February ARC Reviews: Count Your Lucky Stars and Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead,

I was incredibly fortunate with my February ARCs and I am delighted to be bringing you timely reviews for once. (Okay, let’s ignore that I’m only bringing you reviews of two out of four books that release today…) Anyway!!! I loved both Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (thank you to Avon and Netgalley!) and Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano (thank you to the publisher and Netgalley!) and here are my reviews.

Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

Running into your estranged childhood best friend who you had a sexual thing with for a week back in high school over a decade later has to be so awkward and then when your friends conspire to make sure that Olivia winds up your roommate? A conspiracy, for sure, but of the best kind. I love the way this book introduces the set up. Brendan and Annie are about to get married and at the last minute, they need Olivia to step in as their wedding planner. Neither Margot nor Olivia are expecting to see one another, but oops, here they are, face to face again. It’s a great set up.

And from that set up, into the rest of the book, we have a book where the tone fluctuates from sort of angsty to very soft and lighthearted in a way that, for once, didn’t totally work for me. I still loved this book, don’t get me wrong, but there were things about it that kept me from giving it a full five stars. For example, there’s this scene (or series of) where Margot is really jealous and it irked me even though I understood. But, in my opinion, you don’t get to be a jealous jerk if you’re not going to communicate about your feelings. Basically, what I’m saying is, I read this while in one of those moods where people not communicating was more annoying than usual.

That said, I adored the conversations here about Margot’s concerns about her best friends growing away from her as she became the “fifth wheel” and Elle’s response when Margot finally shared some of her anxiety. Change is so hard. And speaking as a third wheel for all of my best friends, it sucks when you wind up in that position, even (especially?) when you’re happy for all of them. I also really loved Olivia and her caretaking ways and the way Margot tries to get her to see that she can and should take care of herself. Oh! And!! There’s this incredible scene, okay, several incredible scenes with Margot interacting with Cat and I loved those parts.

If you’ve loved the other two books in this series, I think you’ll enjoy this one just as much. I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s next from Bellefleur!

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosiamano

We must begin with establishing that I am obsessed with this series. Something about Elle Cosimano’s writing is a step beyond captivating. She blends humor and mystery so incredibly well and has created a cast of characters who I’m deeply invested in learning more about. Now, let’s focus in on this book as compared to the second…

Essentially, book two in the series picks up where the first left off. We know someone has put a hit out on [redacted] and [redacted] and [redacted] are trying to figure out what to do about it. There’s also something weird happening with Vero. The love triangle progresses in the sense that I have solidified myself as Team Nick for no real reason other than I feel like reliving my Twilight days of choosing a team to be on. The mystery is just a little over the top, Finlay is still writing a book that is much too close to a confession, and I am very here for it.

In case you think that I’m exaggerating my love for this book, please know that I (a) screamed when I got the email that I received an ARC, (b) texted my friend in all caps to let her know, (c) downloaded it immediately, and (d) proceeded to read it at every free moment I had while traveling with my best friend. I stood in the SLOWEST coffee line of my life and couldn’t even complain because I read 10% of the ARC while in it. Then Sheetz took FOREVER to give me my dinner and I made it to the epilogue. So obviously I then proceeded to sit in the parking lot in order to finish it before proceeding onto finish my ten hour drive home. Like… I loved this read. Is it as good as the first book? Maybe not, but I am telling you now, I am so wildly invested in this series that my heart will literally shatter when it comes to an end. (Unless we never resolve the love triangle. I am not here for a Stephanie Plum situation, okay?) Did I tell you enough about the book? Probably not, but truly, if you’re looking for an addicting read, I highly recommend.

And there you go! Have you read either of these yet? If not, are you planning to pick them up?


11 responses to “February ARC Reviews: Count Your Lucky Stars and Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead,”

  1. I’m in this weird mood where my brain is actively refusing to read any of my arcs even if it’s books i’m anticipating. So I still haven’t read Count Your Lucky Stars, which is blasphemy given how much I loved the first two books. I’m very curious to see how the different tones of the book will translate to me. I can definitely see myself being a bit frustrated with Margot’s jealousy too but hopefully since I’ve been warmed, I’ll react to it better.

    You know, after listening to the first Finlay Donovan book, I went and checked her backlist and I read some of her YA and I remember them being good too. I can tell you’re a really big fan of this series. Love how obsessed you were while listening to it! I can’t wait to read it myself and see what shenanigans Finaly gets into this time around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same, and I am so frustrated by it! I listened to finished copies of two of them. Fortunately, I read CYLS and the second Finlay months ago. Lol. But I hope you like Count Your Lucky Stars when you get to it!

      I have not read her YA, but maybe I should try… I’m listening to the sequel again now, interspersed between other things since it’s a re-read and it is still giving me so much joy!


  2. I need to read more from Alexandria Bellefleur as I enjoy her writing but Count Your Lucky Stars sounds like it suffers from a couple of things I might not love, especially the fluctuation in tone. I mean it might not be a major issue but I think I’ll have to be prepared for it going in. As for the Finlay Donovan series, I’ve heard good things and I definitely want to check it out but I’ve heard some slightly mixed things about the second book. or at least the second book wasn’t quite as strong as the first.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am still not sure if Count Your Lucky Stars was just a fluke where I wasn’t in the right mood or what honestly, but it never hurts to be prepared for that going in!

      The second book was not as strong as the first, I would say, depending on what you loved out of the first one the most? But I still really loved it and I’m so excited for the next book!!


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