Audiobook, Blogger Themes, Contemporary Romance, Review Books

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves


Title: The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
Series:
Narrated By:
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Format: Audiobook (4hrs and 59 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Blurb: Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose, is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

I am not a big fan of second chance romances but I love this author’s work so I was willing to take a chance on this book.

This novel was written from the perspective of the main characters Annika and Jonathan, and it vacillates from their past to their present. Annika Rose and Jonathan Hoffman met at college at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagn as members of the chess club. Annika was a shy and socially awkward girl who showed signs of having either Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism. Jonathan was a confident transfer student who wants intrigued with Annika, especially with her chess expertise. Their friendship blossomed into a sweet college romance love and she ended up ghosting him after he graduated.

Ten years later, Annika accidentally ran into Jonathan at the grocery store so she asked him out for coffee. Annika saw this an opportunity to right a wrong from almost a decade ago. The readers get glimpses into the people they were back in college and who Annika and Jonathan are ten years later.
The story moves at an even pace, allowing the reader to get into the characters head and experience their emotions. It was certainly educational for me to see how different and challenging everyday occurrences can be for someone whose brain is wired is different from mine.

Tracey Garvis Gravis did a great job of presenting Annika and Simon without making it overly emotional and sappy. I also loved her addition of Janice, Annika’s roommate in college and current best friend. It was a journey of growth, independence and learning from one’s mistakes. It is also about communicating, understanding and having empathy for others who may not be just like you. It was very subtle the way the author mended something that was thought to be broken a long time ago resulting in a beautiful and more mature love. I enjoy stories where characters evolve and as a reader, I learn something new. I will definitely recommend it to others.

Audiobook, Historical Romance, Review Books

The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl (The Last Travelers Society #3) by Victoria Alexander


The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl (The Lady Travelers Society, #3)

Harry Armstrong has spent years in Egypt, recovering relics and disregarding rules. Now he’s back in England with a new title and a new purpose: penning his exploits. But his efforts are overshadowed by London’s favorite writer about Egypt—a woman they call The Queen of the Desert, of all things. Worse, her stories—serialized in newspapers and reprinted in books—are complete rubbish.

Miss Sidney Honeywell didn’t set out to deceive anyone. It’s not her fault readers assumed her Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt were real! Admitting her inadvertent deception now would destroy her reputation and her livelihood. But when the Earl of Brenton challenges her to travel to Egypt to prove her expertise, accompanied by his dashing, arrogant nephew, what choice does she have but to pack her bags?

With the matchmaking founders of the Lady Travelers Society in tow, Harry is determined to expose Sidney’s secret. But the truth might not be as great a revelation as discovering that love can strike even the most stubborn of hearts


The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl (The Lady Travelers Society, #3)My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This audiobook was a grand adventure and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It was like following a female Indiana Jones except the lady was an author not an archeologist. The plot was similar to the prior books in this series. It was more of a historical romantic suspense story because the romance was secondary to the main characters drive to find some historical artifacts.

Miss Sidney Honeywall has been writing under the pseudonym Mrs. Gordon, garnering a huge fan following about her adventures in Egypt. Not everyone was enamored with the “Tales of a Lady Adventure” particularly the Earl of Brenton who believed the author to be a fraud. The Earl doesn’t believe Mrs. Gordon to be a real expert of Egyptian artifacts and culture. In order to expose the author, the Earl lays down a challenge daring Mrs. Gordon to travel with his nephew Harry Armstrong, To establish the legitimacy of of her numerous articles and her claims of travel, Sidney agrees to allow Harry to join her on her next adventure to Egypt.

This one was well written and had likable characters. Sidney and her ladies of her traveling club, Persephone “Poppy”, Ophelia “Aunt Effie” and Guinevere “Guin” were a riot. They seemed like they were ditzy and a tad clueless but their actions were purposeful and intended. They had each others backs and were a source of emotional and mental support for Sidney.

Harry was a clearly intelligent and came with the intention of giving “Mrs. Gordon” just enough rope to hang herself. Harry intended to expose Sidney as a fraud once he gathered enough evidence. What he wasn’t expecting to encounter was a beautiful and intelligent woman who kept him on his toes. I liked their banter and interaction because they were clearly equals. Their mutual admiration and respect laid a great foundation for the love that came later.
This author did a great job of not letting the romance overpower the plot and the twist at the end was amusing even though I suspected it. I liked this one a lot.

*e-ARC from Netgalley

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