Reviews: BETTER THAN FICTION & TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT

 

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone who was celebrating Thanksgiving had a nice holiday.  Mine was good, although not especially productive.  I had intended to get caught up on all of my blog hopping and that just didn’t happen.  I did sleep for at least 9-10 hours every day of my holiday though so I’ll be well rested for playing catch up this week, haha.  Today I’m sharing reviews for two wonderful contemporary romances that I read over the long holiday weekend.  One is from an author I always enjoy, Alexa Martin, while the other is from a new-to-me author, Chloe Liese.

 

Reviews:  BETTER THAN FICTION & TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHTBetter than Fiction Goodreads

Author: Alexa Martin

Publication Date: November 8, 2022

Publisher:  Berkley

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

 

As soon as I read it was set in a bookstore, I knew I couldn’t resist Alexa Martin’s new novel, Better Than Fiction.  What especially intrigued me about it is that based on the synopsis, the main character actually hates reading. I couldn’t wait to dive in and see if Martin could actually make me fall in love with a book hating protagonist!

Drew Young is a successful travel photographer who recently lost her beloved grandmother. Drew was practically raised by her grandmother. Although Drew spent countless hours in her grandmother’s bookstore, The Book Nook, while growing up, what she doesn’t anticipate is her grandmother leaving The Book Nook to her in her will. Drew herself isn’t a book lover at all and is in completely over her head trying to run the store, but she feels like she has to give it her all in order to honor her grandmother’s wishes, even if it means giving up on her own career dreams and settling in Colorado full time to run the store. She has no idea that The Book Nook and the meddling old ladies from the Dirty Birds book club are about to change her life in so many ways.

Thanks to the Dirty Birds, bestselling romance author Jasper Williams has a book signing event at the bookstore.  When he meets Drew and she confesses to him that she doesn’t like to read, Jasper makes it his mission to help her discover the joys of reading while he’s in town.  He makes a deal with her:  he needs a travel expert to give him an in-depth look at Denver because it’s the setting for his next book. If Drew plays tour guide, he’ll curate a list of books he thinks she’ll love and for every one she reads, he’ll reward her with a book-inspired adventure.

I really enjoyed everything about this story! I loved Drew and Jasper together, from those awkward opening moments between them to later on in the story as they grow closer and bond as they work to complete their deal.  There are so many fun and adorable moments between them as they visit local restaurants, admire the scenery, and even take an amazing whitewater rafting trip together.  I was rooting for Jasper to not only make Drew fall in love with reading, but to also fall in love with him as well.

I’m a big fan of books that have many layers to them, and Better than Fiction really fits the bill here.  Not only is there the blossoming relationship between Drew and Jasper, but there’s also a journey of grief here as Drew is still mourning the loss of her grandmother and trying to move forward. Add to that the hilarity of the Dirty Birds and their constant but well intentioned meddling, as well as some messy family drama because Drew’s father is jealous that she inherited the store, and you have a wonderful book that has something for everyone. 4 STARS

 

Reviews:  BETTER THAN FICTION & TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHTTwo Wrongs Make a Right Goodreads

Author: Chloe Liese

Publication Date: November 22, 2022

Publisher: Berkley

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

 

I’ve been wanting to try Chloe Liese’s novels for a while now so when I heard that her latest romance, Two Wrongs Make a Right, was inspired by one of my favorite plays, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, I knew I had to read it.

The story follows Bea Wilmot and Jamie Westenberg, two people who seemingly have nothing in common aside from a disastrous first meeting and a mutual disdain for one another. Bea thinks Jamie is cold and stuffy, while Jamie thinks Bea is a tornado of chaos.  They couldn’t be more different and neither of them can understand why their friends keep trying so hard to push them together.  When their friends take things a step too far and trick them into going on a date together, Bea and Jamie decide to abandon their dislike for one another in favor of seeking revenge on the meddling matchmakers in their lives. They hatch a plan to fake date and convince everyone that they’re madly in love with one another, which will then be followed by a dramatic breakup that will put an end to the matchmaking once and for all.  What they don’t anticipate is that their friends may have been right about them all along…

This story was so much fun! Whether they were trading witty barbs, plotting their revenge, or having more heartfelt moments as they got to know each other better, Jamie and Bea were absolutely adorable together.  They may be complete opposites, but they have incredible chemistry and those opposites play off of each other perfectly.

I also loved that both protagonists are neurodivergent.  Bea is on the autism spectrum, while Jamie experiences anxiety. The author did a wonderful job portraying both of these characters realistically, particularly as she demonstrated how autism and anxiety can impact someone’s day to day life, especially in social situations such as the party where Bea and Jamie met and had their “meet disaster.” I was so moved by one scene in the story where Bea finally tells Jamie she’s autistic and he tells her that he’s glad she told him because it helps him to see her better.  I already loved Jamie but that moment just really got to me and had me rooting for them to get together all the more.

As I mentioned, Two Wrongs Make a Right is inspired by Much Ado About Nothing.  I recognized and delighted in the similarities between the two stories, but I don’t think it will hamper your enjoyment of Liese’s book at all if you aren’t familiar with Shakespeare’s play.

Two Wrongs Make a Right is the perfect read for anyone who enjoys fake dating and opposite attract romances. 4 STARS

11 replies
  1. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    I just finished Martin’s book yesterday. I liked it as well. A character that hates reading – insane, but seriously, I loved the books and dates that Jasper and Drew went on. He was very swoony too, and I appreciated that he wasn’t the anti-romance writer. One of those writers that writes romance but is not romantic.

    Reply
  2. Verushka
    Verushka says:

    A book hating MC? That is the first time I’ve read something like that, AND it sounds absolutely fun! Much Ado is such a favourite of mine of Shakespeare’s plays — mostly bc it makes me smile so much and is so funny (and also I don’t like his tragedies lol). This sounds like a fun retelling, with a lovely duo of MCs.

    Reply

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