Tag Archives: Ohio

Friendshipped by Savannah Scott

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Friendshipped by Savannah Scott

Scott, Savannah. Friendshipped (Get Shipped! #1). Dreamscape Audio, 2022. Unabridged. 8 Hours, 58 Minutes. ISBN 9781666624458 $48.99

***

I don’t listen to a lot of audio books, but decided for a change of pace to try this one, very admirably narrated by voice actors Amy McFadden and Will Damron. Ohio natives Lexi and Trevor grew up down the street from one another, work for the same newspaper, and now share a duplex. They have been best friends forever, with two failed attempts by Trevor (once in high school, once in college) to move their relationship out of the Friend Zone. The relationship hasn’t evolved or fizzled because they are each secretly in love with one another, and so convinced the other doesn’t feel the same, neither will take the risk of rejection or destroying their friendship. This sophomoric behavior and refusal to communicate is the central tension of this friends to lovers romance.

As a gentle read, with warm family and community relationships, expletives limited to “Oh my sweet pickles!” and no admittance of sex, this is a real throwback. Not even the threat of a tornado and just!one!bed! trope disrupts their ethos to not ruin their friendship. In spite of the dating app that brings several duds to Lexi, and that Trevor hops on to connect with Lexi at a friends insistence, this could have been set anytime in the last thirty years except for a few modern musical and Hollywood references. Lexi at times seems immature for her almost-23 years, and at other times, matronly and chaste. Trevor speaks with great sensitivity all the time and the wholesome of the characters was warm and sweet but not always believable. Overall, this slow burn was too painfully slow for me.

The voice actors are both very talented but I found Lexi’s midwestern twang seasoned with a hint of valley girl (attributed to her youth, and identifiable from her more polished mother and sister and aged MeMaw) to be mildly annoying and more Minnesota than Ohio. The commitment to a new distinctive voice for each character introduced is impressive and consistent, and the accents are authentic enough (although my mother’s Columbus relatives hard R’s are softened by a faint West Virginian drawl). This sweet story will be widely appealing to readers looking for a kind and cozy story.

I received a free advance reader’s edition of #Friend(Shipped) from #NetGalley

Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey

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Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey

Winfrey, Kerry. Just Another Love Song. Berkley, 2022. 336 pp. ISBN 978-0593333433 $17.00

****

This second chance romance about a hometown boy who made it big as a musician and the sweet girl he left behind hits all the right notes: cozy Stars Hollow vibe, gay co-worker, mixed race best friend, and a generally happy gardener with a house and a dog, who longs for a family and keeps burying that dream along with her seedlings because she can’t forget the one that got away… Hank and Sandy were high school sweethearts, but when her funding fell through, he went off to Berkeley and she remained at home to attend community college. She kept tabs on his career, and tried to date in a very small pool after their devastating split.

Their romance and breakup, told in past tense flashbacks, fill out the backstory at perfect intervals. In the present day, Sandy has given up her artist dreams for running a garden shop, volunteering, helping out her parents who run an inn, and assisting with an end of summer town festival. When Hank lands back on town and agrees to not only headline one of the weekend concerts, Sandy keeps running into him, and before she knows it, they’re soliciting donations and picking up creepy dolls together for an exhibition. The attraction is still there, but deeper and more adult, but Hank has a son (and presumably, a wife) so Sandy is sure that he’s off limits–and never gave her a second thought, but the truth comes out that both have found through the years that no one else measures up.

This novel has strong setting (Ohio!) with both pastoral rural details and a healthy dose of tidbits about famous Ohioians. Sandy’s longing is heartbreakingly palpable but there is a lot of humor in her voice and situations to balance out the angst. She has great (sometimes unexpectedly so!) female friends who have her back. And Hank is almost too good to be true but has some human mis-steps AND calls Sandy on her shit. There is some kissyface but love scenes are not heavy on the details, and the language is (to my recollection) also fairly clean, making this a cozy read that won’t cause too many heart palpitations for readers who prefer the sexy times happen behind closed doors.

I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #JustAnotherLoveSong from #NetGalley.