Monday, July 31, 2023


The Book of Silver Linings
 by Nan Fischer
Published by Berkley on August 15, 2023
Age/Genres: Adult, Fiction

Within the margins of an antique book, a timeless love waits for a young woman on the precipice of a terrible mistake in this enthralling exploration of fate and independence from the acclaimed author of Some of It Was Real .

Constance Sparks always says yes …when her capricious best friend needs money; when her boss gives her more responsibility without a raise; and when her boyfriend, Hayden, who is very kind but also secretive, asks her to marry him.

While planning their wedding—and struggling with anxiety about the right course for her future—Constance researches the history of her antique engagement ring and unearths the name of a man who might be connected to it, plus his tragic love story. When she finds a book of letters in her library’s old manuscript section written by the long-dead man, Constance is deeply touched by his words and leaves a note for him confessing her uncertainty and doubts. She’s shocked days later to find a response tucked among the pages.

As the notes continue to arrive, Constance finds herself quickly falling in love with a ghost and putting her real-life relationship in jeopardy. Will a bond based on letters impossibly sent from the past derail her future? Or will Constance discover her voice and risk everything for the chance to somehow connect with her true soul mate?

Some of It was Real blew me away, and though I thought The Book of Silver Linings would be a bit more like that, I was by no means disappointed. In fact, I adored this touching story of self-discovery.

Constance was a character who had one of the biggest hearts. Her circle was small, but she loved its members fiercely. This was also one of her biggest flaws. Constance repeatedly put the needs of others before her own. She sacrificed her wants and needs and often settled for less than she deserved. Why? Because she was so damaged from her past. As much as she tried to move forward, the harm done by her parents and others in her past lingered. 

But, things seemed to be looking up when Constance got engaged. She was given a beautiful, antique ring which she decided to learn more about. Her research ended up being a game changer because looking into the past, she was able to see herself and her future so much clearer.

The ring and its story was fantastic! The history and the letters was such an interesting and wonderful way to guide Constance through this crossroads in her life. It was amazing the way this search for information on the ring resulted in Constance expanding her life in so many ways.

So, yes, wonderful historical elements with a touch of something paranormal (?), but there were precious rescue animals too. I told you Constance had a big heart, and she was a champion for those forgotten and abandoned animals. I feel like she connected with them because she could relate to their situation due to her past. Regardless, I know readers will love all the animal interactions. They were so sweet, and my heart swelled every time some dog or cat entered the scene.

Though, I didn't deal with the same exact issues as Constance, I could relate to her feelings of not being enough, not being chosen, and giving up pieces of herself for others. This caused me love her more, root harder for her, and made her personal journey just that much more satisfying.

Overall: This was a beautiful story about loving oneself and not accepting less than you deserve which touched my heart.

Codename Charming
 by Lucy Parker
Published by Avon on August 15, 2023
Age/Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Following Battle Royal, beloved author Lucy Parker pens another delicious romantic comedy about a fake relationship between a grumpy royal bodyguard and the charming, sunny assistant who melts his cold, hard exterior.

Petunia De Vere enjoys being the personal assistant to lovable, bumbling Johnny Marchmont. But the job has its share of challenges, including the royal's giant, intimidating bodyguard, Matthias. Pet and Matthias are polar opposites--she's spontaneous and enthusiastic, he's rigid and stoic--but she can sense there's something softer underneath that tough exterior...

For Matthias Vaughn, protecting others is the name of the game. But keeping his royal charge out of trouble is more difficult than he imagined because everywhere Johnny goes, calamity ensues, and his petite, bubbly assistant is often caught in the fray. Matthias hates the idea of Pet getting hurt and he's determined to keep everyone safe, even if it means clashing with his adorable new coworker.

When a clumsy moment leads to a questionable tabloid photo, the press begins to speculate that Pet is romantically involved with Johnny. To put an end to the rumors, the royal PR team asks Pet and Matthias to stage a fake relationship and the two reluctantly agree. But as they spend more time together outside of work, they begin to wonder what real emotions this pretend connection might uncover. Especially when a passionate kiss leaves both of their heads spinning...

When the media declared that Pet was having an affair with her boss, the palace cooked up a diversion - CodenameCharming. The goal was to call attention to a fauxmance between Pet and Matthias in order to distract the media, but it seemed it was more fact than fiction with this couple.

You cannot see my face, but if you could, you would note how wide I am grinning. Why? Because Lucy Parker books always have that effect on me. Once again, Parker has written a sweet romance packed with humor and plenty of emotion.

The key players were all featured in Battle Royal, and it was a pleasure catching up with them while getting to know Pet and Matthias on a deeper level. I knew a bit about Pet's past, but learning the magnitude of the damage done by her stepfather, as well as the deep disappointment her romantic life has been broke my heart.

Even more heartbreaking was Matthias' story. Losing his parents so young, bouncing from foster home to foster home, dealing with a tragic loss, and then the way he was treated by women! The pain I felt for him, and the ire I felt for those who hurt him was immense.

But! Fate brought these two together, and for that, I was grateful. They seemed like such an unlikely match, but there was something, some sort of synergy and a deep understanding of each other that made this coupling so great for me.

Yes, my heart ached, and I felt so much for these two, but it was also terribly amusing. Johnny's mishaps were slap-sticky and hilarious. These situations usually welcomed more fun, as did many of the characters. I love me some quirky characters, and there were plenty of them to be found here. I delighted in them all! There were also many parties and outings to attend as well, and they did not disappoint.

Overall: Another utterly delightful story from Parker. I cannot seem to resist a great grumpy-sunshine pairing, and the reveal near the end was so, so, sweet. I had a fantastic trip visit to the palace, and I am eager to return again.


Are you a royal watcher?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. Both of these ARCs sound like a good time. I'm glad you enjoyed them both. I still need to read Battle Royal before I pick up Code Charming. I'm so behind.

    1. These are more or less standalones, but it is more fun to have the background from the previous book.

  2. The Book of Silver Lining sounds very good and moving Sam!

    1. It was for so many reasons, but mostly because of the main character finally sought what she deserved

  3. I've enjoyed Lucy Parker in the past so I'm sure I'd love this one too. The Book of Silver Linings sounds really good, too!

    1. It was good. I am a fan of Nan Fischer's books. There's something wonderful about the human connection she seems to always highlight. Like Backman, that's what I love about his stories.

  4. I haven't read anything by these authors, but your reviews have me thinking I should. Thanks for posting :)

    1. Parker writes really fun contemporary romances. Fischer is newer to me, but I loved both the books I read from her

  5. Both great reviews, Sam. I have The Book of Silver Linings to read and after this review, I am looking forward to getting to it now.

    1. Yeah! I hope you love it, and I cannot wait to hear your thoughts.

  6. OMG I am *so ridiculously excited* for Parker's new book! I loved Battle Royal so much and have been looking forward to Pet and Matthias' romance cos the glimpse we see of their dynamic in book one was already *chefs kiss* for me! 😍 Glad to hear it was awesome. Great reviews!

  7. I have not read Lucy Parker yet but it sounds like I need to fix that ASAP! I love the sound of this Hero. I could see myself enjoying both of these books.

    1. I started with her London Celebrities series. It was wonderful, and so far, this series has been great too. The hero was everything in this book.