Love in Lockdown

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Chloe James

General Fiction, Romance, Women’s Fiction

Published November 23, 2020 by Avon Books UK

Sophia is afraid lockdown will put her life on pause – just as she was she was going to put herself out there and meet someone. When the first clap for the keyworkers rings out around her courtyard, she’s moved to tears for all kinds of reasons.

Jack is used to living life to the fullest, and is going stir-crazy after just days isolating. Until that night he hears a woman crying from the balcony beneath his. He strikes up a conversation with the stranger and puts a smile back on her face.

Soon their balcony meetings are the highlight of Jack and Sophia’s days. But even as they grow closer together, they’re always kept apart.

My Thoughts:

Throughout the first 40% of the book I kept thinking “too soon.” Where I am, we are dealing with skyrocketing cases and currently two of my kids schools, and the school I work at, have been shut down for 2 weeks due to a high number of cases. I kept putting the book down, shaking my head, thinking I just lived this, I don’t want to read about it. But then I would pick it up so I could find out what happened next. But I’m glad I kept going. The pacing is fairly slow the first half (I think that was part of my struggles as well) but then it picks up and gets going. Once that happened I was able to set aside my “too soon” feelings and really enjoy the story. I liked the community that came together through Jack and Sophia’s efforts and how they all learned to appreciate parts of the lockdown. Didn’t we all experience that as well this year? It was a relatable and charming story and I’m glad I stuck with it.

In Name Only

⭐⭐⭐

Jennifer Peel

Romance, Women’s Fiction

Published October 26, 2020

Dani Kramer used to think growing up in foster homes was the most difficult thing she would ever have to do until all her dreams come true. Married to the love of her life, Dr. Brock Holland, and running a foundation that specializes in finding jobs for kids out of foster care, Dani seems to have it all. What no one knows is that it could all go away tomorrow if anyone finds out about the precious secret she carries.

For Brock Holland, military doctor, life has always been about duty to his career and country. But when he’s captured during a joint allied training mission, thoughts of Dani, his best friend, the woman he’s tried for years not to fall in love with, help him not only survive but reevaluate his priorities. However, when he returns home, he finds Dani is pregnant. In a cruel twist, duty calls again. He must marry Dani to save her from becoming a political pawn in a dangerous game she didn’t know she had signed up to play.

But who will protect Dani’s and Brock’s hearts from each other? Or will they discover their marriage is more than only sharing a last name?

Content warning: This book contains sensitive material related to PTSD, brief military violence, and pregnancy. For more detailed descriptions that include spoiler alerts see the authors blog on her website.

My Thoughts:

First off, I think the cover is absolutely gorgeous. It caught my eye immediately and just drew me in. This is the 2nd book in a series and while I don’t think reading the first book is a must, I think it would give the reader a better idea of who everyone is and their backstory.

There are things I loved about this book and things I didn’t but it was still worth reading through to the end. I’ve been sitting here for more than 30 minutes trying to figure out my feelings. I loved the marriage of convenience plot and I was glued to the book until I finished. I loved Dani but didn’t like her passiveness when it came to how unhappy she was. I get her background and her feelings of guilt played into that but she just went along with everything and everyone. I wanted her to fight for herself a little harder. There were some other things I just didn’t buy. I didn’t buy the boys devotion to their dad and the fact they couldn’t see how he was orchestrating everything around him. I thought the messiness of the relationships (and boy were they messy and complicated) were too easily and too quickly resolved. Ms Peel did a good job with the emotions surrounding the pregnancy complications. I’ve been there, done that, 6 different times and I thought she handled that well.

I don’t think this book was as good as the first, but I’m still looking forward to reading the third one when it comes out.