Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 8-1-23
Adult - Contemporary

The Roommate Pact- Allison Ashley: To say Claire Harper's dating life isn't going well is an understatement. She has specific rules when it comes to looking for Mr. Right, but the most important is he can't have a dangerous job. She learned the hard way what that can do to a family if the person doesn't come home, and she refuses to go through that pain again. So when her firefighter roommate proposes that they enter into a marriage of convenience if they're both still single at forty, she hesitantly agrees. Claire still believes she'll find her perfect match before then, but when Graham is seriously injured, and Claire has to tend to him, she can't deny her attraction. The pair decide to forgo waiting and try their hand at friends-with-benefits, but the closer they get, the more they realize this is a forever type of deal.

I ate this book up in one sitting. I thought it was so much fun. I loved the banter between Claire and Graham. Claire was so outspoken and caring, and Graham was just the right amount of cocky but a cinnamon roll on the inside. He's very guarded at the start and a little emotionally stunted, and watching him open up and become vulnerable was so sweet. I understood Claire's reasoning behind not wanting a relationship with Graham, but it did get a little frustrating especially the whole third-act drama. I also thought that some of the dialogue felt stiff, and occasionally it felt like the emotional scenes were being glossed over. Other than that, I liked this a lot, and I can't wait to check out more from this author.

Rating: 4/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 5-16-23
Adult - Fantasy

The Enchanted Hacienda- J.C. Cervantes: Harlow Estrada's perfectly curated life comes crashing down after she loses her dream job and boyfriend all in one day. With nowhere left to go, Harlow leaves New York City for her family's hacienda in Mexico. The women in the Estrada family have been blessed with magic and have tended the enchanted gardens surrounding their estate for hundreds of years. Harlow is the only Estrada with no magic, so when she's asked to oversee the farm while her mother and aunt go on vacation, Harlow's hesitant. But when Harlow meets a mysterious stranger, she discovers that maybe she isn't so magicless after all.

This gave off such Encanto meets When in Rome vibes. I loved the premise of this whole family having different magical powers tied to flowers. I liked watching Harlow grow into her power as she became more confident. The romance between her and Ben was fine, if a bit boring. It was easy to see how the third-act conflict would play out between them, so it wasn't that impactful. There were aspects that I loved, like the magic, the family dynamics, and the setting. The descriptions of the Estrada farm were so lush it made you want to hop on a plane to Mexico. If you don't mind a slower-paced story, I recommend checking it out.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 7-19-22
Adult - Contemporary

The Bodyguard- Katherine Center: As an executive protection agent, Hannah Brooks is used to a fast-paced life. She gets a rush traveling the world and keeping her clients safe from harm. When a new position opens up in London, Hannah is determined to prove she's the best fit, but she'll have to make it through her latest assignment first. Jack Stapleton is a well-known actor who's done everything from superhero blockbusters to swoony rom-coms but hasn't been seen much in the public eye after a family tragedy a few years prior. But when his mom gets sick, and he needs to come back to their Texas ranch to help out, Hannah is hired to protect him. But there's a catch. Jack doesn't want his family to know about potential threats against his life, so he convinces Hannah to pose as his girlfriend instead. Against her better judgment, Hannah agrees, but it doesn't take long before their relationship begins to feel like more than just a cover.

I was in the mood for a quick rom-com, and this did the trick perfectly. I've recently become a fan of the bodyguard trope, and I loved how it was reversed here. It made the story stick out from others I've read, which is always good. The highlight of this was the relationship between Hannah and Jack. They had such an ease about them, and I was smiling and laughing at some of their banter. I loved seeing Hannah interact with Jack's family, especially his mom. It was so sweet. I also loved how Center touched upon grief and how it affects us all differently. My issue with this is that the plot didn't feel very believable. Hannah is supposed to be this highly-trained CIA-level bodyguard, and there were so many times when she was unaware of her surroundings or what was happening. There were also moments between her coworkers that made them all seem so unprofessional. I still found it fun, but I think you have to suspend your disbelief a bit.

Rating: 3/5


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