Reviews by Melinda
Scandalous Secrets by Synithia Williams
Jackson Falls #2
August 25, 2020 by HQN Books
I have just really enjoyed this Jackson Falls series from Synithia Williams so far. It hits all of my soapy vibes that I need every once in a while. This one has a fun twist on the secret baby trope plus has a second chance romance, which I always love. Byron is running for Senate, and in this book, the political maneuvering takes more of the center stage than it did in book one. His family dynamics are complicated and so is his campaign – insert I love mess GIF here.
Byron *is* engaged to someone else at the beginning of the book but it’s very clear they are together for optics, not for love, so there is no cheating. What I loved most about this book is Zoe, she is really strong and shows how hard it can be to overcome an abusive relationship. The tenderness and vulnerability she shows with Byron even though she has to be hard as steel for her daughter’s sake was just done extremely well.
And I am SO ready for Elaina’s book!!
CW: kidnapping, past abuse
Grade: B +
Sweet on You: A Filipino Christmas romance by Carla de Guzman
October 19, 2020 by Carina Press
I generally really enjoy #RomanceClass books and Carla de Guzman is one of my favorite authors out of that group. I am so excited that she got the opportunity to publish with Carina. One of the things I loved about Sweet on You is that the foreign (to me) language is just part of the story. It’s generally not explained and honestly, I really love that in #RomanceClass books because they’re not pandering to the white US-centric focus at all and it shows. I can tell by context clues what something is and if I really want to know there is the magic of Kindle where I can select that word and find out what it means *or* the magic of Google to find out even more.
However, while I found the setup of this book really cute with the dueling bakery/coffee shop owners, the execution of it was a bit lacking for me. I think the prank war that ensued made the main characters read a bit too young for my taste and it felt much more…high school or college than adult? It felt like that part went on too long for me. I really enjoyed the writing and with bakeries and coffee shops of course we got delicious food as well. I just wish the whole book read a bit older.