Hi chums! ❤
Wow, I can’t believe that the last time I have actually finished writing a review and posted one was way back in December 2019. Adulting is hitting me hard lol.
Anyway, I’m excited to finally share my two mini reviews of some of the books I have read from authors Christina Lauren and Sophie Kinsela *whispers* way back in 2019.
Title: My Favorite Half-Night Stand
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publishing Date: December 4th, 2018
Age Category & Genre: Adult, Romance, Chick Lit, Contemporary
Synopsis: Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.
So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.
But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.
This is my second read from Christina Lauren. I really loved The Unhoneymooners, so I decided to try another C and Lo books and picked this one up. I really enjoyed My Favorite Half-Night Stand as a whole, but I had mixed feelings with some aspects of it.
As I expected from this author duo, this book is humorous and has an interesting concept. I loved Reid. He wasn’t perfect and I was disappointed at a point. But I love how he is not scared to show his emotions and be vulnerable. He wants to truly connect with people. I also love the dynamics of their friendship with Chris, Ed, Millie and Alex. The story wouldn’t be complete without them. And I love how this subtly talks about the struggles career-driven adults face when it comes to their love life, but at the same time never implied that it is wrong to be single no matter your age.
The catfishing never really sit well with me. I understood how it started but it made me extremely uncomfortable and I disliked Millie for what she kept on doing. I had a like/hate relationship with Millie. I liked how cool she can be, specially with her interest in female serial killers, and being a Criminology professor. How she couldn’t fully express her emotions and her fear of being vulnerable in front of everyone was pretty realistic and understandable to me. But there were just too many times when I just wanted to shake her. I also wished that the event with Obama was actually included. And it would have been great if Millie’s mental health was further explored.
Overall, My Favorite Half-Night Stand is an entertaining read. As a fan of C & Lo, I wasn’t surprised by the fun and feelings it brought, but I wasn’t that impressed either unlike with my first read from them. I would still recommend this if you can set aside the things I had issues with.
Title: I Owe You One
Author: Sophie Kinsela
Publisher: Dial Press
Publishing Date: February 5th, 2019
Age Category & Genre: Adult, Romance, Chick Lit, Contemporary
Synopsis: Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.
So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?
Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?
T/CW: sexism, fatphobia, cheating
This is my first read from Sophie Kinsela. This book started really strong for me that I thought I would end up loving it. But I didn’t. I liked it as a whole, but I ended up being disappointed and conflicted with a few things.
What I fell in love with on the beginning was the writing – it was simple and with lots of humor. It was therefore, a fast and easy read. I love how it mainly talks about family, failures, and forgiveness. It tackles the importance of family, accepting and fighting for yourself, and the power of forgiveness. I also liked how running a business was given a spotlight and huge role into how the story and the characters’ lives went on. I also liked the dynamics of Farrs family and how things were wrapped up between them.
I had conflicting feelings about the main character – Fixie. At first, I appreciate and understand her – because here comes a female protagonist who loves her family so much, she’s willing to give everything for them even if that means having to sacrifice. I thought this will be about her realizing her mistake of letting people – especially the men in her life – manipulate and abuse her. So she’s going to find her voice and emerge empowered. But that was not exactly the case. I got annoyed by Fixie along the way. And it was really sad and disappointing that at the end, Fixie still needed the help of a man in order to snap in reality and start loving herself. That wasn’t empowering at all. The romance didn’t really work for me. No swooning, no heart swelling for me. I like Ryan as an individual but I couldn’t actually see that special connection between him and Fixie.
Overall, did I get the empowering story that I wanted? No. But did I enjoy? Somehow, because of the humor and simple writing. I would probably still read other Sophie Kinsela books, but I would be more careful in choosing which books to pick up and definitely not too soon. And sadly, I wouldn’t recommend this one.
Have you read any Christina Lauren and/or Sophie Kinsela books? Do you have a favorite from them? Have you read any of these two? Share your thoughts below!