I am fairly certain I’m not reviewing any Harper Collins titles, but if I’m wrong, please let me know. Also, I’m very sorry for how delayed these reviews are in getting out because I really enjoyed Built to Last by Erin Hahn, Mixed Signals by B. K. Borison, and Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun. You’re also getting a bonus DNF review of Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner, which I’m really sad about not loving, but at the end of the day, the book just was not for me though I really want it to find its audience. Oh, and I received all of these thanks to Netgalley, though I read Built to Last and Kiss Her Once for Me via audiobooks I purchased myself. (Because of course I did.) Anyway, lets get to the reviews!
Built to Last by Erin Hahn
Built to Last deserves so much attention and so I feel a little guilty that this review is coming a month after I read it. That said, it’s never too late to rave about a book, right? If you love books with HGTV vibes, grew up in the era of Disney channel and Nickelodeon stars having way too much pressure put on them, and just generally are in the mood for a sweet love story, I think this book could be a real winner for you. I’ve said before I need to write a post just about how I think romance novels are tackling actor/actress narratives differently this year, and I sort of feel like Built to Last is a softer version of Birds of California by Katie Cotugno, which released earlier this year.
In terms of actual plot and tropes and other reasons why you might want to read this book, this one is a sort of mutual pining, second chance situation that wound up working so incredibly well for me. Also, Shelby was everything. At the beginning of the book, we meet her at arguably her messiest and when we re-meet her, she’s put her life back together in a way that looks a lot smaller than it used to. I loved all of her jagged edges and the hidden gooey inside. Cameron, for his part, is such a cinnamon roll whom I mostly adored immensely. And really, just, I highly encourage you all to pick this one up if ANY of this sounds interesting because I’m really struggling to find the words to explain why this one was such a winner. I can’t wait to read more from Hahn in the adult space.
Mixed Signals by B.K. Borison
If you are not reading B.K. Borison, you should strongly consider starting. I’m obsessed. Truly, everything about the Lovelight series has worked for me, on literally every level, and Mixed Signals was no different. This was such a fun spin on fake dating or practice intimacy that I just had the best time. Did I sometimes with Layla and Caleb would have one conversation wherein they just said how the felt without trying to out-think the other one to keep from getting hurt? Of course. But at the end of the day, not only did every bit of this feel incredibly realistic, I also loved both characters so much. I love the sense of community Borison has created in Inglewild. I genuinely want to be a part of this nosy phone tree situation and to be able to place bets on when people are going to get together. I know that all I’m doing is gushing about this book, but if nearly a month hasn’t given me the ability to be coherent about this book, I’m not sure anything will. So, yeah, if you haven’t read B.K. Borison, you should really consider giving her books a shot.
Kiss Her Once for Me
by Alison Cochrun
Things I loved about Kiss Her Once for Me:
1. The anxiety representation
2. The messy love trapezoid
3. The grandmas
Things I felt could have been better:
1. The pacing – there were a couple of times where the pacing just felt off and I got a little bored.
Ultimately though, this book was great and if the premise sounds appealing to you, you should definitely give it a try!
Mistakes Were Made
by Meryl Wilsner
I really wanted to like this as I think Wilsner is great and I enjoyed the heck out of their debut. Unfortunately, I really, really struggle with age gap romances sometimes and this was one of those sometimes. It’s the way you have one actual true grown ass adult and one college student who really doesn’t know anything yet. I have no issue with a one night stand on their parts, I have an issue with the believability of turning this one night stand into a relationship. At the end of the day, this romance just wasn’t for me and I probably should have known better.
I hope, somehow, that something I said here might have helped you decide whether or not one of these books is for you. If you’ve already read one of them, please let me know what you thought! And if you think you may pick one up, tell me that too. 🙂