Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
Goodreads blurb: Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom. When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse? Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs. Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?
My Take: 3.5 out of 5. As with Chloe Brown, they are way more steamy than they seem, but it was a cute story. Your traditional fake a relationship and end up together trope (of which many have been out this year) but it was a cute easily readable story and its great to see old characters back, although the sisters have way less presence here than they do in Chloe Brown.
See Jane Snap by Bethany Crandell
Goodreads blurb: See Jane smile. Thirty-nine-year-old Jane Osborne appears to the world like she has a charmed life. Her daughter attends private school. Jane chairs the PTA. Even her marriage to Dan, the handsome, prominent surgeon, is blissfully happy. Her universe is stable, and her future is fixed…just like that smile. Because it’s all a ruse. Unbeknownst to anyone, after eighteen years of marriage, Dan’s revealed that he’s been living a double life and is in love with a man. But for the sake of his career, Jane must keep that secret, secret. See Jane lie. With their livelihood on the line, Jane agrees to maintain appearances. But soon the weight of Dan’s deception and the pain of his betrayal get the better of her. Something’s got to give. See Jane snap. Quite publicly. And a bit unlawfully. With brutal honesty, Jane must confront her choices head-on and determine—for herself—if the facade of stability she’s been protecting is worth the price of her own sanity and happiness. ( This in an ARC review, thanks to a gift from the publisher. It comes out Sept 7th, 2021)
My Take: 2.5 out of 5. This was almost a DNF, i was almost going to stop reading but i ploughed through and it did get better. Not better to recommend it highly but the character of Jane became more nuanced and I appreciated the story much more. By the end I was invested and just had to see the story through. I think this is a book that a PTA mom would enjoy, but i think that is so far from my life that I just kind of couldn’t relate to the character. Also I feel Her husband is a caricature up to the last few pages, which makes for a whiplashing character development if there ever was one. Character development for the best, but out of left field.
If Only by Angela Marsons
Goodreads blurb: Find love. Have a baby. Ditch the mother-in-law from hell. Three best friends, each wishing for the one thing they want the most. But what if they’re searching for happiness in all the wrong places? Cher is head over heels for her new boss. He’s gorgeous, smart and funny but he barely even notices her except to ask for a coffee refill. How can she get him to see that she’s the perfect girl for him? Sarah is longing for a baby with the man she loves. The only trouble is David is already married. Will he finally leave his wife so they can be together? Deb should be looking forward to her wedding with lovely fiancé Mark but with her mother-in-law from hell Margie taking control of everything, will her dream day turn into her worst nightmare? So, when one summer evening, over several glasses of wine, Cher, Sarah and Deb stumble across an old book on Sarah’s shelf and drunkenly decide to cast a wishing spell, they don’t think for one minute that it will come true. It’s just three best friends having a laugh and throwing some herbs around the garden. Or is it? ( This in an ARC review, thanks to a gift from the publisher. It comes out today July 6th, 2021)
My Take: 2 out of 5. I didn’t enjoy the characters here, and since you really are meant to be rooting for them, it made the book a bit painful. I was on the verge of a DNF but I stuck by it and the last 20% of the book redeems itself somewhat but not enough to fully recommend it. The three characters were hard to digest. Deb was the one that I felt more real and likeable. I kind of felt for her and her qualms didn’t look petty or distorted from reality. Sarah needed abit more backstory of her relationship with David because from what we saw, you really didnt understand her love. Cher just lives in a fantasy world that was grating. I think a bit more backstory as to them as friends would have been nice as well, their friendship backdrop.
It has a cute – be careful what you wish for storyline that would have been interested if by that point i cared enough.
On a positive note, i really enjoyed the narrator of the audiobook .