So it was at this point of the year where I started reading a TON of romance books. This happened for several reasons: 1. I can read them super quickly, and could thus squeeze in a book or two between work and school, 2. Scribd kept recommending me a crapload of them after my romance binge in July, and 3. romances are (mostly) very relaxing to read– I think the guarantee of a happy ending might have something to do with it. Perfect stress relief from school and work!
When One Door Opens – J.D. Ruskin ★★★
Sweetness + angst + occasional bad writing choices (somebody’s dick apparently has “grooves and notches”) = decently told story about a recovering alcoholic and an agoraphobic meeting and falling in love. Good balance between romance and working out their personal issues, and I really liked how they supported each other during rough patches. Bonus for a VERY tall hero: 6 foot 7 inches, possibly the tallest hero I’ve ever read about (so far).
Spice ‘n’ Solace – KC Burns ★★½
I really wanted to like this scifi romance1 more than I did! It’s about a (space!)brothel owner and a (space!)diplomat and there’s mistaken identity element which worked really well. I think the problem is that it’s a little too short, so there’s not enough worldbuilding and some of the non-romantic plot points were compressed. This was especially unfortunate since there’s a huge conspiracy plotline which slowly unfolded over 85% of the book. Trying to tie up all the plotpoints in the last 15% made it feel very rushed. However, I very much liked the characters and I’d definitely read another book with them in it. Also, there were aliens! I am ALWAYS down for more scifi romances with aliens in them. I would like LESS scifi romances where being gay is still stigmatized, please.
Treble Maker – Annabeth Albert ★★★
This showed up in my recommendations after reading three Heidi Cullinan books, and I can kind of see why! It’s about two college-age people who’re figuring out life and love and so on, while competing on a reality music show! It’s super cute and has a good heart, albeit with some iffy writing choices (nobody seems to know what a twink actually is, for instance). However, bonus points for the pun-tastic cover blurb.
Frog – Mary Calmes ★★
Okay, so the writing style for this book was NOT my thing. And the plot was kinda overly gooey and bland, and the characters were all just SO convenient and ugh. Did like the main couple: an ex-rodeo guy and a rich Beverly Hills doctor and their relationship problems. Basically, rodeo guy doesn’t feel good enough for the doctor, doctor just wants him to stop roaming the country and settle down already. Rodeo guy is very good with kids and is intensely kind and lovable and has massive esteem issues, and if this were an angsty book he’d be a woobie. As it is, it’s just very, very gooey. That sort of thing can backfire if you’re not in the mood for goo, but if you ARE, this would be the perfect book. Especially for the holidays!
- or erotica? What’s the plot-to-sex-scenes ratio for erotica vs. romance? ↩