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.
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!!
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.
What I read: Husband Auditions by Angela Ruth Strong
Why I picked it up: An author I love and follow on Goodreads read it and loved it. And I trust her, so I picked it up!
How I read it: On audio a few days ago, I realized I didn’t actually finish it this morning though, so today became that day.
What it’s about: As the final single lady who’s attended the final wedding of her friend group, Meri has been given “the list.” It’s been a good luck token for everyone who has gotten married, never meant to be taken seriously, but to have fun, she and her brother’s roommate create a YouTube show called “Meri Me” where she tries to do all of the items on the list. Does it get her a husband? Sort of.
What I liked: Meri and Kai are a delightful duo. I really enjoyed their video making sessions.
What I disliked: The list is going to be given credit for their relationship, but it had nothing to do with it. It was just her spending time with him that did it – she already knew the guy!
Genre: Christian, chaste romance.
Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️and yes – it’s a delight.
What I read: Bless Your Heart, Rae Sutton by Susannah B. Lewis
Why I picked it up: It was suggested to me by Hoopla that I’d like it, so I downloaded it.
How I read it: On audio over the course of a few days.
What it’s about: Rae moves home with her daughter into her mother’s house after her mother’s passing. She’s working through the grief of her divorce as well. The book is about her journey toward healing, and her mother’s ministry ladies are the biggest factor in her healing.
What I liked: It’s a book about a woman healing and finding herself without it being a romance story. She does date someone throughout the book, but that’s not how she heals! Love that storyline.
What I disliked: The story was good, but the narrator wasn’t that great.
Genre: Christian fiction, healing.
Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and yes, but I don’t think the audio was really that good. I’d say read it on paper.
Why I picked it up: It was available on Hoopla and I liked the first in this mini series.
How I read it: On audio at 2x.
What it’s about: Kim and Brian were high school sweethearts until everything changed. After a major incident, she locked up her heart and is just now letting family and friends back in as she comes back to the Lord in faith.
What I liked: There’s a sensitive issue at the center of their story that is dealt with really well. It’s an amazing showcase of the Lord’s mercy.
What I read: The Secret Bridesmaid by Katy Birchall
Why I picked it up: A friend who loves the same books as me read it and loved it.
How I read it: On Kindle.
What it’s about: Sophie found that she loved helping her friends with their wedding planning and then turned it into a job where brides hire her to be a professional bridesmaid. She does whatever they need before and during the wedding! Her latest bride is quite the diva though, and this time it gets complicated.
What I liked: This was laugh out loud funny in multiple spots. Sophie is such a fantastic human being, and I’d love to be friends with her.
What I disliked: Her ex, Daniel, is the worst. Demeaning and condescending and awful!
Genre: Chaste romance, royalty, weddings.
Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️and for certain!!
Why I picked it up: A friend read it and loved it – and we love the same books!
How I read it: On audio in just a couple days on 1.75x speed.
What it’s about: Abigail inherited a bookstore from her father and a dislike of love from an ex-boyfriend. Now when Jacob buys her building and moves in next door, she’s wrestling with both of these foundational beliefs. Jacob is also mourning his wife, and he moved to Loves Park to try to start over, but what he doesn’t realize is that his love story is just beginning.
What I liked: I loved the small town-ness of this book. It was super sweet and the characters felt like they could be my friends. Also I want to go to her book store!!
What I disliked: This is a chaste romance, which I like – and God is mentioned a lot – but zero things about a faith tradition or attending Church of any kind. Just somehow they are supposed to know about God, what He promises, and how He wants them to follow His will – but without any guidance. That’s a common theme for “Christian Romances” … it’s like they have to include something about God to justify why they aren’t sleeping together.
Genre: Chaste Romance, small towns.
Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️and it’s sweet. I hope it’s the first in a new series like it alludes to on goodreads.
Why I picked it up: I was looking for an available book on Libby to read during a pedicure I didn’t end up having and this looked interesting.
How I read it: On Kindle.
What it’s about: Lainie is an assistant editor on the hottest author her small publisher has. An opportunity comes up for her to be promoted, on the condition she can get the author to deliver the very late manuscript. She takes on the challenge, and it changes her life.
What I liked: This is the perfect rom com. Every page is something I loved!
What I disliked: I wanted more. I needed an epilogue!! Or a sequel!!
Genre: Books about books, chaste romance.
Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️and run to get this!! It’s a delight!!
What I read: When We Were Young by Karen Kingsbury
Why I picked it up: I realized it’s part of the Baxter series, and I hadn’t read it yet.
How I read it: On hardcover.
What it’s about: Emily and Clara have only each other until they also have Noah. Their love is like no other, and everyone who follows them online calls them #relationshipgoals. But the truth has become a different story. Things aren’t good between them, and Noah is moving out tomorrow. His last night is full of A Christmas Carol style dreams where he sees the future of his family without him. It’s not good. But he’s given a second chance to make things right.
What I liked: I loved Emily’s story here where she relives her love story throughout the evening.
What I disliked: Noah’s return to his family is lovely, but he never seems to say “I’m sorry.” Just that he’s got a second chance. Maybe I missed that.
Genre: Christian fiction, chaste romance.
Rating & Recommendation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️and if you love the Baxter series, yes.