2018 Book #67 – At the Heart of It by Tawna Fenske

51ZxBkN1V4LTitle: At the Heart of It
Author: Tawna Fenske
Date finished: 8/7/18
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction, romance, romantic comedy
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Pages in book: 336
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

TV producer Kate Geary is in unscripted heaven. She’s piloting a reality series featuring her favorite self-help guru, Dr. Vivienne Brandt. The Dr. Viv—whose nuggets of wisdom helped Kate get through some of her toughest times. Thanks to Dr. Viv, Kate is almost on the verge of figuring everything out. That is, until Jonah Porter, the superhot book nerd Kate just spent an amazing date with, appears at the show’s first meeting.

Jonah did not want to get reeled into a world filled with invasive crews, pushy network execs, and over-the-top drama, but a connection to the story leaves him no choice. Fortunately, Kate—hot, smart, and funny—helps make it bearable. Now they’re both on the verge of violating their contracts as they find themselves sneaking around off set. But the cameras have a way of finding out everyone’s secrets…especially the ones that can break hearts.

My rating:  3.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I finished this book for ARC August 2018! Love this reading challenge. And this year I’m especially excited because as part of the challenge they added one of my favorite things, reading Bingo! This book will be checking off my “Finish a 2017 ARC” box. PLUS! The fun never ends, since this is from my 2017 Backlog list, I am also completing this book as part of the 2018 Bookish Reading Challenge,  for the “a book you picked up based on the title” category.

I had read another of Fenske’s books, Now That It’s You, a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. I have to say I wasn’t as thrilled about this one’s plot but overall I still did enjoy it. This was a solid romance novel for me but wasn’t anything that really grabbed me. I liked all of the characters, Kate especially seemed like a very strong woman and I really admired her. The insight into reality television was also interesting and learning about how the show featured in the book was produced. The show itself was an unusual idea that made me curious how that would turn out in real life. Other than that I would say it was pretty standard but still a good book. I would recommend it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2018 Book #27 – What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlaw by Leah Stewart

51FTCr4LCSLTitle: What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlaw
Author: Leah Stewart
Date finished: 4/8/18
Genre: Fiction, literary fiction
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Pages in book: 336
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

The celebrated author (whom The Boston Globe compared to Anne Tyler) of The Myth of You and Me explores an untraditional love story through the lens of a character actor who must finally become the hero of her own story.

After a series of missteps in the face of his newfound fame, actor Charlie Outlaw flees to a remote island in search of anonymity and a chance to reevaluate his recent breakup with his girlfriend, actress Josie Lamar. But soon after his arrival on the peaceful island, his solitary hike into the jungle takes him into danger he never anticipated.

As Charlie struggles with gaining fame, Josie struggles with its loss. The star of a cult TV show in her early twenties, Josie has spent the twenty years since searching for a role to equal that one, and feeling less and less like her character, the heroic Bronwyn Kyle. As she gets ready for a reunion of the cast at a huge fan convention, she thinks all she needs to do is find a part and replace Charlie. But she can’t forget him, and to get him back she’ll need to be a hero in real life.

My rating:  2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Ever wondered what it was like to be an actor? It’s not something I ever really thought much about, but still while reading this book I found myself interested in a lot of the thought process that goes behind the acting gig. I’m an accountant myself and have never really been much of an actor (I really am an awful liar and am somewhat terrible at secret-keeping) but after reading this book I can say that I identify with some pieces of the job. I also tend to be overly sensitive and emphatic, which gets me into trouble sometimes just like it did Charlie. And while I could resonate with his character on this specific idea, there were a lot of other parts of this book that got lost in translation for me. It felt to me like there was a limited amount of action thrown in between inner monologues and flash backs and character changes, all of which didn’t have much transition and multiple times I had to go back and figure out where the switch happened. While I really did enjoy the plot and I loved the ending, I found the book to be overly wordy and I had to struggle a little to make my way through it. This book has gotten some great reviews though and I did like the characters and the plot a lot so I would definitely still recommend checking it out!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page