Review: The Honey-Don’t List

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren
Publication: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 3/24/20

Disclaimer: I received a free ARC from Gallery Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.
James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.
Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

Review: I’ve been anticipating for Christina Lauren’s newest book since it was first announced! I dove into The Honey-Don’t List the day I received it. I was pleasantly surprised to see the direction that they went in this novel. I feel this one delivers though it doesn’t exude the typical charm of their previous books. The elements I really loved about The Honey-Don’t List was that they bring up toxic bosses and feelings of being trapped in a job. I also loved the HGTV vibes in this book. My only drawback was that I wasn’t a big fan of the romance between Carey and James in this book. It felt a bit too forced and lacked chemistry. I really liked the way the authors created Melissa and James’ characters, however, I wasn’t a fan of Carey or Rusty. Despite my feeling of how I felt about the romance and a couple of the characters, this still resulted in a four star read because of the strong storyline.

Rating: 4/5

Review: The Other People

The Other People by C.J. Tudor
Publication: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books
Publication Date: 1/28/20

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

GoodReads Synopsis: She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .

Three years ago, Gabe saw his daughter taken. In the back of a rusty old car, covered in bumper tickers. He was driving behind the car. He watched her disappear. But no one believes him. Most people believe that his daughter, and wife, are dead. For a while, people believed that Gabe was responsible.

Three years later and Gabe cannot give up hope. Even though he has given up everything else. His home, his job, his old life. He spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, sleeping in his camper van in service stations, searching for the car that took her. Searching for his daughter.

Katie spends a lot of her life in service stations, working as a waitress. She often sees Gabriel, or ‘the thin man’ as she has nicknamed him. She knows his story. She feels for him, because Katie understands what it’s like to lose a loved one. Nine years ago, her father was murdered. It broke her family apart. She hasn’t seen her oldest sister since the day of the funeral; the day she did something terrible.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people that want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows that if they ever find them, they’re dead.

Review: The Other People is C.J. Tudor’s third book. Overall, I found this to be a decent read. I really loved the premise of this novel. The character development and element of mystery were pretty strong. However, I found the writing style in this particular book to be somewhat odd. I noticed that the transitions alternating from past and present didn’t flow well. I also did not like the supernatural elements at the end which seemed to completely off. Despite these discrepancies, I would still recommend checking this thriller out if you loved The Chalk Man and Hiding Place.

Rating: 3/5

Review: American Dirt

American Dirt by Jeannie Cummins
Publication: Flatiron & MacMillan
Publication Date: 1/21/20

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced listening copy of this book from LibroFM and MacMillan Audio in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Lydia Quixano Perez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with four books he would like to buy–two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Review: American Dirt is the first book I’ve read from Jeannie Cummins. The audiobook narrator of this book was amazing. As I was listening to the book, I felt like I was listening to a drama show. As for the actual book, I was intrigued by the author’s captivating writing style. However, there were times where the story felt like it was dragged on a bit instead of progressing. The relationship between Lydia and Javier fell a bit flat and was inconsistent through the story. Besides those issues, this was still a five star read for me based upon the writing style alone. I’d recommend picking this up if you’re looking for a strong and heavy contemporary novel.

Rating: 5/5

Review: The Wives

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
Publication: Graydon House
Publication Date: 12/30/19

GoodReads Synopsis: Thursday’s husband, Seth, has two other wives. She’s never met them, and she doesn’t know anything about them. She agreed to this unusual arrangement because she’s so crazy about him.
But one day, she finds something. Something that tells a very different—and horrifying—story about the man she married.
What follows is one of the most twisted, shocking thrillers you’ll ever read.
You’ll have to grab a copy to find out why.

Review: The Wives by Tarryn Fisher was my December BOTM pick and first book I’ve read from Tarryn. This was certainly a five star read for me! I loved the unexpected twists. At one point in the book, I felt so confused that I wasn’t even sure I was understanding what was real and what wasn’t. But what I loved the most of all in this book was the emotion behind this domestic suspense book. Tarryn herself describes it best as this “And in this story, I zone in how women emotionally bankrupt themselves for whom they love.” I highly recommend picking up this book if you’re a fan of domestic thrillers / suspense. Now I need to check out all of Tarryn’s other books!

Rating: 5/5

Review: 29 Seconds

29 Seconds by T.M. Logan

Publication: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: 3/8/18

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

GoodReads Synposis: When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.

He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

All it takes is a 29 second phone call.

Review: 29 Seconds is the second book I’ve read from T.M. Logan. Overall, this was a solid three star thriller for me. The storyline was intriguing and action packed from page one. However, the plot seemed to be a bit too far fetched for my taste. I didn’t see one of the twists coming which was a pleasant surprise. I found Sarah to be such a weak and naive main character which irked me a lot, but I enjoyed learning a bit more about the other characters. Personally, I liked Lies better than 29 Seconds. If this is on your TBR, then it may be up your alley.

Rating: 3/5

Review: Regretting You

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
Publication: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: 12/10/19

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

GoodReads Synopsis: Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

Review: I was so excited to get an ARC of Colleen Hoover’s latest novel, Regretting You. Her writing style always grips you from the beginning and you get so engrossed with the story whether you love it or hate. Her books usually go either extreme of the spectrum for me which I love because it keeps me on my toes.

Regretting You is honestly one of my top 3 favorite books from her! The characters were well developed and I loved the alternating mother/daughter POV. This reads sort of like a YA and kind of not. I love that Colleen’s writing grips the reader from the beginning and the reader is so engrossed with the storyline. Overall if you love romance or if you’re already a fan of CoHo, you’ll definitely want to add this one onto your TBR.

Rating: 4/5

Review: Get A Life, Chloe Brown

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Publication: Avon Books

Publication Date: 11/5/19

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced listening copy of this book from LibroFM, Avon Books, and Harper Audio in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?

Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
Go camping.
Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Review: Get A Life, Chloe Brown is the first book I’ve read from Talia Hibbert. This contemporary romance had a decent storyline and the characters were well-developed. It’s great that the author was able to develop characters that went beyond the typical in a romance book which I applaud her for. I appreciated that the author added a trigger warning in the beginning of her book. However, this book just wasn’t my cup of tea. I felt like the book dragged in a few areas. As for the main characters, I felt like the chemistry between them was too forced. It also didn’t help that I wasn’t a fan of the writing style at all which makes me unsure about picking up the future books in the series.

As for the actual audiobook, I despised the narrator. Her voice was too shrill for my taste and I couldn’t stand the high pitched voice she was using for Chloe and the deep voice she was trying to use for Red. About half way through the audiobook, I put it down and decided to purchase the ebook version. The ebook version made the reading experience much more pleasurable. I also felt that by reading the ebook, I could rate and review overall book fairly. My three star rating has nothing to do with the audiobook and everything to do with the actual storyline of the book.

Personally I wouldn’t go out and recommend this book to everyone, but at the same time, I wouldn’t shun anyone from reading it as well. If you like contemporary romance, then you may enjoy this one more than me.

Rating: 3/5