Wednesday, July 22, 2020

28 Summers

Star-crossed soulmates rekindle their romance, love and perpetual loyalty one weekend every year--for 28 years.

Elin Hilderbrand tugs on readers' heartstrings with great aplomb. In 28 Summers, she begins at the end of a long-term, unconventional romance and weaves the captivating story of star-crossed lovers through 28 years of history. 

The 1978 movie Same Time, Next Year--an American romantic-comedy-drama--serves as inspiration to the structure of the story and to main characters Mallory Blessing and Jake McCloud, who are fans of the film. Mallory and Jake developed an easy, flirtatious camaraderie over the phone while Jake and Cooper, Mallory's brother, roomed together at college. The two meet face-to-face only in 1993, while in their 20s--after Mallory inherits a Nantucket beach house from her aunt. Mallory plays host to soon-to-be-married Cooper and his friends, who gather on the island for his bachelor party on Labor Day weekend. The gathering goes bust on many levels, but Mallory and Jake forge an intimate bond--a soulmate connection--amid the mayhem and vow that every year, on Labor Day weekend, they should meet up again, just like in the iconic film.

For the next 28 years, the couple fulfills their pact, having contact with each other for only one weekend annually, where they secretly rekindle their romance and share the travails of their private lives--the challenges and sacrifices of dating and marriage to other people, parenthood and career pursuits. Careful plotting binds this deeply moving, powerful story. Hilderbrand (Summer of 69The Perfect Couple) successfully entwines a host of surprising twists where multi-faceted characters become ensnared in thought-provoking romantic dilemmas.
28 Summers: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand
Little, Brown and Company, $28.00 Hardcover, 9780316420044, 432 pages
Publication Date: June 16, 2020
To order this book on INDIEBOUND, link HERE

NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (June 19, 2020), link HERE

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Bromance Book Club

A group of men who secretly rely on romance novels to inspire them in their lives? Seriously??
In this smart, snarky rom-com, an out-of-work pastry chef and a nightclub owner set out to take down a celebrity chef who's a sexual predator.
The Bromance Book Club, the first in this edgy rom-com series, focused on Thea Scott's marital woes with her husband, Gavin--a professional baseball player who led a book club where accomplished Nashville men covertly discuss romance novels. In the second installment, Thea's headstrong, sarcastic sister, Olivia "Liv" Papandreas, takes the lead.  

Distrustful of men, single Liv works as a pastry chef at an upscale restaurant owned by celebrity chef Royce Preston. Liv's world is turned upside down when Braden Mack, a local nightclub owner--and member of the Bromance Book Club--comes to dine at the restaurant. In an effort to impress his latest conquest, Mack orders the restaurant's signature dessert--a $1,000 chocolate cupcake featuring edible gold ornaments and served with a 24-carat-gold spoon. When Liv drops the pricey cupcake into the lap of Mack's new lady friend, her career plummets. Matters grow worse when Liv later witnesses Royce forcing a female staffer into a compromising position. Mack's empathy for Liv's sudden unemployment, coupled with news of Royce's predatory behavior, urges him to ally forces with Liv and members of the book club to take down Royce. Inspired in their quest by wisdom gleaned from a dark romantic suspense novel, the book club members also coach Mack on how romantically to woo jaded Liv.

The quick-witted banter between Liv and Mack rises like cream to the top of this smartly conceived romance. In Undercover Bromance, Lyssa Kay Adams dishes up snarky, high-octane laughs, serious themes and delicious plot twists.

UndercoverBromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Berkley, $16.00 Paperback, 9781984806116, 352 pages

Publication Date: March 10, 2020

To order this book on INDIEBOUND, link HERE

NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (March 24, 2020), link HERE