I’ve read a lot of books that I haven’t talked about yet, so I am trying to catch up.
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morganthaler– The premise to this sounds so cute. And the book delivers a lot of cute, almost too much for me. Snarky hero who hates tourists, nerdy, glasses wearing heroine who is a tourist, a blind dog that wears pajamas, a moose that loves a car, and a town full of quirky characters.
Zoey travels to Alaska and meets Graham, a diner owner who really hates the tourist who comes to the town. This is a huge plot point and it got a little old after a bit. It was a little hard to see why exactly Zoey would want to be with Graham because he is kind of a jerk. He has some really soft spots though and once he shows those, it was easier for me to believe in their love story.
The cute Hallmark style is very high in this book, so if you don’t enjoy that style, the book is probably not for you. The dialogue was fun though and we do get both POVs. It is low heat and felt appropriate to the story.
I felt the first half dragged a little and the story picked up with the second half. I saw the author talking on IG that there are more stories planned and I will probably read them.
The Gambler by Molly O’Keefe- This is the second book in the Notorious series. This book was ago. It is a second chance at love as the main characters were in love as young adults. They reconnect when Tyler returns home. I was not sold on their reconnection. I am not sure why. Although I did enjoy Tyler’s arc to believing that he deserves love.
One plot point in this book is that Juliette, the heroine, is the police chief and is helping a boy who is having familial problems. This was a thing that I wish was not part of the story. I feel like it took too much away from the main story.
If you read the first book, there is more information about the “mystery” that was set up in book one and will continue into the next book. Which I will buy and read.
Songbird by Cecilia London– The blurb for this book intrigued me and I really wanted to give it a try.
Christine Sullivan isn’t an easy person to love. She knows how the world sees her – aloof, standoffish, cold…perhaps even bitchy. After a lifetime in politics, including a stint with an expat government in exile, President Sullivan has taken her share of body blows, but now she’s back in Philadelphia…a widow, a recovering Republican, a former public servant seeking a quiet, private existence.
On her to-do list – rebuild her relationship with her estranged daughter and invent the rest of her life. She has her best friend Caroline, her brand spanking new condo, and her ever frustrating Secret Service detail to keep her company. That should be enough for anyone, right?
Until Alexander Guardiola comes along… liberal, emotionally unguarded, younger. A lot younger. Everything Christine isn’t. And isn’t ready for.
But opposites attract, don’t they? And hearts and minds can always be changed…
First, this book is not a romance. This is definitely fiction with romantic elements. The primary relationship in this book was between Christine and her best friend Charlotte. It was a complicated relationship and I really liked it. I would read more books about them. There is a flashback scene where Christine was so mean to Charlotte and it was hard to read but is also felt incredibly real. It would fall under the “hurt people hurt” file.
The romantic ARC is secondary to everything else in this book. It made sense because even though the blurb refers to it, this book is really about Christine resetting her life. There are lots of references to previous books and it would probably be helpful to read those first, but not a requirement.
Content Warnings: grief, psychological and physical trauma, death, and political drama
I won’t be going back to read the previous books (who’s got time like that?) but I would consider reading more from London that features these characters. Give me all the messy, older women.
A couple of recent releases that I started and wasn’t able to finish <insert sad face>
One Kiss from the King of Rock by Ainslie Paton– I typically love Paton’s voice and storytelling but this was one of the few that just didn’t work for me. It is most likely that with everything going on in the world at the moment I was trying to read this, I just didn’t have the brain space to read. File this one under it was definitely me and not the book.
Inked with a Kiss by Jennie Davids– This book started out well, an older tattoo artist heroine falls for one of her customers, who also happens to be younger. But the younger heroine is so stuck on not being seen as young and inexperienced yet in her professional career she behaves immaturely. She organizes a fundraiser but has no experience and it was silly. I know it was used to bring the love interests together but it wasn’t working for me. I think I would try a different story from this author, I just wasn’t loving the plot of this story.