Skip to main content


Recent Reads #33

Friday, February 9, 2024

The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose

Molly Gray is back in the sequel to The Maid! The Maid was one of my top books from 2022! I still find myself recommending it all the time. So, color me surprised when I had no idea there was going to be a sequel. I was browsing Target with my niece and randomly saw it in the book section.

Molly Gray is the head maid at the Regency Grand Hotel, and she takes her job very seriously. Her world is turned upside down (again) when a world renowned mystery writer drops dead in the tea room. Molly actually holds the key to solving the mystery: in the memories from her childhood.

I adored being with Molly again, and I enjoyed getting a glimpse into her past. If you loved The Maid, you'll love The Mystery Guest. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Rom-Commers (ARC) by Katherine Center

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of The Rom Commers by Katherine Center!

Katherine Center’s last 2 books The Bodyguard and Hello Stranger were five star reads for me, so I was very excited for The Rom Commers! Maybe that made my expectations too high?

Basically: Emma is dying to be a screenwriter, but a freak accident has left her as the caretaker of her widower father. An opportunity arises for her to go work with her all time favorite writer in Hollywood and she goes for it. The only problem is he had no idea she was coming and he doesn't even want to work on the script anyway. Emma tries to convince him that rom-coms are special and this movie is worth making.

What I loved: there is some great banter between our leads and lots of fun rom-com moments. Cuthbert the Guinea pig is precious. I also thought it was neat to have a cameo from another book.
The premise was great. I liked the forced proximity. There are a lot of miscommunication moments. Very typical in the rom com genre, although they are so frustrating! I did think the ‘big’ miscommunication at the end was a pretty good one.

I will say this took me several days to read, and normally I read her books in one sitting or two. There is a lot more language than I was expecting based on previous books as well. That’s one of the main reasons I liked her last 2 books so much- they were very easy to recommend to anyone.

Some of the character traits and plot points felt very random to me. Like, Emma is a writer, but she’s also a super talented swimmer, and also a really amazing cook, and also her parents were in a freak accident, and she’s also got crazy red hair and she’s also this and also that. I realize that makes her multi dimensional, I’m just saying it felt like a lot of random things and that made it hard for me to get a handle on who she was until well into the book.

Overall, if you love a rom-com I think you will enjoy this! The leads have really great chemistry, and lots of banter. Miscommunication is the name of the game here, and if that doesn’t frustrate you, you’ll like to watch it play out.

I’d say this is a 3.75 star read for me. ⭐⭐⭐💫

Whalefall by Daniel Kraus

Jay, a diver, decides to go hunting for his father's remains in the Pacific Ocean. He and his dad have had a hard relationship, and he feels like this is a good way to make amends. But, during the dive he finds himself caught in a giant squid's tentacles and heading towards a whale's mouth.

This was presented as The Martian meets 127 hours, so it intrigued me. I did not care for this. I'm rating it like 2.75 stars. The diving part was very interesting, and then it would flash back out to a completely irrelevant memory. Of course, all the memories help him out of the bad situation but it just felt badly done. Too many daddy issues. His dad really was terrible to him, but I guess because he taught him how to dive we forgive him? Although, he never would have gotten swallowed by a whale if his father hadn't have committed suicide and he didn't feel compelled to go find his body. But whatever. ⭐⭐💫

Dune by Frank Herbert

Dune has been on my TBR list for the longest! I admit, I was pretty intimidated by it. 

Dune is the story of Paul Atreides, part of a royal family. They've been moved to this sandy dessert planet Arrakis, where this story takes place. Lots of politics and revenge! 

Overall, I have to say, I'm happy I saw the movie first. 😂 It helped me picture everything and keep things straight. There will be 2 movies for this one book, so I look forward to seeing it! I felt that the first half of the book was stronger than the 2nd. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Unmaking of June Farrow by Adrienne Young

Oh, this book! 
June Farrow knows she'll lose her mind at some point. It's happened to all the women in her family. Her own mother went mad and disappeared. And now, her grandmother has passed away leaving her with some weird clues about what may have happened to her mother and all the women before her who have had this mystery illness. She assumed it was all hallucinations, but when she has the opportunity to test it out herself - it's quite the journey.  

The sense of place in the book is so strong! Very well written, and instantly captivating. Super unique premise too! This book ended up being a really cool blend of science fiction and historical fiction. I'm not sure the science is exactly sound - I'm sure you could find a plot hole in there or two. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Woman in Me by Britney Spears

Britney's memoir! You know I love a good celebrity memoir. I've really been wanting to read this. I loved Britney Spears as a kid! She was quite the victim of the media and her own family. There are some huge bombs dropped in this book, and it's unbelievable her dad was able to control the conservatorship for so long. She probably did need help, but she was absolutely taken advantage of. Just wild. 

First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston

Eeek! I loved this and couldn't put it down! 
Evie is starting a new life with her new boyfriend and setting up a dream home. The only problem is that Evie isn’t her real name and she’s actually there on a job - that new boyfriend is a mark. Everything is going fine until she starts to really like her fake life there, and her boss makes it clear she can’t make any mistakes this time.

If you love a good cat and mouse thriller, and especially one where all the pieces tie together perfectly in the end - you’ll love First Lie Wins. There is language throughout. It’s complicated, with flashbacks and lots of secret identities, but I loved how everything played out in the end. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Shop These Books:


This post contains affiliate and referral links! | Blog Disclosure

Post a Comment


Hi friends! I'm Kristen, and this is the Life and Style of an early 30's Floridian living the Best Life Ever, with her husband and three pugs. Runner | Avid Reader | Small Shop Owner

Follow me on Instagram