Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Published: June 21st, 2016

“Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost.

When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?”

Review:

This book was …interesting. Confusing, but interesting. It’s a book that you’ve never really heard of this specific story being told before.

In the beginning of this book, my attention was not grabbed. I didn’t really find anything that captivated me from the beginning. I pretty much felt the same throughout the book. I felt like I read the same chapter over and over even though the pages were ascending.

I ended up giving this book a higher rating than I originally thought I would based on the ending. The ending was totally unexpected for me and I felt like it had me questioning about the whole book from the beginning. Overall, it was short and quick, but confusing and not that captivating at all.

Rating: ★★★

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman

Published: November 1st, 2016

“From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here comes an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family’s efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.

“Isn’t that the best of all life’s ages, an old man thinks as he looks at his grandchild, when a boy is just big enough to know how the world works but still young enough to refuse to accept it.”

Grandpa and Noah are sitting on a bench in a square that keeps getting smaller every day. The square is strange but also familiar, full of the odds and ends that have made up their lives: Grandpa’s work desk, the stuffed dragon that Grandpa once gave to Noah, the sweet-smelling hyacinths that Grandma loved to grow in her garden.

As they wait together on the bench, they tell jokes and discuss their shared love of mathematics. Grandpa recalls what it was like to fall in love with his wife, what it was like to lose her. She’s as real to him now as the first day he met her, but he dreads the day when he won’t remember her.

Sometimes Grandpa sits on the bench next to Ted, Noah’s father—Ted who never liked math, prefers writing and playing guitar, and has waited his entire life for his father to have time for him, to accept him. But in their love of Noah, they have found a common bond.

Grandpa, Grandma, Ted, and Noah all meet here, in this peculiar space that is growing dimmer and more confusing all the time. And here is where they will learn to say goodbye, the scent of hyacinths in the air, nothing to fear. This little book with a big message is certain to be treasured for generations to come.”

Review:

A novella based on the lifestyle of Alzheimer’s disease: very hard to read. I can’t imagine someone going through that.

This was very short and sad. However, I think that Fredrik Backman did a beautiful job of portraying what it is actually like to have this awful disease. He switched things up and sometimes it was a little confusing to keep up with, but the story was amazingly written.

Rating: ★★★★

 

Let’s Pretend We’re Married by Edith Scott

Published: April 12th, 2017

“Asher Morgan’s publisher is ready to drop the cranky author. And if he isn’t married in four days, his rich grandmother will disown him. He needs to polish his image and find a husband — fast.

Jess Winters needs cash, like yesterday. His bookstore is on the verge of bankruptcy and if it goes under, he and his dog Gary will be homeless.

A marriage of convenience is just what they both need to make their dreams come true. Except the more the chemistry heats up between them, the less convenient their little deception becomes.

When the time comes for their story to end, will either man be ready to close the book?

Let’s Pretend We’re Married is a full-length novel featuring an idealistic bookstore owner and a cranky author, a lovable shop dog, a group of crazy friends, scorching hot explicit scenes, and a no-cheating, all heart, fully realized happily ever after, all set in everyone’s favorite town of Amberly, the cutest town in America.”

Review:

Right from the beginning, I fell in love with Jess Winters. He was this strong, independent man who had a bookstore (LOVE). Also right from the beginning, I hated Asher Morgan. He was this cocky, egotistical douche that published a few romance novels (without a romantic bone is his body). As the book progressed, you can see how things change between the two. Obviously there is chemistry between them in the beginning, but when Jess overhears Asher talking poorly about him, all emotions are halted. They get over their differences because when Jess tells Asher about his financial problems and is in danger of losing his bookstore, Asher proposes to him. Asher is supposed to get married for multiple reasons: his grandmother is impatiently waiting, his PR agent is ready to give up on him, and he is to receive an inheritance.

SPOILER:

It ends the same way that every fake marriage novel ends.

However, the way that their relationship showed throughout this book was the cutest. Jess showed Asher real love, and that really showed by the end. This was super cute and I would recommend this to anyone who loves a romantic, steamy M/M Romance.

Rating: ★★★★

Mixed Up by Emma Hart

Published: April 18th, 2017

Dirty cocktails, deadly enemies with a red-hot attraction, and one big, crazy, Greek family–what could possibly go wrong?

Hiring my brother’s best friend was not on my to-do list.
Neither was he.

Expanding my dirty cocktail bar into food was supposed to be easy, except finding a chef in my little town of Whiskey Key is anything but.
Until Parker Hamilton comes home–bringing his Michelin starred chef’s hat with him.
He has no work. I need someone like him in my new kitchen.
There’s just one problem: I hate his cocky, filthy-mouthed, sexy-as-hell guts.
Even if I might want him. Just a little…

Working for my best friend’s sister? Not on my to-do list.
She’s another story.

Whiskey Key was supposed to be a relaxing vacation, except I haven’t reached the heights I have by lying in a hammock drinking cocktails. So when Raven Archer is desperate for a chef, I offer up my skills.
I’m bored. She needs what I can give her.
Except there’s a problem: I’ve always hated her.
Her and her big, blue eyes, sassy mouth, and killer curves.
If only I didn’t want her.

Mixed Up is a standalone, enemies-to-lovers romance. It’s red-hot and hilarious, so grab a glass and get comfy!”

This was the PERFECT enemies-to-lovers novel. Raven (what a cool name) is a mixologist living in Whiskey Key, Florida trying to make ends meet. She needs a chef, and the only popular chef she knows is her mortal enemy. They’ve known each other since childhood, and hated each other since then. I was entranced from start to finish with this book. I couldn’t put it down. Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite type of novels and Emma Hart hit the nail on the head. Parker was so hate-able, I loved him. And the tension? Sheesh! You could cut it with a knife. Overall, I enjoyed the hell out of this book, and if you like romance..read this NOW.

Rating: ★★★★★

You can get it here.

The Debt by Karina Halle

Published: August 29th, 2016

“Her life changed in an instant.
And he’s the only one who could have prevented it.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Pact and The Lie comes a new standalone contemporary romance about those McGregor men.

Jessica Charles shouldn’t have even been in London when the unthinkable happened.
She should have been back at home in Edinburgh, perhaps hanging with her boyfriend, having drinks with her sister or doing yoga with her group of friends. She should have been going on in her normal, dependable life as always.
But on that fateful day in August, when a mentally-ill ex-soldier opened fire in public, Jessica’s world changed forever.
Now single and crippled from the gunshot wounds, Jessica finds herself scared and alone, losing faith in herself and humanity with each agonizing moment that passes.
That is until a stranger enters her life. A stranger who makes her live again.
Keir McGregor has always been the strong, silent type. Throw in tall, dark, and handsome and you’ve got pretty much the perfect Scotsman.
Except Keir is anything but perfect. He’s got a past he’s running away from and a guilty conscience he can’t seem to shed. But the more time he spends with Jessica, the more he falls in love with her.
And the more his secret threatens to tear them apart.
He may have been a stranger to her.
But she’s never been a stranger to him.”

Okay so the prologue of this book had me in tears. Karina Halle really made me feel like I was there in Jessica’s shoes living this moment along with her. It was so much in a few pages that it had me very emotional. This book was honestly the quickest I was ever grabbed into a novel. I like true crime novels, and in the beginning, that’s what it felt like, but from the eyes of a witness. I honestly couldn’t believe the twists and turns this book threw at me. It was sad, then happy, then angry, then disappointing, then happy again and this book pulled my emotions in every direction. Jessica feels like one of the strongest characters I’ve ever encountered in a book. She doesn’t take any shit, and I applaud her for that. Keir was also a wonderful character and I’m glad things ended the way they did. I didn’t know that this book was part of a series, so it was a little confusing with the other characters. If you plan on reading this book, I would read the others first to get to know the other family. If not, it was perfect as a standalone as well.

Rating: ★★★★★

Catching Carly by Emma Hart (Barley Cross #2)

Published: March 7th, 2017

“Life Goal #1: Forget about my best friend’s brother. (Because Zeke Elliott is a colossal cockwomble.)

From New York Times bestselling author, Emma Hart, comes another hilariously wild romantic comedy about being the third wheel in your friendship and, um, accidentally having sex with your best friend’s brother…”

Honest: One of the best sequels I’ve ever read. It was super adorable, romantic, and hilarious. Emma Hart is definitely moving up on my favorite authors list. I loved this book because it really showed two humans who are emotionally stumped.. Unable to figure out how to maneuver around their feelings. If you are a football fan, and know the Dallas Cowboys (there is a player named Ezekiel Elliot), please read this book (series is better to understand all of the characters). You will CRACK UP. I laughed out loud multiple times due to something with his name. This series is so modern and it really shows that with some of the names that Carly calls Zeke (look at the synopsis and you’ll understand). This is one of those funny times in life where I enjoyed the sequel more than the original.

Rating: ★★★★★

Being Brooke by Emma Hart (Barley Cross #1)

Published: December 13th, 2016

“My name is Brooke Barker…

And I’m a freaking disaster.

No, seriously. I’m a college drop-out working a dead-end job, my best friend Carly’s dog gets more action than I do, and I have more bad dates in my diary than there are movie remakes.

Not to mention I’m completely and utterly in love with Cain Elliott.

The problem? He’s in a relationship. With a girl who’s so plastic she makes Barbie cry herself to sleep with jealousy.

The second problem? He’s my best friend.

My shut-up-and-put-on-Harry-Potter, yes-this-is-your-shirt, help-I-have-no-power, crap-I’m-out-of-tampons, kinda best friend.

And that’s all he can be, right?

Right.”

Super cute. This book is a modern day love story and definitely shows what it is like to be a hot mess with a cute boy best friend. This kind of story is my FAVORITE, so it’s was easy to fall in love with this book. Brooke is the girl from the small town of Barley Cross, GA, and has no idea what to do with her life. She is a clumsy, messy, and funny kind of girl. Cain Elliot is her best friend that would help her with anything she needed at the drop of a hat. Of course it’s meant that they are going to fall in love. They have another best friend Carly that helps them figure out their feelings (and maybe finds her own on the way). The only thing about this book that I didn’t like is that it didn’t grab me 100% from the beginning. I loved every part of it once I got into it. So keep reading if you feel the same, and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Rating: ★★★★

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarity

Originally Published: 2009

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.”

I feel like this book took me a while to read. It starts out with Alice waking up from sustaining an injury from hitting her head on a pair of handlebars during cycling class. She’s dreaming of this scene, but she can’t put her finger on where she’s seen it before. When she fully wakes up, she’s in the hospital, shocking everyone by thinking it is 1998 and not 2008. She believes she is pregnant with her first child, and has a wonderful husband named Nick. She was in for the shock of her life when she found out she was actually a mother of 3, and getting a divorce from her loving husband. She has a boyfriend named Dominic that happens to be the principal at her children’s school. Alice can’t believe this is her life, and tries to do everything in her power to change it. I had a hard time pushing through the slow parts, but the ending was awesome. Definitely a good read. This book is in the works to become a movie, so you should read it before it comes out!

Rating: ★★★★