Can you believe we’re already in March? February was a pretty decent reading month for me. I was able to read five books, including two backlist books that had been on my shelf for quite a while! My favorites this month include a contemporary romance debut, The Ex Talk, and an older thriller, Jar of Hearts. Both were fantastic and I have been recommending them to everyone recently. If you’re looking for a good book definitely pick up one of those.
As always, you can see my latest reads on my bookstagram account @enw_reads (I share ALL things books there!) and on my Amazon Shop page! If you have any book recs, send them my way! I would love to hear what you have read recently in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!
The Five Books I Read in February
THE DATING PLAN by Sara Desai | Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can’t give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiance. Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend’s little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy’s matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather’s will. Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. review: I really liked the premise of this multi-cultural romance book but, unfortunately, it fell a bit flat for me. I enjoyed the cast of diverse and quirky characters, although I did find Daisy almost *too* quirky at times. I had a hard time relating to Daisy in any way. That said, I did enjoy the banter between Daisy and Liam but wish there had been more resolve for his disappearance. It was well-written with a well developed plot, I just didn’t find myself thoroughly enjoying it like I had hoped. rating: 3 out of 5 ⭐️
THE EX TALK by Rachel Lynn Solomon | Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio. When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts. As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers. review: I chose this book for my virtual book club and I absolutely loved it! It is such a well-rounded contemporary romance that has a great cast of characters and a focus on radio! I thought the premise was really cute and loved that the enemies to lovers trope had a unique feel with the addition of the podcast. I really enjoy listening to podcasts, so I liked learning more about the back end side of things and thought it gave a realistic look at how media works. As for the characters – I adored them! They had such good chemistry and while sometimes I feel that the enemies to lovers trope can be overdone, this felt fresh and authentic! A great debut novel if you’re looking for a good book to get into! rating: 4.5 out of 5 ⭐️
FIREFLY LANE by Kristin Hannah | Tully and Kate couldn’t be more different. It’s 1974 and Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the social chart. But when the “coolest girl in the world,” Tully Hart, moves in across the street and seems to have it all. And she wants to be friends with Kate. Despite their differences, they quickly form an unlikely friendship and become inseparable. This coming of age book follows the friendship of Kate and Tully over several decades as their navigate life and question if the choices they made were the right ones along the way. review: I read this book for the first time over ten years ago when I was 20. When I saw that Netflix was coming out with a TV show adaption, I decided to read it again for my virtual book club. The details from my first time reading it were quite vague – it had been ten years after all – so I felt like I was reading it for the first time. Now that I’m 30 and have a family I had a totally different perspective of Kate and Tully’s friendship. I found myself sympathizing with Kate *so* much more, while also relating to Tully because I’ve been that friend who was still unsure of what life had in store for me while everyone else seemed to have life all figured out. And yes, 10 years later that ending still wrecked me and left me with puffy eyes. rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
JAR OF HEARTS by Jennifer Hillier | When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school. But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women. For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one and carried the secret of Angela’s death. While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. review: In an effort to read books already on my shelf this year, I picked this one up recently! I cannot believe I didn’t read this book before now… what a twisty, messed up ride this book was! It has been a while since a thriller completely took me by surprise, but this one shocked me in the best way! The synopsis of this book immediately hooked me but didn’t give away the story. The story alternates between the past and present and I think that lends to telling this story really well. Each chapter provides you with just enough information to keep you guessing and wanting more. The characters are well developed and I found myself struggling with liking Geo and disliking her at the same time – which I typically don’t do with a protagonist like her. I also enjoyed that we got an in-depth look into the women’s prison system while Geo serves her sentence. This book is compelling, detailed, and emotionally driven. If you’re a fan of thrillers you will not be able to put this one down. rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
AN UNWANTED GUEST by Shari Lapena | It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing, maybe even romantic, weekend away. When the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity-and all contact with the outside world-the guests settle in and try to make the best of it. Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead. It looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic. Within the snowed-in paradise, something, or someone, is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm and one another. review: When it comes to this author, I find that I have a very hot-cold relationship with her. Some of her books have pulled me in and enthralled me, while others left the wanting more. This book happens to be the latter. For me this was a slow read and it simply didn’t grab my attention like other thrillers have. There are roughly ten main characters and we get each of their perspectives throughout the book, which felt like a lot of keep track of while reading. None of the characters were particularly likable and I never felt invested in any of them. The one redeeming factor is that I didn’t guess the ending, but again, I wasn’t necessarily waiting with bated breath to figure it out either. If you have liked the authors other books, maybe give this one a shot, you may find that you enjoy it! rating: 3 out of 5 ⭐️