Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Audio Book Review: Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez

Genre: Romance/Audio Book
Pub. Date: 4/11/23
Publisher: Forever
Source: Library
Other Books by Author: Part of Your World

Goodreads says, "Dr. Briana Ortiz’s life is seriously flatlining. Her divorce is just about finalized, her brother’s running out of time to find a kidney donor, and that promotion she wants? Oh, that’s probably going to the new man-doctor who’s already registering eighty-friggin’-seven on Briana’s “pain in my ass” scale. But just when all systems are set to hate, Dr. Jacob Maddox completely flips the game . . . by sending Briana a letter.  And it’s a really good letter. Like the kind that proves that Jacob isn’t actually Satan. Worse, he might be this fantastically funny and subversively likeable guy who’s terrible at first impressions. Because suddenly he and Bri are exchanging letters, sharing lunch dates in her “sob closet,” and discussing the merits of freakishly tiny horses. But when Jacob decides to give Briana the best gift imaginable—a kidney for her brother—she wonders just how she can resist this quietly sexy new doctor . . . especially when he calls in a favor she can’t refuse."




Briana Ortiz is an ER doctor and has a lot going on. She is recently divorced (her husband cheated on her), she is hoping to get a promotion at work, and her brother is in desperate need of a new kidney. There's a lot on her plate, so when a new ER doctor, Jacob Maddox, enters the scene, she assumes that he will want the new job that is up for grabs. But things aren't as they appear with Jacob. He doesn't want the job; in fact, he has his own issues starting with clinical anxiety and the fact that his girlfriend dumped him for his brother. So, obviously, when Briana and Jacob meet they both have a lot of baggage. After a really bad first impression, Jacob writes Briana a letter and then they start corresponding that way and actually hit it off. The letters level up to lunch dates and so much more. Abby Jimenez's Yours Truly is a delightful rom-com that had me laughing out loud and while the novel touches on serious issues at times, it never feels overly dark.

I really enjoyed Briana from the start of
Yours Truly. I thought she was a really fun character and her glitter revenge and other scenes had me cackling. Her dedication to her brother tugged on my heartstrings and I appreciated that Jimenez highlighted chronic health issues and how they can impact an entire family as well as the toll it takes mentally. Jimenez adds her own personal health issues in the author's note at the end of Yours Truly, so I really appreciated that as well and I think many readers can relate to it. So, needless to say, I was rooting for Briana.

Jacob is a picture-perfect boyfriend in Yours Truly. I mean he offers to donate his kidney to Briana's brother. He writes letters. He has houseplants! His family is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Need I say more? The one issue he has is clinical anxiety and I think Jimenez does a brilliant job showing us through Jacob how that can impact a person both socially and at work. While I didn't really buy that he would donate his kidney so soon, I appreciated the sentiment and adored his character.

There are many common tropes in
Yours Truly--fake dating for starts, but Jimenez makes it feel fresh and fun. Many readers will enjoy this romance and I think it would be a great one to throw in your beach bag this summer. I listened to the audio version and really enjoyed it as well. A solid romance!

Are you a fan of Jimenez? Have you read
Yours Truly yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Friday, June 16, 2023

Book Spotlight: Love, Theoretically


Romance fans, get excited! A new Ali Hazelwood novel has come out this week! Woo hoo! I always enjoy picking up her novels and I can't wait to read her latest, Love, Theoretically, which I hear is a fantastic enemies-to-lovers romance. Hazelwood's rom-coms are not only steamy romances, but they are smart and laugh-out-loud funny, too. 

Learn More About the Book:


Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

Pub. Date: June 13, 2023


About the book, "It’s a rivalry that runs as old and as deep as the feuds between the Capulets and the Montagues, the Yankees and the Red Sox, Batman and the Joker, Tom and Jerry: theoretical versus experimental physicists. Elsie Hannaway is firmly in the camp of theoretical physics—an adjunct professor by day, she toils long and hard to teach students about the laws of thermodynamics in hopes of landing tenure. But to make ends meet, Elsie takes on another role in her (very) limited spare time: fake girlfriend. In this career, Elsie can pretend to be anyone her client needs her to be… and while she’s not supposed to go on more than one date with a guy, she develops a soft spot for one who really needs her help in front of his family. What could possibly go wrong?


Here is what can go wrong: her client has an older brother. A very hot older brother. And, on an interview for her dream tenure-track position in MIT’s physics department, Elsie learns that said older brother is a member of the hiring committee. And he also just so happens to be the very same experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and is the reason why the entire science field views theoretical physicists as wastes of space. Did we mention that he happens to be terribly sexy? And he thinks that Elsie is a librarian who has been dating his brother?"


You can purchase your own copy of Love, Theoretically at Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, Books-A-Million, and Amazon. You can learn more about Ali Hazelwood by visiting her website and connecting with her on Facebook and Instagram

So, is Love, Theoretically on your summer TBR list? Are you a fan of Ali Hazelwood? Let me know in the comments below. 


Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Book Review: The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand

Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: 6/13/2023
Publisher: Little, Brown & Co
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Golden Girl,  The Hotel Nantucket,
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Hollis Shaw’s life seems picture-perfect. She’s the creator of the popular food blog Hungry with Hollis and is married to Matthew, a dreamy heart surgeon. But after she and Matthew get into a heated argument one snowy morning, he leaves for the airport and is killed in a car accident. The cracks in Hollis’s perfect life—her strained marriage and her complicated relationship with her daughter, Caroline—grow deeper. So when Hollis hears about something called a “Five-Star Weekend”—one woman organizes a trip for her best friend from each phase of her her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties, and midlife—she decides to host her own Five-Star Weekend on Nantucket. But the weekend doesn’t turn out to be a joyful Hallmark movie. The husband of Hollis’s childhood friend Tatum arranges for Hollis’s first love, Jack Finigan, to spend time with them, stirring up old feelings. Meanwhile, Tatum is forced to play nice with abrasive and elitist Dru-Ann, Hollis’s best friend from UNC Chapel Hill. Dru-Ann’s career as a prominent Chicago sports agent is on the line after her comments about a client’s mental health issues are misconstrued online. Brooke, Hollis’s friend from their thirties, has just discovered that her husband is having an inappropriate relationship with a woman at work. Again! And then there’s Gigi, a stranger to everyone (including Hollis) who reached out to Hollis through her blog. Gigi embodies an unusual grace and, as it happens, has many secrets. The Five-Star Weekend is a surprising and captivating story about friendship, love, and self-discovery set on Nantucket. It will be a weekend like no other."
Hollis Shaw has it all at first glance. She lives in beautiful Wellesley and has a gorgeous vacation home on Nantucket. Her husband is a doctor, her college-age daughter is an aspiring filmmaker, and Hollis is the face behind the wildly popular website Hungry with Hollis complete with a community of food lovers. But peel back the layers of perfection and you can see the cracks that are starting to form. Things with Hollis and her husband are on the rocks, her daughter is angry most of the time, and her family resents her for spending so much time on the internet with her "followers." When her husband decides to not attend their annual Christmas party and go to a work conference instead, Hollis is upset. They have words before he leaves and en route to the airport, he gets into a car crash and dies. Now Hollis's daughter, Caroline, is even more angry and things will never be the same for Hollis. She leaves Wellesley behind for Nantucket, which is her hometown, and comes up with the brilliant idea to boost her mood--host a "five-star" weekend featuring four of her best friends from the various stages of life. There's Tatum, her childhood best friend, and Dru-Ann, her college bestie. Then there's Brooke, her friend from when the children were little, and lastly, Gigi, her internet friend whom she has never met from Hungry with Hollis. She will combine them for a weekend of fun at her house on Nantucket. What could possibly go wrong? Elin Hilderbrand's The Five-Star Weekend is a story about female friendships, the ups and downs of life, and figuring it all out.

I must be honest that I had a hard time connecting with Hollis in
The Five-Star Weekend. I am not sure if it's because she was older than me, but I really couldn't connect with her like I usually do with Hilderbrand's protagonists. Nonetheless, I was rooting for her to find some happiness during her weekend with her friends; however, we know that is much more complicated than it appears at first glance. Getting together girlfriends from various stages of a person's life is a recipe for disaster, especially as personalities collide. Tatum, the Nantucket native, hasn't talked to Hollis in years and is dealing with her own very heavy medical issues. Brooke is facing another disaster with her husband and Dru-Ann, a very successful sports agent, is being canceled on social media. Then there's the mystery around Gigi. Who is she really? Throw in Caroline, as Hollis has paid her to film the weekend, and you've got yourself a houseful of drama. Plus, Hollis's first love, Jack, is back in town. Cue major drama between the fancy food, the tequila, color-coordinating dinners, and nights out at the Chicken Box.

One thing that Hilderbrand does so well in The Five-Star Weekend is to bring Nantucket to life. Readers can expect that from her by now. The fancy dinners, the Nantucket restaurants, the details surrounding the island, the descriptions of mouth watering food, the cold Sancerre.....you name it. The details are all there and every foodie will be dreaming of a delicious meal by the time they finish the novel. Also, Hilderbrand tackles some tough topics very well --- cancel culture, a possible cancer diagnosis, infidelity, sexual harassment, and more, but somehow keeps the book well-balanced, which is why her beach reads work so well. They have substance, but it isn't too overbearing and dark for summertime.

The Five-Star Weekend wasn't my favorite of Hilderbrand's novels, it is still a fantastic beach read that I know will be in many beach bags this summer. Have you picked up a copy of The Five-Star Weekend yet? Is it on your TBR list? What's your favorite of Hilderbrand's novels? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Blog Tour: The Last Lifeboat


I have been a fan of Hazel Gaynor for years, ever since I read The Last Christmas in Paris, so I am excited to be a part of Berkley's blog tour for her latest novel, The Last Lifeboat. I love curling up with a good historical novel in the summer, so I definitely have this book on my summer TBR list. It's based on real WWII event and is perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah and Martha Hall Kelly. I am a sucker when it comes to novels based on real-life events, so I can't wait to read this one. The Last Lifeboat comes out today, so keep your eye out for it!

Learn More About the Book:


Goodreads says, "In 1940, England is under siege by the Nazis. With men gone off to war, women, children, and the elderly are plagued by daily bombings and constant fear for their lives. Lily Nichols, a single mother living in London, believes that anywhere must be safer than here for her two young children. She applies for a risky evacuation program that would send her son and daughter overseas to Canada, following a long journey at sea. 
Alice King, a shy and quiet librarian, can’t stand sitting still amidst the wartime suffering that surrounds her. To play her part in the war effort, Alice volunteers to serve as a chaperone who will sail overseas, accompanying children to safety abroad. 
When a Nazi U-boat torpedoes the ship with Lily’s children on board, a single lifeboat is left adrift in the storm-tossed Atlantic… and Alice becomes one mother’s only hope for her children’s survival. The story follows Alice’s harrowing eight days at sea, and Lily’s fight at home for her children to make it back to England alive."


You can purchase your own copy of The Last Lifeboat at Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Amazon. You can learn more about Hazel Gaynor by visiting her website and connecting with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

So, are you a fan of Hazel Gaynor? Is The Last Lifeboat on your summer TBR list? Let me know in the comments below.  


Friday, June 9, 2023

Blog Tour: A Little Ray of Sunshine

Happy Friday! Summer is *almost* here! To me, there's nothing better than curling up with a light romance while on vacation, or a lazy day at the beach, or even during a relaxing stay-cation. You can always count on Kristan Higgins to write a delightful romance and her books are perfect for summertime. 

I'm part of Berkley's blog tour today celebrating the publication of A Little Ray of Sunshine, which just came out this week. You'll definitely want to add this book to your summer TBR list...I mean look at that cover! And did I mention A Little Ray of Sunshine takes place on beautiful Cape Cod?

About the Novel:


About A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE: "35-year-old bookstore owner Harlow Smith lives an intentionally quiet life.  Which means her world is flipped upside down when a teenager walks into the bookstore and announces that he is the biological son she gave birth to and placed for adoption while in college. That heartbreaking decision was a secret to all in her life but her best friend and college roommate.


Matthew Walker asked that his family spend the summer before he leaves for college on Cape Cod for one reason: to meet Harlow Smith. He didn’t share his plan with his adoptive parents, Monica and Sanjay Patel, so they are nearly as shocked as Harlow.


Both Harlow and Monica struggle with their rapidly changing roles in Matthew’s life. Monica raised him, but feels abandoned by Matthew’s quickly developing relationship with Harlow. What scares her the most is that on some level, she knows Matthew has been searching for Harlow his whole life. What if there isn’t room enough in his heart for both of them?


Harlow is overjoyed at the opportunity to finally be involved in her son’s life, but she’s possessed by what ifs. What if she kept her baby? What if she told her family? What if she never met Monica and Sanjay? Placing Matthew for adoption gave him a life she never could have provided, but she’s plagued by guilt and regret. How can they make up for lost time?"


 You can purchase A Little Ray of Sunshine at Barnes and Noble, Bookshop, Amazon or Books-A-Million.  You can learn more about Kristan Higgins by visiting her website and connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, this book would be a perfect book club pick for summer; you can check out the book club kit here

So, will you be adding A Little Ray of Sunshine to your summer TBR list? Are you a fan of Kristan Higgins? Let me know in the comments below.


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