Starter Wife (Jilted Wives Club #1) by Bethany Lopez

Disclosure: All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 26 April 2021
Type: series, standalone, HEA
Genre: Contemporary Romantic, Late in Life Fiction, Second Chances
Author: Bethany Lopez
Read: 28 June 2021
Shelved: 30 June 201
Rating: 4/ 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here:
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Synopsis

When life gives you lemons, make a Lemontini…

Divorced and jobless at forty-something, Whitney never thought she’d be starting over. But here she is. Single and (not so) ready to mingle – with anyone except him.

Luca leads a charmed life. He’s got the perfect job, the support of a big Italian family, and a bevy of women eager to grant his mother’s wish for grandchildren… except the woman he really wants.

Now that Whitney’s Starter Wife days are over, Luca is determined to convince her to give him a shot.

Too bad the only shot Whitney’s sure of right now is the Lemontini.

Start the Jilted Wives Club series today!



Review

Whitney Spaulding is a recently divorced woman who is trying to start over. She ended up in a support group for divorced women but found it too stifling. Instead, she bumps into two other women in the same situation as her – trying to move on and finding their “one” or the “one-right-now.” Whitney and her friends later form the Jilted Wives Club and support each other as this series starts. 

Luca Russo is a young man who caught sight of Whitney as a bar as he was with co-workers and approached her to introduce himself. Whitney shot him down. The scene was cute since it did not feel like a “no” but more as a “not now,” so I believed that Luca knew deep down that he would see her again.

Starter Wife is not my first time reading this author’s works. I love this author’s books – random in genre, topics, and characters. The book is easy to read and relatable to second chance genre readers. The POV is from Whitney and Luca’s. The two main characters balanced each other well, but Whitneys and Luca’s friends and family provided stability for these main characters to fall and support them as they try their best to sort out their relationship.

Luca’s been with women, but nothing serious came about from them. No one good enough to be brought to meet his parents until Whitney came into his life – complicating it but in a fun and new way. He saw something in Whitney that was different from the rest of the women he knows.

I love Whitney a lot. She is a brave character, willing (or unconsciously) to leap with Luca when his persistence paid off. She looks composed and “put-together” outside, but there was so much brewing inside her. There were many unanswered questions on what happened to her failed marriage, and it was until the very end when things imploded when “giant leaps” were happening between her and Luca that she had to face truths and confessions that she tried her best to avoid.

Bottom line, I love rational yet sometimes flawed characters in Starter Wife. The author demonstrated the growth and maturity of two unlikely people that would become a couple successfully. This book is so easy to love, and I indeed fell for it “hook-line-and-sinker” to want to continue with the series. Readers will appreciate the easy flow of the story, including the conflict that will leave readers in a happy state of mind in the end.

“Being a starter wife, which the Urban Dictionary defined as the woman a man marries while in training for his trade, who is there for him, has his children, runs his home and contributes in every way while his career is being establishes, and then when he has made it career-wise, he ditches her for a younger version who coos over and worships him…”

— Starter Wife (Jilted Wives Club #1), Bethany Lopez

About the Author

Bethany Lopez is a USA Today Bestselling author of more than thirty books and has been published since 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance, which she incorporates into the books she writes, no matter the genre.
When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with family and traveling whenever possible.
Bethany can usually be found with a cup of coffee or glass of wine at hand, and will never turn down a cupcake!

Connect with Bethany
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Give Love a Chai (Common Threads #2) by Nanxi Wen

Disclosure: All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 18 March 2021
Published by: Smartypants Romance
Type: HEA, series, standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy, Second Chances, Angst Romance
Author: Nanxi Wen
Read: 26 June 2021
Shelved: 28 June 2021
Rating: 5/ 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Audible | Google Play | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

Tia Wang’s Wedding Planning To-Do List:

1. Find the perfect dress
2. Win her future mother-in-law’s approval
3. Divorce her not-so-ex husband, Andrew Parker

When she fell in love and married her childhood best friend on a whim in Vegas, Tia innocently thought love conquered all. Turns out, that was a crushing lie. Her world shattered as she and Andrew were torn apart by secrets and mistakes. Ten years later, Tia has left the pain behind and carved out a new life with Mr. Perfect. The only thing standing between her and happily ever after? A divorce from Andrew.

It should have been easy for Andrew to sign his name on the dotted line. Independent, prickly, and always in control, Andrew has done everything to escape his past. But seeing Tia on his doorstep after all these years? He can’t help wondering what might have been. Andrew has never forgotten Tia and vows to fight for their relationship this time around. If he has to hold those divorce papers hostage to get his second chance, he will. Feelings resurface, stronger and more complex than ever. But Tia and Andrew have more than Mr. Perfect between them. Can they overcome past mistakes to forge a future together, or will new threats ruin their second chance at forever?

Give Love a Chai is a full-length contemporary romance, and can be read as a standalone. Book #2 in the Common Threads series, Seduction in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Start the series today here.


Review

Tia “Ting” Wang is a professor in Boston who made the mistake of taking on something that she has asked her lawyer to do…to have her should-be ex-husband sign their divorce papers. What happens next snowballs into a series of coincidences, unexpected visits, and later, an “experiment,” she dared not decline with her still-husband.

Andrew Parker is the in-house lawyer for Cipher Securities. He recently got the surprise of his life when his supposed ex-wife came knocking to his home to have him sign divorce papers due to a filing error…ten years ago.

This wasn’t light, casual talk between friends. This wasn’t lust-filled encounters. this was serious, heart-opening, and aching intimate. We had crossed a fork in our relationship, and I couldn’t see the endpoint.

— Give Love a Chai, Nanxi Wen

Give Love a Chai is written from Tia and Andrew’s POV. The writing is bold, unapologetic, and relatable to couples who have a lot of history between them and is trying to fix things. 

For readers who love their angst and gut-wrenching drama, Give Love a Chai is a book for you. The story is a 180-degree from its predecessor, Mad From Ewe (Book 1). It is important to note that readers do not need to read Book 1 to understand this book since each book is a standalone, BUT why not start with the series after this book, right? Each of the characters is linked through mutual connections to the other characters in the series. Still, Tia and Andrew are unique in their love story that adds depth to the new series, all about second chances and revelations. 

Tia and Andrew have many hang-ups as each of their pasts – lined with surprises, disappointments, and more revelations that one person could take alone. I did not realize that there is more to the book than just the issues between Andrew and Tia. The story leads to more complicated and darker secrets that will spill over the already tumultuous yet slowly healing relationship between the two main characters. So, beyond a fractured marriage past, readers can expect a lot more suspense, scandal, and drama coming nearing the end of the book that will surely surprise and shock, especially when everything implodes.

I thought Tia and her background might have more drama to the story, but it was Andrew and his complex backstory that somehow shaped the book. His problems pushed Tia to fight for them in the end. She is the strong protagonist that readers will love and cheer for in the end. She becomes this brave avenger for Andrew and herself.

I was back to being just a girl, standing in front of the boy that I liked.
Extremely, extremely liked.

— Give Love a Chai, Nanxi Wen

Andrew surprised me big time. I love it! It might blindsight readers, as seeing Andrew’s persona may start as a romantic one then later adds suspense and mystery in the latter chapters. I thought that after Tia and Andrew sort things out, things would be fine. Without realizing that bigger things were going on and just when readers think that issues between him and Tia were with his life – too many dangerous dealings and scandals looming. 

I love books that have dynamic character development. Tia may have grown as the story started, but she became more mature and “rational” as she found Andrew again. She started to find her inner voice and confidence to start living her life as she wanted bravely and without fear.

As an Asian reader, I appreciate the author including Mandarin in her dialogue with her parents. The author held to Tia’s cultural background by giving an honest and truthful peek of the challenges “helicopter parents” like what Tia has faced every day.

To summarize everything, Give Love a Chai is a prize read about the road to redemption for two flawed and broken individuals whose connections seem to span and grow even though time and distance. This book will bring in all the feels and angst that the story will pull out of readers on one side of the story, while another side brings out the suspense and danger that came with Tia and Andrew’s reunion.

Physical intimacy isn’t a replacement for trust in a relationship.

— Give Love a Chai, Nanxi Wen

About the Author

Nanxi Wen thought she was going to write the greatest historical novel. Turns out, her characters decided that they want to be in the 21st century with modern plumbing, online shopping, and reality TV shows. Her first book comes out in February 2021 – Give Love a Chai. 

She lives in New England with her husband and two clingy monkeys (aka toddlers). When she is not despairing over word count, she enjoys reading, snacking, drinking coffee, sitting by the fireplace, hanging out with friends (far apart and with masks) and daydreaming. 

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Mad About Ewe (Common Threads Book #1) by Susannah Nix

Disclosure: All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 18 May 2021
Published by: Smartypants Romance
Type: HEA, series, standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Second Chances, Sweet Romance
Author: Susannah Nix
Read: 23 June 2021
Shelved: 24 June 2021
Rating: 5/ 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Audible | Google Play | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

Dawn Botstein is doing just fine after her divorce, thank you very much.

She’s got her yarn store to run, her house to herself for the first time in her life, and no use for men anymore. That is until the hottie silver fox who walks into her store turns out to be her old high school crush—the guy who rejected her 30 years ago.

No way is she going to lose her head over him this time, no matter how well he wears that salt-and-pepper lumberjack beard. Okay, so he’s the opposite of her ex in every way, and his attention gives her a thrill she thought she’d never feel again. She’s not risking her heart again.

Mike Pilota is having a mid-life crisis.

Only instead of buying a red sports car he can’t afford and dressing like a 25-year-old who’s time-traveled from the 1990s, he quit his job after his second divorce to move closer to his recently widowed mother.

He didn’t expect to run into Dawn again, but as soon as he lays eyes on her he’s utterly smitten. So he sets out to make up for past mistakes and prove he can be the kind of man she deserves.

But is it too late for second chances? Or will these two lonely hearts find a way back to each other?

Mad About Ewe is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #1 in the Common Threads series, Seduction in the City World, Penny Reid Book Universe.

Start the series today here.


Review

Mad About Ewe is about two divorcees, Dawn Czworniak and Mike Pilota. Both characters have their flaws but also their positives. I liked how perfect they sound individually on the outside but struggled to find their rhythm, individually, as friends, then later as a couple.

Mike moved back home to help his mother after his father’s passing but struggled to find purpose again after disappointing relationships. Another is managing a thriving business but unexpectedly has a snag in her life.

After her marriage fizzled out and going through a bit of empty-nest, Dawn learned to find her passion by looking after herself and starting a knitting shop in their small community. It kept her busy and meeting new people.

Both characters were friends from way back and found a way to reconnect again with each other through Dawn’s knitting story. What happens next is a series of internal reflections, second chance moments, and a great message to readers as we dive into both their POVs as the story is told.

Behind Mike and Dawn’s cute reunion and lovely reconnection, they also had many issues (some surprising) that they each have to sort out. They both had to work on these things as a couple, as individuals. The issues are varied from various spectrums:- fertility vs. empty-nest, job dissatisfaction vs. thriving business, health vs. death, etc. It may sound overwhelming, but everything got tied in well. 

One note is that I wish there was a resolution to Mike’s family side of things mentioned and discussed at the start of the book. It’s from here that they both got to meet up again. I feel bad that it was not mentioned how Mike (and Dawn) solved that issue in the book, but I suppose it worked out well since there was nothing terrible mentioned.

I want to point out that the author discussed woman’s health in the book. This topic is an important one, and I was glad to explore this deeper. The author did enough research on the topic and provided a resolution. Dawn goes through something with the help of a great doctor during a routine check-up, and they all handled it well. Dawn was always the caretaker before her divorce, but she had to learn to accept help and control others with her new predicament. She has a great support system behind her – family and friends who helped her heal. I enjoyed learning more about what she went through and about her issue.

In summary, I feel that Mad About Ewe will pull out all the emotional feelings and inspire readers to believe that second chances are real – no matter what age. We are all capable of change when we start accepting and doing something about it. I love how both characters matured from teenage mishaps/decisions to adult lessons. The main point is that we always keep learning. It also brings women’s health to the forefront, even if it was a light one – it’s an important reminder. Thank you to the author for this!

It had taken me thirty years to figure it out – that’s how dense I was. But at least I’d gotten here eventually. I knew what I wanted.

— Mad About Ewe, Susannah Nix

About the Author

Susannah Nix is an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romances featuring smart women and swoony men, including the Chemistry Lessons series of romcoms about women who work in STEM fields and the Starstruck series of movie star romances. 

Susannah resides in Texas with her husband, two ornery cats, and a flatulent pit bull. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, knitting, and watching British mysteries on TV. She is also a powerlifter who can deadlift as much as Captain America weighs.

Join Susannah’s mailing list for the latest updates and exclusive bonus content: susannahnix.com/newsletter 

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The Next Mrs. Russo by Jana Aston

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published by‏ : ‎ Rutherford Press
Published Date:
22 June 2021
Genre:
Satire Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit.
Type: HEA, standalone
Author: Jana Aston
Read: 18 June 2021
Shelved: 21 June 2021
Rating: 4/ 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

I was not looking for a date.
Another questionable relationship was the last thing I needed.
Because trust me, they were all questionable.

But through a series of unfortunate events involving my cat and
his poor decision-making skills, I agreed to a set-up.

Except… the set-up is with the governor.

I am not political girlfriend material.
For one, I’m a little bit crazy.
For two, I have secrets.

But I also have a big crush on the governor.
One little date can’t hurt, right?
Spoiler: it can.

My big crush is going to end in big trouble.


Review

Audrey Gibson has just started her fashion business of upcycled fashion in Albany. Yes, you heard it right – a rural town in New York. She moved to Albany due to family and stayed on to run a business and keep to herself. She has a cute yet feisty tabby cat named, Gary – who keeps her busy by bringing home mice and chipmunks. So who knew that an unlikely customer would have her end up matched to the governor of New York!

Coming into the book, I chose not to read the blurb and dived right into it. I know I liked the author’s past works, so this should be a “no brainer.” But, I forgot that it had been years since my last encounter with the author, so maybe the writing style and topics would have been different. This book is slightly different from her past due to the writing style and the banter coming from the main character’s head. At the start, the story’s pace was slow. It took a bit of “push” to get through to the fifth chapter (out of thirty-two chapters), and by chapter ten, it was smooth sailing.

The book is told mainly from Audrey’s POV, first-person. The writing is easy to relate, and clear, though fickle as what the author wants. I had trouble staying in Audrey’s head since there is so much self-doubt, defeatism, and sometimes “crazy moments” that I wanted to shake her and tell her that it is all good and well. But alas, it is not possible, so I just kept going. Nonetheless, being an open-minded reader, I advise readers to keep going – it will all be worth it in the end. I like how she developed slowly in the story as she gets more confident in carrying whatever she has with Warren.

As one reads through the story, readers will discover that Audrey’s character is not as plain or straightforward as they come. She is hiding something or, instead, is running away from a past of bad decisions. After learning about this, the more I understood Audrey. She may be a “crazy cat lady” (too young at below thirty), but she got a lot of heart and was willing to do everything for Warren. The ending I found hilarious – not how I saw the gravity of the situation from Audrey’s eyes. It was funny to a fault and would have saved her a lot of stress, but I enjoyed how everything “fell into place.”

I love the supporting casts of Gary, the cat, Duke, the dog, and Miller, Audrey’s employee/not-employee. They brought about the kooky side of Audrey and returned her from her “crazy moments” that are sometimes epic! There were so many memorable moments that these characters that readers love. I kept going, if not for these fantastic characters.

In summary, who would I recommend this book to?
Single Dad, slow burn, political romance, fake relationship, rom-com, forced proximity, fake relationships, second chances, and pets, namely cats and dog, fans – that’s who!
I love how the author molded Audrey to became a lovable character while simultaneously shaking my head with laughter when she goes into a tangent to the conversations all at the same time. Audrey develops well into the book as she tries her hardest to grow and mature into a relationship-worthy woman. She succeeds in the end, but how it all came about is the best part versus just how the story ends. This book turned out to be a great read that turned lighter than expected and made me hopeful in general about life.

The quote below sums up everything…

It’s a reminder that sometimes your worst moments can lead to opportunities you never expected. And that starting over can lead you to something even better.

— The Next Mrs. Russo, Jana Aston

About the Author

Jana Aston likes cats, big coffee cups and books about billionaires who deflower virgins. She wrote her debut novel while fielding customer service calls about electrical bills, and she’s ever grateful for the fictional gynecologist in Wrong that readers embraced so much she was able to make working in her pajamas a reality. Jana is the author of 4 books, and all of them have appeared on either the NYT or USA Today bestsellers list, some multiple times. She likes multiples.
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Life’s Too Short (The Friend Zone #3) by Abby Jimenez

Disclosure: All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 20 April 2021
Published by: Piatkus 
Type: HEA, standalone, series
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Holiday Romance
Author: Abby Jimenez
Read: 22 June 2021
Shelved: 22 June 2021
Rating: 5 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon | Kobo | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

A brilliant and touching romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist.

When Vanessa Price quit her job to pursue her dream of traveling the globe, she wasn’t expecting to gain millions of YouTube followers who shared her joy of seizing every moment. For her, living each day to its fullest isn’t just a motto. Her mother and sister never saw the age of 30, and Vanessa doesn’t want to take anything for granted.

But after her half-sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her baby daughter, life goes from ‘daily adventure’ to ‘hourly nappy change’. The last person Vanessa expects to show up offering help is the hot lawyer next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. No one warned her that he was the Secret Baby Tamer or that she’d be spending a whole lot of time with him and his geriatric Chihuahua.

Now she’s feeling things she’s vowed not to feel. Because the only thing worse than falling for Adrian is finding a little hope for a future she may never see.


Review

As I try my best to curb my excitement each time I get a hold of this author’s work, I was also preparing myself to be sucked into the world of Vanessa and Adrian (Vandrian or Adnessa) – Jimenez’s style! 

FYI – I love and have reviewed all the books in the series here.

Vanessa Price is a travel vlogger/Youtuber sensation whose life unexpectedly turned upside down. Her sister dropped her baby, Grace, off with her and never returned, plus her health issues. These unexpected events have massively changed her life, with her challenging her creativity in continuing her vlog and finding new content with her new life status.

Adrian Copeland is a handsome lawyer recovering from a bad (if not traumatic) breakup and is surviving a strained family relationship. He is a workaholic, but somehow, in trying to make him feel better, Adrian ended up fostering a rescue dog. 

I did not expect the book to be a heart-wrenching story about life expectancies, hard choices, and poop from babies and a rescued dog. Somewhere along, being featured in Vanessa’s popular video and helping Adrian be spontaneous (and dig a lot of sh*t) in the book, many confessions, revelations, understanding, and acceptance happen between the two main characters. They seem to click together well and support as need.

Things I love about the book:-

Delicious food and relevant art

I enjoyed the foodscape and art discussed in the book. These things were the common denominator that started their path into a relationship. Food does work wonders in having strangers relax and start a conversation, but what I was not expecting was Vanessa’s art collection as Adrian discovered a small yet impressive collection full of beautiful stories and experiences accompanied by it. I had to google a few to check if it’s true or not. I have not yet found the answer to Vanessa’s art collection, but she has one of my favorite artists in her collection. I was elated that this artist is written into the book also. (FYI – I was too happy that I stopped and re-read that section, again and again, and Googled the particular artwork to find it.) 

Rescued dogs and babies

How adorable could the story not be with two of the most potent and most eye-catching topics but babies and dogs? Note that the author’s rescue dog’s passion seeps into the pages and the rescued dog, Harry Puppins, by having the cutest yet grumpiest mature dog. His antics in the story were passive-aggressive, and he was very vocal about his disapproval of certain things. Adrian might have some apprehension about taking Harry in, but it turned out so well because Vanessa loves Harry and babysits him when needed. 

Vanessa’s sister’s baby or Vanessa’s niece is an angel – most of the time. It might be harder to believe that a newborn is easy to take care of, especially to a first-time parent like Vanessa, but maybe Vanessa took care of other siblings in the past to be relaxed and calm about it. The book’s first few chapters are a realistic look at the usual experiences of having a baby, aside from sleep deprivation. It was nice that Vanessa did have the help, in the end, to keep her (and everyone in the building) sane. Aside from Adrian, she did have a few other neighbors who were willing to help her.

Love and Losses

Vanessa and Adrian are complicated characters. Their first impression of each other wasn’t the best, and there wasn’t any “insta-love” or “insta-attraction” going on. However, what happens is a more powerful one – a budding relationship forged on support, respect, and friendship. Their “push-pull attraction” grew slowly and surely like a small wick in a candle as the days went by. They were the support system of their family and later of each other. Everything was perfect – until it wasn’t. There were issues that they avoided and brushed aside that imploded 3/4th of the book. I was crushed. So crushed that I cried my eyes red out, meaning ugly cried with nose dripping action. I was not ready for what happened, and the book spanned months before anything got sorted out. You might think that it was all a character’s fault that it all happened, but nope – both of them were at fault. One too controlling while another too proud. Both are afraid to realize how much their relationship means by then. One has too much pride to take action versus the other. It was good that someone did something about it nearing the end; otherwise, it would have been a tragic story. I have to thank social media since that helped that particular character “save the day.”

Supportive yet also flawed family and friends 

Aside from focusing on the attraction between Vanessa and Adrian, the author also helped the other supporting characters get their act together. It was a big feat to “help” them all in one book, but she did it all successfully! The clincher – the book did not feel rushed or haphazardly written. Each character had their stuff referred to the proper professionals for handling.

Most memorable supporting character: Becky, Adrian’s secretary, who was able to guide Adrian in the world of social media and more. Her fascination with daily horoscopes and a particular Youtube travel vlogger’s series are endearing traits.

Rockin’ chapter titles and TV sitcom references

The author’s signature style of giving catchy and hilarious chapter titles is still present but longer than song titles. The chapter titles were relatable for social media postings that give a good feel of coming to that particular chapter. These titles are clickbait-like to throw readers off an unexpected outcome or make one laugh their heads off. I love how big and bold they were!


All I can say, go, run and get this book! I gobbled this book within the day and was eager for more, even when the last word came. I don’t know how the author does it, but she writes with her heart and makes you fall in love with all the characters in the book – even the cheating partners. Mind you – generally, I wouldn’t say I like characters like that – ever(!) – unless it’s from this author’s world that she weaves them into very misunderstood characters. Who does that?!? Only this author!

Life’s Too Short is a great pick-me-up after a bad day because others are worsted of me. The writing is catchy, relatable, and balanced. There are comedic parts and sad, serious parts all rolled into thirty-two chapters.

Note that there is so much deep stuff going on in this book – illness, compulsion, mental health, etc. that will make readers think and reevaluate life. There are no right or wrong choices, only how one sees, reacts, and takes action to the information given. I like that by taking charge of one’s life, there won’t be regrets in the end.

I love the themes and lessons of the book – a lot! It reminds us all to live one day at a time. Vanessa is an inspiring character in the whole book – flaws and all. She makes me want to see moments and opportunities and seize them all! The book reminds me to bring this back into the forefront of my priority – family, kids, as everyone makes the best out of everything every day.

I cannot wait to see what’s next in the series, and so far, it has not disappointed me.


About the Author

Abby Jimenez is a Food Network winner and USA Today best selling author with her hit debut novel The Friend Zone. She founded Nadia Cakes out of her home kitchen back in 2007. The bakery has since gone on to win numerous Food Network competitions and has amassed an international cult following. Abby’s wry literary wit was spotlighted as the admin behind the hilarious viral comments on the now famous Nadia Cakes Vageode ® cake.

Abby loves a good romance, coffee, doglets, and not leaving the house. 

Connect with Abby
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Gray Hair, Don’t Care (Never Too Late Series 1) by Karen Booth

Disclosure: All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 08 February 2021
Type: HEA, standalone, series
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Karen Booth
Read: 16 June 2021
Shelved: 17 June 2021
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Amazon US | UK | CA | AU
Kobo | Apple Books | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

Everything went wrong. And then she went gray.

At 47, newly divorced makeup artist Lela Bennett is dreading her next steps. Dating. Meeting people. Not letting herself go. But then she runs into Donovan James and tries something different—sleeping with her sexy crush from college. Unfortunately, in a post-orgasm stupor, Lela confesses she was in love with Donovan all those years ago. He responds by leaving while she sleeps. The next morning, her gray hairs are practically taunting her. She knows she has to get it together. Forget men. Embrace her age. Own her gray.

Donovan James is a marketing genius, but his ex-wives will tell you—nothing freaks him out like feelings. Three years after his one-night stand with Lela, he’s focused on his daughter’s lifestyle company, but unprepared to meet the face of their new beauty brand. It’s Lela. With stunning silver locks and new confidence, she’s no longer swayed by his charms. When business starts booming, the universe seems intent on throwing them together time and again. And suddenly, two people convinced that romance was behind them are wondering if love could be what’s next.


Review

Lela Bennett is a forty-seven-year-old, newly divorced woman ready to take on the world! So it is funny that just when she promises to step back from “relationships,” a persistent, fated man from her past comes jumps back into her life, causing more confusion and temptation to break her promise.

The story is told from Lela and Donavan’s POV and gives outstanding balance to exciting and well-written characters. Writing is good and easy to relate to. I love the “Back to the 80s” feel and revisits on music that bonded the characters from the beginning. 

After finishing the book, here are a few keywords that popped into my head to describe the book:-

Empowering

The book’s resounding message is being brave and coming back with a bang! I am a sucker for growth and people empowerment books – and this book is it! 

I love how Lela uses her unfortunate or stressful situations and uses her inner strength to push her further professionally. For example, she decided early on to set aside serious relationships (aside from really close friends) after giving her time and effort to please another partner. This move may be the best thing she did because the snowball effect of this determination catapulted her to succeed beyond her wildest imagination and brought her right smack to a chance to fix her past.

Not only did Lela and Donovan grow and mature beautifully in the book, but so did all the other supporting casts that became a lot better because of Lela and Donovan’s love and support during critical (yes, it’s that important) times in the book.

Reinventing / Redefining

I love the author’s concept of what beauty is, and does it have an age limit? 

Lela’s right in that life gets a lot better with age. She uses her business to change and empower women into being role models themselves in breaking the barrier on ageless beauty – gray hair or not. She started the “gray hair movement” to push boundaries for everyone to be the best versions of themselves. Not only that, Lela carries herself with her encouraging words and is emphatic to everyone, even ex-wives. Her confidence and kindness exude in each of the scenes that are infectious and genuine. This what makes her beautiful – inside and out. 

“Any attention I’m getting now, I hope it helps other women feel good about embracing whatever puts them outside any narrow ideals of beauty. There is so much that can make a person beautiful. Own what you’ve got going on.”

— Gray Hair Don’t Care, Karen Booth
Flawed yet Fixable characters

Lela is a grounded and rational main character, and although she has her shortcomings of being a self-defeatist in the past, something happened in the book that made her rise above all the mistakes. She learned to refocus her priorities that forged a successful career based on hard work, supportive friends, and luck.

Donavan had a lot of my attention in the story. He had hung-ups that ran a lot longer than Lela’s but with no support to help him sort his feelings out – mentally and physically. Donavan had a sibling who could help, but they both have the same issue, which was not helpful. If only he had Lela with him to sort his life out, even just as a friend, I believe that his life would have been a lot better early on. However, he did manage to “open” his eyes eventually in the latter part of the book and address his issues and help his loved ones. It was indeed a well-developed character.  

I love the chemistry and witty comebacks for both main characters. They started as friends that developed into a more profound relationship. They seem to balance out each other without sounding patronizing. Plus, they genuinely want to give the best support and advice for the other, even after their rocky past. They might not have an excellent track record with each other in the past, but they eventually sorted themselves.

“Don’t put someone on a pedestal they don’t want to be on…I thought he was the coolest and most handsome guy I had ever met. Since then, I’ve learned that he might be a lot o of those things, but he’s still human. Just like me.

— Gray Hair Don’t Care, Karen Booth
Second Chances

The book talks about new career changes after a significant change, and divorce for anyone requires a re-evaluation of what best to do with one’s newfound freedom. I love how Lela’s friends made her decide that she needed to take risks to achieve her dreams. She forged a new path for her – as a friend, business partner, and “more” that evolved through months, years. This book is a slow burn at its finest, with numerous “speed bumps” in those years.

Connections and Relationships

I enjoyed the focus on family and friends. This story may revolve around the main characters, but a good part of the book is their family and friends. Lela was able to show Donovan how he could better appreciate his family after years of misunderstandings. Listening more and “taking a step back” to be in their shoes led them closer to loved ones and each other by the end. I admire Lela’s comments and analysis of a lot of the situations. She has a good head, and I believe she got that from her parents, who were very present in the book. Lela’s words and reactions fit her age that shows a lot of wisdom and cares for others. The author stayed true to the image and personality that Lela set forth from the very beginning.


In summary, Gray Hair, Don’t Care is a great read that will make you squeeze out as much as you can with what life has to offer. It is never too late to change to a better version of yourself as long as it is for your happiness! This book will appeal to second chances, Gen-X fans, and friends-to-more tropes.

I love how Lela, hurt and disappointed, used all her energy to work for her dreams instead of sulking and staying stagnant. In addition, I appreciate how the author took the time to have Lela and Donovan grow into the right people for each other through years of friendship. There are a lot of revelations, even after years have passed for Lela and Donovan. 

He was her best friend. Again. He was the love of her life. She was his. Somehow, they’d found a way to make it work after nearly thirty years. And it had been so worth the wait.

— Gray Hair Don’t Care, Karen Booth

About the Author

Karen Booth is a midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ’80s music and repeated readings of Forever by Judy Blume. Karen writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction, almost always about the dreamy guy you never thought you’d get. Her stories are full of breathless kisses, tearjerker moments, complex family dynamics, and more than a few things she’s glad her grandmother never read.

When she’s not creating hunky fictional men and the women who test them, she’s listening to everything from Otis Redding to Duran Duran to Superchunk with her college-age kids, honing her Southern cooking skills (she makes some mean collards), or sweet-talking her astoundingly supportive husband into whipping up a batch of cocktails.

Karen is co-founder of the 4000 member Seasoned Romance Facebook group, devoted to the promotion of romance with characters 35+. She has been a finalist for RT Magazine’s Series Romance of the Year, RT Magazine’s Gold Seal of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award (NERFA), the Booksellers’ Best Award, and the Holt Medallion. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages.
Click HERE for a downloadable reading list.

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Blood and Shadows (Ancient Dreams Book 2) by JP Roth

Title: Blood and Shadow
Author: JP Roth
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: June 24th

Synopsis

About Blood and Shadow:

It’s a strange thing to wake up dead, knowing you are standing in the center of unchangeable destiny—strange, yet acceptable. When the moment holds the death of someone you love—that’s where the rules of destiny deserve to be broken.

Cara Wynter read a book that told her stories of another place, a forgotten time. As she read, she remembered the man she loved—the dark stranger in her dreams, re-lived her own death in his arms. Now, he is in front of her, wanting her, loving her, desperate to save her, even from herself.

From the dark halls of Hades to the hidden mountains of Transylvania, Cara finds herself falling yet again for the man who once traded his soul to save her own. Spells, witches, mythical creatures, and ancient, avenging gods threaten her daily. Terrifying, emerging powers and twisted murders—are her new normal. The horrors she tried for years to ignore, come for her with a vengeance, dragging her into a hidden world of fantasy, and magic.

Pre-Order Today!


Excerpt

Lying in his arms was comfortable as breathing. I had the feeling again, like I had done this a thousand times, lay right here in this exact spot. Only this time the feeling had altered slightly, morphed into a certainty—now I knew I had. Thoughts of dark spells, and murdering goddesses receded like the ground beneath the climbing plane. I fell asleep, the rightness of the moment spilling over all my thoughts. This was where I was meant to be, here in his arms. Witches, heritage, immortality, spells, hell, and gods be damned—this was my place. It seemed every single thing in my life leading up to this exact moment had been nothing more than shadows and parlor tricks. He was my reality. On the glittering trail of that thought came a moment of pure feeling, irrational and possibly volatile, yet altogether enthralling. I wondered if I could keep him with me for always.

Catch up on the Series with ANCIENT DREAMS!


About the Author

Author, dreamer and wild child extraordinaire: JP Roth is an American Novelist, and owner of Rothic comics, founded in 2012, through which she has produced and published five of her original series. JP Roth in California with her beautiful family, and their adorable Bichon Frise. Her days are spent writing fanciful stories, walking on the beach, and attending comic conventions across the globe. While JP Roth enjoys travelling to exotic locations, she admittedly prefers to stay home, wrapped in a soft fluffy blanket, drinking tea and penning her next novel.

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Blog Tour: A Sisterhood of Secret Ambitions by Sheena Boekweg

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Published on: 01 June 2021
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Type: standalone, HEA
Genre: Teen & Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction
Author: Sheena Boekweg
Read: 17 May 2021
Shelved: 19 May 2021
Trigger/Content Warnings: Anxiety, panic attacks, fire, child death, grief
Representation: Plus-Size (Main Character), Anxiety, Asexual, Trans*
Rating: 5 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here: Bookshop.org
Retailers: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Bookbub |
Add to your Goodreads TBR today!


Synopsis

Behind every powerful man is a trained woman, and behind every trained woman is the Society. It started with tea parties and matchmaking, but is now a countrywide secret. Gossips pass messages in recipes, Spinsters train to fight, and women work together to grant safety to abused women and children. The Society is more than oaths—it is sisterhood and purpose.

In 1926, seventeen-year-old Elsie is dropped off in a new city with four other teenage girls. All of them have trained together since childhood to become the Wife of a powerful man. But when they learn that their next target is earmarked to become President, their mission becomes more than just an assignment; this is a chance at the most powerful position in the Society. All they have to do is make one man fall in love with them first.


Review

Coming into A Sisterhood of Secret Ambitions, I was thrilled to be given a chance to review this book. This book is my first encounter with the author, but I was sure to love it based on the intriguing synopsis – and I was proven correct!

The story is from a first-person POV of Elsie Fawcett, as she describes the secret Society of women she is a member of. This Society categorizes women before they reach puberty on their future based on their specific skill-set. It is a very organized association with rules, purpose, and hierarchy. The group aims to influence men through the group’s brand of “manipulation” and “involvement.” It may sound sinister, but they do this to save and shape the future to a better one while also “rescuing” other women from troubled situations. They help other women “in need” through secret codes and drop-offs, etc. 

Elsie Fawcett is the main focus in the story and, together with her group of “ladies,” is on a mission to pursue an important man that will later shape the country. Based on their training, any of these ladies would support and help their would-be husbands make significant changes in their country. These women are like the “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” but in the female version and with the women’s brand of “extra powers” since females are superhumans and are in a category all on their own. They are silent heroes when they are needed, and voices needed to be heard.

This book made me think hard and long with everything. It made me revisit scenes and clues that would have the ending be such. Readers like myself want/need/love books that are more than HEA. **Note: this is still considered a HEA ending but with a unique and satisfying twist.

1.) The Society and Limitations

I love the concept of strong women, and the story was spot on with this point. There were many strong women with their skills used for good and a “higher purpose.”

Although the Society seems the perfect solution to the world, the story dives into the pros and cons of operating in secret, not being able to rise from the shadows of their male targets, partners, etc. Women who solely dedicate themselves to the Society’s cause may seem harsh but reading their points of view made sense. The saying “behind a successful man is a strong woman” is a valid saying, with the formation of the Society

2.) Soft Skills as calculative weapons

It is important to note that the author highlights the many great women who had made huge impacts with their involvement behind the scenes. Whether it is to maintain a home, rear an heir, share opinions through “light conversations,” or just beside their man stirring them to the “right people,” – all of these impact these potentially important men. The world may be a patriarchal world with archaic thoughts, but a woman’s guidance of kindness and compassion stirs it to a better and brighter future. 

3.) Elsie and the gang

I love the interaction of Elsie and the four other “chosen girls” (all but one are her best friends) in the story. Being the wisest and most observant one in the group, Elsie shares it with the readers to help empathize with their different predicaments. They also come from different female representations from a trans, aromantic, and plus-size heroine, to name a few, that ALL rocked the story!

Each girl had ways of winning over “the target” while making sure not to succumb to her insecurities. It is also interesting to see that they are close friends, but they also compete against each other. They know each other well enough to use their weaknesses to further their agenda. Who will win in the end?

**Each girl’s “date location” was a great indicator of their respective personalities. It is pretty varied, from a fancy restaurant to a car garage!

4.) Choices and Accountability

Elsie is NOT a perfect character. She is flawed and selfish in her own right. She is intelligent, educated, driven, and overqualified than to be a “wife.” Note that there is nothing wrong with being a wife. It has been stated often in the book, but with Elsie knowing deep down, she can be “more.” That revelation will be the deciding factor of her deciding ambition vs. feelings. Elsie often had to fight internally to “do the right thing,” and there were moments of temptation winning out. She made many bad decisions throughout the book, even if it started with the noblest of intentions, but I was happy with what she decided to do to “turn things around.” Her self-sacrificing intentions served a higher purpose, as readers will see in the end. 

5.) Leader vs. Follower

The ending might not be what a few readers may see coming, but in my case, I was delighted with how the ending was not the typical “happy ending” expected from Elsie. I firmly believed that Elsie wrote her story considering all her facets:- the good, the bad, and even the ugly. Elsie grew in the story that made her relatable – to anyone’s hopes, dreams, and ambitions. She knew she needed to sacrifice now to see the future of women better. She had enough of being in anyone’s shadows.

In summary, A Sisterhood of Secret Ambitions is a literary gem! This fascinating book offers more than just reading for entertainment. It will thought-provoking impossibilities, shape minds about advocacies and women empowerment. Elsie’s thoughts and opinions moved me like how a motivational speaker can do. Interestingly, it is with Elsie’s epic speech, in the end, that tips this book into a higher level of literary status! This book will engross you from start to finish AND make you want to be the best version of yourselves to push through pursue your passion and advocacies publicly. 

This book is a highly recommended read for readers who want inspiration, empowerment as it sets them up for unlimited opportunities.


About the Author

Sheena Boekweg grew up reading books with tree branches peeking over her shoulder. Her novels Glitch Kingdom and A Sisterhood of Secret Ambitions, both with Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, feature fat positive girls with ambitions, love stories, and sometimes battle axes. She’s a contributor to Every Body Shines, a fat-positive anthology publishing May 2021 with Bloomsbury, and is an alumni of the 2015 Pitch Wars Program and was a Pitch Wars mentor in 2017, 2018, and currently in 2020. Sheena believes that beauty is intrinsic and worth is unquestionable, and thinks you can’t solve all problems with food, but it will always help.
She is well loved by a tall man with a great beard, her three kids, and the world’s most spoiled puppy. She’s represented by Jessica Sinsheimer at Context Literary.

Connect with Sheena
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Blog Tour

June 12th

Turn the Page Tours – Welcome Post
Metaphors and Miscellanea – Review
Lost in a Bookstore – Review

June 13th

Stuck in the Stacks – Author Interview & Review
The Reading Wordsmith – Review
Books Tea Healthy Me – Review

June 14th

Confessions of a Reading Addict – Review
Kait Plus Books – Review
A Bookish Dream – Review

June 15th

Melancholic Blithe – Author Interview & Review
TheReadingCornerForAll – Review
One Book More – Review

June 16th

Amani’s Reviews – Review
The Inharmonious Heroine – Review
Rampant Reading Reviews – Review

June 17th

Celia’s Reads – Review
The Clever Reader – Review
Sheaf and Ink – Review

June 18th

Books are Magic Too – Author Interview & Review
Book Lover’s Book Reviews – Review
Currant7 Recommends – Review


Bookstagram Tour

June 12th

@turnthepagetours
@booksaremagictoo
@stuck.in.the.stacks

June 13th

@rampant_reading
@laurasnextchapter
@svnshine.reads

June 14th

@ofdreamsandstories
@midnightbooklover
@the.mixed.pages

June 15th

@annareadswithcats
@thebookoffaerie
@montana_reads

June 16th

@onemused
@1bookmore
@blithesquesttoread

June 17th

@kaitplusbooks
@TheReadingCornerforAll
@julieannasbooks

June 18th

@theenchantedshelf
@lilly_sreads
@novelsistah


Excerpt Reveal: THE NEXT MRS. RUSSO by Jana Aston

THE NEXT MRS. RUSSO by Jana Aston is coming on June 22nd!

Published by‏ : ‎ Rutherford Press
Published Date: 22 June 2021
Genre: Satire Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit.

Get it here:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Kobo | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

I was not looking for a date.
Another questionable relationship was the last thing I needed.
Because trust me, they were all questionable.

But through a series of unfortunate events involving my cat and
his poor decision-making skills, I agreed to a set-up.

Except… the set-up is with the governor.

I am not political girlfriend material.
For one, I’m a little bit crazy.
For two, I have secrets.

But I also have a big crush on the governor.
One little date can’t hurt, right?
Spoiler: it can.

My big crush is going to end in big trouble.


Excerpt

How many chances does a girl get to kiss her crush? Not many, if any. This is a prime kiss opportunity. A kissortunity. Also, he smells good. And he’s right here. If I just leaned forward we’d be kissing and I wouldn’t have to spend the rest of my life wondering what it would be like to kiss him. And he’s clearly not going to take the lead.

So I do it. I lean in, my fingers gripping the edge of his desk so I don’t topple into his lap, much as I might enjoy that, my head tilted just a fraction to the right, and press my lips against his. He doesn’t move, save for the small intake of breath the moment before my lips touched his, the moment it was clear I was about to do what I’m doing. He’s perfectly still. And his lips are perfect.

And.

That’s it.

“Huh,” I say, leaning back, a bit disappointed to be honest.

“What was that?” He’s staring at me, a bit of confusion clouding his expression.

“It was a kiss. But it wasn’t how I imagined it.”

“You imagined kissing me?” Warren looks like he’s a few steps behind on this entire exchange. He also looks mildly offended by my review of said kiss. “You surprised me,” he adds, his tongue sweeping his lower lip.

“I’m a surprising girl, it’s true,” I agree, but I’m looking anywhere but at him. Good Lord, did I really just kiss him? I did. And it wasn’t even worth it. It was kinda weird. Obviously awkward. And now I have to walk-of-shame out of the governor’s office. To the guest bedroom. Though it was just a kiss, so my exit will be closer to a slither of mortification than a full walk. So, at least there’s that.

“You’re too young.”

“For kissing?” My eyes fly back to his. “I’m twenty-seven,” I clarify. Then I make it weird by adding, “Gov.” Why am I like this? Seriously, why? And why did I push my luck and kiss him?

Stupid, stupid kissortunity. I’m gonna take my cat and go home.

“You’re entirely inappropriate for me.”

“Mmm-hmm,” I murmur in agreement, already starting the slide off his desk, trying to recall where I last saw Gary.

“We’re hardly compatible.” 

“Right,” I agree because ‘inappropriate’ and ‘incompatible’ are words I’m very familiar with. He should be adding It’s not me, it’s you, any second now. I’m on my feet now, eyeing the door.

“Wait.” He stands, effectively trapping me between him and the desk a moment before I can escape. “You surprised me,” he repeats.

“So you said,” I quip.

“Caught me off guard,” he adds, as if the meaning of ‘surprised’ is unclear. Our eyes catch and a flicker of uncertainty or apprehension crosses his face before he mutters, “Fuck it,” and then he’s cupping my jaw with his hand and lowering his lips to mine.

And.

And…

This kiss is exactly how I imagined it.


About the Author

Jana Aston likes cats, big coffee cups and books about billionaires who deflower virgins. She wrote her debut novel while fielding customer service calls about electrical bills, and she’s ever grateful for the fictional gynecologist in Wrong that readers embraced so much she was able to make working in her pajamas a reality. Jana is the author of 4 books, and all of them have appeared on either the NYT or USA Today bestsellers list, some multiple times. She likes multiples.
Sign up for Jana’s newsletter for the latest updates and releases here.
Check out her merch store at Society6 here.

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Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

L-R: US cover, UK cover

Published on: 27 April 2021
Published by: Berkley
Type: HEA, standalone, series
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Comedic Drama, Humour
Author: Jesse Q Sutanto
Read: 12 June 2021
Shelved: 15 June 2021
Rating: 5 / 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Get it here:
Amazon US | UK
Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Penguin Random House | Bookbub | Goodreads

Synopsis

What happens when you mix 1 (accidental) murder with 2 thousand wedding guests, and then toss in a possible curse on 3 generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family? 

You get 4 meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue! 

When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for the family wedding business—”Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream flowers.

But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?


Review


Meddelin “Meddy” Chan is a good daughter. Unlike her other cousins who left their moms (the “Aunties“), she stayed on and started a business with her aunts in the wedding industry. Meddy’s decision to stay (and live near) her mom and relatives in the same area after university made her life contented and straightforward, or so she believes until her mom set her up on a date that would jumpstart Meddy’s incredible journey of self-discovery.

Dial A for Aunties is told from a first-person POV, Meddy’s. It is an enticing read that will stun, amaze, and “pull out the waterworks” for any reader. The writing is clear and concise. This technique made Meddy a relatable character, especially with me being Asian and with parents who are still hovering around me, even if I am already a parent like them.

Top 5 things I love about the book:-

1. Family, family, family

Basing everything on the title alone, it is inevitable NOT TO LOVE the antics the author shared with Meddy’s Aunties (I’m using capital for the “A” to depict the group and respect for the aunts)! I believe they are the stars of the book. Each personality and detail was well thought of and represented were matched to each aunt. I love how the author shows us that flaws and faults, the Chan clan is “tight” and will support with no question when things are “down to the wire.”

2. Traditions explored

The author did a great job sharing just enough Indonesian tradition and cultures between family and ceremony (i.e., a wedding) to the world. For example, the pemjemputan – a traditional wedding ritual in the Indonesian culture, was discussed in concise detail but did not overwhelm. It gives us a taste of sometimes extreme of a well-to-do Chinese-Indon wedding yet still grounds us with how the characters acted/reacted in the story. 

3. non-stop Humor

The whole book felt so light, even if with a dead body in the center of all this. Usually, I do not enjoy the rom-com genre from a sole first-person POV, but this book worked so well! I was pleasantly surprised because I focused on the crazy events happening versus trying to “overanalyze” the characters’ thoughts. The main characters, mainly the Aunties, have no “blinders” and would spew out everything if not all of their thoughts as it happens, which makes everything work. Their reactions were honest and pure and makes me love them all more. 

4. Past wrongs are righted.

There was a lot of reconciliation going on. Meddy’s past hangups about how she sees relationships, family obligations have come between growing and maturing. This theme is at the forefront of the book as Meddy realizes how her big family is becoming the person she is today. She discovers that sometimes, one needs to look at things differently – to look at them in a positive light.

5. The ending (you just have to read to believe!)

There were so many twists and turns in this book! Just when things seem to “work out” for Meddy and her Aunties, something so “right-field” happens that throws up their solution for the “dead body!” I laugh out loud each of those times, which means I have got aching cheeks to prove it. Many unexpected things complicate Meddy and her aunts’ problems – the dead body and conflicts between each other. In the end, how the author “wrapped things up” for all the characters involved was so spectacular that it deserves a standing ovation. It was non-stop edge-of-your-seat suspense and mystery until the end.


Based on the above, I highly recommend Dial A for Aunties for readers who love comedy, second chances, drama, and even twisted plots. I could not put the book down!! 
Readers will surely be laughing their heads off with the antics of Meddy’s Aunties and the creative plot happening. With four very opinionated Aunties, nothing was left unexplored with body disposal options.
In addition, I love how the author wrote the voices that impart so many different underlying concepts – tradition, culture, and family. I cannot wait to see the next book when it comes out! I firmly believe that Meddy’s aunts’ backstories will be incredible if the following books explore this.


About the Author

Jesse Q Sutanto grew up shuttling back and forth between Jakarta and Singapore and sees both cities as her homes. She has a Masters degree from Oxford University, though she has yet to figure out a way of saying that without sounding obnoxious. She is currently living back in Jakarta on the same street as her parents and about seven hundred meddlesome aunties. When she’s not tearing out her hair over her latest WIP, she spends her time baking and playing FPS games. Oh, and also being a mom to her two kids

Also, checking out the comedic skit of the book’s aunties here!

Connect with Jessie
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