Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Book Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn


Goodreads Overview:

This time the gossip columnists have it wrong. London’s most elusive bachelor Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry—he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams...

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself...

Jacque's Review:

This is the second book in the Bridgerton series and focuses on Daphne's oldest brother Anthony. He is best friends with Daphne's husband Simon. If you read the first book in the series, you are well aware of both of their reputations. Simon had no intention of getting married until he found himself in a compromising situation. Ultimately, it worked out for the best because Daphne and Simon are perfect together. They made a few appearances in this novel, and I enjoyed seeing how married life is treating them since the conclusion of The Duke and I.

Anthony is only settling down because he believes it is his duty as the Viscount to produce an heir. He isn't looking for love, but someone who will fit the role of the Viscountess and produce children. He has every intention of continuing his rakish behavior until he falls in love with Kate, the sister of the woman he originally planned on marrying. 

The banter between Anthony and Kate was absolutely hilarious throughout this book. They are like oil and vinegar and appear to detest each other, but Anthony needs her approval if he intends to marry Edwina. They get thrown into a variety of situations that eventually change their perceptions of each other. She sees his love and devotion to his family and realizes there is more to him than she originally thought. He is, however, very up front with her about not wanting a love match, which complicates things for quite a while considering his undeniable attraction to her. 
There are some MAJOR differences between the book and this season of the Netflix series. I prefer the book version, but I can see why they may have wanted to alter some things for television purposes. After reading the book, I was actually lukewarm on most of the changes Netflix made. When I heard Julia Quinn speak at an author event recently, she said she pretty much gave Netflix free reign when it came to the script. The one scene she insisted that they keep from this book was the croquet match, which I totally agree with. That was one of my favorite scenes from the book and series. 

Overall, I am loving this series. The characters are so unique, and you HAVE to love Lady Whistledown and her publications. We as readers/viewers now know who Whistledown is, but the other characters are still trying to figure it out. Hopefully it stays that way because I really enjoy her witty take on society's elite. The next book focuses on Benedict and sounds like a take on the Cinderella story. I'm not sure how I feel about mixing a retelling into this story, but only time will tell. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Book Review: Pieces Of Blue by Holly Goldberg Sloan


What good was thinking the future only held cloudy skies? Wasn’t the reality that pieces of blue were always there, waiting to break through?

When Paul Hill drowns in a surfing accident, his broken-hearted wife, Lindsey, and their three children are left in huge financial trouble. Once Paul’s life insurance finally comes through, Lindsey impulsively uses the money to buy a charmingly ramshackle motel in Hawai’i, hoping for a fresh start. Teenage Olivia quickly develops a crush on a handsome but monosyllabic skateboarder. Twelve-year-old Carlos reinvents himself as a popular kid named Carl. And Sena, the youngest, will do whatever it takes to protect her beloved motel chickens.

But while the kids adjust, Lindsey is flailing, trying to pretend she knows how to bring a motel―and herself―back to life. Then a handsome stranger rolls into the motel parking lot, and she’s surprised to feel a long-dormant part of herself stirring. She accepts his offer to help, unaware that he may have secrets of his own. And all the while, out in the Pacific, the trade winds are fiercely blowing.

Funny and tender, full of twists and turns and heart, Pieces of Blue is a portrait of an irresistible family learning to start over.


Every year I look forward to the month of May, it is the time that I begin searching for my summer beach reads. I have a soft spot for any book that takes place in a tropical or beach setting, I think mostly because I am stuck in the middle of nowhere, landlocked from the beautiful ocean. They are my escape when I am stuck inside trying to stay cool, while it is 100 degrees outside combined with about 90 percent humidity. Stepping outside here is like stepping into Dante's 9th circle of hell- because of course since that is where the worst of the sinners go, it's got to be hella hot right?

Thanks to MacMillan Audio I was able to get my hands on an early listen of Holly Goldberg Sloane's new novel Pieces of Blue, and it was the perfect way to kick off my summer of beach reads.

It is set in Hawaii where Lindsey and her three children move after a tragic surfing accident results in her husband's death. Lindsey takes the life insurance money and buys a ramshackle motel on the island of Ohau, and attempts to start their life over. I loved the setting, I use to live in the area that the book takes place in, in fact, Sloane even mentions one of my favorite casual eating establishments Giovanni's ( IYKYK ), so reading it was like taking a trip back to my old stomping grounds, thus making the book so much more enjoyable to me.

As far as the characters in the book, I liked them all, but the stand-out characters to me were her three children, Olivia ( 14 ) Carlos ( 12 ), and Sena ( 7 ). They each had such strong personalities, and they added a great deal of depth to the story.

Lyndsey was a great mom to the children, ad she worked hard on trying to make their new life as normal as possible, even with the enormous amount of changes that were taking place in their lives, she was a real trooper with all her responsibilities.

Also, there was Chris, a visitor from the Mainland, he and his wife had often come to Ohau and spent time at the motel before she had passed on. He takes on some handyman duties that need to be done around the place to pay for his room there, and of course, he comes with a complicated past and secrets.

This was a quick read, a great story about repairing your life after tragedy and learning your inner strengths. It was a great family saga, which I have always been drawn to. But also, the descriptions of the lush island were so visible they also became a bit of a character in the story, and they put you right in the middle of the area. Sloane even put in several twists that kept the story from feeling dry and kept the story moving along. All in all, it was not a bad choice for my first beach read of the season.