Review

Review: Lies & Lullabies by Sarina Bowen (2020)

Hush Note, Book #1

Heat Factor: They have very gentle loving sex because of Kira’s past

Character Chemistry: I got sucked in by all their drama, so I guess it worked

Plot: “OMG I am SO happy to see you again!” → “WTF I have a CHILD?!” → “Let’s be together forever, I promise that me being a rock star who tours for months every year will not be a problem.”

Overall: I was expecting to get bent out of shape about the secret baby drama, but I got some bonus annoyance as well.

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Dueling Review

Dueling Review: Then, Now, Always by Mona Shroff

To kick off Secret Baby Week, Holly and Ingrid buddy-read Then, Now, Always by Mona Shroff. And you know what that means: time for a duel! (Moderated by Erin) 

Holly’s Take:

Heat Factor: The door is firmly closed.

Character Chemistry: Um. It’s complicated. But also love at first sight.

Plot: Maya and Sam were in love. But they broke up. Now it’s 16 years later and Maya finally tells Sam that he has a daughter.

Overall: This was kind of a weird book and I’m still processing how I feel about it.

Ingrid’s Take:

Heat Factor: This is not a book with a temperature.

Character Chemistry: It’s both “at first sight” and also a slow, complicated development at the same time.

Plot: Maya and Sam had a good thing going until everything blew up and incredibly bad choices were made. Then, 16 years later, Maya fesses up that she’s kept their child secret from Sam and he’s an emotional wreck, understandably.

Overall: I maintain that this trope is a massive romantic buzzkill and this book is like a case study in why that is.

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Review

Review: The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer (2021)

Heat Factor: Kisses in the snow

Character Chemistry: Soulmates, in the “you fill in my missing pieces” sense of the word

Plot: Rachel needs to write a Hanukkah romance and is feeling uninspired—so she tries to get a ticket to the Matzah Ball, a huge party being planned by none other than her first love.

Overall: I have very mixed feelings

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Review

Review: The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu (2021)

Heat Factor: There’s a closed door scene that I’m not totally sure added anything

Character Chemistry: If not getting along most of the time is your love language then yes, there’s chemistry

Plot: Jasmine is in her early 20s and her life’s a mess

Overall: Women’s fiction marketed as romance strikes again!

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Review

Review: Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau (2021)

Heat Factor: There’s a bunch of sex around the halfway point

Character Chemistry: Believable in a real-world kind of way, but not sparkling

Plot: Ryan takes baking classes from Lindsay in preparation for appearing on a celebrity baking show. They develop a connection, but can Lindsay handle dating a movie star?

Overall: Cute

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