Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls

Love, Unscripted by Owen Nicholls
Published : February 11, 2020

A film-obsessed romantic rewrites the script to understand why his “picture-perfect” love story crashed and burned in this wonderfully clever debut.

Ellie had the quizzical eyebrows of Broadcast News-era Holly Hunter and the neon-red hair of Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. At least, that’s what caught Nick’s attention when he met her on the night of 2008’s historic election. A cinema devotee and lover of great love stories, Nick always fancied himself the Tom Hanks of his own romantic comedy, and when sparks flew with Ellie that night, he swiftly cast her as the Meg Ryan of his story. For four blissful years, Nick loved Ellie as much as he loved his job as a film projectionist: wholly, earnestly, cinematically.

But now Ellie has moved out, convinced “the fire’s gone,” and Nick is forced to sift through his memories to figure out where it all went wrong. The fallout from Ellie’s declaration that she “doesn’t love Nick the way she used to” throws him back into recollections of their first night together. Their shared jokes, her wry smile, the “hope” that filled the night air–his memories are as rose-colored as the Hollywood love stories he idealizes.

That night was a perfect meet-cute, yes, but was their romance as destined for a “happily ever after” as he’d thought? Is he really the rom-com hero he believes he’s been? Or did this Harry let his Sally down? Peppered with references to beloved movies, Love, Unscripted explores how even a hopeless romantic can learn that in real life, love isn’t, and shouldn’t be, like what we see in the movies.


Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

So, I really wanted to love this book. It sounded like the perfect little romance, something sweet and great to read, I mean hell even look at the cover. How do you NOT buy this book?! But this book just didn’t do it for me. And to be honest, there’s three timelines going here, and I’ve read plenty of stories that follow through multiple timelines but this just didn’t to it very well. It jumped around so much I couldn’t really keep everything in the right spot in my mind.

This book also felt a bit slow at times to me. So I had some trouble trudging through it and to be quite honest I didn’t really connect to either of the characters which makes reading a book really difficult for me. Although I got through it, it was just kind of meh. Nothing stood out to me and I feel bad because I really wanted to enjoy this book.

2/5 Stars

Send Me Recommendations!

Hello all!
So far 2020 has been a great reading year. I’m three books in, and I’m already starting to see myself re-reading books, and that’s not really what I want from my 2020 reading journey. So I’m opening up my reading time to books you all have loved and are willing to recommend to me! So please comment on this post and I’ll start integrating the books you recommend into my readings!

I’m currently reading through the Stalking Jack The Ripper series, since I loved the first two books, and noticed there were two more I hadn’t read! Not sure how they fell under my radar but, other than that. Absolutely zero plans on what to read for 2020. So flood the comments with your favorite reads!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published June 13, 2017

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means–and what it costs–to face the truth.


I waited for MONTHS, MONTHS for this book to be auto checked-out to me from my library. The anticipation for this book was absolutely insane. I literally yipped when I got the e-mail that it had been auto-checked out for me. I started it right away and it was so great. It wasn’t what I expected at all in the best way possible.

This book was…entrancing, that’s the best way to put it. Taylor Jenkins Reid wrote with such finesse, and managed to write this amazing masterpiece. A piece with these vivid and descriptive flashbacks, I could imagine everything as though I were a fly on the wall in all of Evelyn’s life moments. Not a single second of this book was I confused, or bored, it was all filled with just continuous granules of story crumbs that I just had to devour, I was like a starved animal for more and more as I kept reading.

The exploration of Evelyn and how she brought her self to the top in a white man’s world I feel is something very relevant to today’s world. The way she worked herself into the top, and was so unapologetic for using people and the tactics she used to get to her next steps, it was unlike any character I ever read about. It was actually pretty refreshing to see a woman so ok with being as cutthroat as she was to get what she wanted. And the exploration of her bisexuality, was purely amazing. The relationships she had between both men and women, and how she loved each one of them so differently was something I found to be extremely special. Although it’s hard to not have your favorites be Harry and Celia.

Please pick up this book if you haven’t yet. It’s such a great read, and I’m thrilled that the books I’ve been choosing this year has yet to disappoint.

5/5 Stars

Gypsy King (Tin Gypsy #1) – Devney Perry

Gypsy King (Tin Gypsy #1) by Devney Perry
Published October 29, 2019

The former Tin Gypsy motorcycle club has everyone in Clifton Forge, Montana convinced they’ve locked their clubhouse doors and ripped off their patches. Everyone but Bryce Ryan. There’s more happening at the club’s garage than muscle car restorations and Harley rebuilds. Her instincts are screaming there’s a story—one she’s going to tell.

As the new owner of the small town’s newspaper, Bryce is hungry for more than birth announcements and obituaries. When a woman is brutally killed and all signs point to the Tin Gypsies, Bryce is determined to expose the club and their leader, Kingston “Dash” Slater, as murderers.

Bryce bests Dash match after match, disappointed her rugged and handsome opponent turns out to be an underwhelming adversary. Secrets are exposed. Truths defeat lies. Bryce is poised to win this battle in a landslide.

Then Dash breaks all the rules and tips the scales.

One kiss, and she’s fighting to save more than just her story. She’s fighting to save her heart from the Gypsy King.


This was an alright read. I bit lacking but totally enjoyable. The chemistry between Bryce and King was great. And oh lawdy did I love the chemistry between these two. But as a former president of a MC. I was expecting a bit more out of Dash in terms of being a hard MC Pres, that lifestyle always seems rough and I would think he’d be a bit more closed off, hard around the edges. So I was hoping for a bit more conflict or work between the two main characters before they got together.

All in all it was an entertaining read, it kept me going and I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t anything much to write home about.

2/5 Stars

Say You Still Love Me – K.A. Tucker

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
Published August 6, 2019

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.


OK so, K.A. Tucker is 2 for 2 right now. She’s crushing the romance/contemporary game. I read this almost right after The Simple Wild, and that plus this book, made her an instant read author of mine.

The classic tale of two kids, in love from two completely different sides of life. She came from money, he came from nothing. They leave camp, he never calls and then twenty three years later, they see each other and connect again.

I loved the way this went back and forth from Piper’s 16 year old self and currently her 29 year old self. Piper starts off with almost the perfect life. Next in line to be the VP of her family’s real-estate development company BUT, is working with her ex-fiance, who has the abutting office.  And then a familiar face shows up as she’s leaving the lobby for lunch, and sees Kyle, her teenage love, who never called her back after all those years when her family pulled Piper away from Kyle towards the end of the camp season.

This whole book is just a great show of teenage love, and the story of a reconnected flame. But there is so much more to that. Piper is living with her camp friends which you realize are some great side characters that don’t go unnoticed which I find happens a lot in some books, and I really appreciate K.A. spending the time to really incorporate those side characters.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the issues that arise from past to present, it’s really well done. A good secret that comes up and really just pushes all characters to a new emotional peak. I actually feel like I want to re-read this again. Please pick this up, it’s such a great read.

4/5 Stars

The Light We Lost – Jill Santopolo

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
Published May 9, 2017

He was the first person to inspire her, to move her, to truly understand her. Was he meant to be the last?

Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.

Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.

 


Well, I knew this heart was going to break my heart into a million pieces and it did. I’ve been reading a lot of romance books this year. Not sure why, but this genre really just swept me up and I find romance books to be my favorite type of read right now. And this book, it wasn’t like anything I’ve read before. The way it was written from Lucy’s POV and how back and for their relationship was in terms of being in and out of love with each other.

I couldn’t get over this book. The rollercoaster of Lucy and Gabe just had so many ups and downs that I just couldn’t stop reading their story. I really suggest this for anyone who loves a great love story and wants something that really evokes strong emotion. I feel like only a very small few books ever made me emote so strongly.

5/5 Stars

Top 5 Books of 2019

I figured I’d do 5 favorite books of 2019 since a lot of others are posting up their favorites of the past year. I ALMOST met my goal of 55 books, Just came shy by 6 books. So without further ado, here are my top 10 of 2019. In no particular order

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
This book is an emotionally hefty one. So if you’re not ready to really ball your eyes out multiple times over lost love, and heartbreak. Then, don’t pick this one up. But it was such a different read for me, and something I couldn’t put down. And the way it was written was just perfection for really pulling out the emotion from the characters and making you just feel something for them.

 

 

 

 

 

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms
I feel like this was probably my underdog book for the year. I didn’t expect much of it but gee whiz did I get roped into it good. It’s such a wonderful read about finding yourself as an adult and really loving who you are with a little romance mixed in. And I loved the plot and it was just a really entertaining read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stopover by T.L. Swan
LET US NOT DENY THAT I READ A TON OF SMUT THIS YEAR. I won’t deny it. BUT this piece. Oh man. This read actually had a decent plot and was really engaging and had just the right amount of steamy-ness in it that I couldn’t get enough, I think I read it 3 times this past year. Unlike some other smutty books, they don’t have much of a plot and they’re just really quick reads about people with this crazy connection doing it. This book was so different, it had ups and downs, relationship building, so much depth put into it, I really enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

 

The Folk of The Air Trilogy by Holly Black
This has quickly become one of my favorite YA Fantasy series. I didn’t expect to like this from the inside flap description but WAS. I. WRONG. I read all three of these books in 2 days. EXPLAIN how I could do that in 2 days with a full time job, house, dog, husband, and infant? It was JUST that good. There was so much lies and deception and trickery and twist and turns that you couldn’t ever really keep your finger on the pulse, but it just concludes so greatly, and I never wanted it to end, but alas, it quickly became one of my favorite books for 2019 and time.

 

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
I knew from the beginning of this book I was going to enjoy it. And since reading this, K.A. Tucker is an instant read author for me. I will gobble all of her stuff up because she’s a beautiful writer and really makes you want to be where her characters are. After finishing this book I told my husband I wanted to go to Alaska. There was just some sort of magic to this book that made me love it the more I read it. And yes, it’s a tear jerker but you fall in love with all these people, and the story and the place, it’s hard not to absolutely adore this book.

When Dimple Met Rishi (Dimple and Rishi #1) – Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Published August 7, 2018

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.


Ok, so despite how this review sounds, I enjoyed reading this book. I found it continuously moving with a great pace, and was actually entertaining enough that I kept moving through the book. I didn’t enjoy the fact that this book so heavily centered around how Dimple’s parents were pushing her so hard to get married so young. It rubbed me the wrong way, and I’m totally for women who are coming of age to stand up for themselves and take their destiny into their own hands, but my goodness…I feel like that whole part of the book was just done poorly.

No ones parent would push marriage THAT hard. I come from a traditional Greek family and marriage is a huge part of your life’s journey. I wasn’t seriously dating until I was about 22 and when I was 23 was when my mother and grandmother were beginning to ask about getting married. And to be honest, My Big Fat Greek Wedding bothered me for the same reason, but that’s another tangent.

But other than that, I loved the characters. Dimple made me laugh a good amount through the book and I adored Rishi and how sweet he could be. Everything seemed to work so great and I actually enjoy that the book didn’t necessarily give you the ending you expected. It was all really great. I actually have From Twinkle With Love and I plan on picking that up soon.

3/5 Stars

The Simple Wild (Wild #1) – K.A. Tucker

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Published August 7, 2018

Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.


Just putting this out there. One of my favorite reads of 2019. This was such an emotional and great read for me, I don’t think anything can really live up to it this year.

This book is about Calla who is 26 and has lived in Toronto since she’s been a little girl. Her mother left Alaska with her when she was a toddler because she couldn’t handle the wild, like her father did, a man who’s blood and soul lived and breathed in the Alaska wild. From the time they left, Calla tried to keep in touch with her father, hoping one day he’d get on a plane to see her instead of piloting through the wild to see everyone else but her, and her mother. The final straw came when her graduation rolled around and although he promised, he didn’t show. And since then she refused to even pick up the phone when the Alaska area code would show up.

Calla’s mother had moved on, with Simon and he’s been such a great father figure to Calla, one day when she gets a phone call from a woman in Alaska telling her that her birth-father has cancer and is starting treatment soon, and how he’d like to see her. With Simon’s advice, Calla packs her bags and heads off to the Alaskan wild. Calla meets Jonah who flies her from Anchorage to Bangor to start this journey of truly meeting her father, but Jonah and Calla’s relationship doesn’t start off too great. The two of them begin as not the best of friends. But my goodness, there’s so much to Jonah, so many little nuggets of him that you just can’t help loving more and more. Same thing with everyone featured in Bangor.

Other than the romance portion of this book reeling me in, since it was more of a slow burn than anything which is something I totally love. I live for slow burn romance with that tension and just ugh! It’s so great. The relationship between Calla and Wren was something that like really got me. And I think it’s because I connected to it in a way. My dad always traveled as a kid, he spent like 4 years overseas when I was a kid working with this company in Indonesia, and then he lived in a different state for my whole high school and some of college years, mind you, he and my mother are not separated. He just took jobs that allowed him to take care of his family the best he could. But, I feel like I connected with Calla and Wren’s relationship because my dad was absent a bit in my formative years and now that I’m an adult, married with a kid, he and I connect more often. We have this growing bond and so it made it so easy for me to appreciate all aspects of this book.

It’s such a great read, really well written, and again, probably a 2019 favorite/top read.

5/5 Stars

The Stopover (The Miles High Club #1) – T.L. Swan

The Stopover by T.L. Swan
Published September 26, 2019

I was upgraded to first class on a flight from London to New York.

The food, champagne, and service were impeccable.

The blue-eyed man sitting next to me, even better.

He was suave and intelligent.

We talked and laughed, and something clicked.

Fate took over and the plane was grounded, and we had an unexpected stopover for the night.

With no plans, we made our own.

We danced and laughed our way around Boston and had a night of crazy passion that no woman would ever forget.

That was twelve months ago, and I haven’t heard from him—until today.

I started a new job and met the CEO. You can imagine my surprise to see those naughty blue eyes dance with delight when he saw me across the mahogany desk.

But I’m not that carefree girl anymore. My life has changed, I have responsibilities.

I just got an email.

He wants to see me in his office for a private meeting at 8:00 a.m.

Naughty blue eyes have no place in the workplace.

What kind of private meeting does he have in mind?


So, let’s be honest, if you’ve seen my goodreads shelf, you’ll notice I’ve been reading a lot of romance and smutty stuff. Not sure why or how I got looped into this genre, but I did, and I’m not complaining. I’m not complaining because I stumbled upon many books I enjoyed, and even this one. I seriously enjoyed this book. I was reading so many enemy to lovers books and such, and there were so many books that just went by so quickly that I never fully felt satisfied with the book. With this book clocking in at just over 500 pages it took me a little longer to get through and I was so happy that this book had a slight slow burn and ups and downs that it did.

This story follows Emily who is trying to get home from a wedding in London, is waiting to check in her bags and some guy just flips out on her. So she gets upgraded to first class where she meets a guy who is super smooth, and there’s a crazy spark between the two of them. With inclement weather on the way to New York, the plane touches down in Boston where they spend the night together. A year later Emily gets the job of her dreams at Miles media company and as she goes to meet the CEO, she’s face to face with the man from the stopover.

So that’s just the beginning of all of this. And oh my god does this story turn into a hell of a roller coaster. I couldn’t stop reading, even to the point where my husband was like “uhhh, are you going to sleep anytime soon?” There’s so much between Emily and Jameson Miles, and I couldn’t get enough of it. The way they grow together, clash, burn and even blossom together it’s a great and it doesn’t happen in a quick 300 pages like most of these books do.

Things pick up when Emily finds out someone is selling stories to a rival media company, and brings things up to Jameson and his brother Tristan who run the New York office. They set her up to feed in fake stories to figure out who is selling stories. It really has such a great plot outside of the romance aspect of this which is why I enjoyed it so much. I don’t think I would have if it did. And Emily is also a strong female character rivaling Jameson’s alpha male personality.

I honestly couldn’t recommend this book enough to people who enjoy the romance/smut genre.

4/5 Stars