|Pub Date: 9-14-21|
Adult - Contemporary
The Love Hypothesis- Ali Hazelwood: Olive Smith is a third-year Ph.D. candidate who would rather spend her time camped out in her dingy lab than going on dates. When her best friend questions her happiness, Olive fibs and says she's seeing someone, which is how she finds herself kissing the first person she comes across in the hallway to prove it. The stranger in question? None other than Dr. Adam Carlsen, the handsome young professor, and notorious hard ass. Olive is shocked when Adam agrees to her charade to go along as her fake boyfriend. The more time the pair spends together, the more Olive begins to see a different side to Adam. Sure, he's standoffish and a bit rude to everyone he meets, but with Olive, he's sweet and patient. When Olive's talk at a big science convention goes south and threatens to derail her career, Olive's confused feelings only grow when Adam goes out of his way to support her. Could Olive's fake dating experiment lead to positive results, or is everything about to blow up in her face?
I adored this! It has two of my favorite tropes: fake dating and the grumpy/sunshine characters falling for one another. I was a little wary going in only because I don't have a science brain, so I was worried I wouldn't fully connect or understand certain things, but Hazelwood's writing was so accessible. It was light and fun but also knew when to be serious and allow the characters to be vulnerable. There were so many times I was smiling or laughing to myself. It was so easy to breeze through because I never wanted to put it down. Aside from the writing, the characters Hazelwood created were amazing. I loved Olive right from the start. She's hilarious and awkward, and I loved how she cared so much for her friend's happiness that she was willing to make a fool of herself by getting into this fake dating mess. Adam was everything I want in a love interest. He's broody and a little bit of an asshole, but he's a secret softie inside, and he just needed that one person to bring him out of his shell. They're both so cute together, and the build-up to their relationship was sweet and satisfying. It was pretty obvious what the big conflict was going to be, but I didn't mind so much. I can't wait to see what Hazelwood comes out with next because this was just delightful.
|Pub Date: 9-28-21|
Adult - Cozy Mystery
A Perfect Bind- Dorothy St. James: Tru Beckett is a librarian without a library. Well, she's succeeded in building a clandestine book room within her library after it was turned into a bookless technology center, but she can't let anyone know she's secretly loaning out books to the small community, or else she'll lose her job. If juggling both jobs wasn't hard enough, some vandal seems determined to break into her book room, threatening the precarious balance Tru has tried so hard to keep in place. Tru keeps finding books strewn about and damaged, so when a patron tells her about how there have always been rumors floating around about a poltergeist that roams the library, Tru's first thought is to brush it off as a silly superstition. But then Tru discovers a body behind the library, and it's clear her perp isn't some ghost but someone made of flesh and bone, and it's up to her and her trusty sidekick, Dewey the cat, to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again.
I thought the first book in this series was so fun that I couldn't wait to dive into this, and it was just as good! Tru is an interesting character to follow. All she wants to do is protect her books, but she keeps getting roped into these murder cases. She's so clever and I like watching her ferret out all these clues to solve what's going on along with her cat (who is always so helpful in a pinch!). The two of them play off each other in such a fun way that sometimes you forget that one is an animal. I enjoyed seeing more of Tru's friends as they helped her with the case because their dynamic together is so great. I thought the mystery itself was fine, but like with the first book, I found it pretty easy to figure out who was behind everything. There were a few pacing issues, and some parts felt dragged out a bit too long for my taste, but overall, it was a cute read.
|Pub Date: 9-21-21|
Adult - Contemporary
When Sparks Fly- Helena Hunting: Avery Spark is living her best life. She runs a successful hotel/event space with her two sisters, she has an amazing group of friends, and she owns a condo with her best friend, Declan. But her perfect world turns upside down after a car accident leaves her immobile for weeks. Wracked with guilt, Declan, who blames himself for Avery's accident, takes it upon himself to care for her as she recovers. Avery and Declan have been best friends for years, but being forced into such intimate conditions causes feelings to stir and lines to blur. Neither can deny the attraction between them or the years they've spent stamping down their feelings. The pair have been through so much together, but will their shared past hinder them from having a future together?
I'd never read anything by Hunting before, but I found her writing so easy to fall into and had such a fun time reading this. Friends-to-lovers is always a trope that I love, and this one was adorable. I liked Avery and Declan right from the start and thought they had such a playful friendship, but I did have a few issues with the plot. I would've liked to have seen a little more build-up for the transition from friends to something more because it did feel like it went from 0 to 100 very quickly. Also, there were times when Declan was too overbearing and protective over Avery, and I wasn't a fan of that behavior. However, I did appreciate how he acknowledged the fact and sought to work on himself and his mental health by the end. Despite a few things, I did still really enjoy this and it would be great to pick up if you're looking for a quick, sweet read.