First three romances from some of the genres staples and some of my favorite authors
Do You Take This Man by Denise Williams
Goodredas blurb: Divorce attorney RJ would never describe herself as romantic. But when she ends up officiating an unplanned wedding for a newly engaged couple in a park, her life is turned upside down. The video of the ceremony goes viral, and she finds herself in the unlikely position of being a sought-after local wedding officiant. Spending her free time overseeing “I dos” isn’t her most strategic career move, but she enjoys it, except for the type A dude-bro wedding planner she’s forced to work with. Former pro-football event manager Lear is a people person, but after his longtime girlfriend betrayed him, he isn’t looking for love. He knows how to execute events and likes being in control, so working with an opinionated and inflexible officiant who can’t stand him is not high on his list. He’s never had trouble winning people over, but RJ seems immune to his charms. Surrounded by love at every turn, their physical attraction pulls them together despite their best efforts to stay an arm’s length apart. Lear refuses to get hurt again. RJ refuses to let herself be vulnerable to anyone. But when it comes to happily ever after, their clients might not be the only ones saying “I do.”
my take: 4 out of 5. I have absolutely adored Denise Williams’ past books and this was a great outing I just didn’t love them as much as her previous books. It is a cute will they wont they romance and the concept of a lawyer turned officiant is cool.
The American Roommate Experiment by Elena Armas
Goodreads blurb: Rosie Graham has a problem. A few, actually. She just quit her well paid job to focus on her secret career as a romance writer. She hasn’t told her family and now has terrible writer’s block. Then, the ceiling of her New York apartment literally crumbles on her. Luckily she has her best friend Lina’s spare key while she’s out of town. But Rosie doesn’t know that Lina has already lent her apartment to her cousin Lucas, who Rosie has been stalking—for lack of a better word—on Instagram for the last few months. Lucas seems intent on coming to her rescue like a Spanish knight in shining armor. Only this one strolls around the place in a towel, has a distracting grin, and an irresistible accent. Oh, and he cooks.
Lucas offers to let Rosie stay with him, at least until she can find some affordable temporary housing. And then he proposes an outrageous experiment to bring back her literary muse and meet her deadline: He’ll take her on a series of experimental dates meant to jump-start her romantic inspiration. Rosie has nothing to lose. Her silly, online crush is totally under control—but Lucas’s time in New York has an expiration date, and six weeks may not be enough, for either her or her deadline.
my take 4.75 out of 5. This was a fabulous rom com. Please go read it. I really liked her first book, The Spanish Love Deception, but this one surprisingly was even better than the original. IT is somewhat of a continuation and unless you want the full spoiler of Spanish Deception, maybe read that one first, and finish with this one that is the perfect dessert. Speaking of food, there is so much good food description on this book, i was hungry throughout. I loved the characters, it has an ideal meet cute and a wonderful romantic romp throughout.
Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory
Goodreads blurb: Margot Noble needs some relief from the stress of running the family winery with her brother. Enter Luke: sexy, charming, and best of all in the too-small world of Napa, a stranger. The chemistry between them is undeniable, and Margot is delighted that she lucked into the perfect one-night stand she’ll never have to see again. That is, until the winery’s newest hire, Luke, walks in the next morning. Margot is determined to keep things purely professional, but when their every interaction reminds her of the attraction still bubbling between them, it proves to be much more challenging than she expects.
Luke Williams had it all, but when he quits his high-salary tech job in Silicon Valley in a blaze of burnout and moves back to Napa to help a friend, he realizes he doesn’t want to tell the world–or his mom–why he’s now working at a winery. His mom loves bragging about her successful son–how can he admit that the job she’s so proud of broke him? Luke has no idea what is next for him, but one thing is certain: he wants more from the incredibly smart and sexy woman he hooked up with–even after he learns she’s his new boss. But even if they can find a way to be together that wouldn’t be an ethical nightmare, would such a successful woman really want a t ech-world dropout? Set against a lush backdrop of Napa Valley wine country, nothing goes to your head as fast as a taste of love–even if it means changing all your plans.
My take: 3.75 out of 5. What it had going for it: it is set in a winery. And her best friend is a chef. Romance meets food and wine is never a bad idea. Although predictable, the meet cute is adorable and the tension is palatable. It just becomes a tad predictable in the execution, so it doesn’t reach higher in my ranking but it still is an absolute solid romance book that I would totally recommend you read (especially in a vineyard, take this one to your next wine tasting trip)
And now some ARCs in the romance genre as well…
Well That was Unexpected by Jesse Sutanto
Goodreads blurb: After Sharlot Citra’s mother catches her in a compromising position, she finds herself whisked away from LA to her mother’s native Indonesia. It’ll be exactly what they both need. Or so her mother thinks. When George Clooney Tanuwijaya’s father (who is obsessed with American celebrities) fears he no longer understands how to get through to his son, he decides to take matters into his own hands.
To ensure that their children find the right kind of romantic partner, Sharlot’s mother and George’s father do what any good parent would do: they strike up a conversation online, pretending to be their children.
When the kids find out about their parents’ actions, they’re horrified. Not even a trip to one of the most romantic places on earth could possibly make Sharlot and George fall for each other. But as the layers peel back and the person they thought they knew from online is revealed, the truth becomes more complicated. As unlikely as it may seem, did their parents manage to find their true match after all?
This is an ARC review thanks to a gift from the publisher, the book came out Oct 27th, 2022
My take: 3.75 out of 5. This is sort of a YA version of crazy rich Asians. Although a tad far fetched, the premise of both parties being catfish made for some great family dynamics. I really enjoyed all the antics around them, i just never completely rooted for them as a couple – until the end. The end is great. Total empowerment moves! Also how can you not enjoy a book where the main character is called George Clooney. I am beginning to think they are competing with the best of our latin names like USNAVY and Leidy. Extra bonus points for the fabulous descriptions of Indonesia, makes me want to jump on a plane and check it out myself.
Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade
Goodreads blurb: Maria’s one-night-stand—the thick-thighed, sexy Viking of a man she left without a word or a note—just reappeared. Apparently, Peter’s her surly Gods of the Gates co-star, and they’re about to spend the next six years filming on a desolate Irish island together. She still wants him…but he now wants nothing to do with her. Peter knows this role could finally transform him from a forgettable character actor into a leading man. He also knows a failed relationship with Maria could poison the set, and he won’t sabotage his career for a woman who’s already walked away from him once. Given time, maybe they can be cooperative colleagues or friends—possibly even best friends—but not lovers again. No matter how much he aches for her. For years, they don’t touch off-camera. But on their last night of filming, their mutual restraint finally shatters, and all their pent-up desire explodes into renewed passion. Too bad they still don’t have a future together, since Peter’s going back to Hollywood, while Maria’s returning to her native Sweden. She thinks she needs more than he can give her, but he’s determined to change her mind, and he’s spent the last six years waiting. Watching. Wanting. His shipwrecked Swede doesn’t stand a chance.
This is an ARC review thanks to a gift from the publisher, the book comes out Nov 15th, 2022
my take: 4 out of 5. I went into this book not knowing it was a series, I thought it looked interesting in Net Galley and wanted to read it. Best compliment to the book is that after finishing and realizing in Goodreads that it was a series I placed holds for them in my library right away (although there is a bit of a spoiler as the two couples in the previous books appear on this book, so maybe read them in order, although once I do that I can give more clear guidance if you should wait or not.) I really enjoyed the body positivity of this book as well as the immersion on the making of the show, as a Game of Thrones fan, Gods of the Gates seemed like a show i would love. The meet cute is also top notch, and funnily enough very similar to one of the other books reviewed in this post, drunk on love. lessons from them all: assume all one night stands will come back to haunt you!