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contemporary

Starry-Eyed Love (Spark House #2) by Helena Hunting

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a cute and fun contemporary romantic comedy involving London, a woman running a family bed and breakfast in Colorado with her sisters, and Jackson, a NYC millionaire media mogul. At the beginning of the book, London has just broken up with her boyfriend, so when Jackson approaches her in a bar and asks her out, she politely turns him down. She’s just not ready to date yet.

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The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a cute contemporary romance set in the science world of Stanford University. Third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith, is focused on her career and doesn’t believe in long-lasting relationships. But, her best friend Anh does and so in order to convince her that she isn’t interested in her ex-boyfriend anymore, Olive kisses the first person she runs into in the hallway. The problem is, that person just happens to be young hot-shot professor Adam Carlson. He’s smart and gorgeous – but also a total jerk that has ruined many Ph.D. candidate’s lives, including friends of hers.

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My Mother’s Eyes: A short story by Jeremy Ray

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4.5 stars

This is an outstanding short story about a young boy’s journey through regret and grief as he sits vigil over his comatose mother in the hospital. Fourteen year old Jodie tries to memorialize his mother by drawing her, which his older brother doesn’t like and finds creepy. Each of Jodie’s sketches are almost complete – except for his mother’s eyes. He just can’t seem to get them right.

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The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a cute and funny contemporary book about the self-appointed mayor of a tiny Italian village desperately trying to save his hometown no matter the cost. Signor Speranza is told by the water commissioner’s office that unless he can come up with 70,000 Euros to fix the town’s pipes, the water will be shut off and all of the town’s 212 inhabitants will be forced to disperse. So what’s an informal Mayor to do? Why, spread a false rumor that a famous heartthrob actor is shooting his new movie in the village, of course! His hope is that tourists will flock to the town and the revenue for the pipes will be raised.

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What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Your family has been attacked, never again to be the same.
Now you have to choose between law…and justice.

This was a great contemporary mystery/thriller that is fast paced and action packed. The story starts with one fateful night that changes a law-abiding family’s life forever. The story ends with how that family copes with the rest of their life.

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Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wow. Let me just say, I loved this book! I went into it not really knowing what it was about and the story was such a pleasant surprise. Now I know why it was all over Instagram! The story focuses on Daunis, an 18 year old girl living in a small Michigan town near the Canadian border. She is part Caucasian and part Ojibwe Native American. She doesn’t really fit into either world, and has hopes to start over while away at college. But, a family tragedy puts those plans on hold and she stays to care for her mother and ailing grandmother. Rather than out-of-town college, she plans to attend community college classes with her best friend.

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The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a very good contemporary mystery/thriller set in the Washington D.C. area. Avery is a therapist that lost her license. Since then, she’s developed a 10 step treatment method and has been using it to counsel those in crisis. She meets new clients Marissa and Matthew Bishop, a young couple that seems to have it all. But Marissa was unfaithful and she is desperate to repair her marriage, not only because she doesn’t want to lose her husband, but for the sake of their 8 year old son.

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Dating Dr. Dil (If Shakespeare was an Auntie #1) by Nisha Sharma

Rating: 3 out of 5.

3.5 stars

This is a fun and flirty contemporary romance. Kareena Mann is an attorney living in her childhood home with her family. She just turned 30 and is more interested in restoring her deceased mother’s old car than dating. When she finds out her father is selling their home, she makes a deal with him. If she gets engaged in four months, he will sell the house to her. But, it won’t be easy because Kareena believes marriage should be a love match. While helping her sister who is appearing on a local tv show, she sees Dr. Prem Verma, or Dr. Dil. He believes that “love” is actually harmful to one’s health and believes that it is not necessary to have a happy marriage. In the middle of the show Kareena and Prem get into an argument that goes viral.

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The Little French Bookshop by Cecile Pivot

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a good epistolary fiction set in contemporary France. Esther runs a bookshop and when she loses her father to suicide, she runs an ad in the newspaper inviting people to join her letter writing workshop. Five people sign up – a disillusioned businessman, a husband and wife struggling with her postpartum depression, a lonely elderly widow, and an awkward teenager trying to deal with his brother’s death from cancer. The group meet first in person to get to know each other, and are asked to answer one simple question: What Battles Are You Fighting?

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