Monday, June 5, 2023

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 6-6-23
Adult - Contemporary

Unfortunately Yours- Tessa Bailey: After a mishap at work cost Natalie Vos her job and fiancé, she has no choice but to crawl back to her family's vineyard in Napa. It only takes a few weeks of drowning her sorrows in countless bottles of wine before Natalie decides enough is enough. She's ready to take back the finance world by storm but needs the funds to do it. After she discovers she can't touch her trust fund without being married first, she devises a plan. August Cates has no business owning a winery, but it was his late best friend's dream, so he'll stick it out. But with no bank willing to give him a loan, he's running out of options. So when Natalie suggests they tie the knot to help each other, he can't say no. All they have to do is pretend to be married for a while; how hard could it be? There's only one tiny problem: neither was planning on falling in love.

I didn't like the first book in this series, so I was a little hesitant to pick this up. I'm happy to report I thought it was great. I loved the chemistry between Natalie and August. They were both hot-headed and sassy. One minute they were at each other's throats, the next, they were ripping clothes off, and I was here for the drama. Usually, I'm not the biggest fan of the super alpha-male love interest, but it worked so well here. August was protective and macho but also a lovable goofball. It was so satisfying watching him and Natalie let their guards down and be vulnerable with one another. I loved seeing Natalie let herself breathe and be seen by August. Aside from the ending feeling a bit rushed, I did have one other nit-picky issue with this which was that August has a cat who we see for a little bit in the beginning, but then never really hear about again. Whenever author's do that, part of my focus is always on who's taking care of the pet rather than on what's going on, which I know is totally irrational. Other than that, I really enjoyed it.

Rating: 4/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 10-4-22
Adult - Historical Fiction

Hester- Laurie Lico Albanese: It's the early 1800s, and Isobel Gamble, a young seamstress, and her husband, Edward, are forced to flee Scotland for Salem, Massachusetts, due to Edward's many debts. Only days after arriving, Edward leaves Isobel to join a departing ship as their medic. Isobel is left lost, alone, and penniless in a new world, forced to make her way by any means necessary. Then she meets Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the two are instantly drawn to one another. They're both troubled by their secrets: his family had a hand in the witch trials, and she has an uncanny ability when it comes to her needlework. When it becomes clear that Edward may never return from his journey, Isobel and Nathaniel's relationship grows, and it may lead to Isobel's downfall.

I love it when stories are based on real people, so I thought the plot of this being about the woman who inspired The Scarlet Letter was intriguing. Albanese's writing was atmospheric, and you almost felt transported back to this time. You could tell a lot of research must have gone into it for it to feel true to the period. The prose was so pretty yet complex. Isobel was such an interesting character to follow, and I enjoyed seeing her journey. It was full of ups and downs and heartbreak, but she never gave up hope. Her relationships with Edward and Nathaniel were so tumultuous; you could feel the tension brimming off the page. While I liked the characters, I felt the plot could've been fleshed out more. The dual timelines kept taking me out of the story, and the pacing was too slow. Despite that, I'd still recommend this if you're a fan of historical fiction.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 5-12-22
Adult - Historical Romance

A Lady's Guide to Fortune-Hunting- Sophie Irwin: After her father dies, Kitty Talbot is left with a mountain of debts and only a few weeks to save her family from ruination. She'll do whatever it takes to secure her family's future, even if that means manipulating a wealthy man into marriage. Kitty may not be the most accomplished young lady, but she's determined to win over the London ton. She expected some hurdles in her venture, but nothing could prepare her for Lord Radcliffe. The lord seems to be the only one who can see through Kitty's façade and makes it his mission to throw a wrench in her plans. The pair butt heads at every turn, so it comes as a shock to both when real feelings begin to unfold.

I feel thrown by this one. I thought it was a historical romance, but it read more like a general (and even a bit YA, at times) historical fiction. While we see Kitty flirting and courting a few gentlemen here and there, the focus was more on her attempts at manipulation. I kept waiting for the romance bits to kick off, but it felt like an afterthought. I did enjoy seeing how cunning Kitty was and how she was willing to do whatever it takes to help her family. She was bright, and her reasoning behind everything was admirable. I liked watching her and Radcliffe take little digs at each other, but the chemistry was non-existent. The plot was also very straight forward. Nothing was exciting or interesting enough to keep my full attention. It was an okay book, but not memorable.

Rating: 2/5

1 comment:

  1. It seems like everyone is loving the second Tessa Bailey book in that series! I had been putting off reading the first one since it didn't get the best reviews, but it's good to see everyone enjoying Unfortunately Yours!