So I’ve been on this huge romance kick over the last couple of months, right? I’ve been reading them quickly and haven’t been very good about getting reviews up, but today I sat down and just decided to bang them all out! (Just…do me a favor and ignore how many of these books feature 29/30-year-old Brits).
I feel a little foolish that it took until about 75% of the way through before I realized this was a loose Pride and Prejudice retelling, but what are you gonna do? I didn’t like this one quite as much as the others I’ve read by her. Anna was a great main character, but I wasn’t always buying James as a love interest. I’m happy with how it ended, but there was some doubt in my mind if he’d ever be able to truly redeem himself. 3.5/5
I didn’t LOVE Calla. I feel like she was too oblivious as to how she was coming off to others. Like…you’ve seen the town and you really think the grocery coffee stand is going to have soy/almond/cashew milk? Besides that, I liked the other characters (maybe besides Calla’s mom). Simon is a real gem and neither Calla or her mother deserve him. 3.5/5
I had my issues with Calla again, but overall I still liked the book. I just feel like she’s willfully naive sometimes. I’m not sure what she thought life was going to be like in Trapper’s Crossing, but I thought she should have been a little more grateful towards Muriel taking her under her wing. I did like her relationship with Roy, though, and thought it felt realistic. 3.5/5
Wow. Talk about slooooooow burn. Halfway through this book and I still had no idea which guy Delia was going to end up with. I don’t know that the relationship made a ton of sense to me always, but I still liked it and thought Delia was a good character. I liked her “journey” and the things she discovered about herself though she was a little too naive when it came to Kurt.
Unrelated, I thought the comic panels were a nice touch! Really enjoyed them. 4/5
This book actually took me by surprise! As the story sets up, you think you know where it’s going, but then it turns completely on its head. The meet cute scenarios that Evie comes up with are equal parts cringe and heartwarming. It really is interesting to think about how those scenarios might play out in real life (mostly poorly). I thought the romance was compelling though I wasn’t totally convinced until the end what the love interest necessarily saw in Evie. Overall, this was a cute read. 4/5
I really enjoyed Georgina’s journey throughout this book. Despite the fact that this book would be classified as romance, I feel like Georgina’s development as a character shared equal screen time and I really liked seeing her relationship with her sister grow throughout the book. The romance part is great too. There’s a lot of “but wait…does he actually remember her?” looming over every interaction that Georgina and Lucas have. With their backstory, I felt like the romance was believable and I found myself really rooting for them in the end. 4/5
I really enjoyed this one! Admittedly, Tiffy was a little much for me at times but I thought that Leon’s chapters balanced her out nicely. I thought the change in writing styles between their narrations was interesting and helped to distinguish them from each other. One of my pet peeves is when a book has multiple POVs, but they all sound like the same person and that was not the case with this book. I’ve seen other reviews complain about the secondary plots, but I actually didn’t mind them. I thought they fleshed out the characters in a realistic way that ended up contributing to their overall connection as people. Perhaps things might have wrapped up a little too picture perfect in the end, but I can hardly begrudge this book or characters their HEA. 4/5
If you are looking for a book featuring a quirky English village (quirky residents included) then look no farther! I really enjoyed getting to know the townspeople of Hamleigh along with Leena. Penelope and Roland especially always had me chuckling. Overall, this book had a really strong cast of interesting secondary characters to help Leena and Eileen along on their journeys. The relationship between Leena and her mother, Marian, was tense but felt necessary and I’m glad that O’Leary featured it, though I could have used a little more on-page action. There were elements of this book that I felt were unrealistic (both Eileen and Leena got A LOT done in less than two months), but I was more than happy to overlook that.
As the book started to wrap-up, however, I was worried that both of our heroines were going to end up with their respective love interests by default. Here’s what I mean by that: the whole book a protag is with one person (when the love interest is clearly…well…interested) but then something happens at the very end to cause that initial relationship to end and our protag turns around and is like, “Oh yes, I guess I do love this other person over here”. Even though five seconds ago they were really fighting to keep their previous relationship. Anyway, that DOESN’T end up happening in this book even though I was worried it was going to happen not once, but twice. I ended up really liking how O’Leary navigated all of those relationships. 4/5
Meh. This book was just alright. I enjoyed all of the parts that were Hallmark movie-esque (quaint European village with delicious holiday traditions, meddling younger sister, New York meet cute) but I don’t really think I liked either of the main characters very much? I didn’t feel like they were very consistent throughout the book. Leo especially was just…kind of an odd character. He had an ENORMOUS chip on his shoulder and seemed to go out of his way to be contradictory at times. I can’t say I enjoyed any of his POV chapters really. And then I found Marie just kind of boring. 3/5
While I enjoyed this book, it does fall under the classic romance cliche where one frank conversation between characters would eliminate 90% of the drama. Lucie and Tristan were both interesting characters and again, I really liked the historical backdrop of the women’s suffrage movement. Lucie is not a damsel in distress to be saved and Tristan is clearly no white knight, but they end up working together to further their individual goals. I liked that Dunmore portrayed Lucie and Tristan as equals starting with them both owning 50% of the publishing house. It creates a good dynamic between them I think. Overall, I’m definitely interested in continuing the series ESPECIALLY after learning that book #3 is going to feature Hattie! 4/5
I’m not totally sure why I didn’t love this book, but it wasn’t as enjoyable to me as some of the other romances I’ve been reading lately. I didn’t love either Piper or Kyle to be honest. The flashback chapters to camp life were kind of a drag for me. Obviously I know they were being dumb teenagers (and which of us hasn’t been a dumb teenager at some point?) but I felt like so many of their decisions were just BAD and the consequences were so easily avoidable. I don’t know…I think this book just had too many things going on–elements that by themselves could have worked better. 3.5/5