This book actually turned out to be a collection of three romance novellas, all of which take place in Moonbright, Maine, a town that loves fall and Halloween, and have ties to a local beloved bakery. Each story had a different romance trope - love at first sight between two chefs, although one is only planning on being in town temporarily; a sort-of enemies-to-lovers, in which a woman has her sights set on one man but eventually sees that the man in front of her is a better match; and two people who knew each other in high school and now work together in local government, years later. I loved the small-town autumn vibe of each novella, and the stories are low drama with sweet romances and surprising steam at times. My issue with novellas is that the story often doesn't feel fleshed out enough or things are wrapped up too quickly, and those both definitely happened here, but overall, these are charming stories that are perfect for autumn reading. 4 stars
Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price (2021)
A Pride & Prejudice retelling where the characters are caught up in a murder mystery. Lizzie Bennet wants to be a lawyer, and she gets a chance to prove herself to her father when she's brought on by Bingley to prove his innocence in his brother-in-law's murder. Darcy is the lawyer-in-training officially handling the Bingley case. I generally love P&P retellings, but this one missed the mark for me. I didn't really understand the author's need to keep the story in the original time period, when she had to take serious liberties both plot and character-wise. Just put this in a different time when it would have made more sense for a woman to train to become a lawyer. I also didn't understand why Lizzie had to be so young (17) - also totally unrealistic. Lizzie was supposed to be so smart, but her logic was flawed and very simplistic at times. That all being said, I did enjoy seeing where the author stayed true to the original text and where she made adaptations. The identity of the killer was also something I didn't guess, so that's always fun in a mystery. Overall, a good idea for a P&P retelling, but lacking in the execution. 2.5 stars
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