E-Originals from Jacobs, Sheridan, and a Swift Novella | Xpress Reviews

Week ending May 18, 2018

starred review starJacobs, Kyra. Love at the Beach Shop. Tule. (Paradise Key, Bk. 2). May 2018. 207p. ebk. ISBN 9781948342957. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Jenna Davis’s life seems to be taking a turn for the better. With her research, she is certain that the city council can’t turn down her café expansion request. Jenna just needs to figure out how to conjure the knight in shining armor she told her friends rescued her from her last bad relationship. Then Jenna sees Zach Taylor, her baby brother’s best friend, at the council meeting, and a plan hatches. Zach is desperate. His beach shop has had little to no traffic since the road was torn up. He is at the council meeting determined to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible. When Jenna approaches Zach offering him to use the space for her expansion until the road is fixed, it seems like the perfect solution, but can his heart handle her terms? Zach has been fighting his feelings for Jenna since the age of six, and now she has asked him to play the part of her boyfriend while her friends are in town. This sweet romance reminds us all why we love the friends-to-lovers plotline—this reviewer could not put this one down.
Verdict  Although the second entry in the series (after Shirley Jump’s Summer Love: Take Two), this novel from Jacobs (Her Unexpected Hero) stands alone and could be appropriate for a YA audience as well; highly recommend for all collections.—Heather Lisa Maneiro, SILS, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sheridan, Kara. Ball Buster. Forever Yours: Grand Central. (Playbook, Bk. 1). May 2018. 304p. ebk. ISBN 9781538727164. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Sadie Reynolds’s mantra is “you can’t go home again…ever.” When she moved from her small town in Alabama to the Ivy League, she left behind small-town gossip and her star quarterback boyfriend. After college, she ended up in public relations, and he was drafted into the National Football League. She’s not only back home now, but her latest assignment is to turn around the public image of her ex and his teammates. Carson Savage’s backside has just appeared all over social media, and his coach orders him to attend PR training led by none other than the one that got away, his high school sweetheart. When he finds her distant and professional, he uses every trick in the book to warm her up. The two quickly fall back into old habits, but this time it’s the quarterback who decides to throw the homecoming for the girl.
Verdict The mix of football and small-town goodwill gives this second-chance love story some local flavor, but readers may find Carson a little too possessive.—John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston

Swift, Parker. Royal Match. Forever Yours: Grand Central. (Royal Scandal, Bk. 4). May 2018. 101p. ebk. ISBN 9781538747728. $1.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
In the last few weeks of her pregnancy, Lydia has a plan. She and husband Dylan will get the kids ready for nursery school, and she will relax until the next little one decides to arrive. But when she receives a call from Princess Caroline, one of her great friends and the future queen of England, all plans go out the window. She is now expected to be the matron of honor at a royal wedding that happens to be on her due date. With her own career, an overprotective yet loving husband, two small kids, a wedding to prepare for, and a pregnancy to prolong, Lydia sees that relaxing is no longer part of the equation. Written as a countdown to the Big Day, which is both the wedding and the due date, Swift’s latest series title (after Royal Treatment) creates just the right level of anticipation. While readers get a nice glimpse into the “Royal Scandal” books with this novella, they will wish it were a complete novel offering all the fun wedding details and excitement surrounding the new baby.
Verdict Fans of the series and wedding romances will enjoy this cute, quick read.—Jessica M. Perovich, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Washington, DC

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