Review: Dating Dr. DilTitle: Dating Dr. Dil
Author: Nisha Sharma
Series: If Shakespeare were an Aunty #1
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 364
Source: Own
For: Book of the Month, Trim Your TBR Challenge
Rating:
Sexual Content: 4 Flames

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There's a trigger warning for this book. See Trigger Warning section at end of review for more details.
Goodreads Synopsis

Kareena Mann dreams of having a love story like her parents, but she prefers restoring her classic car to swiping right on dating apps. When her father announces he’s selling her mother’s home, Kareena makes a deal with him: he’ll gift her the house if she can get engaged in four months. Her search for her soulmate becomes impossible when her argument with Dr. Prem Verma, host of The Dr. Dil Show, goes viral. Now the only man in her life is the one she doesn’t want.

My Thoughts

DATING DR. DIL was the February pick for my Trim My TBR Challenge. I was really excited to read it because it’s a retelling of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW by William Shakespeare and Nisha Sharma did an excellent job with the execution, creating a hot steamy romance that leaves you wanting for more.

I read DATING DR. DIL in two days, which is unheard of for me as I’m not a very fast reader. I got caught up in Kareena’s and Prem’s lives and wanted to know how their story would end. I also really loved the double POV and being in both of their heads. The enemies-to-lovers trope is one of my favorites and DATING DR. DIL did not disappoint. Kareena and Prem had so much chemistry together, including awesome bantering and amazing sexual tension.

The biggest mistake you can make is trying to interpret someone’s actions in a way that fits your definition for love.

I really enjoyed being a part of Kareena’s and Prem’s culture as I read DATING DR. DIL. I honestly didn’t know much about the American desi culture. I loved all the descriptions of the clothing, parties, and food. Oh the food! I’m now craving Indian from my favorite local restaurant. The strong familial influence, sometimes to the detriment of the characters mental health, and the pressure for Indian women to be married and having kids before 30 really resonated with me.

I’m only rating DATING DR. DIL four stars because I just can’t get past a few descriptions of Prem’s mandhood. View Spoiler » Other than that, I really enjoyed DATING DR. DIL and I’m glad I finally read it. I look forward to reading the two companion novels.

Have you read DATING DR. DIL? If so, what did you think?

Trigger Warning

There is a trigger warning for loss of a parent.

Review: This Spells LoveTitle: This Spells Love
Author: Kate Robb
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 352
Source: Own
For: Book of the Month, Trim Your TBR Challenge
Rating:
Sexual Content: 4 Flames

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Goodreads Synopsis

What if one little wish changed everything? When Gemma gets dumped by her long-term boyfriend, she reacts the way any reasonable twenty-eight-year-old would: by getting drunk with her sister, kooky aunt, and best friend, Dax. They decide to perform a love-cleansing spell, which promises to erase Gemma’s ex from her memory. They follow all the instructions, including a platonic kiss from Dax to seal the deal. When Gemma wakes up, she realizes that this silly spell has worked, except that Dax has no idea who she is either.

My Thoughts

For my 2024 challenges, I decided to focus on reading my Book of the Month books because I’m sorely behind. To help me with this focus, I used BOTM books that have been on my TBR for over a year to create my Trim Your TBR Challenge list. The number for THIS SPELLS LOVE was picked for January and I’m so glad because I absolutely adored it.

I zipped right through THIS SPELLS LOVE because I couldn’t put it down. When I wasn’t reading it, I wanted to be reading it. It hooked me right from the beginning and has left me thinking of the characters and their relationships long after I finished reading.

I adored everything about THIS SPELLS LOVE. I loved Gemma Wilde, her sister, kooky aunt, and her best friend Daxon McGuire. I loved the setting of Hamilton, Canada, just outside Toronto. The description of the people, shops, pubs, curling lanes, and the waterfront of Lake Ontario had me ready to book a plane ticket so I could experience it first hand.

Friends-to-lovers is hands down my favorite romantic trope and THIS SPELLS LOVE didn’t disappoint. Kate Robb’s execution was excellently written, producing a steamy fast-paced romance. The sexual tension between Gemma and Dax is amazing and leaves you wanting for more.

I also loved the lit bit of paranormal, in the form of a love-cleansing spell in THIS SPELLS LOVE. It was fun to see it flip Gemma’s world on its head, causing her to figure out what was truly important to her.

“It’s like Hot Tub Time Machine without the hot tub.”

When I finished THIS SPELLS LOVE, I waffled over rating it 4- or 5-stars. It didn’t take me long to realize that there was nothing about it that I didn’t love. Robb’s debut has a lot to live up to, but I’m definitely looking forward to reading more books written by her.

Have you read THIS SPELLS LOVE? If so, what did you think?

Review: Stalking Jack the RipperTitle: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Thriller, YA
Pages: 392
Source: Own
For: Play Book Tag, Trim Your TBR Challenge
Rating:
Sexual Content: 1 Flames

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Goodreads Synopsis

Against Audrey Rose's stern father's wishes and society's expectations, she often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey Rose into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

My Thoughts

I’ve been fascinated by the story of Jack the Ripper ever since I was a teenager. I watched a couple of TV miniseries fictionalizing his rampage of terror with my parents and I often wondered who the real Ripper was and why he did what he did.

I’ve been excited to read STALKING JACK THE RIPPER ever since I knew the book existed. I just never took the time to read it. I’m so glad I finally did. I loved how Maniscalco wove the historical in with the fiction. I loved seeing the events of Jack’s murders through the eyes of Audrey Rose and the other characters around her.

Fear is a hungry beast. The more you feed it, the more it grows.

One of the things I loved about STALKING JACK THE RIPPER was reading about the science of the times. In Maniscalco’s author’s note, she said she tried to remain as true to the capabilities of the time as possible. I thought it was really interesting that even though most of society scorned the work of forensic scientists because they thought it ungodly and mad, scientists were able to do all they did without the many advancements we have today.

I loved the cast of characters in STALKING JACK THE RIPPER, including Jack. Even though I guessed who Jack was in the end, I was surprised how it all went down. It made for a fun, surprising ending that I really enjoyed. View Spoiler »

I’m glad I finally took the time to read STALKING JACK THE RIPPER. Even though I’ve watched several miniseries and movies about the infamous Ripper, this is my first book. I now want to read more books and see how they compare. I also look forward to reading more by Maniscalco as I enjoyed her writing.

Have you read STALKING JACK THE RIPPER? If so, what did you think?

Review: FangirlTitle: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 457
Source: Own
For: Trim Your TBR Challenge
Rating:
Sexual Content: 1 Flames

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Goodreads Synopsis

Now that Cath and her twin sister are going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn't want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She's got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend; a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world; a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words ... and she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

My Thoughts

I’ve been wanting to read FANGIRL ever since I first heard about it. I’ve just never gotten around to it. I’m glad I put it on my Unofficial Trim Challenge list because I finally read it and it was just as good as I’d hoped it would be.

I loved the whole concept of FANGIRL. Other than the writing fanfiction thing because I don’t do that, I connected with Cath so hard. I’ve been obsessed with fandoms like she and Wren are with Simon before. I’ve met friends in forums and then IRL who are still some of my best friends. I’ve traveled with those friends to settings in the books we love. And, I’ve read fanfics because I wanted those fandoms to live on.

There are other people on the Internet. It’s awesome. You get all the benefits of ‘other people’ without the body odor and the eye contact.

I also loved reading the excerpts not only from the “original” Simon books, but also from Cath’s fanfiction, especially CARRY ON, SIMON. The excerpts made me love the characters almost as much as Cath does. I’m excited that Rowell decided to write CARRY ON so I can read it at some point.

I loved the slow-burn romance between Cath and Levi. I loved their relationship. It was so cute and swoony. There were times when I wanted less Simon because I wanted more kissing, lol. And, I liked the story just the way it was too because Rowell explored some really tough subjects, like abandonment, addiction, and mental illness.

Ever since I finished reading FANGIRL, I’ve been trying to decide if I want to give it 4 or 5 stars. I finally settled on 4.5 stars, but that might change.

Have you read FANGIRL? If so, what did you think?

Review: BrokenTitle: Broken (in the best possible way)
Author: Jenny Lawson
Genre(s): Humor, Non-Fiction
Pages: 285
Source: Library
For: Play Book Tag, Trim Your TBR Challenge
Rating:
Sexual Content: 0 Flames

Goodreads Amazon

There's a trigger warning for this book. See Trigger Warning section at end of review for more details.
Goodreads Synopsis

As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In BROKEN, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way. With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. BROKEN is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.

My Thoughts

Back in 2017, I read Jenny Lawson’s FURIOUSLY HAPPY and loved it. It actually kind of changed my life. I realized in a very profound way that I’m not alone. And, even when I’m in the depths of depression, it’s okay to laugh and enjoy life. Because I loved FURIOUSLY HAPPY so much, I’ve wanted to read more of her books. I finally got the chance by reading BROKEN (IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY) for a couple of reading challenges.

BROKEN didn’t have as profound of an effect on me as FURIOUSLY HAPPY did. And, I still appreciated Lawson’s candor and openness with her struggles with mental and chronic illness. I find the way she describes things to be a very raw, honest, unique look at how someone deals with their pain. At times, I felt like she was stealing parts from my own life as she described hers. I feel like she and I are kindred spirits.

I didn’t fail in responding to past treatments … those treatments failed to work for me.

Lawson’s humor and writing are definitely not for everyone. In fact, if you’re easily offended, then I wouldn’t even attempt to read her books. I’m glad I found her, though, and I’ll keep reading more from her. I also think that if we knew each other IRL, we could be friends.

Have you read BROKEN (IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY)? If so, what did you think?

P.S. I used the paperback cover in my post because it has a llama on it. I couldn’t pass that up, even though I read the hardcover edition.

Trigger Warning

There is a trigger warning for suicidal ideation.