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What I Read: Spring Edition

I know I have been promising an update on my latest reads and impressions, but honestly, I have not really been feeling it. That is not to say that everything has been wasted effort…I am half the way through interviews for my dissertation field research (transcribing, edits, and coding are a whole other story). That is, of course, awesome news considering that most of my field research time in the last six months have mainly been spent waiting. But hey, lots of reading can happen when you are waiting.

So what have I read?


Outer Order, Inner Calm in many ways reminded me of reading a blog about organizing. The sections were short and sounded very personal, almost conversational. A lot of what Rubin had to say has been said by many other authors before her, but I found myself energized after reading the book. In fact, when I finished it, I was a little shocked and wanting to know more. My Easter plans consist of doing a little organizing and there will be no discussion on if something brought me joy but rather does this thing still hold value to me. At least that is what I got out of the book and Rubin does mention Kondo and Morgenstern as other resources to consider when it comes to organizing. I like it when an author acknowledges stuff like that.


I will fully admit that I like the arranged marriage trope and all the subsets like mail-order brides…in fiction, not real life. I am not saying that it is a practice that should still be followed, but imagine the courage these women must have had to leave everything they knew to marry a stranger. You definitely need faith in who your future spouse says they are cause it might turn out that they are on the run from the law which is the case with Saving the Mail Order Bride. I really wanted to like this story. It started out great with the outlaw and the bride ending up on the same stagecoach and not realizing at first who the other is…but then it turned out not so great. Really, how many times can you put your protagonist in danger and have him come out alive? I really feel like the author said “Challenge Accepted”. The poor man was tossed from a stagecoach, shot, bit by a snake…


Okay, meet cute stories are my second guilty pleasure. So the title and cover of Meet Cute caught my interest right away. Then the storyline of a celebrity crush meeting not once but twice. I loved the book! Plus there was the whole family angle to put another dynamic on it. There was only one part of the book that I did not like and that was the conference scene. I felt like Kailyn was being a little selfish and insensitive to Dax. It just felt off compared to the rest of the book. Other than that I would highly recommend it.


I feel like this one has been mentioned before, but I couldn’t find a post for it. Full disclosure, I read this one months ago. However, I have put it on the list because I overheard a friend say that she was tired of reading about women falling in love with rich men or the dashing hero, that she wanted to read a story of a woman who fell in love with a bum. Well, this is a story of a woman who fell in love with a bum. My third guilty pleasure read (and probably my favorite), the “let’s pretend we are together” storyline. In Marry Me Tomorrow, Emily has basically created a Bunbury husband in that she told her mother she got married to stop the discussion of when was she ever going to settle down. Her mother lived in the states and she in England, so no problem on keeping the truth hidden…until her mom says she is coming to visit and expects to meet the new spouse. So Emily asks one of the homeless men she sees on her morning commute to pretend to be her spouse. The story has some dark moments and tackles some mental health and societal problems. Sam was just such a nice guy who got dealt a raw deal. You will be rooting for him!


I really wanted to like No Other Duke But You. The Amazon description does not do it justice because that description is only a small part of the story. What the book is really about is two friends, one who says he is not ready for marriage and the other who is too busy matchmaking to focus on her own love life. What made me cringe was how obviously friendzoned the guy was and how he manipulates the girl into realizing that they are perfect together. Normally, I like the stories where the guy and girl realize they are more than best friends, but this was not it. As I write this, I actually had a flashback to one of the prequel Star Wars movies where Anakin is *maybe* unconsciously using the force to get Padme to love him.


Say No to the Duke was the third book in a series, the Wildes of Lindow Castle by the fabulous Eloisa James. Each book gave you a glimpse into the relationship that would be highlighted in the next book and I have to admit that I could not wait to read what would happen after the billiards game in book two. I am honestly not sure how to give my opinion on this one without giving you a spoiler. At the end of book two, there is a billiards game that may result in a compromising situation, no matter who won. If the woman won, then she got a London adventure in men’s apparel. If the man won, then he won a night with the woman with no marriage attached. All I will say is that the person who I wanted to win, did win, but I did not like the outcome of that win. Okay, the theme here is storyline tropes that I like and the next one is when a woman (or even the guy) has to disguises their identity. I really like the genderswap stories a la Shakespeare and as a Shakespeare scholar, I was looking forward to how James handled that plot. And that is all I am going to say about that.

If you click on any of the links I have provided, you will be taken to Amazon where you will see a more detailed description of the books listed here. Hey, these are just my opinions and you might love the books I found issue with. It happens. My husband thought Hunger Games was an awesome book and I thought Katniss was a horrible person. To each their own. Happy Reading!

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