Tuesday 28 April 2020

✪ MY FAVORITE SOUVENIR ✪ Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland ✪

©  Bianca  Janeane 

• 27 April 2020
• standalone
• rom-com-road-movie-ish☺
3.75 Stars
My planned trip for two unexpectedly turned into a trip for one.  Rather than let my breakup get me down, I packed my bags and decided a week at a luxury resort was just what I needed.
But one calamity after the next, and suddenly I was stuck without a hotel room, along with a few hundred other people.
It looked like my fancy vacation was about to turn into me sleeping on the hotel lobby floor.
Until I overheard a gorgeous man pretending to be someone he wasn’t in order to steal a reservation from a guest who hadn’t shown up yet.
When I realized there were two rooms, instead of calling him out, I pretended to be his sister. That’s how the story of “Milo and Maddie Hooker” began.
We were the Hookers.
My depressing trip quickly made a U-turn into an adventure.
My fake brother spent the next few days showing me around his hometown. When it was time to leave, neither of us really wanted to go yet.
So, instead of flying back to our respective homes, we ventured on a road trip.
At every stop, we’d pick up souvenirs.
But as hot as our chemistry was, we never crossed the line.
Milo knew I’d just come out of a tough relationship and didn’t want to mess with a vulnerable woman.
So instead, at the end of our trip, we made a pact to meet again in three months.
It was always my intention to meet him.
But when I got back home, reality hit in a big way.
And I worried I may have lost my handsome stranger forever.
Was there a place for him in my future?
Or had the memory of him just become my favorite souvenir?

Hazel and Matteo.
Or rather Maddie and Milo.
Those are the fake names they give the hotel in Vail, Colorado in order to get the last rooms on that snow-stormy night.
Two strangers and two days of non-stop fun and talking in a snowy paradise.
But today they have to part ways. Right?
Nope. Both Hazel and Matteo are not yet ready to get back to their old lives.

Let the fun times begin! ☺ 
What will happen to Hazel & Matteo?
Will there be a HEA?


I really enjoyed reading this.
But also. The blurb tells us too much. Or maybe it's because we first have this cute snowy holiday - which for my tastes could've been the whole book. Just stay in town and fall in love.
But then we go on this road trip!
And it was super sweet again. Adorable and sparky and fun. But way too short. The whole road trip part and the souvenir part was too short - especially when we look at the title of the book.
The book should've just been Snow & Roadtrip. The End.

But nope.
We know that there are some things in both our darlings' pasts that we need to overcome before we can get to our happily ever after!
And some of those things are just ... not my thing.
First of all - and I don't care if I spoil here - we go to see a fortune teller! I was almost done with the book then. I just don't do that shit. As a fun joke thing - okay - totally okay. But they believed everything and she told them so much true stuff about their lives and futures and past. Just ridiculous. I didn't sign up for a paranormal romance. I don't believe in any of that and Matteo just became totally ridiculous in my eyes after that.
The next thing. I also did NOT sign up for a love triangle romance. I don't do those.
And even though we highly suspect - or know - that Matteo and Maddie will end up together ... I HATED the scenes with Brady in New York. And that was almost half the book! Which no blurb told us about!
The blurb and title made me hope for a cute and fun romance with a bit of drama towards the end. And I did not get that at all.

BUT - I really liked the good parts. There were cute and funny and sparky moments. I didn't hate the love story. I just would've cut out Brady and the fortune teller and made the road trip last a bit longer!
It was okay the way it was - but I expected so much better.
Also - the writing ... I think I also remember noticing that in the last few books. I don't like the writing anymore. The conversations are so stilted. So formal. So long. No normal, young person would talk like that!
Another tiny thing I didn't like - no idea why though. Just my personal taste. I didn't like the fact that Milo/Matteo was a teacher. I just don't think teachers are sexy - no offense to all you hot teachers out there - I just never met one of these unicorns. My teachers back in the nineties could've all starred in Game of Thrones - and not in a good way.
Milo could've been so hot as a rock star - even a local bar singer. Or as a music journalist - that way they could've traveled together more later on! But not as a teacher.

BUT please don't let me stop you from enjoying this book. This is just me and my weird reading dislikes. It was a cute romance! TRY IT!

MY FAVORITE SOUVENIR was a sweet & fun slow burn love story! Run to your nearest amazon for your own Matteo - this one is MINE!!

P.S. I LOVE that cover - but that goes without saying with all the Vi & Penelope books!!! LOVE THEM!

ARC received for an honest review

Firstly - I love the cover.  I don't usually even bother with the covers, however I love this duos covers.

This was like the tale of two books.  The fun and flirty road trip with Milo and Maddie, and I really, really liked this half of the book.  

Then we got to part 2, when our lovelies were back at home.  And this I didn't like so much.  I knew Milo and Maddie would get together in the end, what I wasn't expecting and didn't go for was the love-triangle aspect.  This could just be me though.

I pretty much hated everyone in the second half (except for Milo).  Maddie's ex Brady is a piece of work - and not a good piece.   I disliked him from the minute we find out what he did early on, and every time he was on the page in the second half, I wanted to throw my book at his head. He made me ropable.  I was talking to myself, telling him to just eff off.

I got so completely frustrated with Maddie in the second half. Her flip flopping between Milo and Brady again made me want to throw my reader across the room.

I wish we had more of the road trip and the long distance thing rather than the triangle thing.  Just extend part one and leave the douchebag Brady out of it all together.  But this could just be me.

Part 2 really messed with my liking of this story unfortunately. But don't let this stop you from reading.  I love Vi and Penelope's books, this one is just an anomaly for me.


 Other Books by Vi & Penelope:

Dirty Letters



British Bedmate

Rebel Duet Book #1

Rebel Duet Book #2

Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 11-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

Books by Penelope Ward

Sins of Sevin

Stepbrother & Neighbor Dearest

Room Hate

vi keeland bio.png
Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn't change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work.  She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!

Books by Vi Keeland