Review: The Single Girl’s Calendar by Erin Green

Cute rom-com featuring Esmé who turns her life around from cheated-on-and-dependent to determined-and-independent. Loved the escapades while she shared the flat with four guys (and learned a little about herself in the process). Adored the neighbor lady and the relationship that was able to grow there. Was suitably annoyed by Esme’s brother – as anyone would be, even and especially Esmé! Green could’ve written better girl-friendships, and maybe had more memorable calendar ideas, but I enjoyed the read. Entertaining!

-calliope

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Review: Searching for Billy Shakespeare by Crista McHugh

What fun! Grad student Kate moves in to a unbeknownst-to-her-til-she-got-there posh apartment with a new, silly, girly-girl roommate, and boom, things start happening in her life.

The phone rings, and a gorgeous voice on the other end starts talking, looking for his sister (the roommate) but spending an awful lot of conversation on Kate. Roommate girl’s blondie friends give Kate a makeover (gasp) and help her find her inner fun self. Between the roommate and Gabe nudging Kate to know more of herself than just the Shakespeare-dissertation-writer, Kate develops newfound passion for her grad work and her social life.

This tale of silliness absolutely brightened my week. I didn’t care that there was actually no good plot reason for the roommate to ask Kate to live there, nor that Kate seemed uncharacteristically good natured about a bunch of strangers taking her out for 12 hours. I didn’t care that a few plot points were underdeveloped, or that the roommate did something a little unexpected and possibly contrived. Know why? Because this book made me smile. It’s a good bit of fun in a roller coaster world, and I’m totally glad I read it.

-calliope

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Review: Moonlight over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Loved this rom com with Harriet the dog-walker and Ethan the guy with the sterile, modern bachelor pad. They crossed paths more than once – and in totally meet-cute ways. I liked that Harriet could be a bit self deprecating without being annoying about it, and that she was well aware of both her strengths and her shortcomings. It was refreshing to get to know a character who made no apologies for herself while still recognizing she could be happier if she changed a few things here and there.

Ethan made a great foil for Harriet. He ostensibly had it all together, but underneath he knew he really needed to make some adjustments in life, too.

I had fun watching Harriet and Ethan together, figuring out themselves and each other … and one another together.

-calliope

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Review: Solo by Jill Mansell

Solo is a mad adventure by two women who have their hearts set on something: for Holly, it’s Max, handsome hotel owner;  for Tessa, it’s being left alone and not being tied to a man. Unfortunately for them both, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” 

Tessa is involved with Max’s brother Ross in a love triangle of the most unexpected kind. Holly tries too hard. And Ross and Max have their own agendas! Cougar Antonia brings her own melodramatics that turn everyone’s lives into a soap opera. 

I always adore the fun and crazy that Jill Mansell writes, and this is no different. The characters are unique from book to book, Solo’s plot is multilayered, and the dialogue is believable even when it’s over the top. 

Thanks Ms. Mansell for taking me completely out of reality and into the world of fancy hotels, infidelities and karma, and simple girls who live in simple cottages quite happily enough. 

-calliope

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Review: It Started at Sunset Cottage by Bella Osborne

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Fun fun fun British rom-com! Author Kate stays a while at Sunset Cottage to help translate her novel into a screenplay. While she’s there, lead actor Timothy comes to hide out from the paparazzi. They form a friendship and wend it among the challenges of celebrity: a diva lead actress, script changes, personal fears, a maniacal dog, and breaking down emotional walls.

To add to the antics, Kate’s best friend Sarah must deal with the criminal father of her young daughter. Kate’s ex-mother-in-law cracked me up… and made me grateful for my own in-laws. I was pleasantly surprised to see Sarah finding love…

Overall, I enjoyed the comedic ride, the look into making a film, the British bits, and the tender falling-in-love moments. Those melty scenes are the best. Sigh.

-calliope

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Review: One in a Million (Lucky Harbor #12) by Jill Shalvis

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One in a Million is the tale of Callie and Tanner. I’m going to tell you why I’m so in love with Tanner and EVERY Lucky Harbor character I’ve ever read.

Jill Shalvis has a way of making Lucky Harbor heroes ultra-alpha with a big dose of sensitivity and adorableness. It’s a talent. A skill. A miracle even. The men have muscles and brains and businesses and big hearts and deep souls. They are perfect.

Even though Tanner is clueless or selfish or begrudging at times, he still wants what’s best for Callie… And he wants Callie. Sigh. I live for watching the guy want the girl. He’s all meeting her for coffee and bringing her doughnuts and remembering that she gave him a Valentine in high school. See? Perfection.

And Callie. Well, she doesn’t believe in love. In her wedding planning business, she has seen too many brides focus on the wedding rather than the marriage. When Callie realizes she has loved Tanner for a long, long time, she puts up her defenses, leaving Tanner wondering.

She finally caves, of course. There’s a meeting of the minds and a heart-to-heart. And grandma Lucille? She makes sure this one in a million love story is happily ever after #12. 🙂

-calliope

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Review: He’s So Fine (Lucky Harbor #11) by Jill Shalvis

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I said it for book #10, and I’ll say it again. I love Lucky Harbor, and Shalvis writes the best alpha men ever.

He’s So Fine tells the story of Olivia (not her real name, but hopefully no one finds out) and Cole (like McGuyver, but more sensitive and nosy and muscly and alpha).

They don’t mean to hit it off, but the electricity between them is just too much to resist. When they finally knock down some emotional walls, they might even start a real relationship… If it weren’t for Cole’s inability to trust, and Olivia’s inability to share the truth. You see how that might cause some problems!

What impressed me was that Shalvis made Cole and Olivia’s character flaws a platform for comic relief, a wonderful use of wit that endeared me to the couple instead of being annoyed with them. The two pretty much save each other from themselves, and enjoy a terrific Lucky Harbor happily ever after. Sigh. Those never get old.

One of the mainstays of the Lucky Harbor series is Lucille, resident blue-haired busybody. In this particular book, Shalvis introduces us to Olivia’s friend Callie, Lucille’s granddaughter. That introduction has got me veddy veddy interested in what might be coming up ahead in Book 12. I can’t wait!

-Calliope
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