A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

So Ledi is in grad school, studying to become a badass scientist whilst working multiple jobs. She’s been getting these weird emails saying she’s the long lost betrothed of some African prince and her neighbour across the hall has gone on holiday and some guy who worked with her for a day, terribly, is doing some sort of AirBnB with the neighbour. And things just go from weird to weirder.

I really loved Ledi, she was such a fantastic MC. SHe’s whip smart and doesn’t take any nonsense. I’m so here for any book that has women in STEM, and that is intensified if it is a romance book or a POC lady and this is a black romance novel, so yes lot’s of excitement about the representation.

The relationship between the two MCS both romantic and non romantic was really sweet and playful. They were always ribbing each other and even when they were upset with each other you could still tell they had feelings.

If you’re worried about this being an arranged marriage, do not worry because like most arranged marriages there is no force involved and they are super sweet with each other.

Thabiso’s assistant, whose name escapes me was a force of nature as well. She definitely made the book even more enjoyable. She wasn’t just an assistant who would roll over and do whatever her boss said without argument. And she wasn’t afraid to tell him he was being an idiot. She was also a lesbian and it was just casually mentioned without being made a big thing and I love that.

I really liked Cole’s writing. It flowed really well and I didn’t have any bored patches. I loved that she took the characters to Africa as well instead of just staying in New York. It would be so easy to just have it set in the US.

I cannot wait for the sequel but I’m also hesitant because the love interest is Scottish and we all know how I feel about inaccurate Scottish depictions, but I feel like she can do it.

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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne | So Fun but Problematic Language Let’s it Down

Content warning: sex, ableism, fatphobia

Lucy and Josh hate each other. They do basically the same job for the 2 senior editors of a publishing house, but are very different people. Lucy is a lot more of a relaxed person wheres Josh is super organised. Every day they try and rile each up and threaten going to HR. A promotion come sup and they are both up for it but in the process of trying to beat each other out they start messing around.

This definitely would have been a favourite if it hadn’t used the r word. It’s 2018, do people not know that it’s not acceptable to use that word especially as an insult? And the main character is fatphobic towards Josh’s boss which wasn’t exactly nice to read. This isn’t something that hurts me and I can continue reading despite it but if degrading comments about someone’s weight for the sake of it is something that triggers you be very careful of this book. yeah it’s fun but not worth that.

I loved Josh. I never understood from the outset why Lucy hated him. He sounded right up my street. In work every day looking snacc in his fancy attire. If I had a guy like that in my office I would not be complaining.

Hate to love is one of my absolute favourite tropes so this was right up my street and the only thing disappointing about it was the aforementioned language. I absolutely adored reading about Josh and Lucy and how they progressed to be honest. Whilst Lucy annoyed me sometimes, I loved seeing Josh’s feelings grow for her and I couldn’t stop turning the pages. Not only was it hate to love it was also slow burn. I had no idea what was going to happen to be honest. And I’m a big fan of spoilers to be honest but I managed to hold myself off with this and I’m glad I did.

I am so soft for this book. I want to read more from Sally Thorne if its like this.

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Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – More About Grief Than I Expected

content warnings: off the page death,

Amy’s mother has decided they’re going to move across the country, and this means Amy has to move her car across the country. But she can’t do that because she’s terrified to drive ever since her dad died in a car accident. So she ropes in an old friend, Roger, to drive the pair of them as he also has to go to the East coast.

Look I don’t really know what I expected going into this book but it wasn’t what I got. Some things I liked, some things I didn’t. I got the book out from the library because I really wanted to read some cute contemporaries, so Morgan Matson was one of the first authors I thought of. I think I war really wanting something similar to The Unexpected Everything and this was just not that. There was a lot of talk of loss and post trauma anxiety and the romance kind of took a back foot to this. Which I liked but also I just wanted something cute.

I think one of the biggest things I really appreciated was that Amy and Roger’s friendship developed before any romance. They spent all the time together and you could tell that they just really liked each other’s company and whilst there was gradual romantic feelings bit by bit which you could tell as a reader and it was nice for them to get that base before jus stumbling into hardcore feelings.

I actually wasn’t a huge fan of Amy to be honest, but that’s more a personal thing than her being a bad person or anything. I found her kind of whiney at times and a bit entitled. And yes I’m well aware that she’s been through a lot but she seemed to forget at times that yeah she lost her dad but her mum lost him too, and she wasn’t really fair on her mum at times. I liked Roger but I wish we got more from him.

I really loved the road trip parts of it. As someone who loves to travel I often find road trip books cringey because they can be so badly researched and you can just tell when someone hasn’t done their research. But this was definitely researched well, I think Matson did the trip herself. I loved that they went to the small towns along the way they didn’t expect to because that’s what happens on trips often. When I did my trip of Asia the actual cities weren’t really negotiable because we booked our flights prior, but the places we went to when there often turned out to be things we hadn’t planned on, or only went after hearing about it when there. That’s one of the best parts of travelling. This book puts that across. I think the thing as well is that it made me want to visit Utah of all places in the States. I’ve never wanted to go there before, but god from the way this book is described I want to go there and see the scenery so bad.

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Contour by Meg Harding

Content warnings: homophobia, biphobia (i think), transphobia

Jamie, also known as Roxy is a huge beauty youtuber, who takes no nonsense. He’s gained a lot of fans through his very blunt attitude but he’s not been so lucky in love. And then he stumbles on an instagram account, owned by a fit model who owns a gorgeous dog, Tyler. They DM back and forth and things get serious real fast.

So Roxy reminded me a bit of Jeffree Star but if JS wasn’t an absolutely terrible human. And it was so good to read what I want him to be as a character. Using your social media presence for good. I say Roxy because Roxy and Jamie are 2 completely different characters. Roxy I didn’t care much for but Jamie was my absolute fave he was so self conscious and just so scared to let anyone in. And then Jamie was so instant on getting Jamie out of his shell as the part of him that isn’t projected on thousands of people’s screens.

I just loved that they connected over instagram. It felt like looking into the lives of the influencers/youtubers that I follow. The way it was written by Harding really made me feel like the characters were actual people.

The writing was super addictive. I think I read this really quick. I felt so invested in this relationship and when things were going well I just wanted to read more of them and when things weren’t going so well I wanted to read more until things were good again.

There was some really nice friendships in this and I loved that there was a lot of discussion over blurring the gender binary lines. Jamie is both feminine and masculine at the same time, and it’s super important to him. And Tyler is so accepting and I just love it.

 

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I Believe In a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo

Since reading this book I’ve started watching K-Dramas so I kind of wish I’d read it now because I think I would’ve liked it even more.

Desi is the kind of person who always has a plan. But she doesn’t have a plan in romance and she wants to be with a boy. Then she starts to watch K-drama and develops a game plan to follow the steps of a k-drama to get the boy.

One of the biggest things I saw people complaining about in reviews prior to reading this was that the whole premise was silly and irrational and blah blah blah. But I think these people have forgotten what it’s like to be a teen to be honest. When I was a teen I had a crush on a different boy every week. This was before I realised I was a flaming queer. I wouldn’t have put it past myself to do something similar to be honest.

I really enjoyed this book, like it was super cute and perfect for the mood I was in (doom and gloom after quitting my future). I gave it 4 stars on goodreads, and I think the one thing that stopped me from giving it a 5 star rating and becoming one of my faves was the ending, like I felt like the resolution was a bit lacklustre, and I wanted just a little bit more from it.

What I really loved about this book was Desi’s relationship with her dad. I love both my parents equally but there’s definitely times that I’m more of a daddy’s girl, especially during my teen years, and it was so nice to see that kind of relationship in a book. I loved that their relationship really grew when Desi started watching dramas, like they really bonded and it just made me happy. It made me happy that this was shown in the novel, not just the relationship aspect. I also loved her relationship with her best friend who tries to tell her it’s all a bad idea but is still there for her when things start to go south.

Desi was a really interesting girl to read as well. She’s so goal driven so is adamant to follow her list even though she sometimes she knows what she’s doing is wrong. It was really interesting to read a character like that because I could see parts of my young self in her. I’m very stubborn and I’m not that kind of person now, but when I was a teenager I definitely did things I knew were wrong because I’d made the decision I was doing it.

I hope that I can read Maurene’s new book The Way You Make Me Feel sometimes soon because I really enjoyed her writing and think she can only get better.

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The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Sorry for the lack of post on Monday but my laptop was getting repaired and I hate oing posts on mobile.

Ok so basically fake dating is one of my absolute favourite tropes so this was a very fun read for me.

I’m really sorry I can’t remember if there are any content warnings, but if there’s anything you’re worried about let me know and I’ll find out for you!

So Gia’s boyfriend breaks up with her on the night of her prom (what a douche) and she panics because none of her friends believe she had a boyfriend in the first place so she sees a guy in the car park and asks him to be her date for the night. And by some weird bit of luck he says yes. Soon they develop a mutual agreement of being each other’s dates for events that they need to pretend to have someone for.

To start with this book is very much a white rich people problems book. Honestly I found myself rolling my eyes a lot for the situations involved because they were so trivial. However that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading it.  Whilst I thought the situations an decisions were a bit ridiculous it was so easy to read and entertaining.

In terms of our main characters, Gia really annoyed me. I can’t remember why but I remember her attitude at the beginning really bothering me. But her character development was really good. There were some really bizarre female friendships on Gia’s side of things. She fell out with a bunch of her friends and they didn’t act great towards each other, however she also found a new friend who really helped bring out the good in her. On the other hand we have Hayden who was my absolute favourite boy and I would die for him.

This book is kind of your classic contemporary teen romance. Some kids acting silly and getting into ridiculous problems, but it’s important to remember that it is teens and teens are unpredictable and unreliable and I feel like books like this are often more connected to teens than ones that are more deep. But that’s just me.

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Permanent Ink by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

Content warnings: sex, substance abuse, arrest, alcoholism, age gap, s&m.

As the cover suggests, Permanent Ink contains a Daddy and tattoos. And I am a big fan of both concepts. Poe is a mess, he doesn’t know where he’s going in life and only cares about tagging. Until he gets arrested. Then his dad helps him get a job in a tattoo parlour and thats where he meets Jericho, the gruff older man who Poe is instantly head over heels for.

I read this after Off the Ice, and I liked it but because Off the Ice was so good for me this was a bit of a disappointment. Not that it’s bad in anyway but when you go from one of your new fave books to a book by the same authors that doesn’t quite live up to it you just feel a bit meh. I think this paled in comparison simply because I didn’t feel quite as much of a connection to the characters.

I really loved the relationship between Poe and Jericho. They respect each other and work hard on keeping each other’s trust. Poe wants to be better for Jericho and Jericho wants to help a kid he sees a lot of himself in.  I think Jericho is a stand out for me. he’s just such a sweetheart. Whereas Poe is a bit of a knob at times and I didn’t like him sometimes and wanted to smack him. I did however love that Poe is bi. Too often m/m romances are just 2 gay guys and it made me happy to see a lil bit of diversity in that respect.

The age gap works really well, both characters are really aware of it and try to work around it and make sure there is 100% consent and nothing’s dodgy. The language in sex scenes kind of bothered me. Mainly because I don’t really like dirty talk, and I was just uncomfortable, I just cringe. So y’know be aware if you also don’t like dirty talk.

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Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

Content warning: homophobia, teacher student relationship, sex

Tristan is a pretty famous hockey player but knows his career won’t last forever so in between practices he is working on getting his degree. What he doesn’t expect is for one of his classes to be taught by a very attractive professor, which could stand to affect not only his schooling but his career.

I read this book pretty soon after I quit uni and it was honestly the perfect book for that period of time. Expectedly I was in a bit of a funk and whilst this didn’t pull me out of it, it definitely was a bit of a release.

As someone who was training to be a teacher the concept of teacher/student really grosses me out unless it’s like this book in which its 2 adults close in age who can consent or stuff like grad students who assist undergraduates.

I think what I really loved about this book was the characters. Neither Tristan or Sebastian wants anything to happen to begin with but their attraction to each other is no joke. I fell in love with them as they fell in love with each other. They were just so easy to read.

There was also a lot of discussion throughout about gay guys in sport, and being in the closet etc. Whilst the authors aren’t gay sports stars it felt like they did a lot of research and put a lot of care an attention into it. This has made me more interested to read books from these authors because they obviously put a lot into their work.

I’ve read a lot of romance novels of late as I haven’t been super in the mood for fantasy or anything between going from quitting uni to working night shift to now having a 9-5 job things were a bit of a mess and now they’ve settled down I am getting back into more heavy reading. This book was a definite stand out for me in the mix of romance novels I was reading.

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Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame | Addictive but Not Good

Where to start with this book?

Content warnings: slight incest, cheating

So I got this out of the library because I wanted to read something “trashy” and Joanne has read it and said it was ok and she knows someone who knows the author because hey she’s from Scotland, and everyone in Scotland knows each other.

And yeah this book is pretty trashy. But it keeps you reading it. Like I couldn’t stop reading it even though I was rolling my eyes constantly.

Basically, our MC goes to LA for the summer to spend time with her estranged father and his new family. There she meets her step brother Tyler who she immediately does not get along with. But then she finds out things more about him and begins to understand.

Now I didn’t make any notes for this because I’m an idiot and read it so quickly. I think had I not been so addicted to this I would’ve put it down and not picked it up again, which is what happened with Book 2. However, I did read this in the space of a day.

The characters are so draining. Eden is your typical “I’m not like other girls” who looks down on others and whilst there’s some positive female friendships there’s also some really catty parts. And don’t get me started on Tyler, that boy is such a prat. And like yeah he has past trauma and he’s like actually a multifaceted character but I’m supposed to like him when his development is like a snail pace. He made me so angry.

Also like this book is almost incest. If you watch porn you’ve probably seen the influx of “doing my step sister” videos. If you like those this is for you. And like, ok they’re step siblings but it was still weird.

All in all, if you want to read something that’s not deep just for a bit of a breather then read this but then maybe look up the blurbs of the sequels because I couldn’t make it past 2 chapters of the second book. I was so bored.

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Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

content warning: sex

This was another book that I saw being raved about by a few people that I follow on twitter who love romance and I was kind of desperate to read it.

Every year Livvy and Nicholas would meet up on her birthday to have a 1 night rekindling of their old relationship. But then one year she didn’t show up and Nicholas was ready to move on and run his empire. Until Livvy moves back to town.

I adore romance books because they just take me away from how awful I’m feeling but I often feel like there’s just something missing from them that I can’t say they’re a favourite. But this one was. This was my perfect romance novel.

For me this book was a perfect mix of sex and plot. Like sometimes romance books are wither too plot heavy or there’s too much sex but not this one. It’s like when it knew when I was ready to read some sexy times and when I was ready to just read some plot. It didn’t have any wild plot lines like some romances do, it was so believable

I loved the family dynamics in this story. It had that kind of Romeo and Juliet feel without being as dodgy in content as R&J. The flow of this was perfect, both the plot and the romance moved at a good pace that I didn’t feel bored.

I’m desperate to read the rest of this series because if they’re anything like this one I’ll love them

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