A loose theme today – celebrity romances! Be sure to check out the posts on Alexis Daria & Lucy Parker too!
If you missed Abby Jimenez’s debut, THE FRIEND ZONE, last year, I really enjoyed it and recommend it. But I thought her release this year, THE HAPPY EVER AFTER PLAYLIST was even better.
HEA Playlist is a sequel to Friend Zone, but you don’t need to read the first one to pick up the second one. However, Sloan losing her fiancé is a plot point in the first book, so if you’re a stickler for chronology you might want to read them in order.
In both books, Jimenez does a great job of balancing distressing events and situations with humor and witty banter. In THE HAPPY EVER AFTER PLAYLIST, she navigates profound grief and the healing process, as well as the unexpected strain of beginning a relationship with a rising rock star who has public obligations and a long, grueling tour.
If it sounds a bit ostentatious or lofty, or even melodramatic, it really isn’t, and that’s only one of the many accomplishments Jimenez demonstrates in this graceful, insightful book. Sloan deals with a lot, but she depends on her friends emotionally and uses every experience to grow and heal.
From one of the very first scenes, when she’s on the way to the cemetery to visit her fiancé’s grave and a dog jumps through her sunroof, to the end of the book, when she uses her instincts and discernment to clarify her wants and needs, and goes after what will make her happy and whole.
It’s a beautiful book, but it’s also a very entertaining book, and the ability to juggle all the complicated emotions yet still end up with a buoyant, charming read is quite an achievement indeed.
Brava, Ms. Jimenez. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next. (LIFE’S TOO SHORT releases April 2021.)
THE HAPPY EVERF AFTER PLAYLIST
Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.
Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?
(This review is part of Read-A-Romance Month. Hope you’ll come back every day to check out my book recommendations. You can find the calendar here. Also check out The Romance of Reading, a Facebook “book club” where we’ll have great authors guest hosting every week.)
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