Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey June 15, 2021 by Berkley Contemporary Romance
Very Sincerely Yours is an adorable book. Unfortunately, I don’t have that much more to say about it. It follows romance novel conventions, including the third act break-up, has one of my favorite tropes (hidden identity), and is very sweet. This is obviously not a negative – sometimes this is what you’re looking for in a book! But not a ton happens in Very Sincerely Yours, and despite the aforementioned third act breakup, Very Sincerely Yours doesn’t have a ton of conflict.
This is essentially a book about a younger, sexier Mr. Rogers (cardigan and all). His conflict is that he’s a workaholic, and Teddy’s is that she isn’t quite sure of what she wants to do with her life. I appreciate Teddy’s growth – she certainly grows more than Everett over the course of the book, but it’s still a slow creep of assessing life priorities, and nothing earth-shattering. There’s also a quirky cast of side characters that pop in and out to give life advice and offer some humor. Easily my favorite parts of the book were the emails between Teddy and Everett, and I could have read tons more of those.
Overall, Very Sincerely Yours is a lovely, low-stakes, low-angst romance. Definitely recommend if you’re looking for something to breeze through on the beach.
A Lowcountry Bride by Preslaysa Williams June 1, 2021 by Avon Contemporary Romance
A Lowcountry Bride is just not a book for me. Unfortunately, I gave up at around 25% in. There is a lot of hard things that the characters are going through, starting out with Maya’s clearly racist boss who forces her to work without pay while Maya is on a leave of absence from work all the way down to Derek’s money issues causing him to consider selling his family business. The part I read was setting up so much backstory for each of these characters, and so much of that backstory was tragic that it was really hard to get past.
I don’t have a problem with tragedy befalling characters, or even sad beginnings of romance novels, but by the 25% mark, Derek and Maya had barely been on page together, and I didn’t feel enough of a pull toward their blossoming romance to keep going. Maybe if there had been more growth to their relationship early on, in tandem with revealing their respective circumstances, it may have been easier to get into. As it was, I just wasn’t invested enough to keep reading through the depressing events to get to the happily ever after.
CWs: (Obviously I did not finish so take with a grain of salt) Maya is chronically ill with sickle cell anemia, Derek lost his first wife in a mass shooting at their church. Both Maya and Derek’s mothers are dead.