Wednesday, February 13, 2019

In a Nutshell: Adult Edition


In a Nutshell Reviews are my version of mini-reviews, because sometimes, you just want the highlights.

I Owe You One
Sophie Kinsella
Age/Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Publisher: Dial Press
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?
This is my EIGHTEENTH Kinsella book. Obviously, I'm a fan, and I Owe You One had all those ingredients which keep me coming back. It was funny, charming, heartwarming, endearing, and everything I have grown to expect from a Sophie Kinsella book.
  • Pro: Fixie was wonderful. She was sweet, kind, considerate, and fiercely loyal. I loved how she was rather selfless, even if she did make some decisions, that drove me bananas. She learned a lot, though, and the Fixie at the end of the book was better for the experience. 
  • Pro: The idea of "owing" someone was explored in multiple ways with respect to friendship, romance, and family. Fixie's struggle with this and how it related family loyalty was interesting, and I really appreciated the way she questioned how it affected the family dynamic. 
  • Pro: Seb was a great character. He and Fixie meshed so well together, and I shipped them quite hard. 
  • Pro: As I expected, this book was packed with lots of fun antics and was downright hilarious at times. I absolutely let out some laughs, and there was a lot of grinning too. 
  • Pro: There were quite a few beautiful moments in this book as well, and I really adored the way Kinsella let the characters evolve over the course of the story. I was extremely pleased with the way the relationship between Fixie and her siblings changed, and was proud of her for making those changes happen. 
  • Pro: I actually had a lot of fun in the store. Kinsella packed it with some oddly fun characters, and they provided lots of amusement. 
Overall: An humorous and heartfelt story of a woman navigating family, romance, and professional life, which made me laugh out loud and smile from ear to ear.


Hired
Zoey Castile
Series: Happy Endings, #2
Age/Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Kensington
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
For a man who makes his living pleasuring women, what happens when the only pay-out worth having is love?

Faith Abigail Charles has always done the right thing. So when her mother runs for mayor of New Orleans, Faith puts her law career on hold to help her win. But when tensions run high, Faith trades one kind of heat for another—in the arms of a hard-bodied stranger. He’s everything a woman dreams of in a lover. So much so that her one-night stand turns into two, then three, then four . . .

For Aiden Rios, meeting smart, sexy Faith feels like fate. After being ditched by his client in the Big Easy, the high-paid male escort needs a little company himself. Aiden knows he’ll have to come clean about his line of work, and he plans to—right after another taste of Faith’s sweetness—and another and another. . . . Until a chance meeting with his client leaves Aiden exposed—and Faith shocked and hurt. Now the hired hottie must show Faith that the love they share is bigger than the scandal threatening to destroy them . . .
Aiden's rules existed for protection. They were there to keep him and the other party from getting hurt. Meeting Faith was a game changer, because he was willing to break all his rules for her, and now Aiden could become the injured party.
  • Pro: I always love seeing one of those "never me" heroes fall for the woman he didn't know he was looking for. Obviously it started as physical attraction, but it was easy, and wonderful, to see the bond slowly forming and growing between Faith and Aiden. This was a fabulous pairing, and I was rooting for them from the start. 
  • Pro: I didn't expect them to make an appearance, but I was so happy the Mayhem family was back. Once again, they came to help one of their "brothers" find his HEA, and so, the bromance continues! 
  • Pro: Castile did an awesome job taking us on a tour of Louisiana. It was fantastic that she took us off the beaten path. I have read many books set in New Orleans before, but Castile featured sites I have not "visited" before, and that was a special treat. 
  • Pro: Call me nosy, but I loved learning Aiden's backstory. He by no means had it easy, but those trials really helped shape the best parts of him, and how can I not fall for a man, who loved his aunt and his mother that much? 
  • Pro: The campaign storyline added an interesting layer to this story, and it was fun rooting for Faith's mom. 
  • Pro: It was nice to see such a family focus in a contemporary romance. There were some really lovely moments all around between Faith and her family, Aiden and his family, as well as between the Mayhem brethren. Lots of warm fuzzies. 
Overall: A fun and sexy addition to the Happy Endings series, and I say, keep 'em coming.

** ARCs received in exchange for honest reviews.

Have you read any of these books?
Let us know in the comments!

28 comments:

  1. You have me beat in the Kinsella department! 18 books read? You really are a super fan! I am so happy that you loved I Owe You One as much as I did. It really was a lot of fun to read. :)

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    1. I have still have to read her Wickham books, but I love her warmth and humor.

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  2. I love series that keep on giving and an author that I can always count on to entertain me. Happy reading.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. I think her only series is Shopaholic, but all her standalones have been delightful.

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  3. I am a big fan of Sophie Kinsella's books! I recall reading my first one "Shopaholic" in the summer. I was in my garden and laughed so hard my neighbor popped his head in to ask what made me laugh like that ;-) Sophie @bewareofthereader

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    1. I think I started with Shopaholic after seeing the film, and I found I had to keep reading them all. She ticks all those important boxes for me - fun, witty, and warm

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  4. I'm mostly a fan of Sophie Kinsella, although she's had a few over the past few years that weren't really my type, married women, etc. But this one sounds right up my alley of her books that I loved. Glad to hear it was so good! Great reviews!
    My last romance review: Book Birthday Blitz Review with Giveaway (UK only): The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke.

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    1. I guess it never bothered me if the heroine was married, because her stories always seem to be about so much more than just one thing, and though they always have some romance, the romance is very rarely the central focus.

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  5. I'm not usually too into adult books, but I Owe You One looks really cute.

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    1. All Kinsella's books are adorable (if you ask me)

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  6. It’s been so long since I read anything from Kinsella. I’m not often drawn to rom-com style romances (where humor plays a big part and there’s a wacky main character who has crazy antics - I’m not sure I’m explaining that well) but I so like the sound of this one. Just the premise of the IOU’s is interesting and I do like the sound of Fixie.

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    1. I feel her books sit solidly in women's lit, though they are funny, which is my thing. I always felt like her books were more about the heroine with romance on the side. That is especially true in this book, where I think more time is dedicated to the dynamic between Fixie and her family.

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  7. I am glad that you enjoyed the Kinsella, I have gone back and forth on that one. She is hit or miss for me. I think I will have to try it.

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    1. I guess I appreciate her brand of humor and the journey of her heroines.

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  8. I read all the Kinsellas back in the chick lit days. I guess I am behind I had no idea she'd written 18 books!

    Jen Ryland Reviews

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    1. There are more. She has her Wickham titles too, which I have not read....yet

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  9. Wowww 18 books!? That is impressive! Glad this one was really good too! Ooooh Louisiana sounds fun! I feel like the cover on the second one tells you nothing about the story other than "attractive male" but I like that there's more to it than that! Great reviews, glad you enjoyed these!

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    1. Hired is your typical romance cover. When I first started the series, I had no idea Zoey Castile was Zorida Cordova, whose YA series I have read. And, I always love when authors really utilize their setting and bring me on a tour. Otherwise, why mention where the characters are?

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  10. I'm so happy you enjoyed these two reads!!! 18 books is very impressive. I love when I find an author and just want to READ anything they put out without even reading the synopsis. Loved your reviews <3

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    1. I love the zany heroines Kinsella creates and her books are always fun and heartwarming. I love that sort of stuff.

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  11. So glad to hear you loved Sophie Kinsella's new one! I think I'm going to start it tonight! I love the way she mixes heart and humor.

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    1. It was classic Kinsella to me. Zany heroine, little bit of romance, little bit of drama, lot of fun and warm feels. I'm a fan.

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  12. I am glad you were able to enjoy the 18th Kinsella novel that you've read! I really liked Finding Audrey when I read it and I need to read more of her books. Oh, and I really like the sound of family being the center of the Hired novel. I love that!!

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    1. I thought Kinsella did a wonderful job with Audrey. I know she has been writing some juvenile fiction, but has not done any new YA. I hope she will someday.

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  13. I’m glad you enjoyed I Owe You One. I tried to get into it but despite it having all the markers of Sophie Kinsella’s brilliance in there my bad mood stopped me from getting sucked in. I’m hoping to give it another try though because from what I saw of Fixie, I can tell I’m gonna like her.
    As for Hired that book sounds brilliant! I still need to read the first one but as soon as I saw mention of New Orleans and the fact we’re taken to different sites in New Orleans is just making me need to read. Don’t know why it I’m a sucker for NOLA in my books.

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    1. I am loving Castile's series. They are fun and flirty with just enough depth. I was instantly invested in Fixie for some reason. Maybe, the family drama reminded me of how I am treated as the youngest in the family.

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  14. These both sounds good. I would like to take a tour through LA. I have always wanted to go and haven't yet. So reading about it might be a lot of fun. I will have to add these both to my TBR just cause they sound so darn good.

    Mary

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    1. I am a fan of both authors, and both books were that balance of fun and substance that I love.

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