Review: Four Days of You and Me

Title: Four Days of You and Me
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A new swoon-worthy romance following a couple’s love story on the same date over four years. 

Every May 7, the students at Coffee County High School take a class trip. And every year, Lulu’s relationship with Alex Rouvelis gets a little more complicated. Freshman year, they went from sworn enemies to more than friends after a close encounter in an escape room. It’s been hard for Lulu to quit Alex ever since.

Through breakups, make ups, and dating other people, each year’s class trip brings the pair back together and forces them to confront their undeniable connection. From the science museum to an amusement park, from New York City to London, Lulu learns one thing is for sure: love is the biggest trip of all.

Review:

Every year, the students at Coffee County High get to go on a special school trip. The trips get larger each year, starting with a museum outing in their freshman year and ending with an international trip in their senior year. Each of these trips marks a pivotal moment in Lulu and Alex’s romance, such as their first kiss on their freshman trip. Each of the following trips pushes them together, leading them to make important decisions about their relationship.

This story shows just a few snapshots in their relationship. It covers about four days, with a few other brief scenes from throughout the year. It was amazing to see how their relationship is defined by their actions in these few days. Their relationship and feelings changed so much throughout the book that I wasn’t sure if they would end up together at the end.

This book brought back so many high school memories for me. We went on a bunch of school trips, though none as lavish as the later ones in this book. Lulu and Alex, as well as their friends, deal with the complicated feelings that come along with first loves and discovering yourself. It made me laugh and it made me cry. This book has all the feels!

This was a great high school romance!

Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Have you read Four Days of You and Me? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: The Summer Villa

Title: The Summer Villa
Author: Melissa Hill
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: MIRA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Three women. One summer reunion. Secrets will be revealed…

Villa Dolce Vita, a rambling stone house on the Amalfi Coast, sits high above the Gulf of Naples amid dappled lemon groves and fragrant, tumbling bougainvillea. Kim, Colette and Annie all came to the villa in need of escape and in the process forged an unlikely friendship.

Now, years later, Kim has transformed the crumbling house into a luxury retreat and has invited her friends back for the summer to celebrate.

But as friendships are rekindled under the Italian sun, secrets buried in the past will come to light, and not everyone is happy that the three friends are reuniting… Each woman will have things to face up to if they are all to find true happiness and fully embrace the sweet life.

An epic summer read about food, friendship and the magic of Italy, perfect for fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Susan Mallery.

Review:

Six years ago Kim, Collette, and Annie ran away from their lives and ended up in the same villa in Italy. They didn’t know each other and came from different countries: the U.S., England, and Ireland. Though they had different backgrounds and different reasons for wanting to escape their lives for a few weeks, they all connected that summer. Now it is six years later and Kim is hosting a grand reopening of the same villa, which she has transformed into a wellness retreat. It seems like the perfect time for the three women to reunite, but they each bring their own personal problems back to Italy, where it all began.

This story alternated perspectives between then, six years ago, and now in the present. It also alternated between each of the three women. Things were slowly revealed in each timeline, but some details were held until the end, which built up the tension and surprise. I was shocked at some of the twists that I didn’t see coming.

One thing that this story demonstrated is how things in life can change so quickly. The women were struggling with life before they went to Italy the first time, but they each had life changing events happen there. These events changed the course of their lives in ways that didn’t seem possible at the beginning. This shows that even if you think you’re going through a difficult time in the present, there is no way to predict how your life will change years from now.

I really loved this story!

Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Summer in Sorrento by Melissa Hill

The Temptation of Gracie by Santa Montefiore

About the Author:

MELISSA HILL lives in south Dublin with her husband and daughter. A USA TODAY and international #1 bestseller, she is the author of 13 novels, including The Gift of a Charm and A Gift From Tiffany’s. The Gift of a Charm was a USA TODAY bestseller. Hailed “the queen of the big plot twist,” she combines all the warmth and humor of contemporary women’s fiction with plots that keep readers guessing from page to page. Melissa also cowrites forensic thrillers with her husband, Kevin, under the pseudonym Casey Hill, featuring crime scene investigator Reilly Steel. For more information, visit www.caseyhillbooks.com.

Have you read The Summer Villa? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: The Secrets of Love Story Bridge

Title: The Secrets of Love Story Bridge
Author: Phaedra Patrick
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Park Row
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A single father gets an unexpected second chance at love in the heartwarming new novel from the author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper It’s summer in the city and passions are soaring along with the temperature—for everyone but Mitchell Fisher, who hates all things romance. He relishes his job cutting off the padlocks that couples fasten to the famous “love story” bridge. Only his young daughter, Poppy, knows that behind his prickly veneer, Mitchell still grieves the loss of her mother.

Then one hot day, everything changes when Mitchell courageously rescues a woman who falls from the bridge into the river. He’s surprised to feel an unexpected connection to her, but she disappears before he can ask her name. Desperate to find out her identity, Mitchell is shocked to learn she’s been missing for almost a year. He teams up with her spirited sister, Liza, on a quest to find her again. However, she’s left only one clue behind—a message on the padlock she hung on the bridge.

Brimming with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and a sparkling cast of characters, The Secrets of Love Story Bridgefollows one man’s journey to unlock his heart and discover new beginnings in the unlikeliest places.

Review:

Mitchell Fisher is raising his daughter by himself after his wife died years ago. He works for the city council and cuts off the locks that people hang on bridges in his town to represent their love. One day when he’s leaving work, he sees a woman attach a lock to the bridge, then fall into the river below. Mitchell jumps in after her to rescue her, but they get separated after he rescues her, and he never learns her name. His daughter’s teacher sees an article about the rescue, and recognizes the woman he rescued as her missing sister. Mitchell and Liza, the sister of the missing woman, search for clues to find the woman, unraveling many secrets along the way.

I loved the premise for this book. It had so much mystery surrounding the woman’s disappearance. There were only a few clues that were left behind so it was difficult for her family to figure out what happened.

I liked seeing so much emotion in the character of Mitchell. He’s had a difficult time since his wife died, and he is constantly blaming himself. He wasn’t afraid to show his emotions, which made him appear stronger in my opinion. I haven’t seen many male characters like that, especially in women’s fiction.

I didn’t really like the explanation behind the woman’s disappearance. I can’t say too much about the ending without giving it away. There was so much tension leading up to it, but I didn’t feel that same tension in the reason that she disappeared. The genre of the book played into this kind of ending. Since it was a lighter story, not a gritty thriller, it had a more positive ending.

This is a great summer story.

Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Have you read The Secrets of Love Story Bridge? What did you think of it?

Review: Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes #1)

Title: Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors (The Rajes #1)
Author: Sonali Dev
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Retelling
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Award-winning author Sonali Dev launches a new series about the Rajes, an immigrant Indian family descended from royalty, who have built their lives in San Francisco…

It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep.

Dr. Trisha Raje is San Francisco’s most acclaimed neurosurgeon. But that’s not enough for the Rajes, her influential immigrant family who’s achieved power by making its own non-negotiable rules:

·       Never trust an outsider

·       Never do anything to jeopardize your brother’s political aspirations

·       And never, ever, defy your family

Trisha is guilty of breaking all three rules. But now she has a chance to redeem herself. So long as she doesn’t repeat old mistakes.

Up-and-coming chef DJ Caine has known people like Trisha before, people who judge him by his rough beginnings and place pedigree above character. He needs the lucrative job the Rajes offer, but he values his pride too much to indulge Trisha’s arrogance. And then he discovers that she’s the only surgeon who can save his sister’s life.

As the two clash, their assumptions crumble like the spun sugar on one of DJ’s stunning desserts. But before a future can be savored there’s a past to be reckoned with…

A family trying to build home in a new land.

A man who has never felt at home anywhere.

And a choice to be made between the two.

Review:

Trisha is an acclaimed neurosurgeon, so DJ Caine brings his sick sister to be treated her. Trisha can treat her, but at a high cost. Meanwhile, DJ is a chef who gets some important jobs with Trisha’s well-known family. Trisha and him get off on the wrong foot when they first meet, with Trisha coming off as prejudiced. A series of secrets mixes them up with each other and threatens their relationships with their families.

This is an amazing adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Even though the same general events happen as in the original book, things are slightly twisted so it isn’t an exact copy of Pride and Prejudice. DJ, the Darcy character, is an orphan who struggles to look after his sick sister. Trisha, the Elizabeth character, is from a wealthy, royal Indian family. In this story, “Darcy” is the poorer character, while “Elizabeth” is wealthy.

The storyline is flipped from the original Pride and Prejudice, so the story was still a surprise. Since some of the characteristics were given to the opposite characters, it wasn’t obvious what would happen. Some of the events were similar, but treated in a slightly different way. For example, in Pride and Prejudice, Darcy’s sister is chronically ill. In this story, DJ’s sister has a brain tumor. Darcy’s sister is vulnerable and ill in both versions, just in different ways.

I really got to know all of the characters, so I’m excited to read the next book, which comes out in a few weeks!

What to read next:

Recipe for Persuasion (The Rajes #2) by Sonali Dev

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Have you read Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors? What did you think of it?

Review: Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1)

Title: Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1)
Author: Talia Hibbert
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Avon
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Review:

After almost dying by narrowly missing being hit by a car, Chloe Brown decides to make a list of things she wants to do to help her “get a life.” She lives with a chronic, invisible disability, so she has lived life on the safe side. When she meets the handyman of her new apartment, Redford Morgan, they instantly can’t stand each other. That lasts until Chloe realizes that Redford can help check off things on her list, starting with “ride a motorcycle.” This leads to a steamy romance, where they both have to put their past negative experiences behind them.

Chloe lives with the chronic pain of fibromyalgia. It’s an invisible disability because no one can physically see her pain. Even her doctors and friends didn’t believe she was really suffering, because there wasn’t any proof of her pain other than her word. I liked that the negative sides of this chronic illness were shown, when Chloe couldn’t do things for herself and had to rest. That meant sometimes she didn’t even eat. This story didn’t sugarcoat the illness, by showing Chloe while she was suffering and when she got some occasional relief.

This was a steamy romance. It followed the romance trope of “enemies to lovers,” since Red and Chloe couldn’t stand each other at first but that changed once they got to know each other. Red and Chloe’s relationship took off quickly. It was a whirlwind.

The next book in the series is about Chloe’s sister, Dani Brown, who seemed like quite a character in this book. I’m excited to read it soon.

What to read next:

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang

Well Met (Well Met #1) by Jen DeLuca

Have you read Get a Life, Chloe Brown? What did you think of it?

Review: In Five Years

Title: In Five Years
Author: Rebecca Serle
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canda
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

Review:

Dannie has her life planned out for the next five years. Everything is going exactly as planned when she lands her dream job and gets engaged. However, she has a dream that she wakes up in a strange apartment with a strange man exactly five years later. She thinks it must be a dream, until she meets that man. She becomes conflicted between following her trajectory or continuing toward the life she saw in her future.

My feelings toward Dannie’s situation kept changing throughout the book. At first, I was sure that the future Dannie saw wouldn’t happen. She was meant to be with David and live in their dream apartment. However, something happens halfway through that changed my mind about the future. Suddenly, Dannie’s goals didn’t seem as certain as they did at the beginning.

I read a book last year, where the author spoke about the invisible staircase. We think that we can see the direction that our life is heading, but the future is actually an invisible staircase because we can’t see what will happen. When we go through hard times, we think it will stay that way forever, but we can’t predict what will happen in the future. We only realize this when we look back a few years and realize we have changed a lot in that time. I was reminded of this idea throughout this book. Dannie thinks she can see what she’s planned for the next five years, but then she sees that she will be in completely different circumstances in five years. It also brings up the question of fate, and whether we can change things that will happen or if they are planned out, even if we try to take a different route.

I loved this book and I highly recommend it!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

Have you read In Five Years? What did you think of it?

Review: The Honey-Don't List

Title: The Honey Don’t List
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.

From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author) The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own. 

Review:

Carey works for a designing couple, Melissa and Rusty. She is Melissa’s assistant. Her and James, Rusty’s assistant, join Mel and Rusty on their book tour. The problem is that Rusty is having an affair. Carey and James have to work together to make the tour run smoothly, making them closer to each other.

There was actually a lot of tension in the story, even though it was a light romance most of the time. Some of the chapters, alternating between Carey’s and James’s perspectives, ended with their police interviews. The actual incident that they were being interviewed about isn’t revealed until the end of the book, which kept up the tension. I didn’t think the incident was as big a deal as the police interview made it seem, especially since they moved on pretty quickly after the fact.

Carey had a condition I had never heard of before. She had dystonia, which is a condition that affects the muscle movement in her hands. That condition played into some of the decisions that she made in the story.

Sexism in the workplace was also an important part of the story. Even though Carey had worked with Melissa for a decade, she wasn’t given the same privileges as James, who had only worked for Rusty for two months. This was addressed a little in the book, but this is an important problem in the world that I’m glad was included.

I really enjoyed this book!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Have you read The Honey-Don’t List? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: The Grace Kelly Dress

Title: The Grace Kelly Dress
Author: Brenda Janowitz
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Graydon House Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Paris, 1958: Rose, a seamstress at a fashionable atelier, has been entrusted with sewing a Grace Kelly-lookalike gown for a wealthy bride-to-be. But when, against better judgment, she finds herself falling in love with the bride’s handsome brother, Rose must make an impossible choice—one that could put all she’s worked for at risk: love, security, and of course, the dress.

Sixty years later, tech CEO Rachel, who goes by the childhood nickname “Rocky,” has inherited the dress for her upcoming wedding in New York City. But there’s just one problem: Rocky doesn’t want to wear it. A family heirloom dating back to the 1950s, the dress just isn’t her. Rocky knows this admission will break her mother Joan’s heart. But what she doesn’t know is why Joan insists on the dress—or the heartbreaking secret that changed her mother’s life decades before, as she herself prepared to wear it.

As the lives of these three women come together in surprising ways, the revelation of the dress’s history collides with long-buried family heartaches. And in the lead-up to Rocky’s wedding, they’ll have to confront the past before they can embrace the beautiful possibilities of the future.

Review:

This story follows three perspectives. The first is a bride in 2020. She has been given the wedding dress that her mother and grandmother wore, but she doesn’t want to wear it. The second perspective is the bride’s mother in the 80s when she was going to get married. Her own mother had give her her own wedding dress, but she has some uncertainties about getting married. The third perspective is a seamstress in Paris in the 50s. She suddenly has to take over the designer’s studio when she dies, and she has to secretly design a special wedding dress under the designer’s name.

This story had a lot more tension than I expected. There were cliffhangers at the end of many chapters, so I had a hard time putting the book down. There were some shocking twists that I didn’t expect.

I loved the way the wedding dress was woven throughout three generations, yet it had very different meanings to each woman. The original dress was inspired by Grace Kelly’s famous dress, but I expected Grace Kelly to have a much bigger part of the story. The theme of marriage and the meaning behind the dress was prevalent throughout the story.

This was a great story!

Thank you Graydon House Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

The Whispers of War by Julia Kelly

Author Info:

Brenda Janowitz is the author of five novels, including The Dinner Party and Recipe for a Happy Life. She is the Books Correspondent for PopSugar. Brenda’s work has also appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Salon, Redbook, and the New York Post. She lives in New York.

Have you read The Grace Kelly Dress? What did you think of it?

Review: Truly Madly Royally

Title: Truly Madly Royally
Author: Debbie Rigaud
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Point
Source: Purchased
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 30, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Fiercely independent and smart, Zora Emerson wants to change the world. She’s excited to be attending a prestigious summer program, even if she feels out of place among her privileged, mostly white classmates. So she’s definitely not expecting to feel a connection to Owen, who’s an actual prince of an island off the coast of England. But Owen is funny, charming…and undeniably cute. Zora can’t ignore the chemistry between them. When Owen invites Zora to be his date at his big brother’s big royal wedding, Zora is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, along with her family and friends. Everyone is talking about her, in real life and online, and while Owen is used to the scrutiny, Zora’s not sure it’s something she can live with. Can she maintain her sense of self while moving between two very different worlds? And can her feelings for Owen survive and thrive in the midst of the crazy? Find out in this charming romantic comedy that’s like The Princess Diaries for a new generation.

Review:

Zora attends a summer school at her local university. She’s a great student and an active member of her community, where she has created an after school program for children. While she’s at school, she meets Prince Owen, who is from an island in Europe. They become friends, but their relationship causes some problems in Zora’s personal life.

This story really reminded me of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship. Zora is black and American, while Prince Owen is a red-headed royal prince. Owen’s brother is getting married to a mixed race woman, which Zora’s mother is so excited to see happen. Zora was also hounded by the press once they found out that she knew Prince Owen, much like Meghan was when she started dating Prince Harry.

I really enjoyed this fun, summer romance!

What to read next:

Royals (Royals #1) by Rachel Hawkins

American Royals (American Royals #1) by Katharine McGee

Have you read Truly Madly Royally? What did you think of it?

Review: Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta’s Academy #1)

Title: Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta’s Academy #1)
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 18, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.

Will the princess save the beast?

For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?

His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…

As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.

Review:

This new Sandhya Menon book definitely lived up to my expectations!

This story is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Jaya is a princess, who chooses to attend the same boarding school where her family’s rival goes. She thinks that he leaked some photos of her sister to the press, so she wants to make him fall in love with her so she can break his heart and get her revenge. At the same time, Grey lives with a family curse. His father ignores him because Grey’s mother died in childbirth and he is destined to be the end of their aristocratic line. When he sees Jaya’s ruby rose necklace, he suspects that it is the jewel that sparked the rivalry between their families. If it is, that means that when the last piece of the ruby falls off the necklace, his life will be over.

I loved the way this story borrowed from the tale of Beauty and the Beast, but it wasn’t an exact copy of the story. The imagery of the rose really reminded me of the original tale. It was a clever way to include the rose as a necklace that slowly drops its jewels. There was also the added drama of Jaya’s and Grey’s families being rivals, which really increased the tension of the story. Another great dramatic addition to the story was that Jaya was getting revenge on Grey to protect her sister, rather than the way she wanted to protect her father in other adaptations of the tale.

I really loved this book! It was a great retelling!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

When Dimple Met Rishi (Dimple and Rishi #1) by Sandhya Menon

Royals (Royals #1) by Rachel Hawkins

Have you read Of Curses and Kisses? What did you think of it?