The Bookshop Kiss (St Brigid’s #2) – Jenny Parker

Rating: 3 out of 5.
I like this sweet small town romance series and this second instalment was a good way to pass a couple of hours. I think I preferred the first instalment – The Girlfriend Sweater – slightly more, but this was still an enjoyable quick read that is a solid three and a half stars.

Becca is the owner of the only bookshop in St. Brigid. She prefers to spend her time with a good book and her cats Bear and Silver. Selma is a visiting literature lecturer at St. Brigid’s College for the summer. She’s looking to escape from Chicago and the tenure track.

The storyline is character driven and I liked both MCs. Selma gives off a carefree vibe, but actually deep down is troubled with the direction her life has taken. Becca has the more serious, quiet vibe initially, but has a more relaxed attitude to some things. I liked the secondary small town characters, especially Becca’s grandmother.

The angst in this narrative is driven by things from the past and not from the couple’s relationship itself, which made for a nice change. I thought the ending suited the couple and I’m looking forward to any future instalments.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

The Girlfriend Sweater (St Brigid’s #1) – Jenny Parker

Rating: 4 out of 5.
The first in a series this is a sweet small town romance novella about Eva and Katie. Katie is intent on living a small town life after leaving San Francisco. She’s a lawyer at the only firm in town large enough to need two lawyers but is deeply unhappy in her job. Eva is a knitting pattern maker and tutor on the side. They meet when Katie decides to take a knitting class that Eva is teaching.

This was a solid three and a half stars for me. The reason for the title of the story made me smile – it adds to the sweetness of the story. I enjoyed the storyline but once they’d got together as a couple I felt like too much of the relationship happened off page for my tastes. I’d have liked a bit more before the inevitable angst.

I thought the angst was done well in that it built up throughout the storyline and wasn’t a random turn of events. However how Eva dealt with the situation seemed out of character so I had some issues with that part of the narrative.

I enjoyed the story and it was definitely a nice way to pass just over an hour. I am definitely looking forward to the next part of the series.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Let the Beat Drop – Cheri Ritz

Rating: 3 out of 5.
This was my first novel by Ritz and I found it to be an easy, enjoyable read that passed the time quickly. As soon as I read the blurb I knew I would want to read this, as I often find musician based romances enjoyable, however whilst it had its moments it didn’t quite meet my expectations.

At its heart the book is a romance between Sadie and Jess after both return to their home town for the summer, but it takes a long time for the couple to actually get together, giving the book plenty of time to focus on the secondary storyline of a band of middle-aged women and the third storyline – a mystery that seemingly threads the narrative together and keeps you turning the page, both with anticipation and trepidation as to the eventual reveal.

All three storylines are done well, and I didn’t feel that the book was dragging on. Both Sadie and Jess frustrated me at times and whilst they both face turmoil for different reasons, something that normally bonds me with a character, I didn’t feel particularly connected to either MC, which stopped this being more than a high three star book for me and kept it in that easy read category.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a quick easy relatively sweet romance to read. My feelings could easily be different to someone else’s – and it did leave me smiling at the end.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A More Perfect Union – Carsen Taite

Rating: 4 out of 5.
This book was well on its way to being a five star review – romance, espionage, intrigue…and then it ended. After being so invested in both characters I needed more from the ending. I’d love a second book and the ending provides lots of scope for that book to be written, but even so, I just needed more.

This was my first Taite book and I have to say I was very impressed with both the storyline and the quality of the writing – I’ll definitely be making sure to work my way through her extensive back catalogue.

Both Zoey and Rook are interesting, insightful characters and I liked how their duty to their respective jobs was explored, including the inevitable impacts. I’d have liked some more of them together in a romantic situation (and more sex) and would happily have read a longer book to have more of this aspect.

In Her Court – Tamsen Parker

Rating: 4 out of 5.
This was a really fun, fast-paced, happy read. The book finds Willa and Van pushed together at a camp for adults when Nate (Willa’s brother) breaks his leg and she steps in to help. This is the first time they’ve seen each other adults, after previous teenage feelings.

Both MCs were easy to identify with in some way or another. They were well written, rounded characters, with plenty of geek culture, a bit of sport and no particularly intense relationship angst.
I loved how Willa was written and could identify wholeheartedly with the ‘you play sport so you can’t be smart’ sentiments. There are so many easily relatable aspects to Van as well.

The book isn’t technically a standalone, as it’s part of a series (not all of the books in the series are by the same author), but as far as I’m aware it’s the only one in the series where two women fall for each other. I have no idea if any of the characters are in any of the previous books, but you certainly don’t need to read any of them to enjoy this book.

Parker doesn’t normally write wlw books, but based on this one I’d be willing to give any others she might try in the future a go. All in all if you’re looking for a fun, easy read this is very good option to go with.