Review: Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks

Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks

Publication Date: 10/15/19
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 1/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital 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.

Review: Twenty-One Truths About Love is the first book I’ve read from Matthew Dicks. This contemporary novel is told in a story of lists. The protagonist uses lists as a therapeutic exercise.  I had pretty high hope for this novel as Taylor Jenkins Reid (one of my favorite all-time authors) loved this book, however, I didn’t like it all. I liked the format, however, I found the main character to be extremely unlikable and couldn’t sympathize for him at all. He was just a bitter old man who could have made better choices in life. There were a few times where I wanted to not finish the book, but kept reading hoping it would get better. As I read, the story got progressive worse as it was getting pretty repetitive and dense. I ended up skimming most of it as it seemed like half the novel was fluff. I would definitely skip this book at all costs. 

Review: The Last Post

The Last Post by Renee Carlino

Publication: Atria Books

Publication Date: 8/20/19

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital 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: Laya Marston’s husband, Cameron, a daredevil enthusiast, always said this before heading off on his next adventure. He was the complete opposite of her, ready and willing to dive off a cliff-face, or parachute across a canyon—and Laya loved him for it. But she was different: pragmatic, regimented, devoted to her career and to supporting Cameron from the sidelines of his death-defying feats.

Opposites attract, right?

But when Cameron dies suddenly and tragically, all the stages of grief go out the window. Laya becomes lost in denial, living in the delusion that Cameron will come back to her. She begins posting on his Facebook page, reminiscing about their life together, and imagining new adventures for the two of them.

Micah Evans, a young and handsome architect at Laya’s father’s firm, is also stuck––paralyzed by the banal details of his career, his friendships, and his love life. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for, only that there is someone out there who can bring energy and spirit to the humdrum of his life.

When Micah discovers Laya’s tragic and bizarre Facebook posts, he’s determined to show Laya her life is still worth living. Leaving her anonymous gifts and notes, trying to recreate the sense of adventure she once shared with her late husband, Micah finds a new passion watching Laya come out of the darkness. And Laya finds a new joy in the experiences Micah has created for her.

But for Laya, letting another man in still feels like a betrayal to her late husband. Even though Micah may be everything she could wish for, she wonders if she deserves to find happiness again.

Review: This is the second Renee Carlino book I read and it may be my last. I just can’t stand the characters she writes. I understand that they’re flawed or whatever, but it’s too much. Both of the main characters in this novel are so unbearable. There were so many times where I wanted to DNF’ed this book, but I kept trudging through in the hope it would get better and the fact that I was already so far in it, but no it does not. Layla knew what she was getting herself into when she met her husband, Cameron, so it was frustrating to listen to her whine how Cameron was such a risk taker that it took his life when she’s the complete opposite. As for Micah, I didn’t like him from the beginning as he came off as stalkerish and weird. Also towards the end of the book, most of it seemed so unbelievable and overly cliché. Personally, I’d recommend skipping this book unless you already like the author’s other books.

Rating: 1/5

Review: Thirty-Life Crisis

Thirty-Life-Crisis by Lisa Schwartz

Publication: Grand Central Publishing

Publication Date: 8/27/19

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

GoodReads Synopsis: THIRTYLIFE CRISIS Lisa Schwartz’s stories and musings are all about watching her friends adult like pros, while she tries to understand why she doesn’t want or can’t seem to find all the things they have for herself. Like a big sister who’s already seen it all, Lisa will take readers through her own life experiences to say that one thing we all need to hear: you are so not alone. Unabashed and unfiltered, Schwartz’s voice and candor will appeal to anyone in their thirties who just can’t deal with the never-ending Facebook feed of friends’ engagement photos and baby pictures, the trials of figuring out where their passion meets their career, and everything in between.

Review: Thirty-Life-Crisis is Lisa Schwartz’s debut book. Overall, I realized that this book wasn’t my cup of tea. I couldn’t get into the writing style. Some of the tid bits she writes at the end of her chapters are relatable and sound advice. However, I found most of the chapters to be a bit all over the place and a little bit repetitive. I found myself skimming most the book trying to get a gist of what points she was making. Personally, I’d recommend skipping this nonfiction book unless you’re a fan of her YouTube channel.

Rating: 1/5

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: 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: 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: 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