Happy Monday all! I’m back today to share my thoughts on two of my most anticipated romance reads of the entire year, both of which just happen to be releasing in April.  Both of them are receiving a lot of hype, which made me a little nervous going in, but for me anyway, they both more than lived up to all that hype.


Reviews:  YOURS TRULY and HAPPY PLACEYours Truly (Part of Your World, #2) Goodreads

Author: Abby Jimenez

Publication Date: April 11, 2023

Publisher:  Forever

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


Abby Jimenez’s novel Part of Your World was one of my favorite reads last year. I adored it so much that I immediately went on to binge her earlier series, The Friend Zone, which I also loved. My favorite part about Jimenez’s writing is the way she writes her characters. They’re always just so real and relatable.  With her latest novel, Yours Truly, the second installment in the Part of Your World series, Jimenez has given me two of my favorite fictional characters ever, including a new favorite book boyfriend!

The story follows Brianna Ortiz, an ER doctor who is dealing with some pretty major life stressors when we first meet her.  She is finalizing a divorce from her cheating spouse, her younger brother has renal disease and desperately needs a kidney, and the promotion she has wanted for as long as she can remember, is about to be stolen out from under her by Jacob Maddox, another ER doctor who has just transferred to the hospital where she works.

What Brianna doesn’t know is that Jacob isn’t actually her rival at all.  Jacob recently discovered that his girlfriend was cheating on him with his own brother. He has started this new job in hopes of getting a fresh start and so that he can focus on his mental health, particularly his social anxiety. Jimenez does a beautiful job exploring Jacob’s anxiety, both by showing us how it impacts his life and also by showing us how he copes with it.  As someone who also suffers from social anxiety, I felt seen and understood as I was reading Jacob’s story.

I honestly can’t even begin to express how hard I fell for both of these characters! Jacob is the epitome of the soft, vulnerable cinnamon roll and I just wanted to give him the biggest hug every time he felt anxious. I fell head over heels for him when, after the two of them get off to a rocky start, Jacob decides to write Brianna a letter.  When he confides to her about his social anxiety, Brianna immediately decides to write back to him rather than confronting him in person, recognizing and respecting that he needs that space. This leads to the most adorable penpal relationship and I found myself grinning every time either of them received a new letter in their lockers.  The letters are so sweet and earnest, with a hint of flirty banter, and I loved watching them become more open as they got to know each other. When they actually started hanging out together, I thought my heart would explode with joy and by the time I reached the end, I actually gave the book a hug, which I have never done before, haha!

This book also has all my favorite tropes so I was in heaven the entire time I was getting to know Brianna and Jacob and rooting for them to get together.  If you like rivals-to-friends-to-lovers, workplace romance, fake dating, this is the book for you.  And as if all of that isn’t enough, the book also features a potty-mouthed scene stealing parrot and a three-legged dog named Lieutenant Dan.

Yours Truly is charming and witty, and it absolutely stole my heart. It’s my favorite read of the year so far and I fully expect it to show up on my Best of 2023 list at year’s end.  5 STARS


Reviews:  YOURS TRULY and HAPPY PLACEHappy Place Goodreads

Author: Emily Henry

Publication Date: April 25, 2023

Publisher: Berkley

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


Emily Henry is just one of those authors who never disappoints.  Her latest novel, Happy Place, is one of my most anticipated reads of 2023 and I’m thrilled to report that it not only exceeded my very high expectations, but it’s also my new favorite read from Henry.

The story follows Harriet and Wyn, who have recently ended their years long relationship.  The break-up is awkward enough in its own right, but the awkwardness is compounded by the fact that Harriet and Wyn are part of a close knit friend group that dates back to their college years. Harriet and Wyn have been putting off telling their friends for fear of “breaking up the band,” so to speak.  This is all fine and good until they head to Maine for the group’s annual vacation getaway.  When they learn that the family home they have always stayed at is being sold and that this may be the group’s last trip together, Harriet and Wyn decide it’s easier to just pretend they are still together rather than wreck their friends’ final trip together. It’s only a week, so how hard can it be?

One of my favorite aspects of the story was how Henry incorporates flashbacks from Harriet and Wyn’s past into the story. I loved seeing how they met and became friends and how that relationship blossomed into something more.  Seeing how perfect they were for each other made it all the more bittersweet knowing that they were no longer together. It also made me that much more emotionally invested in learning what went wrong between them and if there was any path to a second chance.

While Harriet and Wyn’s relationship definitely drew me into this book, what really took the story to the next level for me was Henry’s moving portrayal of the entire friendship group.  There’s a major nostalgic vibe as this group of friends both relives some of their best memories as friends from over the years, but there’s also a sense of fear of the unknown and of drifting apart as their lives are pushing them in different directions.  I loved how realistic and poignant that aspect of the story was and how it really allowed for some wonderful character development. I think it’s something that will resonate with many readers. I know it resonated deeply with me.

Filled with Emily Henry’s signature banter as well as heartfelt emotional moments, Henry’s Happy Place is perfect for romance readers who enjoy tropes like second chance romance and forced proximity, as well as for anyone who enjoys a beautifully written story about friendship.  5 STARS

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

    I adored Jacob too. He was one of the sweetest, kindest men, and his family!!! I want to go to dinner at his house.

  2. Verushka
    Verushka says:

    Yours Truly sounds wonderful, especially the portayal of Jacob’s anxiety and how Brianna deals with it. That really intrigues me to see how Jimenez portrays it

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