It’s the 62nd day of January and I can’t wait for January to be over. Here are some thoughts on books I read recently
Mermaid Inn by Jenny Holiday. Y’all know I am a fan of Jenny Holiday’s books. This book was good but not a great read for me. The heroine, Evie, returns to the seaside town where she spent her summers while growing up. Her aunt has passed away and left Evie the inn. Evie doesn’t want it, but she doesn’t have options. The hero, Sawyer, is the townie boy who broke Evie’s heart. Naturally, they reconnect when Evie comes back to town.
CW: grief, mentions of child abuse that occurred to a main character in the past
At first Evie is VERY mad at Sawyer for what he did. But then she decides to move on the anger. It wasn’t serving her a purpose and she was ready to be over it. They spend some time being friends. I liked it.
The town is cute and fun and Holiday does a good job at making the secondary characters actual people that I am interested in learning more about. But because it is the first in the series, the story felt a little heavy on the world-building and the actual love story/connection between the main characters suffered slightly.
Like many of jenny’s other books, the hero in this book does a fantastic job of being a support to the heroine. He is not there to stifle her, but rather wants to help her shine. I love this. The female characters in this book also pass the Bechdel test. If you loved the female friendships from Jenny’s previous series, Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, I think you will like the friendship in this book.
I had multiple quotes that I loved from this book. But I opted to share this one.
She— the actual, physical fact of her in his arms— was a shock. But also not. Because she was, simultaneously, familiar. He knew, in some kind of bodily, bone-deep way, how to hold Evie Abbott. In general, you had to hold her lightly enough that you weren’t holding her back. But, depending on the circumstance, you might also have to, temporarily, hold her tight. Be a bolster, a place to anchor.
I am definitely looking forward to the next in the series.
Hearts on Hold by Charish Reid You may not be able to tell from this cover, but the steam level on this is pretty high. I enjoyed the steaminess and feel like y’all might appreciate knowing this book has some pretty steamy moments.
The heroine, Victoria, is a college professor and she comes up with an idea to help boost attendance at the college. She wants to partner with the local library to help her students learn practical skills about libraries. To be honest, I skimmed some of that stuff because I wanted to get to the relationship :) The hero, Johnny, is a tattooed librarian. He also suffers from ADHD and it is depicted on the page as him having a hard time focusing on things at time and his office is very messy.
Victoria and Johnny have chemistry from the first moment they meet. They quickly agree to having a “sordid affair” that ends up not being very sordid because Victoria likes to plan everything. Planning does not equal sordid and Victoria does get to learn that lesson.
Johnny is caring for his niece while his sister is off in Sweden doing some sort of study for work. His niece avoided being a plot moppet by having a fully formed story, well as much as a pre-teen needed to have in a romance novel about other people.
Victoria’s mother is overbearing and was annoying to read. It was wonderful when Victoria found her voice and used it.
I enjoyed the journey that Victoria and Johnny went on to find their HEA. The story did drag a little from about 60-80% but it could have just been me getting caught up on my own life stuff too. Reid wrote Victoria and her friends has having a great friendship and y’all know how much I appreciate that.
I would definitely recommend this book. Reid also sprinkled in some tidbits that I like to think will appear in another book for a different couple. So I hope that is true.