Talk Bookish To Me by Kate Bromley (2021)
Kara is a bestselling romance novelist who is facing some serious writer's block on her current book until her college ex-boyfriend Ryan shows up as a groomsman in the same wedding she's in. Their encounter sparks her writing, but she'll have to keep him around for awhile in order to finish her book. Could a rekindling of their relationship also be in the cards? Oh man, I wanted to like this book, but there were just too many issues for me. The premise was decent, but the execution was severely lacking. The pacing was off from the beginning - everything was happening at warp speed for no reason. There was so much telling and not enough showing - and from what Kara tells us of her previous relationship with Ryan, it didn't sound that great, especially the way it ended, so I was really confused as to why everyone was pushing them to get back together. I didn't think Ryan was charming and he only got worse as the book went on. I love bookish characters, so the fact that Kara is an author and bookstagrammer should have been so fun, but the way she talked about her two passions felt like such an info-dump. Like, I would think most people reading this book are fans of romance novels - you don't need to explain tropes to me. Unfortunately, this one was a miss for me. 2.5 stars
The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser (2021)
Thea's husband just left her and she was laid off from her job; then she finds out a distant relative has passed away and left her his home and impressive book collection, so she takes off for the Scottish Highlands, where she runs into a grumpy bookseller. Unfortunately, this one was a DNF for me. It wasn't necessarily that it was a bad read. The writing was ok. But, I got 70 pages into it and felt like nothing had happened, and the story wasn't going anywhere. There were also too many characters introduced too quickly, and I didn't have the energy to keep track of them!