Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barrett (2022)

Heat Factor: Sex, then denying it has any meaning.

Character Chemistry: They have alllllll the feelings.

Plot: Amy keeps making decisions for everyone else.

Overall: Look, this is a sexy, bi-awakening, f-f chef story. How could I not love it?

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Review

Review: Reputation by Lex Croucher (2022)

Heat Factor: It gets pretty steamy, but not remotely with the romantic couple.

Character Chemistry: They end up kind of being a balm for the rest of the very difficult to like cast of characters

Plot: It’s an Emma/Mean Girls mashup, essentially. Georgiana is the impoverished new girl in town, who catches the interest of wild child Frances and her rich group of friends. On the periphery of the friend group, Georgiana meets Mr. Hawksley, who is actually a good person, etc.

Overall: I almost DNF’d it three times. I struggled with this one because it was good but it was really uncomfortable to read and if that makes me a goody-two-shoes nerd, then so be it.

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Dueling Review

Dueling Review: Wish Out of Water by Holley Trent (2022)

Hooked, Book #1

Holly’s Take

Heat Factor: The two sex scenes are pretty detailed, but there are only two of them

Character Chemistry: Her magic doesn’t suck his happiness away. It’s fate!

Plot: Cooper doesn’t want to be king, so he asks Brook to do a marriage of convenience with him. Apparently marrying an American means he automatically abdicates. (???) Plot twist: Brook is a mermaid and discovers she’s the real heir to the throne.

Overall: The pacing was off…it was like: solid start, slow, slow, slow, INTRIGUE!, denouement.

Ingrid’s Take

Heat Factor: It had moments of heat but was largely pretty mild.

Character Chemistry: They’re fated mates and I guess fated rulers.

Plot: He’s supposed to be king. She’s supposed to be a human nobody. But actually she’s a mermaid with royal lineage and it’s enough to throw everything into chaos.

Overall: It feels like a very long start to something and that didn’t actually develop into its cohesive, finished result.

Erin’s Take

Heat Factor: There’s a bit of dissonance between the perfection of their coming together and, like, everything else about their relationship. 

Character Chemistry: They’re basically fated mates.

Plot: She’s a nobody, except she just has no idea that she’s not a nobody, and he’s a bastard prince who grew up outside the kingdom but is somehow inheriting the throne because of Reasons, which she is supposed to fix but doesn’t.

Overall: I was extremely confused. Also this relationship contains most of the “I’m leaving now” drama that I actively dislike.

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Last Mermaid by Shana Abé (2008)

Heat Factor: It’s pretty fraught and steamy

Character Chemistry: There are four pairs in this generational story, and all of them have this desperate, meant-to-be energy

Plot: This is a romance that spans centuries and revolves around the sirens of the Island of Kell. It’s very gothic and desperate and sexy.

Overall: It was a tad slow for me in the beginning but then I got really into it and ended up loving it.

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Review

Review: The Devil You Know by Kit Rocha (2021)

Mercenary Librarians, Book #2

Review of Mercenary Librarians, Book #1

Heat Factor: Maya is frequently overwhelmed by sensory experiences, so this is a slow burn as she and Gray work up to physical touch

Character Chemistry: Really supportive of each other but also let’s not get too close because Gray could drop dead at any minute

Plot: We’re tying to make this dystopian reality a better place

Overall: Really fantastic worldbuilding

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