The Cheat Sheet

What I read: The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams

Why I picked it up: I’ve been loving this author this week so I’m just working my way through her available titles on Hoopla.

How I read it: On audio at 2x speed

What it’s about: Bree and Nathan have been best friends forever, both of them wanting more but being afraid to say anything. Then an unfortunate bathroom incident with a reporter and a tide pen changes everything, and they’re forced to pretend to be dating, but is it pretend?

What I liked: I really appreciated Nathan’s respect for her and that he wanted them to be married.

What I disliked: Something happened with Bree earlier than the book, and I felt like her story could have had more depth.

Genre: Faking dating, chaste romance.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and I liked this one.

The Temporary Roomie

What I read: The Temporary Roomie by Sarah Adam’s

Why I picked it up: I’m working my way through her available books on Hoopla.

How I read it: On audio at 2x while traveling this weekend.

What it’s about: Jessie needs a place to stay while her house is being fixed, and Drew needs a date to a hospital fundraiser. The only problem is they can’t stand each other, or they’re in love with one another. It’s full of pranks and hijinks.

What I liked: I loved the way that Drew wasn’t pushed away by her pregnancy. Those were his sweetest moments.

What I disliked: Toward the end I was done with pranks.

Genre: Enemies to lovers, closed door romance.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and yes, it’s the second in a series that I think works better read in order.

The Off-Limits Rule

What I read: The Off-Limits Rule by Sarah Adams

Why I picked it up: Read one of the author’s books earlier this week and really liked it, so I downloaded more for my trip this weekend.

How I read it: On audio at 1.75x while flying and driving and walking today.

What it’s about: Lucy moves home after a bad breakup. She and her son, Levi, take up residence in her brother’s guest room. The first person Drew introduces her to is the one guy he’s told his sister is off limits. How long will it be before they start dating? Ummm… days!

What I liked: I loved everything!!

What I disliked: It wasn’t long enough!! Good thing there’s a sequel to the series featuring the brother. I’m hoping Lucy and Cooper show up a bit in that one!

Genre: Closed door romance.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and absolutely!!

Already Home

What I read: Already Home by Susan Mallery

Why I picked it up: I grabbed a bunch of hers I haven’t read last time I was at the library.

How I read it: On paper while flying! I had three chapters left when we landed, it was hard not to just sit on the plane and keep reading.

What it’s about: Jenna comes home after her divorce and opens a cookware shop, on a whim. Once she hires Violet and lets her actually help run the store things really take off. Then her birth parents show up, and nothing is ever the same again.

What I liked: I loved this story. I laughed. I cried. I was ready to beat up an ex-fiancée and a new boyfriend.

What I disliked: There are two abusive storylines for the two younger women, and they were hard to read.

Genre: Mothers and daughters, domestic abuse, adoption.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and yes, this was a good one!

The Enemy

What I read: The Enemy by Sarah Adams

Why I picked it up: A friend recommended it awhile ago and I finally found it on Hoopla.

How I read it: On audio in just a couple of days at 2x speed.

What it’s about: Ryan and June have been mortal enemies for over a decade and they’re reuniting at their friends wedding for the first time. It goes nothing like June thinks it will, but that’s okay because this version of Ryan is so much better!!

What I liked: It’s a delight, so full of sass and sarcasm and multiple points of view and it’s even chaste, which is always a delightful find on audio. Oh and there’s a delightful epilogue!!

What I disliked: I wanted more.

Genre: Chaste romance, enemies to lovers.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and what a delight!!

Provenance

What I read: Provenance by Carla Laureano

Why I picked it up: Someone I follow on Goodreads read and love it.

How I read it: On audio at 2x while walking, mowing, and driving.

What it’s about: Kendall grew up in foster care and at 18 set out in the world on her own to make something of her life, which she did. She apprenticed under a great interior designer and ended up starting her own business. Now she finds out she’s inherited a plot of land and 5 houses from her grandmother, who she never even remembers meeting. It’s set in small town Colorado and made me want to go live in the new village they’ve designed!!

What I liked: The mayor was a delight!! The way he was true to himself and his faith was really a great read. I also love that he gets his own great family story.

What I disliked: Kendall ended up in foster care because the computer system to communicate lost children was defunct. If society had done a better job, she wouldn’t have had the suffering she did. That made me sad because I know it’s true life for so many.

Genre: Christian romance, foster care, adoption.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and definitely!!

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell

What I read: The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni

Why I picked it up: It’s our July book club pick.

How I read it: On paper over just a few days even though it’s more than 400 pages.

What it’s about: Sam Hill was born with a rare eye disorder that colored his eyes red. His mother, a strong Catholic, told him God made him extraordinary and this was God’s Will. The story follows him through Catholic School, bullying, adult life as an eye doctor, caring for the children of the world, and becoming a father himself.

What I liked: I cried the entire way through Part 7! The faith was so real during that part, like I was reading a person account. It felt like the author’s experience of conversion. Slow and steady!

What I disliked: There’s a lot of discrimination from the members of the Church portrayed which made me frustrated. I was afraid this would end up a Catholic Church bashing book, which isn’t a genre I like. But instead it’s real and shows both positives and negatives.

Genre: Fiction, disability, conversion.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and absolutely!! Bring your Kleenex!

Flying Solo

What I read: Flying Solo by Linda Holmes

Why I picked it up: I loved this author’s debut so I knew the second one would be for me too.

How I read it: On Kindle.

What it’s about: Laurie has been designated to go through her Aunt Dot’s house after her death. Hundreds of letters, photos, and more await her as she lives the last few months of her 30s in her first hometown. There’s a bit of an antique dealer heist and a reunion with her high school boyfriend. A lot of digging into the past!

What I liked: Laurie felt like she could be me. Her age, her independence, even her body type. I like seeing myself in a story without too much rearranging.

What I disliked: She’s incredibly independent, which is not what I disliked, but more so how I saw myself there. She couldn’t even really think of a world where she and Nick married or lived together. She wasn’t willing to give up everything for their relationship. And I thought about how hard it would be for me, at this stage in my life, to give up my house or my city or my independence, I still struggled that she was struggling too.

Genre: Finding oneself, friendship, older protagonist, closed door.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and definitely. This is a good one!

The Bodyguard

What I read: The Bodyguard by Katherine Center

Why I picked it up: It’s the new release by one of my favorite authors. I preordered it months ago, and I started reading as soon as I got the mail yesterday. Not often something I do, I’ve got three other new releases on my table That have sat for months without me cracking them open.

How I read it: On hardcover in less than a day. I stayed up way too late reading last night.

What it’s about: Hannah gets dumped the day after her mother’s funeral by just a terrible man. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Then she’s assigned to be primary protection on one of the country’s biggest movie stars, and she’s got to pass as his girlfriend. Fake dating never leads to just being friends in a romance novel, so you can guess the outcome.

What I liked: I loved how playful Jack is with her. Just a guy who at the core is silly and kind and friendly. Sounds like someone I’d like to be friends with.

What I disliked: Robby is the worst kind of worst guy. He thinks he’s all that but he’s the worst.

Genre: Faking dating, closed door, romance.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and yes!! Run!!

Lesson in Chemistry

What I read: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Why I picked it up: It was in Anne Bogel’s Summer Reading Guide. She read and loved it, and then she described it well.

How I read it: On audio over a few days at 1.75x.

What it’s about: Elizabeth Zott has been underestimated, gaslighted, and told she wasn’t capable because she was a woman her entire life. This is her story as a chemist, mother, and finding her place in the world.

What I liked: Everything. This is my favorite book of the year so far!!

What I disliked: The discrimination against women in this book feels over the top, and yet, I think it’s true to history. And that drives me mad!!

Genre: Fiction, finding oneself.

Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and yes!! I might even buy it so I can reread it on the regular (would be a great gift for me!!)!