More Than Words by Jill Santopolo

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Nina Gregory knows that time is running out for her father now that his cancer is back. She’s bracing herself for the inevitable: the loss of the only parent that she has left and finally taking over the Gregory Hotel empire.

She also needs to figure out where Timothy, her childhood best friend and boyfriend, truly stands in her life so that she can make sense of what she feels for Rafael, her boss, a New York City mayoral hopeful.

She has so many dreams that include Timothy. Their lives are so linked that it’s hard to recall a memory when he wasn’t there. Also, it’s Timothy that her father wants her to marry.

But how can she ignore the strong and passionate feelings that she has for Rafael who loves the side of her that no one really knows? Who understands what she’s going through and makes her feel like the most beautiful and extraordinary person in the world?

Should she follow her heart and be with someone who makes her feel alive, or should she simply honor her father’s wishes and be with someone who makes her feel steady and safe?

Will security and stability win, or will she finally allow herself to be bold and spontaneous when it comes to life and love?

More Than Words is quite different from Jill Santopolo’s earlier novel, The Light We Lost, but it’s equally heartbreaking, emotional, and romantic.

Nina Gregory may be a high-profile personality and heiress to a New York City hotel empire, but she’s likable and relatable. She has a good heart, and she has her feet planted firmly on the ground.

It’s not light reading because this book deals with a lot of heavy subjects, like the loss of a parent and the indescribable grief that comes with it. But I loved it because I connected emotionally with Nina. There were many times while reading this book that I got teary-eyed because I feel the same feelings and fear the same fears.

There’s plenty of family drama that will keep you intrigued, and you will definitely enjoy the romantic chemistry between Nina and Rafael.

Your heart may also break a little when Nina finally makes her choice and understands the sacrifices she must make because of this choice.

My key takeaways? In life, there will be pain and sadness. But there will also be incredible love, hope, and joy — only if you stay true to yourself and allow love and happiness to fill your life once again.

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An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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“Money is vitally important to you. It appears to be an underpinning of your ethical code. When money and morality intersect, the results can illuminate intriguing truths about human character. People are motivated to break their moral compasses for a variety of primal reasons — survival, hate, love, envy, passion. And money.”

When freelance makeup artist Jessica Farris learns about a study that a well-respected psychologist is conducting that pays $500 to participants just to answer a few ethics and morality questions, she knows she has to get the gig.

Even if it means telling a small lie.

After all, that money can pay her next month’s rent and her sister’s therapy sessions.

What she thinks is a one-time thing turns into recurring sessions with beautiful, compassionate, elegant, and elusive Dr. Shields. The money just keeps coming, but more and more are expected of her, too.

The more Jessica is immersed in Dr. Shields’s “study,” the more lost and out of control everything feels.

Is it really just ethics and morality that the doctor wants to explore, or is there a deeper and more personal reason behind all of it?

What a page-turner this book is! It’s not as intense and twisty as The Wife Between Us, but it will keep you reading until you’ve gotten all the answers to your burning questions.

It will also make you think how you would answer the same questions and whether you would make the same decisions.

The main character, Jessica, may be flawed and weak at times. But what I love about her is that she thinks and feels and cares and simply does not allow shitty things to happen to her just like that.

In short, her thoughts and actions did not make me roll my eyes, scream into a pillow, and throw the book across the room.

Suspenseful, intriguing, and deliciously wicked. I give this book four glowing stars!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5

I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller

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☕️ This show is really my happy pill. It’s so cool to learn that its original title was Insomnia Cafe, and then it was changed to Friends Like Us, and then it just simply became Friends.

☕️ The role of Rachel was originally written for Courtney Cox, but she insisted that she was Monica.

☕️ Jennifer Aniston also said that she was meant to play Rachel.

☕️ The all-time greatest episode of Friends is “The One Where Everybody Finds Out”.

☕️ You’re not the only person who wondered why they always got the couch at Central Perk, how they ever got anything done when they were just always sitting around, and how they could afford all those lattes.

☕️ The cast also had great misgivings about the Rachel and Joey romance.

☕️ The creators of Friends initially planned on including a Monica-Joey love story because they are the most sexual of the bunch.

☕️ Matt LeBlanc basically Joey’d his way to stardom.

☕️ Hank Azaria, who played Phoebe’s David the Scientist Guy, also auditioned for Joey Tribbiani’s part.

For people who keep asking why we’re just so crazy about this show, the author couldn’t have said it any better:

“Life happens, friendships change – and change is the worst. So, no wonder I’d gone back to something familiar. ‘Friends’ was a way to revisit the time in my life that was fading, slowly but steadily, into memory. 
True, it was just an old sitcom. Yes, in most respects, it bore no resemblance to my own experience. But in the only way that mattered, it did. It was a show about friendship. And like old friends, it never really went away.”

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

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“I’m not prepared for this,” I admit quietly.

“Do you have to prepare for me?”

“If there’s anyone I have to prepare for, it’s you.”

I’ve never read any of Christina Lauren’s books before, but I adore her writing. There’s something soothing, tender, and real about it. It’s so simple but hits you right in the feels.

Although I’ve read too many love stories a lot like this in the past, I still liked the story of love and friendship between the main characters Macy and Elliot.

The story is told in alternating periods: when they were teenagers sharing a reading closet and the books they loved and their favorite words at the moment, and 11 years later when they bump into each other again at a coffee shop.

It tells the story of how they became the best of friends, and how they fearfully but delightfully transitioned to being boyfriend and girlfriend.

It also tells how one simple mistake turned their worlds upside down.

It’s a bit cheesy, but not too cheesy that you’d want to throw the book across the room. But you’d be cheesy, too, if you saw the love of your life all of a sudden after they disappeared from your life for 11 years.

I can already see the Netflix film adaptation of this in my head. LOL, but yes please make it happen.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Creepy kids are the worst.

But what if the creepy kid is your only daughter that you love so much? And no matter what you do to connect and bond, your daughter simply hates you and wants you dead?

From the outside, Suzette’s family looks perfect. They run a successful company and own a perfect house. She has a very supportive and loving husband who has been there for her every step of the way, even through the worst parts of her Crohn’s disease. They also have a beautiful 7-year-old daughter who’s intellectually ahead.

But Suzette has been struggling with Hanna for years because of her reluctance to speak. She also demonstrates no sense of empathy.

She has been home-schooling her because of the many times Hanna has been kicked out of school for behavioral problems.
She knows that something is seriously wrong with Hanna, and that her life is in danger. But how can she convince her husband that Hanna needs help when she’s daddy’s perfect little angel whenever he’s around?

It’s such an interesting, unsettling, and creepy story. What would you do if your daughter hated you so much that she will do everything to hurt you and kill you?

The story has a good pace that will keep you reading and reading until the last page. Many times you will also wish that hurting children is not crime. There are no monsters and ghosts, but Hanna sure is a crazy and creepy little fothermucker!