Excellent Case Study In Storytelling. Over the last month, I’ve read all three of the books Marsh is releasing (from three different publishers) over the course of six weeks from early October 2020 through mid November 2020 (when this, the last of the books in this “series”, releases). And each has been dramatically different from the last, which speaks to Marsh’s true skill as a storyteller. Second Chance Lane, the first of the series, was a Hallmarkie romance. My Sister’s Keeper, the second, was a weaving, winding, soap opera of a tale that my wife says would work well as a Lifetime Movie.
And here, with The Boy Toy, we get arguably the most cinematic of the three books, in the vein of a multicultural Knocked Up / Hundred Foot Journey. We get an older lead female. We get a look at various facets of Indian culture (that as my friend Ritu says in her own review, many of Western cultures won’t be as familiar with – more on that momentarily). We get a more-balanced-than-usual look at the struggles of infertility as it relates to those who actually want children. (Vs childfree people like me that *don’t* want children and thus infertility is actually a blessing of sorts.) We get an age-gap *ish* romance with the *female* being the older person in the couple.
And yes, we get sex. A lot of it. And all over the place, beginning as little as 10% into the book. If you’re looking for a “clean” / “sweet” romance… you’re not gonna want this one. 😉 Similarly, getting back to the cultural issues… Marsh does a good job of not hiding at least one Indian equivalent of what I call “Talibaptists” in the US. She does a great job of showing the pressure they can wield socially and the damage it can wreak, and she doesn’t shy away from this aspect at all – instead giving a solid example of how to overcome it. Every culture has these types, sadly, but Marsh shows them in depths not often explored, particularly in a romantic comedy, and again – shows her strength as a storyteller in doing so.
Ultimately though, this is a fun and funny romantic comedy that hits all the right notes, discusses some heavy topics, but leaves you satisfied in every way text on some surface can. Very much recommended.
This review of The Boy Toy by Nicola Marsh was originally written on October 23, 2020.
Excellent Design. This story was a fun, mostly light read perfect for the beach and vacation (when I read it). The darkness that is alluded to early on doesn’t get quite as dark as I was dreading it might, and for that I was grateful. Other than that particular subplot though, a very enjoyable read.
This review of Single by Design by Roseanne Beck was originally published on November 18, 2018.
Possibly Unique Technique. This book had something not often seen in trilogies – a blending of the timeline from the first book into the third book. In The Girl He Knows, Rose has a particular scene where a new man is introduced and the lead in that book outright says to herself that this man isn’t for her – but would be perfect for her friend. So she calls her friend and demands the friend come out to where she is currently on a double date with this new man and common friends across all of the people involved here. This book actually starts up just before that moment, and the first roughly third of the book actually takes place concurrent with events from the back roughly third of The Girl He Knows, before progressing. This book’s weakness is that it spends so much time in the setup that it doesn’t really have a chance to actually show the love developing, rather than simply stating that the couple did various things together over a couple of paragraphs. But it is overall a strong book, just with the one major weakness.
This review of The Girl He Wants by Kristi Rose was originally published on February 23, 2018.
Solid Prequel. Yes, this is Book 2 of the trilogy, but really it is better thought of as a prequel, since much of what happens in Book 1 and Book 3 happens in somewhat direct response to what happens in this book. We meet the leading lady of Book 3 early in this one, and the leading lady of Book 1 is introduced in the epilogue – along with a mention of the male lead from Book 3. Enjoyable, without quite the drama Book 1 in particular had.
This review of The Girl He Needs by Kristi Rose was originally published on February 21, 2018.
Fun and Flirty. Excellent debut novel from Kristi Rose. Mostly fun and light hearted, with just enough suspense to pull the heartstrings.
This review of The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose was originally published on February 19, 2018.
This was a great conclusion to the Spinster trilogy, as hilarious and neurotic as ever.
But this is the first one I’ve had any reservations at all about, and while they are personal to me, they should be discussed in case they are relevant to others as well.
First, the most independent woman in the series gets baby fever and thinks she HAS to have a baby. I get that this is something many females go through, but it also felt like it would be better coming from the main character, who has always been one to crumble under societal expectations. It would have been nice to have the independent woman strike her own path with her man.
The second issue happens towards the end, and I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just say that it too was of the type of “why does this feel necessary to have the happy ending”. This particular subplot could have been left out completely, and the story – both of this particular book and the trilogy as a whole – would have felt just as complete.
But again, overall the book was a great read, and I’m glad I finally had the chance to read it. Definitely worth reading, just be prepared for those two particular things if that is something you need to prepare yourself for.
This review of Thirty-Four Going on Bride by Becky Monson was originally published on January 17, 2018.
excellent continuation of the Spinster series. looking forward to seeing where this goes in the next book!
This review of Thirty-Three Going On Girlfriend by Becky Monson was originally published on January 14, 2018.
This was a light hearted, fun read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
This review of Thirty-Two Going On Spinster by Becky Monson was originally published on January 12, 2018.
This book truly is Seriously Messed Up. One of the more hilarious “WTF” tales I’ve ever read.
Starts out with a guy getting fired, then coming home early only to catch his wife in the act having a threesome with two other guys… and spirals from there. Along the way, guy meets up with a famous celebrity and two ladies, intending to have a threesome himself… only for things to go *horribly* wrong.
Seriously, you *need* to read Seriously Messed Up!
This review of Seriously Messed Up by Luke Young was originally published on March 20, 2017.
Great short introduction to the author, the entire book takes just 6 chapters to tell a tale covering about 3 hrs or so as two coworkers go to the going away party for one of them. Very much in line with the author’s other works, just much shorter. Give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed.
This review of Happy to be Stuck with You by Rich Amooi was originally published on November 2, 2016.