Is it me or are the weeks just flying by?  It feels like I’m going to blink and it will be 2022. Thankfully my last work deadlines of the year are fast approaching and then I’ll be able to enjoy some downtime over the holidays.  Today I’m reviewing two more fabulous romance novels, both from Berkley.  I’ve had such wonderful luck with Berkley’s romances this year (I think almost my entire Best of 2021 list is from them)  and today’s books continue that trend.


Romance Reviews:  THE SINGLES TABLE & LOVE AND LET BARKThe Singles Table Goodreads

Author:  Sara Desai

Publication Date: November 16, 2021

Publisher:  Berkley Books

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

I don’t know if a free-spirited lawyer shooting an obnoxious former military security specialist in the rear end with a paintball technically counts as a meet cute, but it was definitely enough to have me fully entertained and invested in seeing what happens between the protagonists of Sara Desai’s latest romance, The Singles Table.

After a bad break up, attorney Zara Patel has decided she’s done with trying to find love for herself. Instead, she’s going to focus on her career and on what she believes is her special gift, matchmaking. She plans to help her friends find romance during the wedding season and prides herself on her success record when it comes to matching guests at the singles table.  That is, until she meets sexy but surly Jay Donovan, a security specialist with no time or interest in finding romance.  Jay, a former military guy, is all about order, staying focused and working hard on his business.  He has no idea that a paintball to his rear end during a pre-wedding paintball match is about to turn his world upside down.  When Zara and Jay keep finding themselves at the singles table at wedding after wedding and Zara brags to Jay about her matchmaking prowess and confesses that she’s a little obsessed with celebrities, they end up making a little wager.  If Zara can find Jay a match, he’ll introduce her to some of his celebrity clients.

Zara has this vibrant, larger than life personality that Jay can’t help but be captivated by, no matter how much he tries to tell himself she’s just annoying and too chaotic for him.  And even though Jay comes across as rigid and gruff when she first meets him, Zara finds herself seeking him out at every wedding.  I’m a sucker for a grumpy/sunshine romance so Jay and Zara’s often hilarious interactions were like catnip for me and I loved watching their relationship evolve, especially since they have such amazing chemistry and the more Zara interacts with Jay, the more she starts thinking maybe she doesn’t want to match him up with someone else.

Sara Desai’s The Singles Table was such a fun read. Jay and Zara’s journey, the festive wedding celebrations, and the meddling aunties who hound Zara throughout the wedding season, all made for such a delightfully entertaining and heartwarming read.  If you’re in the mood for a grumpy/sunshine romance, The Singles Table is the perfect match for you.  4 STARS


Romance Reviews:  THE SINGLES TABLE & LOVE AND LET BARKLove and Let Bark (Hearts of Alaska #3) Goodreads

Author: Alanna Martin

Publication Date: November 30, 2021

Publisher:  Berkley Books

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

Love and Let Bark by Alanna Martin is the third book in her contemporary romance series, Hearts of Alaska.  I’m freely going to admit that I was drawn to this book by the adorable husky puppies on the cover and the promise of a snowy Alaskan setting.  I didn’t even realize it was part of a series, but thankfully not having read the first two books in the series didn’t hamper my enjoyment of this latest installment at all.

When they were younger, Lydia Lipin and Nate Porter were secretly friends in spite of their families’ century-long feud. They soon developed more than friendly feelings for one another, but frustrated that he would never be able to have Lydia openly in his life because of their families’ dislike for one another, Nate decides he needs to leave town.  Years later, Nate comes back to his hometown, and as soon as he sees Lydia again, he realizes that time apart has done nothing to dull his feelings for her.

Lydia has always played the role of the responsible and reliable daughter.  She dutifully takes over the family business when it’s time, and she always puts the needs of others above herself, including her sister, who decides she’s in love with and wants to marry a Porter and doesn’t care about the feud.  Even though it’s incredibly stressful, Lydia spends much of her time running interference between the two families so as to spare her sister the stress.  When she sees Nate again, however, Lydia realizes she still has feelings for him and becomes frustrated with the state of their families and the peacemaking role she has been forced into.

Lydia and Nate were both such sweet, likeable and sympathetic characters.  It was so obvious how much they love each other and that they were both heartbroken when it didn’t work out the first time.  They were stuck in such a horrible and awkward situation that wasn’t even of their making.  I loved that they have the opportunity for a second chance at love and was really rooting for them to just tell off their families and run away together.

The husky puppies were of course adorable little scene stealers and the snowy Alaska setting was the picture perfect background for this delightful, feel-good story.  If you’re a fan of second chance romances, I highly recommend Love and Let Bark. 4 STARS.


23 replies
  1. Greg
    Greg says:

    It’s nice when a publisher is really hitting it out of the park. And yes time is flying! I can’t believe we’re in December already. Christmas will be here before we know it. anyway, glad these were good! And hope you get some good downtime later in the month!

  2. verushka
    verushka says:

    Grumpy/ sunshine romance might just be my new favourite genre 😊 The Singles Table is it cute!

  3. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    Both of these sound really good. I have been enjoying Desai’s series. That family is hilarious. Glad to hear they were good for you

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