Dueling Review, Rant

Dueling Review: Luna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata (2018)

Erin really wanted to rant about this book, but while Ingrid might not enthusiastically recommend it, she isn’t about to agree with Erin that it’s rant-worthy. Clearly, we needed to review this book together. 

Welcome to Dueling Reviews

Moderated by Holly, who had no interest in reading this book but still asked a gazillion questions.

Erin’s Take:

Heat Factor: Not much heat. Mostly yearning.

Character Chemistry: I both like and hate their chemistry at once 

Plot: Luna has a really weird relationship with both of her bosses, but one’s like her dad and the other she has a crush on

Overall: I’ve read this more than once because I really like the idea of it, but every time I get into it I am totally enraged

Ingrid’s Take:

Heat Factor: Zapata starts fires with sticks, really

Character Chemistry: It makes sense. I stand by that.

Plot: Luna spends her life making everyone happy except her boss, Rip

Overall: I mean, it’s a classic Mariana Zapata–so it’s messy, sure. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t satisfying.

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Review

Review: Calhoun by Diana Palmer (1988)

Long, Tall Texans, Book #1

Heat Factor: There’s a little topless fooling around but no (extremely euphemistic) orgasms until wedding bands are exchanged

Character Chemistry: If I’m using my lizard brain, it’s awesome, but if I’m using my emotionally mature brain I have concerns

Plot: “How best can I manufacture drama to ensure that my hopeless, loveless vision for the future will actually come to pass?”

Overall: OMG this book is SO 80s and I love it

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Review

Review: Seducing the Billionaire by Allie Winters (2021)

Bishop Brothers, Book #3

Review of Bishop Brothers #1, Bishop Brothers #2

Heat Factor: The sex is very complicated on account of the power dynamics and the lies

Character Chemistry: I bought it

Plot: Emma is a plant in Connor’s office, so she’s a lying liar. Connor is just a billionaire trying not to bone his employee and failing. Can you guess what happens next?

Overall: My HR brain was screaming, but also somehow I was shockingly sympathetic to these protagonists.

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: A Winter Rose by Amy Craig (2021)

Heat Factor: It’s a slowish burn but hooo boy, it gets steamy.

Character Chemistry: It’s pretty instantaneous but there are SO MANY WALLS

Plot: Julien’s bike breaks down in Eliza’s small town at the exact moment she desperately needs help to keep her flower farm going–it’s like kismet. But both Julien and Eliza have so many legitimate barriers to being together (and surviving!) that it’s hard to see how they’re going to make it work.

Overall: Such a fantastically written book, just expertly knit together.

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Review

Review: Memento Mori by Jane Morris (2021)

Heat Factor: It’s hot and a bit gritty.

Character Chemistry: It’s very much like the sleeve of cookies in my cupboard at 9:30pm–we know better, we know it’s not going to feel good tonight, and we know we’ll regret it tomorrow, but do we eat the cookies anyway? We do.

Plot: Jane and Gabriel meet at a museum and are instantly and deeply aflame–even though Jane stubbornly leads Gabriel on a teasing chase. Gabriel insists they are lovers who have connected and failed to secure their future together over and over throughout the years, and it’s hard to tell if they’ll manage to end up together this time around.

Overall: This was a DNF for complicated reasons that I will happily elaborate on below.

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