Friday, September 8, 2023

Mini Reviews: New Releases


Today I'm sharing two books that I had hope to read this summer, but didn't get to them until Labor Day Weekend or the days afterwards. They were both solid romances and one made me want to binge watch all my old movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

The Book of Silver Linings by Nan Fischer
Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: August 15, 2023
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "Within the margins of an antique book, a timeless love waits for a young woman on the precipice of a terrible mistake in this enthralling new novel from the acclaimed author of Some of It Was Real . Constance Sparks always says yes …when her capricious best friend needs money; when her boss gives her more responsibility without a raise; and when her boyfriend, Hayden, who is very kind but also secretive, asks her to marry him. While planning their wedding—and struggling with anxiety about the right course for her future—Constance researches the history of her antique engagement ring and unearths the name of a man who might be connected to it, plus his tragic love story. When she finds a book of letters in her library’s old manuscript section written by the long-dead man, Constance is deeply touched by his words and leaves a note for him confessing her uncertainty and doubts. She’s shocked days later to find a response tucked among the pages. As the notes continue to arrive, Constance finds herself quickly falling in love with a ghost and putting her real-life relationship in jeopardy. Will a bond based on letters impossibly sent from the past derail her future? Or will Constance discover her voice and risk everything for the chance to somehow connect with her true soul mate?"
Constance is finally engaged to Hayden even though she hasn't met his family and friends. What is he hiding from her? Even though she should be deliriously happy, she feels that she is holding back due to all the uncertainties. Not to mention the fact that Constance is hiding some secrets of her own regarding her past. Instead of dwelling in her apprehension, she decides that she is going to research the gorgeous antique ring that Hayden gave her. Again, she still isn't sure how he could afford it! While researching the history surrounding her ring, she stumbles upon a beautiful romance involving letters and World War I. These letters make Constance question if she is following her heart with Hayden, why they both haven't opened up to one another, and what she wants out of life. Nan Fischer's The Book of Silver Linings includes everything that is required of a charming romance: there's a mystery, heartwarming moments, an antique book, heirloom ring, and did I mention rescue dogs?
I felt badly for Constance from the start of The Book of Silver Linings, because I felt like she was living a shadow life. I disliked Hayden from the beginning, so I really wanted her to break off the engagement and figure out what she wanted. I loved the incorporation of the antique book and letters - this was a nice touch, especially tying in some history. It also felt like there was a touch of magical realism, too. I also loved Constance's interest in rescue dogs as rescue dogs hold a special place in my heart. My only issue with the novel was Fischer's writing style didn't always work for me--it felt a little surface level, but other than that, I enjoyed this charming romance that certainly kept me entertained over the long weekend.


It Happened One Fight by Maureen Lee Lenker
Pages: 352
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: July 11, 2023
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says "Joan Davis is a movie star, and a damned good actor, too. Unfortunately, Hollywood only seems to care when she stars alongside Dash Howard, Tinseltown's favorite leading man and a perpetual thorn in Joan's side. She's sick of his hotshot attitude, his never-ending attempts to get a rise out of her―especially after the night he sold her out to the press on a studio-arranged date. She'll turn her career around without him. She's engaged to Hollywood's next rising star, after all, and preparing to make the film that could finally get her taken seriously. Then, a bombshell drops: thanks to one of his on-set pranks gone wrong, Dash and Joan are legally married. Reputation on the line, Joan agrees to star alongside Dash one last time and move production to Reno, where divorce is legal after a six-week residency. But between on-set shenanigans, fishing competitions at Lake Tahoe, and intimate moments leaked to the press, Joan begins to see another side to the man she thought she had all figured out, and it becomes harder and harder to convince the public―and herself―that her marriage to Dash is the joke it started out as."

Joan Davis (seems like she is loosely based on Joan Crawford) has come from Oklahoma all the way to glamorous Hollywood. She's been through a lot. Critics labeled her box office poison and she has endured a lot of gossip. But now she has turned her luck around and is engaged to heartthrob Monty Smith. Even though this is a marriage of convenience, this alliance will turn her career around. While filming in Reno with superstar Dash Howard, she realizes a terrible mistake. She can't marry Monty, at least not yet, as she is married to Dash! It was a silly prank gone terribly wrong! While she plans to get a divorce in Reno while shooting a film with Dash, they start to spend more time together and realize maybe their on-screen chemistry is off-screen, too. Should they stay married after all? Maureen Lee Lenker's debut historical romance, It Happened One Fight, oozes with Old Hollywood charm that film buffs will adore.

I really loved Joan from the get-go as she is a bit of an underdog and clawed her way to the top. I enjoyed the witty banter between her and Dash Howard, who has some major Clark Gable vibes. The setting of Reno was a lot of fun and Lenker truly brought the old time movie set to life. I felt like I was behind the scenes of an AMC production. I have long been interested in Old Hollywood, so this filled that void for me and since Lenker is a writer for Entertainment Weekly, readers can tell she really knows her stuff. This is one historical romance debut that I thoroughly enjoyed and I look forward to Lenker's future novels.


Have you read either of these books? Are they on your TBR list? Let me know in the comments below.



  1. I have It Happened One Fight in audio and I'm definitely looking forward to it!

    1. If you love Old Hollywood, you'll enjoy this one! I look forward to your thoughts. Thanks for visiting, Michele.

  2. It Happened One Fight sounds totally charming and I love the Old Hollywood setting!

    1. Yes! The setting was my favorite. Thanks for visiting, Angela! I think you'll like this one!


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