Abbreviations #72 | At the Stroke of Midnight, Bucket List to Love + Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

December 14, 2018

Cynthia’s life was perfect - until her husband ran off with all their money and their babysitter. Struggling to make ends meet, Cynthia meets two other ladies - Ariel and Isabelle - at an annual Halloween block party who have money troubles of their own. When the three of them are mistakenly invited to don their princess costumes as strippers for a party, they realize that this could be a lucrative way to earn some cash. But will Cynthia be able to let her inhibitions go and, just maybe, find a new happily ever after? Not gonna lie, it took some time for me to get into At the Stroke of Midnight. But once it clicked (around the time of the Halloween block party), it was really addictive. I loved that it was essentially a modern-day fairytale, with details inspired by the original source material. I enjoyed all three women (and their distinctive personalities), and the friendship that develops between them all. And I definitely had fun reading about the romance too! I’m glad Kelly put this series on my radar, and I can’t wait to pick up the next one.

At the Stroke of Midnight by Tara Sivec | Series: The Naughty Princess Club #1 | Publisher: Swerve | Publication Date: February 27, 2018 | Source: Purchased the Kindle book


Aya Contreras is excited to have the opportunity to study architectural design in Tokyo. Armed with a bucket list from her sisters and ready to take on her study program, she discovers one black cloud in her otherwise amazing experience - Ryo, her assigned tutor (a buddy to help her acclimatize), doesn’t seem to like her very much. But when they’re paired together for a design competition, they learn that there’s more to each other than meets the eye… When I picked up Bucket List to Love, I was in the mood for something light and fluffy and this fits that description perfectly. (It’d make a cute TV movie too.) I enjoyed the fact that this was set in Tokyo, Japan (one of my favorite places in the world!) and features a lot of Japanese cultural details and vocabulary (again, something I truly love). In fact, that was my favorite thing about this story overall! While I did end enjoy the family and friendship bits, and while I thought the romance was cute, I didn’t particularly find this one memorable. It especially fell flat for me in terms of giving me a romance that I could really sink my teeth into it and root for, which was a little disappointing. Still, if you’re looking for stories in this genre (and want to read something written by a Filipino author), it was definitely a quick, fun-at-the-time read.

Bucket List to Love by C.P. Santi | Publisher: Anvil Publishing | Publication Date: July 14, 2017 | Source: Paperback gifted by my friend Sam | Owned the Kindle book


Hazel is definitely quirky, with a lot of habits and lifestyle choices that are likely to send most people running; Josh is the complete opposite - mellow, relaxed and generally your typical sort of guy. When their paths cross again ten years after first meeting in college, they strike up an unexpected friendship. And while they won’t ever date each other, there’s no harm in setting up blind dates for each other… right? Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is the fifth Christina Lauren book I’ve read this year, and I enjoyed it. It was light-hearted, entertaining and just what I needed when I picked it up. I enjoyed getting to know both Josh & Hazel (and I would totally be best friends with both Hazel and Josh, for the record), and since I’m a sucker for the best friend’s older brother and friends-to-lovers romance tropes, you can probably guess I was really into this story. Really, the only reason I didn’t enjoy this one more was because of the ending - which I wasn’t keen on, personally. Still, like their other books, this was a fun read, and I’m still glad I checked it out.

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren | Publisher: Gallery Books | Publication Date: September 4, 2018 | Source: Purchased the paperback

3 comments

  1. I still can't wait to read Josh and Hazel despite the ending. The cover is just so pretty!

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  2. I have yet to read a Christina Lauren book, and I love romances so I don't know what I am waiting for.

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  3. Awesome reviews lovely :D But ahh, about that third book. Yeah. Not enjoying the ending can ruin the entire book :\ I do not care for bad endings at all, lol. I'm sorry the book wasn't better :\ None of these are for me, but they do all look cute :D

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