Dueling Review

Dueling Review: Ashwin by Kit Rocha (2017)

Erin recommended a bunch of Morality Chain books to Holly this week, so that Holly would understand the greatness of this trope. Ashwin did not convince Holly that Morality Chain is the best trope, so we decided to review it together.

Gideon’s Riders, Book #1

Erin

Heat Factor: I mean, I think it’s designed to be erotic romance (or adjacent thereto), so a lot of the connection between the protagonists is sex-related

Character Chemistry: Heavily based on yearning

Plot: Ashwin is on assignment to infiltrate a powerful sector leader’s guard but, OOPS, his only emotional connection EVER got adopted by the sector leader, too, and that’s really throwing a spanner in the works

Overall: The morality chain aspect was probably my favorite part of the romance/relationship component, but overall I was more drawn to the Riders and the political intrigue. 

Holly

Heat Factor: So many multiple orgasms

Character Chemistry: Kora makes Ashwin feel, and since he has been conditioned (read: tortured) to not feel, that is a problem

Plot: Ashwin is infiltrating an elite bodyguard biker squad, and Kora is making him feel things

Overall: The romance was ok, but I was very distracted by all of the questions I had about the worldbuilding

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Rant, Review

Review: Back to Your Love by Kianna Alexander (2017)

Southern Gentlemen, Book #1

Heat Factor: Steamy enough

Character Chemistry: “Let me put you on this pedestal.”

Plot: “I’m not the same girl I was ten years ago.” 

Overall: There were bits that were really great, but the hero put me into a paroxysm of rage

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: A Fake Girlfriend for Chinese New Year by Jackie Lau (2019)

Holidays with the Wongs, Book #3

Review of Holidays with the Wongs, Book #1

Heat Factor: Oops! We kissed in the ice skating forest, so now we should probably also have all the sex…just to get it out of our system, of course

Character Chemistry: Apparently I’m a sucker for the best friends-but-one’s-secretly-in-love trope

Plot: Zach and Jo bonded over beers and broken engagements four years ago and have been friends ever since. After Zach’s family set up him and his siblings on dates at Thanksgiving, he won’t put it past them to do something wild at Chinese New Year, so he asks Jo to be his fake girlfriend.

Overall: It’s like a warm hug

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Review

Review: Strictly Come Dating by Kathryn Freeman (2020)

Heat Factor: More of a Viennese Waltz than a Tango

Character Chemistry: I liked that they didn’t try to fight it

Plot: He’s a 27-yo free spirit, she’s a 37/38-yo obsessed with structure, so of course forced proximity leads to a “fling”

Overall: I was mostly able to let go of people being messy and enjoy a charming romance, but there were some latent value judgements I didn’t like

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday (2020)

Matchmaker Bay, Book 2

Heat Factor: The perfect amount of spice – that sweet spot where there’s enough sex so it’s sexy, but not so much sex that it’s erotic romance

Character Chemistry: I absolutely believe that Jake and Nora are best friends. 

Plot: Big City Doctor moves to Small Town, Befriends Local Hermit. With Benefits. But also, this is a story about grief and finding love where you least expect it and letting yourself feel.

Overall: I am an emotional mess and I loved every minute of it.

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