Romance

The Trouble with Loving You

The Trouble with Loving You

By: Sajni Patel

Blurb:

Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer, takeout enthusiast, and happily single woman. The moment she realizes her parents’ latest dinner party is a setup with the man they want her to marry, she’s out the back door in a flash. Imagine her surprise when the same guy shows up at her office a week later — the new lawyer hired to save her struggling company. What’s not surprising: he’s not too thrilled to see her either after that humiliating fiasco.

Jay Shah looks good on paper…and off. Especially if you like that whole gorgeous, charming lawyer-in-a-good-suit thing. He’s also arrogant and infuriating. As their witty office banter turns into late night chats, Liya starts to think he might be the one man who truly accepts her. But falling for each other means exposing their painful pasts. Will Liya keep running, or will she finally give love a real chance?

Review:

***Trigger Warning for sexual assault***

The Trouble with Loving You put me through the wringer. I cried a lot at the end. I love it when a loving family embraces someone not from one. It always gets me.

Liya is a driven woman. She’s earned her MBA and has just been given a promotion that puts her very high up in her company. She has a group of female friends that are supportive and loving. Her family, on the other hand, is a different story. Her father is emotionally and verbally abusive, and her mother is so beaten down that she’s unable to stand up to it. I feel for Liya, her situation is complicated, and you can tell she feels like she’s being torn apart.

Jay has his own issues, but he’s also got the support system of a very loving family. They’ve been through the traumatic death of their father years before and come out stronger on the other side. It’s heartwarming. The way he pursues Liya does at times fight with my enjoyment of making sure consent is acknowledged and that a woman’s answer is taken at her word, but it doesn’t go too far. He’s never domineering, and I only noticed it because most of the newer books I’ve read have been leaning very clear on no being no. Part of that was Liya wanting him to keep asking, even though she would never have admitted it. She had high walls built up, and his methods helped bring them down and open her to love.

This was a kind of enemies to lovers romance. Often, the enemies part is too heavy, and it’s difficult to believe that they could overcome their issues and fall in love. That did not happen in The Trouble with Loving You. Liya and Jay had a rough start and didn’t like each other at first. However, they never went hard into the bitter, loathing enemy territory. It made the romance believable and that much sweeter.

The Trouble with Romance was the first book in a series, but I don’t know the series’s name. Goodreads has been pretty poor about getting that information updated, though that might be an issue with the publishers, not with Goodreads. The next book in the series comes out in September, and it’s about a character I’m eager to read. A few of the book characters were married, but there are at least a couple that I hope get their own stories.

4/5

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

Currently Reading 02-16-21

I finished Spoiler Alert yesterday after staying up wayyyy to late. Now I’m moving on to The Roommate by Rosie Danan. It’s about a straitlaced trust fund woman and her surprise roommate who is a pornstar. It sounds awesome and I’m excited to see where this goes.

I’ve been playing a LOT of Stardew Valley and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. However, that’s meant that my reading and movie watching has taken a sideline. It’s still happening, but at a slower pace. Hopefully, I’m able to read all my library books, though. Fingers crossed!

Spoiler Alert (Spoiler Alert #1)

Spoiler Alert (Spoiler Alert #1)

By: Olivia Dade

Blurb:

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster.  Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.

April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.

Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her.

With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?

Review:

I started reading Spoiler Alert in the early afternoon. At the first thinly veiled Game of Thrones shade, I couldn’t put it down. I’ve never seen a single episode of Game of Thrones, but I heard about so much of the behind the scenes stuff that I was almost as mad as the rest of the world when the show ended the way it did. Reading as Dade completely lambasted the showrunners was food for my soul.

Marcus is the star of Gods of the Gates, the popular TV show adaption of the book series of the same name. After years playing the character Aeneas the showrunners are ruining his character, along with everyone else’s. His way of venting is to create fanfiction. It’s adorable.

Marcus has crafted a public persona as being the loveable, vain, golden retriever. While in real life, he’s incredibly smart and shy. Combine that with his dyslexia, and he’s found it easier to create that persona than show the world how intelligent he is. He focuses on his exercise routine in interviews and not his character’s emotional journey. Unfortunately, the role he’s created for himself is chaffing, and he’s ready for change. He’s just not sure how to go about doing it. When he meets April, he’ll do anything to be with her, and she does not waste her time on people who hide who they are from her.

April is a geologist. She’s smart and driven and has spent years hiding a part of herself to avoid harming her professional career. She is also ready for a change and has taken that plunge before the book has even started. Next on her list, meet up with her fanfiction friend that she’s pretty sure she’s fallen in love with, though she’s unwilling to admit it.

Both of these characters are fleshed out considerably. You see their friendships and professional lives. Plus, all they’ve created on the fanfiction website. They both have issues with their parents. The problems stem from their parents not accepting them for who they are and preferring to force them to be what their parents want. It’s incredibly sad on both sides.

Moving away from the serious stuff, Spoiler Alert is freaking hilarious. I took a couple of pictures of pages and sent them to my friends because they were so funny I had to share them. In between each chapter is either a text conversation, excerpt from a script, or snippets of fanfiction. So often, they had me laughing out loud and running to find my husband so that I could read them to him.

There was a ton to love about Spoiler Alert, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. I also plan on looking into Oliva Dade’s backlog because I need more books like this in my life.

5/5

Library Haul 02-14-21

In this picture you can see the stack of new books I picked up beside the stack of books I’ve yet to read. The reading frenzy from 2020 has not carried into 2021. Instead I’ve been working on editing a couple of books I’ve written. As well as playing a lot of Stardew Valley, and of course there’s the great movie re-watch going on. I’m afraid books have fallen to the wayside.

I really, really want to read most of these a lot. I’m hoping that I can get my butt in gear and knock some of these out fast. Fingers crossed 🤞

I’ve started Fireborn by Keri Arthur. I’m hoping to find something similar to an Ilona Andrews book, but so far I’m not feeling it. I’ve read Arthur in the past and enjoyed her so I should at least enjoy the story, even of it’s not what I was hoping for.