Audiobook, Contemporary Romance, Review Books, romance

The Happy Ever After by Abby Jimenez

The Happy Ever After PlaylistTitle: The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
Series: The Friend Zone, Book 2
Release Date: April 14th, 2020 (Forever Publishing)
Format: Kindle Edition (400 Pages)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb: Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.
Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?

This book had it all. I snickered, I rolled my eyes, I clapped, I sobbed and I whooped with joy at the end.
This book started off in a really cutesy fashion. It featured a widower, Sloane on her way to visit her dead fiancee grave when a stray dog jumps into her car. It was clear the dog Tucker was looking for protection. Immediately it spoke to the dog lover in me because I believe that dogs have an intuition about good people. When Sloane call the owner Jackson Waters, the reader gets a front row seat to a flirtation that turned into more.

I don’t want to give anything away about this story other than to say it dealt with grief after a major loss, learning to pick up the pieces, losing oneself and finding that individuality again. Another thing that was really important was the effect of people’s jobs and the requirements of said job on their romantic relationships. This book was so much more than what I was expecting. I thought it would be a fluffy rom-com but it was much more deeper about lifestyle choices and loss of individuality in romantic relationship. Both main characters were really good people who genuinely cared about the other, so I couldn’t help but cheer them on like Sloane’s best friend.

Consequently, I had to go and get The Friend Zone with I have not read. I read somewhere that this book was written first so I decided to start with this one. I recommend the opposite. Read the Friend Zone first. I will listen to the audiobook to get the background that I wish I had while reading this book.

Be prepared to laugh, shake your first, cry and hug the person closest to you in joy by the time you finish this book. It’s easily one of the best books I’ve read all year.

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Contemporary Romance, Reading Plan, Review Books, romance

Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love #2) by Alisha Rai @alisharai

Title: Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai
Modern Love #2
Release Date:
April 21st 2020 by Avon
Kindle Edition (400 Pages)
Contemporary Romance, New Adult
In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a live-tweet event goes viral for a camera-shy ex-model, shoving her into the spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’d been pining for.

OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate???

I don’t see any wedding rings [eyes emoji]

Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!!

One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for…

He’s got a [peach emoji] to die for.

With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…

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This one was very different from book 1 but I still loved it. If you don’t remember her, Katrina was introduced in book 1 as the silent partner and friend to Rhiannon, the heroine in book one of this series. We got the little tidbits about Katrina being a recluse, but not the full explanation as to why.

In this sequel, Katrina is trying her hand at making a love match. However, she isn’t finding that zing of attraction that she feels when she is around her bodyguard Jas. She is determined to find someone who returns her affections so when a chance meeting occurs with a handsome stranger at a cafe, Katrina tries to shoot her shot. What happens as a result exposes the very private Katrina on the internet. To buy time for the attention to die down, Katrina’s bodyguard Jas whisks her away to his family farm and that is when both characters really begin to open up and see what’s been in front of them the whole time.

The writing was really engaging and dynamic. The author deals with their mental health issues with sensitivity and grace, so I was really able to empathize with the main characters. Katrina and Jas were dealing with issues that made trusting others very difficult but they clearly don’t have trouble trusting with each other. Their subplots with their respective families added another layer of intrigue to this story. I learned a few cultural things thanks to Jas’s family. The grandfather reminded me of my own.

The pacing of this story made the romance more believable because these are very cautious and skittish individuals. Imagine a turtle slowly poking their head out of their shell and being to take steps. Each step revealed the characters were always aware of the other and tried their best to meet the other’s need. They were pretty good at communicating with the other. The dual pov made the romance more authentic because the reader got to follow the character’s mental and emotional journey.

I thought there was an excellent balance with the romance and their individual growth/healing. I am always a fan of love stories where the characters grow and make the choice to fight for their own happiness. I enjoyed the slow burn and ultimately the happy ending. This series proved to be a hit for me and I can’t wait for the next book.