One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid #BookReview

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In her 20s, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure. On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her 30s, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness. That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants while trying to protect the ones she loves. But who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

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Another novel from my backlist as One True Loves was published in 2016. I bought an ecopy of it in 2017, long before she became even more of a bestselling writer with the hyped novel of The Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six and I picked it up ‘now’ because I wanted to read it before watching the movie adaptation of this novel. If I’d watch it first then I wouldn’t make it a priority to read it and who knows in what year, if any, I’d get to it then.

There is much to love in this novel and I highlighted so many quotes hitting home, yet I still didn’t fall in love with it. Emotions run all through this novel but I didn’t always feel emotional myself as it was quite clear for me what Emma needed to do and it frustrated me sometimes when she wasn’t thinking along my lines.

The novel had a good structure. The opening chapter sets the scene where Sam and Emma are with her parents enjoying a meal in a restaurant, then she gets the call that her missing – presumed dead – husband is actually alive. The first part shows the encompassing love between Jesse and Emma, the second part defines how she meets Sam again after two years of grief and how they fall in love.

What makes this novel so compelling is the dilemma. Everyone will ask themselves whether she should be with Jesse again or continue with Sam. I did love the dilemma that Emma’s faced with even though it wasn’t so much of a dilemma for me because I was already those two steps ahead of her and had thought exactly what was about to come into her head. You’d probably enjoy this story most if you just let the emotions wash over you.

Both men are great guys and they both love Emma deeply, there’s no denying that. I think I liked them even more than I liked her if I’m honest. I know that Emma struggled but I didn’t always agree with the way she dealt with the situation. The fact that she tells one guy that she chooses the other one but still sleeps with him ‘one last time’ was frankly incomprehensible to me and made me question if she should be with either one of them. No, just no!

That being said, I did enjoy how the novel sets out to explore true love and the resolution is quite valuable, something we all need to be reminded of or simply informed of and a life wisdom I’m happy to carry with me from now on.

One True Loves was a bittersweet, emotional story about one woman searching for the love of her life. I can’t wait to see this movie now!

I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

PS Watch out for my battle of book covers because I found 5 different covers for this one and the latest one (publication 2022) is BE-AU-TI-FUL.

Swear on This Life by Renée Carlino #BookReview

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When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

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Another one from the backlist. Swear on This Life was published in 2016 and the number of raving reviews brought it to my attention at the time so it’s been on my ereader for quite a while. I’m kind of sad that I don’t get any more paperbacks from publishers since Brexit but finding a gem like this in my library does make me feel very happy on the other hand. I suddenly found myself a new favourite author!

Swear on This Life is the first novel I read by Renée Carlino and it’s an amazingly heartfelt story. Emeline reads about her own childhood in a novel called All The Roads Between and every time the timeline changed to the past I prepared myself for the emotional impact. Her childhood was a story of neglect and abuse but also of great friendship, even the first signs of love.

Jase (Jason) lived next door and was in a similar situation yet he was always positive and together they got through everything, her father’s drinking problem, his mother’s drug addiction. They had such wonderful moments together and seemed to be joined at the hip, yet in the present day there is no sign of Jase in Emeline’s life, they are not together and I couldn’t flip these pages fast enough to find out how they became separated and if they would find their way to each other again.

Emeline does take a looong time to end the novel within the novel but when she finally did I felt my heart leap. Even though I couldn’t understand it at first, I absolutely loved why Jase changed parts of the real story (and I’m not talking about him giving himself abs in his fictionalised story), it was just such perfect thinking.

When you wish you had the paperback of a novel in your library instead of an ecopy and you want to reread a novel immediately after you finished it, you know it’s worth five stars or more. I found such a wonderful bittersweet story between these pages and Jase is the real star of this duo in my eyes, he’s definitely book boyfriend material and it’s all due to his character. For fans of Colleen Hoover and Dani Atkins, I highly recommend!

I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion. 

Puzzle Girl by Rachael Featherstone #BookReview @WRITERachael @AccentPress

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Love is a riddle waiting to be solved…

Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything. When she finds herself stuck in a doctor’s surgery, a cryptic message left in a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious puzzle-man behind it. Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin. Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

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Puzzle Girl was a pleasant surprise, in the best way possible. I don’t know why I was hesitant to pick this one up but I think the lovely cover made me think it would be too light of a read for me (sorry cover designer) but I was so wrong, I had a really good time in Cassy’s presence.

I love novels where there’s written interaction between characters and they often score high for me (think The Flatshare or Dear Emmie Blue) but this one had an additional bonus of the ‘mystery man’ with whom Cassy makes these written exchanges, and I quite possibly liked this even more.

It was so much fun to see all of the excuses she had to come up with to gain access again and again to the puzzle book at the Threadneedle Walk-in Centre. Just imagining seeing the reaction of Janet, the receptionist of the clinic every time Cassy showed up again made me chuckle every single time. There were a few stories in the sidelines too that were also quite entertaining which involved her bestie Dan (a blend between Joey and Chandler of Friends) who decides to move in with her, Cassy’s attempts to make a good impression with her boss and their potential new client MediaTech and her strife with work colleague Martin. I had to give it to her, whatever is thrown at Cassy she never gives up, it made me love her even a little bit more.

Cassy works as an Account Director at a digital marketing company named Holeywells and even though her job is one of the focal points of the novel where much goes wrong, and as interesting as it sounds being a marketing strategist I was happy that I was never bored by actually having to listen to an entire pitch. The competition between Cassy and Martin and her feelings of animosity whenever he does something that puts her into a bad light were a great part of the story. There were times it reminded me of another novel that I loved this year and I was happy to find some similarities.

Maybe the outcome didn’t surprise me much but it didn’t really bother me, the story had enough drive that I never felt there wasn’t something else to discover. Cassy certainly discovers a lot about herself by the end of the novel and I do love a character having some introspection. And in the end all I wanted was for puzzle-girl to finally meet her dream puzzle-man 🙂.

I underestimated how much I would enjoy Puzzle Girl when I started it. If you’re looking for a fun summer romance in an office setting this is the perfect novel to escape into.

I received a free paperback copy of this novel in a giveaway (I can’t remember who from but I received four paperbacks a few years ago). This is my honest opinion.

Six Days by Dani Atkins #BookReview

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Gemma knows that she and Finn are destined to be together. They are soulmates. But then, on their wedding day, he never arrives at the church.

Gemma is convinced Finn wouldn’t abandon her like this, even though he has disappeared once before. But back then he had a reason. She feels sure something terrible has happened, but no one else is convinced. Even the police aren’t concerned, telling Gemma most people who disappear usually turn up in a week… assuming they want to be found, that is.

For the next six days Gemma frantically searches for Finn, even though every shocking revelation is telling her to give up on him. Before long, even she begins to doubt her own memories of their love.

How long can she hold on to her faith in Finn if everyone is telling her to let him go?

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The novel opens on Finn and Gemma’s wedding day with Gemma getting ready and her feeling so happy to be marrying the love of her life. But when she arrives at the wedding venue Finn’s nowhere to be seen. Gemma can’t believe he just stood her up and dashes to his apartment where she comes to the devastating conclusion that his apartment is completely empty! Still she doesn’t want to believe he simply left her without a word, there must be an explanation.

Gemma turns to the police but he wouldn’t be the first groom to get cold feet. They tell her most of the missing persons return of their own volition in 6 days, hence the title of the novel but will Finn return in 6 days or not? Gemma isn’t the type to sit there waiting until the police really spring into action and consider it a disturbing disappearance so she does everything in her power to find him even if this means it’s almost a single woman’s search as the people around her want her to accept the situation and go forward.

I admired Gemma for believing so hard in them and not giving up even though I had moments too that I wasn’t sure about Finn. Through flashbacks I learned how they met, I witnessed the progression of their relationship and I felt Finn’s love for Gemma and yet I had a few moments of doubt too. One of Finn’s flaws in the past didn’t speak in his favour and there were hints here and there that they’d had an argument of sorts, something they’d disagreed on, so maybe that was enough for Finn to change his mind?

I’m not going to say how this will end but day 5 and 6 had my heart pounding! By then I knew where Finn was – even if Gemma still didn’t – but it didn’t take away any of the suspense. Even so, there were still loose ends and I still couldn’t see how exactly it all fit together and how it could all be explained but the author made a very plausible story out of it.

Six Days is a beautifully told emotive novel that you’ll not get through untouched. This novel has mystery, love and anguish and if you’re ready for it, I recommend you let her pull at your heart strings too!

I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover #BookReview

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After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself.

The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her completely is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them.

The two form a connection despite the pressure surrounding them, but as their romance grows, so does the risk. Kenna must find a way to absolve the mistakes of her past in order to build a future out of hope and healing.

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For those of you who don’t know Colleen Hoover’s books I’ll tell you what she writes about. She writes books about flawed people. She writes about real emotions, about grief, hope, pain, and she throws in a little romance too just to make things even more interesting (or complicated). She writes stories where you root for these flawed people and you feel those emotions with them. Do you know a lot of authors who can do that in every single novel? I can count them on my one hand to be honest.

Reminders of Him tells the story of Kenna who did something terrible in the past which made her go to prison for 5 years. She only tells what that is in the last part of the novel of course, once she has won all of the reader’s hearts over already with her personality and the remorse that is palpable from the start. The letters she is writing to Scotty still and how she includes him in her everyday thoughts made me believe that whatever it was, she does have her heart in the right place. People can make bad decisions but does that mean they’re a bad person? And if you figured out the answer to that one, there’s another question that is quite prominent in this novel: what does it take to forgive someone?

Ledger, the local bar owner is put in a very difficult position when he grows fond of Kenna. Taking her side, even hanging out with her publicly wouldn’t go down very well with the people around him though. These people know Kenna and have hated her for the past 5 years. He is torn between both sides and the push and pull between became very emotional. I didn’t ugly cry with this one but it was a close call. Colleen does what she does best, delivering a rollercoaster of emotions.

I bought a paperback copy of this book. This is, as always, my honest opinion.

What Might Have Been by Holly Miller #BookReview

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Is Lucy’s life ‘meant to be’ . . . or meant to be different?

Lucy’s life is at a crossroads. She’s just walked out of her unrewarding job and has no idea about her next step: use her savings to pursue her dream of becoming a writer, or move to London to try and revive her career? It almost seems like fate that on that same night she meets Caleb, a stranger in a bar, and runs into Max, the one-time love of her life.

Should Lucy stay in the seaside town she grew up in, and in doing so, get to know Caleb better? Or should she go to London and reconnect with Max again after he broke her heart a decade ago? It’s just one decision – but sometimes one decision can change the course of your whole life . . .

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Wow. This book was BRILLIANT! This was entirely my cup of tea. What Might Have Been gives the reader two stories in a sliding doors type of novel. Lucy finds herself in a café chatting to a handsome stranger named Caleb at a bar when she sees her ex Max through the window. Lucy read her horoscope and she knows she’s going to meet her soulmate that day. Is it Max or Caleb though?

After the brief encounter with both men there’s one timeline where she stays in Shoreley, finds a different job locally and sees Caleb again. In the other she goes to London and hopes to get the job she really wants at a big advertising agency. She also meets Max again, the guy she thought was her soul mate in the past already.

Both relationships were interesting to follow and there are some struggles to overcome in each of them. Caleb’s ex makes Lucy feel insecure and Max has never told her the entire truth why he broke things off with her and when he does it won’t make her feel very happy for a while.

Even though it maybe wasn’t the intention to create a personal preference for one man over the other, I did like Caleb most at the start. Maybe it was because he came with a clean slate and hadn’t broken her heart already, maybe because he was the most adventurous, or maybe because with him she didn’t go for the big money and professional acclaim but found her love for writing for herself again. In the end though I knew Max loved her very much too and I felt such turmoil that I wondered if it would be possible to have two happy endings and that you can meet two soul mates in your life. Which person would make her happiest? Or would they both be able to make her happy in different ways so that it didn’t really matter? I couldn’t stop turning those pages…

Lucy believes in signs and soulmates and she read that she was going to meet her soulmate that day when she was sitting at the bar alone. I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s true, she does meet her soul mate that day. My heart was sad and happy at the same time! I was very happy with the way both plotlines in this story ended and it’s certainly a novel I’d love to reread one day.

If you enjoyed Holly Miller’s previous novel, you’ll certainly enjoy What Might Have Been too. I love stories with moral dilemma’s, forbidden love etc. and she was able to create this divine and almost impossible choice in this novel that gives heartbreak and joy in equal measures.

I received a free ecopy from the publisher Hodder & Stoughton via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.

The Inheritance Games (Book #1 of 3) and The Hawthorne Legacy (Book #2 of 3) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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She came from nothing.
Avery has a plan: keep her head down, work hard for a better future.
Then an eccentric billionaire dies, leaving her almost his entire fortune. And no one, least of all Avery, knows why.

They had everything.
Now she must move into the mansion she’s inherited.
It’s filled with secrets and codes, and the old man’s surviving relatives – a family hell-bent on discovering why Avery got ‘their’ money.

Now there’s only one rule: winner takes all.
Soon she is caught in a deadly game that everyone in this strange family is playing.
But just how far will they go to keep their fortune?

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I don’t read a lot of Young Adult novels but when I do I seem to pick the right ones. The Inheritance Games is a brilliant start of a trilogy. Avery Grambs is a very clever girl, I knew that off the bat, but exactly how clever I had yet to fully discover. 

One day she is invited to the reading of a will of a man she never even heard of and it turns out that she stands to inherit his entire fortune. The only catch is that she has to live at Hawthorne Mansion for a year which wouldn’t be so bad if his other relatives, who didn’t inherit what they feel was coming to them, didn’t live there too. Not a great way to feel very welcome is it? Tobias Hawthorne also leaves each grandchild and Avery a letter, not that Avery’s is very telling but it is the start of her search to answer the question ‘why was she in his will when she didn’t even know him?’

The clues were well thought out and very cleverly constructed. Lots of the names in this novel for example have a special and deeper meaning attached to them, but the key is to know where to look then. I loved how Avery made the right connections and went to the right places to discover yet another clue that would bring her a small step closer to finding out why she was the chosen one. Avery isn’t the only one trying to figure it out though. The four grandsons of Tobias were ‘trained’ by Tobias as he challenged them on a regular basis so this game-mode is in their blood and of course they also want to find answers. The four boys who are working towards the same goal are laid-back ‘cowboy’ Nate, confident but closed off Gray, thrill-seeking charmer Nate, and nerdy cookie lover Xander Hawthorne. Allegiances are made quite soon with Avery but is it not too good to be true, is she a friend or a pawn?

While all this terrific sleuthing is progressing Avery can’t help to let her eye fall on two of the Hawthorne Boys. That’s right not one but two and this makes this novel extra special. There’s a lot of chemistry and the electric attraction whenever Avery finds herself alone (and in danger) with one of them made my heart do little jumps of joy. I know a lot of readers don’t enjoy love triangles but it was so good! It was killing me that she didn’t know who to choose. If you read the novel you want to make your own choice of course so this novel will create a division in teams! I doubt she’ll follow my choice though, I have a feeling it will be the other boy.

The novel has short chapters that are of no help if you don’t want to be reading all night. Otherwise said, it was terribly addictive and the way the novel ended, with another big question waiting to be solved, made me want to continue right away with The Hawthorne Legacy!

I’ve read a few novels in this particular genre (I listened to The Christmas Murder Game and before that I read Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts,…) but The Inheritance Games is by far the best novel in this clue-solving genre I read up until now

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The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions – including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture – by any means necessary.

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Could it be any better? Well yes it can! The Hawthorne Legacy is even better than the first and that one was already amazing. I’m so happy to hear that the series is going into production for tv! 

Avery Kylie Grambs is back and how! This one is all about exploring her past. Her mother – even though not a Hawthorne – also enjoyed playing games with her and one of their favourite games was ‘I have a secret’. Avery’s secrets as a young girl were not really worth to remember but her mother used to say she had an exciting secret about the day Avery was born… She never told her more than that but now Avery has a lead in her hands that could mean it’s the key to that secret.

The story is complex and filled with twists and turns. In the end we finally know why Avery was chosen and a lot more about her own past (and her mother’s) will have become clear. 

The chemistry with both boys was zinging in this novel again and while I was a bit cautious about one of them in the first novel because of some (game) player vibes, he seemed much more sincere and caring so the playing field was much more leveled out. If you ask me which team I’m on then all I can say is that I’m on the other team, so I am hoping there’s still some temptation in the third novel to keep it as interesting as before. 

You really need to read the series in order to be on board at the start of this novel but I’m sure you won’t regret that you need to read more than one of these novels. The last installment of the series, The Final Gambit is to be released in August 2022 and I can’t wait to dive in and see what new game she and the boys will embark on.

I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne #BookReview

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Nemesis (n.)

1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

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OH MY, this novel is HOT HOT HOT. This also proves I haven’t lost it somewhere along the way, I’m still a hopeless romantic. The Hating Game is a fairy tale come true and gosh maybe it’s the dark and lonely days but I needed this. Enemies to lovers first, then in second place friends to lovers, they’re the best kind of love to read about if you ask me.

The animosity between Lucy and Joshua was brilliant and believable and it seemed to have started when Lucy and Joshua met as executive assistants on their first work day after the publishing companies Gamin and Bexley merged. She said hello to him with a smile, he didn’t say anything back, he certainly didn’t smile. It’s been a cold war ever since. The two of them play a lot of games during the day, designed to make the other one either laugh or cry. Joshua is pretty good at doing neither. He’s an unlikeable character but not one you ever really despise. Lucy wants to strangle him on a daily basis though.

Everything changes when Lucy goes on a date with Danny from IT, a date she never intended to have but then she can’t lose face when Joshua doesn’t even believe she has a date. That same day Joshua gives her the kiss of all kisses in the elevator because he was testing something out. Huh? Now she can’t stop thinking about this and neither will any reader. The elevator scene and the entire teambuilding day made me swoon so much and I it got my hopes up right there that they would end up together. How that was going to happen when the promotion was only going to one of them I didn’t figure out though. Would this be the kink in the cable? What would happen after they had played the Or Something game?

I loooved the games they played, the slow burn between the two of them and how much the tension was building. The big moment was put off for sooo long! Maybe some readers might find the characters a little too cliché (Josh has ‘the body’ and a spotless house, he’s also very much the bad guy; Lucy is loveable, quirky and cute) but it didn’t bother me for a minute. This is Romance with a capital R, I can hardly believe this was a debut.

I decided to finally pick this one up because I saw Jonetta of Blue Mood Cafe was going to watch the movie they made of this novel and although I really want to see this I wanted to read the novel first. I do wonder if the chemistry will be as big on screen as in the novel. I don’t want to say the novel is better beforehand but the way I experienced it… Well we’ll see when I get the chance.

I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

A Thousand Boy Kisses by Tillie Cole #BookReview

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When seventeen-year-old Rune Kristiansen returns from his native Norway to the sleepy town of Blossom Grove, Georgia, where he befriended Poppy Litchfield as a child, he has just one thing on his mind. Why did the girl who was one half of his soul, who promised to wait faithfully for his return, cut him off without a word of explanation?

Rune’s heart was broken two years ago when Poppy fell silent. When he discovers the truth, he finds that the greatest heartache is yet to come.

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I bought A Thousand Boy Kisses – a young adult romance novel – years ago when I saw how many 5 star ratings it was receiving on Goodreads. The novel’s been published in 2016 but still has an average rating of 4.23 so that says a lot about how much love this novel is receiving.

I’m a fan of young romance because it’s sweet, innocent and perfect and I thought I’d never be able to get enough of it but the romance in the first part of the novel was sooo cheesy, I was really getting an overdose. It didn’t help that Poppy receives a jar from her grandmother to collect a thousand kisses in her entire life that make her heart burst, kisses that make her feel special, and Rune takes it upon himself to fill this whole jar by himself. I never thought I’d say this but the soaring hearts were there all the time and even I felt it was a bit too much. That said, it didn’t make me feel very happy that Rune and his Poppymin (My Poppy in Norvegian) were going to be separated because by then I certainly saw them as inseparable.

Their goodbyes were painful but what was at least as painful was the fact that all communications between them come to a stop, although they promised each other so much. I didn’t know the reasons behind Poppy’s decision to cut Rune out of her life but it was hard to understand when she loved him so much before.

Rune, the long haired Viking with blond hair and blue eyes that Poppy had fallen in love with returns but nothing is as it once was. Rune has changed so much from the sweet boy I came to know. They can’t pick up where they left off, and all I wanted was for them to reconnect in some way. My heart broke for them – for the love lost between them – but soon after it broke even a little more. I thought this was going to be a light, sweet teen romance but the emotions I felt ran deeper than expected. In the end I believed very strongly that Rune and Poppy were soul mates, and their love ‘as special as special can be’. I dare you to keep it dry reading A Thousand Boy Kisses.

The start was a little rocky but the ending was so beautiful and also full of love. It is definitely an emotional novel and it won’t leave you unfazed!

I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis #BookReview

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On a snowy evening in March, thirty-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone.

All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear. The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence.

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I absolutely loved reading Dear Emmie Blue last year so I’m relieved to find the author’s new novel Eight Perfect Hours such a wholesome and delightful read.

When Noelle meets Sam you can feel that it is the perfect set up for a wonderful romance. They spend 8 hours together on a highway where they talk and laugh and share stories, and I could almost hear the lovey-dovey singing birds approaching but.. NOTHING HAPPENS. A few days later Noelle runs into her ex-boyfriend Ed in town. They were together for 12 years and every time she sees Ed it is so easy, so familiar, yet a little voice in her head does remind her that he left her for a job offer in Portland.

I really enjoyed reading about Noelle and how she tries to navigate her way trough life. She’s there for her mother who has anxiety and her best friend who suffers from postnatal depression, she even tries her best to help this grumpy old man who has to move out of his apartment, but maybe she needs someone to be there for her too? Ed slips back into her life and Noelle can’t just forget the 12 years they spent together but mountaineer Sam pops up on unexpected moments too and every time she sees him she feels that he really hears what she is saying, she feels something special and she gets the feeling it is fate that brings them together. Could she be right?

I expected this novel to be high on romance from the beginning but the author start-stopped my heart more times than were good for me, so I’m almost inclined to say that romance is involved but underneath what appears to be romance the story gives a life lesson about embracing life. From the very first pages the tragedy of losing her best friend are manifest but there’s a lot of growth for Noelle while she’s trying to find the right path for her and maybe fate will give an unmistakable signal that it is ok to start living and that she doesn’t have to feel guilty that she’s still alive and her best friend Daisy isn’t.

If you enjoyed The Switch by Beth O’Leary, this is definitely the novel for you. I had a few perfect hours of reading this heartwarming novel.

I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.