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!
Seducing the Defendant Chantal Fernando
Jaxon Bentley is a hardnosed criminal lawyer whose entire life revolves around his work. He's been asked to represent Scarlett Reyes, a woman accused of murdering her police officer husband in cold blood. All the evidence points to Scarlett being guilty and Jaxon is sure it's an open and shut case. But when he meets his client, he can't help but feel that she's innocent and that there's more to the story than meets the eye. With a bit of digging, he uncovers a connection to the notorious Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club and realizes that Scarlett's case is a complicated and difficult one. It certainly doesn't help that the two share an immediate and passionate attraction. Will Jaxon be able to prove Scarlett's innocence or are the two doomed to fail both in court and as a couple?
Seducing the Defendant was a very simple and pleasant read. What drew me to the book was the synopsis, and so I was very excited to see how the case and the mystery of Scarlett's husband's death would play out. However, I was quite surprised to see that everything was solved so quickly and early in the story, especially since it seemed like the case would be a major part of the story. After Scarlett was cleared, the rest of the story focused on Jaxon and Scarlett's relationship, which happened soon after the case was closed. While there were definitely steamy moments between Jaxon and Scarlett, overall their romance was very sweet. I thought that the two main characters were well written and likable. Jaxon was a great guy from the very start. With Scarlett, it was especially great to see her grow out of her shell and regain her confidence. Both Jaxon and Scarlett had experienced some hardship and I thought it was wonderful that together they were able to find happiness and be with someone that cared about them. However, I do think that having the main case wrapped up so quickly and early affected my reading experience. I had come into Seducing the Defendant hoping for a thrilling romantic suspense/mystery read, but it turned out to be a rather surprisingly low angst and low drama read instead. I couldn't help but feel like there was something missing as I wasn't fully invested in the story as I should have been. I also felt that the story dragged a bit once Scarlett's case closed, and unnecessary drama was created because there were still large chuck of pages left to fill. While I did have some issues with Seducing the Defendant, I still thought it was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to romance readers looking for a low angst romance book.
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟
Fake Date Monica Murphy
Sarah Harrison is used to strange customers. Working at a lingerie store, she helps bored housewives, spicy sorority girls, repentant husbands — and everyone in between. Yet no one sparks her interest more than Jared Gaines, the ultra-rich, ultra-sexy businessman who frequents her shop, buying delicate little "gifts" for the women in his life. But one day, Jared sends her a gift from Bliss. Then another—and another. It doesn't matter how thoughtful he is, or how well-chosen the gifts are, or how sexy he is. It's inappropriate, and Sarah is determined to put a stop to it. Or at the very least, she wants to know why. It's the oldest one in the book, of course. He needs a fake girlfriend for the weekend while attending his brother's engagement party. It's a terrible idea. She's certain it could even get her fired. So she absolutely takes him up on it. Next thing Sarah knows, she's in San Francisco, pretending to be in love with Jared. Not that it's a hardship. Except that the real feelings in their pretend relationship soon have her in over her head. Is he just faking it, or do they have their own shot at bliss?
Fake Date was a charming and fun story. I found myself really glued to the pages and flew through this book so quickly. I was curious to see how the fake dating would be broached especially since Sarah and Jared's relationship wasn't off to a good start at first with the two having met when he came to her store to buy gifts for his supposed lovers. I did share Sarah's view about Jared at the beginning, but luckily this book had dual POV and we were able to realize what Jared had actually been doing at the start. However, I do have to say that giving a woman you don't have a relationship with lingerie is really not cool, so Jared should not have done that. That one issue aside, I did really enjoy the rest of Sarah and Jared's relationship. The two had such strong chemistry between them and I thought they were really cute with their little back and forth flirty banters and bickering. Sarah was a great character and I thought it was wonderful how she took care of her younger siblings and was determined to make it through for them. I also loved the supportive group of girlfriends Sarah had with her as it was a great depiction of female friendships. Jared does come off a little awkward and a jerk at times, but you learn why that's so and you can't help but to feel for him a bit. I did like that Sarah would often call Jared out when he was being a jerk, and how he was willing to change and be a better man. Overall, Fake Date was a very cute story that I definitely recommend to romance readers.
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Get a Life, Chloe Brown Talia Hibbert
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life.” But it won't be easy completing everything on her list. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job. Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit. But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…
I picked up Get a Life, Chloe Brown for it's cute illustrated cover hoping for a fun, cute, and sexy romance, which this book was, but I was also greatly surprised how much more there was in this story. I really loved Chloe and Red together and thought that their hate-to-love romance was done well. The two were really cute and entertaining with their banter. It was great fun following along Chloe and Red's various adventures together to complete Chloe's list. The camping scene was an absolute favorite of mine. Both characters were wonderfully crafted and felt very real as well. I thought that Hibbert did a great job with the representation in this book. Chloe was a BIPOC plus-size heroine, and I loved the body positivity featured in the book. Also, both Chloe and Red were facing struggles in their lives that I felt was very rarely depicted. Chloe was suffering from chronic pain and I appreciated that the book brought attention to this invisible disability. With Red, he was recovering from a physical and emotional abusive relationship, which is something that isn't seen often. I thought that his character was handled with great sensitivity. He was a wonderfully refreshing hero who was very kind and loving. I also loved following Chloe and Red's emotional journey throughout the book as well, seeing not only their growing relationship but how together they were able get better for themselves and each other as well. I applaud Hibbert for being able to perfectly balance a romance book that was feel-good and cute while also being meaningful and addressing important topics. Get a Life, Chloe Brown was such a wonderful read and I can't wait to read more from this author.
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
The Bromance Book Club Lyssa Kay Adams
The first rule of book club: You don't talk about book club. Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott's marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him. Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville's top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it'll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.
The Bromance Book Club was one of the most delightful and refreshing romance book I've read in a while. I just thought that the story was so unique and fantastic. As an avid romance reader, I know that the genre always gets a bad rep, so I really loved the idea of these group of guys reading romance books and having a little romance book club. The book club was definitely one of my favorite parts of the book. The members were so hilarious and it was fun listening to the guys talk about romance books. I appreciated that the guys respected the genre and really understood it. I also actually thought it was pretty sweet that they were using the books to help with their relationships. With the romance, I enjoyed Gavin and Thea's romance and liked that it was a different take on the second chance romance trope. The stakes were definitely higher since Gavin and Thea were married and had kids. However, you really can't help but to root for the two of them to get back together, especially when you see the sweet moments between Gavin and Thea and their kids. Gavin was such an endearing character, and I liked that he broke the mold of the typical sports star romance hero. He was so willing to do everything to get Thea back. Something that I thought was pretty neat with this book was that while the main Gavin and Thea storyline was happening, it also paralleled to the romance book that the book club was reading. It was great that Adams also included a couple passages from the book as well so we could read along and see Gavin using what he read to help him. Even though Gavin had the romance book and the book club members there to help him, I thought Adams did a wonderful job of showing the hard work that goes into a marriage and making it work. Overall,The Bromance Book Club was such a completely original story that will leave romance readers smiling. I highly recommend this book!
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Beach Read Emily Henry
A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters. Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They're polar opposites. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. But as the summer stretches on, January discovers a gaping plot hole in the story she's been telling herself about her own life, and begins to wonder what other things she might have gotten wrong, including her ideas about the man next door
Beach Read was exactly the book I needed as I was stuck inside due to the Shelter-in-Place order. The book was perfectly titled; I loved the little small beach town the story took place in and the warm summer feel the book had. I honestly couldn't put my kindle down and just read through the book. I thought that the story was interesting and entertaining. I loved that January and Gus were both authors and enjoyed following them along their writing process, like what they're feeling when writing, the research they go through for their books, and their struggle to get their book done. The idea to switch genres was great and I thought it was a clever way for Gus and January to open up to each other and build their relationship. I also loved the notes that Gus and January wrote to each other while working on their books, they were so cute and had me smiling. Even the sex scenes in the book were also cute and funny rather than hot and heavy, which I didn't mind. While Beach Read was a light cute read as the title suggested, l also enjoyed exploring January's complicated and emotional relationship with her father as well. January really struggled with her relationship and memory of her father in the book, but it was wonderful to see her coming to terms with all that she learned about his past, understanding everything, and letting it go. The book did a great job of being able to balance the light rom-com with some of the sadder topics. One thing I would have liked was to have Gus actually write a romance book. I think that would have been nice, and more interesting, to have seen rather than the cult book he does end up completing. Other than that, Beach Read was such a heartwarming feel-good book.
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!