Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 6-28-22
Adult - Contemporary

For the Love of the Bard- Jessica Martin: Miranda Barnes is a literary agent by day and a bestselling YA author by night. When she hits a roadblock in her latest book, she heads home to Bard's Rest hoping the change of scenery will help the words flow. But Miranda's mother, the head of the committee for the town's upcoming centennial Shakespearean festival, has other plans. All Miranda wanted was a peaceful summer holed up in her parent's attic with her dog writing into the wee hours. Instead, she finds herself directing a play for the festival, trying to keep her family together after a health scare, and doing her best to stay away from the man who broke her heart when she was a teen. Miranda has never forgiven Adam for ruining her prom night, but she can't deny that the years have been very kind to him. When Adam gets assigned to help out with the sets for Miranda's play, it's clear the feelings they shared so long ago are still present. Miranda gave her heart to Adam once and was burned; can she trust him to keep it safe this time around?

For starters, I want to call out that this book does deal with a sick parent, and there is a scene where they're hospitalized, so if that's something you're sensitive towards, keep that in mind before picking this up. I thought this was cute. I love a small-town setting, and Bard's Rest was so whimsical, and while all the Shakespearean nods were a little over the top, it was still charming. It reminded me of Stars Hollow with its quirky residents coming together for a big town event. The sense of community was just so pure. I loved the family dynamic, and the relationship Miranda had with her parents was so sweet. I thought the relationship between Miranda and Adam was fine, but it didn't wow me. There were times I was more interested in the relationship between Miranda's dog and Adam's pig (I'm a sucker for an interspecies friendship.) The third act conflict also seemed a little silly, but I did enjoy how it was resolved. If you're in the mood for a quick, second chance romance, this would be a good one to pick up.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 1-11-22
Adult - Thriller

A Flicker in the Dark- Stacy Willingham: When Chloe Davis was young, six teenage girls went missing in her small hometown. By the end of the summer, her father was in jail for their murders. For the last twenty years, Chloe and her family have been dealing with that fallout while trying to move forward with their lives. Now, Chloe is a psychologist in a private practice in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She spent a long time trying to be happy again, and she believes she's found it in her fiancé, Daniel, though she does still occasionally feel as lost as the patients she counsels. When local girls start going missing, Chloe is instantly transported back to that horrible summer, especially when the patterns start becoming increasingly familiar. Could she be grasping at straws, or has Chloe, once again, been in the presence of a serial killer all along?

Wow, what a page-turner! The writing is a little slow, but I think it helped build tension and perfectly fit the vibe of the book. Willingham created such a vivid atmosphere that you felt as if you were in the muggy, Louisiana heat digging for clues along with Chloe. There were bits I was able to figure out regarding who the killer was, but I loved watching all the pieces come into play, and I do still think the plot twist was well executed. The plot and characters are perfect for a TV show, so I'm glad this is being adapted into one as I think it will translate well. If you like more character-focused thrillers, I recommend checking this one out.

Rating: 4/5

Pub Date: 2-1-22
Adult - Contemporary

Lease on Love- Falon Ballard: When passed over for a much-deserved promotion, Sadie Green finds herself in need of a new job, a few drinks, and a one-night stand. But in her drunken haze, Sadie accidentally swipes right on a roommate-finding app instead of one intended for hook-ups. Sadie doesn't realize her mistake until she's face-to-face with Jack Thomas, who offers her a room in his gorgeous Brooklyn townhouse for a fraction of the cost. Sadie jumps at the opportunity as it'll give her a perfect chance to pursue her hobby of floral arranging into a full-time job. The pair couldn't be more different: Sadie is bold and talkative, and Jack spends most of his days hiding in the basement playing video games, still grieving the death of his parents years prior. As the weeks pass, Jack begins to warm to Sadie's infectious personality, and the pair can't deny the growing attraction between them. But both Sadie and Jack must decide if they're willing to work through their respective issues to have the future they deserve.

When I saw this compared to Beach Read, I knew I had to pick it up since I loved that book so much. After reading this, I don't totally agree with the comparison, but I still enjoyed this one. I like the forced proximity trope, so I thought the premise was cute and fun. I had a few issues with Sadie as a character, so it took me a little bit to warm up to her. There were times I found her annoying, especially when she kept harping on how she was a terrible person despite every single one of her friends telling her differently. It got very repetitive and frustrating. Her relationship with Jack was the highlight of this. You know how they feel about each other from pretty early on, but it's so slow burn, and the tension it creates is *chefs kiss*. I wasn't a fan of the third-act conflict and felt the ending wrapped up a little too quickly, but overall, I liked this a lot.

Rating: 4/5


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