March 13, 2020

Abbreviations #101 | In Five Years, Undercover Bromance + The Honey-Don't List

Where do you see yourself in five years? While this is a question most encountered in job interviews, it’s safe to say that you’ve probably been asked (or asked yourself) this at least once before. Rebecca Serle’s latest adult fiction offering In Five Years is inspired by this question, centering around type-A protagonist Dannie Cohan. Dannie’s life has continued to follow the trajectory she planned for herself. But when she falls asleep and wakes up five years into the future in circumstances vastly different from what she expected, it leaves her shaken to the core. She wakes up in her own recognizable life again, and readers are invited to experience how the next five years of Dannie’s life plays out for the rest of the novel. In Five Years exceeded any initial expectations I had. It did take me a few chapters to get hooked, but once I was in, I was all in. The novel isn’t a romance, nor is it a time travel story. At its core, it is about a woman getting to know herself better, and learning to navigate life, love, relationships and everything in between. Her character journey is so relatable (even if you aren’t experiencing the exact circumstances Dannie is) and is absolutely the highlight of this story. Despite the novel’s brevity, Serle really manages to hit her emotional story beats in a way that really worked for me (and had me feeling all the things). Honestly, I can always appreciate a very character-driven story, particularly when it manages to emotionally rock my world the way that this story did. In Five Years was well-written and compelling; I’d absolutely recommend adding it to your TBR.

In Five Years was released on March 10, 2020 by Atria Books.
I received an e-galley via NetGalley from the publisher for review. All opinions are my own.

I really enjoyed reading The Bromance Book Club last year, so I was fully expecting to have fun with the companion sequel Undercover Bromance. It was a happy turn of events when I realized that I liked this sequel even more than its predecessor! The Bromance Book Club was a second-chance romance; Undercover Bromance is basically a dislike-to-friends-to-lovers story with a suspense element. The main couple in the story are chef Liv (sister to Thea) and nightclub entrepreneur Braden Mack (founder of the actual bromance book club), and how their relationship develops while they work together to take down a celebrity chef who is a serial sexual harasser. While I was a bit thrown by the takedown aspect initially, it was an interesting addition to the central plot. Combined with the romance, the individual character journeys, and the cameos, Undercover Bromance came together so well. The book, to me, possesses that “romantic comedy movie magic” – the main characters are immediately endearing and their relationship is easy to root for, the secondary characters are both supportive and funny, and the plot outside of all that is also compelling (and includes a variety of hijinks). I had such a fun time reading Undercover Bromance, and I’d highly recommend adding it to your TBR.

Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) was released on March 10, 2020 by Berkley.
I received an e-galley via NetGalley from the publisher for review. All opinions are my own.

The Honey-Don’t List is the ninth (!) novel I’ve read by Christina Lauren. This novel has a premise straight out of a romantic comedy: two assistants (Carey and James) are set to the task of making sure the couple they work for (Melissa and Rusty Tripp, who happen to be famous for remodeling homes and furniture design) act like they’re still happily in love in public, even if their relationship has deteriorated to antagonism behind the scenes. Much like any romantic comedy, The Honey-Don’t List is liberally sprinkled with funny shenanigans, those standout dramatic moments, heartbreaking confrontations and plenty of romantic tension. But, in the end, it was our main couple, Carey and James, that solidified my overall enjoyment of this story. Carey is immediately likable, a small-town girl who is extremely capable, emotionally bonded with her bosses (they’re like family to her) and who stays in her job for personal reasons. James is also easy to like, an engineering nerd whose former job circumstances resulted in him having to accept this position (though he thought he would be an engineer, and not a PA). Their chemistry grows gradually and authentically, and I appreciated that development happening alongside the way they both challenge the other’s perspective in their encounters. Though it does get a bit over-the-top in the drama department at times and the resolution feels a touch rushed, I still thought The Honey-Don’t List was a fun addition to the Christina Lauren collection.

The Honey-Don't List will be released on March 24, 2020 by Gallery Books.
I received an e-galley via NetGalley from the publisher for review. All opinions are my own.


  1. I felt the same way about The Honey Don't-List. I did feel like it lacked a little bit of the magic other CL books have, but I enjoyed it overall. I can't wait to pick up Undercover Bromance!

    -Heather | Nerdy By Nature Blog


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