Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
Lucie Churchill's sheltered life is shaken by an encounter with George Zao in Capri. She has spent years blissfully avoiding him - until he reappears in her life just after she becomes engaged to a man who could seemingly give her everything. A retelling of A Room with a View.
I was taken in right at the start by Kwan's usual masterful blending of travel romance and comedy of manners - which I expected, given his previous books. But then of course the plot kept going and I lost interest. I'll admit I've never read the book this is based on, so I don't know who to blame for Lucie being extremely unlikeable. She got really nasty at one point. And I didn't see any love between her and George. It felt like they were strangers to each other, even at the end.
The Duplicate Bride by Ginny Baird
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Hope's twin sister, Jackie, is getting married this week, but she's a wedding planner with another wedding to sort out first. She asks the unthinkable of Hope - take her place and pretend to be her, just until she arrives. It'll only be a day, tops! Hope knows it's all wrong, but she really wants her sister to be happy - and then she starts to fall for Brent and his family...
This was a fun and fresh take on the "marriage of convenience" trope (with twins thrown in for good measure!) and I enjoyed every minute of it. Brent and Hope were written well together, so clearly meant-to-be. You can throw characters together, but you've got to make sure they have chemistry - and boy, do they! I suppose the premise is slightly on the ridiculous side and sometimes I felt as frustrated as Hope as things continued to worsen for her. Still a great read, however.
The Matriarch (Women of the Dust #1)
Alyce Caswell, when she isn't buried in a book or drinking her way through a giant pot of tea, is a keen writer of science fiction and romance. She has published two novels and four novellas in her space opera family saga, The Galactic Pantheon Series.