Reviews: SOPHIE GO’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB & DO YOU TAKE THIS MAN

 

Happy Monday to all and Happy Labor Day to those who are celebrating today!  I have today off but don’t really have any special plans for the day, mainly just hoping to get caught up on reviews I need to write and to get some reading done.  Today I’m sharing my thoughts on two fun reads. The Denise Williams book was one of my most anticipated romance reads of the year, and the Roselle Lim book is one I was really looking forward to after enjoying her last book so much.  Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club is already out in the world, and Do You Take This Man is available starting tomorrow, 9/6.

 

Reviews:  SOPHIE GO’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB & DO YOU TAKE THIS MANSophie Go's Lonely Hearts Club Goodreads

Author:  Roselle Lim

Publication Date: August 16, 2022

Publisher:  Berkley

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

 

Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club is a whimsical and heartwarming story about overcoming loneliness and finding your place in this world.  While it does contain a bit of romance, it is secondary to the main character’s journey to become who she was meant to be.

Sophie is a Chinese Canadian woman who has recently returned home to Toronto after studying to become a matchmaker in Shanghai.  She is trying to establish herself as a professional matchmaker in her community but is carrying around a secret – due to circumstances beyond her control, she didn’t actually graduate from the matchmaker program.  When Sophie attends a community event in hope of introducing herself and handing out her card to drum up business, her mother of all people outs Sophie as a fraud and seriously impairs her ability to secure clients.  Sophie fears that all hope of becoming a matchmaker is lost until she stumbles upon a secret group called the Old Ducks.  This group of elderly gentlemen has all but given up on love and have formed this group so they won’t be alone.  After talking to Sophie, the Old Ducks agree to be her first clients.

Sophie’s growing bond with these Old Ducks are what really made this book a special read for me.  One of the author’s biggest strengths is her ability to write vibrant and realistic characters and that strength really shines through in this book with Sophie and with the Old Ducks.  As she gets to know each one of them, she becomes so invested in finding them a perfect match.  I loved Sophie for her big heart and was touched by how much she wanted these men to find love again.  On the flip side, I also adored the old men for the same reason because as they each got to know her, they began to treat her like family and became invested in her success and in her happiness.  I loved this for Sophie, especially since her own family was not only lacking in support but her mother actually bordered on being verbally abusive.

While the characters are definitely the highlight of this story, I also loved the touch of magical realism the author gives us with respect to the matchmaking.  As a matchmaker, Sophie is able to see red threads attached to people’s hearts.  Matchmakers like Sophie read the movement of those threads in order to gauge whether or not her potential matches are meant to be together or not.  I just loved this added touch of whimsy.

Lastly, I cannot leave off without mentioning the author’s ability to write the most delicious descriptions of food.  Lim’s books always make me so hungry and this book was no exception, especially because Sophie has a major sweet tooth and is always looking for delicious sweet treats to satisfy her cravings.

Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club is an all around delight. Highly recommend to fans of women’s fiction, found families, and the healing power of friendship and love.  4 STARS.

 

Reviews:  SOPHIE GO’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB & DO YOU TAKE THIS MANDo You Take This Man Goodreads

Author: Denise Williams

Publication Date: September 6, 2022

Publisher: Berkley

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

 

I loved Denise Williams’ first two books, How to Fail at Flirting and The Fastest Way to Fall because Williams writes such smart, vibrant, and relatable characters.  She also excels at writing snappy dialogue and at bringing the heat during those steamy scenes when her characters finally connect.  I’m thrilled to report that Williams has another winner on her hands with her latest novel, Do You Take This Man.

The story follows RJ, an up and coming divorce attorney who also, oddly enough, officiates weddings in her spare time.  When we meet RJ, she is running late for a wedding, and in her haste to get there, she accidentally crashes into a handsome stranger and ends up in a heap on the pavement.  What could have been a meet-cute instead becomes a hostile encounter as RJ gives this guy a piece of her mind.  Their conversation ends with him telling her she should smile more.  Instead of murdering him like she would love to, she hurries to get to her wedding.  Things take a turn for the awkward when it turns out this guy, whose name is Lear, is the cousin of the event planner RJ always works with and Lear is filling in for his cousin for the foreseeable future.  So RJ finds herself stuck working with this “dude bro”, as she has dubbed him.

I love a good enemies to lovers romance and was totally on board with this story from the moment I knew RJ and Lear were going to have to work together so closely.  The tension was pouring off them in those opening scenes so I knew I was in for one heck of a ride!

Burned by her ex, RJ has no interest at all in a romance for herself and instead buries herself in her work.  I really loved RJ.  She’s smart, independent, headstrong, and she knows what she wants and what she doesn’t.  Well, at least she did before Lear came into her life.  His presence shakes her up in ways she did not anticipate and really throws her off kilter to the point where she can’t decide what she wants from one moment to the next.  It’s frustrating for Lear, but I just loved how realistic and messy RJ was in this situation.  I was also tickled that RJ turns out to be the best friend of Britta from The Fastest Way to Fall and it was so much fun to watch RJ go to Britta for advice.

Like RJ, I’ll admit that I wanted to smack Lear upside the head the first couple of times he and RJ interact.  He kept interrupting her, overstepping when it came to overseeing the wedding ceremony, and even tried to mansplain her at one point.  RJ puts him in his place, and thankfully Lear is a man that learns from his mistakes so I quickly grew to like him, especially as we learn more about him and the heartbreaking circumstances that have led him to leave his life in L.A. and come all the way home to NC.

I very much enjoyed the progression of RJ and Lear’s relationship, both their working one and their personal one.  There’s of course lots of cute and flirty banter and some sexy, steamy scenes, but what I especially loved about this relationship is how real it felt.  RJ and Lear’s journey to that coveted happily ever after ending is a rocky one.  They are both dealing with baggage from previous relationships, and RJ has such a tough outer shell, but it’s clear that underneath, she’s pretty vulnerable as well. It takes a lot of work to break down her walls and really get to know her, as Lear finds out.  RJ thinks that she is hard to love, so I was thrilled that Lear seemed determined to try to prove her wrong.

Denise Williams just never disappoints.  I love her dynamic characters and their relatable journeys, and Do You Take This Man is no exception.  I highly recommend this one to anyone who enjoys enemies to lovers romances, headstrong female protagonists, witty banter, and sexy, steamy love scenes.  4.5 STARS

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