Reviews: Part of Your World + Birds of California

pub 4/19/22 by Forever • Adult Contemporary Romance • Received from pub for review⭐⭐⭐💫  3.5 stars | I'm in the minority when I say that I liked Part of Your World but it's my least favorite Abby Jimenez book to date (for the record, The Happy Ever Playlist is still my #1). It was still wildly readable and easy to immerse myself in the romance between Alexis and Daniel. She has an unforgettable (supposedly one) night with him, a gorgeous, down-to-earth, small-town carpenter who's ten years her junior and her complete opposite. She's a city girl who's bearing the weight of her wealthy parents' pressure to be a surgeon instead of a "simple" ER doctor. But, of course, they can't stay away from each other and in the comfort of his small town (with its tight-knit community), they start falling in love (this was the best part!). But I felt like the conflicts that Alexis faced (ie. her family and a crazy ex) didn't work for me. Her parents felt either flat or villainous, for lack of a better word. I just didn't understand them and you know, there probably are people like that in real life but I struggled with it. Same goes for the other conflict with her ex. I even struggled a bit with Alexis herself. Again, I just couldn't imagine my career or my feelings on it being swayed by my parents' opinions (side note: my entire family to this day does not understand what I do). But even though this book ultimately wasn't a favorite, I still liked it and I can see why other people loved it. A lot of my personal feelings certainly played a role in how reacted to the book overall so if you're interested, I think it's worth borrowing from the library.  

pub 4/26/22 by Harper Perennial • Adult Contemporary Romance • Received from pub for review⭐⭐⭐💫  3.5 stars |  If you're a long-time follower of my blog, you know how much I love Katie Cotugno so I was really excited to read her first romance novel under her name (she has 3 under the pen name Ruby McNally). Former child star Fiona St. James had a very well-publicized downward spiral before dropping out of the spotlight completely and now, she's living a much more private and low-key lifestyle. On the other hand, Sam Fox, who played her older brother on their popular sitcom, Birds of California, has been living exactly the kind of life of you'd expect from a Hollywood actor. But with his career taking a dip, he signs on for a revival of their old show and he needs to convince Fiona to get on board. She surprisingly agrees to have lunch with him and both are even more surprised to find that the old sparks between them are very much still there. (We all know where this is going.) But while I enjoyed seeing their romance unfold and my heart ached for the hints to Fiona's past and the reason for her self-destructive behavior, a lot of the story felt very surface level. I wanted more from Sam, from Fiona, from their past and present, and just everything. Up until the last few chapters, I kept waiting for that big moment and it ultimately came way too late. And while the resolution was what I wanted, it wasn't given nearly enough time or the attention it deserved. So unfortunately, this was another case of liking but not loving a book from one of my favorite authors. But I'm still excited for Katie Cotugno's step into the "adult" romance space and I'm looking forward to seeing what she does next. 


with love,