I’m back from a one-week trip, which was fabulous… and while I read quite a bit, I don’t have energy just yet to write full-length reviews. So… here’s a quick look at what I read while I was away. Lots of love stories — some dramatic, one that’s utterly silly, and one charmer that includes love, friendship, and pure delight. Read on if you want to know more!
Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory: A steamy story of workplace romance, set amidst the wineries of Napa Valley. Margot Noble, co-owner of a family winery, has a one-night stand with a hot guy she meets at a bar, only to discover the next day that he’s her new employee. The book explores the intense connection and chemistry between Margot and Luke, but also delves into family dynamics, career frustrations and expectations, and issues around honesty and self-awareness. The romance is steamy but also sweet, and I loved the dynamics between Margot and Luke.
Heading Over the Hill by Judy Leigh: I’ve been seeing other bloggers’ rave reviews for Judy Leigh’s books for quite a while now, and finally had the chance to experience one for myself! Pure delight — this is the story of Dawnie and Billy, a married couple in their early seventies, who decide to move to a new town and focus on starting over again, just the two of them. Between his Harley and her colorful wigs, they’re a shock to their conservative neighbors, but soon end up making a huge, positive impact on everyone they encounter. The story is engaging, funny, but also quite heartfelt — there are elements that explores the characters’ sorrows as well as joys, and at one point, it even brought me to tears. Overall, I loved it — and I just wish I had a Dawnie in my life!!
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto: After having this paperback on my shelf for about a year, I finally picked it up — and I have to say, this is quintessential vacation reading! Super silly, not at all intellectually challenging, and just oodles of fun. When Meddy and her meddlesome aunties get involved in an over-the-top Chinese-Indonesian wedding, they also find themselves dealing with an inconvenient corpse, stolen jewels, and the reappearance of Meddy’s college boyfriend — her one true love and the one who got away. The escapades here are preposterous and outrageously unbelievable… but so much fun to read and laugh over! I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series, Four Aunties and a Wedding.
Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo: This is the most dramatic and serious of my batch of vacation books — the story of Dunni and Obinna, high school sweethearts with an intense bond who were cruelly separated by their families, as they reunite at a friends’ wedding in Nigeria twelve years later. With alternating timelines showing their present reconnection and the traumatic events of their past, the book gives us a deep understanding of how these two characters ended up where they are. I loved the exploration of the class differences in their society and how their families’ histories influenced how they were treated, as well as the insights into their individual decision-making and struggles. There are some truly painful revelations, as well as lovely moments of connection and understanding. This is a beautiful, sad, complicated story, well worth checking out.
What a week! I enjoyed every book I read… now comes the hard part — deciding what to read next!