The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai was really good! The heroine was super cool and understandable (you know, for a CEO of a major company that she founded) and the hero was a cinnamon bun. Precisely my kind of pairing. A lot of good wish fulfillment in this one. Also a nice take on current events. Girl Gone Viral wasn’t as good. Remember that IRL thing where the “meet cute” of a couple of strangers on a plane got video taped and went viral? She uses that as her base for her plot, only with a coffee shop. Like the amazon reviews say, the book itself is fine, but the chemistry between the two leads was forced. I think part of the problem is that the heroine finds the hero annoying to just be in the same room as because he makes little tapping noises while working… which… that’s like a huge turn-off for a relationship and makes it really not believable. Another problem is the employer/employee to lovers trope which is exceedingly hard to do well (only KJ Charles and I can’t remember the other person have done it well to my recollection). But really there just isn’t enough interaction between the two early on and then later with the forced Bachelor Nation style interactions (a romantic hay fight? uncomfortable family dinners in which dirty laundry is aired?) you’re already bored.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky was pretty meh. It’s a short story set between books and is written in present tense. The library had it whereas it didn’t have the two full-length novels and I have no desire to read the other two novels., much less buy them.
Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks was surprisingly excellent. Again, a heroine with problems and a lovely strong Beta hero. There was some not necessary kidnapping in it– I think the resolution would have been just as good without the trauma. It looks like the next book might be rape as a backstory, so I won’t get it.
I couldn’t get into The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley.
I enjoyed both The Lady and the Highwayman and The Gentleman and the Thief by Sarah M. Eden. They’re both “clean” (it even says “proper” on the cover) if you prefer to avoid sex scenes. The latter I think was better than the former– the Lady and Highwayman dragged a bit in the third act. The best part of both books were books within books by Mr. King (the heroine of the first book), and in the second book the mini-book by Lafayette Jones (the hero of the second book).
Read Do you want to start a scandal by Tessa Dare. It was fine. A decent library read– went down easy, didn’t really make a lasting impression.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee was not very good. I can’t remember if I got it free or paid 99 cents, it just wasn’t any good and did not make me want to read the full-length novels.
I’m not sure how I felt about the Bullet Journal Method. All the examples were definitely aimed at 20-somethings or maybe early 30-somethings. I was like, well, I guess I’ve already achieved everything except going to Hawaii and in theory, flights are still pretty cheap, I could just go if I wanted to. But… I don’t want to. He says not to take other people’s goals, but I would have liked to see some more non-standard ones as examples. (I have no life goals! Which is probably good because if I had them I would achieve them at the expense of smaller things I wanted more.) Still, the idea of the Bullet journal is a good one, but I think I picked up on the parts that are useful to me prior to reading the book. The second half the book was all about meaning and gratitude and stuff and I was not there for it. I wish there’d been more examples and more discussion of the different add-ons people have done. It was weird to have 5 pages of examples from real people and no actual explanation of their systems, just a page about the people. Like, why did that lady highlight some things? What is that guy’s date system that you say lots of people use now? (And again, I am stunned by how little some people have to put on their planners– one woman had lots of pretty designs and motivational words but there wasn’t actually much listed other than the occasional playdate.)
I didn’t really like Mal’s story in A Rogue Meets a Scandalous Lady by Jennifer Ashley. I just didn’t much like the hero.
If the boot fits by Rebekah Weatherspoon was delightful! A Cowboy to Remember is good too, but I prefer the second in the series. I’m not sure if I’m going to try the third– the hero in that book seems too angsty and angry in books one and two and I am tired of redemption arcs for angry brooding heroes who try to tell their grandmas they’re not allowed to date (this plot point is in the second book and appears in the blurb of his book). I don’t care that he has a “softer side.” But it won’t be out until October so I can see what reviews say before I remember to check for it at the library.
I LOVED Grimoires and Where to Find Them, the latest Shinigami detective book (I guess they’re now called the Case Files of Henri Davenforth) by Honor Raconteur. They’re just really clever fantasy/police procedurals. Super relaxing the way they track down clues and hit dead ends and keep working until they figure things out or catch the criminal. And all the characters are really likeable.
I tried really hard to read Jennifer Ashley’s murder mystery, Death Below Stairs, and it is high quality and good (and I’m sure my mom and #2 would love it) but for some reason I just couldn’t get through it. I read about halfway and read the last chapter and was done. It’s a five book series. There is nothing wrong with it, I just need something lighter and faster, I guess.
I reread Scandal by Amanda Quick and loved it. I also reread all the KJ Charles Magpie Lord books.
Couldn’t get into A Loyal Companion or An Enchanted Affair by Barbara Metzger. But I enjoyed rereading A Suspicious Affair and I really liked Saved by Scandal which was a delightfully silly madcap romp. Valentines was a set of three novellas and the first one was hilarious (the other two pretty meh). I can’t give anything away, but the service the hero performed the heroine to cement her interest was over the top slapstick and so funny, and the ending was also amusing.
Mistletoe Mischief by Sandra Heath (which I found when looking for another, much better book, with mistletoe and mischief in the title that will show up in the next one of these) was an easy read. It’s actually similar to that first novella of Valentines in the way that it was funny, though not quite as slapstick– a light farce.
Have I not talked about the latest Courtney Milan? The Devil Comes Courting was EXCELLENT and you should read it!
What are you all reading?