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!
Last Tang Standing Lauren Ho
At thirty-three, Andrea Tang is living the dream: She has a successful career as a lawyer, a posh condo, and a clutch of fun-loving friends who are always in the know about Singapore's hottest clubs and restaurants. All she has to do is make partner at her law firm and she will have achieved everything she's worked for. And if she's about to become the lone unmarried member of her generation in the Tang clan--a disappointment her meddling Chinese-Malaysian family won't let her forget--well, who needs a husband, anyway? Yet being the Last Tang Standing sends Andrea into a tailspin she wasn't expecting--and, for the first time, she begins to question the life she thought she wanted. When a chance encounter with handsome, wealthy entrepreneur Eric Deng offers her a glimpse of a future more lavish than she could have imagined, Andrea decides that giving Mr. Right-for-her-family a chance might not be so bad after all. So why can't she stop thinking about Suresh Aditparan, her annoyingly attractive office rival and the last man her relatives would approve of? With a battle waging between her head and her heart, Andrea can't help but wonder: In the endless tug-of-war between pleasing others and pleasing herself, is there room for everyone to win?
With it being described as Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridget Jones's Diary, I was very excited to read Last Tang Standing. The book had such a wonderful opening with the Chinese New Year celebration, and I think many Asians could relate to the Tang family dynamics as well as Andrea and her cousin's struggle with navigating through noisy older relatives asking about their lives, careers, and relationships. The book was written in the form of a diary, which made it a pretty fun and quick read. Andrea was a likable and relatable character. I enjoyed reading Andrea's thoughts and feelings as she wrote all about her family, work problems, and life. While Last Tang Standing started off strong, I eventually felt that the plot began to drag as the book spent a lot of time setting up situations. This led to me lose interest in the story and characters a few times before things started to pick up again. Although, sadly, the book wasn't able to recapture my full attention. There was a love triangle in the story, but it was pretty obvious early on that it was Suresh that Andrea was going to end up with at the end. The romance between the Andrea and Suresh was a very slow burn. However, I thought that too much time was spent teasing the love triangle, and I wished there was a little more focus on the development of Andrea and Suresh's romantic relationship as I didn't really connect to Suresh. I would have loved to seen more of Andrea and Suresh's relationship as well since the ending was a bit rushed with the two of them getting together only during the final chapter. While The Last Tang Standing was a light and quick read, there were some issues that dampen my reading experience and I feel that it may raise some concerns to some readers as well. I have to warn readers that there were some racist comments made by characters in this book, and I was quite disappointed in the handling of LGBTQ characters. Ho does address this issue in a post here, but it was still unfortunate to have come across while reading The Last Tang Standing.
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟
Don't Go Stealing My Heart Kelly Siskind
She wants to steal his Van Gogh. He wants to steal her heart. Some people would call Clementine Abernathy a criminal. She considers herself a modern day Robin Hood, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Not exactly on the up-and-up, but she knows what it's like to lose everything. Her latest heist involves swiping a priceless Van Gogh from its owner, who's supposed to be an egotistical trust-fund brat. Turns out Jack David is a sexy, kind-hearted man...and Clementine is in trouble. Falling for her mark would make her the World's Dumbest Conwoman, but Jack is charmingly persistent, always singing sweet songs in her ear. And that earth-shattering kiss? She never stood a chance. Now she's imagining a fresh start with this dashing man, but that means telling Jack about her past. And other nefarious sorts are after the same painting. Too soon, Clementine learns what it means to risk it all for love.
Don't Go Stealing My Heart was such a refreshing and entertaining book. I loved the premise and had so much fun reading this book. Both characters were really charming and likable. I loved that Clementine was a modern day Robin Hood, and while it is technically wrong to steal, you can't help but be impressed by how smart and skillful Clementine was. It was also very easy to root for Clementine as well as we come to learn about her hard life and the difficult circumstances that has led to her current path. Jack was an all-around great guy; he was so sweet, and a bit shy and dorky as well. While I'm not an Elvis Presley fan, I thought it was pretty cute that Jack was an Elvis tribute artist as it added to his dorkiness. The romance was done very well and Clementine and Jack together was so wonderful. Their attraction was instant, and I loved their cute banters. The two were just so adorable together that I couldn't help but laugh and grin at their interactions. I also thought it was really cute that they both loved reptiles and seeing them bond over their breaded dragons, which coincidentally were named after characters of I Love Lucy. Clementine's secret life as a thief was an obvious obstacle to her and Jack's relationship, but I thought it was great that it was revealed early in the book and wasn't dragged out till the end. That then allowed for the story to truly focus on Clementine and Jack getting to know each other and building their relationship.The small town they were in also added some quirkiness to the story. I really liked everything about the little town from its name, Whichway, the townspeople, to the annual Elvis Presley contest. While there were lots of fun and romance in Don't Go Stealing My Heart, we can't forget about the heist. Having the heist for the Van Gogh during the big Elvis contest really added to the action, excitement, and suspense of it all.The plan was done very well and there were also a couple of twists and surprises. All in all, Don't Go Stealing My Heart was a charmingly cute, fun, and easy-to-read rom-com.
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Tattered Devney Perry
Thea Landry has always known her place in modern-day society. It's somewhere just above the trash can her mother dumped her in as a newborn but below the class where much comes easy. With her tattered shoes and bargain-bin clothes, her life has never been full of glamour. So when a rich and charismatic man walks into her bar, she doesn't fool herself into thinking their encounter is anything more than a one-night stand. Months later, she's kicking herself for not getting his phone number. Or his last name. She's given up hope of seeing him ever again. Until one day, years later, Logan Kendrick waltzes into her bar once more and turns the life she's built upside down. This time around, she won't make the same mistake. She's going to fight to keep him in her life--not for herself. But for their daughter.
I was wonderfully surprised by Tattered. I had checked the book out, but unfortunately I was in a bit of a reading slump, so I wasn't sure if I still wanted to read it. However, I thought it was best to at least try and read a few pages first just to see how it was, and wow, I was really glad I did that. The first chapter captured my interest and really drew me to Thea and Logan's story. I was glad that Logan discovered the truth about Charlie at the start as I really enjoyed following Logan's journey as he learns to be a dad. The scenes with him and Charlie together were really adorable. I thought Logan was a great romance hero; he was very sweet and caring. It was also wonderful to see him making up for lost time with Charlie and wanting to be a part of her and Thea's lives. With Thea, she was someone you could really root for as she was strong and worked hard for everything she had. Together, Logan and Thea made a wonderful couple. I thought that the second chance romance was done very well. Thea and Logan had such great chemistry from the start, and the sparks between them was still there when they found each other again. However, the romance wasn't an easy one as there were definitely some complications between them that needed to be worked out, especially as it involved their daughter. Thea and Logan are from two very different worlds, and they spent much of the book struggling with how to make it work for everyone. I liked that Thea knew what was best for her and Charlie, and held firm on that. My one complaint about the book was the bit of suspense that was added to the story with the stalker, which I thought was really random and unnecessary. But overall, Tattered was a great second chance romance that I recommend to romance readers looking for an angsty steamy read.
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Erik Sawyer Bennett
Erik Dahlbeck is having the time of his life with his new hockey brothers on the Arizona Vengeance, the new expansion team that's notching some big wins. Now the entire league knows he is the one to watch out for. The only person who doesn’t seem to think he's so great? Blue Gardner, the hot flight attendant on the team plane. Erik wouldn’t mind joining the mile-high club with her, but besides bringing him lukewarm coffee, Blue won’t give him the time of day. Whatever he did to rub Blue the wrong way, his teammates think it’s hilarious. When Erik runs into Blue back on land, he's shocked to learn how she spends her time off: taking care of her handicapped brother. There are layers to this girl than he ever imagined, layers Erik can’t wait to peel away. And that’s a new feeling for him. But first he's got to find a way to melt that ice-cold stare.
I immediately checked out Erik after I read synopsis. The author did a great take on the second chance romance trope. I was very intrigued by Blue and Erik's relationship and wanted to know about their history. I was also interested in seeing how the romance would develop between the two of them; especially since it was revealed that Erik apparently didn't remember already meeting Blue before and their time together. Definitely had to side with Blue, and understood why she had some animosity towards Erik. However, the animosity did make for intense sexual tension between the two of them. Erik was the typical playboy, but his usual charms didn't work so easily on Blue as she made him really work for her attention which I thought was great as Erik really tries to show Blue how much he has grown and changed since their first encounter. I loved that through Erik's acts of kindness, Blue does begin to see that and was able to forgive him for his past mistake and give him another chance. Once Blue and Erik began their relationship, it was slow and sweet, but the two of them as a couple just felt very real. While their relationship started off slow, it did lead to some definitely steamy moments between the two. Another thing I liked about the book was Blue's bother, Billy, and how he was such an important part of the story as well. I really admired Blue for overcoming some of the hardship she faced and her complete devotion to taking care of her handicapped brother. Billy was the sweetest character who was just filled with pure joy. I loved that Erik understood Blue and her priority to her brother, making it work around what Blue wanted and helping her with Billy. It was so sweet seeing Erik bonding with Billy, which also made Blue fall harder for him as well. Overall, Erik was a delightful quick read that had some heart to it, as well as some steaminess. Erik is the second book in the Arizona Vengeance series, but each book can be read as a standalone. I'm definitely looking forward to reading about the rest of players on the team.
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
The Boyfriend Project Farrah Rochon
Samiah Brooks never thought she would be "that" girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she's been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other "girlfriends," London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, and no worrying about their relationship status . . . For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she's always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there's no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?
I had such a fun time reading The Boyfriend Project from the start. The opening with the whole bad date tweet trend and restaurant confrontation was an uniquely hilarious and semi-awkward entertaining read. I thought that awful incident with Craig was also a great introduction to Samiah, London, and Taylor and the start of their wonderful friendship. The female friendship in this book was really wonderful and I truly loved it. There was a real sense of sisterhood with Samiah, London, and Taylor as they were really supportive of each other, and they seem like a fun group to hangout and have drinks with as well. I appreciated that the book showed just how important females friendship is as it wasn't until Samiah met London and Taylor that she realized how much she was missing that connection and support from her life. Another wonderful thing about The Boyfriend Project was the great representation of a woman of color working in the STEM field. Samiah was a truly smart and driven character who was focused and passionate about technology and the creation of her app. The author also did a great job in addressing the challenges and difficulties that women and women of color face in the tech industry which I appreciated. The importance of women/women of color in tech was wonderfully spotlighted throughout the whole book as we see Samiah striving for perfection as she understood what the opportunity her position within her company meant for other women and wanting to create more opportunities for them as well. Lastly, with Samiah and Daniel's romance, their relationship felt very simple as there was a real ease the two had with each other. Samiah and Daniel just clicked instantly and so their relationship was able to grow and deepen as they spent time together and went from friends to a couple. Daniel was very charming and a bit mysterious. I thought that his job was pretty interesting as well since he dealt with financial crimes and I didn't know agents went undercover for that sort of thing. Overall, The Boyfriend Project a smart, sweet, and fun read that I recommend to romance readers. I hope London and Taylor get their own book soon!
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Comment down below if you have read any of these books and let me know your thoughts on them. Also, share with me some of your romance book recommendations!