Heat Factor: Well, that Daddy stuff sure surprised me
Character Chemistry: They are both so clueless and so googly-eyed about each other
Plot: Kai and Silas start dating
Overall: I believed this HEA
Lovelight, Book #1
Heat Factor: It’s not not sexy, but the vibe was definitely in keeping with the cover art
Character Chemistry: Stella and Luca have been in love for NINE YEARS but refuse to a) admit it and b) do anything about it
Plot: Thirty-year-old woman is incompetent at both entrepreneurship and love, figures out how to do both during the course of this book
Overall: I was not a great audience for this book, but there are many people who will totally love it
In addition to her review, Ingrid has recommended this book in four other discussion posts or listicles. And also she tells us to read it in the group chat even more than that. And so, finally, I did. I actually listened to the audiobook, and Dominic’s POV is voiced by Sebastian York, who has what I consider this perfect, er, asshole voice (Sorry, Sebastian! You’re really fun to listen to!), so when Dominic is all up in his feelings but still going through with his, er, bad behavior anyway, it’s just perfection. Erin Mallon voices Ally’s chapters, and she’s also a great narrator. So easy to listen to. Great audio.
Okay but the book.
My primary takeaway from this book is that it addresses the power dynamics of an employer/employee relationship better than any such romance I have ever read. And that is a trope I enjoy, even if it’s problematic. Fiction is great, right? Anyway, Ingrid definitely touches on this, too, in her review, but I think it should be said again.
Because he’s lived through the repercussions of his father’s actions, Dominic is so fully against a workplace romance – for all the right reasons! – that he actually fails to see the difference between what his father did to the women in his employ and Dominic’s own relationship with Ally. There were actually times when I was frustrated with Ally, who got mad at Dominic for his refusal to engage with her even though she was very clearly consenting, because Dominic was so utterly clear that consent doesn’t work the same way when their workplace power dynamics were in play. And yet, because Score included the component of Dominic’s dad’s sexual assault and harassment, the reader is still able to see the difference between what Dominic’s going through and what his dad was doing. As the numerous harassment trainings I’ve attended have told me: sexual harassment is not about sex; it’s about power. And that’s exactly what Dominic’s dad very clearly illustrates, but what Dominic fails to see in his own feelings about Ally.
(Also, once things pull together, they go straight to HR, which is great, although HR really shouldn’t have allowed Dominic in the room with Ally while they were discussing the relationship, because if she were being pressured, she couldn’t say so in front of Dominic – but hey, FICTION! There’s a beautiful hand-holding moment that we would have otherwise missed out on.)
The other thing I really liked was that Dominic knows he’s being so bad but just can’t help himself. I like a self-aware protagonist. Makes the naughty behavior less gross. But also Dominic is a big softie. He wants Ally to eat, but he knows it’s not appropriate to buy her food, so he buys food for the whole department. Still not entirely appropriate, and not very sustainable, but definitely shows his soft underbelly while he’s being a, um, little stinker.
Anyway, it’s a long one, but very well thought out. Read on for Ingrid’s original glowing review.Continue reading “Review Revisited: Erin’s Take on By a Thread by Lucy Score (2020)”
Touched by a Demon, Book #3
Heat Factor: Lots of hard nipples and clenching thighs, but there’s only one explicit sex scene at about the midway point. Then the morning sickness begins.
Character Chemistry: Lust, longing, and ten thousand years of hurt feelings.
Plot: Samael and Lilith plan a conference with the heavenly delegation.
Overall: Loved the first half, thought the second half was…ok.
Are you looking for the coziness of a Christmas special without the whole Christmas thing? Do you think that Thanksgiving is an under-represented romance setting? Maybe you have a secret desire to read books about as many different holidays as you possibly can?
Whatever your reasons, if you’re like us, you’re looking for a Thanksgiving themed romance, so here are some we’ve found:
A Thanksgiving romance list really wouldn’t be complete without this delightful novella that kicks off the Holidays with the Wongs series. This book is great because the protagonists are sincerely going to have a one night stand and just happen to end up at Thanksgiving together because Nick’s parents decided their kids need help finding love and invited dates to their family dinner. As parents do. It’s pretty funny, and it’s even better because Lily isn’t Nick’s date—she’s being set up with his brother!
This book has everything you could want in a Thanksgiving romance. A matchmaking, wise-cracking, nature-worshipping teenager. Gentle teasing between the main characters. A relationship that starts fake but quickly gets real (without a bunch of drama). Lots of sexy sex at a beautiful lake house. And a truly epic scene of telling off unsupportive family members on Thanksgiving day.
This book starts on Thanksgiving and carries on through the holidays. Russ is having a bad day on account of he’s supposed to host Thanksgiving but can’t cook when his neighbor, Esteban, finds him tossing a whole skillet in the dumpster. For his part, Esteban can’t resist the grumpy neighbor who is definitely struggling, so he offers to help cook—he just doesn’t realize he’s going to get himself roped into a fake relationship that just doesn’t seem to have a good end date. And then what’s fake becomes physical, so maybe there’s no need to end anything at all. If only their emotional hang-ups over their past didn’t get in the way…
I’m not convinced that Baxter is actually a geek, because everyone knows that people who like Star Trek don’t call themselves Trekkies, and also Seven of Nine is in no way an obscure reference, BUT if you are less of a geek than me, and you might enjoy a short, playful, fake dating, boss/assistant romance for Thanksgiving, then go for it. It’s just a fun story. My favorite part is that the adhesion plot thrust happens when Kaitlyn’s Mom calls her boss to personally invite him to Thanksgiving, which is how he finds out that Kaitlyn told her family that they’re dating. Since he’s been pining for her, maybe this is his moment.
Yeah so…a very nice young couple named Esme and Tucker invite four special friends over for Thanksgiving and also to bake things in Esme’s oven simultaneously. Just like, one after another. They’re all very close friends, and they each have special recipes they’re eager to share with Esme. It was very surprising how much icing was involved in these recipes. If you read this and felt a certain way, then you might really enjoy this book.
If you’re looking for a manic Thanksgiving comedy, this might just fit the bill. Megan and Patrick are definitely attracted to each other; the conflict comes into play when they consider commitment, and what that might look like. Readers should be aware that there is a heavy emphasis on marriage and babies as requirements for building a family. Bonus points for readers who are as excited by Colonial Williamsburg as our protagonists are.