Romance Book Review

Much Ado About You

Much Ado About You

By:

Samantha Young

Blurb:

At thirty-three-years old Evangeline Starling’s life in Chicago is missing that special something. And when she’s passed over for promotion at work, Evie realizes she needs to make a change. Some time away to regain perspective might be just the thing. In a burst of impulsivity, she plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There’s no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover.

Not only is Evie swept up in running the delightful store as soon as she arrives, she’s drawn into the lives, loves and drama of the friendly villagers. Including Roane Robson, the charismatic and sexy farmer who tempts Evie every day with his friendly flirtations. Evie is determined to keep him at bay because a holiday romance can only end in heartbreak, right? But Evie can’t deny their connection and longs to trust in her handsome farmer that their whirlwind romance could turn in to the forever kind of love.

Review:

I am not a big Shakespeare fan. I’ve read a few of his plays and thought they were okay. I even wrote a research paper on Othello in college, but I can’t remember anything about the play now. Maybe if I went back and read them now, I’d enjoy them better? I should probably do that, actually. If Much Ado About You has Shakespeare Easter eggs, I have no idea, so keep that in mind with my review.

Evie has a lot of hits happen in quick succession and decides that it’s time to step back and revaluate her life. Does she want to be in a relationship? Does she like her career? What is she doing with her life? She decides that she’s always wanted to go to England and has never been. She happens to have some savings, so she decides why not. When she comes across an ad where you run a bookstore in a small English town, she jumps on it.

On her first day there, she saves a dog, meets a gorgeous farmer, gets drunk, and tells everyone that she doesn’t date men who are rich or younger than her. She made an impression. Evie ends up poking her nose into all the ongoing feuds and tries to fix everyone’s relationships. She gives good advice and comes across as empathetic and intelligent, but her rules for herself don’t make sense. Honestly, they’re stupid.

The twist is obvious, so the ending was a letdown. Evie finds out what everyone else already knows and reacts poorly. I was annoyed by how much she fixated on the age difference. It was not that big, and even after they’d made up, it was something she was still clearly hung up on.

 Much Ado About You is a sweet book, but ultimately it felt underwhelming.

3/5

How to Fail at Flirting

How to Fail at Flirting

By:

Denise Williams

Blurb :

One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.

When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup. Check…almost.

Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.

Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she’s finally living again.

Review:

***Trigger Warning for Sexual Assault***

I thought this would be about Naya trying to separate herself from work, but it was mostly about her learning to live after being in an abusive relationship. There are vague mentions about what was done to her throughout the book until the end, when her abuser confronts her and shows you what he was like. It wasn’t as graphic as it could have been, this is, after all, a romance, but it was detailed enough I could see it making people uncomfortable.

Naya was a victim of abuse, and she read like it. She hadn’t pursued therapy, but she had spoken to some friends. I’m not sure how much she shared, though. In the aftermath of her bad relationship, she obviously changed and shut down, burying herself in her work. Her friends issue a challenge, they don’t expect her to follow, but after a few gins at a bar, she does. I’m really glad nothing happened with Jake at that time because they were both inhibited, though it never brought up that fact.

Jake was sweet. He was a dork and loveable. The humor between the two was amusing, with lots of puns. I like puns, so I enjoyed it. He had a job that required a lot of travel. They were a long-distance relationship. I’m never a fan of those. The couple ends up spending all of their time doing it whenever they’re together. Which is understandable, and Williams skipped over stuff after a couple of scenes, but it made their relationship a bit boring at times.

How to Fail at Flirting was an okay book, but I feel that someone needs a warning before reading it because of the content.

3/5

The Roommate

The Roommate

By: Rosie Danan

Blurb:

House Rules:
Do your own dishes.
Knock before entering the bathroom.
Never look up your roommate online.

The Wheatons are infamous among the east coast elite for their lack of impulse control, except for their daughter Clara. She’s the consummate socialite: over-achieving, well-mannered, predictable. But every Wheaton has their weakness. When Clara’s childhood crush invites her to move cross-country, the offer is too much to resist. Unfortunately, it’s also too good to be true.

After a bait-and-switch, Clara finds herself sharing a lease with a charming stranger. Josh might be a bit too perceptive—not to mention handsome—for comfort, but there’s a good chance he and Clara could have survived sharing a summer sublet if she hadn’t looked him up on the Internet…

Once she learns how Josh has made a name for himself, Clara realizes living with him might make her the Wheaton’s most scandalous story yet. His professional prowess inspires her to take tackling the stigma against female desire into her own hands. They may not agree on much, but Josh and Clara both believe women deserve better sex. What they decide to do about it will change both of their lives, and if they’re lucky, they’ll help everyone else get lucky too.

Review:

The Roommate is an opposites-attract romance. You’ve got a trust fund debutant whose main goal in life is to make her mother proud by not causing scandal. On the opposite side is a go with the flow porn star who walked away from his family when they didn’t respond well to his career choice. I’m not going to say you can’t get more different than that, but it’s definitely not the couple you expect to happen.

Clara is more than a bit repressed. She has a Ph.D. in art history, has never lived more than an hour away from her mother, and has had a crush on her lifelong friend, Everett. Your introduction to him makes you question all of her decisions cause he’s a selfish dick.

Josh is Clara’s surprise roommate. She’s never watched porn and doesn’t find out that he’s a porn star until someone else points it out. He’s been floating through life and has a bit of an inferiority complex that he hides with his career choice. I appreciated that he didn’t come from a bad home environment. The Roommate was very sex-positive and pro-sex worker. None of them were painted as damaged. They were smart and comfortable with themselves and their sexuality.

I expected there to be an indecent proposal situation, and there were definitely moments that bordered on that, but for the most part, the relationship was almost a love-at-first-sight storyline. Sex played a huge role in the story, but the romance between them was sweet. There were lustful thoughts and gazes, but there were just as many, if not more, instances where they were cooking or talking about action movies and life.

I enjoyed The Roommate a lot. It followed a book that I really loved, so the fact that I liked it so much says nothing but good things about The Roommate. Goodreads doesn’t have this set up as a series, but looking at the author’s page, it seems like a sequel is being published in a couple of months. There were several characters that I felt could have their own book, so that makes me happy.

4/5