Reading Roundup | September 2022

pub 8/30/22 by Ballantine Books • Contemporary Literary Fiction • Received from pub for review⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 stars | I went into Carrie Soto with low expectations (especially after my lukewarm feelings toward Malibi Rising) so I was surprised by how much I loved this! I don’t watch sports but tennis is one of the few I can appreciate and Taylor Jenkins Reid does an incredible job of immersing us in this competitive space. Carrie plays an interesting role of being a total rockstar (hello twenty grand slams and girlfriend still wants more!) but an underdog at the same time and I was simply fascinated by all layers that made up her complex personality. Such as, her relationship with her dad which a played a major role in the story and in my enjoyment of the book. But then all the intensity of Carrie’s drive is balanced by the slow-burn romance and steadiness of Bowe Huntley, who proves not only to be a capable tennis partner but more than just a love interest too, and provided a much-needed look into another side of her. This is definitely one of my favorite books of 2022. 

* * *

pub 9/6/22 by Berkley Books • Contemporary Romance • Received from pub for review⭐⭐⭐💫 3.5 stars | I have read all of Denise Williams’ books (minus the novellas) and this was another great addition to her body of work (but admittedly my “least” favorite, although I still liked it!). RJ is a divorce attorney who accidentally starts a side hustle as a wedding officiant and surprisingly enjoys it until she’s forced to start working with Lear, a former pro-football event planner turned wedding planner. It’s your typical enemies-to-lovers trope and while RJ (and I!) had doubts about Lear’s seemingly “dude-bro” personality, his backstory and kindness gets slowly revealed and it’s not long before their initial antagonism makes way to a tentative friendship and then full-on steamy times. What I struggled with was connecting to RJ but even though I couldn’t relate to her, I did empathize with her fears of getting hurt and her moments of vulnerability. But as I said, I still liked the book overall, and at this point Denise Williams is an auto-read author for me. 

* * *

pub 8/30/22 by Ballantine Books • Contemporary Literary Fiction • Received from pub for review⭐⭐💫 2.5 stars | I can’t resist female friendship stories and the premise of this one really tugged at my heart strings. Four best friends — Melissa, Priya, Tara, and Suki — graduated from high school feeling on top of the world and validated by their yearbook superlatives but fast forward twenty-five years and they’re all not where they’d thought they’d be. I liked that these four women were still in touch, flawed, struggling with real-life stuff, and even not always being the greatest friends to one another. But I did feel that a deeper connection to these characters and stories were missing for me as we jumped from each of their perspectives. As much as I enjoyed the premise, the execution overall left me wanting. 


with love,