A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone


When porn producer Teddy attempts to break into the cheesy Christmas movies biz, things don’t go quite as planned. When the main actress drops out, the director unknowingly picks a porn star to take her place, believing she is an indie film actress. Bee has always wanted to be a lead but there’s not much space in Hollywood for fat girls and she has built an empire on ClosedDoors. She is willing to help Teddy out, as long as everyone keeps her secret. 

She assumes no one working on a cheesy Christmas movie would also be watching porn.

Former boy band bad boy Noah hopes this Christmas movie will help turn his reputation around so he can help out his mom and younger sister. Will the porn star and reformed bad boy find love? Will Bee keep her secret and become the actress she dreamed of as a child? Will Noah keep up his new image?

I really struggled with my rating for this book. Usually, when I finish I know exactly how many coffees I will give but this one had me wavering. I really wanted to love this book but there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on that has held me back from a four or five coffee rating. 

The writing was good. I loved Julie Murphy’s Dumpling and I was expecting something more along those lines. I did not realize how… graphic this writing would be. I should have known better as it’s about a porn star but for some reason, I was thrown off by some of the language and sex scenes. But then I realized I should have known better based on the plot of the book.

My biggest issue with this book was I didn’t really connect with the characters. I didn’t care if Bee and Noah got together. I didn’t feel the urge to want to sit down and read for hours to finish the book. I didn’t find myself “yelling” at the characters to get together or wanting to smack the people getting in the way. This is why I ultimately settled on 3 out of 5. It wasn’t a horrible book but I also didn’t care. 

Deliberate Cruelty by Roseanne Montillo


I listened to the audiobook version read by Mia Barron.

The childhoods of Truman Capote and Ann Woodward were quite similar. Both wanted to be part of the upper class, to be the socialites they only dreamed of as children with fraught, lower-class upbringings. Capote gained status as a literary icon while Woodward married into money.

One night, Woodward shoots her husband, mistaking him for an intruder. Many rumors circulated that it was not a mistake and Capote took those and ran. His In Cold Blood book was a best seller and he needed something salacious to follow it. He believes it will be the book that finally gets him to be truly accepted by those he surrounds himself with. But will it?

I have struggled with audiobooks in the past but am trying to embrace them more. I’ve found it really depends on the narrator and listening at 1.5 speed. I thought Mia Barron did a great job with Deliberate Cruelty. Her pacing was great and she varied her voice enough to not become monotonous. It was easy to tell when there was a paragraph break. 

The ADHD Advantage: What You Thought Was a Diagnosis May Be Your Greatest Strength by Dale Archer

☕/5 (I struggled through, skimmed a lot. It was that bad)

The ADHD Advantage attempts to break the stereotype that ADHD is a “bad” diagnosis and a scarlet letter for those diagnosed with it. The book presents examples of people that are successful because of their ADHD not despite it. 

Oh, boy, where to start with this one? I had high hopes as it was recommended to me by someone I trust and value their opinion. But I struggled with it. 

The forward was hard to get through but I pushed on thinking ok, well that’s this guy’s thought maybe the author will be a little different. Um, I was wrong. The entire book is very anti-medication. I understand not immediately jumping to medication for children but I can tell you it has made a HUGE difference in me. And it has not made me a zombie, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Once I realized I had ADHD and started medication, I stopped trying to be like everyone else, to be “normal” and get back to the real me. The one I started hiding because I was constantly in trouble for talking too much or interrupting the adults. Or being the one that was “too much” for the friend group. I also get that is me. Medication may not be the right choice for everyone but that should be between you and your doctor, not a random author. 

Another big issue for me was Archer is a psychologist and self-diagnosed himself. Ummm, ok? That seems like a bad idea. And he claims he has never been medicated and has thrived despite his ADHD! Great. I was not medicated and made it 40ish years and did pretty well. But could I have done more if I was medicated? Or maybe even if I had gotten diagnosed sooner? Maybe, we will never know but I feel more myself and more able to accomplish things, especially adulting tasks that I always put off for more “fun” stuff, now that I know and am medicated. Ok, I keep going off on my experience. I will try to keep it to the book after this. 

Back to the forward, Allen Frances, MD who wrote the forward, also helped write the DSM IV for ADHD  and now claims ADHD is overdiagnosed and kids are just hyper so to put them in activities. Well, what about kids in activities that are still hyperactive? Ugh, this was just a tough forward to get through and I actually googled the man, and well, that made it harder to read. His current opinions and Twitter feed are just… gross for lack of a better term.

Archer’s writing made me feel that he thought he was better than other because he never took stimulants and was able to accomplish soooooo much 🙄. He said his score on his ADHD continum was 8 (I am a 9.7 so since I’m over 8 I am allowed to be medicated per his matrix).

I also did not like how he wrote about women with ADHD. The first time he mentioned it he said women have different “symptoms” and yes, symptoms were in quotes like we are faking it? Many times when a word is put in quotes it means the author doubts/doesn’t believe whatever is being discussed. 

Many of his examples are people that appear to have a lot of privilege which would make it easier to use your ADHD to your advantage. 

A lot of his what to do are things I’ve done my entire life, not realizing I had ADHD. I still do them but the medication helps me. And I’m less depressed. Less anxious. And not a comatose zombie like many of the people he interviewed claimed they felt on meds. So, take meds or don’t take meds but don’t tell me they are bad and not needed for ADHD. Like everything, it’s finding what works for you. 

Archer could probably just use the tips at the end of each chapter and do a blog instead of a book. It was far too long with extra not needed opinions in the chapters. Bullet points at the end were to the point without extra thoughts.

I cannot recommend this book. 

Categories: Books


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.