Book Reviews: The Good Sister and some RomCom ARCs

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

Goodreads blurb: From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one and Fern is the quirky one. But the sisters are devoted to one another and Rose has always been Fern’s protector from the time they were small. Fern needed protecting because their mother was a true sociopath who hid her true nature from the world, and only Rose could see it. Fern always saw the good in everyone. Years ago, Fern did something very, very bad. And Rose has never told a soul. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her heart’s desire of having a baby, Rose realizes with growing horror that Fern might make choices that can only have a terrible outcome. What Rose doesn’t realize is that Fern is growing more and more aware of the secrets Rose, herself, is keeping. And that their mother might have the last word after all

My Take: 4.5 out of 5. Loved this book. I have to say I had my doubt in the beginning. I didn’t really know where it was going to go, and might have been a bit hesitant. However i had heard some great things from the Bookstagram community so i carried on. And it was so good! Unpredictable and wonderful. The character development is on point and the unreliability of the narration just adds so much depth to the book. A must read as its predecessor The Mother in Law was.

These three books below were ARCs I received for review, that are coming out soon. I am categorizing them in general in my Predictable but Nice category in Hallmark Movies, as it applies to books. Perfectly cute and quick read romances that would make awesome Hallmark Movies, here my thoughts on each

Home Sweet Mess by Allison Ashley

Goodreads blurb: Charming NFL marketing manager Logan Davis has a major crush on his best friend’s sister. Despite the fact that pursuing her would be a Bad Idea, she makes him want to abandon casual dating. Sassy social worker Jeni Bishop has lost faith in love. She can’t stand Logan or the NFL team he works for, but can’t help thinking he could help her scratch an itch. When Jeni’s brother and Logan’s closest friend is diagnosed with cancer, they unexpectedly find themselves on the same team. With Logan interested in a relationship and Jeni ardently avoiding them, they resist their growing attraction even as their lives continue to intertwine in unexpected ways. Can a man who has never experienced love convince a woman hardened by it that romance isn’t dead? ( This in an ARC review, thanks to a gift from the publisher, the book comes out on 6/21)

My take: 3.5 out of 5. This is a cute story. A predictable but cute and nice story that is a very easy read and a very enjoyable 1 sitting read. I loved the NFL focus, and all their meet cutes. Jeni is a bit stubborn for my taste but at least there is some strong character development throughout the story. Sadly i didn’t know there was a 1st book, as i might have wanted to read that one but know i know how it ends!

To Sir with Love by Lauren Layne

Goodreads blurb: Perpetually cheerful and eager to please, Gracie Cooper strives to make the best out of every situation. So when her father dies just months after a lung cancer diagnosis, she sets aside her dreams of pursuing her passion for art to take over his Midtown Manhattan champagne shop. She soon finds out that the store’s profit margins are being squeezed perilously tight, and complicating matters further, a giant corporation headed by the impossibly handsome, but irritatingly arrogant Sebastian Andrews is proposing a buyout. But Gracie can’t bear the thought of throwing away her father’s dream like she did her own.
Overwhelmed and not wanting to admit to her friends or family that she’s having second thoughts about the shop, Gracie seeks advice and solace from someone she’s never met—the faceless “Sir”, with whom she connected on a blind dating app where matches get to know each other through messages and common interests before exchanging real names or photos.
But although Gracie finds herself slowly falling for Sir online, she has no idea she’s already met him in real life…and they can’t stand each other. 
(This in an ARC review, thanks to a gift from the publisher, the book comes out on 6/29)

My take: 3.5 out of 5. You know exactly what’s going to happen, once they say its a ‘Got Mail retelling and once you start reading it. However, You’ve got mail is one of my favorite movies, so I was all in for the ride. I really enjoyed the characters, they had depth and their connection is believable and very well described. Bonus points that most of the story happens in a champagne store! I thought the ending was very well done. I loved the correspondence and would actually have liked to see more of it. One of my favorite lines, and one that i might apply is the “cinderella mode” – what she calls having high standards. Another great line: Wine isn’t about science. wine, especially the sparkling kind, is about the moment. A 10 dollar sparkler sipped out of plastic cups to celebrate an engagement beat the pants off a three hundred dollar bottle of Crystal sipped from a crystal glass by someone bored by life.”

When stars Collide by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Goodreads blurb: Thaddeus Walker Bowman Owens, the backup quarterback for the Chicago Stars, is a team player, talented sideline coach, occasional male underwear model, and a man with a low tolerance for Divas. Olivia Shore, international opera superstar, is a driven diva with a passion for perfection, a craving for justice, too many secrets—and a monumental grudge against the egotistical, lowbrow jock she’s been stuck with. It’s Mozart meets Monday Night Football as the temperamental soprano and stubborn jock embark on a nationwide tour promoting a luxury watch brand. Along the way, the combatants will engage in soul-searching and trash talk, backstage drama and, for sure, a quarterback pass. But they’ll also face trouble as threatening letters, haunting photographs, and a series of dangerous encounters complicate their lives. Is it the work of an overzealous fan or something more sinister? This is the emotional journey of a brilliant woman whose career is everything and a talented man who’ll never be happy with second place.  Tender and funny, passionate and insightful, this irresistible romantic adventure proves that anything can happen…when two superstars collide. This in an ARC review, thanks to a gift from the publisher, the book comes out on 6/29)

My take: 3.5 out of 5 I had not read any of the previous Chicago Stars stories, but this was a cute Predictable but nice romance story. It is not the best book I’ve read but it was a fast read and a very entertaining one. Its romance meets a little bit of mystery that made it quite enjoyable. It was a hallmark movie in book form. One thing i really enjoyed, the fact that two things I really like joined here, football meets opera. It might seem like opposites attract in the book, but there are people, like me who hold both in very high regard.

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