Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 12-12-23
Adult - Contemporary

Housebroke- Jaci Burton: Hazel Bristow is left in the lurch after her ex-husband took all her money when they divorced. Her friend lets her and her five foster dogs stay in her home while it's on the market, but she forgets to let Hazel know when it gets sold. Linc Kennedy wasn't expecting a squatter in the new home he bought, but after some negotiating, he agrees to let Hazel and her dogs stay in exchange for her cooking skills. It doesn't take long for feelings to grow, but Hazel has been burned and doesn't trust easily, and Linc is hiding a major secret.

Honestly, this wasn't even on my radar before I got the ARC, but the synopsis sounded cute. I love rom-coms that feature cute animals, so I was excited to dive in. I thought the use of the forced proximity/roommates trope was fun. The highlight of this was the animals. I loved watching Linc and Hazel bond over the dogs, and it led to some adorable interactions. But my issue was with the writing. I didn't enjoy Burton's style. The characters are annoying, and the plot is brimming with miscommunication. I would've liked to have seen a more natural progression in their relationship because it took off so quickly. It also felt like Burton was trying to squeeze in a lot of heavier topics, but it fell flat. It was a cute, quick read, but not memorable.

Rating: 2/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 1-17-23
Adult - Contemporary

A Guide to Being Just Friends- Sophie Sullivan: After a disastrous break-up, Hailey Sharp has moved to a new town with a focus on building her new business. Hailey has dreamed of opening a salad shop and has no time for anything except ensuring it succeeds. Most would describe Wes Jansen as a stick in the mud. He's driven, and focused, and has no time for relationships, let alone love. Seeing his parents' marriage deteriorate when he was young made Wes swear off the thought of marriage and commitment for good. But after an awkward run-in with Hailey, the two strike up a friendship, promising each other it will stay strictly platonic. Hailey doesn't want any distractions, and Wes doesn't believe in love, so it's only a matter of time before they fall for one another.

I went into this not realizing that it was the third book in a series or that I had already read the other two, so that was a pleasant surprise. Sullivan's writing is so breezy that I flew through it in one sitting. I liked Hailey and Wes and thought they had a sweet relationship. They worked so well as friends that it felt natural when it inevitably progressed into something more. I saw it compared to When Harry Met Sally, which was pretty apt. I didn't love the third-act drama, but other than that, I enjoyed it and would recommend it if you like wholesome, Hallmark-feeling romances.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 11-1-16
YA - Thriller

Bad Blood- Jennifer Lynn Barnes: When Cassie Hobbes joined the FBI's Natural program, she had one goal: finding out what happened to her mother. Something about her mother's disappearance never sat right with Cassie, and after the last investigation, she and her friends worked on, Cassie now has proof that her mother is still alive. The group holding her mother is more powerful and dangerous than any foe the Naturals have been up against. As the group digs into this mysterious society, they uncover murders that have been going unnoticed for generations. Cassie and her friends quickly realize they're being toyed with and that this mission will break them in more ways than one.

I've said it after each book, but I'm obsessed with this series. I can't get over how Barnes managed to write such a compelling series. They're so addicting, and I devoured each installment in one sitting because I couldn't put them down. I needed to know what would happen to Cassie and the Naturals. I needed to know what happened to her mom and how it all tied together. There were so many moments when I was on the edge of my seat. I had no clue how it would wrap up, and I thought Barnes nailed it. It's easily my favorite series I've read by her, and I'm now going to harass everyone I know into picking it up.

Rating: 4.5/5


  1. Ahhh yay! I can't wait to read The Naturals! I'm now down to a 12 week wait at my library :-)


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