Moms Who Read Romance Novels by Jenifer Goldin
Women’s Fiction with Some Romance. Standalone.
ARC Provided by the author for an unbiased review. This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.
A couple of months ago I was offered an ARC of Moms Who Read Romance Novels by Jenifer Goldin. It sounded right up my alley, but I wanted to check out her first book, Anonymous Mom Posts, first. I absolutely loved it, and it became one of my favorite books of 2023, so I couldn’t wait to read Moms Who Read Romance Novels, releasing December 4. It had lots of what I love in a book—it takes place in the book world (see my list of books in the book world), it has some slightly older characters, and there are even some Jewish characters.
This book is women’s fiction with a little bit of romance, and I think romance readers would enjoy it. Ellory Brayson is the world’s most famous romance author, married to a real-life prince who has been her muse and part of her romance author identity. But with their marriage secretly in shambles, Ellory has a meltdown on national TV.
With all of this going on, Ellory decides to head back to her hometown, Jupiter Cove, FL to work on her next novel which is a departure from her normal books. Her ex-best friend Tabby owns a bookstore there and hosts a book talk and signing for Ellory, but there is a huge rift between the Tabby and Ellory which is revealed gradually throughout the story.
In order to combat the negative press from her meltdown, Ellory’s publicist suggests she pick a few fans from the signing to help beta read and shape her new novel. They would meet at Tabby’s bookstore and post photos for social media.
First, she picked Faye, who has 4 children under the age of six and a husband who doesn’t lift a hand to help. I wanted to give this lady a hug and a babysitter! We had some chapters from Faye’s POV, and we got to see inside her harried life. Her strength in this book came from her imagining her favorite character in Ellory’s book, and I found her imagination was a little too real–like a serious mental problem lol. But then again…a mom of 4 littles would make me crazy too!
Then there was Harper. The child occupational therapist broke her leg when a new patient barrelled into her. Ben Silver, the boy’s handsome father, took her to the hospital and stepped in to take care of the single mom while she had her cast on. The fact that both she and Ben are Jewish was just icing on the cake. Harper was also an aspiring novelist.
“I just want to give my son what I had growing up. A few more siblings, Jewish summer camp, a solid example of a loving marriage.”
Tabby was the most complex character. She held a grudge against Ellory for years and years, so having her ex-best friend back home and using her store for an exclusive for her book gave her a lot of mixed feelings. She is also struggling with infertility and going through failed treatment after failed treatment. On top of that, her 18-year-old stepdaughter Ila hates her and lets her know all the time.
Ila is the last POV. She has lived with Tabby, her stepmom, since she was 8. Ila’s mom left her and she took that anger out on Tabby. She has met a boy at the beach and we read about that romance developing. I liked having a younger perspective and storyline to add some more interest.
“I finally understand that real love, the kind that endures, evokes the same feelings as a romance novel. There are obstacles to overcome, and there is heartbreak. But there are those occasional moments that carry us away to a fantastical place where dreams become reality.”
- I love books in the book world.
- Each chapter was in the POV of the 5 different characters, and I never got lost or confused.
- The smut-loving romance book world was strong here.
- One of the characters was Jewish.
- The incorporation of fertility issues into the storyline.
- Some great obscure music references.
- I loved how the book covered all aspects and phases of motherhood.
- Delved deep into friendship and betrayal.
- I didn’t like Ellory, though I warmed up to her a bit in the end. Loving a main character is usually key to me loving a book.
- Faye had an imaginary friendship with a character from Ellory’s book that was a bit weird and confused a few times.
Not sure how I felt:
I usually love easter eggs of authors dropping other author names, books, or characters in a novel, but I think there was a bit much in here, though it’s great cross-promotion from a marketing point of view, whether she meant to or not. Still, it was cool to see all these books that I have read mentioned. I don’t think it will age well though.