Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell

So, it’s only taken me two months to read another book. I feel like I’ve been going through Michelle Obama’s memoir as slowly as possible, so as not to finish it, but I suppose I must at some point. As of today, I need to read nine books in the next 48 days to reach my 2019 Reading Challenge Goal. That’s finishing a book every five days or so.

7312713Anyway, I decided to check what books from my TBR list were available on Libby recently, and this was one that I could borrow straight away. I don’t recall what made me add it to the list in 2013, but it was a fun, quick read. It hits a lot of the chick lit cliches that you don’t care are cliches, while still having some original twists.

Tilly’s been left by her boyfriend and spontaneously decides to move to the small town where her college bestie lives. She takes a job as a “Girl Friday”/personal assistant to an interior designer with a 13-year-old kid. His ex-wife is an actress who runs into trouble and has to come home. And of course, he’s got a lothario best friend who will be the main love interest because everyone tells Tilly not to fall for him.

I’m not entirely sure where the title comes into play, but it’s a fun story divided into short chapters, from multiple points of view. Tilly’s BFF, Erin, is dating a recently separated guy, whose soon-to-be ex is a nightmare. It’s predictable and not, ridiculous and sad, realistic and unbelievable (don’t get me started on the stalker plotline!). But I enjoyed it all the same, continuing to love the Kindle app on my phone for on-the-go reading as I do my steps and on my commute. I’m not sure I’ll seek out another one by this author, but it did scratch my British itch, so that’s not bad.

I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

I learned a big lesson about renting books from Libby for my Kindle app: Don’t have more than one book out on loan at a time or you’ll get almost finished with one and then poof, the loan ends! And when you re-request it, there’s an 11 week wait! Luckily, I’ve requested the actual book from the library, so I can finish the last 15% and find out how it ends.

7845184._SY475_In the meantime, I requested the first in a series of “I Heart” books by the author of my last post, Lindsey Kelk. I started it by the pool in Las Vegas yesterday morning and basically couldn’t put it down all day. I finished it after work this evening, but am disappointed to say that my local library doesn’t have any other books in the series. I guess I’m going to have to *gasp* buy the next book!

Our heroine is a typical mid-00s chick lit gal (without an iPhone), even though the book came out in 2009. She has a horrifying break up, grabs her passport and ditches London for New York. As someone who often day dreams of doing something similar I was immediately hooked. She’s immediately adopted by amazing gal pals in NYC (which seemed ridiculous, even for chick lit, but you gotta go with it) and starts spending money on an all new Angela Clark (you can picture the movie montage, can’t you?). There’s a little too much lamenting her single status at *gasp* 26, but luckily she shuts up about that once the book gets going.

I expected there to be more fallout from her decision to blog about her life, but I guess it’s a real life SATC and nothing bad happens. I also thought there must be something wrong with her Wall Street guy or the rocker guy, but the classic chick lit misunderstanding at the 3/4 mark doesn’t really happen. Angela’s lost and confused, but not because of anything that makes you scream “just talk to each other already!” The ending is clearly setting up what comes next (though the next book is called “I Heart Hollywood,” so I don’t really know how THAT happens) and does a nice time skip to eliminate all the boring “can she get a work visa nonsense?”

I’m excited to read the next book (if I can get it) since I love all the cities featured in the first few titles and I can’t wait to see how modern life catches up to Angela Clark.

One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk

41079125._SY475_Before my recent trip, I started playing around with Libby to see what ebooks I could borrow from my local library to read on my phone’s Kindle app while I was gone. (I’ll probably end up getting a real Kindle for future trips, but for this one, it seemed like one more thing to worry about.) I searched authors of books on my GoodReads TBR list to see what was available. Though Lindsey Kelk’s I Heart NY book wasn’t on the list, when I read the summary for this one, I downloaded it immediately. I mean, London + Instagram + summer = instant read!

The book has a rough start due to the stalking our heroine does of her chosen Instagram subject (I won’t go into the bet here because it’s dumb and ultimately doesn’t really matter). Like you know it’s chick lit, so they’ll end up together somehow, but she’s being incredibly crazy and he would be well within his rights to get a restraining order or break his lease in the building, etc. Luckily, he doesn’t really find it charming, but he does indulge her more than I would have. I didn’t really see his appeal until her father’s birthday party and then we were off to the races. It ends way too quickly and the social media stuff wasn’t as important as advertised, but it was still a fun read.

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

40702156It’s been about a year since I last read anything by Sophie Kinsella, who I really love. And just like last time, I wanted to like this book more than I did.

For the first half of the book, I want to scream at Fixie Farr, our heroine, who never says what she means and gets taken advantage of by basically everyone she knows. It’s frustrating to watch, but then you think, what would people think if they were reading about me and my stupid quirks? Our hero doesn’t get fleshed out as well as I’d like for him being our hero, but it’s nice that he’s got hang ups too. And of course, when they get together two-thirds of the way through, you know something’s going to come blow it up.

I wish there was a little more in the resolution, especially of the family bit, since it seems like it would be harder for everyone to change so quickly. But maybe if you love hard enough, it breaks through the barriers.

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

35411583I’ve been a fan of Sophie Kinsella’s standalone books for a long time. This one is a quick read that I didn’t love, but I didn’t hate it either.

Our heroine thinks she has the perfect marriage, but it turns out it isn’t so perfect – and not in the way she believes. The love story in this book is different than most chick lit because our main character is already married (with children). She’s got a stable job (not in publishing) and her life seems settled. When she and her husband contemplate how long they might end up married to each other, she decides they should surprise each other to keep things fresh. It starts out innocent (and ridiculous) enough, but soon there are BIG secrets being kept and Sylvie starts spiraling.

The conflict does enter that sitcom cliche territory of “JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER” a little bit, once things start coming out, you ALMOST understand how they got there. It still feels more contrived than not, so this book gets a “like,” not a “love” from me.