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review 2020-05-25 22:08
Review: Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
Something to Talk About - Meryl Wilsner

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

There are some books that make you smile just thinking about them and that’s exactly what Something to Talk About does for me. Meryl Wilsner’s debut won me over with their endearing characters and a lovely slow-burn romance that made me sigh.

Jo is one of my favorite kinds of heroines: the secret softie. Jo is a Hollywood powerhouse with brains, skill, and savvy you have to admire. But even after three decades in Hollywood and a number of Emmys to her name, as a Chinese-American woman Jo still faces racism and sexism constantly, especially now that she’s been announced as the new writer/producer for a James Bond-type franchise. Jo knows how to navigate Hollywood, but she’s had to build high walls to protect herself. Underneath those walls is a marshmallow heart and a spine of steel. Jo shows her caring in actions rather than words and she made me melt more than once. As for Emma… A bisexual Jewish cinnamon roll? Yes, please! Emma is so kind and caring, an emotionally demonstrative heroine who frequently made me smile. She’s got a strong work ethic and is a quick study, but she is unsure of herself when it comes to what direction she wants to move professionally.

As individuals, Jo and Emma are fantastic characters, well-drawn and an endearing mix of strength and vulnerability. Together their chemistry is fabulous and makes the pages of Something to Talk About fly by. The romance between Emma and Jo is extremely slow-burn. Both Jo and Emma are wary of risking their hearts by revealing their feelings. Jo is also very conscious of her position as Emma’s employer and the power disparity that results from that. Added to that she’s aware of the age gap between them and the racist and ageist blowback from some corners of Hollywood that she may face. Emma also faces comments, innuendo, and outright sexual harassment because some people think she slept her way to the top. Given the characters’ histories and the events of the story, the fact that the romance takes so much of the story to build worked for me. Jo and Emma’s love story felt solid by the end of the book, which may sound staid and boring but it’s not; I loved these two together.

Emma and Jo are the heart and soul of the book but the supporting cast rounds out the story and helps bring it to life. I loved Jo’s friendships that were depicted, both with her lifelong best friend, Evelyn, and with Emma’s sister, Avery. And Emma’s relationship with her family – complete with their teasing – warmed my heart. All in all, Something to Talk About is a book that can lift your spirits and make you smile. Jo and Emma are both strong, intelligent heroines with kind hearts that make them easy to root for. Their love story builds piece by piece in an organic way and the result is a lovely, fulfilling romance I cannot wait to enjoy again and again.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: witandsin.blogspot.com/2020/05/review-something-to-talk-about-by-meryl.html
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review 2020-05-25 19:44
Book Review - Gearheart by Maia Strong
GearheartGearheart by Maia Strong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Steampunk meets romance meets lgbtq romance!

I have been a huge fan of Steampunk forever so when I saw there was an lgbtq book I jumped at the chance to read it. I wasn't disappointed.

The story was a good one, the world building was phenomenal. I loved the re-imagining of the world and North American maps. And being a Canadian I loved seeing Canada represented ;-)

The main characters were believable and I felt for them. The tertiary characters were delightful, the villain was a perfectly horrible person. The book itself was a slow build, something that sometimes made it seem to slow the whole book down, but all in all it was a good, solid read.

The plot was engaging, the ending was a happily ever after on multiple fronts. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

View all my reviews

 

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text 2020-05-25 11:04
Reading progress update: I've listened 282 out of 613 minutes. - the joy of words
Beach Read - Emily Henry,Julia Whalen

One of the joys of this book are the way the two writers trade pen sketches. Here's one where Gus, having asked what 'baby January' was like and having been told, 'She was a lot' spontaneously spins this:

 

'Let me guess. Loud. Precocious. Room full of books organised in a way that only you understood. Close with your family and a couple of tight-knit friends, all of who you probably still talk to regularly, but casual friends with anyone else with a pulse. A secret over-achiever who had to be the best at something, even if no one else knew. Oh and prone to juggling or tap dancing for attention in any crowd.' 

 

I can hear the joy and the danger in that kind of statement, where things come out of your mouth unedited, partly playful, partly true, partly catching you by surprise even as you hear yourself say them. It sparkles. Then January's response grounds it, without rebutting it, making it clear that words have edges and need to be thrown with care.

 

I also like how Emily Henry plays with the form while still delivering something satisfying. You know how there's likely to be a chapter in a romance book where the girl dreams of the boy or vis versa and suddenly understands the depth of their attraction? Well, this book has that chapter. The fun thing is that it's called 'The Dream' and it's one sentence long.

 

'I dreamed about Gus Everett and woke up needing a shower.'

 

That made me laugh.

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text 2020-05-25 09:24
Reading progress update: I've listened 234 out of 613 minutes. - like a romance but with real people
Beach Read - Emily Henry,Julia Whalen

I love how knowing and yet how believable this book is. The structure is self-referentially that of a romance novel, from Meet Cute to Happy Ever After with all the strep in between labelled as we go along.

 

Yet it's neither groan-worthily glub nor mechanically formulaic because: the characters KNOW the framework that they're in and any romance that occurs is created by mutual consent; the characters aren't plot-devices, they have histories and personalities and problems that determine how they behave within this romantic construct; the story is backlit by a playful examination of the process of writing a novel and the nature of the genres that are imposed on them. 

 

Together, these three things make for a novel that's like a romance but with real people who aren't blinded or glamoured by the magic of romance but instead are able to see themselves and each other more clearly.

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review 2020-05-25 08:17
Reach
Someday, Someday - Emma Scott

Max is quickly burning out on his current job, when a co-worker tells him of a job that may be too good to be true.  He figures what can it hurt to interview?  Then he finds out who is connected to the job.

 

Silas has been hiding.  His father cannot have him be himself, for fear it will ruin the family name.  Can he impress him and become the next CEO of the family business?  

 

Sweet story with an excellent way of explaining about love over expectation.  Some dark elements, with additiction, and abuse.  I loved that the author had such a new way to make us feel it can be discussed.  I liked that the characters had a sense of self, and were able to show development.  The friendship explored was also a treat to read.  I enjoyed this book and give it a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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