Book Review: The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

I had seen a lot of positive posts on Jasmine Guillory’s novels on Instagram and when I had a chance to read her latest, The Wedding Party, I decided to pick it up.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Blurb:

Maddie and Theo have two things in common:

1. Alexa is their best friend

2. They hate each other

After an “Oops, we made a mistake” kiss, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking.

But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love. 

My thoughts:

I have read and enjoyed the hate-to-love romance tropes in the past (my favourite being The Hating Game by Sally Thorne). Because the novel by Jasmine Guillory was highly recommended on Instagram, I did expect The Wedding Party to be on par with my favourite romance of this trope. The novel, however, did not meet my expectations. even though I did enjoy the story and the budding romance between the two characters, Maddie and Theo.

The beginning of the relationship between the two main characters did remind me a little of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in that both Maddie and Theo prejudged one another and exhibited prejudices towards what each person presented to the world. Their prejudices made me think of how often we may be missing out on potential relationships because of the preconceived ideas we may have of certain people.

I enjoyed reading the slow change of the relationship between the two – and sometimes had a laugh at their expense. There were moments when I felt irritated with Maddie as she kept up the pretence – and breathed a sigh of relief when she realised a change in her relationship with her nemesis. In order for her to come to this realisation, she does go through a little personal growth.

The Wedding Party was a fun read and perfect for rainy, cold days. The story was not original but was well written and presented in an amusing way. It is certainly a novel to pick up if you are looking for a light romantic read to lift your spirits.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 104th in my book pledge for 2019)

The Caretaker

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The emptied lockers told of those who had left in desperation seeking safety from what was to come. Emptied spaces echoed with the footfall of the caretaker as he meandered the corridors with the knowledge that soon the remaining boxes would be gone. He had no desire to run and was ready to meet his death. He had lived long enough and was tired of the day to day struggle to survive. He would stay here, defend what belonged to others, and buy them time. And in so doing, he may – maybe – absolve himself of a life lived selfishly.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post was inspired by Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle. The challenge asks for bloggers to write a story in 100 words or less in response to the photo prompt.)

Book Review: No Judgements by Meg Cabot

I decided to continue reading my library stack and picked up No Judgements by Meg Cabot. I looked forward to reading this one as in the past I have enjoyed Meg Cabot’s novels.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Blurb:

When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too.

My thoughts:

What I enjoy about Meg Cabot’s novels is that the heroine learns something about herself when she meets a man that is suitable for her. During the story, Bree learns what it is that is important to her. In her past she has followed a path that has been expected of her and, with her small rebellion of staying on the island during a hurricane, she comes to realise what it is that is important to her. During her stay, she also finds the strength to stand up for what it is that she feels is right – and to follow through with actions of her own.

Bree Beckham is definitely my kind of heroine. She is an ordinary woman faced with the chance to change her future. She is at a crossroads in her life and needs to find the courage to grab the happiness offered to her. I do admit to enjoying the moment when she definitely decides – I will not say too much about it as it is a turning point in the novel. What I can say is that I loved the incident as it showed Bree standing up for herself.

Even though No Judgements is a romance, it is also a story about a woman who begins to believe in herself – and who has the courage to change her path. It is the perfect story for this time of year and left me smiling. The story encouraged a sense of happiness in me while I was reading it. If you are a pet lover, you will certainly enjoy the addition of pets in this story – they add another dimension to the characters of the story. This is definitely a feel-good story that you will not regret picking up.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 103rd in my book pledge for 2019)

Teaser Tuesday: Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

I have read Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin as part of a book discussion on Instagram.

Serpent and Dove is a Fantasy novel that pits the Church against witches. I enjoyed the themes that run through the novel and there were so many passages that I ticketed as I was reading. I have chosen to share with you an extract from a conversation between Lou and Ansel (a witch and a witchhunter-to-be) when discussing changing Reid’s opinion on witches:

“There are some things that can’t be changed with words. Some things have to be seen. Some things have to be felt.” (p 252, 2019, Harper Teen)

This quote is definitely one of my favourite from the novel. It resonates with me as I have often seen that people’s prejudices do not change unless it impacts their own life.

What do you think of the statement? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Library Stack

My current library stack definitely reflects my mood for light, romantic reads. Two are of authors I have previously enjoyed (Jude Devereaux and Meg Cabot), one is recommended on Instagram (The Wedding Party) and the other (25 Days of Christmas) reflects my enjoyment of Christmas stories at this time of year.

I am currently partway through the books I have borrowed from the library. I am hoping that this week some more of my holds will come through.

What books are currently on your library stack?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Book Review: Met Her Match by Jude Devereux

I enjoy reading Jude Devereux’s novels and when I saw the library had a copy of her latest novel, Met Her Match, I knew I had to read it.

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Blurb:

Terri Rayburn is a girl with a reputation. She doesn’t deserve it, but having grown up on the outskirts of Summer Hill, Virginia, she knows how small towns work. The only way to deal with vicious gossip is to ignore it. So she keeps to herself as she runs the summer resort on Lake Kissel.

When she returns home from a short trip to find a handsome stranger living in her house, she smells a rat. Someone is trying to fix her up, and she has to admit that Nate Taggert is just her type. However, Nate is engaged to the daughter of the mayor and strictly off-limits.

Nate and Terri form an unlikely friendship while he throws himself into life at the lake. As Nate starts to hear rumors about Terri he’s confused. Knowing how smart, beautiful and strong she is, he’s determined to discover the source of the gossip. Terri doesn’t want to revisit the past, but Nate won’t stop until he discovers the truth—even if the truth might be more than either of them can handle.

Set in the beloved fictional town of Summer Hill, Virginia, Met Her Match examines the tensions between the wealthy townspeople, the summer vacationers and the working-class people who keep the town and resort running.

My thoughts:

Met Her Match was perfect for my mood in that it is a light romantic read that brought some smiles to my face. As with all of Devereaux’s novels, it is a well written story that keeps your interest with realistic characters and moments.

I, myself, have never lived in a small town but I can imagine the ostracism that can take place. It is this ostracism which Terri has experienced for most of her life, and yet it has not made her any less of a person. Instead she is hard-working and loyal – character traits which I can relate to. I definitely liked Terri as a character and was behind her all the way. I could not help but smile how Nate upends her world; and a few of their encounters brought forth a chuckle.

If you are looking for a light read, Met Her Match is perfect. This book enabled me to read during the stressful time of report card writing and it definitely helped to take my mind off of my responsibilities. Once again, Jude Devereaux does not disappoint.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 102nd in my book pledge for 2019)

Change in a Day

On Monday morning when I took a photo for my Instagram post, it was chilly outside. I noticed that first was on the ground and that most of the trees were bare. The beauty of Fall has almost passed and what are left behind are tree branches whose fingers reach for the sky. I snapped a picture form my balcony and thought nothing more of the weather except of the necessity to dress warmly to go out.

On my way to work, it began to snow. I did not pay much attention to it as snow had fallen a couple of days ago and melted within a few hours. On Monday, however, the snow stayed. Snowflakes fell down to earth throughout the day and into the night. On my way home the snow looked so pretty that I could not resist taking another picture of my current read.

It was interesting to see the difference in the background of the two images. Today we still have snow coating the surfaces, though it is starting to lessen.

Do you enjoy changes in your environment?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Snapshot of a Winter Wonderland

Yesterday morning the landscape in my neighbourhood was grey, brown and dreary. Most of the leaves have fallen off of the trees leaving the bare branches reaching for the sky. It felt like winter had already arrived, especially as snow was falling during the walk to work.

The snow did not stop falling and continued throughout the day. The amount of snow covering the ground was unexpected and I messaged home for my daughter to bring me my winter boots. While walking home, I was glad that I had been able to reach her – inches of snow lay on the ground and the salt coating the sidewalks would have damaged my good shoes.

While walking home in the twilight, I could not help stop but admire the scene before me. With the twinkling lights and the gently falling snow, the scene before me looked like a Winter wonderland: a scene that made me smile in appreciation.

Our second snowfall of the season will linger a little longer than the first. The children in the playground will certainly appreciate it.

Have you yet experienced the first snow of the season?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Trent’s Weekly Smile challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive)

Teaser Tuesday: No Judgements by Meg Cabot

I am currently reading No Judgements by Meg Cabot, an author whose books I have enjoyed in the past. I look forward to reading a little romance this week, especially as it is cold and dreary outside.

The story is about Bree Beckham who needs to start over and decides to do so at Little Bridge – a tiny island in the Florida Keys. Things are ideal until a Category 5 hurricane bears down on the island. Bree has no intention of leaving and has access to a landline and plenty of supplies. She refuses her ex’s offer to fly her off the island but when the storm proves devastating she begins to worry – not for herself but for the pets people have left behind during evacuation. She begins a rescue operation with the help Drew Hartwell, the town’s resident heartbreaker.

I have not yet read much of the book. My teaser comes from early on in the novel when Bree’s friends and family and trying to get her to eave the island before the hurricane hits.

“But then I’d arrived in Little Bridge, and suddenly I hadn’t felt the urge to run any more. I wasn’t exactly sure where in the world I belonged, but at least I was done running … for now. And despite what my mother said, I wasn’t being stubborn – or maybe I was being stubborn, for what felt like the first time in my life. I was standing up for myself, which meant running towards something. I didn’t know what, exactly … but maybe that’s why I was still here.” (p 51, 2019, Harper Collins Publishers)

I am hoping for some smiles in this one.

Have you read any of Meg Cabot’s books? 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Ambrosia’s Teaser Tuesdays at The Purple Booker)

Pausing for Remembrance Day

This morning the final preparations for our Remembrance Day assembly took place. This solemn event always brings tears to my eyes and today was no different. The pause at 11am makes me grateful for the fact that I currently live in a peaceful country.


I would like to take this moment to thank all those who have fought for our freedom; and those who continue to help those around the world who cannot stand for themselves.

what do you do for Remembrance Day?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019