Soccer, romance, and plot twists
Hello! I’m happy to report that it was 61 degrees this morning when I went to work my crossing guard shift. Will it still be in the 80s for the afternoons for a while? Yes, of course. This is Houston after all. But a cool morning does wonders when it feels like summer is eternal.
My reading has been in a different kind of rhythm this past month. Partly because I have allowed myself to be sucked into a rewatch of ER. Partly because I’ve been doing something I haven’t done since I was in high school and that’s read multiple books at once. I occasionally will have one audiobook and one print/e-book, or even more occasionally one fiction and one non-fiction going at the same time. But I’ve found in recent years that if I try to do more than that, I just can’t get any momentum into anything I’m reading, even if I’m enjoying it. Do you read multiple books at once, or are you a one-at-a-time reader?
I know many of you have already read my first novel You Again, and first, thank you from the bottom of my heart, truly. If you haven’t read it, here’s a good chance to tell you the e-book is discounted to $2.99 in celebration of the upcoming new release. You can get it here! And if you have read it, would you consider leaving a review? Reviews are one of the best and easiest ways you can support authors. Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble…wherever! Thank you, friends!
All right! Now on to some reviews…
The Merchant and the Rogue by Sarah Eden. I always feel a little silly when I post here about series books like this one. It feels almost redundant– “hey! This one was good too!” –even if that’s true. That said, it’s worth mentioning that one thing I particularly enjoy about this historical romance series, is the way the author intersperses the penny dreadful stories with the main story. It’s a really charming touch. If you enjoy sweet historical romances with well-written female characters, I think you’ll enjoy Sarah Eden’s books.
Britt-Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman. It’s not a surprise, but I loved Britt-Marie Was Here. To be honest, I almost gave up on it early on, because I just kept wanting to give Britt-Marie a loving smack upside the head, but I’m glad ultimately that I stuck with it. The town, the kids, Someone, and Britt-Marie really grew on me, and I was cheering for them like they cheered for their favorite soccer team. Like all of Mr. Backman’s novels, this one doesn’t shy away from life’s struggles and sadness, but it’s also infused with hope and goodness. Plus, I really, really liked the ending.
The Heart of the Deal by Lindsay Macmillan. I picked up The Heart of the Deal expecting a rom-com, but it was really more of a mid-twenties coming of age story, reminiscent of books by Jojo Moyes or Helen Fielding, delving into the main characters romantic life, yes, but also her work, friendships, family, dreams, and goals. I love how the author grounded the story so solidly in the New York City setting. Being in a relationship with a person with depression figures heavily into the story, and the author really makes the reader think. Although I’m not convinced Ms. Macmillan stuck the landing with the depression storyline, I do appreciate her effort. She didn’t present it as a black and white or paint by numbers situation, which is pretty realistic, if frustrating to read about at times. Overall, though, I thought it was really well done, and I especially liked the ending.
Who is Maud Dixon by Alexandra Andrews. This book was so good and absolutely bonkers. It starts out like a pretty standard contemporary novel about a young aspiring writer working in the publishing industry and turns into a subtle psychological thriller (but not too dark), with an unreliable narrator. The book is about a year old, but if you decide to read it, I recommend knowing as little as possible first. (Also, I listened to this one on audio, and it was really good).
She-Hulk (Disney+) Jeremy and I have really been enjoying what is to me essentially a funny, tongue-in-cheek workplace comedy that happens to be about someone with superpowers (because Jennifer doesn’t want to be called a superhero). It’s really well done with nice guest stars and little nods to the bigger Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it stands nicely on its own.
That’s it for this month! I’ll see you in a couple of weeks for a new author interview. Be well!