Monday, December 11, 2023


Love, Just In
 by Natalie Murray
Published by Allen & Unwin on January 3, 2024
Age/Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

In the vein of Emily Henry's You and Me On Vacation , Love, Just In is a friends-to-lovers romance with all the tropes that romance readers love best.

Sydney TV news reporter Josephine "Josie" Larsen is approaching 30 and coming dangerously close to failing at life. Lost in a vortex of other people's career milestones, engagement parties, and baby showers, Josie is perennially single, abandoned by her globetrotting family, and invisible to her boss - except for the one time he tuned in while she was mid-panic attack on live TV. As a punishment, Josie is shipped off to cover another reporter's six-month leave at a regional bureau in Newcastle.

But Josie has more waiting for her in Newcastle than yawn-inducing stories about bicycle lane protests. The city is also the domain of Zac Jameson - her best friend since high school. This should be a happy turn of events, but Zac has barely spoken to Josie for the past two years. Not since his fiancee tragically died in his arms in a car accident and he left Sydney to try and cope with his grief.

Now thrown back into each other's lives, Josie and Zac have to navigate their neglected friendship and secret attraction to each other while struggling with their careers and mental health.

Hilarious, sexy and heart-warming, this is the perfect romcom to sit on the shelves alongside Emily Henry, Sally Thorne and Ali Hazelwood.

Josie and Zac were best friends growing up, but had grown apart in recent years following Zac's traumatic accident. When a work assignment put her in Zac's new hometown, Josie looked forward to reconnecting, but she quickly realized she could be harboring more than friendly feelings for Zac.

The number one way to get me to read a book is to tell me it's a friends-to-lovers romance. It's always special to see people who already love each other in one way develop a new kind of love for one another. For Josie and Zac, there were many obstacles over the years which kept them in the friend-zone, but for once, the timing could be right.

Those pivotal moments in their fourteen year friendship where Josie recognized (and denied) her changing feelings for Zac were shared via flashbacks. The flashbacks were really effective in helping me understand Josie and Zac's relationship better, while also shedding light on Josie's struggle with health anxiety. This is a first for me. I have read books that featured OCD, but not health anxiety specifically. Though this issue did not take center stage, it was given some attention in the story.

I have seen other readers lament the slow progression of this romance, but these two had a lot to overcome and their friendship was at stake. I can understand why they were hesitant to act on their attraction, but I did enjoy the pining, the flirtations, and Josie's inner battles regarding her feelings. Part of me would have loved more time in Zac's head. We only got one chapter from his point of view, but it was a great one. Had me shedding those happy tears.

Overall, I enjoyed getting to see Zac and Josie's relationship grow and change. I appreciated their journey and was overjoyed with where this path led them.


Picture Perfect Autumn
 by Shelley Noble
Published by Avon on September 19, 2023
Age/Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

A Manhattan photographer finds inspiration and new possibilities in a Gothic Rhode Island beach house in this uplifting fall-set read from New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble.

Dani Campbell is the latest darling of the Manhattan art scene. As a self-taught photographer, Dani is loving every minute of her sudden popularity, but has no idea how she got there, or a clue as to how to stay. On a shoot at an antiques barn, she discovers an envelope of old photos and sees in them what her photos are missing. Her search for their source leads Dani to a small Rhode Island town, a dilapidated American Gothic beach house—and Lawrence Sinclair.

Reclusive and bitter, the last thing eighty-year-old Lawrence wants to think about is photography—the thing that inadvertently led to his son’s death and tore his family apart. But Dani is determined and persuasive, and Lawrence can’t help but be intrigued by the girl with spiky hair who wants to learn from him, when almost everyone else just wants to relieve him of his substantial fortune.

Dani and Lawrence’s mentorship blossoms unexpectedly, but everything is put in jeopardy by the appearance of Lawrence’s estranged grandson, Peter. Peter is determined to spend some time reconnecting with his grandfather and to get rid of the supposed fortune hunter after Lawrence’s money. But Dani is not what he was expecting, and he soon discovers that they have more things in common than not.

Brought together by fortune, fate, and the ties that bind, all three embark on journeys of discovery and love.

Three lost people find happiness together.

Dani was the It-Girl of the moment in her world, but she felt something was missing in her art. After stumbling across some amazing photos, she was on a mission to find the photographer with the intention of training with him. This led Dani to Lawrence who had abandoned his art while he hid away in his ramshackle home.

I loved the friendship that developed between Dani and Lawrence, and the way their relationship awakened something that they seemed to have lost. Though Dani and Lawrence made a great connection, Lawrence's grandson Peter was slow to warm up.

Peter was once close to his grandfather, but had been estranged since his father's death. Though his visit with Lawrence was at his mother's behest, the return to this beloved place of his youth was exactly what he needed to reclaim his life and find direction for his future.

I was very invested in seeing Lawrence and Peter heal their past wounds and renew the bond they once shared. The icing on the cake was a sweet and heartwarming storyline where they all banded together to save the community art program. I love stuff like that and greatly enjoyed this lovely story of connection and nurturing your passion.

Do you enjoy photography?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. I love photography! These both sound like great reads. Friends-to-lovers is always nice because the people already know each other well, and sometimes love seems like the logical next step!

    1. I love the end product of photography, but I take terrible pictures.

  2. Great reviews! They both seem like solid reads.

  3. These are both new to me but I love the sound of them. I don't think that I have read about health anxiety and could see that as a big draw for Love, Just in.

    1. I had no idea that was a type of OCD. I guess it's sort of like intrusive thoughts which isn't mentioned much either.

  4. I have a copy of Love, Just In as well. I'll try to be patient for them to make move. Nice to hear you enjoyed it, Sam!

  5. A s I love photography, Picture Perfectis the one appealing the most to me!

    1. The photography stuff was actually pretty interesting