Publisher: Simon and Schuster


The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren 3 stars

May 13, 2019 Boookluvr Reads, NetGalley, Uncategorized 1

The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren 3 starsThe Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 14, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Women, General
Pages: 416
Format: eARC

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” (Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a romance for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.

Deciding on a rating for The Unhoneymooners was tough. I really enjoyed the first 75% of the book. It was a trope I love (forced proximity), the main characters were endearing and it was lighthearted fun. That’s pretty much everything I could ask for from a romantic comedy.

If you don’t want spoilers you will want to skip what’s left of this review. What happened in the last 25% of this book you may ask? Major gaslighting by the people closest to Olive, the heroine in this book. You see, Olive found out that her new brother-in-law has been cheating on her sister for years from his brother who is the hero in this book. He pressured her not to say anything to her sister and Olive intended to honor that request after convincing herself she might not know everything about their relationship. Olive didn’t one want to embarrass her sister or strain the relationships of those she cared the most about so regardless of all of her misgivings she was going to keep her mouth shut.

Here is where my entire opinion of this book changes. We keep getting glimpses into how Dane (the brother-in-law) has been making comments to everyone about how negative Olive is. He has convinced her twin sister and Ethan that she is always looking for problems even where there are none. I am sure you can see where this is going, but it’s worse than you imagine. Dane is so confidence that nobody will believe Olive that he not only pretends there is no issue, but he propositions Olive. At this point Olive realizes that she has to say something to her Ami (her sister). She tells both Ethan and Ami everything and NEITHER OF THEM BELIEVE HER. I wanted to launch my kindle at the wall.

In the end of course, both Ethan and Ami discover that Dane was in fact a scumbag and apologize profusely but you know what? I DON’T CARE! When I look back on the last couple of years and all of the stories of gaslighting that were in the news I just don’t want it in my romance unless it involves a character that you don’t expect me to see as redeemed. Obviously other readers could feel completely differently, but for me reality is hard enough right now. I don’t want to deal with all of it in the same place I am going to find a guaranteed HEA.

The bottom line is, I wish The Unhoneymooners was a choose your own adventure book where I could pick an alternate ending. If the resolution had been handled differently I think I would have loved it.


Blue Notes – Carrie Lofty – 4 stars

April 29, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent 0

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blue Notes – Carrie Lofty – 4 starsBlue Notes by Carrie Lofty
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2014-05-06
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon

Carrie Lofty brings her “exciting, sensual” (RT Book Reviews ) romantic storytelling to a sizzling new adult novel of a gifted pianist with a troubled past, the enigmatic stranger who unlocks her secrets, and sultry nights of passion in the Big Easy. A piano prodigy on a scholarship to a prestigious New Orleans university, Keeley Chambers is finally striking out on her own after a roving life dictated by her criminal parents. Her soulful, brilliant, fiery improvisations tear through her like a storm but are played for an audience of one: herself. However, sinfully handsome Jude Villars refuses to abandon Keeley to her private world and calls her out on her fear of performing in public. The irreverent, seductive billionaire playboy awakens Keeley to the blissful pleasures of letting go as he tempts her into the spotlight of the city’s hottest clubs. Yet Jude has secrets of his own and pain that no one but Keeley recognizes. Will revealing themselves as they really are be too great a risk? Or will the truth make their tumultuous connection hotter and more irresistible than ever?

BLUE NOTES is Carrie Lofty’s first New Adult romance, and it’s currently on sale for $1.99 in all digital formats through May 5.

I have to admit that when I was approached about this one I jumped on it because I’ve enjoyed her writing as part of Katie Porter.  I haven’t read her on her own yet although I do have some titles they are just buried in my TBR.  I will definitely have to dig them out and move them up on the list because reading this one makes me want more.

We start this book with a bit of a history lesson in the life of Keely Chambers our heroine.  Her history isn’t a pleasant one and it plays a major factor in how this book plays out so seeing the pain is vital to understanding why she does what she does as we get deeper in to the story.  She has an amazing gift for the piano and music but isn’t comfortable on the stage nor is she comfortable with letting anyone really get close to her.  She’s intrigued and oh so out of her comfort zone when an arrogant man pushes her buttons and gets her to do something she never thought she’d like, perform on stage!  As she gets to know this man she finds that love is something she deserves but that it is worth fighting for even if you feel like you aren’t worthy.  She finds her worth not in this relationship but it pushes her to face her fears and really reach for what she deserves not what she’s always thought she deserved.  I loved her strength and ability to see where she was floundering but admittedly got frustrated when she kept her secret for so long.  I understood it but it was a struggle to not yell “Tell him dammit!!” at the Kindle.

Jude…  now he pissed me off at one point and trust me he’ll piss you off as well but there is so much pain behind this man who appears to have the world at his feet.  While he does have the world at his feet he needs someone who will call him on his behavior and push him to have to work for her.  He’s very closed off at the beginning of the story but as he spends more time around Keely he becomes something more than just a wealthy man keeping his only remaining family stable, he becomes a man you can admire for his strength but also one you can admire for letting his walls down to show the wounded soul behind the facade.  I was so pissed at him because of one moment but once we got past that and saw how much he let her in finally I found him delectable.  He’s sexy as hell and everything he does to try to make her comfortable speaks volumes about how much he cared for her even as he was denying it.  There’s something about a man who will move everything to make you happy even when you don’t know what you want/need that is sexy as hell.

Overall there will be moments when you want to slap both of them but the story is powerful in that both main characters truly learned something from one another and really developed the ability to stand on their own but more powerfully learned how to trust one another enough to let the other in.  While they both could’ve stood on their own they really do understand the value of having a partner to weather the storms and rely on but it definitely took time.

Special thanks to Carrie Lofty (actually her partner in crime, Lorelie Brown) for sending me a copy of this with no pressure or expectation of review.  I really enjoyed this and would love to see her roomie and his sister also find love.