Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty by Lauren Weisberger (2021)
Peyton is a popular anchor on a morning news show; her sister Skye is a stay-at-home mom trying to start a charity. Both sisters are keeping secrets that could derail everything. I've enjoyed Weisberger's books for years, but this one was a bit of a miss for me. It had a ripped-from-the-headlines plot about a college admissions scandal involving Peyton's daughter Max, and I did like that we got Max's perspective about the situation and a kind of behind-the-scenes look at how scandals like these affect public figures. The storyline featuring Skye was much weaker, at least to me. Eager for something more in her life, she wants to start a house/school for underprivileged girls, but funding is an issue. I never connected to Skye, living in her wealthy bubble but constantly complaining about it. The pacing was off in the story and it felt alternately really repetitive or like nothing was moving forward at all. Weisberger's writing is always good, but the plot just never came together for me. 3 stars
Rushed by Aurora Rose Reynolds (2021)
After getting dumped by her fiancé, Cybil decides to still attend the wilderness couples' retreat they were supposed to go on together. There, she meets and is paired up with Tanner, the owner of the adventure retreat company. Their attraction is immediate, and the two will have to decide if this is just a vacation fling or something more. I liked the premise of this book, that Cybil does something outside her comfort zone and finds love, but the insta-love is so strong in this book that it kind of made everything very low-stakes. The retreat aspect was fun, although one of the other women on the trip was oddly aggressive towards Cybil. Tanner has never been a relationship guy, so the fact that he falls so hard and so quickly for Cybil was rather swoony - I could have done without all the cringey pet names, though, and the way he was willing to give up his home and business for Cybil after only knowing her for a week had me shaking my head a bit. The author tries to inject some drama with Cybil's ex-fiancé and an issue with her "found family," but overall, this was a very low-angst romance with some spicy scenes mixed in. 3 stars
* This post contains affiliate links; I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you.