I can’t believe that UK is back in some form of Lockdown situation. I’m not mad about it because obviously the health of the population comes first but it just brings up a lot of things for me that makes me miss home more. I’ve already been struggling with homesickness and thinking of all my family back together at home without me isn’t helping – especially since I could be there with them because my Uni is online. Silly expensive flat keeping me away from them. Anyway – enough ranting from me!
Despite the fact I didn’t know what to call this post the last time I did it – you guys all seemed to like it. Even the people who prefer my long reviews seemed to appreciate that it makes more sense to post these short snippet reviews when the books are short themselves. (Some of these are actually a little longer, but all still under 300 pages if I remember) I am still really on this short book binge, but sadly less and less of them are appearing on Netgalley but I still have quite a few to mention today.
I was very kindly sent all of these via Netgalley but obviously all my thoughts are all my own and receiving it didn’t differ my opinions in anyway. Also, as I did get them on Netgalley, most of them are not actually out yet – but I will link to their Goodreads pages so you can find out when they do come out or if they already are.
Love & Other Disasters by Terri Jones
(No cover on Goodreads yet)
Blurb: Violet Murphy has just landed herself in a world of trouble.
One minute she’s out on the town with her best friend, and the next, there’s a hot guy offering to buy her a drink. Normally, a man like that wouldn’t look her way. So…she panics. After a case of mistaken identity, a fake name, and way too much alcohol, Violet’s only hope of saving face is to never see his again. Too bad life can’t be that easy.
J.P. Harper never expected to find himself down on his luck. After all, he’s always been at the top of his game, saving struggling businesses and being paid well to do it. But when his latest project turns into a nightmare, one with a half-million dollars missing, it’s his reputation that’s at risk of going under. But a familiar face among the staff sends him back to that night he can’t forget. Is that the same woman? With his career and heart on the line, J.P. sets out for answers. Can J.P. trust Violet and set aside that night to work together…or will their sparks ignite another disaster?
Review: This was a decent read. The romance was super cute and the characters were really likeable! You really rooted for them and their development both as a couple but also as individuals. I liked the writing style and it was really funny. I loved all the family and work drama. The first 40% of this book was incredible. 5 stars! On the edge of my seat, totally enthralled, laughing till I cried, couldn’t put it down. It really should have ended there.
After that point, everything just was stretched out too long. Nothing new or exciting was happening and I got bored. I lost my interest in the characters and their development. The story stalled. The interest disappeared and I had to fight to finish it. I joke that I’m an impatient reader but this was just unbelievable. It genuinely felt like 5 books in one. Too many subplots that just didn’t quite work and just stretched things out unnecessarily. The romance plateaued and ultimately that’s what made me decide this was a 3-star read.
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Score Rating: 4.5/10
The Cowboy’s Baby Agreement by Leslie North
There isn’t actually a blurb listed for this yet. Even on Netgalley, the blurb provided was for the first in the series and not for this. So for this being a complete surprise to me I actually enjoyed it a lot.
Review: This was a really quick and cute read. The characters were interesting with a surprising amount of depth and backstory for such a short book. I did wish that the issue they had in high school was more of an issue and less of a misunderstanding as it would have given a bit more tension to the plot. The early scenes with Lucky were just beyond adorable.
Overall, this was just a great quick read to perk up my mood. Really recommend if your looking for a speedy cowboy fix!
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Score Rating: 7.5/10
Shades of Lovers by Catherine Hancock
Blurb: from the author of the poetry collections ‘how the words come’ and ‘the boys i’ve loved and the end of the world’, comes a heartfelt and authentic collection of poetry and prose on learning to navigate love and all of its delights and sorrows. ‘shades of lovers’ is a story of breaking and healing, of forgiving but not forgetting, of understanding and balance. it is not only something to enjoy, but something to learn from. here are the things i did right, and the many things i did wrong. i give them to you, so that when love comes knocking, you will have a sense of what to do when you open the door.
Review: I really liked the subject matter of these poems. I loved the autobiographical nature of them. They were very raw and you really could tell a sense of heartbreak. I really liked that Hancock was very realistic and open about herself and how much she has grown over the years but also how she hasn’t and how she has held onto her pain and resentment despite knowing she shouldn’t. I also liked reading about her tempestuous relationship with her writing as it again just made her feel all the more real and made you sympathise with her. I really resonated with Ocean Blue and it was hard for me to read because in the way that it was a harsh truth to connect with.
Hancock has a really interesting writing style and that’s where it fell down for me. Every poem swaps between a more traditional freeform poetry kind of vibe with stanza etc. and then it will swap to a paragraph of structured prose, almost in a style of a letter, when she is directly addressing her past-boyfriends. While I understand why it was important for there to be a change in the style to show her changes and realisations, it wasn’t my cup of tea as I prefer poetry that sticks to a more formulaic scheme. Another big peeve about this for me that almost made me DNF was the fact that the ‘i’s’ were never capitalised. Also, there were no capitals at the start of sentences which I found really distracting and it verged on painful for my eyes to read as it made it a lot harder to process and compartmentalize each sentence.
Overall, I could appreciate some elements of it but ultimately the formatting and writing style let it down for me.
Star Rating: ⭐⭐
Score Rating: 3/10
Filthy Liar by Ainsley Booth
Blurb: Jason and Ellie’s book at last. But her name isn’t Ellie.
She’s a liar. He’s a cheat. Nothing will ever be the same again.
Jason: It’s been a long, lonely five years. I never stopped caring for Ellie, even after I realized she’d conned her way into our firm in order to get a scoop. Now that she’s back in my life, we have a lot to catch up on—even as the world burns around us, I’m going to find a way to prove she can trust me.
Melinda: I’m not his Ellie. I never was. She doesn’t exist, and if Jason starts digging into Melinda the journalist, that won’t end well for me, either. But now that some of our cards are on the table, maybe I can use Jason one last time. For the greater good.
Review: I really liked this. Despite this being the fifth book in this series it was the first one that I’ve read. It was easily read as a standalone and I never found myself lost or confused about the characters pasts. It was a brilliant balance of high action investigation and sizzling romance. I loved the dynamic between Ellie and Jason; their banter was great to read. I loved the side characters and they made me want to go back and read about their stories. I felt like we got a lot of Ellie’s backstory but not much on Jason and that could be down to the fact this is the fifth in the series, but it could just be that he’s a simpler character. It had funny moments but nothing that made me laugh out loud. It was enjoyable and a nice quick read but it lacked that spark that pushes it to a 5 star read.
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Score Rating: 7/10
Boots and Mistletoe by Edith McKenzie
Blurb: Cowboy boots, mistletoe, and a holiday do-over…Last Christmas, nothing was going Quinn’s way. Then she met him. Their connection was intense, but the timing was all wrong—so they went their separate ways. But this year, everything in her life is better. Well, almost everything. Somewhere along the line, she lost her holiday spirit. Could it be that she left it with the handsome cowboy she never quite got over? Jackson wasn’t looking for romance when he met Quinn. But there was something about her that grabbed his heart and wouldn’t let go. Now that they’re together again, he can’t help but wonder if she’d ever be willing to give up the bright lights of the city for country life with a simple rancher like him…As stockings are hung and trees are trimmed, can Quinn and Jackson find a way to claim their second chance at happily ever after? Or will the magic of the season fail them yet again?
Review: I really liked the writing style of this book. I will definitely pick up another of Edith McKenzie’s books. The romance in this was really sweet and heartfelt. Where it fell down for me sadly was that nothing really happened. The couple met, fell in love, stayed together the end. There was no drama or pizzas. There was a really big chunk of the book that was just following Quinn around at her job with clients who literally had nothing to do with the larger plot of the book. I really enjoyed the tension and the drama of the parts with Markus and was really hoping that something would happen with that to raise the stakes of the book but nothing did and all his dramatics and threats seemed to peter out without any repercussions. Definitely not my favourite read but there were elements I enjoyed. 2.5 Stars
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Score Rating: 5/10
So guys those are all the short books I’ve read recently. I’ve just been adoring reading short books at the moment. My patience to get through a book longer than 300 pages has just evaporated…Unless it’s Kirsty Moseley 😉 (You’ll understand on Monday’s post) I hope you enjoyed this the second time round as much as you enjoyed it the first time. I will see you tomorrow for my rundown of all the books I got this month! Can’t wait to hear about all the books you’ve been getting too! See you then ❤