Blog · Book Reviews · Contemporary Romance

Book Review: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

This book. THIS BOOK. I flew through this book earlier this week, ignoring work and staying up way too late to get through chapter after chapter, and nearly cried out “YES!!!” at the HEA. Things I love about it:

-the setting is subtle; I normally love world-building even in my contemporaries so I can really sink my teeth into the story, but this book’s lack of a clear setting makes it so much easier to focus on the relationship between the characters25883848

-Lucy is a confident, driven, badass heroine who takes no shade from her arch nemesis-turned-true-love, Josh

-Lucy’s boss, Helene, is incredibly supportive and the complete opposite of the Dragon Lady archetype I so often see in books set in/around workplaces with female bosses

-Lucy is the seducer in this book, making her feelings towards Josh clearly known, and mostly unabashedly so

-Josh is a vulnerable, shy, self-conscious supportive hero

-Josh loves Lucy’s ambition

-the sexual buildup is INSANE

-this book combines two of my favourite tropes: enemies-to-lovers and forced proximity

This is probably one of the best contemporaries I’ve ever read. I love how openly feminist it is, I love that Josh is an atypical beta hero, and I love that Lucy loves her body and eats donuts and cheese with abandon.  I can’t wait to read Sally Thorne’s other works, and I now completely get why everyone has been freaking out about this book. GO READ THIS RIGHT NOW.

 

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Blog · Book Reviews · Contemporary Romance

Book Review: Remedial Rocket Science by Susannah Nix

After reading Intermediate Thermodynamics and absolutely loving it, I was excited to read more of Nix’s awesome contemporary romance. But while I loved the characters in Intermediate Thermodynamics, I didn’t think there was enough detail on their backstories, which were integral to their love story.

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After Melody and Jeremy’s initial meeting, they both go through huge life changes that affect the way they view the people and the world around them. These changes are part of what eventually allows them to get together, but while they seemed to play big roles when Melody and Jeremy first see each other again, these life- changing events are abruptly forgotten about soon after.

I’m a stickler for character development— I want to see how the hero and heroine change throughout a novel, and what causes them to do so. I also think backstories are hugely important, so not getting to learn more about

[SPOILER ALERT]

how Melody’s boyfriend’s suicide changed the way she viewed relationships was frustrating, especially because the Melody we first meet in the book is less inhibited than the one we meet three years later, and the author alludes that this is because of her boyfriend’s death, but never explains why.

I also wanted to know more about what happened to Jeremy while he and Melody were apart. Nix doesn’t go into the specifics of just how his father’s death has changed him. Yes, he’s less of a playboy and more responsible, but we never find out if working at Sauer Hewson was the career he was searching for, and we also never find out how his father’s death might have affected his relationships with Lacey, his mother, or his sister.

I love Nix’s writing because it’s captivating, full of assertive, smart female heroines, and builds amazing sexual tension between the hero and heroine, making the moment when they finally get together all the more satisfying. I just wished the book told me a little more about the hero and heroine, so I knew exactly how life had changed them and made them even more suited for each other.

Blog · Book Reviews · Contemporary Romance

Book Review: Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Dating You/Hating You might be the best contemporary romance I’ve EVER. READ. The reasons?

-The hero not only has feelings, but analyzes them, sits with them, and openly shares them

-The hero is not intimidated by the heroine’s success

-The hero’s best friend also has feelings and isn’t intimidated by his wife’s success

-The heroine is successful, and that isn’t described as her somehow trying to compensate for something lacking in her life

-The book weaves in an amazing conversation about toxic masculinity and harassment in the workplace

-The heroine has a solid #girlgang full of other successful women

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SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com

It’s only this year that I’ve really started to get into contemporary romances, and there were a few points where I nearly gave up. After spending so long in the historical romance sphere, it can be a bit strange to suddenly transport yourself to a world where anything goes, but the guys are still totally domineering even though it’s the 21st century (looking at you, Jack from Smooth Talking Stranger).

I also have a problem with some of the language in contemporaries. While I’m all for four-letter words in books, if I read one more romance novel where the world “damn” is used as an adjective every time a guy tries to describe 1. his thoughts 2. the girl he likes 3. his life, I WILL SCREAM.

Dating You/Hating You, however, was perfect in language, plot, character development, and setting.  I loved that the book kept me guessing. A third of the way into this book, everything is going so well between Carter and Evie that I was a bit confused as to how this story was going to stay interesting for another 70% of the book, but oh man, was the conflict good. Not only was it well thought out, but the conflict made for some crazy-hot sexual tension.

You can bet I’ve already downloaded another one of Christina Lauren’s books, and I’m eternally grateful to Sarah MacLean and her article “Best Romance Novels of 2017” where I first read about this book.

Wishing you happy reading and more books on your #favourites shelf.