B O O K R E V I E W : Count Your Lucky Stars

Count Your Lucky Stars
Alexandria Bellefleur
Avon Books
Publication Date: February 1, 2022

All Margot Cooper’s friends are in relationships—Brendon and Annie, in fact, are weeks away from getting married. Of course, she’s thrilled for them, but she can’t help feeling left out when they pair off or go to couples yoga.

When the venue for Brendon and Annie’s wedding becomes unavailable at the last minute, they turn to Emerald City Events. Margot is shocked to learn that the event planner is Olivia Grant, her teenage best friend and first love. A week of bliss ended in heartbreak, and they haven’t seen each other in the ten years since. Despite the time and circumstances of their parting, an undeniable electric current passes between them.

Olivia just moved to Seattle after divorcing Brad, her high school boyfriend. When she has to vacate her apartment on short notice, Margot offers her a place to stay. Not only are they living together, they are spending a great deal of time together preparing for the upcoming wedding. Margot has sworn off serious relationships, and one with Olivia seems especially unwise given how much she was hurt the first time she let Olivia in. She can’t help her feelings, though—but will Olivia reciprocate or cast her aside again?

Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur, the final book in the Written in the Stars trilogy, had me laughing out loud (Cat the cat stole some notable scenes) and in tears as Margot and Olivia were thwarted by poor communication, underlying fears, and external obstacles, like the man-child Brad or well-meaning Brendon who tries to set Olivia up. The perspective shifts between Margot and Olivia, who are both sympathetic characters but trying to protect themselves. Like the most satisfying love stories, Margot and Olivia grow as individuals as their relationship develops. Characters from the previous books make cameos, and Bellefleur strikes the delicate balance of moving their stories forward while not diluting the primary narrative.

The very steamy, sapphic Count Your Lucky Stars was one of my favorite romance reads in February! Romance lovers will want to add this to their libraries.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Avon Books for including me on the book tour and providing a gifted copy of the book!

R E V I E W: The London House by Katherine Reay

Thanks to Harper Muse Books and TLC Book Tours for including me in the book tour for The London House by Katherine Reay.

Caroline Payne, who was named after her great aunt who died of polio, left law school to be near her family in Boston. She receives a surprise visit from Mat Hammond, a college classmate, now historian, who learned shocking information about Caroline’s family. Her namesake didn’t die young, as she was told, but actually abandoned her family and country to marry her lover, a Nazi officer. At first, Caroline is incredulous but then realizes that secrecy and disappointment have shaped her family. She decides to visit the family’s ancestral home in London to uncover the truth.

Ensconced in a trunk in the attic, Caroline finds letters, diaries, photographs, and other  keepsakes. The letters reveal a fashionable Parisian scene around the House of Schiaparelli but also point to the horrors of living under Nazi rule.

London, Paris, WWII, dual timelines, a promising love interest, and a hope for family reconciliation … once I started this, I got completely sucked in! I enjoy the epistolary aspect of the novel in particular, with the immediacy of Caro’s observations about Paris in wartime. Her story was fascinating! Yet, her shame and the secrets it created in the family caused ripples of despair across generations, and only in confronting the truth could the family heal past and present wounds.