Romances of the Month: February 2019
Welcome to Romances of the Month! This is a monthly blog that offers a round-up of a couple of romance books that I've read for the month, and where I will also share my reviews of each book!
Seduce Me by Kelly Elliott
What happens when you’re forced to seduce the one person you vowed never to love? You get screwed … in more than one way. Charlie walked out of Tucker Middleton’s bedroom seven years ago, leaving him hurt and angry. Now she needs his help; the only way to do it is to make him think she wants him back. The only problem is the two have silently vowed to hate one another for the rest of their lives. In order to get Tucker to help Charlie—she will have to seduce him. Should be easy right?...Tucker knows Charleston (Charlie) Monroe is playing him for a fool. But he isn't going to let her believe for one second that he is letting her back into his life to help her save the very job that ripped her away from him in the first place. Tucker will let Charlie think her plan is working, but in the end he is gonna get what he always wanted—Charlie.
Seduce Me seemed like it would be a great romance read. I love a good hate/love and second chance romance. Unfortunately, it turned out that this book wasn't for me. It was a struggle to read because I had a hard time connecting to Charlie and Tucker. I found them to be so frustrating and their actions ridiculous. I understood that Charlie and Tucker were hurt by the past, but my god, the drama and pettiness between them! Even their friends pointed it out as well! So ridiculous! After seven years, Tucker and Charlie still had feelings for each other but rather than be mature and talk to each other about their feelings, they instead kept playing games and trying to one up the other. Just talk to each other, people! Charlie and Tucker became really annoying and I honestly felt that all the drama was unnecessary and just dragged on too long. In the end, Seduce Me had so much potential, I liked Charlie and Tucker's banter and their chemistry, but there was too much drama that hurt my overall enjoyment of the book.
An Earl Like You by Caroline Linden
When Hugh Deveraux discovers his newly inherited earldom is bankrupt, he sets about rebuilding the family fortune--in the gaming hells of London. But the most daring wager he takes isn't at cards. A wealthy tradesman makes a tantalizing offer: marry the man's spinster daughter and Hugh's debts will be paid and his fortune made. The only catch is that she must never know about their agreement ... Heiress Eliza Cross has given up hope of marriage until she meets the impossibly handsome Earl of Hastings, her father's new business partner. The earl is everything a gentleman should be, and is boldly attentive to her. It doesn't take long for Eliza to lose her heart and marry him. But when Eliza discovers that there is more to the man she loves--and to her marriage--her trust is shattered. And it will take all of Hugh's power to prove that now his words of love are real.
I really enjoyed reading An Earl Like You. I think some people may dislike that deception played a part in the romance; however, I won't lie, I kind of like the trope because it makes for a more interesting read as the author has to figure out how to handle the romance in order to make it real and make sure that the hero is still redeemable. I think that Linden did a great job with both tasks. The romance was really sweet; yes, it did start under false pretenses, but the romance felt authentic through their courting as it allowed Eliza and Hugh a chance to get to know each other, build a strong connection, and slowly fall in love. The sparks between them were definitely there from the beginning which led to some passionate love scenes. I also thought that both characters were likable. Eliza was smart and kind, and it was wonderful to see her confidence grow throughout the story. With Hugh, again yes, the deception was there and it was wrong, but it was understandable as he was stuck in the difficult position of wanting to protect and save his family. Also it was easy to forgive Hugh because as the story progress, you saw him falling for Eliza, caring deeply for her, and wanting to protect her. As the reader, I think the most intense part of the book was just waiting for when the deception is revealed, but it is also one of my favorite parts as I enjoy seeing how the hero will win back the heroine; I like a good groveling scene. In the end, I do recommend An Earl Like You to readers looking for a nice historical romance to read.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist. On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want...
I heard a lot of hype around The Wedding Date all of last year, and I am so glad I finally read this book, it was such a charmingly sweet read and I enjoyed it so much! I really liked Alexa and Nick's meet-cute with them being stuck in the elevator. I loved their flirty banter and how it led to them going together to a wedding as a fake couple. The chemistry between Alexa and Nick was undeniable right from the start and of course it led to some steamy moments; however, it then surprised me that those moments led to fade to black love scenes. It's mostly a preference thing as I like my romance a bit steamier, but I did feel like they were unexpected and abrupt. Nevertheless, I really liked Alexa and Nick together as a couple and was rooting for them to tell each other their feelings, make their relationship work, and get their happily ever after. The Wedding Date was such a great book that all romance readers should checkout. I definitely can't wait to read more books from Guillory, and I already have her other book, The Proposal, on hold, which also happens to be one of the books chosen for Reese Witherspoon's book club.
Moonlight Scandals by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Even a ghost hunter like Rosie Herpin couldn’t have foreseen the fateful meeting between two mourners that has brought her so intimately close to the notorious and seductive Devlin de Vincent. Everyone in New Orleans knows he’s heir to a dark family curse that both frightens and enthralls. To the locals, Devlin is the devil. To Rosie, he’s a man who’s stoking her wildest fantasies. When a brutal attack on her friend is linked to the de Vincents, he becomes a mystery she may be risking her life to solve. Devlin knows what he wants from this sexy and adventurous woman. But what does Rosie want from him? It’s a question that becomes more pressing—and more dangerous—when he suspects her of prying into the shadows of his past. Now, the legends surrounding the de Vincents may not be myths at all. But if she’s to discover the truth, she must follow them straight into the arms of the man she can’t resist—the handsome devil himself.
I loved the suspenseful gothic/paranormal feel of Moonlight Scandals with the mysterious secrets and legends around the de Vincent family and their house. Dev's dark, broody, arrogance, and mysteriousness made for the perfect gothic hero. Rosie was very smart and sassy, and I really liked that she was a fan of paranormal stuff and was a part-time ghost hunter. I thought it was pretty fun to follow along on her ghost hunting investigation. Dev and Rosie together definitely heated up the pages with their intense sexual tension. It was a bit of a slow burning romance, but I really enjoyed their bickering and the push and pull of their relationship. However, I was a bit annoyed about how Dev acted toward Rosie a few times in the book, but it was also understandable given the mystery and danger that Dev was facing. As I mentioned earlier, the book is very suspenseful with a slightly paranormal element that kept me reading in order to try and figure out the mystery. But what I didn't expect was all the crazy twists and turns! There were so many shocking reveals at the end that I didn't see coming at all! However, another complaint I had with the book was that there was one BIG surprise revealed which was truly shocking as it came out of nowhere, and had me wondering how it was even possible. The reveal then became a bit disappointing as it didn't seem to go anywhere afterwards, questioning why it was even needed in the book to begin with because it then just became random. Overall, Moonlight Scandals was such an enjoyable and addictive romance read that I recommend to readers looking for a contemporary romance book with a bit of suspense and paranormal in it. I think Moonlight Scandals is the best book in the de Vincent series. This is the third book in the series with Moonlight Sin and Moonlight Seduction being the previous two books.
Finding Alexei by Kendall Ryan
Alex (Alexei) Ivan, a pro athlete and the biggest star of the Chicago Hawks team, needs to focus on winning games and staying out of the headlines. However, one night he comes to the aid of Ryleigh being harassed outside of a seedy bar. Alex offers Ryleigh a ride home, but is shock when he discover her struggling and in the care of her ex-roomate's three-month-old daughter, Ella. Knowing he couldn't abandon them, and with six nieces and nephews, Alex has some experience with childcare so he offers to help Ryleigh and Ella. Fiercely independent Ryleigh doesn't accept Alex's help easily as she doesn't want to be a burden, but she knows she is responsible for Ella and she can't do it on her own. Taking care of Ella brings Alex and Ryleigh close making it easy to forget they're just playing house. Is what's between them just a fling, or will it become something more?
Finding Alexei definitely has Pretty Woman vibes as it features a romance between a down on her luck stripper (sort of) and a handsomely wealthy football player. And just like with the movie, I was completely swept up in Alex and Ryleigh's story. I absolutely enjoyed this book, and I thought it was a delightfully sweet and sexy romance. Ryleigh and Alex were just perfect together, their connection and chemistry was just instant and felt very authentic. There were also some really steamy moments between the two. The inclusion of baby Ella rounds up the story so wonderfully as it was so adorable reading Alex's interaction with Ella, and I loved how he was so sweet and protective of both Ella and Ryleigh. Honestly, Finding Alexei was just everything I wanted in a romance book, it was heartfelt, emotional, and sexy. I highly recommend this book!
Comment down below if you have read any of these books and let me know your thoughts on them. Also, if you have any romance book recommendations let me know as well!