Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 8-30-22
Adult - Horror

Suburban Hell- Maureen Kilmer: Amy, Liz, Jess, and Melissa all live in a quiet suburb where they spend their time mocking the PTA and drinking wine during their monthly girls' nights. It was during one such night that the ladies concoct the brilliant idea of building their own She-Shed in Liz's backyard, where they can all go to get away from their husbands and kids. When the four get together to christen their clubhouse, they can't help but notice a shift in the air. They all brush it off, but then they start noticing strange happenings. There's a foul odor overpowering the neighborhood, burn marks on their skin, and dolls moving on their own. It doesn't take long before the group realizes that they've unleashed a terrible evil onto their cul-de-sac, and it's latched onto Liz. Can Amy, Jess, and Melissa save their friend and neighborhood before it all goes straight to hell?

I read the premise of this and immediately knew it was going to be right up my alley. It was so good. I loved the idea of these four suburban moms accidentally unleashing a demon that ends up possessing one of them. It sounded like a ridiculous episode of Supernatural, and I was here for it. Kilmer's writing was sharp and biting and never took itself seriously. The banter between Amy and her friends felt so natural, which made them feel like real people, not just characters on a page. Since this is categorized as horror, I expected it to be a little more intense, but it was the perfect mix of humor and creepy. It felt like those horror comedies from the '80s, like The 'Burbs, which I love. If you're a fan of My Best Friend's Exorcism, I recommend checking it out.

Rating: 4/5

Pub Date: 8-23-22
Adult - Fantasy/Romance

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy- Megan Bannen: As a marshal, Hart spends his days patrolling the borders of Tanria, protecting its citizens from the zombie-like drudges. Hart faces unpleasantness every day, but he'd take drudges over dealing with Mercy Birdsall any day. Ever since the first day he stepped foot into her family's undertaking business, the pair have been at odds. After one such encounter, Hart pens an anonymous letter simply addressed to "A Friend." To his surprise, a reply comes back, and a friendship blooms. Hart has never been an open book, but he finds himself being more vulnerable with each letter. Unbeknownst to Hart, he's been pouring his soul out to none other than Mercy, who also has no idea who her secret pen pal is. Soon, Hart and Mercy find themselves growing closer in real life, but as the dangers in Tanria grow, will their relationship survive off the page?

I will pick up anything that's compared to You've Got Mail, and this was pretty much a fantasy carbon copy of it. I thought the relationship between Hart and Mercy was fun. I wouldn't say it was enemies to lovers, but it was antagonizers to lovers. They had great banter, and I liked watching them rile each other up. The letters between them were so sweet, and I liked watching them open up to each other without knowing who was on the other end. Also, I really loved the two mail carriers-- one was a fancy owl, and the other a crude talking rabbit--and thought they stole the show. I only had two issues with this: one is the length, and the other is the world-building. There was no reason for this to be over 400-pages. While it never felt slow, my attention kept wavering. As for the world-building, it could've used a heck of a lot more. After reading it, I still didn't have a firm grasp on the world, its lore, or even how the drudges came about. Despite all that, I'd still recommend it if you're looking for a cozier fantasy romance to read this fall.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 9-20-22
Adult - Fantasy/Romance

The Kiss Curse- Erin Sterling: Things in Gwyn Jones' life are going great. She has a loving family, a successful business, and has even started mentoring some of the younger witches in Graves Glen. But then a dark cloud comes to rain on her parade in the form of Llewellyn “Wells” Penhallow. Wells' family helped found the town, and he's come back not only to re-establish their connection but to set up a new life for himself. Wells has spent years playing the dutiful son, but now he's ready to strike out on his own. But when he sets up a magic shop across from Gwyn's, he gets more than he bargained for. It doesn't take long for their bickering to turn into something more, but with a powerful new coven lurking around town and Gwyn's magic mysteriously fading, they'll have to get to the bottom of what's happening before it's too late.

I enjoyed The Ex Hex when I read it last year, but this one was so much better! Gwyn was so quirky and funny in the previous book, so I couldn't wait to follow her, and her relationship with Wells was highly entertaining. It has slight enemies-to-lovers vibes, and the bickering between them was so good. The pair had great chemistry, and I thought they complemented each other well. Aside from their dynamic, I enjoyed the plot of this one a lot more. It still had all the charm and coziness of the first book but held my attention more. If you're looking for a cute contemporary for the Halloween season, I recommend checking it out.

Rating: 4.5/5


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