Reviewing the Unreviewed: September 2019

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. Read September 9-13. 2 Stars.

Um, did I read a different book from everyone else? It was not nearly as creepy as I expected it to be and the two big twists before the ending shouldn’t even be called twists. There were SO MANY hints that they seemed super obvious from very early on in the story. I can’t believe there are many people that would be surprised by them. The ending was not at all surprising either. The excruciatingly slow pace almost made me DNF this several times and I kind of wish I did.

Obviously I am in the minority here, though. 🤷‍♀️

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Part-Time Husband (Trophy Husbands #1) by Noelle Adams. Read September 13-14. 4 Stars.

I’ve been having a lot of book-ADD lately and have been struggling to get through anything. I knew I needed something quick and cute and Part-Time Husband was just right. I love a good marriage of convenience story and Noelle Adams always does them well. Though there were a few too many graphic scenes, it was sweet and romantic and Melissa and Trevor had some good banter.

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The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley. Read September 15-16. 3 Stars.

This was cute, had some sweet and funny moments, and quirky characters. The main character wasn’t always likable, though, and there were lots of communication issues that drove me a little crazy.

*****Re-Read*****

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The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord. I decided to re-read this before starting the long awaited sequel. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. There was bonus content in the version I read this time that had all of Paige and Max’s e-mails from their summer apart which were pretty cute. It made me excited to read the next book.

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I got into a book slump and couldn’t decide what sounded good, so I decided to re-read Take a Bow, which is one of my favorites. I loved it just as much the third time around.

*****DNF*****

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The Plus One by Sophia Money-Coutts. DNF-ed at 21%. This was occasionally humorous, but the main character was really unlikable and I was not invested at all.

*****Books with Future Reviews Scheduled*****

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Blitzed (Playbook #3) by Alexa Martin – 3 Stars

The Map from Here to There (The Start of Me and You #2) by Emery Lord – 3 Stars

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters – 4 Stars

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – 4 Stars

Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3) by Lauren Layne – 4 Stars

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Review: Four Christmases and a Secret by Zara Stoneley

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Except for Daisy Christmas means another of Uncle T’s dreaded Christmas parties, complete with Christmas jumper and flashing antlers.  And Oliver Cartwright.  Gorgeous Oliver Cartwright. Who she hates.

Every year Daisy has to face insufferable Ollie and hear all about how BRILLIANT he is.  Whereas Daisy has no job, no man and no idea how to fix things.

This Christmas however Daisy is determined things will be different.  There will be no snogging Ollie under the mistletoe like when they were teenagers.  No, this year she’ll show Ollie that she’s a Responsible Adult too.

But as the champagne corks pop, and the tinsel sparkles, Uncle T has news of his own to share…and it could change Daisy’s life forever…

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Four Christmases and a Secret will be available September 27, 2019. 

When it comes to gearing up for the holidays, I don’t typically want to see anything Christmas-related until after Thanksgiving. However, I will always make an exception for two things: Hallmark Christmas movies and Christmas-themed books. Throw in that beautiful cover and I was all in for Four Christmases and a Secret.

This is one of those books where I don’t feel the synopsis does the story justice. It’s slightly misleading and doesn’t really explain about what the book really is. While there are definite Christmas and Romance themes, I really felt like this one fell more into the Women’s Fiction category. Daisy is quite a mess when we first meet her and a big part of the book is made up of her getting her act together. With a lot of encouragement and support from Uncle Terrence and Ollie, she gets her confidence back and figures out what she actually wants out of life. I did like her journey and found her a likable character. I also loved Ollie, Uncle Terrence, and Daisy’s mother. It seems to be a bit of a Stoneley signature for the main character to have a very loud, outspoken, quirky mother and she was on full display here. The only character I didn’t really like was Daisy’s best friend, Frankie, who I thought was awful right from the beginning.

I enjoyed the friendship and romance between Daisy and Ollie. I thought they fit really well together. I felt like a lot of their relationship was kind of glossed over, though. In one scene they’re having their first real kiss and then in the next they’ve been ‘together’ for awhile and we didn’t get to see any of that discussion or proper dates or anything like that. The first time they say they love each other is off page, as well. I didn’t really know how serious they were or where they were at in the relationship because there were jumps in time and a lot of the development happened between scenes. I thought this could have been handled a little better, but I still shipped them and was happy where they ended up.

Overall, I enjoyed Four Christmases and a Secret. I liked the characters and the romance and the journey of self-discovery Daisy went on. It ended up being a lot more serious than I thought it would be – more Women’s Fiction than Romance – but it still worked for me. It definitely put me in the mood for some good holiday themed movies and books. I look forward to checking out more from Stoneley in the future.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

WWW Wednesday: September 18, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

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Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters. I am really enjoying this one so far!

What did you recently finish reading?

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The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware, Part-Time Husband by Noelle Adams, The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord, The Map from Here to There by Emery Lord, The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley. Since it took me a whole work week to finish Turn of the Key, I’ve been binging on quick and easy contemporaries.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I really want to work on my ARCs and The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell is the one with the next closest release date.

What are you reading?

Review: Bridesmaids by Zara Stoneley

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Meet Rachel, the beautiful bride with BIG plans for the perfect day! The venue is a castle and the dress is designer. It’s just a shame her husband is a rat.

Maddie and Sally have only one thing in common – they both love the same man!

Beth is a newly single mum with a mystery baby daddy. Surely the father isn’t someone the girls all know?

And then there’s Jane, the glue holding them all together, but being dumped doesn’t make her the happiest bridesmaid…especially with gorgeous flatmate Freddie complicating things.

Will the bride say, ‘I Do!’? Or will her bridesmaids save the day…and find love along the way?

The most hilarious, feel-good rom com of the year!

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Bridesmaids will be available April 26, 2019. 

Bridesmaids was a fun, quick read that I really enjoyed. I’m going to go the list route on this one.

-Based on the synopsis I thought this was going to be more of an ensemble story with multiple POVs. However, it’s told from the first person POV of Jane, the bride-to-be’s best friend. I had to adjust my expectations a bit, but it worked for me. Jane was a little hard to like at first. She came across pretty self-absorbed and kind of snotty, but as the story went on I liked her a lot more.

-Rachel, the bride, is always described as being so nice and caring and selfless, but I didn’t always get that. I mean, she was nice, but she did lots of selfish things. Jane had recently gone through a pretty terrible break-up right before she was supposed to be married and did not handle it well and is pretty skittish about the whole wedding idea. But, Rachel 100% expects her to be there as a bridesmaid and to even plan her hen party (or bachelorette party to us, Americans), which is where she was dumped by her fiance. Rachel also asks two other women to be bridesmaids even though one of them is now married to the other one’s ex-boyfriend, who is definitely not over the break-up. It was kind of a train wreck sometimes, but I couldn’t look away.

-I think my favorite thing about the book was Freddie, Rachel’s flatmate. He was so funny and sweet and wonderful. I loved every scene he was in. I loved his friendship with Rachel and I loved how their relationship turned to more than friends. I shipped them so hard.

-There are are several secrets and scandals between the wedding party. I’ll admit one of my pet peeves in books is when one honest conversation could solve all the problems. But, it didn’t really bother me here. As I said earlier, sometimes when they all got together it was kind of like a train wreck, but it was an entertaining one I had to keep reading. I thought the identity of Beth’s baby’s father was kind of obvious, but it added to the soap-opera like drama and I was here for it.

Overall, I really enjoyed Bridesmaids. While I did have some issues with some of the characters’ behavior, the story was full of Lifetime level drama and was exactly the type of read I was in the mood for. I also absolutely loved Freddie and his relationship with Jane. This was my first book by Stoneley, but I plan on checking out more of her books when I’m in the mood for some good Chick Lit.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

WWW Wednesday: April 17, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

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How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper. I’m not really into this and I’m trying to decide if I want to finish it. It’s an ARC from NetGalley I requested, so I hate to DNF it, but if I don’t want to pick it up again after a couple of other books then I’ll probably call it.

Just One of the Groomsmen by Cindi Madsen. This author is sometimes hit or miss for me, but I am absolutely loving this so far. So cute and romantic.

What did you recently finish reading?

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Bridesmaids by Zara Stoneley. Though I had some issues, I did really enjoy this one. Look for my review on it next week.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m not sure yet, but I’ve really been in a Contemporary/Romance mood lately, so it will probably be something in that genre.

What are you reading?