Beneath the Stairs by Jennifer Fawcett
2/22/22 by Atria
I picked up Beneath the Stairs for two reasons: this is a new to me author and I’m always on the lookout for new authors in genres I enjoy and the summary sounded interesting.
This book had everything to keep me engaged… a ramshackle house out in the woods, rumored ghosts of a murdered family, two women haunted by their visit inside the house as young girls, and chapters that skip from past to present-day events. It starts out kind of slow by introducing the main character and gradually building her back story. Then the plot starts to unfold little by little, with hints of what Clare and Abby saw in that basement all those years ago.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. There are so many side issues of Clare’s life and childhood relationships that I ended up skimming over those chapters to find out what was going on with the house. The scenes of past events from the 1930s and 1960s were far more interesting to me. This story could have been condensed into a smaller page count, with much of the extra backstory and drama edited out. It bogged down the mystery and kept the pacing from moving at a steady clip.
The ending was okay, not the big climax I was expecting, but I do think the author tried to wrap everything up to give readers some sort of closure.
The Last Eligible Billionaire by Pippa Grant
Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
3/3/2022 Self Published
This popped up in my search for upcoming releases while compiling the new release post. I recently read a different book by this author for review that is coming later this year. (And gave it an A because it was so damn good.) Pippa Grant can be hit or miss for me, especially when her laugh-out-loud humor can get a little out of control, but I can’t resist an opposites attract, fake dating story so I one-clicked.
This book hit all my feel good buttons. Yes, it’s kind of over the top, and the main characters are a bit immature in some of their actions, but it hooked and reeled me in any way. Look, I’m an emotional reader and couldn’t help myself.
Hayes Rutherford is the CFO of Razzle Dazzle films and the last eligible billionaire mentioned in the title. He finds Begonia and her service dog drop-out Marshmellow in his house while trying to escape his meddling family. She says she rented the house at a discount rate for the next two weeks and has every right to be there. He wants her out until his mother shows up and then he offers her a deal to be his fake girlfriend for the next two weeks so that hopefully single women his stop being shoved his way.
Of course, Begonia is just the woman Hayes needs to bring him out of his funk and teach him about love and life. What starts out as a contensious relationship soon turns sweet and then hot and heavy. And then of course they fall into lurve. There is quite a bit of physical humor and shenanigans along the way, but not too much to bog down the romance. Those scenes made me laugh and root for this couple even harder.
This was a fast, fun read if you are looking for a contemporary romance to add to your KU queue.