Review

Review: Did Not Finish by Nicola Marsh (2022)

Heat Factor: fades to gray 

Character Chemistry: Not sure we get enough push-pull when he hates her (but really not) and they hop into bed by 35%

Plot: Mia is a professional reviewer and aspiring writer who wins a spot at Axel’s writing workshop. Axel is furious with Mia for writing a mean review about his alter ego’s book because he needs the extra income stream. They get snowed in.

Overall: Their fight seemed a bit ridiculous when they were so ethically messy from, like, page one

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Dueling Review, Recommended Read

Dueling Review: Big Bad Cowboy by Carly Bloom (2018)

Once Upon a Time in Texas, Book #1

Holly’s Take

Heat Factor: I found the sexting shockingly effective

Character Chemistry: Maggie is in lust with the Big Bad Wolf, and moving from animosity to friendship to love with Travis. Except they’re the same man—and she doesn’t know it.

Plot: Maggie and Travis have mindblowing, slightly kinky sex as anonymous strangers at a costume party. And then Travis discovers that they’re neighbors slash she thinks he’s destroying her business. Too bad the sexting is so fun.

Overall: There were a few rough patches at the beginning, but I ended up really enjoying it.

Ingrid’s Take

Heat Factor: I’d definitely say it borders on a slow burn IF you don’t take the sexting into consideration.

Character Chemistry: There are a lot of relationships going on and they all had pretty good chemistry. Maggie and Travis seemed to sync really well.

Plot: Maggie and Travis hook up in disguise at a costume party—Travis knows Maggie’s identity, but Maggie is in the dark. When they end up at odds as neighbors and work competitors, they end up finding a deeper connection.

Overall: It was a cute cowboy-to-be book that felt realistically small-town.

Erin’s Take

Heat Factor: It starts early and doesn’t really slow down if you count all the sexting, but I wanted the story to get on with it because all the character interactions were more fun

Character Chemistry: I was more invested in the all the dynamics of the small town characters than in the romantic relationship between Maggie and Travis

Plot: business competitors, antagonistic anonymous neighbors, anonymous hookup, forced to work the same contract, sexting deception, custody battles, and liens

Overall: If we hadn’t agreed to buddy read it, I probably would have DNFed by 25% simply for all the gender essentialism, BUT I think it was maybe Trying To Do Something, and, as Holly said, it turned out pretty cute in the end.

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Review

Review: Tofu Cowboy by Lola West (2020)

Big Sky Cowboy, Book #1

Heat Factor: They’re making each other hot and bothered

Character Chemistry: Luke is the most emotionally aware romance hero I’ve ever read, which makes chemistry adorable

Plot: Luke and Maddie meet, start dating, act cute together, and fall in love—but Maddie has a *secret*

Overall: I read it in an hour and my heart went pitter-pat

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Handy for You by Adele Buck (2022)

All For You, Book #2

Review of All For You, Book #1

Heat Factor: Slow burn, medium heat

Character Chemistry: They kind of instantly connect, and then the connection weakens…and then it’s tight again. 

Plot: Rob is a single dad (to an adult daughter) who helps his newbie homeowner neighbor, Kari, with assorted household fixer-upper tasks until they’re getting fixed up themselves.

Overall: Cute story, tad slow in parts. Rob’s a little infuriating sometimes.

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Review

Review: Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble by Alexis Hall (2022)

Winner Bakes All, Book #2

Review of Winner Bakes All, Book #1

Heat Factor: Tariq is waiting for marriage, and we’re going to respect that decision

Character Chemistry: They’ve got a cute grumpy-sunshine thing going on—when Paris can get out of his head

Plot: Paris and Tariq are both competing on Bake Expectations, and the internet casts Paris as the season’s villain.

Overall: Was this a difficult book for me to read? Yup, it sure was. Did I bad decision book club it anyway? Yup, I sure did.

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