Hey everyone!  Well, we’ve made it through another week. I can’t decide if the year is already flying by or if it’s dragging, but all I know is that I’m ready for some warmer weather. The older I get, the less I like the cold.  Anyway, today I’m back to share a couple of romance reads that I enjoyed this month.  I’m so late to the Jill Shalvis game, but I am really loving her Sunrise Cove series.  I want to read some of her backlist titles but the list is overwhelming. If anyone has a rec for which series I should try next, let me know!  I’m also sharing my thoughts on Lauren Kung Jessen’s latest novel, which is just as much of a gem as her debut was last year.  Let me know if you have read either of these!


Reviews – THE BRIGHT SPOT & RED STRING THEORYThe Bright Spot (Sunrise Cove, #5) Goodreads

Author: Jill Shalvis

Publication Date:  January 16, 2024

Publisher: Avon

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


The Bright Spot is the fifth book in Jill Shalvis’ heartwarming Sunrise Cove series.  As with the other books in the series, The Bright Spot is set in the picturesque Lake Tahoe region and even though it’s part of a series, it works quite well as a standalone.

Luna Wright, adopted at birth, grew up knowing little about her biological family.  She has created a home and family for herself at Apple Ridge Farm, the charming but struggling farm she has managed for years.  When the crotchety owner Silas passes away suddenly, Luna is surprised to find that she has inherited one half of the farm. The other half is under the control of his investment manager, Jameson Hayes, who arrives unexpectedly to help Luna save the farm.   Luna doesn’t trust him but is willing to do whatever it takes to save her beloved farm so she and Jameson begin to forge an uneasy alliance.

There’s so much to love about this book. Apple Ridge Farm is just the most perfect setting, filled with adorable rescue animals, including a baby goat named Dammit Ziggy who had me laughing from the very first page of the book.  There’s also a quirky and lovable cast of secondary characters who all adore Luna and think she’s amazing, even when she doesn’t see it for herself.  The found family vibes on this farm are everything!

I also just loved watching Luna find her way, especially after several big secrets Silas was keeping are discovered after his death and practically turn her life upside down.  Jameson has some issues that he is working through as well so in many ways, the story is a journey of self-discovery for them both.  I also enjoyed the two of them interacting.  Once they get past those initial trust issues, it was lovely to watch them start to grow closer. I loved the easy banter between them and that they worked together so well as a team.

If you’re in the mood for a heartwarming story, you can’t go wrong with The Bright Spot! 4 STARS


Reviews – THE BRIGHT SPOT & RED STRING THEORYRed String Theory Goodreads

Author: Lauren Kung Jessen

Publication Date: January 9, 2024

Publisher: Forever

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


Red String Theory is the latest romance novel from Lauren Kung Jessen. I really enjoyed her debut, Lunar Love, so I was eager to read this new one, an opposites-attract romance that explores the idea of whether or not some people are fated to be together.

Rooney is a Chinese-American artist who wholeheartedly believes in the Chinese legend that everyone is tied to their soulmate by the red string of fate.  She believes in this idea so passionately that she has even created an outdoor art exhibit that is inspired by it.  Jack is a NASA engineer who is all about science and facts.  He doesn’t believe in fate at all but on a trip to New York, he happens across Rooney’s red string art and is very intrigued by it.

When Jack later meets Rooney, he has no idea that she is the red string artist, but the two of them really hit it off and end up spending the most magical night seeing all of the sights around the city and just enjoying each other’s company.  By the end of that night, they both feel that they have a special connection and Jack tells Rooney his number so that they can keep in touch after he heads back home.  Sadly, Rooney mistypes the phone number and Jack is lost to her. When fate unexpectedly reunites them months later as coworkers, Rooney is convinced that this is a sign and that Jack must be her soulmate.

I really enjoyed this one. I’m always on the fence about whether or not I believe in fate, so as Jack and Rooney find themselves debating the topic, I could understand where they were both coming from since they were each voicing some of my own thoughts on the subject.  Ultimately though, I just loved them together so much that I was just rooting for them to find a way to agree to disagree and just be happy together.

Jack and Rooney’s magical night in NYC was a highlight of Red String Theory for me, as was the inclusion of so many elements from Chinese culture.  This was a sweet romance, but at the same time, a thought provoking read, which is a combination I enjoy.  I look forward to reading more from Lauren Kung Jessen.  4 STARS

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

    I thought Shalvis went hard with all her animal charm in this one. I was beyond delighted with this story

  2. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books says:

    I’ve only read a handful by Shalvis but I’ve enjoyed them. I like the journeys her characters make (I’m all about characters over plot). Glad you enjoyed this one! It’s one I’m sure I’ll pick up soon(ish).

  3. Lark
    Lark says:

    I really want to read both of these! I thought Jessen’s previous book Lunar Love was cute, and I loved all the Chinese astrology elements in it. Red String Theory sounds equally fun.

  4. Angela @ Literary Wanderer
    Angela @ Literary Wanderer says:

    Red String Theory sounds so lovely – I mean, when you think of all the things that have to happen in a certain way and order for two people to meet and fall in love, it does kind of feel like it’s fated sometimes!

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