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: 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: 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!

Review: Things You Save In A Fire

Things You Save In A Fire by Katherine Center

Publication Date: 8/13/19
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

GoodReads Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about family, hope, and learning to love against all odds. 
Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.
The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?
Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.

Review: Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid read. I definitely liked Things You Save In A Fire over Katherine’s previous book, How To Walk Away. I really liked Cassie’s character development and how she sheds light on gender inequality in her fire station along with dealing with a sick parent whom she has a strained relationship with. Overall, the writing style was very strong and the book kept me intrigued. There were some cheesy parts in here that were a bit over the top, but I was able to over look that. The only part I didn’t like so much was how rushed the epilogue was. The story started off strong and had great momentum, but at the end, everything seemed too rushed and wrapped up in a pretty bow. All in all, if you like contemporary romance, I’d recommend checking this one out. 

Rating: 4/5

Review: The Marriage Clock

The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem

Publication Date: 7/23/19

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (HarperCollins Publisher)

Rating: 3/5

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

Review: The Marriage Clock is Zara Raheem’s debut novel. This contemporary romance follows, Lelia, a young Muslim-American woman, who is given 3 months to find the perfect husband otherwise her conservative Indian parents will find someone for her and arrange her marriage. I found this book to be charming, witty, and could connect to the book on a personal level. Zara’s writing style keeps your attention throughout the full book. I also found it refreshing to read the view point from an Indian Muslim perspective as I am Indian Hindu and it was interesting to see what the similarities and differences were. With all of that said, there were some parts of the book that I found difficult to connect with fully which resulted in a lower star rating. First, I found Lelia’s personality to be a bit jarring, more immature, and delusional than I anticipated. At the same time, it didn’t surprise me as she was still living at home with her parents, but I expected a bit more openness and understanding from her. The ending made sense to me, but it felt me wanting something a bit more. Overall, I thought it was a great start for a debut. I’d recommend picking this up if you like contemporary novels.

Review: Lock Every Door

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Publication Date: 7/2/19

Publisher: Dutton

Rating: 5/5

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

Review: I was super stoked to receive Riley Sanger’s third and latest novel novel, Lock Every Door. This thriller follows Jules, who is broke and unemployed, accepts an offer to be an apartment sitter for a high profile and mysterious building in NYC. Jules befriends another apartment sitter, Ingrid, who suddenly disappears the next day. In the wake of Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules uncovers the building’s dark history. Are the secrets of the building’s glamorous facade still hold true today or is it in the past? This was definitely a 5 star read for me! I swear Riley’s writing style gets better and better by each book. He has quickly become one of my favorite thriller writers! The premise of the novel is not only intriguing, but actually kept me on my toes throughout the story as I didn’t see the twists and turns coming. I found each of the characters to be distinct. This thriller kind of reminded me of the Disney movie, Tower of Terror, a little bit. Overall, if you loved Riley Sager’s previous books, you’ll love this one and it won’t disappoint!

Review: Fix Her Up

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

Publishing Date: 6/11/19

Publisher: Avon Books

Rating: 2/5

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

Review: Fix Her Up is the first book I’ve read from Tessa Bailey. This romcom follows Georgie, a young woman who wants to be taken seriously despite her age and profession, lands herself fake dating Travis, her childhood crush / her brother’s best friend / former baseball star. Initially the cute illustrative cover and premise intrigued me to read this novel. It wasn’t at all what I expected. The novel was definitely steamier than I anticipated it to be which I didn’t mind. The story started off pretty strong, however as I kept reading further, most of the scenes ended up being cringeworthy and too cheesy for me which I couldn’t overlook. I also wasn’t a big fan of the typical virgin female and player male main characters which I feel is overused and pretty dull to me. Unfortunately, this wasn’t my type of romance, but if you like the whole dating your best friend’s brother and fake dating sort of romance then this is for you.