What I Read This Week: August 28, 2022

This was my birthday week and I managed to finish five books!

Monogamy by Sue Miller

Literary fiction/Audiobook

Rating: 3 out of 5.
I was expecting this novel to be more compelling, maybe with a mystery element but it wasn’t that at all. While beautifully written, this is a slow moving drama about marriage, fidelity, and family. Annie and Graham have been married for nearly thirty years when he dies unexpectedly. The novel then follows Annie through her grief and what she learns about her husband after his death. I recommend this one for Miller’s fans as well as those who enjoy a slow paced character driven story. 

A Proposal They Can’t Refuse by Natalie Cana

Contemporary romance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was truly a joy to read. I went into it expecting it to be good but it was even better. Kamilah is a Puerto Rican chef trying to convince her family to allow her to update their restaurant. Liam runs the whiskey distillery next door. They’ve known each other since they were kids but grew apart in adulthood. Now their grandfathers are determined to trick them into falling in love by blackmailing them: They will sell the building housing both businesses UNLESS Kamilah and Liam get married. What follows is a hilarious and touching adventure. I loved everything about this story, particularly how is addresses gentrification. I highly recommend this one for romance readers.

Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan

Contemporary romance

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book broke my heart and then put it back together in the best way. I suspect it will be one of my favorite reads of the year. Nora writes screenplays for The Romance Channel because she’s mastered the formula, not because she believes in romance. Her latest movie, however, is based on the end of her marriage and looks like it’s going to be a big hit. After filming, the actor who plays her ex husband decides to stick around a get a taste for what a “normal” life is like. This story captures everything I love about the romance genre except there’s no explicit sex. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of sex being had, it just isn’t on the page. I usually don’t care for that but it works here. There’s also fanatic humor along with a lot of heaviness such as grief, divorce, and abandonment by a parent. I thoroughly enjoyed being behind the scenes in the movie world, and all the characters were well done. I highly recommend this one for rom-com readers.

The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead


Rating: 2 out of 5.

I read this book because of an Instagram review of it that was raving and it feels like I read a different book than that person did! The story is about a group of women involved in a cult who are violently abused. This was interesting enough to keep me listening but so dark and gross that it turned me off from liking it much, though the podcast component was cool. None of the characters were likable, which never works for me. I need someone to connect with. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Alexis Van Aiken and she did a decent job, but there are much better thrillers out there, I say skip this one.

Been There Done That by Hope Ellis

Contemporary romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Available on Kindle Unlimited. Book one in the Leffersbee series, which is a spin of off the Winston Brothers series by Penny Reid. This cute story was much better in the second half than the first. Nick and Zora were childhood sweethearts, planning to get married as teenagers, until he suddenly left and never came back. Now it’s 12 years later, and he’s a rich entrepreneur who shows up at Zora’s work and wants to collaborate on a project. I found the first part slow and drawn out, but once they act on their feelings for each other, I really enjoyed the story. Of course I love any opportunity to be back in Green Valley. This book has some great humor and steamy moments, while tackling heavy subjects such as addiction and abandonment. I’d recommend this one for romance readers.

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