Abbreviations #117: The Ex Talk, Shipped + The Twelve Dates of Christmas

January 18, 2021


Friends, I’m so excited to be sharing my thoughts on The Ex Talk! This upcoming adult contemporary romance debut from author Rachel Lynn Solomon is essentially about two rival coworkers at a public radio station – producer Shay Goldstein and journalist Dominic Yun. The radio station needs a fresh idea to grow their audience, and Shay comes up with a great idea for a show where two exes deliver relationship advice and share their experience on air. The show is greenlit with one catch: Dom and Shay must pretend to be exes and host it together. Their lie is agreed upon, the show goes on air and becomes popular incredibly fast and our cohosts end up slowly developing real feelings for one another. But what will happen when their lies fall apart? I had a really good feeling about The Ex Talk before I started it, and it totally lived up to my hopes. It’s a very cute romance, and I enjoyed the heck out of the shenanigans (romantic or otherwise) as well as the moments that warmed my heart. It was sweet watching the relationship develop between Shay and Dom, from that one-sided rivalry to cohosts to friends to lovers. I enjoyed their banter right off the bat, and it was lovely to watch their affection, respect and love for the other person develop as the book went on. The other aspects of this story – family and friends, their other coworkers, the work drama, the radio show/podcast – simply added more charm. My only teeny tiny nitpick is that I think that Dominic should have done a few things differently at the end. But this book was still so good, and I’d definitely recommend The Ex Talk

The Ex Talk will be published on January 26, 2021 by Berkley.


Shipped
is the debut adult contemporary romance from Angie Hockman, centering around two rival coworkers Henley and Graeme who are constantly at odds or in competition even though they’ve never actually met in person. Their boss sends them on a cruise to the Gal├ípagos Islands to gather intel for a marketing proposal they need to make to secure the promotion that they are both shortlisted for, and sparks fly between the pair when they finally meet in person. But will the competition for a shiny new job title end up preventing them from finding a happily ever after? While it took a while for me to be hooked by this novel, Shipped ended up being a really fun read! There were so many appealing elements that made up the heart of this tale: the cruise and travel bits (which had me immediately texting my family book club about needing to add the Gal├ípagos Islands to our group bucket list), the sweet romance that blossoms between Henley and Graeme as they get to know each other better, the secondary relationships (including Henley’s relationships with her sister and her coworkers), and the workplace drama. Shipped is very much an entertaining novel that will allow you to escape the real world while you’re reading it, and it’s definitely worth the read!

Shipped will be published on January 19, 2021 by Gallery Books.


The Twelve Dates of Christmas
 is about Kate Turner, a successful Liberty designer and part-time baker who is signed up by her best friend to participate in an event that offers said twelve dates (and a variety of activities) in order to help singles find love before the holidays. This British women's fiction novel was incredibly charming and totally reminded me of some of my favorites in this particular genre back in the day! I loved the small town setting, especially with the additional touch of the holiday details making everything feel even cozier. I thoroughly enjoyed the twelve dates set-up, especially with the ensuing shenanigans and sweetness dependent on who and what each date was about. And I liked the romance a whole lot too, even though it was fairly obvious from the start who she was meant to be with. I didn't mind that predictability, if only because the journey to get there was very entertaining! But truly, the reason why this novel ended up really being my cup of tea is because I enjoyed our main character Kate so much. She has a strong sense of self, is very independent and funny, and has quite a heart for others, and I couldn't help falling in love with her too. All in all, I'm so happy I ended up picking up The Twelve Dates of Christmas (especially during the holiday season), and can highly recommend it.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas was published on October 13, 2020 by G.P. Putnam's Sons.

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