Books – April 2024

More book reviews coming in hot! I have read many over the last month after a bit of a lull so let’s jump in!

Fangirl Down by Tessa Bailey

Ok, so I mostly do like Tessa Bailey books. Her characters are always fun, and I did enjoy this one. However, there was a spicy scene in this one that was not my jam at all. Like it took this book from being a 4 down to like a 2.5 for me. Which is sad, as it had potential. Golf is so boring to me, but she really made it seem fun and like I should give it a try. And I liked that this wasn’t following the usual romcom track with the third act breakup over miscommunication. The banter was fun, and the other spicy bits were alright…but that one scene? Just no.

Bottom Line: Read with caution lol

This Used to Be Us by Renee Carlino

I am not sure how I want to rate this book, I have so many thoughts! First off, I really appreciated characters in their 40s, I read so many with the main characters in their 20s. This is a second chance romance, so you know what you are going into when you start it. Dani and Alex are getting divorced, they have a messy, heartbreaking history and two sons they are trying to do right by, so I understand and found interesting their arrangement with the shared home and nesting apartment. There were times I didn’t really care for either character, but they came back around for me. Bits of the book dragged in the mundane, but I did feel like I got to know everyone really well and see the complicated depth there. I LOVED the bits of writing in the albums we got to see, and the overall flow of the book.

But then we got to near the end and it took a turn. And I am not sure how I feel about that turn!?!? I didn’t love it. I wish it was different. I can appreciate that it didn’t go where I thought the book was heading. But again, it wasn’t my favorite either. I am curious to hear what you think if you have read it!

Bottom Line: Read it.

This one comes out July 9, 2024

**I received a copy of This Used to Be Us from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Habits of the Household by Justin Whitmel Earley

This book stirred in my heart. It makes me want to be more intentional in my home with our habits and how we handle certain things. I didn’t love everything the author said, I definitely read these types of books with my own discernment. And I felt like half the book he was trying to prove some point that he is one of us, with a messy imperfect house. It was a point that was made over and over. I appreciate it once, but it got sort of repetitive. But again, it stirred in me and I think the book was written with good intention.

Bottom Line: Read it, take what you want from it and let the idea stir your heart.

Just for the Summer by Abby Jimenez

I absolutely love Abby Jimenez and devoured this book in less than 24 hours. I could not stop. I laughed, I teared up, it was just so good. Justin has to be one of the best book boyfriends ever. He was so funny, strong, charming, and so sweet. Him stepping in to take care of his siblings? Swoon. Emma has such a painful past, and watching her grow and deal with it throughout the book was heart warming. I love that her and Maddie ended up on an island for some of the book, and it being a metaphor for how Emma lives her life. There were so many details like this sprinkled throughout, And OMG the baby racoon scene? I was howling!!! I love all the side characters; Justin’s mom, aunt and siblings, Maddie, Justin’s friends, they were all so good.

Bottom Line: Read it!!

Summers at the Saint by Mary Kay Andrews

I love to jump into a good Mary Kay Andrews, and this one delivers. I thought I was picking up a cute beach read and it turned into a murder mystery in the best way possible. There are a lot of characters in this book to keep up with, as we have an entire hotel staff and some guests, but it was all laid out well and easy to keep up with, as the book will constantly hold your attention. I really liked Traci and some of the other side characters in the book. I saw many things coming and predicted several things that were going to happen, but I was slightly off on a few things…so I love when a book gets me like that.

I switch between an ebook and audio book for this read. The audio is done from one of my favorite narrators and she really added to the overall experience for me while consuming this one and I definitely did nearly 90% on audio! I couldn’t stop and had to know what was going on. Highly recommend putting this on your summer reading list!

Bottom Line: Read it!

Releases May 7, 2024

**I received a copy of Summers at the Saint from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

To Have and To Scold by Valerie Pepper

This was a fun little spicy novella from Valerie Pepper! When Reese realizes that the guy that ghosted her after her best night ever is on the island and part of her friend’s planned trip…she is not pleased. Derrek is ready for a second chance after the night he left, but is it too late? Lots of fun banter as these two work together to help their friends plan a wedding in a tropical paradise. As with novellas, I am always left wanting more from the characters, but it was a fun, albeit short, ride!

Their Last Resort by RS Grey

I love an RS Grey novel, so I was excited to jump into this one. I loved the island vibe and the setting of a hotel where we get to see all the ins and outs of the day to day running it along side Paige and Cole. I loved the personality differences, and the side characters of the other staff members. The banter was always fresh and funny, a signature of RS Grey that always has me coming back. I will say, the pacing of this one felt slightly off. There was a lot of tension and build up and then I felt like it was over too soon. But that is sort of how a slow burn is supposed to go, and slow burn this was!

I really liked Cole’s character a lot. I wish we got a few more chapters from his POV. Paige was alright, but very immature. Maybe because I am 40, I might be further removed from the dating in my 20s, but it just seemed to me that she made some very rash/emotional decisions and was immature overall.

Another thing that bothered me was the way the villain was portrayed in this story. He should have just been a slimy character in action, but the main thing that was focused on in ever encounter with him was his eating habits and his weight. It was almost like all villains are known to be overweight or something? I don’t know, it rubbed me the wrong way. I have never been offended by anything from this author previously, so I hope this character was a one off.

Bottom Line: Overall, it was a fun read to kick off summer! I had a hard time putting it down, and finished it in less than 24 hours.

**I received an ARC copy from the author and Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

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