A SWEET MESS by Jayci Lee – Release Day Review and Giveaway

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A SWEET MESS

by

Jayci Lee

 

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A Sweet Mess_coverKorean-American author Jayci Lee delights with A Sweet Mess, a delicious and light-hearted romantic comedy that readers will devour and ask for more.

Aubrey Choi loves living in her small town nestled in the foothills of California, running her highly successful bakery away from the watch of her strict Korean parents. When a cake mix-up and a harsh review threaten all of her hard work and her livelihood, she never thought the jaded food critic would turn out to be her one-night stand. And she sure as hell never thought she’d see the gorgeous Korean hunk again. But when Landon Kim waltzes into her bakery trying to clean up the mess he had a huge hand in making, Aubrey is torn between throwing and hearing him out.

When she hears his plan to help save her business, Aubrey knows that spending three weeks in California wine country working with Landon is a sure recipe for disaster. Her head is telling her to take the chance to save her bakery while her heart—and her hormones—are at war on whether to give him a second chance. And it just so happens that Landon’s meddling friends want them to spend those three weeks as close as possible…by sharing a villa.

When things start heating up, both in and out of the kitchen, Aubrey will have to make a choice—to stick it out or risk her heart.

Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250621108

 

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Asian-American main characters, lots of hunger-inducing food descriptions, and classic romance tropes. How can I turn that down? That’s essentially what I write too.

I like the choice of having the Korean leads be beautiful people in successful occupations–an influential food critic in Landon and a talented baker in Aubrey. I like that this story is light, focusing on the travails of a romantic relationship instead of societal struggles that minorities face in the US. We have too many of those stories and not enough of this kind. The angst comes from the yearning, the risking of professional reputation versus personal desires.

While there’s instalust, the sex scenes are sweet and not explicit. The food scenes are sumptuous, so don’t read this hungry. Friendships are tight and mothers are honored. Overall, Ms. Lee’s storytelling is enjoyable. She handled one of my most disliked tropes quite well and the push-and-pull was just enough to cause tension but not too much to make me give up on the couple.

As the title suggests, this book is both sweet and a little bit of a mess. In the early copy I read, there were several times when the transitions between Aubrey’s and Landon’s points of view weren’t smooth and the time jumps weren’t clear. Also, the dual daddy issues were too much and the cover, while cute, didn’t reflect the ethnicity of the lead characters. These are minor issues and don’t stop me from recommending A Sweet Mess to Romance readers who are looking for books that reflect the diversity of the society we live in today.

Three-half-stars

 

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Jayci Lee_Photo Credit Nichanh Nicole PhotographyJAYCI LEE writes poignant, sexy, and laugh-out-loud romance every free second she can scavenge and is semi-retired from her fifteen-year career as a defense litigator. She loves food, wine, and travelling, and incidentally so do her characters. Jayci lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. She is the author of A Sweet Mess.

Website: https://jaycilee.com/
Twitter: @authorjaycilee
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjaycilee

 

 

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Macmillan is giving one of my followers a digital copy of Jayci Lee’s A Sweet Mess. All you have to do to enter is Follow @carpediemchronicles on Instagram and Like my bookstagram of the book. Comment there or return here to let me know you’ve entered. I will draw the winner on Tuesday, July 21 at 12 noon Central time.

 

THE READER AND THE ROAD by Brianna Nicols – New Release

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I’m so happy for my friend Brianna Nicols on the recent release of her latest novel The Reader and the Road, Book 2 of her Found Family series. As a reader myself, I think I’m going to be able to relate to Libby so much and enjoy the forced proximity of a road trip trope.

 

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As a voracious reader, Libby couldn’t be happier working in the Duchess of Winston’s workshop. She’s surrounded by books, one of her best friends, and Adam, the man she’s secretly loved from afar for years.

Their livelihoods are threatened, however, when a difficult customer demands a book so popular, there are no copies available in England. To save the bookshop’s reputation, Libby must set out for Scotland in the dead of winter with an impossible task: retrieve the book by New Year’s or else.

Due to a childhood filled with disease and poverty, Adam despises everything to do with winter. All thoughts of avoiding the season end, however, when he hears of Libby’s impossible mission. Without a second thought, Adam agrees to travel with her, though it will test his resolve to keep his secret—and his feelings for Libby—hidden.

As they deal with blizzards, delays, and other mishaps, the bond between Libby and Adam only grows stronger. Their weeks-long journey will reveal long-held secrets and buried passions. No amount of love will matter, however, unless they make their deadline.

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Buy it here: 

eBook: https://books2read.com/u/3JV6jB

paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1692359797/ 

 

REVIEW

Perfectly titled, The Reader and the Road is a sweet, slow-burn romance between bookseller Libby and her co-worker Adam who accompanied her to Scotland to retrieve a rare book wanted by a demanding client. I love that both of them had been yearning for the other and were finally able to express their feelings once in the close confines of a carriage during their two weeks road trip.

This book is light and entertaining and I really like that it features working people instead of members of the nobility. I’d have loved it if Ms. Nichols expounded more on the holiday traditions during the time in addition to the exchange of gifts. That would have given the story a richer sense of time and place.

 

ABOUT BRIANNA

Brianna Nicols

Brianna Nicols has always been a reader. Books about magic, history, or anything revolving around romance are her favorites. The idea of writing her own stories didn’t occur to her until 2017 when some awesome ladies online said: “Why not give it a try?”

Since then, she’s been experimenting with all sorts of ideas. Though a very organized person by nature, when putting words on the page, Brianna has found that she has to write the story as it comes to her. Unfortunately, she gets bored when trying to outline more than a handful of details. So far, Brianna has written in two genres; historical and contemporary romance. Anything paranormal is a love of hers, though, so something of that nature isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Rest assured, however, that when you pick up a Brianna Nicols novel, romance will always be a prominent, if not an integral, part of the story no matter the genre.

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