eARC Review – Faking It

Title: Faking It

Author: Rebecca Smith

Publisher: One More Chapter

Publication date: August 7th, 2020

400 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Meet Hannah Thompson: wife, mother, teacher and… secret erotica author?

My Guilt List:

1. If we have a date night then I’m always asleep before it’s halfway through and honestly, if I had to choose, I’d rather have a hot bath and read my book than engage in any other nocturnal activity.

2. If we do actually have you-know-what then it’s not unheard of for my mind to wander… and I’m not talking about sexy things – I’m talking about what food there is in the fridge and when the car is due for its next service.

3. I am struggling to write about anything that could be classed as even a little bit sexually adventurous which is a problem when I’m supposed to be an erotica writer and I am speaking at Sex Con in exactly one month.

With a book to publicise, Hannah has no choice but trade her M&S cardis for S&M parties, and become her writing alter-ego. What could possibly go wrong…

Review

Thank you to One More Chapter and Netgalley for an early copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

I didn’t realize until after finishing this book that it is a companion novel to another book on the same characters, but it didn’t really matter as you don’t need to read the first to understand what is going on in the second. The plot is fully identified and explained without relying on previous knowledge.

I was very excited about the premise of this book. I could totally imagine a normal woman starting a career as an erotica novelist and having doubts about being known as someone who writes erotica. The main character, just seemed so normal. Three kids, middle aged life, working as a teacher, having financial problems. But this book just fell seriously flat for me.

First everything about Hannah seemed so contrived. She writes erotica and believed that her sex scenes were pushing the boundaries, then we find out her editor actually thinks they are more humorous than sexy. Hannah is appalled, so she tries to be “sexier” in order to write the next book. But all she does is basically slut shame herself and everyone else for most of the book? I seriously didn’t get it. She made terrible assumptions, put her husband in weird positions, (literally and figuratively) and just overall was a strange character. Also, the snippets of her book we got to read? Not at all entertaining or funny or even erotic.

I’m also missing how this is a romance novel. Hannah is contentedly married, and there really isn’t much focus on her relationship with Nick. There’s more focus on her relationship with her sons and daughter or her friends than there is about her and Nick. Even the main plot, getting ready to attend Sex Con, takes 80% of the book to get to – and then it’s only like a chapter long. Her arguments with her daughter took up more page time.

I think I went into this book expecting humor, romance, and some ~sexy~ writing – and that just wasn’t this. It’s possible that because my expectations were totally different I didn’t enjoy it because I was so focused on getting to the parts that I wanted to be there… but didn’t exist. So reader, if you’re looking for a true romance novel, this isn’t it. it’s more Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit. I’m sure there’s an audience for this book, who will find it to be funny & relatable but that just isn’t me!

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – No, We Can’t Be Friends

Title: No, We Can’t Be Friends

Author: Sophie Ranald

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: January 10th, 2020

295 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Everyone knows a girl like Sloane. She was always The Single One. She never brought a plus-one to weddings. She was the woman you’d set up with your single cousin. She joined ballroom dancing classes to meet men and was the queen of online dating. 

But then she met Myles. Perfect Myles, with denim-blue eyes and a dazzling smile that melted her insides. She’d finally found The One. 

Except she didn’t imagine that Myles’s idea of Happy Ever After would include Sloane battling an overflowing laundry basket, buying birthday cards for his family, and ironing his Calvin Klein underpants. 

Then Sloane finds out that Myles has a secret. 

The fairy tale is well and truly over. Her heart is blown to smithereens. Eating her weight in Ben & Jerry’s and large Meat Feast pizzas can only get Sloane so far before she has to make a decision… Can she learn to love herself more than she loved the love of her life? 

Review

**Thank you to Bookouture, Netgalley, and Sophie Ranald for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Sophie and Myles are married and Sophie has everything she thought she wanted in life. She has a great job that she absolutely loves, and adoring husband, and is getting ready to try for a baby. One small problem? Myles is cheating and her whole world view flips upside down. It takes her some time to figure out how to handle the situation, while drawing strength and inspiration from her friends and clients at work. She becomes homeless, but over the course of the book everything works out for her, helped along by carefully placed moments that change her thought process and decisions. Myles is scum, but she learns she is more than her marriage – and it’s important to love yourself, not just your husband.

I really didn’t think I was going to finish this book, the first part has a lot of issues due to the crumbling relationship of Sophie and Myles. Myles is clearly cheating, and Sophie just needs to have her “aha” moment and leave him. However, when she finally confronts him, he gaslights her so bad she starts to second guess herself. I really wasn’t sure where the author was going with it, but gaslighting is my hands down least favorite part of any book that features it. It’s such a tired cliche and I was worried the book would just follow in that vein and annoy the crap out of me. BUT! Sophie really has a transformative journey and I’m glad I stuck with it. I really loved the characters (especially the side characters) and the side stories were fun and interesting.

I am so glad the author moved past the gaslighting plot line and Myles got called out the way he deserved (if you read this, you’ll know the part I’m talking about!). It was really great to see Sophie grow as a person into her life, even though she takes several hard knocks.

Y’all should read this if you have a terrible ex, because you could definitely relate. No, We Can’t Be Friends is a solid, quick chick lit read for those who gravitate to this genre. It’s also set in Britain, so the British slang was fun to read for an American like me.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂