Book Review: Nora Goes Off Script


Annabel Monaghan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 7th June 2022
spoilers? minimal

Goodreads

Nora’s life is about to get a rewrite…

Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her too-good-to work husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. No one is more surprised than her when it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her 100-year-old-home. When former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance, is cast as her ne’er do well husband Nora’s life will never be the same.

The morning after shooting wraps and the crew leaves, Nora finds Leo on her porch with a half-empty bottle of tequila and a proposition. He’ll pay a thousand dollars a day to stay for a week. The extra seven grand would give Nora breathing room, but it’s the need in his eyes that makes her say yes. Seven days: it’s the blink of an eye or an eternity depending on how you look at it. Enough time to fall in love. Enough time to break your heart.

Filled with warmth, wit, and wisdom, Nora Goes Off Script is the best kind of love story–the real kind where love is complicated by work, kids, and the emotional baggage that comes with life. For Nora and Leo, this kind of love is bigger than the big screen.

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Book Review: Book Lovers


Emily Henry

Rating: 5 out of 5.

published: 12th May 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming…

Nora is a cut-throat literary agent at the top of her game. Her whole life is books.

Charlie is an editor with a gift for creating bestsellers. And he’s Nora’s work nemesis.

Nora has been through enough break-ups to know she’s the woman men date before they find their happy-ever-after. That’s why Nora’s sister has persuaded her to swap her desk in the city for a month’s holiday in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. It’s a small town straight out of a romance novel, but instead of meeting sexy lumberjacks, handsome doctors or cute bartenders, Nora keeps bumping into…Charlie.

She’s no heroine. He’s no hero. So can they take a page out of an entirely different book?

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Book Review: The Fake Up


Justin Myers

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 7th April 2022
spoilers? none

Goodreads

TWO EXES. ONE BIG SECRET. LET THE GAMES BEGIN…

Dylan and Flo are on the rocks. Of course they are in love. Obviously they want it to work. But sometimes it feels like the world is against them. Their flat is falling apart, their friends never stop meddling and the obstacles keeping them from their dreams are insurmountable. Maybe they just . . . aren’t meant to be?

The break-up completely shatters them both. While Flo cries in her Mum’s kitchen, penning ballads about heartache, Dylan is forced to sleep on his best friend’s sofa and channel his pain into acting.

And, unexpectedly, their stars begin to rise.

Soon Dylan and Flo are on the cusp of everything they’ve ever wanted. There’s only one problem: they can’t be without one another, but their hard-won futures depend on their estrangement. Can they keep their relationship a secret from the world? Or has fate conspired to keep them apart for good?

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Book Review: Never Been Kissed


Timothy Janovsky

Rating: 2 out of 5.

published: 3rd May 2022
spoilers? yes

Goodreads

Dear (never-been-quite-over-you) Crush,
It’s been a few years since we were together, but I can’t stop thinking about the time we almost…

Wren Roland has never been kissed, but he wants that movie-perfect ending more than anything. Feeling nostalgic on the eve of his birthday, he sends emails to all the boys he (ahem) loved before he came out. Morning brings the inevitable Oh God What Did I Do?, but he brushes that panic aside. Why stress about it? None of his could-have-beens are actually going to read the emails, much less respond. Right?

Enter Derick Haverford, Wren’s #1 pre-coming-out-crush and his drive-in theater’s new social media intern. Everyone claims he’s coasting on cinematic good looks and his father’s connections, but Wren has always known there’s much more to Derick than meets the eye. Too bad he doesn’t feel the same way about the infamous almost-kiss that once rocked Wren’s world.

Whatever. Wren’s no longer a closeted teenager; he can survive this. But as their hazy summer becomes consumed with a special project that may just save the struggling drive-in for good, Wren and Derick are drawn ever-closer…and maybe, finally, Wren’s dream of a perfect-kiss-before-the-credits is within reach.

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Book Review: Yerba Buena


Nina LaCour

Rating: 3 out of 5.

published: 31st May 2022
spoilers? none

Goodreads

When Sara Foster runs away from home at sixteen, she leaves behind not only the losses that have shattered her world but the girl she once was, capable of trust and intimacy. Years later, in Los Angeles, she is a sought-after bartender, renowned as much for her brilliant cocktails as for the mystery that clings to her. Across the city, Emilie Dubois is in a holding pattern. In her seventh year and fifth major as an undergraduate, she yearns for the beauty and community her Creole grandparents cultivated but is unable to commit. On a whim, she takes a job arranging flowers at the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena and embarks on an affair with the married owner.

When Sara catches sight of Emilie one morning at Yerba Buena, their connection is immediate. But the damage both women carry, and the choices they have made, pulls them apart again and again. When Sara’s old life catches up to her, upending everything she thought she wanted just as Emilie has finally gained her own sense of purpose, they must decide if their love is more powerful than their pasts.

At once exquisite and expansive, astonishing in its humanity and heart, Yerba Buena is a love story for our time and a propulsive journey through the lives of two women finding their way in the world.

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Book Review: Mad About You


Mhairi McFarlane

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

published: 31st March 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Two reluctant housemates.
Two broken promises.
One crazy plan…

Harriet Hatley may be one of the most in-demand wedding photographers in Leeds, but she hates the idea of marriage.

Cal Clarke is used to the world falling in line with his plans – apart from his own love-life, which has gone hopelessly wrong.

When they become unlikely housemates, it’s clear they’re both running away from something bigger.

Can they take a crazy risk to face the past and change everything?

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Book Review: Every Variable of Us


Charles A. Bush

Rating: 2 out of 5.

published: 1st March 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

After Philly teenager Alexis Duncan is injured in a gang shooting, her dreams of a college scholarship and pro basketball career vanish in an instant. To avoid becoming another Black teen trapped in her poverty-stricken neighborhood, she shifts her focus to the school’s STEM team, a group of nerds seeking their own college scholarships. Academics have never been her thing, but Alexis is freshly motivated by Aamani Chakrabarti, the new Indian student who becomes her mentor (and crush?). Alexis begins to see herself as so much more than an athlete. But just as her future starts to reform, Alexis’s own doubts and old loyalties pull her back into harm’s way.

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Book Review: The Secret Sunshine Project


Benjamin Dean

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 31st March 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Bea’s family are happy. Like, really happy. Like, kind of gross but also cute happy. So when they visit London Pride together and have the ultimate day out, Bea doesn’t think her family could possibly get any happier. But a year later, a grey cloud is following Bea’s family around. Dad has passed away, and without him around they have no choice but to pack their bags and move to the countryside to live with Gran.

With Bea’s big sister, Riley, taking the news hard, Bea will do anything to cheer her up. So with the help of new friends, The Secret Sunshine Project is formed – Bea’s plan to bring Pride to the countryside and a smile back to Riley’s face. There’s just one teeny tiny problem – the village mayor. A grumpy old woman who’s on a mission to rain on Bea’s parade . . .

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Book Review: The Break Up


Charlotte Barnes

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

published: 25th March 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

You don’t know what you’re looking for until you find it.

Edi Parcell thought she had life all planned out, so when her childhood sweetheart proposes a three-month break to date other people, she’s shocked. Unexpectedly back on the dating scene after years with the same guy, this is the first opportunity Edi’s had to think about what she really wants from life – and love.

When she meets Winifred, her world is turned upside down. She never expected to have feelings for someone else, but now she’s met Winifred she can’t stop thinking about her. As the months pass, Edi is shocked to realise she’s not sure she wants her old relationship back at all – not now there’s Winifred…

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Book Review: Love & Other Disasters


Anita Kelly

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

published: 18th January 2022
spoilers? no

Goodreads

Recently divorced and on the verge of bankruptcy, Dahlia Woodson is ready to reinvent herself on the popular reality competition show Chef’s Special. Too bad the first memorable move she makes is falling flat on her face, sending fish tacos flying—not quite the fresh start she was hoping for. Still, she’s focused on winning, until she meets someone she might want a future with more than she needs the prize money.

After announcing their pronouns on national television, London Parker has enough on their mind without worrying about the klutzy competitor stationed in front of them. They’re there to prove the trolls—including a fellow contestant and their dad—wrong, and falling in love was never part of the plan.

As London and Dahlia get closer, reality starts to fall away. Goodbye, guilt about divorce, anxiety about uncertain futures, and stress from transphobia. Hello, hilarious shenanigans on set, wedding crashing, and spontaneous dips into the Pacific. But as the finale draws near, Dahlia and London’s steamy relationship starts to feel the heat both in and outside the kitchen—and they must figure out if they have the right ingredients for a happily ever after. 

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