Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 6-6-23
Adult - Contemporary

Charm City Rocks- Matthew Norman: Billy Perkins is a single dad from Baltimore who genuinely loves his life. He has a little apartment above his favorite record store, teaches music to anyone who wants to learn, and loves spending time with his son, Caleb. But Caleb is heading off to college soon and worries that his dad isn't as happy as he pretends to be, so he concocts a plan to set Billy up with the drummer of his favorite band that he's had a crush on for years. Margot Hammer was once a part of one of the biggest bands in the world. Now, she spends her days holed up in her NYC apartment until a music documentary thrusts her back into the spotlight. When Billy and Margot meet, it's clear that there's some attraction there, but can they get out of their way long enough to make it work?

I'm a sucker for a celebrity romance, especially involving musicians, so I was looking forward to picking this up. It was cute but also very meh. I liked the first half, but it lost the plot somewhere in the middle. It got too jumbled with so many character POVs, and I started to lose interest. There's also a British character in here who read like a caricature of a British person. I was getting second-hand embarrassment reading his chapters because it was so cringy. I wish Norman focused more on Billy and Margot and their relationship because it felt a bit surface-level. I did love the relationship between Billy and his son, though. Other than that, I thought it was just okay.

Rating: 2/5

Pub Date: 2-9-21
Adult - Historical Romance

The Duke Heist- Erica Ridley: Chloe Wynchester was both blessed and cursed with a forgettable face. On one hand, it allows her to blend into any crowd, which is helpful as a pickpocket and thief. On the other, all Chloe longs for is to be seen by someone other than her family. Before the only father Chloe has ever known passed away, he tasked the rest of his adopted children with one mission: to recover a beloved painting that's gone missing. Lawrence Gosling, the Duke of Faircliffe, is desperately trying to dig himself out of the debts his father left him. To save his estate, he must marry an heiress and fast. But when he finds himself face-to-face with a beautiful woman stealing his carriage, all Lawrence's plans go out the window. As Chloe and Lawrence grow closer, neither can deny their attraction. But will Lawrence risk his family's legacy for true love?

I wish I were a Wynchester so much. I adore the relationship between all the siblings. It's so fun watching them interact and all the crazy antics they get up to. This is only the second book in the series I've read so far, but I can already tell it'll be one of my favorites. I did find the beginning of it a bit slow, and it took me a few chapters to get into the story, but it was so entertaining. I loved the heist element. The relationship between Chloe and Lawrence was fine, but it didn't blow me away. They had some cute moments, but I couldn't help wanting a little more. For me, this series is more about sibling dynamics, and the romances are more of an extra treat, and I can't wait to pick up the rest of the books.

Rating: 3.5/5

Pub Date: 4-5-22
YA - Historical Mystery

Sense and Second-Degree Murder- Tirzah Price: After the sudden death of her father, Elinor and the rest of the Dashwoods are left in dire straights. Thanks to an outdated will, everything--including their home and their father's private investigating firm--is left to an estranged half-brother and his wife. Elinor and her family are left with nothing, forced to live in a cramped apartment. Before they leave their home, Elinor and her sister, Marianne, make a startling discovery that points to foul play in their father's death. As her father's protégé, Marianne wastes no time in investigating. Elinor and Marianne must combine their talents to get to the truth before the murderer strikes again.

I read the first book in this series and enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to continuing. I did like it, but it didn't keep my attention as much as the previous book. I love the idea of reimagining Jane Austen's work into murder mysteries, and I think Price does a good job of keeping the bones of the original stories while making them her own. My biggest issue with this one was the pacing. It felt rushed in places and slow in others, so it came across as disjointed. The mystery was interesting, and I liked how Price tackled drug addiction during this time. There were a few twists I didn't see coming, which is always good. I'd recommend it if you're looking for a charming historical mystery series.

Rating: 3/5


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