Review: The Arrangement

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

Publication: Gallery / Scout Press

Publication Date: 7/30/19

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Gallery / Scout Press in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favours are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

Review: This was the first book I’ve read from Robyn Harding. The whole concept of sugar daddy / sugar baby relationships in this book was truly fascinating to read. Robyn’s writing style intrigues you from page one and you can’t put it down. However, half way through, the book did feel a bit predictable to me. I liked how we were able to see the perspectives of Natalie (sugar baby) and Gabe (sugar daddy), but I was craving more of the first person alternative narrations in this novel. I was also curious to learn more of Celeste (Gabe’s wife) perspective more in the book instead. If you like domestic thrillers, then you should check this one out.

Rating: 3/5

Review: Breathe In, Cash Out

Breathe In, Cash Out by Madeleine Henry

Publication: Atria Books

Publication Date: 7/9/19

Disclaimer: I received a free physical copy of this book from Atria Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Allegra Cobb’s resume: Straight-A Princeton grad, second-year analyst at a top-tier bank, one-time USA Yoga National Champion. Allegra Cobb’s reality: Spends twenty-four hours a day changing the colors on bar charts, overusing the word “team,” and daydreaming about quitting the minute her year-end bonus hits her account. She has no interest in the cutthroat banking world—she’s going to launch her very own yoga practice.

But her plan isn’t quite as perfect as the beachfront yoga pictures she double-taps on Instagram. On top of the 100 emails an hour and coworkers already suspicious of her escape plan, Allegra’s hard-driving single father has always expected fiercely high achievement above all else. That his daughter works on Wall Street means everything to him. Still, she marches on, taking it day by extremely caffeinated day.

But after (1) unknowingly sleeping with the man now leading her banking cohort on one of their biggest deals to date and (2) meeting the #blessed yoga guru who might just be her ticket to the life she’s always wanted, it really hits her: her happy-ever-after will be harder to manifest than she thought.

Fast-paced, laugh-out-loud funny, and totally irresistible, this is the story of a fearless young woman determined to center herself in the life she truly wants.

Review: When I initially heard about this book, I was super excited for it as practicing yoga is my other passion besides reading. I liked how work pressure was expressed in this novel and the main character’s relationships with her coworkers. The big part I did not like about this book at all was how yoga was represented in here and the whole side story about Instagram influencers which was a yawn. The author makes it as so shallow and ‘basic’, but there’s so much more to that. Yoga is not all about flexibility. It also focuses on strength as well. This part could have been portrayed a bit better. I also noticed that the author used a lot of yoga terms that if someone who doesn’t practice yoga wouldn’t know, but since I practice, I was familiar with true terminology. Honestly, I would recommend skipping this book.

Rating: 2/5

Review: The Right Swipe

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Publication: Avon (HarperCollins)

Publication Date: 8/6/19

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy of this book from Avon (HarperCollins) in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

– Nude pics are by invitation only

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

– Protect your heart

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

Review: This is the first book I’ve read from Alisha Rai and certainly won’t be my last. Based off the synopsis, I thought that this would be a more enemies turned lovers steamier read, but it ended up being a more complex story with less romance. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as Alisha Rai eloquently tackled sensitive and important topics like sexual harassment and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in the book. I really loved the diverse set of characters she had in her book which I found quite refreshing. I appreciate the complexities that the author brings out in the main characters which was interesting to read. However, I found them extremely unlikable and they lacked chemistry. Her secondary characters were full of wit and charm. I hope that Katrina and Lakshmi received their love stories in the Modern Love series!

Rating: 3/5

Review: Lies

Lies by T.M. Logan

Publication: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: 1/17/17

Disclaimer: I received a free finished book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES?

When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she’s supposed to be at work, he’s intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe’s young son has an asthma attack – and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that’s when Joe receives the first message…

Review: This is the first book I’ve read from T.M. Logan. Overall, this was a decent domestic thriller. The book had a great premise and the beginning pulled me in by being fast-paced. I didn’t see the twists coming and I liked the ending. However, I did feel that the middle part of the story did drag on for a bit. There were a few cheesy parts in the book I didn’t care for and there were times I didn’t like the main character, but that didn’t hinder me to continue reading as it was fast-paced. If you like domestic thrillers, then I’d recommend checking this one out.

Rating: 3/5

Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak

How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway

Publication Date: 7/30/19

Publisher: Harlequin – Graydon House

Rating: 2/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Harlequin – Graydon House in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway is a chick lit following Mel who works at a male driven tech start up where she is fed up with her job and terrible dates. After being stood up on a date, it’s the final straw and she decides to create JerkAlert app which warns women of terrible men to avoid dating. It becomes famous, however, in the midst of it all, there’s a romance story. I really wanted to love this book, but I felt like the novel missed its mark. It’s great that it advocates feminism, however, it was way too forceful and Melanie becomes unlikable. I liked the premise and that the author focuses on a woman in the tech industry, however, I didn’t like her stance that basically all men are terrible. I also didn’t like how Melanie goes about her job. If she hates it so much, why doesn’t she actually do something about it like look for a new one or report the issue to HR? Also her relationship with Alex seemed dull and immature. Alex’s character ends up being so one dimensional that I would have liked to have read his perspective as well. Overall, I would recommend skipping this book as there are other better romance reads out there.

Review: Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Publication Date: 7/16/19

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Disclaimer: I received a free finished book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Meet Hanna.She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette. She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

Review: Baby Teeth is Zoje Stage’s debut novel. When I originally got this book, I thought it was a thriller, but about quarter of the way through, I realized it was a horror book. I love thrillers and typically avoid horrors so this was definitely new waters for me. This horror book is told by alternating perspectives from the 7-year-old daughter, Hanna, and her mother, Suzette. I found all the characters in the novel to be extremely unlikable and selfish in their own ways. I couldn’t understand that if Hanna was mute this whole time and she’s super intelligent, why didn’t they teach her sign language to communicate? On the other hand, I found Zoje’s writing style to be intriguing. There were some scenes in the book that totally creeped me out or instances where I couldn’t read the book at night. Without spoiling too much, I found the ending to be very lackluster and I ended up skimming the last couple of chapters. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book.

Rating: 2/5

Review: The Great Unexpected

The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney

Publication Date: 6/25/19

Publisher: Harlequin Books (Park Row Books)

Rating: 5/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reader copy of this book from TLC Book Tours & Harlequin Books (Park Row Books) in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney is about two men who couldn’t be more opposite of each other develop an unexpected friendship at the nursing home they reside in. They join together to plan an epic escape in this charming novel. I laughed, I cried, and the author really pulled my heartstrings when I read this novel. I found myself grabbing a tissue more than once. The writing style reminded me a bit of Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove which I adored as well. All the characters are charming and witty. The author does a great job exploring themes of agism, mental health, grief, and friendship. I really loved the unfolding of Joel and Frank’s friendship. The challenges they face and the way they handle them are so real and honest. I highly recommend picking up The Great Unexpected!