Time for another round of Yvonne’s Shorties! Since I have a huge pile of backlog reviews of the books I read during my break, I will be featuring an extra book in my shorties posts until I’ve caught up. This time around three romance reads; one I enjoyed, but the other two sadly didn’t work as well.
“Don’t ignore the problems,” he says. “Learn from them. But also, don’t knock what you get right. Every success deserves a celebration.”
This was one of my final pending titles to complete the BTB Bingo challenge last year… I don’t think that I’ve read many stories with a non-binary main character before, and in this way I Wish You All The Best is a very important read as it helps outsiders understand better what it’s like being a person identifying as non-binary. I could really appreciate this aspect and I understand why it has received much praise. BUT. I also have to say that as far as the actual plot goes, I found the story to be rather bland and not all that original? I mean, nothing much is happening besides the focus on the aftermath of Ben’s parents kicking them out… While important, I think more fleshing out of the plot and adding more layers would have helped make this story stand out more. I also have to confess that I liked Nathan much better as a character than Ben, and I felt that most of the characters were a bit one-dimensional and lacked fleshing out beyond their basic features. I’m not saying it’s a bad read and the non-binary focus is excellent, but somehow I expected to find a more complex story as the story as it is felt rather basic YA beyond the queer representation.
“Bree, hope is healthy. Even if you prepare yourself for the worst in life, it will never make the fall hurt less.”
I love the way Sarah Adams writes her romance stories and I’ve been looking forward to read this stand-alone ever since I first heard about it. I like my romance on the sweet side without too much sexy time, and that definitely seems to be her style… The Cheat Sheet once again confirms this. If you like your romance with a healthy dose of steamy scenes, you should definitely look elsewhere! But if you want something sweet and uplifting about two best friends who don’t seem to realize they are both in love with each other, The Cheat Sheet will be a great match for you. True, there are quite a few cliches involved including the extremely handsome male lead and the fact that it is SO obvious they have been in love for forever. True, things could get a little frustating especially when Bree refuses to see that Nathan really does want to be with her in that way even if he keeps giving clear hints. True, the whole fake-dating trope could have been developed more, as this was the most interesting part of the plot in the first place. BUT. Somehow I personally didn’t care too much, as I was having a great time getting to know both Nathan and Bree better. I liked the banter too, and Nathan’s team mates were a great addition… The way things wrapped up did feel a bit rushed, but it does make for that perfect feel good ending even if it’s way cheesy.
Title: Charlee And The Chocolate Shop
(Whitsborough Bay #5)
Author: Jessica Redland
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: October 1st 2017
Publisher: Little Bear Books
Finished reading: December 14th 2021
“We may not have had blood ties but Jodie was as close to me – if not closer – than a sister could be.”
I’ve been meaning to try this author for a while now, and I thought picking one of her Christmas themed reads would be the perfect excuse to finally do so. I fully expected to have a great time with this story, but sadly Charlee And The Chocolate Shop ended up being a total dud for me and I kind of wish I just DNFed it. Why? Well, first of all, this is by no means the fun and uplifting Christmassy story I thought it was going to be. Instead, it was rather frustrating and depressing most of the time, only to change to over the top cheesy and not credible nearing the end. To make things worse? It has a HUGE focus on the cheating angle, which is extremely obvious for a long time but of course the main character is clueless. Blegh. I liked the idea of the chocolate shop and Whitsborough sounds wonderful during Christmas time. Sadly, the characters didn’t do it for me and I didn’t feel the romance at all (especially with such a big change in the whole situation in such a short time). I was also strangely annoyed by the whole ‘last year’ during more than half of the story; why not skip that and add a ‘one year later’ notice only once instead of the constant repetition?! All in all this wasn’t the pleasant first experience with her work I was hoping it to be… I might give her books another go, but I guess that would be a final chance after this disappointment.