Romances of the Month: January 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!
Getaway Girl by Tessa Bailey
This unlikely getaway driver never expected to help the mayor escape…
After a six-year absence, Addison Potts is back in Charleston to stir things up. And what better place to make her villainous return than her estranged cousin’s wedding? Only, the nuptials hit a snag when the bride doesn’t show, leaving Addison to play getaway driver for the jilted groom. A groom whose heartbreaking smile and deep, southern drawl she should not be noticing…
Elijah Montgomery Du Pont is the future mayor of Charleston. From his military career to city hall, every detail of his life has been meticulously planned. Until now. His only respite from life’s sudden upheaval is Addison, his new, improbable best friend. She makes him happy. Grounds him. And public disapproval be damned, he’s not willing to give her up. But with an election on the line and public pressure rising, Addison—and the cruel hand of fate—might not give him a choice.
I absolutely enjoyed Getaway Girl! The book hooked me right from the beginning with Elijah and Addison's unusual meet-cute. While the friends-to-lovers romance is a familiar trope, I thought that Bailey did a great job in making it unique. The romance was a real slow burn as the book focused on building Addison and Elijah's friendship. Their friendship was really wonderful, I liked how they were two complete opposites with Addison being quirky and Elijah the southern gentleman and society golden boy, but they were able to connect and be their complete selves with each other, creating such a strong connection. I also loved their banter; I honestly was smiling at their flirty teasing interactions. All that flirting and strong connection led to serious sexual tension between the two that I just wanted Addison and Elijah to just do it already! Once the two finally admitted their feelings, boy, the passion and chemistry between them was off the chart! The couple definitely faced some issues with their relationship and Addison herself from harsh and judgemental members of their community, but you can't help but to root for them as they were such a perfect couple. Overall, Getaway Girl was such a sweet and sexy romance that I highly recommend readers check it out.
From Duke Till Dawn by Eva Leigh
Years ago, the Duke of Greyland gave his heart—and a princely sum of money—to a charming, destitute widow with unparalleled beauty. After one passionate night, she slipped from his bed and vanished without a trace. And just when he’s given up hope of ever seeing her again, Greyland finds her managing a gaming hell. He’s desperate to have her… until he discovers everything about his long-lost lover was a lie. In truth, Cassandra Blake grew up on the streets, picking pockets to survive. Greyland was a mark—to be fleeced and forgotten—but her feelings for the duke became all too real. Once he learns of her deception, however, the heat in his eyes turns to ice. When her business partner absconds with the gaming hell proceeds—leaving unsavory investors out for blood—Cassandra must beg the man she betrayed for help. Greyland wants compensation, too, and he’ll assist her under one condition: she doesn’t leave his sight until her debts are paid. But it’s not long before the real Cassandra—the smart, streetwise criminal—is stealing his heart all over again.
I was on a historical romance reading slump for a really long time and I was even considering not reading From Duke Till Dawn; however, I am so glad that I did end up reading it as this book finally got me out of my historical romance slump. I thought that the plot was very interesting as it was this con artist/second chance romance and it was different from the usual historical romances. I liked that instead of being this perfectly beautiful angel that Greyland thought she was, it was revealed that Cassandra was actually a con woman who tricked him into giving her money that night so long ago. This made Cassandra such an interesting person; I liked how she was a strong, smart, and independent person as she had a rough life growing up on the streets and learn to survive on her own. I wasn't sure about Greyland and had a hard time connecting with him at first, but as the story progressed, his character began to develop more as Greyland discovers much about himself and the real world outside the high society he knew. I really liked reading how Greyland gradually changed to become his own person, not the duke that his father expected him to be, and expressed real emotions. Another part of the book that I enjoyed was the two working together and traveling around London's criminal underground in order to track down Cassandra's swindling business partner. Their adventure presented an opportunity for both of them to truly learn about each other, but it also revealed that their connection was real which lead to some steamy sexy times. From Duke Till Dawn is the first book in the London Underground series, I definitely suggest romance readers to read this book, I for one really enjoyed it and will definitely continue on with the rest of the series!
Wild With You by Layla Hagen
Planning weddings is Lori's dream job. From picking the dress to cutting the cake, Lori loves it all and enjoys living vicariously through the brides she helps. When she meet the best man, Graham Frazier, at her latest wedding job, sparks fly. The charismatic soccer club owner is disillusioned with marriage after his divorce, and was just expecting his duties as best man to be sitting through long hours of preparations, but he wasn't expecting to meeting someone like Lori. Busy with her job and raising her son, Lori is not sure about starting anything with Graham. However, Graham is more than she bargained for. Graham is offering her gifts and even suggests spending the night at his house (his excuse is good). Graham even meets her son, who instantly charms him, and soon their lives become intertwine in ways they haven’t even imagined before.
Wild With You was a simply delightful read. Honestly, I just loved how sweet and lighthearted the story was. I really liked that there was no major drama or conflict in the book, and that the story was just about Lori and Graham falling in love. I thought the couple was perfect, their romance was wonderfully done. The spark between Lori and Graham was there right from the beginning and their chemistry was undeniable. It was pretty cute how Graham was originally all jaded and bitter about love and romance, but then after meeting Lori, he worked so hard to win her over. Graham was so charming, and it was pretty easy to see how Lori fell hard for him. It was also sweet how they slowly became a family, and Graham's relationship with Lori's son, Milo, was so adorable. Milo was a cute kid, and I thought it was pretty funny how just like a kid, Milo used his little puppy eyes to easily charmed Graham into purchasing some cool toys for him. Overall, if you are looking for a sweet and charming contemporary romance, I recommend Wild With You.
Dirty Bastard by Jessica Clare
Knox Price has always fallen short in comparison to his brothers. Boone is the ambitious one. Clay is the nice one. Gage is the handsome one. And Knox? Well, he's the cynical one. The odd man out in the ultra-wealthy but rather unique Price family. It's not that Knox hates people--it's that humanity always disappoints him. When you become an oil-rich, Texan billionaire overnight, people treat you a certain way. Just once he'd like to meet someone that isn't dazzled by his wallet.Then, he meets struggling yoga teacher Lexi Brandon. She's weird. She's unpredictable and tends to say strange things. She lurks in the bushes and dresses in all black. She loves when people cross the street to get away from her. Lexi's definitely not his type, but she's also the first one to ever truly see him and not just another rich, dirty Price. And that's...fascinating. But how do you catch the interest of a woman who goes out of her way to be odd? When an unexpected surprise throws them both for a loop, Knox decides it's time to get down and dirty, abandon the rules, and be who he truly is--a bastard.
After reading the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read Dirty Bastard, I love an opposites attract romance and was pretty excited to read this book. The romance was cute, and it had steamy love scenes; however, I also found myself really annoyed and frustrated while reading. I liked how Knox was charming and sweet as he listened and understood Lexi. I thought Lexi was quirky as this Goth yoga teacher, but I was also so frustrated with her and the whole stalker storyline. Obviously given the situation with this crazy stalker, I was concerned for Lexi and her safety and felt for her since many women face this in real life. It was so ridiculous how the town treated Lexi's experience and didn't do anything to help her or stop the guy. Not only that, the way Lexi was handling the situation was frustrating as well. I got that she was independent and private and she wanted to handle it herself, but she had friends and Knox who cared for her and wanted to help her. This stalker dude was dangerous, just take your friends and boyfriend's help, Lexi! In the end, I had mixed feelings about Dirty Bastard, I liked the sweet romance, but did not like the handling of the stalker storyline.
Getting Schooled by Emma Chase*
Garrett Daniels has this whole life thing figured out. The cocky, charismatic former high school star quarterback is an idolized football coach and "cool" teacher in the hometown where he's not just a golden boy—he's platinum. He has good friends, a great house on the lake, and the best damn sidekick a man could ask for: Snoopy, the albino beagle.
Then...Callie Carpenter comes home. And knocks him right on his tight end zone.
Callie has a pretty sweet life herself...on the other side of the country. But circumstances—that she'd prefer to never speak of again—have brought her back home, helping out her parents and substitute teaching at her old high school. Now she's facing bickering, raging hormones, constant gossip, awkward weirdness, and drama galore...and that's just the teachers.
When Garrett offers to show his former high school sweetheart the secrets of his winning teacher ways, Callie jumps at the chance—and then has to stop herself from jumping him. Good friends are all they can ever be. Or...these teachers just might end up getting schooled—hard—by love.
I won't lie, looking at the cover I thought that Getting Schooled was going to be a very steamy read, but surprisingly the romance turned out to be much more lighthearted. Which I did not mind because I still thought that Getting Schooled was such a wonderful read. Both Garrett and Callie were relatable and likable characters. I really liked their second-chance romance as it was done very well, it was wonderful seeing them reconnect and get to know each other again. Garrett and Callie's relationship felt very real as the two had amazing chemistry and such a strong connection, they just clicked, it was as if the years they spent apart never happened. They were just perfect for each other and I was rooting for them to get back together and make it work. I also loved Snoopy, Garrett's dog, and their special bond was the most adorable thing. There's one emotional moment that left me nearly crying, and I swear I almost knocked down a star from the rating because I was upset, but a sweet gesture saved it and I appreciated it as well. Another thing I liked about the book was the high school teacher angle. I thought it was funny that Garrett was the "cool" teacher, but it was great to see his and Callie's relationship with their students as well. Also, it was cute that the students gave the two their ship name, "Darpenter." Overall, Getting School was a heartwarming realistic second-chance romance that was filled with sweet and funny moments.
* San Jose Public Library does not have a copy of Getting Schooled. Luckily, I was able to read this book through Link+. If you haven't heard of Link+ before, it is a service that allows you to borrow books and media items from other California libraries for free with your SJPL card. Link+ is such a wonderful service and I love using it. I highly recommend you try Link+ if you are looking for a book that SJPL may not have.
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!