Maggie Finds Her Muse by Dee Ernst – 3 Stars In this book we are following Maggie who is an author that is struggling to write her next book. She has pushed back her deadlines multiple times but just can’t find inspiration. After breaking up with her long time partner her agent and friend tells her to go to Paris with him and his partner that maybe inspiration will strike her in the city of love, which of course it does. While in Paris Maggie makes new friends, meets a man, spends time with her daughter and reconnects with her ex-husband.
This book started off really slow for me to the point where I almost dnf’d at 25% but I told myself I had to at least get to 50%. By the time I got halfway the book did pick up and I was enjoying it but nothing about it really blew me away. I loved the setting and the descriptions of food and places she was seeing in Paris. I have been obsessed with Paris since I was in high school and it is still one of my favorite places I have been to so I loved all the descriptions. One of the issues I had with the book was that there was no break between narratives so it would got from and her daughter somewhere and the next sentence she would be back home writing. I am guessing this was just a formatting issue with my advanced copy. Overall it was enjoyable and the last half was a lot more engaging the first. Thank you St. Martins Press and Netgalley for my copy to review.
Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle – 5 Stars Oh my heart you guys!! This book hit me in all the feels and I loved it so much! I loved Sarah Hogle’s book that came out last year called You Deserve Each Other so I was a little scared going into this one but it did not disappoint! Wesley has moved up to be alongside Judd Lauren, Vasic Zen, Joshua Templeman and Will Trent as my favorite book boyfriends. Give me a grump any day of the week. Maybell inherits a run down mansion from her aunt who she hasn’t spoken to in years but was once very close too. When she arrives at what she thinks is her new home she finds out the house has also been left to the caretaker Wesley. Right off the bat the two have different ideas for how the house should be restored. Maybell wants to take it back to its origins as a hotel while Wesley wants to make it a large animal sanctuary. I loved the problem solving solutions the two came up with on to restore the house. This book was full of whimsey and charm as Maybell took us into her very detailed day dreams and I honestly want to visit Maybell’s Coffee Shop AU and have a donut! Highly, Highly recommend this book for a fun sweet and whimsical story of love and friendship!
Last Tang Standing by Lauren Ho – 4 Stars I have had this book on my shelves since it was released last year and doing a buddy read with @bookgoalbusters finally got it off my tbr shelf 😁This book has been described as Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridget Jones Diary and I can see that comparison. I have not read Bridget Jones but have seen the movie and the main characters narration at times was like Bridget’s. I listened to this one on audio and I highly recommend going that route. The narrator was really funny and I loved her reading Andrea’s diary entries. This was a fun story of a woman trying to find what really makes her happy and please her family. This is not a romance but does have some in it, just want to put that out there because I never know which books are more rom com vs woman’s fiction 💕
The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse – 3 Stars I really enjoyed the atmosphere in this book. An isolated hotel in the Alps that used to be a sanatorium. I was hoping for a little more creepy vibe with the setting but it didn’t quite go there. I also was just meh on the actual mystery but I did enjoy it over all. The epilogue of this is what really got me, I hope this turns into a series because I need answers!! One thing I found interesting is that I keep seeing many mention in books about how Sanatoriums were used to keep woman who didn’t conform to the time’s expectations. I really want to know more about this and plan on doing some research. If you have any recommendations then let me know.
Like Cats and Dogs by Kate McMurray – 2 Stars I thought the idea of this one sounded cute but the reality was that I just didn’t click with it. We first meet Lauren who runs a cat cafe and has a flirtation with a new patron, this patron turns out to be the new Vet, Dr. Caleb Fitch who works at the clinic next door. By chapter 3 I knew this book was going to be hard for me. I am not really an animal person (I like them just not to the point where I think one is better than the other) and this book relies heavily on the cat vs. dog mentality. A few days after meeting Dr. Fitch, Lauren takes her cat into the vet thinking they have a UTI but Caleb wants to run tests to make sure it’s not something else. Lauren then begins to argue with him, THE DR. about whats wrong her cat and the fact that she owns a bunch means she can diagnosis it. I found this scene so irritating! She is not a doctor, he is and yet she fights with him about how to treat the cat!! Then in the middle of this she yells “you’re a dog person aren’t you?” Really!! At this point I was done! Why did this become a thing? Why is there a trope for this!
I decided to keep reading to see if the book gets better and the answer is not really. I liked her writing and there was definitely some funny lines like when she she was equating a dog and cat person to a coke vs. pepsi person. Here again, I will gladly drink both and do not have a preference so maybe Im not the best judge. One other small qualm I had with the story is that they were trying to portray Caleb as a grump and he was in no way one. I love grumpy main characters and Caleb was not that. There was enough in the writing that made me want to be interested so I will definitely pick up another book by Kate McMurray, just not one about cats vs. dogs people. Thank you Sourcebooks Casablanca for my gifted copy to review.
Her Dark Lies by J. T. Ellison – 3 Stars This book was just ok for me. We are following Claire who is an artist and is about to get to married in to the very wealthy Compton family. As soon as Claire and fiance Jack arrive on the island of Isle Isola it is clear that someone does not want the weeding to go through. Accidents start happening and people end up dying all the while Claire, Jack and his family are trying to figure out whats going on. This book had potential but it just never really grabbed me. I feel like I missed something and ended the book going “huh?” I love a good isolated mystery/thriller but this one was just ok.
Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno Garcia – 3 Stars I don’t have a lot to say about this one as it was a short story so I don’t want to give a lot away. This story follows Amelia who lives in Mexico City and dreams about going to one of the colonies on Mars. I was really invested in the character and would have loved to know more about what came after the end .