Book Reviews: One Night on the Island, The Spanish Daughter and Always in December

This is an ARC edition of my book reviews, recently read books of Advance review copies I received thanks to the editors .

One Night on the Island by Josie Silver

Goodreads blurb: When Cleo’s editor requests that she marry herself on a remote island for her dating column, she envisions skinny-dipping in the crystalline waters and revelling in the blissful quiet. But when she arrives at Otter Lodge, Mack, a grumpy, yet undeniably handsome American, insists that her cosy cottage is actually his. With no beds to spare and a storm fast approaching, they’re trapped. Can what began as a disastrous double-booking turn into something more? And might this one night on the island change both of their lives forever? An uplifting and immensely moving love story for fans of The Holiday, The Flatshare and Nicholas Sparks. (book comes out 2/15/2022)

My take: 4.25 out of 5. I was a huge fan of Josie Silvers first book, One Day in December, however I wasn’t able to get through her second book. She is back in full force here and i really really enjoyed this book. A wonderful romance and female empowerment book. I loved the concept of commitment ceremony to yourself, how brilliant was that? I also enjoyed the slow burn buildup of the romance. Also totally dig when romance books or movies aren’t predictable and this was not and I appreciate it. Its not a fairytale and family, backstories and life exists and things are not linear and it just made it all real. Now I’m thinking do i need to go book myself to an island retreat for my 40th?

The Spanish Daughter by Lorena Hughes

Goodreads blurb: Set against the lush backdrop of early twentieth century Ecuador and inspired by the real-life history of the coastal town known as the birthplace of cacao, this captivating #OwnVoices novel from the award-winning author of The Sisters of Alameda tells the story of a resourceful young chocolatier who must impersonate a man in order to survive… As a child in Spain, Puri always knew her passion for chocolate was inherited from her father. But it’s not until his death that she learns of something else she’s inherited—a cocoa plantation in Vinces, Ecuador, a town nicknamed “Paris Chiquito.” Eager to claim her birthright and filled with hope for a new life after the devastation of WWI, she and her husband Cristóbal set out across the Atlantic Ocean. But it soon becomes clear, someone is angered by Puri’s claim to the plantation…When a mercenary sent to murder her aboard the ship accidentally kills Cristóbal instead, Puri dons her husband’s clothes and assumes his identity, hoping to stay safe while she searches for the truth of her father’s legacy in Ecuador. Though freed from the rules that women are expected to follow, Puri confronts other challenges at the plantation—newfound siblings, hidden affairs, and her father’s dark secrets. Then there are the dangers awakened by her attraction to an enigmatic man as she tries to learn the identity of an enemy who is still at large, threatening the future she is determined to claim (book comes out 6/25/2022)

My take: 3.5 out of 5. This made me very excited: Ecuador, chocolate and historical fiction. It was a nice read, and it had a bit of everything: romance, mystery, family drama, plus it being a fast read. I just feel like nothing was completely realized for me, and I was not as invested in the story as I wanted. I think part of it was I didn’t get enough backstory on the characters so i really wasn’t as invested until it was a bit late for it and I just really wanted it to end by then.

Always in December by Emily Stone

Goodreads blurb: It started with a letter. It ended with a love story. Every December, Josie posts a letter from her home in London to the parents she lost on Christmas night many years ago. Each year, she writes the same three words: Missing you, always. But this year, her annual trip to the postbox is knocked off course by a bicycle collision with a handsome stranger–a stranger who will change the course of Josie’s life. Josie always thought she was the only one who avoided the Christmas season, but this year, Max has his own reasons for doing the same–and coincidence leads them to spending the holiday together. Aglow with new love, Josie thinks this might be the start of something special. Only for Max to disappear without saying goodbye. Over the course of the next year, Max and Josie will find that fate continues to bring them together in places they’d never expect. New York City. Edinburgh. The quiet English countryside. And it turns out, Max had every reason to leave and every reason to stay. But what does fate hold for Josie and Max as Christmas approaches again? A devastating, romantic, life-affirming love story, Always, in December will stay with readers long after they’ve finished the last page. (book came out 10/21/21)

My take: 4 out of 5. So many tears, both happy and sad in this book. It was heartwarming and beautiful. It had two things I love about a proper love story: a wonderful meet cute and a totally unpredictable path line. I loved the characters and the dual point of views. Also a great book to get into the Christmas spirit, i want to go around London doing Christmas stuff! a great way to get me into the Christmas spirit, my tree is coming up next!

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