Three Romances I Wanted To Love But Didn’t

Sometimes, books just don’t work out for me. It’s not even that these books are bad, because they aren’t. They just each pushed some buttons and I didn’t enjoy them as much as I hoped I would. I decided to do shorter reviews for books that didn’t work for me from now on, since my posting schedule is different and I’d rather spend my time and effort talking at length about books that I actually loved.

Love Story (Love Unexpectedly #3) by Lauren Layne
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Links:

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

Genre: contemporary NA romance.

My rating:

Love Story…Ahh, I wanted to love it so much. I read it at the end of a serious Lauren Layne binge (I discovered her last year and was then lucky enough to read this as an ARC, so I’m super late posting my review, oops), and maybe that’s why I wasn’t entirely impressed by it.

I mostly just couldn’t connect with the characters. Lucy was too “spoiled princess” for my taste, I didn’t really see what her conflict was here, and Reece was an asshole one too many times. I mean, the plot itself (a road trip across the US and a second chance romance) should have been enough for me to completely fall for it because those are some awesome tropes right there. And I did enjoy it, it was a quick read, I just wished to empathize more with Lucy and Reece.

It’s a standalone, even though it’s listed as a part of a series, which is kind of nice in the world of romance. If you’re already a Layne fan, go for it, you might connect better with the main characters. But if not, try another LL book first and fall in love with those (they’re great and she’s one of my favorite contemporary romance authors).

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Rescued by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robins Sexy Space Odyssey #1) by Nina Croft
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Links: Goodreads.

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

Genre: space opera erotica.

My rating:

(Trigger warning for rape and dubious consent) Uhhh this book. I wanted this book to be campy and ridiculous and maybe sexy. I mean, when you pick up a book with such a title, you don’t expect to find serious literature of Nobel-prize-winning kind. But I expected some sort of space opera, with kissing. (Somebody find me that, please, I really want it now!)

What I got instead was alien porn with questionable consent and some uncool views on rape. *sad trombone* No but seriously, a hero who takes one look at a woman who was repeatedly gang-raped by weird tentacly aliens and says “she’ll get over it, people can adapt to anything” is not a hero I want to read about. Our heroine also gets bullied (aka fired from her job) into accepting the position of a spy which gets her into a situation where she gets touched by an alien against her will (she gets an orgasm out of it but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s non-consensual), so I wasn’t too impressed.

Look, I kind of wanted to continue reading the series because a three-way with a hot blue-skinned alien and a man who’s half-droid sounds like great fun (in writing, lol) but there were just too many issues for me to ignore. Now please, give me your space romance recs (aliens and tentacles are…fine, just as long as everyone’s there of their own free will).

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Royally Screwed (Royally #1) by Emma Chase
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Links:

Source: purchased for Kindle.

Genre: contemporary romance.

My rating:

Whyyyyy are allllll the heroes such assholesssss? Don’t get me wrong, I like a good bad boy now and then, but not if he’s a straight-up jackass. I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews for Emma Chase’s Royally series, and this was a fast read (what contemporary romance isn’t?), but I didn’t get the appeal of Prince Charming, so the whole thing fell short for me.

He behaved atrociously towards Olivia, insulted her and treated her like crap, AND YET she went with him and they somehow fell in love. Being fantastic in bed doesn’t make a hero a good person, and at the end of the day, I want my romance heroes to be good guys the heroine can trust to stand beside her no matter what. Prince Nicholas just didn’t deliver on that. Meh.

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Give me all your romance recs, especially the sci-fi kind if you have any. 

Any new contemporary romance authors I should try? I’ve been on a real contemporary kick lately.

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • I felt the same way about the LL book. I hated Reese so much. He was a selfish, inconsiderate prick.

    I liked Royally Screwed ok, but it’s not my favorite by Emma Chase. Sustained is a better book, imo. I can see where you’re coming from for sure. I wasn’t too crazy about the prince charming story either.

    • Yeah, it’s funny how an author can create wonderful, relatable characters for one book, and then just completely change that for another book. I loved Walk of Shame, though, so I’m back to being a Layne superfan. :p

      I haven’t read any other Chase books – I’ll give Sustained a try, Becky liked it too, I think! :)

  • Oh my gosh, I agree with you a million times about Royally Screwed. I even DNFed it. I’m sooo over the asshole hero. I love a gruff and sometimes grumpy hero. But a hero who is just mean – that is never okay.

    • I KNOW, the asshole hero needs to go. I just can’t understand why it’s romantic to behave like a total douche. I agree, gruff & grumpy is good, but they always have to be respectful of the heroine and not treat her like property. Ugh.

  • Have you read Karen Lord’s The Best of All Possible Worlds? That’s a sci-fi book that people complain is more of a romance. I enjoyed it, if I remember rightly!

    • Oo, thanks for the rec! Haha, “people complain it’s more of a romance” – I’ll never complain about that :D

  • That is the good/bad thing about some romances: quick reads, but at the end you walk away unhappy. And yeah, these guys just sound like…jerks. :P

    It’s not romance genre, but have you tried Ilona Andrew’s Clean Sweep? The romance is more background, at least until book 3, but it’s decent fun. :)

    • With romances, it’s always a gamble, even if they’re from your favorite authors. I mean, they can’t write 5-star books EVERY time, right? ;) And yeah, jerks. Boo.

      I haven’t read Clean Sweep, I’ll give it a try! I’m always looking for new authors/series to try. :) Thanks!

  • OMG dislike of a Lauren Layne book… sad times. I get why you didn’t like it, though. Not that I’ve read it, but yeah, sometimes you just don’t gel with characters and you just don’t enjoy the read and really, in romance especially, it’s the characters that keep you reading because there is a certain formulaic nature to the genre. I don’t think that it’s a bad thing but the stories are pretty predictable so you need to like the characters as they are who keep you reading.

    Rescued by the Space Pirate, that book was always going to be either brilliant or terrible with a title like that. It just sucks that it was the second, but with rape and a very terrible attitude to it afterwards, well, that’s one I will stay far far away from.

    You aren’t the first person I’ve seen who didn’t like Royally Screwed, I really enjoyed the first two books in Emma Chase’s Legal Briefs series so I eyed it up when I first saw it but then I saw people complain about the hero being a dick and decided I didn’t have time for that. If you fancy reading more from Emma Chase I recommend her Legal Briefs series if you haven’t read it already. I still need to read the third book, but the first two were brilliant fun romance.

    • I KNOOOW, Lauren Layne is my idol. But I loved Walk of Shame (her latest), which means I’m back to being her superfan. :) And I agree, characters are so, so important in romance. What else would I care about? :)

      I remember you liking Chase’s books – I’ll give those a try and give her another chance. I mean, I liked the writing but the hero was just such a douche.

  • OMG wow, Rescued by the Space Pirate sounds like a hot mess. I’ve heard good things about the author’s Ice Planet Barbarian books, but now I’m wary. Ridiculous and porn-y isn’t a problem for me, but dubious consent and rape certainly are.

    Royally Screwed is a prince charming story? If only the hero himself could’ve reflected that, hahaha. Sounds like a major case of jerk syndrome.

    • Rescued by the Space Pirate was the first Croft book I read and I can’t say I’m eager to read more. Though I always ask myself: how did this manage to get through all the editors and beta readers and whatever? So sad.

      I mean, Royally Screwed isn’t exactly a prince charming story, but the hero is an actual prince (royalty), so yeah. :)