My Romance Binge Continues

I started this post by writing that I’d been reading lots of romances lately when I realized I ALWAYS read lots of romances, so there’s no point in making an issue out of this. I’m writing mini reviews again so the entire blog doesn’t become one big romance fest, because I am also reading other genres in between. But romance will always be one of my favourite genres!

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Wound Tight (Made in Jersey #4) by Tessa Bailey
Published on December 5th, 2016 by Entangled.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: publisher via NetGalley. Thank you Entangled for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: contemporary m/m romance.

My rating:

I have a funny relationship with Tessa Bailey’s books. I really liked some of them, and then I read the third book in this series, Worked Up, and ended up giving it one star, which almost never happens, because the hero was an asshole and a brute (which had nothing to do with his enormous stature but everything to do with the fact that he disrespected the heroine).

However, I’m glad I requested Wound Tight, which is the story of Milo and Renner, because it’s much nicer than the previous one. I enjoyed reading about how these two guys got together, even though they were so completely different and each had his own troubles. I’m also glad there was, for once, no coming-out drama in a gay romance. It’s good to have both kinds of books but most of m/m romance I’ve read has been New Adult, where such topics make more sense than in adult romance.

I think I’ll be reading whatever Bailey comes up next, she’s redeemed herself in my eyes!

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The Trouble With Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay #2) by Jill Shalvis
Published in September 2016 by Avon.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

Genre: contemporary romance .

My rating:

If you’re a fellow romance fan, you’ve probably noticed by now that Jill Shalvis is one of my auto-buy authors and that I usually love everything she writes. Somehow, her Heartbreaker Bay series isn’t working that well for me. Sweet Little Lies, the first of the series, had the problem of the heroine keeping a secret she really should have shared with the hero, but in Trouble, I just didn’t connect with the characters.

There was this artificial barrier between Willa and Keane (they went to high school together), which I thought was blown out of proportion. I mean, everyone does stupid things in high school, so not remembering someone shouldn’t be enough to hold a grudge a decade later, no?

I then also read One Snowy Night, the novella that comes after this one, and I didn’t like it at all. So I’m afraid of what’s happening with my favourite romance books – and hoping that Accidentally on Purpose will fix all that because I’m excited to hear the story of Elle and Archer, who are my favourite characters so far. *crosses fingers*

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Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove #5) by Tessa Dare
by Avon.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

Genre: historical romance.

My rating:

Tessa Dare is another favourite author of mine. The Spindle Cove series is wonderful – I particularly liked A Week to be Wicked, which remains one of the best historical romances I’ve ever read.

Do You Want to Start a Scandal brings back some of the characters we’ve seen in previous books, and I enjoyed reading about them. It’s a typical Dare book with lots of good banter, great gut-punches, and a perfect comfort read.

I enjoyed Charlotte as a heroine – even though she’s quite young, she’s intelligent and observant, as well as easy to relate to. Piers, however, is sometimes a bit of an ass, especially with his high-handed way of manipulating everyone into doing what he wants them to do. I understood the impulse behind his actions but didn’t necessarily agree with the execution.

All in all, I’ll most definitely be reading whatever Dare writes next, she’s a fantastic romance author.

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Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Which romance author should I look into next?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

  • I understand what you mean about The Trouble with Mistletoe. I liked it a lot more than Sweet Little Lies, but sometimes I couldn’t quite understand Willa’s hesitancy to get together with the guy.

    I really loved Do You Want to Start a Scandal, though. Piers was a bit nuts there close to the end, but I just loved Piers and Charlotte together. And I agree, A Week to Be Wicked – totally one of the best historical romances out there.

    • I have high hopes for Elle and Archer’s story. I like those two a lot, so I’m hoping it’ll be the crowning jewel of the series.

      And I agree, Piers and Charlotte WERE good together, but it’s like Piers had a controlling side he couldn’t control (ha) and ended up being a manipulative asshat for a moment there.

  • Is there anything more comforting and mind-relaxing than a good romance binge…sigh…. I am of course most interested in the Tessa Dare and am pretty sure I have A Week to be Wicked on my TBR because of you. Anyway, glad your enjoying your binge!

    • Yes, go read A Week to be Wicked if you haven’t already! It’s fantastic. :) I think Minerva is my all-time favorite romance heroine (ok second to Elizabeth Bennet but that goes without question).

  • I liked The Trouble with Mistletoe, but I just finished reading Elle and Archer’s story and I was a little disappointed. (Sorry!) I’m a big fan of Tessa Dare, though, and I need to read Do You Want to Start a Scandal.

    • Noooo! Really? I had such high hopes for the last Heartbreaker Bay book. Darn. Or maybe I’ll go in with really low expectations now and be pleasantly surprised. :)

      And the Dare book is good, I did like it, I just had some thoughts on the hero’s behavior.

  • Yay, three cheers for romance in all it’s greatness. I’ve been a little stuck in the romance zone of lately. my book slump left me not really knowing what I wanted to read so I kept turning to romance because I know it will make me happy.

    I completely get what you mean about the artificial barrier in Trouble with Mistletoe. It did seem a little illogical to me too. I was glad that it was addressed reasonably swiftly, though. It didn’t hang around until the end of the book or anything but got brought up within in the first third of the book or something. I dont like that you didn’t enjoy the novella, though. I’ve not read it yet and was thinking of grabbing it as a quick read but now I feel a bit hesitant so I don’t know. I will (it’s Shalvis) but I’ll be wary going in.

    And yay for Dare. I totally get what you’re saying about Piers in that one. He is a manipulative bastard, but I got it. I understood his reasoning and whilst I wanted to punch him in the face for it I couldn’t help but sympathise with him and his issues. luckily, he did redeem himself at the end. I do think he was made more likable by his interactions with Charlotte who just took none of his crap as soon as she knew what he was doing.

    I wish I could offer some romance recs but I think you know most of them. I’ve been enjoying a couple of Jennifer Probst books but her romance is definitely one where you sort of have to leave your disbelief at the door when you start the book. I read Dr January by Rhoda Baxter and that was an interesting friends to lovers thing. Quite slow but enjoyable.

    • Good romances definitely make me happy, too. I love this genre, what can I say.

      Well I hope you’ll like the Shalvis novella more than I did – I just thought it wasn’t up to her normal standards. I think that if I need a Shalvis fix in the future, I’ll go back and re-read the Lucky Harbor series. :D

      Haha, yeah, your feelings on Pierce are pretty much the same as mine. What an asshole, but you kind of get him, too. Isn’t this the best, though? Who wants 100% pure characters, anyway? I mean, I love good guys but they have to f*ck up sometimes, too. And Charlotte was fantastic, she’s almost as great as Minerva (I will forever love her fossils). :)

      And I read the first Probst book from that series because it was free on xoxo and while I… liked it, it also didn’t inspire me to buy the rest of the series. I liked Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years a lot, I still have 2 books in that series and then I might go on to read her latest series because I really like her writing (she has a fantastic rant about slut shaming somewhere in that Ivy Years series, which I thought was pretty revolutionary for NA, lol). I’ll be bookmarking that Baxter book, thanks! :)

      • I dunno, I sometimes worry my expectations are getting too high for Shalvis. I really loved some of her books then others have been a bit of a disappointment but then maybe I’m expecting the perfect contemporary everytime. We’ll see how her future books go.

        And exactly! I want interesting characters with layers, like an onion, so they can be good and be flawed because noone is perfect. I do love Minerva, I love a character who is smart and breaks traditions and she definitely did that.

        Yeah, I was the same with Probst. I only borrowed two of her books from the library as I have the third in the series on my shelf from a book box and didn’t want to read out of order. She’s definitely not an author I’ll go out of my way to buy, but if I see a freebie I might grab it. I do love the first book in Bowen’s ivy league series, for some reason I never continued and I don’t know why. I’ll have to wait a little while to conquer a few of my TBR and I’ll grab a few more from her.

        • Yeah, that could be true. We should give Shalvis a fair chance to impress us, not expect her to outdo herself every time. I have this worry with all my favourite authors, like Rowell and Schwab, not just romance writers.

          Is that onion thing a Shrek reference? :) I haven’t watched that movie in ages… I wonder if it’s appropriate for Kiddo yet. Probably it’s best to wait a couple of years.

          And I understand what you mean about tackling your tbr. I’ve been doing pretty good with that lately, despite having bought a number of Lauren Layne’s books. :D

  • I’m ashamed to say that I still haven’t read Do You Want to Start a Scandal, since I’m basically an official Tessa Dare fangirl at this point. She writes funny, banter-filled historical romance…AND she’s a former librarian? For real, I should be reading all her books as soon as they are released.

    Oh Tessa Bailey, what happened to you? I used to like that her heroes were a little out there and over the top, but lately they’re just INSANELY over the top. I know exactly which book you’re talking about — Duke was an unbelievably asshole-ish character. I haven’t gone back for seconds from Bailey since reading it, so I’m relieved to hear that she’s redeemed herself in your eyes!

    • Well, at least you have a great romance still unread that you can go to if you find yourself in need of something super comforting, right? :) I think you’ll thank yourself for not reading it as soon as it was published when you get a day like that.

      And yep, Bailey has been pretty disappointing lately. Duke was such a horrible character – and the heroine wasn’t much better, such a limp rag. Ugh. I hated that book.

      I mean, I wouldn’t exactly recommend this one as great romance, either. There are better m/m romances out there (I really liked Sarina Bowen’s Understatement of the Year, it’s part of her Ivy Years series, it’s sports romance NA and SO bingeable).