Thursday, March 21, 2024

Mini Reviews: Romantic New Releases

There are so many cute romances coming out this spring and today I'm sharing two that were at the top of my radar. One involves some magical realism and the other will have you armchair traveling to gorgeous Scotland. Both did not disappoint!


Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle
Genre: Romance
Pub. Date: March 19, 2024
Publisher: Atria
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By the Author: In Five Years and
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Being single is like playing the lottery. There’s always the chance that with one piece of paper you could win it all. From the New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years and One Italian Summer comes the romance that will define a generation.

Daphne Bell believes the universe has a plan for her. Every time she meets a new man , she receives a slip of paper with his name and a number on it—the exact amount of time they will be together. The papers told her she’d spend three days with Martin in Paris; five weeks with Noah in San Francisco; and three months with Hugo, her ex-boyfriend turned best friend. Daphne has been receiving the numbered papers for over twenty years, always wondering when there might be one without an expiration. Finally, the night of a blind date at her favorite Los Angeles restaurant, there’s only a Jake.

But as Jake and Daphne’s story unfolds, Daphne finds herself doubting the paper’s prediction, and wrestling with what it means to be both committed and truthful. Because Daphne knows things Jake doesn’t, information that—if he found out—would break his heart.

Told with her signature warmth and insight into matters of the heart, Rebecca Serle has finally set her sights on romantic love. The result is a gripping, emotional, passionate, and (yes) heartbreaking novel about what it means to be single, what it means to find love, and ultimately how we define each of them for ourselves. Expiration Dates is the one fans have been waiting for."

Daphne Bell works in Hollywood as a production assistant. Other than the glamorous setting of Hollywood, California, her life is pretty normal except for one thing. She receives notes from the universe regarding the people she dates. The note includes the person's name and how long she will date him. This has happened to her since the 5th grade. This is all well and good until one day she receives a note with the word "Jake" on it with no time length. Could this be it for her? Could Jake be the one? After she meets Jake, she realizes he is charming, adorable, and someone she could see herself with, so why not go all in? Except she doesn't. She is hiding a secret from him. Once Jake meets Hugo, her ex-boyfriend and current best friend, things start to get weird. Could Hugo, who is perpetually dating other women, actually still have feelings for Daphne? Daphne must decide to let fate take over or finally take control of her life. Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle is a charming romance with a touch of magical realism.

I have really come to enjoy Serle's novels as they always have a bit of magical realism - not too much to make it entirely unbelievable, but just enough to make it fun. Notes from the universe? Sounds compelling! That is until you think about it and question how much you are taking control of your life versus just living out the note's expectations. This is exactly what Rebecca grapples with in 
Expiration Dates. The book isn't all romantic fluff though as Daphne does deal with some chronic health issues, but Serle handles it very well and really highlights how a chronic disease can impact just about every aspect of your life and your decisions. So, if you are looking for a cute romance and enjoy touches of magic, look no further than Expiration Dates.  

Kilt Trip by Alexandra Kiley
Genre: Romance
Pub. Date: March 5, 2024
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Ready or Scot... Globetrotter Addie Macrae always follows her wanderlust. As a travel consultant, she jet sets around the world—anywhere but Scotland. But when she’s sent on assignment to help a struggling family-run tour company in the Highlands—and save her own job—Addie packs away her emotional baggage and turns on the professional charm.

Rugged as the land he loves, Logan Sutherland’s greatest joy is sharing the beauty of Scotland’s hidden gems…even if it means a wee bit of red ink on the company’s bottom line. The last thing Logan wants is some American “expert” pushing tourist traps and perpetuating myths about the Loch Ness Monster—especially when Addie never leaves her desk to experience the country for herself.

As they wage an office war, Logan discovers Addie’s secret connection to Scotland: a handful of faded Polaroids of her late mother. Hoping for a truce, he creates a private tour to the places in the pictures to help Addie find closure and appreciate the enchantment in less-traveled destinations, never expecting the off-limits attraction sparking between them. But Addie’s contract is almost up, and magic won’t pay the bills. They can’t afford distractions, but how can Addie do her job if she hasn’t explored all Scotland—and Logan—have to offer?

Addie Macrae is a travel consultant; she travels the world helping tour groups revamp their businesses. Her latest job is in Scotland consulting for Heart of the Highlands Tour Company. Scotland holds a special place in her heart as it is her late mother's favorite destination. While there, she hopes to not only help the struggling tour company avoid bankruptcy but also visit some of her mother's old haunts. Once she meets The Heart of the Highland Tour Company's owner, Logan Sutherland, she realizes this is going to be much harder than she thought. Even though he is a sexy kilt-wearing Scotsman, he is stubborn and isn't open to change despite his parents' insistence that the tour company gets some updates. Logan isn't interested in providing a tour just like everyone else with stops at gimmicky souvenir shops and the usual destinations; he wants to provide a more off-the-beaten-path tour with a lot of heart. While this is all well and good, the tour company needs to make money, so Addie hopes to find a compromise. The more time they spend together, the more sparks fly and the more time Addie is in Scotland, she starts to address her mother's death, a topic she has been avoiding head-on. Kilt Trip by Alexandra Kiley is a romantic debut that had me dreaming of planning my own trip to Scotland.

I absolutely adore books set in Ireland and Scotland, so I knew I'd fall in love with the setting of 
Kilt Trip. Kiley did not disappoint. Readers who enjoy a good armchair traveling session will especially appreciate this one! I also really enjoyed the budding romance between Addie and Logan, not to mention his Scottish brogue which felt extremely authentic. If you love a heartfelt romance with some depth as Addie does address issues of grief, you'll enjoy Kilt Trip. I can promise, like me, you'll be scanning for some airfare deals to escape to Scotland.


Have you read Expiration Dates or Kilt Trip? Are these books on your TBR list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.



  1. Expiration Dates is on my TBR and this is probably the most positive review I've seen of it yet!

    1. Yeah, I thought it was a solid romance. Not my favorite of Serle's, but I liked the magical realism piece for sure. I'll be curious to hear what you think of it! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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