Sunday, January 22, 2023

How to Keep A Husband for 10 Days


Title: How to Keep a Husband for 10 Days 
Author: Jessica Hatch
Format: E-Book 
Rating: 3 Stars 
Publication Date: February 8, 2023
Publisher: Bookouture

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Pretending to be married to the man you were married to… How hard can it be?!

When Lina’s oldest friends unexpectedly announce they’re coming to stay, she has to think fast. No one knows she and her husband Brown are breaking up, and so she persuades him to act as if they aren’t… After all, how hard can it be to pretend to be married for ten days?

Turns out, a lot harder than she thought. On day one, she strikes so many couple poses that she throws her back out. On day two, she gets muscle spasms from smiling too hard at her husband’s jokes. On day three, she almost has a heart attack when she puts her hand far too high up his thigh at the dinner table. And on day four, when she accidentally grazes Brown’s lips when aiming for his cheek, she almost passes out in the middle of the restaurant.

By day five, Lina is starting to realise there’s a thin line between love and hate. And while she can try to fool her friends, she can’t fool her heart. Was she too hasty calling time on her marriage? Is this more than make believe? And does she even have enough time to find out if Brown feels the same?

This absolutely hilarious and totally addictive romcom is perfect for fans of Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis, Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners, and Emily Henry.

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How to Keep a Husband For 10 Days is a forthcoming book by author Jessica Hatch.  This book has an interesting premise for a rom-com because the couple is already married.  The book goes back and forth between their time when they were first married and living in this little apartment in a small building, and the time in the present when they are going through a divorce.

Here's a little background: Lina and Brown are getting divorced.  Their friend Freddy still owns the building they all met in and held progressive dinner parties in for years. Freddy's building is about to be sold to someone trying to "snazz up" the neighborhood - read: Gentrification.  Freddy is trying to do everything they can to keep the property as is because they really want to be able to provide affordable housing in a city that doesn't have a lot of those options. 

There really wasn't a ton of "Comedy" in this self proclaimed rom-com.  It did have a few WTF moments, but nothing that I'd say really put it solidly in that rom-com category.  Also, the fact that the couple was already married made for an interesting premise because we already know they were in love once, and probably still are (it is labeled as a romance, after all.) The way they come to different realizations throughout the book is the way you'd expect any married couple to.  They have a lot of fun at the beginning, but things get hard once they're on their own away from their friends.  Then they realize that marriage is not always easy - that sort of stuff happens with married couples.  They both realized this, but what they never did realize was that they don't really have that much in common with each other - which leads me to wonder why they got married in the first place. 

Lina did learn a few things throughout the book about what she would need to do in order to be a good wife and about how to admit things about herself that she needed to work on.  And I wish Brown had done the same, but he seemed to stay pretty stagnant throughout the book.  There was little surprise that their friend Sarah became even more self centered in the "current" part of the book than in the "past."  Freddy and Mia, to me, seemed to be the most balanced, open, and developed characters in the book. They could have made a whole book just about those two and the passion they had and the way they cared so much for people besides themselves. 

Overall, I didn't hate this book, but I definitely could have done with some more actual rom-com and better developed characters. 

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book as an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley.  This has not influenced my review in any way.




Sunday, January 1, 2023

Pairing Book Characters with Songs I Love

 


Hey reader friends!  I wanted to do something fun that I've never done before - pairing some of my favorite characters with songs that I think fit them.  

I've picked characters that are, I think, fun, some dark, and all amazing. And here they are - along with a song that they go well with 


Kaz Brekker 



Alina Starkov 



The Darkling 



Frodo Baggins 




Samwise Gamgee 



Gandalf 




If you listened to every song - bless you!  If you have your own ideas of which songs would work for the characters I shared today, let me know in the comments.  Stay tuned for part two - it's fun to share with you all! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Library Love Challenge

 


Hello reader friends!  I am still on a little break, but wanted to do another post this week for the Library Love Challenge, which, if you ask me, is a totally stellar reading challenge.  

This challenge is sponsored by Angel's Guilty Pleasures and Books of My Heart, and the idea is to read as much from your library as you can/want each year. 

If you also want to join the challenge, you can sign up on their blog here


Friday, December 23, 2022

Bout of Books

 


Greetings friends.  I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus this month. But have no fear - I am returning in January and at the start of the new year will also be joining in for another round of BOUT OF BOOKS.  Are you really surprised?  I didn't think so.  

If you still haven't heard of bout of books, here is a lovely little about it written by co-host Kelly! 

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are reading sprints, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For all Bout of Books 36 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I'm not setting a TBR for Bout of Books.  I am just going to go in and read whatever feels good to me at the moment.  I'm just looking forward to a week of reading fun! 

I hope you all reading this will be joining in with Bout of books - it is truly a fantastic readathon.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

The Family Across the Street - Nicole Trope

 


 
Title: The Family Across the Street 
Author: Nicole Trope
Format: E-book
Rating: 4 Stars 

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Sometimes, the most perfect families are hiding the most terrible secrets. How well do you know the people next door…?

Everybody wants to live on Hogarth Street, the pretty, tree-lined avenue with its white houses. The new family, 
the Wests, are a perfect fit. Katherine and John seem so in love and their gorgeous five-year-old twins race screeching around their beautiful emerald-green lawn.

But soon people start to notice: why don’t they join backyard barbecues? Why do they brush away offers to babysit? Why, when you knock at the door, do they shut you out, rather than inviting you in?

Every family has secrets, and on the hottest day of the year, the truth is about to come out. As a tragedy unfolds behind closed doors, the dawn chorus is split by the wail of sirens. And one by one the families who tried so hard to welcome the Wests begin to realise: Hogarth Street will never be the same again.

A completely gripping, twist-packed psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Sally Hepworth and Lisa Jewell.

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I actually did a video review!  Watch it below, and as always, let me know if you've read the book and what you thought of it in the comments.











Friday, November 4, 2022

Blackmail and Bibingka - Mia P. Manansala

 

Title: Blackmail and Bibingka 
Author: Mia P. Manansala 
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 4 stars 

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When her long lost cousin comes back to town just in time for the holidays, Lila Macapagal knows that big trouble can't be far behind in this new mystery by Mia P. Manansala, author of Arsenic and Adobo.

It's Christmastime in Shady Palms, but things are far from jolly for Lila Macapagal. Sure, her new business, The Brew-ha Cafe, is looking to turn a profit in its first year. And yes, she's taken the first step in a new romance with her good friend, Jae Park. But her cousin Ronnie is back in town after ghosting the family fifteen years ago, claiming that his recent purchase of a local winery shows that he's back on his feet and ready to give back to the Shady Palms community. Tita Rosie is thrilled with the return of her prodigal son, but Lila knows that wherever Ronnie goes, trouble follows.

She's soon proven right when Ronnie is accused of murder, and secrets and rumors surrounding her shady cousin and those involved with the winery start piling up. Now Lila has to put away years of resentment and distrust to prove her cousin's innocence. He may be a jerk, but he's still family. And there's no way her flesh and blood could actually be a murderer...right?

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Blackmail and Bibingka is the third book in Mia P Manansala's Tita Rosie's Kitchen series.  This book, like the previous two in the series, solidly lives up to the mystery aspect.  

As soon as I started listening to this book I knew I was going to be delighted.  The book itself is well written, and the characters are as well rounded and developed as in the previous two books. In fact, this book takes things one step further when Lila's cousin Ronnie returns to town.  He's Tita Rosie's son, and meeting him helps give us some insight into Tita Rosie's past and family life before her husband and son just left her and skipped town.

With each new book in this series, the author takes us deeper into the lives of the characters.  We get a chance to learn more about them, their motivations, and who they are.  I love that in this book Lila's two best friends were more prominent.  We got to know them as not just her friends but her business partners (and people who put up with her being a nosy Nelly, and who even assisted her nosiness once in a while.) I enjoyed seeing even more of Jae Park, Lila's dating buddy and definitely future boyfriend.  He had this calm presence and was really good for Lila.  They get along well, and the chemistry they shared was spot on.

I liked the mystery in this book.  We start off thinking we know exactly who did the crime, Ronnie!  But of course we learn how wrong we are.  At a certain point you are able to really connect the dots and figure out what happened to Ronny's fiance, and the build up to get to that point is fantastic.  The author weaves in so many details and surrounds Ronny with enough people that you have to wonder at first who was having a little...fun, shall we say.

With each passing chapter, just enough is revealed that you have to keep going to find out more and solve the mystery.  And when you finally get it, it's great. Maybe I'm a little slow picking up on mystery stuff, but I had to really think about things before I figured out who did what.  BUT I enjoyed every little clue and every little aha moment throughout the book.

I also loved that we got to see Lila and her friends doing more with their business.  They opened a cafe called the Brew-Ha Cafe, where they have coffee, baked goods, and the cutest crafty items.  And seeing how they all work together in the cafe and as co-business owners is fantastic.  

Overall, in my opinion, this is a must read.  And, as always, if you've already read it, let me know what you thought in the comments. 

Saturday, October 22, 2022

What Makes a Worthy Book

I cross posted this on Medium.  I think this debate is important. 

 There is always this debate that crops up in the book world. What makes a book worthy and valuable.

  • YA books are NOT a genre in and of themselves. They are books that describe the general age range they were written for. YA books can be romance, sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, and any other genre that exists.