Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Ever have a book that you wanna read but the hype scares you? I mean when EVERYONE likes it, that makes me nervous. It puts a lot of pressure on me. What if I don’t? I’ll have to keep it a secret or risk defending my reasons for not liking it. I hate it when that happens. Well, The Hating Game was that book. I’m gonna be honest here. When I first started reading it, I realized it was a rom-com, and I don’t like those, so I stopped reading it. Sad, but true. HOWEVER, it was staring at me every time I turned on my kindle, so this last week, I picked it back up and tried it again, and you know what? I. LOVED. IT. Every single moment.

The Hating Game was not your traditional rom-com, thankfully. It was definitely enemies to lovers, which I love, so I am sitting her with the biggest, goofiest grin on my face. This book totally lived up to the hype. Trust me.

Can you imagine being around the one person you hate all day, every day at work? They work across from you and you have see their annoying face for 8+ hours? That’s what Josh and Lucy do. The entire office knows that they hate each other. HR has files on them. Even their bosses know to keep them apart. But you know what that say, there’s a fine line between love and hate, and this is proof of it.

Being on the outside, I could totally read the signs, but obviously, they couldn’t. I loved watching them come to realization that they were being ridiculous and their hearts were pushing them together. I swear I spent the last few chapters cheering and giggling at how things all started coming together. I love love this book made my heart so very happy. It was a slow burn that kept me wanting more. If you’re looking for a book that’ll leave you happy and swoony, this is the book for you.

“I hope it’s not too forward of me to say, but your eyes are incredible, Lucy. I die when you blink.”

Hello, swoon.

And if this is Sally Thorne’s debut novel, I can’t wait to see what else she brings to the table! I’ll be first in line.

~Melpomene
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Review: Four Bridesmaids and a White Wedding by Fiona Collins 

What a hoot! Wendy’s getting married, and the bridesmaids do some early celebrating on a spa weekend. Except the spa part falls through and they’d never guess what was in store for them instead. 
Collins successfully writes this romcom with a true ensemble cast. Each woman reminded me of someone I know in real life, so reading this book became something of a movie in my head with my friends as the actors.  I won’t name names here, but if you read it you might recognize yourself. (For the record, I’m either Tasmin or JoJo.)

Four Bridesmaids is lighthearted for sure, but does take a somewhat serious look at the sacredness of relationships and our responsibilities in maintaining them. Collins also illustrates the strong bonds of female friendship. Sometimes all it takes is knowing you’ve found a kindred spirit to shine the light of truth on your life, and give you a happy nudge forward. 

-Calliope 

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Review: The Runaway Bridesmaid by Daisy James

  
British rom com here… Rosie runs off to Aunt Bernice’s cottage in the English countryside after catching her New York City boss/boyfriend kissing her sister/spoiled brat. There, Rosie finds a run-down thatched roof home with an overgrown garden, a handsome attorney, a quirky and charming neighbor, an old friend, and late Aunt Bernice’s journals full of recipes and life lessons. 

I love the British-ness of this book, even though it was odd to see some of the American dialogue containing British vocabulary. And I REALLY loved Charlie. Great character, Ms. James. Charlie has brains, brawn, sincerity, and a puppy dog affection for Rosie. James wrote their interactions in such an authentic and fresh way that I would have enjoyed even more scenes with the two. 

On the other side of the coin: Rosie’s sister Freya was so annoying I could spit… it takes some great writing to create a character you can’t stand but you are still invested in! 

Of course you can expect a happily ever after … But you’ll have to read the book to find out where, and how, and with whom. 🙂 

-calliope

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Review: Summer of Love by Sophie Pembroke

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The nice thing about most romance novels is there’s a happily-ever-after…predictable, but appreciation-worthy.

The nice thing about Summer of Love is the unpredictable happily-ever after. Lily and her boyfriend have ups and downs, believable and authentic. And by the second to the last chapter I still wasn’t sure what was to become of Lily’s love life. And even though it was unexpected, it was happy and quite satisfying.

Sophie Pembroke wrote a terrific friendship sub-plot between Lily and Cora. They interacted like true best friends: with exasperation and candor, assertiveness and love. I really enjoyed seeing them support each others’ dreams, and encourage each other to be honest with themselves.

The guys in the story were loveable and handsome Everymen. They treated women with respect as far as they knew how, and they were honest about their feelings without being far-fetched.

Summer of Love is a great beach read or relax-after-a-long-day read. I love my British chick lit, especially when it ends with true love and a big smooch.

-Calliope

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Review: The Last Word by A. L. Michael

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Tabitha was playing it safe, blogging from home in her pajamas, going out occasionally with her roommates, and avoiding romantic relationships… Until editor Harry Shulman offered her a job at the newspaper doing real journalism. Tabby did everything she could to avoid the opportunity, remembering the disaster that landed on her the last time she worked for a major news outlet.

The conversations in this book are snappy! Tabitha’s convos with her roommates and Harry are quick-witted, and so are the times she’s just talking to herself… Useful characteristic for a blogger, but a little annoying when your editor is trying to ask you out on a date. 🙂

And oh how I enjoyed Harry and Tabby’s dates. Her head on his shoulder. Flirting on car rides. Restaurant debacles. The beach. Holding hands. Staring with affection and sometimes confusion. Kissing. Sigh. I was totally brought back to being in my twenties and going on fun dates and bantering and falling in love.

Every facet of The Last Word was done well. The characters were developed appropriately for their roles (Tabby’s mom was hilarious!), and, for the most part, they were likeable. (Ex-boyfriend/ex-editor was hate-able in a wonderful way.) The plot drove forward at a respectable speed. Everyone’s relationships made sense. Natural dialogue and excellent writing made for easy reading. I’m impressed, especially knowing that Carina UK, an imprint of the publisher Harlequin, is only a year old! Well done, A.L. Michael and editors.

The only interruptions to the flow of this terrific read were the drinking and weed-smoking binges. They aren’t really my scene, but I see how it could make sense if you’re in your twenties, living in the city with roommates also in their twenties.

Honestly, I know it’s a good book when at the end I shut the kindle cover and sigh with contentment. The Last Word totally did it for me. Tabitha was a spitfire sweetheart, and Harry was so awesome I could read ten books about the man! (A.L. Michael, does Harry have a doppelgänger?)

–Calliope

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