Dueling Review

Dueling Review: Then, Now, Always by Mona Shroff

To kick off Secret Baby Week, Holly and Ingrid buddy-read Then, Now, Always by Mona Shroff. And you know what that means: time for a duel! (Moderated by Erin) 

Holly’s Take:

Heat Factor: The door is firmly closed.

Character Chemistry: Um. It’s complicated. But also love at first sight.

Plot: Maya and Sam were in love. But they broke up. Now it’s 16 years later and Maya finally tells Sam that he has a daughter.

Overall: This was kind of a weird book and I’m still processing how I feel about it.

Ingrid’s Take:

Heat Factor: This is not a book with a temperature.

Character Chemistry: It’s both “at first sight” and also a slow, complicated development at the same time.

Plot: Maya and Sam had a good thing going until everything blew up and incredibly bad choices were made. Then, 16 years later, Maya fesses up that she’s kept their child secret from Sam and he’s an emotional wreck, understandably.

Overall: I maintain that this trope is a massive romantic buzzkill and this book is like a case study in why that is.

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Dueling Review, Monster Mash Smashdown, Recommended Read

Monster Mash Smashdown: Books by C.M. Nascosta

Morning Glory Milking Farm

Heat Factor: Violet really wants that big bull dick (and meaty balls).

Character Chemistry: We’ve got some bossy daddy energy going on here.

Plot: Broke millennial takes pharmaceutical job “milking” (*wink*) minotaur bulls for the benefits and living wage then falls for a client.

Overall: Don’t be scared by the title or the premise. This book is *delightful*.


versus


Girls Weekend

Heat Factor: There’s a lot of sex (even kinky sex), but we wouldn’t call this book high heat because the plot banks the flames. 

Character Chemistry: There are a lot of moving parts here (pun intended) so it’s hard to generalize.

Plot: Three friends go to an orc nudist colony for some casual hookups, two find guys and catch feelings.

Overall: Even though it’s literally a girls weekend at an orgy town, this book is so much more than “SPRING BREAK! TAKE OFF YOUR TOP!!” It’s weird. In a good way. And it might not be a genre romance?

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Rant, Review

Review: Witch Please by Ann Aguirre (2021)

Fix-It Witches, Book #1

Heat Factor: She climbs him like a tree, so that’s fun…but I would have liked a little more communication beforehand

Character Chemistry: They were so not on the same page but also so into each other

Plot: So many drama shenanigans 

Overall: Oof

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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: Hot Rabbi by Aviva Blakeman (2020)

Heat Factor: They have sex (a good bit of it), but it was more focused on the emotional connection and the kissing and touching than on the arousal and orgasms

Character Chemistry: Just because there’s an instant connection and attraction doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing from there!

Plot: Shoshana has a lot of emotional baggage associated with the synagogue. New hot rabbi single parent David would like to date her. 

Overall: This story has a lot of good energy. Definitely a good one for people who like their protagonists to be checked in and thoughtful.

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