Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Mini Book Reviews | Recent Romance Releases!

Title: Fix Her Up
Author: Tessa Bailey
Series? Yes, the first in a companion series  
Pages: 400
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: Avon Books (imprint of HarperCollins)
Source: I received an e-arc of Fix Her Up via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A brand new romantic comedy from New York Times bestseller Tessa Bailey!

Georgette Castle’s family runs the best home renovation business in town, but she picked balloons instead of blueprints and they haven’t taken her seriously since. Frankly, she’s over it. Georgie loves planning children’s birthday parties and making people laugh, just not at her own expense. She’s determined to fix herself up into a Woman of the World... whatever that means.

Phase one: new framework for her business (a website from this decade, perhaps?)

Phase two: a gut-reno on her wardrobe (fyi, leggings are pants.)

Phase three: updates to her exterior (do people still wax?)

Phase four: put herself on the market (and stop crushing on Travis Ford!)

Living her best life means facing the truth: Georgie hasn’t been on a date since, well, ever. Nobody’s asking the town clown out for a night of hot sex, that’s for sure. Maybe if people think she’s having a steamy love affair, they’ll acknowledge she’s not just the “little sister” who paints faces for a living. And who better to help demolish that image than the resident sports star and tabloid favorite?

Travis Ford was major league baseball’s hottest rookie when an injury ended his career. Now he’s flipping houses to keep busy and trying to forget his glory days. But he can’t even cross the street without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there's Georgie, his best friend’s sister, who is not a kid anymore. When she proposes a wild scheme—that they pretend to date, to shock her family and help him land a new job—he agrees. What’s the harm? It’s not like it’s real. But the girl Travis used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman and there’s nothing fake about how much he wants her...

Fix Her Up has taken the romance community by storm, and for good reason! I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of this book, and I was completely enamored. I picked this up late at night, thinking I could get a couple chapters in before going to bed. Lo and behold, I got to around the 40 percent mark and realized it was way past my bed time. And don't be taken aback by the illustrated cover, this book is steamy. If you're going to read this in public, be prepared to blush and make sure no one is reading over your shoulder. For someone who has a horrible (nonexistent) poker face, I read this in the wonderful privacy of my bed. The emotional conflict was also done so well. I really related to Georgie and her insecurities about not being taken seriously, especially professionally. My only complaint about Fix Her Up was the ending. I felt it was too abrupt, and I wish that there was just another chapter. Fix Her Up is a standout romance release of this year!

I give Fix Her Up 4 out of 5 Flowers!

Title: The Right Swipe
Author: Alisha Rai
Series? Yes, the first in a companion series
Pages: 400
Publication Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: Avon Books (imprint of HarperCollins)
Source: I recieved and e-arc of The Right Sqipe via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

- Nude pics are by invitation only

- If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

- Protect your heart

Only there aren't any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night... and disappears.

Rhi thought she'd buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won't fumble their second chance, but she's wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

The Right Swipe is the first book I've read by Alisha Rai, and I'm so glad this was my introduction to the established romance author! I read this back in May, so thank goodness that my goodreads review was detailed and I left notes for myself. As you can possibly tell from the synopsis, The Right Swipe is super femnist and diverse, and I love it. If you are looking for a diverse read (racially, mental health, and sexuality!) that works as a social commentary (sexual harassment in the workplace, the #MeToo movement) as well as brings the romance, look no further! Honestly, this would have been the perfect romance for me, but it took me a little bit to warm up to Rhiannon, the main character. Rhiannon is such a bad-ass, and I loved her dedication and drive. However, she does come off harsh and stubborn at first. Of course, we learn the reasons why Rhiannon has such high walls, but I didn't connect to her as much as I wanted to. Nevertheless, The Right Swipe is a great read, and I hihgly recommend you pick it up when  it comes out on August 6! 

I give The Right Swipe 4 out of 5 Stars!

Title: Unexpected
Author: Kelly Rimmer
Series? Yes, the first in a companion series
Pages: 372
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Publisher: HQN (imprint of Harlequin)
Source: I received an e-arc of Unexpected via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 
Co-parenting with her best friend. What could go wrong?

The next three decades of Abby Herbert's life are as carefully planned out as the last three were. Best career ever? Check. Great friends, one of whom she lives with in a stunning Tribeca apartment? Check. Perfect man to share her dream family? Surely just a matter of time. But then she gets devastating news from her doctor--if she wants to get pregnant, she needs to get started on that by...well, yesterday. On the bright side, she has the perfect person in mind to be the father.

Tech entrepreneur Marcus Ross has been harboring decidedly not-friends feelings toward Abby. He doesn't want to lose her and, knowing his feelings are one-sided, he's been trying to move on. When he learns about the curveball Abby's just been hit with, he promises to be there for her however she wants him to be, even if the idea of fatherhood is a little complicated for him right now. But it isn't long until boundaries start to blur, and a deal struck between friends starts to turn into something perilously close to feelings that could change everything...
Much like the other two novels I've reviewed today, this was the first book I've read by Kelly Rimmer, who has also written a slew of books I'm only hearing about now. If you're looking for a fast-paced, angst-ridden, comedic, sweet romance novel with some depth, you've come to the right place with Unexpected. The novel follows two best friends, and from the first line of the synopsis, I was requesting a copy from Netgalley. I adore best friend romances, and thought Kelly Rimmer did a fantastic job of establishing a close friendship while also making sure the romance felt new, flirty, and yes, awkward. The question throughout reading isn't "will they won't they," since Abby and Marcus, the two leads, get in the sack pretty quickly after learning that Abby's window of opportunity to have a kid is closing; the real question is, "will they ever admit their feelings for each other and to themselves?" Cue the hemming and hawing that makes me both fall in love with a romance and want to reach into the book and give them a wake up call! Unexpected is such a quick read, and I'm definitely going to check out more from Rimmer. 

I give Unexpected 4 out of 5 Flowers!

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