Hello and happy [almost] December! It’s been a minute since I did one of these so it’s time to catch up on what I’ve read lately. It was a really good lot so let’s dive in.
Synposis: Brendon Lowell loves love. It’s why he created a dating app to help people find their one true pairing and why he’s convinced “the one” is out there, even if he hasn’t met them yet. When his sister’s best friend turns up in Seattle unexpectedly, Brendon jumps at the chance to hang out with her. He’s crushed on Annie since they were kids, and the stars have finally aligned, putting them in the same city at the same time. Annie booked a spur-of-the-moment trip to Seattle to spend time with friends before moving across the globe. She’s not looking for love, especially with her best friend’s brother. Annie remembers Brendon as a sweet, dorky kid. Except, the 6-foot-4 man who shows up at her door is a certified Hot Nerd? Getting involved would be a terrible idea—her stay is temporary and he wants forever—but when Brendon learns Annie has given up on dating, he’s determined to prove that romance is real. Taking cues from his favorite rom-coms, Brendon plans to woo her with elaborate dates. Maybe real love doesn’t need to be as perfect as the movies… as long as you think your partner hung the moon.
Would I Recommend It: This was TOO cute! Albeit predictable, I genuinely loved both Brendon and Annie and loved how their story unfolded. There was a decent enough conflict given the timeline, but the story kept moving at a good pace. If you need a good romcom, add this to your list.
Synposis: A small town hides a big secret… Emily Vaughn gets ready for the prom. For an athlete, who is smart, pretty and well-liked, this night should be the highlight of her high school career. But Emily has a secret. And by the end of the evening, that secret will be silenced forever. Forty years later, Emily’s murder remains a mystery. Her tight-knit group of friends closed ranks; her respected, wealthy family retreated inwards; the small town moved on from her grisly attack. But all that’s about to change. US Marshal Andrea Oliver arrives in Longbill Beach on her first assignment: to protect a judge receiving death threats. But, in reality, Andrea is there to find justice for Emily. The killer is still out there—and Andrea must discover the truth before she gets silenced, too.
Would I Recommend It: I could not put this down. It was super gripping and suspenseful. The twists kept coming and I was totally sucked in. I really was rooting for Andrea and the secrets just kept unraveling on her. I will definitely add more KS books to my list after this one.
Synopsis: House-flipping sensation and YouTube star Maggie Nichols can’t wait to dig into her next challenge. Arriving in tiny Kinship, Idaho, Maggie is prepared to restore a crumbling Victorian mansion in four months or less. She has her to-do lists, her blueprints, and her team. What she doesn’t have is time for sexy, laid-back landscaper Silas Wright. He and his service school-dropout dog are impressively persistent. But she’s not interested in putting down roots. Not when fans tune in to watch her travel the country turning dilapidated houses into dream homes. A short-term fling on the other hand could fit nicely into her calendar. After all, Maggie remembers what fun is like. Vaguely. As their summer gets downright steamy, Silas manages to demolish the emotional walls she’s spent years building, sending Maggie into a panic. With the end of the project looming, she has a decision to make. But how can she stay when her entire career is built on moving on?
Would I Recommend It: This was one of my absolute favorite books this year! Maggie and Silas’ relationship was sweet but steamy and every supporting character was totally lovable. I want to read a ton more of Lucy Score’s books, and I’ve heard that a lot of hers fall into the BRAD category, if you’re into that 😉 Definitely add this to your list immediately!
Synposis: In 2004, Rosemarie, Ada, Caroline, and Kasey are in their final days of high school and on the precipice of all the things teenagers look forward to when anything in life seems possible . . . from falling in love, to finding their dream jobs, to becoming who they were meant to be. In 2019, Kasey has returned to her small Southern hometown of Goldie for the first time since high school—and she still hasn’t told even her closest friends the truth of what really happened that summer after graduation, or what made her leave so abruptly without looking back. Now reunited with her friends in Goldie for a wedding, she’s determined to focus on the simple joy of being together again. But when she notices troubling signs that one of them might be in danger, she is catapulted back to that fateful summer. This time, Kasey refuses to let the worst moments of her past define her; this time, she knows how to protect those she loves at all costs.
Would I Recommend It: If you’re a girls girl, this is for you. The friendship between the four is so pure and they are the definition of ride-or-die. I couldn’t put this one down, either! The secret Kasey keeps and how it is interwoven with the present day state of their lives was downright masterful. The flipping back and forth between time was easy to follow and relevant to how the story played out. This had everything – friendship, murder, revenge, and love. I loved this.
Synopsis: Cinnamon Haynes has fought hard for a life she never thought was possible, more than she ever dreamed of or what her difficult childhood promised. Until something shifts and Cinnamon is suddenly haunted by a terrifying question: “Is this all there is?” Daisy Dunlap has had her own share of problems —she also has her own big dreams for a life that’s barely begun. Her hopes for her future are threatened when she gets unexpectedly pregnant. Desperate, broke, and alone, she hides this development from everyone close to her and then makes a drastic decision with devastating consequences. Daisy isn’t the only one with something to hide. When Cinnamon finds an abandoned baby in a park and takes the blonde-haired, blue-eyed newborn into her home, the ripple effects of this decision risk exposing the truth about Cinnamon’s own past. As Cinnamon struggles to contain old demons, navigate the fault lines that erupt in her marriage, and deal with the shocking judgments about why a woman like her has a baby like this, her one goal is to do right by the child she grows more attached to with each passing day. It’s the same conviction that drives Daisy as she tries to outrun her heartache and reckon with her choices. These two women must face down their secrets and trauma and unite for the sake of the baby they both love in their own unique way when Daisy’s grandparents, who would rather die than see one of their own raised by a Black woman, threaten to take custody.
Would I Recommend It: Oh this broke my heart. For anyone who is a mother in whichever way made you so, this is a must-read. I had read We Are Not Like Them and this was just as good, if not better. Again, this read like a Picoult and dealt with sensitive subjects in a tender yet thought-provoking way. I highly, highly recommend this.
Synopsis: Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and cherished baby on the way—begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class. There, she meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be who doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. At least Rachel is fun to be with. She makes Helen laugh, invites her confidences, and distracts her from her fears. But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friend may be linked to their shared history in unexpected ways. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets laying beneath the broad-leaved trees and warm lamplight of Greenwich Park.
Would I Recommend It: This was GOOD! I read this in two sittings. While the story [and twist] are nothing groundbreaking, the pace and tone of the story made it gripping. This was a delicious take on how everything can change in an instant. I couldn’t wait to hear why Rachel was there and what her endgame was. The ending was extremely satisfying and the last sentence left my jaw on the ground. I honestly hope for a sequel! But, I won’t spoil anything and I’ll just say add this to your list.
So, there’s everything I’ve finished lately. I really did enjoy every single one of these. Let me know if there’s something you read lately that you loved that I should add to my list!
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