What I Read This Week: June 20, 2021
I finished four books again this week, and they were all pretty great reads.
Who is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews
I’m certain I wouldn’t have liked this one as much if I’d read a physical copy because the writing is weak and repetitive. However the story is compelling and unique enough that I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The audiobook narrator did a fantastic job giving personality to the characters and adding suspense to the story. It was an engaging listening experience all the way through. I generally don’t like it when I don’t find any of the characters in a story likable but it worked here. It’s dark and twisty, and I wish the writing had been stronger- it would have been a stellar novel. Even so, I recommend this one for audiobooks listeners and readers of thrillers.
The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary
Beth O’Leary is so great at fitting a charming romance into a complex storyline. As with her other novels, there are heavy themes here. Unlike her others, this one stays in the heavy territory more often than the light. I absolutely love second chance romances so I was cheering for Addie and Dylan from the very beginning. I liked how we went back and forth in time between Then and Now, to get the full picture of what happened between them. While we’re learning Addie and Dylan’s history in the past, we’re along for a road trip in the current timeline. Addie and her sister Deb feel obligated to give Dylan and Marcus a ride to the wedding they’re all attending. This is a thoroughly enjoyable read with a lot of emotional depth and some great humorous moments. I highly recommend it for O’Leary’s fans and readers of romance who like some heaviness with their hopefulness.
Stud Muffin by Jiffy Kate
This is the next book in the Donner Bakery series, which is a spin-off from The Winston Brothers series by Penny Reid. So far, the books I’ve read by other authors that take place in Penny’s universe have been hit or miss. I go into them with low expectations, and this one was a definite hit. I loved everything about this book except I found the writing lacking at times, mostly in regard to editing. Everything else about the book is exactly what I love about the romance genre. We have two characters with troubled backstories, who believe they are broken and unworthy of love. They meet each other and despite being drastically different, they have a lot in common. Eventually they fall in love and give each other everything they they believed they didn’t deserve. This is a vast oversimplification of the plot, but it was a pure joy to read. The characters are unique and complex, I loved the MMA spin on things and how exercise played a part in the characters’ mental health. It’s funny and quite sexy. I highly recommend it for readers of romance and I’m excited to read more from this author.
Plot Twist by Bethany Turner
This is a warm, funny story about the different types of love we experience and what happens when they conflict with each other. The premise is unique and made the storyline fun to follow. We see the characters once a year, on the same day, for ten years. I liked this because it moved the story forward quickly and the author didn’t get caught up chronicling the little things that happened in their lives. It also made the emotional rollercoaster more intense than a typical romance novel. Yes, this is ultimately a romance novel. But it’s really so much more. The core relationship is between Olivia and her lifelong best friend Fiona.The writing is witty and the characters are well developed. The city of Los Angeles is almost a character itself, and there are even a few celebrities thrown in that made for some hilarious scenes. I highly recommend this one for readers of romance, and I’m going to seek out more by this author.