The Start of Something Good by Jennifer Probst (2018)
Ethan returns home to his family's B&B/horse farm after a rough couple of years. Mia, a PR guru, is staying at the inn to watch over a client's teenage daughter as she completes community service. Although they get off to a rocky start, could Ethan and Mia find in each other what they've both been missing? I liked parts of this book, although in some areas the execution was lacking. Ethan's background and journey to healing were really interesting, especially when we got glimpses of his time as a Special Forces paratrooper. I really got a good sense of how he was affected by his time in the military. I was hoping that the initial tension and friction between Mia and Ethan would lead to some major sparks later, and I was not disappointed! These two, when they finally admitted their feelings, were just fire. I especially enjoyed the latter part of the book where they were trying to figure out how they could make their relationship work when their lives were so different, and I wanted more of that. I thought the writing was a little lackluster at times and the dialogue a bit cringey, and Mia's major food issues were overwhelming and could be triggering for some readers. 3 stars
For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing (2021)
Teddy is a teacher at Belmont Academy, an elite private school where a series of deaths have everyone on edge - and everyone looking for a killer. I haven't been reading many thrillers lately, but Samantha Downing is always good for a unique premise and a witty, fast-paced story, and this one delivered. Teddy, the current Teacher of the Year at Belmont, has a really warped sense of self-importance and thinks he knows best when it comes to his students. If he doesn't like something or someone, he'll passive-aggressively make it known. When people start dying, Teddy takes it upon himself to manipulate the situation. A current student, Zach, and a former student, Fallon, are onto him, though. I can't say that any of these characters were particularly likable, but they were all massively entertaining. So many reveals, delivered in such a matter-of-fact, nonchalant way kept the story moving from one place to the next and kept me guessing as to what would happen. Short, punchy chapters kept me glued to the pages. Overall, a deliciously twisted story! 4 stars
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