend more than one night with a man. Then she breaks her rule with Rake and they find themselves in a situation neither had ever imagined. While it’s funny and sexy, the book also tackles serious subjects such as infidelity and parental neglect. It’s a wonderful read that I’ll probably revisit (that’s rare for me) and I highly recommend this one for romance readers.

Happy Trail by Daisy Prescott

Contemporary romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This was an overall fun novel but I found it boring in the middle. I also didn’t buy the insta-love. I like the premise here, Olive is hiking the Appalachian Trail with her boyfriend when he suddenly dumps her. Instead of returning home to deal with reality, she decides to stay and finish the hike. I appreciated her determination. When a storm is approaching, she runs into Ranger Daniels, who is clearing the trail of hikers. I really liked Olive and Jay. They each had a great story arc separate from their romantic one. It’s always fun to revisit Green Valley and see characters from other Smarty Pants books (especially those dang cute Winston Brothers.) I recommend this one for readers of romance and I look forward to the next in the series.

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Contemporary romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This was an underwhelming read. I almost quit at 30% in because I wasn’t invested in the story at all. I kept going because it’s gotten so much buzz on Instagram that I figured it must get better. And it definitely did, I enjoyed the second half MUCH more than the first. We have two timelines coming together and at first it was slow and choppy. Eventually I got in the flow of the writing and was eager for both storylines to progress. This is a story about second chance love, which I always enjoy. It’s also about grief and shock and moving past those things. And what happens when you can’t seem to get past it. I recommend it for readers of romance.

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