Hello and welcome to the LAST What I Read Lately post of the year! I really prioritized reading this year and got through my most books ever! I finished the year with 41 books and I’m really proud of that. Let’s dive in to the last lot:
Synposis: The Kingsley family is American royalty, beloved for their military heroics, political service, and unmatched elegance. In 1967, after Joseph S. Kingsley, Jr. is killed in a tragic accident, his charismatic son inherits the weight of that legacy. But Joe III is a free spirit—and a little bit reckless. Despite his best intentions, he has trouble meeting the expectations of a nation, as well as those of his exacting mother, Dottie. Meanwhile, no one ever expected anything of Cate Cooper. She, too, grew up fatherless—and after her mother marries an abusive man, she is forced to fend for herself. After being discovered by a model scout at age sixteen, Cate decides that her looks may be her only ticket out of the cycle of disappointment that her mother has always inhabited. Before too long, Cate’s face is in magazines and on billboards. Yet she feels like a fraud, faking it in a world to which she’s never truly belonged. When Joe and Cate unexpectedly cross paths one afternoon, their connection is instant and intense. But can their relationship survive the glare of the spotlight and the so-called Kingsley curse? I
Would I Recommend It: This kind of reminded me of Summer of 69 in the way that it nodded to real events in history while spinning it so slightly. This was a good palette cleanser [albeit a bit long] but I did love hearing about the twists and turns in Joe and Cate’s story. If you like Emily Giffin, you’ll like this.
Synopsis: Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers―a stranger who claims to live in her apartment. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing. In its place is a bloodstained knife. Her hands are covered in scribbled messages, like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE. Two years ago, Liv was thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, similar to the message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget―permanently.
Would I Recommend It: Oh, I couldn’t put this one down! The premise itself was super different and interesting and the writing was really twisty. I will say, I was a bit let down by the ending. For how amazing the writing was leading up to it, it felt a bit lazy. That said, the journey to the explanation was a fun one. This was a great thriller.
Synopsis: At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her. Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.
Would I Recommend This: This was another one that I read in two sittings. I absolutely loved Sydney and [especially] Ridge’s story and I cried so many times. CoHo definitely delivered with this love story that had twists and turns. I would love to see this one as a movie or mini-series.
Synopsis: Ridge and Sydney are thrilled to finally be together guilt-free. But as the two of them navigate this freedom, Warren and Bridgette’s relationship is as tumultuous as ever, and Maggie grapples with her illness. When she comes across an old list of things she wanted to do “maybe one of these days,” Maggie decides to live life to the fullest and accomplish these dreams. Maggie keeps Ridge updated on her adventures, but he can’t help but worry, even as Sydney grows more and more suspicious about their friendship. But if she’s going to move past this jealousy, she’ll need to reconcile how she and Ridge came together with the fact that Maggie will always be in their lives somehow, or end up walking away from the man she loves so much.
Would I Recommend This: This second I realized this was a sequel, I immediately grabbed it. I read this one in two sittings, too! These may be my favorite of CoHo’s romance books. I LOVED all the characters and plot progressions so much. I laughed, blushed [seriously, these are STEAMY], and cried. I highly, highly recommend both Maybe Someday and Maybe Now. Now that I’ve read both, I want a mini-series with both stories included!
Synopsis: When Amaya is invited to Kaavi’s over-the-top wedding in Sri Lanka, she is surprised and a little hurt to hear from her former best friend after so many years of radio silence. But when Amaya learns that the groom is her very own ex-boyfriend, she is consumed by a single thought: She must stop the wedding from happening, no matter the cost. But as the week of wedding celebrations begin and rumors about Amaya’s past begin to swirl, she can’t help but feel like she also has a target on her back. When Kaavi goes missing and is presumed dead, all evidence points to Amaya. However, nothing is as it seems as Jayatissa expertly unravels that each wedding guest has their own dark secret and agenda, and Amaya may not be the only one with a plan to keep the bride from getting her happily ever after…
Would I Recommend It: I devoured this. This was kind of like Crazy Rich Asians meets The Guest List. I loved the writing and also imagining how this fabulous wedding actually looked. This was twisty and turny and the ending was really satisfying. I definitely recommend this one.
Synopsis: When ten-year-old cousins Maddy and Brianna are arrested for a terrible crime, Maddy’s mother Juliet cannot believe it. How could her bright, joyful daughter be capable of such a thing? As the small village community recoils in horror, the pressure of the tragedy blows Juliet and her sister’s lives apart. And things get even worse when their daughters retreat into a self-imposed silence. Can anyone reach Maddy and discover the truth before her fate is sealed? Juliet is crushed. Nothing will ever be the same for her darling girl. But she knows that to find out what really happened that day, she and her sister must unlock the secrets of their own terrible past, a past they swore never to speak about again.
Would I Recommend It: This is one of best thrillers I’ve read all year! I truly did not see the ending coming. I had never heard of this writer before but Mike’s stepmom recommended it to me, and I’m so glad she did! I don’t want to say anything in fear of giving anything away, but if you love psychological thrillers, this is one I highly recommend. Go in knowing nothing.
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