Tailored for Trouble

Tailored for Trouble. Mimi Jean Pamfiloff. 2016. 368 pages. Ballantine Books. [Source; ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Bennett Wade is a man you love to hate. At least, you would if you could bring yourself to fully dislike him. Like Rhet Butler, he’s a man used to getting what he wants when he wants it. He’s definitely a control freak without a filter who runs roughshod over those around him. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly endearing about him. Like how much he dotes over and indulges his mother, or how generous he was to his assistant Candy. Taylor Reed, however, has the fortitude to dislike Wade. His rudeness (and her temper) cost her a job, and now he has the nerve to seek out her executive coaching. All she wants is to move on with her life, start her company, and share her insights with CEOs who lack the skills they need to really shine in their roles. When Bennett says he needs her help, Taylor’s approach is to accept, and destroy him while she’s at it.

To Have and To Hold

To Have and To Hold. Lauren Layne. 2016. 385 pages. Pocket Books. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] This book has all the makings of a great story – an overprotective brother who doesn’t trust the naiveté of his sister or, more aptly, her new fiancé, a wedding planner with a failed almost-marriage, and the bright, twinkling lights of New York City. I was completely intrigued by the story and couldn’t put it down, but found myself wanting more from its characters. If I could give this 3.5 stars, I would; To Have and to Hold is a good book, but it doesn’t stand up as well to Lauren Layne’s other works. Brooke Baldwin was one of LA’s premier wedding planners, until she found out her fiancé was a con man. The most important wedding of her career was a spectacle for all the wrong reasons: instead of her walking down the altar to start a life with him, the FBI dragged him down the altar to a jail cell. She ran to New York City to get away from the spotlight and quietly rebuild her career. When she’s picked up as a planner for Wedding Belle’s, one of the city’s…

The STEM Club Goes Exploring

The STEM Club Goes Exploring. Lois Melbourne. 2016. 48 pages. Greenleaf Books. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] I’m in love with this book! It is a phenomenal exploration of STEM careers, education, and how they make society run smoothly. It’s a great introduction to the different ways people contribute to society, and does so in a fun and engaging way. First, the characters are a diverse group of students, representing a range of cultural and gender identities. This will really help students relate to the people who guide them through the story. Additionally, the writing is easy to understand, and explains the careers in age-appropriate tone and language.

Getting Inside

Getting Inside. Serena Bell. 2017. 198 pages. Loveswept. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] The book has to be compelling if me, a complete non-sports fan, can’t put it down. From the start, I was pulled in by Iona and Ty and was so intrigued at how they’d ever manage to fight their attraction while balancing their messy coach-player relationship. Serena Bell wove their story together well. Too often, romance stories with a focus on sports are either too heavy on the sport or don’t include enough detail, making it an afterthought. With Getting Inside, she shows that she’s done her homework on the sport but isn’t beating the reader of over the head with her knowledge. I was clued in enough to understand that football was the heart of the book, but still enjoyed the actual story.

Historical Fiction / January 7, 2017

Wench. Dolen Perkins-Valdez. 2010. 308 pages. Harper-Collins. [Source: personal copy.] An amazing work of historical fiction, I was impressed at the historical accuracy yet intriguing style that the author wrote with. I’ve considered reading his many times yet was hesitant. Few can do historical fiction with the flare of Lalita Tademy’s Cane River — honest, accurate and captivating. However, it was a concise review that made me say it was worth trying. I’m pleased to say this author is of Tademy’s caliber. I enjoyed the characters, found myself invested in their future and willing to think beyond what she hinted at. 5 stars, I’d love for her to write a sequel that tells Mawu’s next step or even the results of Drayle’s promise.