Review: About That Kiss

About That Kiss Jill Shalvis ReviewTitle: About That Kiss
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Genre: Fiction | Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: When sexy Joe Malone never calls after their explosive kiss, Kylie shoves him out of her mind. Until she needs a favor, and it’s a doozy. Something precious to her has been stolen and there’s only one person with unique finder-and-fixer skills that can help—Joe. It means swallowing her pride and somehow trying to avoid the temptation to throttle him—or seduce him.
No, Joe didn’t call after the kiss. He’s the fun time guy, not the forever guy. And Kylie, after all she’s been through, deserves a good man who will stay. But everything about Kylie makes it damned hard to focus, and though his brain knows what he has to do, his heart isn’t getting the memo.
As Kylie and Joe go on the scavenger hunt of their lives, they discover surprising things about each other. Now, the best way for them to get over “that kiss” might just be to replace it with a hundred more.

My Thoughts: The seventh installment in Jill Shalvis’ beloved Heartbreaker Bay Series, ABOUT THAT KISS brings Joe and Kylie, a fiery couple who share a kiss that neither can admit sends a surge of electricity thru them. I pick up Jill’s books because she always serves up a sexy couple with a slow burn undeniable chemistry that turns into a hot and steamy romance. This one is my least favorite in the series so far because the mystery portion just didn’t do anything for me. But I’m all in for this series!

You do not have to read these books in order and each one acts as a stand alone but Jill weaves all the wonderful characters throughout the series so why miss out?!

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Review: I’d Rather Be Reading

I'd Rather Be Reading Anne Bogel ReviewTitle: I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life
Author: Anne Bogel
Publisher: Baker Books
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Genre: Nonfiction | Essays

Synopsis: Reading isn’t just a way to pass the time–it’s a lifestyle. Books shape, define, and enchant us. They are part of who we are and we can’t imagine life without them. In this collection of charming and relatable reflections, beloved blogger and author Anne Bogel leads you to remember the book that first hooked you, the place where you first fell in love with reading, and all the books and moments afterward that helped make you the reader you are today.

My Thoughts: Be still my heart…I’D RATHER BE READING is a pleasurable and gratifying book of essays.  Small in size but mighty in words, this book is a gentle insight into those delightful dilemmas readers far and wide struggle with: organizing your bookshelves, offering book recommendations (book bossy!) and other bookish challenges. I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Anne herself infused with her classic charm and pleasing voice.  This book would be an excellent gift for the readers in your life.

Review: The Proposal

The Proposal Jasmine Guillory ReviewTitle: The Proposal
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Fiction | Women’s Fiction | Contemporary Romance
Free copy provided by the publisher.

Synopsis: When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans…

At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…

My Thoughts: Cute, charming and swoon-worthy.  THE PROPOSAL weaves a cornucopia of significant topics into a fresh and modern day story.  Think fierce female independence, strong family ties and interracial friendships and romances.  And the food…the references to Mexican cuisine, which happens to be my favorite, and those tempting cupcakes…my inner foodie was delightfully satisfied.

I loved the dichotomy between the two men in Nik’s life; Fisher: the white actor with perfect teeth and a man-bun and not a shred of intelligence, and Carlos: the Latino pediatrician who is gorgeous, charming, devoted to his family and oh boy can he cook!  And if you read The Wedding Date then you will applaud the appearance of everyone’s favorite couple, Alexa and Drew.

Guillory set the bar high with her debut The Wedding Date, so I was a bit disappointed THE PROPOSAL missed that special spark.  There were a lot of cliches and the dialogue felt flat but the biggest miss for me was never feeling the chemistry between Nik and Carlos.  That said, this was still a fun rom-com and Guillory is definitely a new ‘auto-read’ author for me.

Review: The Space Between

The Space Between Dete Meserve ReviewTitle: The Space Between
Author: Dete Meserve
Publisher: Lake Union
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Genre: Fiction | Women’s Fiction | Mystery
Synopsis from Lake Union
Free copy provided by publisher.

Review: I love when an author writes a story that’s all encompassing – a brilliant, female NASA astronomer who’s unveiled a major scientific breakthrough engulfed in a truly scientific mystery.  THE SPACE BETWEEN is a fascinating story that weaves nerdiness, relationships and intrigue into a highly devourable book!  I so appreciated Meserve’s ability to inject astronomy into the story and strike the right balance between educational and compelling.  Growing up with a hobby astronomer dad I loved all the geekiness!  I spend time in the California desert every single year so found the locations incredibly relatable.  Overall I thought this book was fast paced, engaging, and kept me guessing right up to the end.  I loved it!

Review: Fruit of the Drunken Tree

FRUIT OF THE DRUNKEN TREE INGRID ROJAS CONTERAS REVIEWTitle: Fruit of the Drunken Tree
Author: Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Genre: Fiction
Synopsis from Doubleday

Review: I read FRUIT OF THE DRUNKEN TREE halfway thru and switched to the audiobook and so, so happy I did!  The narration is beautiful and adds an authenticity you can’t get from reading the book.  I found so many elements of this story fascinating.  The juxtaposition between Chula and Petrona; considerate wealth versus deprivation was at the heart of this poignant story.  Their friendship was intriguing and the way each depicted their personal experiences, as told from dual narratives, was simply touching.  For example, Chula referenced losing interest in the mass violence because it was a commonality.  The conflicting nature of Bogota’s beauty combined with its upheaveal during Pablo Escobar’s reign provide a clear mental picture of life filled with brutality and turmoil.  The background news reports were a brilliant addition keeping the reader informed of Columbia’s history especially the presidential campaign of Galan.

Thoughtfully written, sensitive and heartfelt Contreras hits the mark with this one.