Monday, May 27, 2024

Isn't It Romantic? - The Five Star Edition

Just Some Stupid Love Story
 by Katelyn Doyle
Published by Flatiron Books on June 4, 2024
Age/Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

For fans of Emily Henry, a debut about a rom-com screenwriter who doesn't believe in love and a divorce attorney who does, forced together at their high school reunion fifteen years after their breakup

Molly Marks writes Hollywood rom-coms for a living—which is how she knows “romance” is a racket. The one and only time she was naive enough to fall in love was with her high school boyfriend, Seth—who she ghosted on the eve of graduation and hasn’t seen in fifteen years.

Seth Rubinstein believes in love, the grand, fated kind, despite his job as, well…one of Chicago’s most successful divorce attorneys. Over the last decade, he’s sought “the one” in countless bad dates and rushed relationships. He knows his soulmate is out there. But so far, no one can compare to Molly Marks, the first girl who broke his heart.

When Molly’s friends drag her to Florida for their fifteenth high school reunion, it is poetic justice that she’s forced to sit with Seth. Too many martinis and a drunken hookup later, they decide to make a bet: whoever can predict the fate of five couples before the next reunion must declare that the other is right about true love. The catch? The fifth couple is the two of them.

Molly assures Seth they are a tale of timeless heartbreak. Seth promises she’ll end up hopelessly in love with him. She thinks he’s delusional. He has five years to prove her wrong.

Wickedly funny, sexy, and brimming with laughs and heart like the best romantic comedies, Just Some Stupid Love Story is for everyone who believes in soulmates—even if they would never admit it.

She's a rom-com writer who believes romance is a scam. He's a divorce lawyer who wears his heart on his sleeve as he awaits his soul mate. Fifteen years after Molly broke Seth's heart, they are reunited and make a bet. If she wins, Seth will have to admit soul mates do not exist, but if he wins, Molly has to accept that they do. Will love triumph all?

This book was fantastic! It was funny and witty and hit all the right notes for me. I loved the way Molly and Seth played off each other. Their banter was top notch and fun to observe, but I also was really hoping that their relationship would take off.

They were high school sweethearts, and Molly left Seth in pieces when she walked away. But now they are older, both have grown in so many ways, YET, Molly still distrusted her heart. The damage done by her father abandoning her as a kid still kept Molly from putting herself out there and giving love a chance.

With the universe continuing to put Molly and Seth in each other's orbits, they begin to reconnect as friends. There are a LOT of ups and downs with distance and poor timing playing a role, but their feelings never waned, and neither did my desire to see them together.  

Surprisingly, I think this book has convinced me of the value of the third act breakup because I was a wreck! I find it amazing that authors can still do this to me when I know I am reading a genre romance. I know how it will end, but still, the tears were flowing. To me, this is proof of how invested I was in this relationship.

Just a heads up, this story begins in the past and part of it takes place during Covid. It was pretty gentle, and I am still not sure how I feel about Covid in books, but it was ok. Doyle filled this book with so much humor and fabulous characters that it kept me from recalling my own feelings about the virus.

Overall, I adored this book! The characters were vibrate, the dialog was snappy, the friendships were strong, and the premise was interesting. I simply had a wonderful time spending the years with this couple as I waited for them to finally find their forever together.

Summer Romance
 by Annabel Monaghan
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on June 4, 2024
Age/Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Benefits of a summer romance: it’s always fun, always brief, and no one gets their heart broken.

There aren’t enough labeled glass containers to contain the mess that is Ali Morris’s life. Her mom died two years ago, then her husband left, and she hasn’t worn pants with a zipper in longer than she cares to remember. She’s a professional organizer whose pantry is a disgrace.

No one is more surprised than Ali when the first time she takes off her wedding ring and puts on pants with hardware—overalls count, right?—she meets someone. Or rather, her dog claims a man for her in the same way he claimed his favorite of her three children: by peeing on him. Ethan smiles at Ali like her pants are just right—like he likes what he sees. The last thing Ali needs is to make her life messier, but there’s no harm in a little Summer Romance. Is there?

Ali may be paid to organize other people's lives, but her own had been in disarray since her mother's death. The loss of her mother, her best friend, the buffer and the balancer of her life, hit Ali like a ton of bricks. She was doing the bare minimum of living, and then her husband left her. With her divorce looming, Ali was encouraged to put on some "hard pants" and start a new chapter, and so she did with help from a very unlikely source.

Gosh! I adored this book so much! It was funny and heartfelt and touching. There were so many things I loved, so let's hit the high points.

It's about starting over. Ali had been in a marriage that she knew wasn't working but she was stuck. With her husband exiting, it gave her the opportunity to recover the pieces of herself she lost or kept buried for the sake of this union. She no longer needed to compromise herself for her husband, and it was simply beautiful watching this woman find herself again.

It's about reconnecting with people from the past. Who would have suspected that the person who would give Ali the encouragement and support she needed would be named Scooter. Well, that's what his family called him, but now he was a grown man who was NOTHING like the kid she remembered. He was actually pretty phenomenal, kind and giving, too. He was everything her husband wasn't, and I couldn't help but hope and pray for this relationship to catch fire.

This is my fifth book from Monaghan, and I know there will be many more in my future as my adoration of her stories continues to grow. I love the messy characters, the humor, the warmth, and everything else Monaghan never fails to deliver in her tales. Like her other books, Summer Romance left me with walking on sunshine and smiling my face off.


Have you been to a high school reunion?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. Great reviews, Sam! I've been seeing these titles on a lot of posts lately and you've totally sold me on both of them. Just Some Love Story sounds wonderful and I need to read Monaghan's previous two books first (I have both, lol) but I can't wait. Seeing as I went to international schools and all my classmates are in different countries globally, I've never been to a full high school reunion though I've had small ones with a few friends and they've been awesome :)

    1. I was surprised by how much I adored Love Story. Enemies-to-lovers doesn't always work for me, but this couple was fantastic. I have adored all Monaghan's books (even her YA). It's pretty neat that you went to school with people from all over the world. Keeping in touch is a great excuse to travel.

  2. I vote for the first one as I love second chance romance and men wearing their heart on their sleeve!

    1. Both heroes where pretty straight forward with their feelings. I adored them both.