A Mountain Divides Us by Allie Winters (2023)
Kristen is a widow with twin 6-year-olds; she needs to make some extra money so she decides to rent out a room in her house. She doesn't expect, though, kind and handsome Eli to come into their lives. He's only here for a month, but the two fall hard and fast for each other. Eh, this was just kind of a meh read for me. I did identify with Kristen at times, how she was reluctant to believe that anyone could be attracted to her, especially as a mom, although her protests got a little too much at times. I thought the premise was interesting, but the execution wasn't great. The timeline is so condensed that it can't be anything other than insta-love, and the two leads act so immature at times, it felt like I was reading conversations between teenagers. I also thought Eli got way too involved with the kids too quickly (like, on his first day there, it just felt forced). The ending felt very rushed and I wish the epilogue had taken place more than just a week or so later; it's hard to imagine if this is a happily ever after or happy for now. 3 stars
The Nanny by Lana Ferguson (2023)
After being laid off, Cassie is desperate to find a job, when a live-in nanny opportunity comes her way. It seems like a dream job, until she realizes that the dad she's nannying for used to watch her on OnlyFans, and the two had gotten pretty close, only for him to disappear one day. I loved this premise so much; it's so modern and funny, and it mostly worked for me! I really liked Cassie - she's fun, witty, and hardworking. The push and pull between her and Aiden, being attracted to each other but not wanting to act on it, was full of chemistry and there are plenty of spicy scenes for those who are looking for that element. I loved Aiden and Sophie, his daughter, together, and his desire to be a better and more present father after Sophie's mom's death was admirable (although I wanted more back story - there is so much emphasis on Sophie's aunt and how she thinks Aiden is unfit to be a dad, I couldn't really understand why she was so forceful). However, while I enjoyed the story, there was just something missing and I can't really place my finger on it. The story is a bit overly long and the writing is really repetitive at times. 3.5 stars
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