How to Love Your Neighbor- Sophie Sullivan:
|Pub Date 1-18-22|
Adult - Contemporary
Grace Travis is months away from graduating with a degree in interior design and has finally decided to move into the little bungalow she inherited from her late grandparents. Grace hopes this is her chance at finally getting a sense of stability that her flighty mother could never give her. But what Grace is most excited about is transforming the house from a shabby little beach hut into the home of her dreams. But first, she has to deal with her neighbor. As a real estate developer, Noah Jansen has never met a deal he couldn't land-- until he meets Grace. Noah is determined to buy her house to extend his property, but Grace refuses to budge. Their mutual animosity catches the attention of the reporter doing a piece of Noah's house, and the pair are forced into working together on Noah's renovations. It doesn't take long before the tension between them turns into something neither one was prepared for.
If you mixed The Hating Game with an interior design show on HGTV, you would get this book. It had all the aspects I enjoy from a hate-to-love trope. Grace and Noah couldn't be more different which leads to a lot of head-butting, but after they take the time to get to know one another, they realize they aren't so different. There was this sweetness to their relationship that felt very tender and vulnerable, and I liked them together, despite their stubborn moments. I would've liked to have seen the nagging banter stretched out a teensy bit more before they got together, but that's just me being nit-picky. Aside from Noah and Grace's relationship, I also liked the interior design aspect as well as the secondary characters. While it didn't knock me off my feet, I still think it was a cute read.
|Pub Date: 5-25-21|
Adult - Fantasy
The Blacktongue Thief- Christopher Buehlman: Kinch Na Shannack learned all the tricks of thieving from the Takers Guild and now owes them a small fortune for his expertise. The debt is why Kinch finds himself hiding along the old forest path, waiting to rob the next traveler who passes. Unfortunately, Kinch chose the wrong mark. Galva is not only a knight who survived the brutal goblin wars, but also a handmaiden of the goddess of death. She's on a mission to find her missing queen, who hasn't been seen since a distant country in the north fell to giants. After botching the robbery, Kinch now finds his fate twined with Galva's, and the pair, along with a witch and an assassin posing as a cat, are bound for a quest no one could've prepared them for.
I'd heard a lot of good things about this book, so I was excited to dive in, but I thought it was just okay. I found the story itself slow and a little dull at times. It took me a while to get my bearings, and even then, I wasn't all that interested. There was just a lot going on, and I didn't care all that much. I did enjoy the characters, though. Kinch had this air of self-deprecation about him that kept me chuckling the entire time. He was cheeky and sarcastic, and I loved how that played off Galva and her stoicism. His humor is quite juvenile, but I didn't mind so much, but I can see how it would grate on people. The magic system was also interesting, and some bits were gorier than I'd expected. All in all, it wasn't a bad book, but it also wasn't the greatest.
|Pub Date: 3-1-22|
Adult - Contemporary
Mr. Wrong Number- Lynn Painter: The one thing Olivia Marshall can count on is her amazingly bad luck. After breaking up with her boyfriend and accidentally burning down her apartment building leaves her with nowhere to go, she has no choice but to move in with her brother and his roommate. Olivia is ready to stew in her misery but then receives a wrong number text, and it turns into one of the hottest and most entertaining relationships of her life. Colin Beck has always looked at Olivia as his best friend's train wreck of a sister, but then she moves in with them, and it's as if he's seeing her in a whole new light. The two still bicker constantly, but there's an underlying sexual tension neither can deny. Knowing his best friend wouldn't love the two of them together, Colin decides to back off. Until he realizes Olivia is the anonymous phone number he's been flirting with all along.
I've come to realize I love this You've Got Mail-like trope of two people who are usually annoyed with one another falling in love without realizing it. It always makes for such an entertaining time. And this was exactly that. I was fully invested the whole time. I did find Olivia a little annoying and didn't think her ridiculous bad luck was all that believable, but she had this charisma that grows on you by the end. She and Colin had great banter, and I loved watching their verbal spars with one another. I would've liked to have seen a little more chemistry between them, but it was alright for the most part. I found Painter's writing to be very breezy and fun, albeit a bit cheesy and repetitive at times. If you're looking for a cute, quick read, I'd recommend it.