2021 Book #42 – Heartbreak for Hire by Sonia Hartl

Title: Heartbreak for Hire
Author: Sonia Hartl
Date finished: 5/30/21
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
Pages in book: 320
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:

A smart, sexy, and witty romantic comedy—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne—about a twentysomething who lives out every woman’s fantasy: getting paid to give men who do us wrong a taste of their own medicine. But when a previous target unexpectedly shows up at her office, she’s forced to rethink her life as a professional heartbreaker.

Brinkley Saunders has a secret.

To everyone in the academic world she left behind, she lost it all when she dropped out of grad school. Once a rising star following in her mother’s footsteps, she’s now an administrative assistant at an insurance agency—or so they think.

In reality, Brinkley works at Heartbreak for Hire, a secret service that specializes in revenge for jilted lovers, frenemies, and long-suffering coworkers with a little cash to spare and a man who needs to be taken down a notch. It might not be as prestigious as academia, but it helps Brinkley save for her dream of opening an art gallery and lets her exorcise a few demons, all while helping to empower women.

But when her boss announces she’s hiring male heartbreakers for the first time, Brinkley’s no longer so sure she’s doing the right thing—especially when her new coworker turns out to be a target she was paid to take down. Though Mark spends his days struggling up the academic ladder, he seems to be the opposite of a backstabbing adjunct: a nerd at heart in criminally sexy sweater vests who’s attentive both in and out of the bedroom. But as Brinkley finds it increasingly more difficult to focus on anything but Mark, she soon realizes that like herself, people aren’t always who they appear to be.

My rating:  4.5 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 was really interested by the premise behind this novel and was excited to get the chance to read it. It’s coming out in a couple months but I am not sure on my availability for posting this July so I figured I’d just read and post it a little early. The plot line on this was was different than the other romances I’ve read of late and it was a refreshing change of pace. Brinkley’s profession is really what made this book so interesting to me. I felt terrible that she got screwed over so much but I loved how she stood up for herself in the end. Her “meet-cute” with Mark was really unusual too and it was just intriguing to me to see such a different plot line. I’d be interested to hear stories about the other H4H ladies falling in love too and their journeys. I’m not sure if Hartl is planning to do a series of sorts but I hope so! Overall this was an interesting and different book and was also a great romantic story. I would recommend it to other readers!

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

2020 Book #77 – The Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor

Title: The Code for Love and Heartbreak
Author: Jillian Cantor
Date finished: 10/25/20
Genre: Young adult
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Pages in book: 215
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:

In this contemporary romcom retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma by USA TODAY bestselling author Jillian Cantor, there’s nothing more complex—or unpredictable—than love.

When math genius Emma and her coding club co-president, George, are tasked with brainstorming a new project, The Code for Love is born.

George disapproves of Emma’s idea of creating a matchmaking app, accusing her of meddling in people’s lives. But all the happy new couples at school are proof that the app works. At least at first.

Emma’s code is flawless. So why is it that perfectly matched couples start breaking up, the wrong people keep falling for each other, and Emma’s own feelings defy any algorithm?

My rating:  3.75 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.

I was very interested in reading this book based on the description, and I haven’t read as much young adult lately. This book was the perfect amount of nerdy for me, I loved Emma’s character. I was a little worried it might end up being too angsty (young adult can be hit or miss for me), and while it was a little angst-ridden it was just a reasonable amount for me. I think part of the reason it worked so well is that Emma’s character is doesn’t connect to her emotions in the same way as others. She seemed like she might be autistic since she was very literal, didn’t really understand social interactions, and had trouble identifying emotions in others. I thought the author’s portrayal of her was really well done and genuine. I loved all the nerd talk with coding (which I’m not familiar with the terminology on but could still get in the spirit) and the competitiveness of the competition. The romance plot line was a bit of a miss for me but I know it was kind of following along the lines of a classic plot line.  It just felt confusing with the switch on who liked who all the time. The other characters in the book didn’t feel as fleshed out to me as they could have but I did really like to varied cast of characters. It was a cute read and I enjoyed it though I wouldn’t say it was my favorite. I’d still recommend it though – it was a good book!

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

2016 Book #97 – Till I Kissed You by Laura Trentham

51acaxkhhylTitle: Till I Kissed You
Author: Laura Trentham
Date finished: 10/12/16
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: #3 in the Cottonbloom series
Where I got the book from: The Reading Room NOTE:I received this book for free from The Reading Room 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:

Regan Lovell grew up on the wealthy Mississippi side of Cottonbloom—and now, as mayor, she’s determined to save it from the fate of so many small towns. Part of her plan to help the local economy is the Labor Day tomato festival. If only she wasn’t being undermined by Sawyer Fournette, who’s planning a crayfish-themed celebration on the Louisiana side of the river on the very same weekend. The pranks and sabotage are getting out of hand, and she’s had it with him—no matter how much she enjoyed those stolen hours in his truck bed, so many years ago…
Sawyer knows that Regan’s never forgiven him for breaking her heart—but despite his reputation as a low-class swamp rat, he’d never hurt the woman who still secretly drives him crazy with desire. Someone in Cottonbloom has it out for her, though, and Sawyer intends to watch her back…and the rest of her too, if she can ever let go of her distrust. But will a common enemy be enough to unite them—and finally fulfill the promises they made one passionate night under the stars?

My rating:  3.75 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. This book is about Regan Lovell and Sawyer Fournette. Once high school sweethearts, there is now no love lost between them. Ever since Regan caught Sawyer cheating when they were in college, Regan hasn’t been able to look back on her memories of Sawyer without bitter regret and anger clawing at her insides. And now that she’s mayor of Cottonbllom, Mississippi and Sawyer is commissioner of Cottonbloom, Louisiana, they have an excuse for their rivalry. Unfortunately it also throws them together on numerous occasions, which is why they end up spending more and more time together during the summer before their respective towns’ festivals. But when Regan begins to be threatened, Sawyer’s protective streak resurfaces and they’ll both be forced to face the fact that neither of them have really ever moved on from one another.
Overall I really liked this book. I liked the characters and I loved the great amount of tension the author created between the hero and the heroine. The two towns were quirky and full of interesting people. I did think that the ending was kind of an odd fit for the story and that the discovery of the “villain” of the story was a little anti-climactic. This is the third in the series though and after reading it I would definitely be interested in reading the other two books in the series, about Sawyer’s siblings. While at points a little slow, this was an endearing novel that I didn’t want to put down. I would definitely recommend, especially for anyone who is a fan of contemporary romance!

The bottom line: This was a sweet book. I liked the story line a lot and the author did a great job of creating tension between the hero and heroine. A good read, especially if you like romance novels.

Link to author website

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

2015 Book #28 – Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick

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Title: Cure for the Common Breakup
Author: Beth Kendrick
Date finished: 4/6/15
Genre: Women’s fiction
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Pages in book: 299
Stand alone or series: Black Dog Bay series #1

Blurb from the cover:

Welcome to Black Dog Bay, a tiny seaside town in Delaware known as “the best place in America to bounce back from your breakup.” Home to the Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast, the Eat Your Heart Out bakery, and the Whinery bar, Black Dog Bay offers a haven for the suddenly single.
Flight attendant Summer Benson lives by two rules: Don’t stay with the same man for too long and never stay in one place. She’s about to break rule number one by considering accepting her boyfriend’s proposal—then disaster strikes and her world is shattered in an instant.
Summer heads to Black Dog Bay, where the locals welcome her. Even Hattie Huntington, the town’s oldest, richest, and meanest resident, likes her enough to give her a job. Then there’s Dutch Jansen, the rugged, stoic mayor, who’s the opposite of her type. She probably shouldn’t be kissing him. She definitely shouldn’t be falling in love.
After a lifetime of globe-trotting, Summer has finally found a home. But Hattie has old scores to settle and a hidden agenda for her newest employee. Summer finds herself faced with an impossible choice: Leave Black Dog Bay behind forever, or stay with the ones she loves and cost them everything….

My rating: 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: This book will count for the challenge I am participating in for April, the #ReadingMyLibrary reading challenge. I saw this book at the Bristol Library and I have had it on my TBR list for a while so I picked it up. This book is about a brassy flight attendant who has serious commitment issues. She ends up in Black Dog Bay, Delaware to try to heal after a slightly traumatic experience. It is there that she meets Dutch, the Mayor of Black Dog Bay.
There were a lot of things that I liked about this story, the town is cute and kind of quirky cute. The town is known for being the town to go to after a bad breakup, and many of the businesses cater to the recently broken-hearted. It all started with a woman who came to the town a long time ago after her husband left her and when she hit her rock bottom lowest on the beach she was saved by a large black dog. The ghost of this dog is still rumored to roam the beach, saving women from heartache and all that jazz.
This was a cute, light story. A tiny bit too light for me (I couldn’t really get in deep enough with the characters) but it was enjoyable and touching. I will most likely read the next book in the Black Dog Bay series.

The bottom line:  Very cute story, sweet and touching. Would recommend.

Link to author website
Link to Amazon