Monday, January 4, 2021

Books I read in November & December

The Christmas Thief by Kate J Blake
Kate J Blake books move fast to say the least. The entirety of this one takes place over about three days. It is a quick, enjoyable romance about a woman named Crystal who lies on her application to get a better job within her company. Her boss, Jack, quickly figures out the lie and tries to call her on it by giving her a chance at the job. The first test he throws her way is making her work with him over Christmas. She ends up agreeing and then proving that she can do the job.

There were a few things about this book that didn't sit well with me. (SPOILER ALERT) 
One was that they both had teenage children, but acted like they didn't. They constantly talked about how much they loved their kids, but they just left town on Christmas Eve. It was explained that the kids didn't seem to mind, but it was so confusing to me. They also never meet each other's kids. They're engaged by the end of the week, but they don't even think of trying to blend the families beforehand. 

There is also no need to travel for work on Chritsmas. Even if Jack made her work on Christmas day they wouldn't be going to meetings. It didn't make sense that they had to do that.  

The speed of this novel is also ridiculous. It makes no sense that so much can happen in a few days. Sure they could have hooked up and gotten in a fight, but the engagement at the end really threw it over the edge for me. 

Finally, on her resume Crystal didn't put her full name because she didn't think she'd be considered if Jack knew she was a woman straightaway, which she tells him. Then, later in the book he says that he avoided working with women because he didn't want to get his heart broken. Which means Crystal isn't special in the slightest. Jack potentially could have fallen in love with any woman he hired. As a boss, that's not a good look.
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins
Edie is starting over, although it's not completely by choice. Her aunt and uncle decided that a family feud wasn't a good enough excuse to keep their niece in the foster care system, especially when taking her out made the neighbors see how generous they could be. But there are a few perks to moving in with her cousins in a huge house in Mansfield. The neighbor is just as cute as she remembered, and while she harbors a huge crush for him, his girlfriend's brother is willing to drop the asshole act for her. 

I found myself really liking Henry's character. His decision to fake date Edie to keep his sister at bay, even though he made it clear he'd be more than happy to do more than fake makeout, was kind, which totally went against his normal womanizing attitude. And it worked out for him, so that was great. When he and Edie do break up, I found myself conflicted. I wanted her to end up with Sebastian because they both clearly liked each other in a way that could last longer than the summer, but I didn't want Henry to get hurt. Thankfully, he took it like a champ and refused to be someone a girl settles for because her first choice was unavailable. He made it clear that he was sad, but he didn't become vindictive or angry. 

Edie herself was also a fascinating character. She spent the novel keeping her cousins from bickering, crushing on her neighbor, caring for her boyfriend, saving for college, and trying to rebuild a friendship she left behind. It was a lot, but she was able to take everything and learn a lot about herself. I loved how she was able to look at her friendship with Sebastian and understand why Clare was jealous. Clare was mean, but Edie understood her position, which led to her forcing herself to temporarily distance herself from Sebastian even though she didn't want to. The tricky part was that Edie and Sebastian were constantly drawn to each other, so even when she tried to stay away, she couldn't. She knew to do this because it's what she should have done when her best friend's boyfriend kissed her. No, she wasn't responsible for the kiss, but she didn't push him away, and she ignored a few signs that might have kept her from the situation in the first place. When Edie stops using excuses as crutches (no matter how valid they may be), she becomes a force to be reckoned with.

The Twin by Natasha Preston
This was not my first Natasha Preston novel, so I started it knowing that there was a high probability that the ending would be...frustrating. What I wasn’t prepared for was the entire book making me want to rip my hair out. Don’t get me wrong, the book is great, and I think I reacted just how Preston wanted me to. 

One person. That’s all I wanted—one person to trust Ivy. I had high hopes for the boyfriend, but he let me down. Then I thought of the therapist, but nope—another disappointment. My Hail Mary was a recording device at the very end, a hopeful cliffhanger. Nothing. Everyone was the worst. The swim coach really ticked me off because she knew Ivy didn’t want her sister on the team, and she let her on anyway. It’s not like she was good. 

It also baffled me that Ivy was like, “I don’t want to be around my sister in school,” and everyone was like, “That’s not an option.” What?! No matter what you think of Ivy, she clearly started having issues once her sister arrived, so give her some space and see what happens. It seemed like a simple solution to me. 

Poor Ivy loses her mother, and then her twin sister turns her entire life upside down, and nobody is there for her. Everyone writes it off as grief, and even when Ivy tries to tell people what’s wrong, they refuse to believe her but have no issue listening to the twin sister that just appeared out of nowhere. Like I said, rip your hair out frustrating. 

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens 
Timing is key. That’s the theme of this novel. Minnie and Quinn’s lives are constantly intersecting on New Year’s Eve, and they have no idea. Starting the day they were born: Quinn becomes the baby new year, and Minnie is just a minute too late.  

When they finally meet on their thirteenth birthday, it begins a year of random encounters and growing affections. But it also brings a year of change for both characters as they finally sit down with themselves and decide what kind of life they each want to lead and who they want in it. 

I liked this book a lot. It was an easy read that made me laugh and wonder if there was anyone I had unknowingly crossed paths with more than once. The entire time I read Taylor Swift’s song, “invisible string” seemed to play in the background. 

Atomic Love by Jennie Fields
I loved this one! Rosalind is awesome. I want to be her. I'm terrible at science, but she makes it sound awesome. Except for the fact that she lost her job after the war because the men came back and she had to start working in a jewelry store. But that's what happened after WWII and it's annoying.

I loved her relationship with Szydlo. Especially at the beginning when it was clear they got along well and liked being in each other's company, but it wasn't totally clear whether or not anything would happen between them. And then when things do progress, but she's still kind of dating Weaver to get information out of him, which was Szydlo's idea and quickly became a regret. 

I didn't want Weaver to stick around, but I wasn't expecting the way he left either, or the last few chapters of the novel. They truly showed how dangerous Rosalind's task was of finding out about what Weaver told the Russians.

The characters and story of this novel were so well written. I would definitely recommend adding this one to your TBR pile.

Well Played by Jen DeLuca
The sequel to Well Met this novel follows fellow tavern wrench Stacey as she begins an online relationship with someone the faire hires every year. The only catch is she thinks she's talking to the lead singer, Dex, whom she's slept with for the past two summers, when in reality she's talking to his cousin and band manager, Daniel.

Their emails and texts let them get to know each other in a very intimate way, which is why Stacey is so shocked when she finds out that the person she's talking to isn't the person she's imagining. However, she shakes it off quickly and realizes that Dex would never be able to write as well as Daniel. 

I found Stacey extremely relatable. She's happy but also just kinda going through he motions of life. My favorite scene is at the end when she's in the bar and Mitch is calling her out on how easy it would be for her to live on the road. She wants to and is willing to change, but there always seems to be something holding her back. Mainly, her fear about her mother's health, which made her pass up on her dreams years before.

I loved Daniel too. I felt bad that he always feels like he come sin second to his performer cousins. I thought it was sweet when Stacey realized she would have to be the one to make a grand gesture because Daniel thinks his chances with her are over.

I love this world that Jen DeLuca has created and I can't wait for the third novel this fall!

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Friday, January 1, 2021

Plans for 2021


It doesn't seem like many people are sad to be saying goodbye to 2020. And while I agree that the pandemic really messed with a lot of my plans, there was still a lot of things that happened in 2020 that were exciting and fun. 

The biggest thing from this year was that I got my Master's Degree in Creative Writing! Between the strikes and the pandemic I wasn't in class a lot of the time, but I still completed plenty of assignments and I met amazing people. I became a published writer when our anthology was released. Most importantly, I got to do all of it in Edinburgh, Scotland, which was beautiful and so fun to explore.

When I got home from Scotland in June I was reunited with my family and childhood friends. We spent plenty of time together and shared a ton of laughs.

Now for 2021 goals...

BOOKS
I always set a Goodreads challenge. In 2020 I started with a goal of 50 but dropped it to 40. I completed the 40 books, but this year I'm going to try for the 50. I still have my Book of the Month subscription, which I love and motivates me to try new genres every once in a while. 
I am hoping to get more into classic novels this year. I started collecting the Chiltern Publishing editions and now I have to read them! 

TRAVEL
So many of my friends moved out of state after college and now I want to visit them all! I at least want to see all of them in person at least once this year, whether I go to them or they come to me. There are also the friends I made in Scotland that I would like to keep in contact with. I don't know what travel is going to look like this year, but I'm going to do as much as I can. 

LIFE
My biggest life goal for 2021 is to get a full-time job. I've been doing a ton of tutoring, which has been great, but hopefully, the kids are back in school next fall, so at the end of this school year I would like to have something lined up for myself. I still want to work in publishing somehow, and I'm trying to make connections in the field, but the pandemic has been making it challenging.

ETC.
This year I also want to make better habits for myself. Specifically, I want to create better writing and exercising routines for myself. 

What are your goals for 2021?

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Monday, December 7, 2020

NaNoWriMo WrapUp

NaNoWriMo finished on Monday, and when I checked my word count at 11:59pm, I was at 50,018! 

I had heard of NaNoWriMo before and even tried it once when I was in college, but I only made it to about 14,000 words. I was super proud of myself for completing it this year, especially when Thanksgiving hit during the last week, and I thought I would come in 4000 words short. 

Like any exercise, NaNoWriMo is one of those things that you love once you finish, but the process includes a lot of aggravation. I could never keep this pace up year-round, but it was a fun challenge for the one month. 

I wanted to share a few things this experience taught me:

A Lot of Words:
I am fully capable of writing 50000 words in 30 days. In fact, I can write 50000 words in 24 days, but not continuously. That is not something that I thought I would do, and proving that I could do it was really satisfying. However, some days I wrote a lot of words that I knew weren't very good. However, because NaNo is about the word count and not editing, I left them on the page. Hopefully, I'll be able to salvage some parts of those passages.

Writing isn’t always fun:
Some days stunk. I didn’t feel like writing. I didn’t know what to write. I just wanted to watch TV, but I pushed myself to write. Even if I stopped before meeting my word goal, I wrote almost every day that I could. 

Time limits vs. Word limits: 
To write 50000 words in 30 days, you have to write about 1667 words a day or 11667 words a week. I wasn’t very good at that. I would stop early one day and feel like I had to spend all the next day catching up. I learned that I did my best when I had a 2-hour mostly-focused two-hour “writing shift.” Whether I wrote 600 words or 2000 words in that 2-hours, that was pretty much all I was good for. Thankfully, 2-hours a day isn’t that hard for me to find in my schedule, so I’m hopeful that I can continue writing as part of my everyday routine.

Weekends are for fun:
My least motivated days were Saturday and Sunday. They were also the days that I had the freest time, so you would think I’d be able to write most of my words those days. Sometimes I did, but what would have taken three hours to get done on Thursday took about five. I would have my word document open but be watching TikTok videos on my phone. Weekends should be about hanging out with friends and family or going to Target, not locking yourself in your room, and writing three pages of garbage.

Giving up other joys:
Because I was writing/trying to write during my free time at home, I gave up many other joys. Mostly reading and watching TV. Now, I’m sure most people can do with less TV in their lives, but some days I really wanted to watch a movie or show before bed, but I couldn’t because I had 2000 words to write. I would feel guilty if I spent my free time doing anything but writing, which took the enjoyment out of it. Obviously, that's not what I want, which is why I think time limits are more productive for me. 

Did you try NaNoWriMo? Did you reach your word count? Will you bring doing it again next year? 


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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Books I read in September & October

I feel like I need to make an apology before you get into these reviews. Many of these books were mysteries or had some type of big revelation that I didn't want to spoil, which meant I couldn't write too much about them. Also, I always tell myself to write my reviews once I finish a book, but I never do, and then it's one week before the post goes live, and I'm trying to remember the book I read three weeks ago. 

Stand-In Saturday by Kirsty Moseley
Read that HERE
If I'm Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
Cameron is mean, but she's not dumb. In fact, I don't even know if mean is the right word. She's blunt and honest, and she always makes sure that she can present herself in a certain way. This means everyone she chooses to hang out with has to fit a certain mold she's decided determines value. And she certainly proves that she's capable of owning up to her actions, but her parents have definitely influenced her mindset. Her mother is pretty useless for most of the novel and seems to be living in a fantasy world. Cameron doesn't understand her lack of drive and can't help but resent her. On the other hand, Cameron's father is probably one of the worst human's on the planet, but she wants nothing more than to impress him. However, with only her mom as a reference, Cameron can't help but be impressed by his successful professional life.

And then there's Andrew, Cameron's secret crush that she won't own up to until after he's made the varsity soccer team. When he calls her out on her actions, she decides to prove that she can change. To do that, she has to be forgiven by Brendan, the boy with an awful nickname she's responsible for. Brendan isn't quick to forgive, but Cameron isn't a quitter, and she's willing to do whatever it takes to make his torment stop and apologize. However, she didn't expect to actually enjoy spending time with him...
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Resentments and secrets, that's what everyone in the Keegan and Slater wedding party has. Every single one of them has something going on behind the scenes that could drive anyone to murder. However, what they don't realize is how interconnected they all are. Sure, they're all at the same wedding, so they have at least one mutual connection, but it goes so much deeper than that. While all of their issues are a big deal, I definitely felt more sorry for some of the characters than others, making reading certain points of view a little slow, but every detail revealed was important to the entire story.

As a reader who often flips to the back of the book to see the ending (I know...) I was able to refrain from doing so with this novel, but it was hard. This novel kept the killer and the victim a secret, and there were points where I wanted it to move faster and get to at least one revelation. I was proud of myself for figuring out who the killer was, but I didn't do so until a chapter or two before it was revealed, and I wasn't 100% correct about the killer's reasoning. I pride myself on guessing the killer because I watch way too much Criminal Minds to not be good at it, so whenever it takes me a while to guess, I consider that an aspect of a good mystery novel. I want the hints to be hard to register.  
Pleasant Grove by Jason Price*
This novel reminded me of Divergent. A town isolated from everything else by a dome and told there is no reason to ever go outside of it. However, when something gets in, Agnes and her friends decide it's time to figure out whatever secrets the adults have been trying to keep from them. Soon enough, they realize that there's more to whatever's outside the dome than even their parents know.

Sy-Fy isn't my favorite genre, and this novel is definitely for middle-grade readers, but I knew both of these things before I started reading, and I still enjoyed this novel. I liked that the adults in town remember life before the dome. I feel like usually, generations have passed by the time the story starts, but in this one, it's only been a little over a decade. 

I found Agnes to be a very well-written main character, especially for middle-grade readers. Her protective instincts are clearly very strong, but she's also a kid and gets herself into situations that she might be able to avoid if she was a little older. I don't like it when an author tries to make characters more mature than they need to be, and I thought Agnes was the perfect mix of leader and kid. If I was twelve, I could definitely see Agnes being the cool character I wanted to be like.
Hocus Pocus & The All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha
Hocus Pocus has to be one of my favorite Halloween movies, so I was excited to read the book and get a sequel. The first part is basically the screenplay of the movie. A few inner monologue moments foreshadow the sequel, but other than that, it's the movie. 

The sequel follows Max and Allison's daughter, Poppy. Like a true Dennison, she and her friends accidentally bring the witches back to Salem, but this time it comes at the cost of sending Max, Allison, and Dani to hell. The witches are willing to trade all of Salem's souls to form a coven of their own, but to do so, they need their family's moonstone before sunrise.

This novel introduces another Sanderson Sister, Elizabeth. She was also killed for being a witch, but not before making sure her husband and daughter were safe, which allowed the Sanderson bloodline to continue. She does her best to help Poppy and her friends, but she's only a ghost. When it comes to it, Poppy and her crush, Isabella, are the only two who can stop the Sanderson Sisters.

This book was fun to read. Incorporating 2018 technology into the story was interesting. Considering the paved road threw the Sisters for a loop when they faced off against Max, their ability to figure out a cell phone is very impressive. Learning how Max and Allison treat Halloween after their experience was also intriguing. They've told Poppy the story, but she doesn't believe it and instead has learned to resent Halloween.
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
WARNING: There are some spoilers in this review, which is true for many of my reviews, but because this book is so new, I wanted to give you a heads up.

I'm not going to lie: I was a little skeptical about this book when I originally read the synopsis. The magical Groundhog Day element was different from everything Christina Lauren has done in their adult novels before (Sublime and House are YA, and both involve magical elements). However, I did really enjoy this book and ended up reading it wicked fast.

Mae's life is the epitome of "good, not great." Has a job, doesn't like it. Has a huge crush she's never acted on. It's like she can't make too many complaints but wants to complain anyway, which I think is a situation many of us have been in. We know in the grand scheme of things we're doing fine, but we wish we were doing better. However, when Mae really feels at the bottom of the barrel, she makes a wish and is rewarded with restarting the week. 

It takes Mae a few tries to get the hang of time travel, but she eventually accepts it. Something is freeing for her about knowing her choices may not be permanent. She doesn't take advantage, but she stops caring so much about what other people think and makes decisions she was previously afraid of. However, the one thing that she struggles with is that on the original Christmas Day, she kissed Theo, not his brother/her crush Andrew. And although it doesn't happen again and Theo doesn't even know it ever happened, Mae can't help but look at him differently, which results in her spending less time with him and Theo being very confused.   

I will say that I was waiting for her to go back one more time and wake up in the hospital or at the car crash. I expected there to be an explanation for what was going on, but she never did. Time travel was real in this novel, and it was just something Mae had to deal with. If that was me, I'd be afraid of getting send back like she was during the scavenger hunt, but I guess once she started doing things for herself, the universe decided she could handle the rest on her own.

Although the story takes place over Christmas, it's not really a Christmassy book. I was kind of expecting a Hallmark-style, true meaning of Christmas thing, but it's not, which I liked. 

*This book was gifted to me by the author. Opinions are my own.


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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Have you signed up for NaNoWriMo 2020?

Have you ever heard of NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month, and it encourages people to write 50,000 words within the 30 days of November.

Writing an average of 1,667 words a day can be challenging, which is why NaNoWriMo focuses on the draft. Get the words on the paper and worry about editing in December. Now for me, that's a really tricky thing to do because when I write, I often go back and reread what I've already done. My plan is to use that to my advantage, and if there's a day where I feel like I don't know what to write, I'll go back and try to fit in more words. However, I'm also going to try to use it as motivation to not get stuck on a scene that isn't working out the way I want it to. Instead of getting frustrated, I'll move on.

Although NaNoWriMo's challenge is to write an entire 50,000-word novel draft, you can totally make it your own. In 2015 I tried to do it starting at 0 (I failed; only got to about 14000 words), but this year I'm going to continue a story I already started. In fact, I'm hoping this month will be the push I need to finish the first draft. This will help me succeed in this year's challenge because I already did some of the world and character building, and I have an idea of where I want the story to go. However, I do not currently have very good self-discipline when it comes to writing every day, so that's my biggest goal for November.

Plenty of well-known novels have started as NaNoWriMo challenges. Their published versions may look different than their NaNoWriMo drafts, but this is where the authors started, and it's where you can too! Some of the books that stood out to me were The Night Circus (you guys know that's one of my all-time favorite novels), Water for Elephants, Fangirl, and Cinder, but you can learn about more on Goodreads.

If you're interested in challenging yourself to NaNoWriMo, you can sign up HERE. And you can friend me HERE.

I've designed a simple NaNoWriMo Tracker for you to print out. I already have mine taped to the wall next to my bed since that's where I write. Putting it up where others may see it, even if they don't comment on what it is, will be an extra motivating tool to make sure I'm writing every day.




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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Celebrating my 24th birthday in Salem, MA

In February 1692, two young girls from Salem Village started acting bizarre. After a local doctor diagnosed them as being bewitched and other girls in the village also started acting strangely, the original girls accused their slave and two other women of being witches. And thus began the Salem Witch Trials. From February 1962 to May 1963, over two hundred people were accused of witchcraft, and thirty were found guilty. 
Today, Salem is sometimes called the Witch City, and the month of October is usually filled with events and people walking around dressed up as witches and other scary characters. If you've seen the movie Hocus Pocus: it took place and was partly filmed in Salem. Due to COVID, most of the festivities were canceled this year, but there is still plenty to see and do.

My friend, Erin, and I talked a few weeks ago, and she brought up how none of us have ever visited Salem at Halloweentime. I looked into it and decided that for my birthday, I wanted to spend a day in Salem with Erin and our two friends Megan and Carli. So we organized our schedules and spent the day wandering around the city. 

The first thing we did was make our way into a shop called Witch City Wicks, where I (obviously) bought a candle called "Sleepy Hollow," since that was the short story I wrote my Senior Thesis on in college.
We then ate a morning snack at Gulu Gulu Cafe. I can't think of a better way to start the day then Mimosas, French75s (for Gin lovers a.k.a. not me), a soft pretzel, and a charcuterie board. Can you? It was delicious, and it was the first time in a while since the four of us had all been together to talk instead of just texting. 
When we had first arrived in Salem, I said to my friends that I had spent the morning talking myself out of buying a witches hat because I simply did not need one. Famous last words, right? While we were sitting at the Cafe, I saw a woman walk by wearing a cute, subtle witches hat and new I wanted it. So we found them at Coon's Card & Gift Shop and it's actually called "Modern Witch Hat." I'm in love with it, even if it's only practical one month a year. I bought the gray one, and Megan, whose birthday is also in October, bought the red.
We were in and out of plenty of stores, all located in one area, so it's not like we were wasting time walking all over the place. At one point, Erin pointed out that the Hotel Salem has a Rooftop Bar, so we made our way up there. We all ended up getting specialty cocktails because 'tis the season. Erin got the Cramble, Carli the Autumn Mule, Megan the Orange Blossom Rita, and I had the Maple Smash. We also had to order nachos because of the new COVID guidelines that don't allow people to get drinks without food, but there were zero complaints all around.
From The Roof, we slightly rushed to make our appointment for the Witch House. Formerly the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin (1640–1718), the Witch House is the only structure you can visit in Salem with direct ties to the Salem witch trials of 1692. It was a quick, self-guided tour that let us learn about how the Corwin family lived and their involvement in the Witch Trials.
We left Salem after the tour, but not without ticking off some Hocus Pocus boxes. Unfortunately, the Sanderson Sister's house isn't real, although I like to believe that if Disney had known how big that movie would be, they would have built an actual structure in Salem. However, Allison's house is the real-life Rope's Mansion, which we walked through the gardens of, and Max Dennison's house is someone's actual home.
I could have spent more time in Salem, but I had to get back to Carli and Megan's apartment to jump on a Google Meet call. When I was done, we ordered pizza, and my friends sang Happy Birthday to me. While picking up the pizza, they also stopped and grabbed some Hostess Cupcakes to put candles in. The funniest part was that they didn't have a 4 candle, so it was 22 + 2. 
It's crazy that I am officially in my mid-twenties. My 23rd year was pretty crazy: going from living in Edinburgh to spending most of my time with my dog. Plus the whole start-of-a-worldwide-pandemic thing. Nonetheless, it was a pretty great year, and I can't wait to see what 24 brings!


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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

STAND-IN SATURDAY (#2 LOVE FOR DAYS SERIES) | Book Review

Title: Stand-In Saturday
Series: Love for Days
Author: Kirsty Moseley
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: September 28, 2020

Two broken hearts. One fake dating agreement. What could go wrong? 
Lucie thought she had it all—a loving fiancĂ©, a nice apartment, and a job she was great at. But that all changed the day she walked in on her perfect fiancĂ© screwing his personal trainer on her newly purchased dream sofa. Three months later, she’s bunking with her best friend and scrambling to make sense of her life sans cheating ex. 
Theo is about to jet off for a long weekend in picturesque Scotland to be the best man at his brother’s wedding. With stunning views and nothing but free food and drinking ahead, he should be more excited than he is. If only he didn’t have feelings for the damn bride.
When fate throws Lucie and Theo together under unlikely circumstances, they bond over doughnuts and their mutually disastrous love lives … and it seems like they might be able to help each other out. As long as they both stick to the rules, there’s nothing that can go wrong. 
Contract in place? Check. 
Hot, fake dates? Check.
Sexual chemistry steamy enough to scorch sheets? Double ch—
Wait, what? 
That wasn’t in the agreement … 

A standalone romcom. Book 2 in the Love For Days series. Please note: Although this book can be read as a standalone, it is set after Man Crush Monday (Book 1 in the series) so will contain spoilers.


My Review (There are spoilers):
And I thought Amy and Jared were a match made in heaven... I fully believe Lucie and Theo were fated to meet. I mean what are the chances that they get stuck in an elevator together? This novel had quite a bit of self-realization for the main characters, which I really enjoyed. 

We learned in Man Crush Monday that Theo is lighthearted and go with the flow, but Lucie takes a big step out of her comfort zone to agree to go to his twin brother's wedding in exchange for bringing him to her parent's house in order to make her ex jealous. An ex she had known for her entire life and whom she just broke off an engagement with, no less. 

Lucie wasn't a surprise to the wedding because everyone knew Theo was bringing a last-minute date, which I liked. I was happy Theo didn't try to pull off the "we've been dating for a while" shtick. Plus, it wouldn't have worked since he's with Amy and Jared all the time. The wedding proved their immediate chemistry for one another and how well Lucie fit in with Theo's family. The Fancy Dress fiasco was extra funny to me because I had never heard a costume party called that before, so a mistake like that never would have happened to me, but I am wicked happy it happened to them. And they just rolled with it, which made it even better! It could have been because Lucie was in a room of strangers she never expected to see again but I think it had more to do with the fact that Theo truly let Lucie relax and be herself, even if she was embarrassed. 

All it took was a weekend for Theo to fall hard, and Lucie definitely had strong feelings for him too, but she convinced herself they were just helping each other out. She was also under the impression that Theo was still in love with Amy. However, Theo realized that he didn't want Amy, but his own version of her. He loved seeing her and his brother happy together and wanted that for himself.     

The dinner party is where we finally get to meet Lucas, the ex. Throughout the novel, you learn that he cheated on Lucie, but she can't imagine a life without him. However, this isn't the romantic version, but rather the 'he's super controlling and has Lucie brainwashed into believing that she can't be anything without him" type. It's something that the readers and Lucie's friend, and even Theo a little bit, picked up on, but the party is where it comes to a head and Lucie finally figures out what she deserves. There's even a nice fight between Theo and Lucas when Lucas puts his hands on Lucie - I loved every second of it. 


Praise for Stand-In Saturday:
Ann (Literary Lust) - "OH. MY. GOODNESS. This is one story that you honestly must not miss!!"

Goodreads Review - "Moseley does it again. Yet another fantastic story."

A Book Lover's Emporium Book Blog - "I absolutely adored this book. My face was aching because I smiled and laughed so much, plus I shed some very happy tears too."

Kirsty Moseley has always been a passionate reader since she was a little girl, devouring books overnight, barely sleeping and paying for it at school the next day. Writing has come similarly to her and once she discovered Wattpad, she finally plucked up the courage to post one of her stories. Seven million reads later, she self-published her debut novel THE BOY WHO SNEAKS IN MY BEDROOM WINDOW, which later became one of 10 Finalists for the 2012 Goodreads' Choice Awards, Best YA Fiction. Shocked and overwhelmed by the response, she published her second novel ALWAYS YOU a few months later and hasn’t looked back. 
If she had to sum herself up in one word, it would probably be 'daydreamer' - but unlike most of her school teachers, she doesn't necessarily view that as a bad thing. After all, she read somewhere once that books are like waking dreams...
She lives in Norfolk, England with her husband and son.


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