What I Read in August

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

Rating 4/5. This fun and steamy contemporary romance is inspired by Alexis Rose of Schitt’s Creek. I don’t typically read a lot of contemporary romance, but I’ve heard great things about Tessa Bailey and I love me some Schitt’s Creek. This was funny and quirky, it is about a Hollywood socialite that falls in love with a weathered Pacific Northwest fisherman after all, but also seriously steamy. Although beach read season is almost over, maybe this can be your summer swan song.

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Rating 4.5/5. This book was fantastic. I read it in about two days while still dealing with a 9 month old. Stripped down to its most basic points this is the story of a failed novelist, who decides to steal the perfect plot from a deceased student except the plot might not have been that student’s at all. This is a perfectly paced thriller with one of the greatest acts of literary hubris that pays off- a novel within a novel. While the seasoned mystery reader will probably guess the “twist” fairly early on, it doesn’t matter because this is such an excellent piece of genre fiction.

Rating 3/5. Do you love social history? Do you ever wonder what it was like to live through the worst century to be alive? Well, do I have the perfect book for you. Ian Mortimer has written an excellent piece of social history that really makes you understand the whole picture of living in 14th century England. My only complaints are that it’s a little long and repetitive, but that’s true of most history books, and it only briefly touches on The Black Death which is probably the greatest single event to effect the creation of early modern Europe.

The Duke Effect by Sophie Jordan

Rating 3/5. Sophie Jordan is a writer of consistently solid historical romance and this book is no exception. This is the 7th book in the Rogue Files series, but like most romance novels you need not to have read the others in this series for it to makes sense. This book follows Nora Langley, who longs to be a practicing physician like her father and has recently (although inadvertently) developed a powerful aphrodisiac, as she falls in love with an unwilling ducal heir named Constantine Sinclair. If you are a fan of the genre, this is a great book with which to kill an afternoon.

Rating 2/5. I honestly never thought I would give a Julia Quinn novel such a low rating. I’ve been a diehard fan of Quinn’s since reading the Bridgerton novels about five years ago, but Bridgerton this is not. Anyone familiar with historical romance will know that there are often rakes and rogues, who marry the dear heroine for not the right reasons. Most of the time, the reason for a deceptive marriage is money. However, by the end of the novel the rake has reformed and fallen madly in love with the often bluestocking heroine. In this novel, Sir Richard Kenworthy’s deception is gross and pretty unforgivable. You also do not find out about it until 3/4 of the way through the novel making his redemption arch quick and hard to believe. This isn’t bad novel, but it is a novel where it is hard to suspend disbelief that an HEA (happily ever after) makes sense, which is the whole point of a romance novel.

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