Reviews: MEANT TO BE MINE & THE FRIENDSHIP PACT

 

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We are slowly getting into a good post-op routine with my son so I hope to be blog hopping a lot more frequently starting this week.  Having to ice his shoulder round the clock has my husband and I feeling like we have a newborn all over again, haha.  Anyway, even though I’m behind on my reviews and my visits, I have been continuing to read some good books.  This week’s highlight for me was finally trying Jill Shalvis’ books after two or three years of saying I wanted to read something from her. I could kick myself for waiting so long, especially since she has such an extensive backlist that I now want to go back and read.

 

Reviews:  MEANT TO BE MINE & THE FRIENDSHIP PACTMeant to Be Mine Goodreads

Author: Hannah Orenstein

Publication Date: June 7, 2022

Publisher:  Atria Books

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

What if you knew the exact date you would meet the love of your life?  This unique premise of Hannah Orenstein’s new contemporary romance Meant to Be Mine really intrigued me.  The story follows Edie Meyers, a young woman who thinks she will meet her true love on June 24, 2022.  Why?  Because starting with her own true love, Edie’s grandma Gloria has been able to accurately predict the day every member of their family has met their soul mate.

We meet Edie, a Jewish stylist living in New York, on the morning of this fateful June day.  She is at the airport catching a flight to Maine and Edie is already on the hunt for the man she is meant to spend her life with.  She scopes out everyone and when a handsome musician named Theo ends up with the seat next to hers on the plane, she just knows that Theo is the one.  Or is he? Edie ends up making the first move and as the two of them get to know each other over the next few months, even though Edie really likes Theo, she has nagging doubts about whether the two of them would really work as a couple because they don’t seem to really want the same things in life.

I found Edie to be a very sympathetic character.  I couldn’t imagine how I would act or what I would think if I was in her shoes.  She has no reason to doubt the date her grandmother has given her based on Gloria’s track record, but should it be so hard to make things work with the one you’re meant to be with?  I also liked that Edie is clearly a flawed and messy character.  She tries so hard to force Theo to fit into her life and there are definitely some awkward, almost cringeworthy moments along the way.  But it’s easy to understand why she’s trying so hard and why she’s so confused based on what she has been told her entire life.  I also loved watching Edie interact with her quirky grandmother and with her amazing friend group.

I will say that as much as I enjoyed Meant to Be Mine, I did predict pretty early on how things would turn out for Edie.  I still enjoyed watching Edie’s journey to get to that ending, but I couldn’t help but wish that I hadn’t guessed it so soon.  Obviously I would have been much more annoyed if this was a thriller and the ending was that easy to guess, but I’ll let it slide since this is a romance.

Overall, I’d say Meant to Be Mine is a solid read with a unique premise and relatable characters that left me wondering, based on Edie’s experience, if I would want to know the exact date I’d meet the person I was meant to spend my life with.  3.5 STARS

 

 

Reviews:  MEANT TO BE MINE & THE FRIENDSHIP PACTThe Friendship Pact (Sunrise Cove, #2) Goodreads

Author: Jill Shalvis

Publication Date: June 14, 2022

Publisher: William Morrow Books

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

I’ve had Jill Shalvis on my list of authors to try for a while now and finally decided to dive in with her new Sunrise Cove series.  I requested The Friendship Pact not realizing it’s actually the second book in the series, so I immediately checked out the first book and binged it in a couple of days.  I loved it and jumped right into The Friendship Pact.  Let me start off by saying that, aside from the fact that both books are set in the Lake Tahoe area, there’s no crossover between characters so both books work great as standalones. That said, they’re both fabulous so I highly recommend them in whatever order you choose to read them.

Tae Holmes is an event planner in the Lake Tahoe area.  When we meet her, she is in the midst of hosting her first big fundraiser for an adventure company for athletes with disabilities and for wounded warriors.  Tae is sharp, savvy, and on top of things, although the weather has put a damper on the event’s turnout.  Beyond the weather disruption, however, a couple of other things happen that throw Tae off kilter: 1) One of the event’s donors approaches her to chat about seeing her father recently, which is impossible because Tae has never even met her father because he died overseas before she was born, and 2) her old friend and one-night stand from high school, Riggs Copeland, shows up.  It turns out he is part owner of the adventure company, along with his brother, Jake.  Tae’s brain is already spinning with questions about her dad and seeing Riggs for the first time since high school just adds to her chaotic thoughts, especially when it’s clear that the sparks between them are still very much there.

I love a good second chance romance so I was hooked on this story from the very first scenes between Tae and Riggs.  Both characters were so likeable but with complicated pasts that made them very reluctant to become involved with one another.  Riggs is especially reluctant to start anything because he has no intentions of staying in Lake Tahoe long-term, which is where the “friendship pact” came into play. I really loved both Tae and Riggs and the scenes between them are so fun and sexy that with each passing page, I hoped the friendship pact would fail.

This story isn’t just about the romance though.  There is quite a bit of personal drama as well, revolving around all those questions Tae now has about her father.  Was the donor at the event mistaken or is there something more to the story?  Has her mom not been honest with her?  And if not, why?  This aspect of the story kept me just as captivated as the blossoming romance did, especially because Tae and her mom are so close.  I adored their relationship and the fear that something might tear them apart had me turning the pages late into the night.

I don’t want to give away anything, so I’m just going to say that, with the first two books in her Sunrise Cove series, Jill Shalvis has made me a fan and I’ll eagerly be checking out everything else she has written.  4.5 STARS

22 replies
  1. verushka
    verushka says:

    The premise of Meant to be Mine piqued my interest big time (even though it didn’t quite live up to its promise for you). It’s an interesting question indeed — I don’t know wha t I would do if i knew the date I was supposed to meet someone I was supposed to fall in lvoe with.

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Same here! I imagine myself acting so strangely because of that knowledge that I would probably send my soulmate running in the other direction, haha.

      Reply
  2. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    I DNFed Meant to Be. I was not here for a romance with politics, but I loved the Shalvis. Her new series are odd in that the location is the only way these books are tied together (and therefore, you can read out of order with no worries). I sort of want her to incorporate some of the previous characters, but either way, I love these books.
    Sam@WLABB recently posted…One Old, One New: Katherine Center Edition

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Thankfully Meant to Be Mine mainly just focused on giving the politician cool outfits to wear versus much of anything overtly political, but I can definitely understand not wanting any mention of politics when it feels like there’s no escape from it outside of our books. I was so pleased with the Shalvis books but definitely would have loved to see a little of the characters from the first book in this one, especially Charlotte and Mateo. Now I just need to decide which of her backlist books to try next, lol.

      Reply
  3. Ethan
    Ethan says:

    We have a beach trip coming up in July, so I’ve been stocking up on vacation reads. Jill Shalvis is always a reliable author for a good summer read!

    Reply
  4. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books says:

    I’m glad you mentioned the lack of connection between The Friendship Pact and the first book other than setting. I’ve been trying to connect characters and trying to remember if I recall any of the names from the synopsis. lol I’d never tried Shalvis before this year because I found her backlist (and all those series) to be overwhelming. But I did get an arc of The Family You Make earlier this year since it was a series starter – and I really enjoyed it. I kind of wish this one picked up with other side characters, but I’m still super interested and already have it on hold at the library. Great review, Suzanne!
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…Review: Hidden Waters by Catherine Cowles

    Reply

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