Book Review: The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick
The Messy Lives of Book People
Author: Phaedra Patrick
Published: May 31, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 3-9, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Have you ever wished you were someone else?
Mother of two Liv Green barely scrapes by as a maid to make ends meet, often finding escape in a good book while daydreaming of becoming a writer herself. So she can’t believe her luck when she lands a job housekeeping for her personal hero, megabestselling author Essie Starling, a mysterious and intimidating recluse. The last thing Liv expected was to be the only person Essie talks to, which leads to a tenuous friendship.
But when Essie dies suddenly, a devastated Liv is astonished to learn of her last wish: for Liv to complete Essie’s final novel. But to do so Liv will have to step into Essie’s shoes, and as Liv begins to write, she uncovers secrets from the past that reveal a surprising connection between the two women–one that will change Liv’s own story forever…
This was an intriguing book! We see a bit of the relationship between reclusive author Essie and her employee Liv, but then Essie dies unexpectedly…
Essie’s will contains her last wishes, many that are quite different and unexpected, with one of her wishes being that Liv finishes her final novel. This novel is part of an extremely popular series, one of which Liv herself is a fan. In addition to finishing the novel, there are secrets that Liv must keep from everyone, including her husband. We see Liv in essence become Essie by taking over writing the novel and in some aspects of taking over Essie’s life. Through this journey Liv learns more about herself and the past of her favorite author Essie Starling. We see a change in Liv who then discovers an unexpected connection between the two.
I was interested in reading this one due to the title and cover: The Messy Lives of Book People. Oh yes, we ‘book people’ can have messy lives; and Essie’s definitely was and Liv’s becomes so! When I first realized this was going to be another ‘someone else needs to finish the author’s current WIP (work in progress) for x reason I wasn’t sure what to think. This is the third novel in the past year I have read with that trope, but all of those novels are different genres. I ended up being surprised with this novel and really enjoyed it!
If you are a book lover at all I say you need to read this one!
Amazon UK**Published in the UK as The Book Share**
Audiobook Review: Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Kay
Booked on a Feeling
Series: A Sweet Mess #3
Author: Jayci Lee
Narrator: Cindy Kay
Published: July 26, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 13-18, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Lizzy “Overachiever” Chung, Esq. has her life mapped out neatly:
* Become a lawyer. Check.
* Join a prestigious law firm. Check.
* Make partner. In progress.
If all goes to plan, she will check off that last box in a couple years, make her parents proud, and live a successful, fulfilled life in L.A. What was not in her plans was passing out from a panic attack during a pivotal moment in her career. A few deep breaths and a four-hour drive later, Lizzy is in Weldon for three weeks to shed the burnout and figure out what went wrong. And what better place to recharge than the small California town where she spent her childhood summers with her best friend, Jack Park.
Jack Park didn’t expect to see Lizzy back in Weldon, but now he’s got three weeks to spend with the girl of his dreams. Except she doesn’t know of his decades-long crush on her–and he intends to keep it that way. She’s a high-powered attorney who lives in L.A. and he’s a bookkeeper at his family’s brewery who never left his hometown. He can’t risk their friendship on a long shot. Can he? When Lizzy decides that the local bookstore needs a little revamp, of course, Jack is going to help her bring it back to life. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to ignore there might be more than just friendship among the dusty shelves and books…
Sometimes the path to the rest of your life has been in front of you all along.
This one was a fun, adorable, and at times frustrating read! I did not realize it is the third in a series, but looking at the description of the other two books, I don’t believe you need to have read them first. We have Lizzy who is Asian, which was a nice change as we get to see a small side of Asian culture and families.
Lizzy has just won her first big court case, and to celebrate she takes three weeks off! A lawyer taking off 3 weeks?!?! That just doesn’t happen. But it was needed because Lizzy passed out due to a panic attack in front of the jury….
Lizzy returns to her hometown to relax and meets up with her lifelong friend Jack. And Jack has been in love with Lizzy for 20+ years, yet she doesn’t know it. She sees Jack as her lifelong best friend. While on ‘vacation’ Lizzy decides to help out the owner of the local bookstore and try to revitalize it. Jack also decides to help as it lets him spend more time with Lizzy. But can friends become lovers and not lose what they have had for their whole lives?
We also have both Lizzy and Jack having to discover what they want for themselves in their selective careers, which they actually keep from each other. And being part of an Asian family can complicate things with parental expectations, which we see over the course of the novel in several ways.
Booked on a Feeling surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. Jack was so adorable with his feelings for Lizzy and what he should do. His internal dialogue shows how much he truly loves her, but afraid to share his feelings because he doesn’t want to lose her. And then her internal dialogue! It just became frustrated because I just wanted them to hurry up and get together. And there is some really good sex in this one too!
If you enjoy the friends to lovers trope with family complications thrown in you should enjoy this one. If you love books and bookstores, (and what reader doesn’t?) you must read this one! Close to the end it becomes a sort of type story and I was hoping we get to see Lizzy and Jack finally get together!
Cindy Kay also did a great job with her narration!
I really enjoyed this one and I find myself wanting to check out the first two novels in this series! Many thanks the publisher Dreamscape Media for granting me a copy to listen to and review.
ARC AudioBook Review: The Bodyguard by Katherine Center
Author: Katherine Center
Narrator: Patti Murin
To Be Published: July 19, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 9-14, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
She’s got his back.
Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindgerten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.
He’s got her heart.
Jack Stapleton’s a household name—captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.
They’ve got a secret.
When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it.
What could possibly go wrong???
Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.
I have loved most of Katherine Center’s novels that I have read, and I really enjoyed The Bodyguard! Center does romance right for me. It’s fun, sweet, clean and more! In The Bodyguard, we have Jack, the hot and famous actor who has dropped off the radar. And he also has a stalker. And we have Hannah, who is a Executive Protective Agent (AKA Bodyguard) but she does not even look like someone who could kill you with just a pen, but she can, and will if she has to. And she is really good at her job. Then she finds herself having to protect Jack and going to see his family because his mother is sick. But Jack doesn’t want his family knowing about his stalker, so Hannah has to pretend to be his girlfriend.
As with Center’s other novels, you know how the ending should be, but going on this adventure with Jack and Hannah was a lot of fun! It is a fun, quick read with some hilarious moments that ensue (there is one with a cow….) And let alone the information that comes out and about with this stalker. The banter between Jack and Hannah is fun and the story could 1000% not happen in reality, but it’s such a fun and feel good read! Center has been called ‘the reigning queen of comfort reads’ and she really is! It’s a perfect summer read to get away from the mundanity of real life. I must read more of her novels!
The narrator is Patti Murin, who is one I have enjoyed in the past and she did a great job with this novel!
Many thanks to the publisher Macmillian Audio for granting me an early audio copy via NetGalley to listen to and review!