Maggie Finds Her Muse by Dee Ernst

Maggie finds her muse
Maggie finds her muse

Thank you to St Martin’s Press for providing a review copy of Maggie Finds Her Muse

I love a good love story, and when I heard about Maggie Finds her Muse, I was excited for two reasons: a) the story is set in Paris and b) it featured an older heroine. I was particularly excited about the older heroine because most of the romance novels I read are about 20 and 30 somethings, and I thought her life experience would lead to a more mature love story.

All Maggie Bliss needs to do is write. Forty-eight years old and newly single (again!), she ventures to Paris in a last-ditch effort to finish her manuscript. With a marvelous apartment at her fingertips and an elegant housekeeper to meet her every need, a finished book—and her dream of finally taking her career over the top—is surely within her grasp. After all, how could she find anything except inspiration in Paris, with its sophistication, food, and romance in the air?

But the clock is running out, and between her charming ex-husband arriving in France for vacation and a handsome Frenchman appearing one morning in her bathtub, Maggie’s previously undisturbed peace goes by the wayside. Charming and heartfelt, Dee Ernst’s Maggie Finds Her Muse is a delightful and feel-good novel about finding love, confidence, and inspiration in all the best places.

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A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

A court of frost and starlight by Sarah j maas
A court of frost and starlight by Sarah j maas

Recently, I decided to buddy read the A Court of Thorns and Roses series with one of my friends – we were both reading this series for the first time, trying to read the original books before A Court of Silver Flames came out (and we made it!). Though I have strong opinions about the rest of this series – A Court of Frost and Starlight stands out for how truly terrible it is.

This book reads like shitty fanfiction. The overall quality of writing is much lower than the rest of the ACOTAR trilogy – this book feels like it was (poorly) ghost written. Aside from the spectacularly bad writing, the plot was just… non-existent. Nothing happens. It’s basically a bad Christmas special – 272 pages of nothing. 

Months after the explosive events in A Court of Wings and Ruin, Feyre, Rhys, and their companions are still busy rebuilding the Night Court and the vastly-changed world beyond. But Winter Solstice is finally near, and with it, a hard-earned reprieve. Yet even the festive atmosphere can’t keep the shadows of the past from looming. As Feyre navigates her first Winter Solstice as High Lady, she finds that those dearest to her have more wounds than she anticipated–scars that will have far-reaching impact on the future of their Court.

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Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon

make up break up by lily menon

Thank you to St Martin’s Griffin for providing a review copy of Make Up Break Up

make up break up by lily menon

As a software engineer, I love finding books that focus on women in STEM – books about career driven women in male dominated fields who are looking for love. What can I say? I love some engineering chops in a leading lady. When I got the opportunity to read Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon, a book about rival app inventors falling in love (enemies to lovers!!), I was thrilled with the concept. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as thrilled with the book itself.

Love, romance, second chances, fairy-tale endings…these are the things Annika Dev believes in. Her app, Make Up, has been called the “Google Translate for failing relationships.”

High efficiency break-ups, flashy start-ups, penthouses, fast cars…these are the things Hudson Craft believes in. His app, Break Up, is known as the “Uber for break-ups.” It’s wildly successful—and anathema to Annika’s life philosophy.

Which wouldn’t be a problem if they’d gone their separate ways after that summer fling in Las Vegas, never to see each other again. Unfortunately for Annika, Hudson’s moving not just into her office building, but into the office right next to hers. And he’ll be competing at the prestigious EPIC investment pitch contest: A contest Annika needs to win if she wants to keep Make Up afloat. As if it’s not bad enough seeing his irritatingly perfect face on magazine covers when her own business is failing. As if knowing he stole her idea and twisted it into something vile—and monumentally more successful—didn’t already make her stomach churn.

As the two rival app developers clash again and again—and again—Annika finds herself drawn into Hudson Craft’s fast-paced, high velocity, utterly shallow world. Only, from up close, he doesn’t seem all that shallow. Could it be that everything she thought about Hudson is completely wrong? Could the creator of Break Up teach her what true love’s really about?

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Mini Review: Mr Malcolm’s List by Suzanne Allain

mr malcolm's list by suzanne allain book cover
mr malcolm's list by suzanne allain book cover

I’m going to keep this review short for one simple reason: Mr Malcolm’s List was one of the worst books I’ve read this year. I went in with low expectations: the reviews were… not great. But I decided to give it a shot because it was a short standalone book, which is not very common in the historical romance genre.

The Honorable Jeremy Malcolm is searching for a wife, but not just any wife. He’s determined to elude the fortune hunters and find a near-perfect woman, one who will meet the qualifications on his well-crafted list. But after years of searching, he’s beginning to despair of finding this paragon. And then Selina Dalton arrives in town…

Selina, a vicar’s daughter of limited means and a stranger to high society, is thrilled when her friend Julia invites her to London.  Until she learns it’s part of a plot to exact revenge on Mr. Malcolm. Selina is reluctant to participate in Julia’s scheme, especially after meeting the irresistible Mr. Malcolm, who seems very different from the arrogant scoundrel of Julia’s description.

But when Mr. Malcolm begins judging Selina against his unattainable standards, Selina decides that she has qualifications of her own. And if he is to meet them he must reveal the real man behind…Mr. Malcolm’s List. 

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A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green

a beautifully foolish endeavor by hank green book cover

a beautifully foolish endeavor by hank green book coverAfter I read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green last year, I was disappointed to find out it wasn’t a standalone book. Even though the first book was not a favorite of mine, I decided to give A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor a shot anyways, mostly to see if the sci-fi world set up in the first book would deliver an interesting ending.

The Carls disappeared the same way they appeared, in an instant. While they were on Earth, they caused confusion and destruction without ever lifting a finger. Well, that’s not exactly true. Part of their maelstrom was the sudden viral fame and untimely death of April May: a young woman who stumbled into Carl’s path, giving them their name, becoming their advocate, and putting herself in the middle of an avalanche of conspiracy theories.

Months later, the world is as confused as ever. Andy has picked up April’s mantle of fame, speaking at conferences and online about the world post-Carl; Maya, ravaged by grief, begins to follow a string of mysteries that she is convinced will lead her to April; and Miranda infiltrates a new scientific operation . . . one that might have repercussions beyond anyone’s comprehension.

As they each get further down their own paths, a series of clues arrive—mysterious books that seem to predict the future and control the actions of their readers; unexplained internet outages; and more—which seem to suggest April may be very much alive. In the midst of the gang’s possible reunion is a growing force, something that wants to capture our consciousness and even control our reality.

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