October 22, 2020

Reviews: Simmer Down + In a Holidaze

pub 10/13/20 by Berkley
Adult - Contemporary Romance
Received e-ARC from pub for review
Who doesn't love a rom-com about food? When I saw that Simmer Down featured a hate-to-love relationship (one of my favorite tropes) between two rival food truck owners and the heroine's was called Tiva's Filipina Kusina, I knew I had to read this. I'll admit, it didn't end up becoming a favorite but it was enjoyable and if anything else, it made me want to order Filipino food for takeout. Or try cooking some dishes myself! Nikki DiMarco quit her dream job to move to Maui to help her mom run a food truck serving up Filipino dishes. They have an established spot on the beach which is threatened when Callum James and his brother arrive and decide to park right next to them. A feud immediately erupts between them and soon they decide the only way to settle it is by entering the Maui Food Festival and whoever wins gets to keep the spot. I would say the set up of the story was great, the food deliciously described, and the mother-daughter dynamic is one I very much understood. However I thought everything else was lacking. The romance was had its swoon-worthy moments but had equally cringeworthy ones. The conflict was a bit contrived and predictable. But most of all, I would've liked to see more individual character, as well as romantic relationship, development to feel more emotionally invested in the story playing out.


Do I recommend?
 If you want something quick to read and enjoy stories involving food, I think this could be fun to borrow from the library. 



pub 10/6/20 by Gallery Books
Adult - Contemporary Romance
Received e-ARC from pub for review
I have a feeling I will be in the minority when I say that I miss Christina Lauren's earlier (and sexier) books. I've thought that after reading each of their last five novels -- In a Holidaze included. Now, don't get me wrong, the books are still fun and enjoyable. In a Holidaze takes place during Christmas, where Maelyn Jones' favorite holiday tradition is basically imploding on itself and she keeps having to relive it. (Think Groundhogs's Day.) Her family, along with the other families she's grown up with, have been gathering together for Christmas at a cabin in Utah her entire life and now this may be their last year celebrating there. As they go their separate ways, Mae makes a wish to the universe to show her what will make her happy. The next thing she knows, she wakes up and she's on an airplane bound for Utah again, where she begins the same holiday all over again. As she tries to change things for a better outcome, every new disaster sends her back to the beginning and she has to figure out how to break free of this time loop (which, of course, involves finding true love). I wasn't a huge fan of the time loop concept and that could very well be because real life these days feels like an endless cycle so it didn't resonate with me. I do love reading about holiday traditions and the romance portrayed was sweet. But I found myself just wanting more from the characters, the relationships, and the dynamics between the different families. It was missing something for me. 


Do I recommend?
If you're in the mood for just a light romance and you love holiday settings, I'd check this out. 



Post a Comment

Latest Instagrams

© Hello, Chelly. Design by FCD.