DNF. No rating. There is something about the way that this series is written that doesn't work for me. Put down at 37%. I like Anyta Sunday too much tDNF. No rating. There is something about the way that this series is written that doesn't work for me. Put down at 37%. I like Anyta Sunday too much to keep reading this. ...more
I haven't read the first two books in the series by Laura Trentham, but I think it works as a stand-alone. There are MCs from past books that are woven into this story, but the focus on the book is mainly on Holt and Claire. Which, to be honest, may not have been a good thing...
The story wasn't a bad one, but the chemistry just fell really flat. It all seemed so forced. Claire was extra angsty and hard for me to warm up to, and Holt seemed really focused on her without an apparent reason or any indication that Claire was that into him. I just never connected to the plot or main characters.
I love Barbara Elsborg, and she is usually 4+ stars for me, so I was really looking forward to The Making of Jonty Bloom. Plus, all of my friends seemI love Barbara Elsborg, and she is usually 4+ stars for me, so I was really looking forward to The Making of Jonty Bloom. Plus, all of my friends seemed to love it, which usually is a good omen. However, though I enjoyed the story, it was too messy and chaotic for my tastes.
If you've read Barbara Elsborg before, you will definitely recognize the style. She loves to write main characters who spit out sarcastic one-liners (and I love to read them!), especially if they have a tragic backstory. I knew what to expect with The Making of Jonty Bloom, and I was excited for it. However, I think this book needed an editing eye to make the story feel less busy.
While Jonty charmed me at first, I found his constant internal monologuing to be very distracting. It was every other sentence, and I wanted more showing instead of telling. Also, the banter between the characters was cute at first, but I wanted more of a break in between puns and double entendres. It was overwhelming, and not in a good way.
I loved how Jonty brought Devan out of his shell, and I didn't even mind the plethora of evil characters, but the plot still felt cluttered. It was a good story, and I liked it the whole time I was reading, but I kept thinking that with a few adjustments, it could be great. The romance was a little rushed, and dialogue was a little too "jokey"- everything was just a little off.
Though this was was enjoyable, it wasn't the home run I was expecting. I'll look forward to my next Barbara Elsborg read.
Of course I loved this, guys, I mean it's DADDY KINK.
I'm a picky, picky reader who has read thousands of romances, but for some reason, give me a braOf course I loved this, guys, I mean it's DADDY KINK.
I'm a picky, picky reader who has read thousands of romances, but for some reason, give me a bratty boy and a stern daddy and I'm like putty.
Cabin Fever had a lot of sex in it, but unlike some readers, I found it to have enough plot to keep me more than satisfied. It was S-T-E-A-M-Y, and readers who like their books with sex, sex, and more sex will be happy.
I'm not a huge fan of suspense, but the suspense was sort of the backdrop for a predicament romance, which is something a I adore. Oh no, I'm trapped in a house with a super hot bodyguard and just these *tiny, tiny* pairs of underwear. Whatever shall I do?? I mean... Yes. Every day, yes.
I loved how utterly submissive Michael ended up being. Vincent couldn't push him far enough, though I liked to see him try. This isn't a high impact play or master/dom-ish BDSM kind of book, which is why I enjoyed it so much.
The perfect length to keep me up all night reading. Cabin Fever was a deliciously kinky, charming erotic romance. It might not suit all readers, but it suited me just fine.
Hairpin Curves was a nice romance, but the characters felt a bit young and the story was too slow for my taste.
I'm always looking for kill*2.5 stars*
Hairpin Curves was a nice romance, but the characters felt a bit young and the story was too slow for my taste.
I'm always looking for killer lesbian romances, but this one just missed the mark. Plus, I keep reading road-trip stories but I don't know if they are for me. There is something about the long, drawn-out trip that makes the pacing difficult to get right.
Hairpin Curves is an ex-friends-to-lovers story, which always appeals to me. There is a lot of history between the two MCs, but, oddly, they didn't seem to know each other that well. There were some definite communication missteps in their past, and I found it odd that ex-best friends had so much unknown about each other.
I related hard to one of the MC's struggles with her 504 accommodations in college as my children have learning disabilities. It made me want to reach out an advocate for her. There was also a lot to like in the quiet moments of the story, and I enjoyed the unexpected amount of heat.
What the story lacked for me was in the need to read it factor. It took me over a week to finish this story and that's with forcing myself to continue. It all felt kind of boring to me, which isn't what I want in my romances. I also feel like the MCs were too juvenile for their age. I would have preferred them to be high school graduates and make the story YA as I was frustrated reading parts of the story.
While I'm sure this will please contemporary romance lovers who like a slower-paced story, it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.
All of my friends seem to be in love with this story, but although I enjoyed it, the pacing and the characters never fully came together how I wanted All of my friends seem to be in love with this story, but although I enjoyed it, the pacing and the characters never fully came together how I wanted them to.
I'm a big fan of Jay Hogan, and I've liked every book in the Southern Lights series. I was excited to start Flat Whites & Chocolate Fish, and I had really high expectations.
The plot threw me a bit. It was a bit... outlandish? At times, it was very over the top, and especially the ending seemed a bit cartoonish. I'm not a big thriller or suspense reader, so perhaps it just wasn't my type of story. I was sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop for the entire book. I'm also not a huge fan of the plot device used towards the end of the story.
The romance worked, though I wasn't 100% invested in these two and their relationship. I enjoyed it, but I just wanted more from both of them. The pacing of their romance felt a little slow, and though I loved the side characters, the main characters didn't quite shine for me.
I know I seem to be focused on the negatives, but this story wasn't quite what I was in the mood for. Still, I'm excited to continue this series and hopefully get some stories in this world.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Better Than People, but I was charmed by this story of two animal lovers, one with crippling social anxiety and the I wasn't sure what to expect from Better Than People, but I was charmed by this story of two animal lovers, one with crippling social anxiety and the other with a broken leg, both struggling to find their way.
After seeing some mixed reviews from my friends, I was bracing myself to not love Better Than People, but Roan Parrish won me over again with this story. It takes place in the same "world" as The Remaking of Corbin Wale, so if you enjoyed that story, you will probably enjoy this one as well.
As someone who doesn't have social anxiety other than the normal nice to meet you jitters, it was humbling and very interesting for me to read about someone who gets so overwhelmed with anxiety around new people that they are physically unable to talk. I thought the author handled that aspect of the story beautifully.
I'm a total sucker for an MC who is experiencing physical intimacy for the first time. And, whew, I loved the sexy times in this story. Just lots of detailed, new-to-sex goodness that I crave. Thank you, Roan Parrish!
The backstories were well developed, and I adored that both MCs were artists. There was so much to love here, with the brother and the grandma and the ridiculously named dogs, that I couldn't help but be charmed.
The story isn't a fast-paced one, but the beautiful messages about mental health and self-care as well as the relationship-focused story really did it for me. I love MCs with physical/emotional challenges as it gives depth to a story, and I really felt that with this one.
Hardwood caught me on a good day where I was able to forgive an entire book of the MC sticking his head up his ass in order to enjoy the first time wiHardwood caught me on a good day where I was able to forgive an entire book of the MC sticking his head up his ass in order to enjoy the first time with a guy-sex and the adorable second MC, Watson.
Sure, I get it. Parts of this book are totally ridiculous. Lack of communication abounds (usually a deal-breaker for me), and the dildo scene??... funny, of course, but whaaa??. But I had just read a series of serious books about serious topics, so this book just rang my bell.
I loved the fact that we got older MCs here, one who wasn't muscle-bound and stereotypically "perfect" and the other closeted for his whole life. The dynamic was really lovely and the relationship was slow-build and engaging.
Yes, the whole being in the closet thing when literally all of your friends are gay is mega dumb, but I was willing to overlook that (and, apparently, a lot of things). I stayed up late into the night to finish this one. Plus, just look at that cover!! I'm weak...
Though I own a couple of L.J. Hayward's books, The New Normal was my first time reading her work, and I'll admit I had high expectations. My friends all love this author's "Death and the Devil" series, so I was excited to try this contemporary friends-to-lovers book about a cancer survivor. Plus, you guys know how I feel about a sexuality discovery story (!!). I was expecting some sexy, sexy goodness and an engaging plot, but, sadly, I was not impressed.
First of all, this story felt like jumping into the middle of an established series. I had to stop and check to make sure this wasn't an offshoot of another series because there were WAY too many cooks in this kitchen. The multitude of characters and their interwoven relationships was a web too complicated for me to untangle. It was a mess of indistinguishable characters, and it needed a firm editor, badly.
Also, the characters were so dramatic with one another. Lots of storming off, lots of miscommunications, lots of focus on specific labels and not a lot of chemistry. In fact, by the time the romance picked up, I was barely interested anymore. Brian was... not great, the friends were meddlesome and actually a big detractor from the story, and, overall, it left me feeling underwhelmed and not engaged.
I really, really wanted to like Dirty Tactics, the debut book from Emma Salah, but I found it a struggle to get through.
I'm usually a total sucker foI really, really wanted to like Dirty Tactics, the debut book from Emma Salah, but I found it a struggle to get through.
I'm usually a total sucker for a hockey book, so I was excited to try this one. Plus. the plot seemed really interesting from the summary, so I decided to take a chance on a new author (something I rarely do).
Look, I've read almost 2,000 romance books, so I'm picky and I have my pet peeves. And, to be honest, this book pushed a number of my buttons and not in good ways.
I don't love when books have lots of flashbacks interspersed in the storyline as I find it to be distracting and I don't often find that it adds anything to the story. I didn't like it here, and I found it to be disruptive and oddly inserted in random spots. I also really, really struggled with the constant telling instead of showing that the author did with the characters' emotions. I wasn't able to feel what these characters were feeling because it was just all spelled out for me. Make me feel it instead. There was also lot of characters talking to themselves in their heads, which just is another way to tell instead of show me feelings.
I also struggled with some of the sex scenes. Right out the gate, the male MC spanks her and goes BDSM-y in a closet without any sort of discussion beforehand when they aren't even dating or in a relationship. I'm big into consent and checking in with people, and it just felt really random and almost old-school romance in a bad way. I also didn't like how we were just thrown into these two mid-dynamic, and we didn't get to really discover how these two evolved organically. It felt like the middle of a story.
I know I'm focusing on the negatives, but I think the author did some things right. I liked the female MC's family and the strong bonds with her brothers, and I liked all of the sporty men, but I wished we had more technical sports content so it didn't just feel like a random profession. I love hockey romances for a reason!
Debut books are hard, but I hope this author keeps writing. It wasn't my taste, but I'm sure she'll still find her readership.
I was truly not expecting to love it. I've had mixed experiences with Alexis Hall in the past, and I honestly didn't Boyfriend Material spoke to me.
I was truly not expecting to love it. I've had mixed experiences with Alexis Hall in the past, and I honestly didn't know he could be so funny. This book is hilarious, especially if you like kind of snarky, British humor, and I found myself laughing out loud to myself in bed, shoulders positively shaking (my husband did not appreciate this).
But that's how this book gets you. Under the humor lies the feels.
The emotions that I felt for these characters snuck up on me, and before I knew it, I was hooked. I really couldn't stop reading, and I stayed up nearly all night to finish.
I know it sounds cliche, but I laughed, I cried, and I would do it all over again.
It's funny, because plot-wise, nothing much happens in the story. It's sort of a meandering series of events in the MC's life where nothing seems to go quite right. The MC screws everything up time and time again, and puts his foot in his mouth so many times it might as well be permanently lodged there. However, he grows on you. The main characters are so multilayered that they feel like real people, and the secondary characters are so unique and well-conceived that you'll want them to have their own stories.
This story has self-righteous vegans, dung beetles, banana curries, dick pics, posh/idiot co-workers, and humor woven around each and every thing that makes it all come together effortlessly. But while you are laughing, be prepared for the feelings, a surprising amount of angst, and the strong, strong chemistry to hit you right when you least expect it. These guys are great for each other, baggage and all, and I was rooting for them like I haven't in a long time. But don't read this story if you are expecting steam, because this story is fade-to-black. However, I didn't mind the lack of steam with this one.
My favorite Alexis Hall book to date, Boyfriend Material delivered right when I needed it to most. I think the author did something special with this story.
I'm not a huge fan of novellas, but I wanted to give this one a try for my week of reading only black authors (trying to spotlight them this week!) beI'm not a huge fan of novellas, but I wanted to give this one a try for my week of reading only black authors (trying to spotlight them this week!) because my friends have all loved it. Honestly, I thought the story was fun and fast-paced, but I'm not sure if it was exactly my taste. Fart jokes and a rushed romance doesn't sing for me, and thought it tried a bit too hard to be funny on every page. However, it was an easy, light read that made me smile.
DNF at 23%. I found the POV switches to be confusing and I just wasn't getting into it. Life is too short right now to be reading books that don't graDNF at 23%. I found the POV switches to be confusing and I just wasn't getting into it. Life is too short right now to be reading books that don't grab me. ...more
This series is erotic romance, heavBy far the best book in the So Over the Holidays series, Bottle Rocket by Erin McLellan was one hot little number.
This series is erotic romance, heavy on the erotic, and Bottle Rocket was no different. Unlike the other books in the series, however, this one really spoke to me.
First of all, we get an absolute unicorn in the romance world, which is a M/F romance with a bisexual male MC. Every other M/M romance has a bisexual main character, but in M/F it is exceedingly rare, even more rare to have a bisexual male character. And, let me tell you, I loved it.
Oh honey, we get it all. Pegging, light femdom, group sex, face slapping... I mean, this was like my little kinky wish come true! There was a TON of sex, and this book isn't for a reading who wants a strictly one-on-one sexual relationship between the main characters.
There is also a very sweet romance in there also, a lovely second chance story that warmed my heart and made me smile. The relationship between these two doesn't have a dynamic that would work for me, personally, but I got how it worked for them.
A truly great read for those of us who want to read a M/F story with a guy who wants the woman to take charge, and for readers who like their romances with LOTS of sex. Erin McLellan, keep up the good work.
I loved, loved this book in a squeeze-your-heart-stay-up-all-night kind of way. It moved me to tears at parts, and I didn't want it to end.
You need I loved, loved this book in a squeeze-your-heart-stay-up-all-night kind of way. It moved me to tears at parts, and I didn't want it to end.
You need a tiny bit of an open-minded to read this one, and be receptive to the ideas of eastern philosophy, chakras, tantric sex (where, apparently, you don't ever *physically* come and the sex just goes on... and on...), and lots of meditation. I'll admit, this isn't an area of expertise for me, so I have no idea if Eli Easton got any of the facts right, but it seemed all legit. *shrugs*
More important than the nitty gritty details, I simply found this book to be immensely satisfying. We get a lovely MC who needs healing from his devastation after losing his wife to cancer. We get a sexuality discovery story (!!!), an age-gap, lots of intense, soul-shaking eye contact, and emotions so powerful that it made me cry. I just loved this couple and their journey to one another. Plus, foodie details galore. I need to finally try some kombucha for myself.
The story is a little slow and meandering, but I loved the relationship-focused plotline and the overall vibe of the story. It was the Eli Easton book I needed in my life right now.
A lovely, emotional, powerful read that mixed lots of spirtuality with sexuality, The Redemption of River was everything I hoped it would be.
I'm a total high-end restaurant-lover, and I'm very critical of romance that involve food or chefs, so I was expecting to have some issues with Sergeant Delicious, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not only were the food details cute, but the sex was steamy and the characters were surprisingly well developed for a novella.
I wish the story was longer, and all of those epilogues were a bit strange to tack on at the end, but I truly enjoyed this entire book. More of this, please.
In the world of BDSM, daddy kink is my favorite. I'll eat up any daddy kink story, especially with strict, loving daddies. *dreamy sigh*
Sure, this book isn't that much different from the other age play book I've read from M.A. Innes, but that's just fine with me. I'm such a fan of the way this author writes daddy kink relationships that I'd probably read 100 stories with almost the same plot.
A very satisfying book for those who enjoy these types of stories.
I've never read Jay Crownover before, but I bought the paperback of her first M/M romance years ago, and finally decided to give it a sho*2.5 stars*
I've never read Jay Crownover before, but I bought the paperback of her first M/M romance years ago, and finally decided to give it a shot.
To be honest, I had pretty low expectations of this book because M/M romances from authors who primarily write M/F romances tend to be a bit... underwhelming. If you look at it one way, this book met my (low) expectations. It was a nice story with some stilted chemistry and some good plot points to keep things moving.
My main issues with the story was that it was very sex-forward, which for me means that it's insta-attraction, insta-lust, and we don't get that slow burn/relationship development that I like before things heat up. I like a very slow burn in my romances, and so if you are leading with the sexual aspect of a relationship, the chemistry and intensity must be that must stronger for me to get emotionally invested. I wasn't satisfied on that front.
I also was pretty confused because this was supposed to be a prequel to the Saints of Denver series, but there was a TON of characters (with insane names, I might add) thrown in that I felt like I was supposed to know. It felt like the middle of a series that I hadn't read yet. It was disorienting.
Even though the story was fairly enjoyable, I struggled with some of the writing. It didn't seem like the author was completely comfortable writing M/M, and some of the sex scenes felt awkward and stilted.
I could tell right away it was an older book (aI'm a huge Anyta Sunday fan, and I beta read for her often, but Better Be Sure was an odd read for me.
I could tell right away it was an older book (at least, I hope it was) because it had a lot of awkward phrasing and confusing scenes. That intro football scene was particularly disorienting for me. There was a stiffness and a forced-feeling to the writing that didn't work for me. There were also character inconsistencies that needed resolving.
What really made me struggle with this book was the absolutely unnecessarily ridiculous set up to the major tension in the plot. Books with forced conflict due to betting don't usually work for me, but a bet of this magnitude when the MC knew how much was riding on it, and a bet that was insanely easy to win (just explain things, dude, it's a pretty important bet!!) didn't make a whole lot of sense. I didn't get why the bet was made in the first place, I didn't get why Jack didn't just explain things to Ed, and I didn't get why Jack didn't just tell the frat boys to screw themselves and keep going on his merry way.
This was an unnecessarily dramatic read that felt very, very teenage drama. I was not into it, but I hope the series continues to improve as these two authors have certainly stepped up their game since this was written.
I'm a huge sucker for a fake dating trope, and add in a former rugby player who loves romance books(!), and I'm sold. I really liked everything about Zafir and how real and vulnerable he felt as a character. I was very, very swoony for him.
Dani was more of a struggle for me. I liked her nerdy side and her dedication to her research, but her commitment issues felt... tiresome for me by the end. It took forever for her to admit her feelings, and I grew tired of waiting for her to get there. I understand why she felt the way that she did, but it felt myself skimming and wanting them to just communicate.
I also am not the biggest fan of social media-based plotline, and I found the overall story arc to be a bit thin. Both characters were well-developed and the side characters were endlessly interesting, I just felt like nothing much happened in the story.
I'm hoping for even better from the third in the series, and I might have to go back to listening in audio because the narrator really made this series come alive for me, British accents and all.
I'm a big Tessa Bailey fan and I've liked the entire Hot & Hammered series, so I'm happy to report that Tools of Engagement was no different. Though, I'm a big Tessa Bailey fan and I've liked the entire Hot & Hammered series, so I'm happy to report that Tools of Engagement was no different. Though, if I'm being honest, I wanted a bit more from the story.
Tessa Bailey writes sexy, fun contemporary romance, and I enjoyed the banter-y dynamic between Wes and Bethany. I like an opposites attract romance, and you throw in an age gap and I'm pretty much sold. I thought the relationship was a bit too "tease-y" for a bit too long, but I liked how it evolved over time.
The plotline with Wes's sister was a bit muddled, but I liked how he had to take responsibility for a child and the emotion that brought to the story. I wish we saw more of Wes's southern side as I kept forgetting that he wasn't from the North East constantly. I few y'alls would have been nice. I also related to Bethany's insecurities and the desire to be perfect all the time, though they got to be a bit much for me, as a reader. Also, something about the ending felt off to me.
Hot sex, as usual for Tessa Bailey, especially if you like alpha-types, and an engaging plotline, but not my favorite book in the series.
As someone who loves historical romances and loves the dynamic of a royal/commoner, I was really hoping that The King and Jai would give me those "stiAs someone who loves historical romances and loves the dynamic of a royal/commoner, I was really hoping that The King and Jai would give me those "stiff upper lip" + protocols! + gay vibes, but I didn't get that at all.
Look, for the king to have barely any staff and bodyguards, no formality whatsoever, and to be so cavalier that he was riding a dildo in an unlocked room in the castle in the middle of the day (!!!) just removed all of the royal atmosphere I was hoping to get. Fine, you want to make it a super casual, modern-day castle with basically no rules, why not just have this as an elite family, not royalty? Plus, I highly doubted that a guy who knew languages but was untrained as a tutor would be magically hired by the royal family without even knowing who was hiring him.
There was a fun story in there, but a lack of chemistry and just a weird set up made it really hard for me to enjoy this one. I'll go back to my historical romances in the English countryside with Dukes and Marquesses for days.
Vince was a shockingly unlikable character. He physically made me cringe, and I didn't enjoy anything about him. He felt toxic, and I wasn't rooting for the couple to get together. I think he had too many unresolved issues and wasn't emotionally ready for a relationship. I wanted him in therapy rather than in a romance book.
I also struggled with the writing. It felt stilted and forced. I missed that easy flow that I get with some of my favorite authors. In addition, some of the side characters felt like props and plot devices more than fully realized characters, especially Evie, the ex-wife. I wanted more depth from them.
Overall, I had to force myself to finish. Not a great read for me, unfortunately.
Nailed was a cute story in the Four Bears Construction series by K.M. Neuhold, but even though I enjoyed it, man did it have its flaws.
I really likedNailed was a cute story in the Four Bears Construction series by K.M. Neuhold, but even though I enjoyed it, man did it have its flaws.
I really liked that we got two MCs in their 40s. It's bears, bears, and more bears up in here, with hairy bellies, construction/mechanic jobs, and a little jiggle in the middle. I dug the fact that the MCs were older, though older doesn't equal wiser...
Stone irritated the crap out of me with his pranks, and, honestly, if someone did half of the stuff he did to my pet I would freak out. It was so annoying. At least, I'm pretty sure that was Stone since I kept getting the two MCs confused... Honestly, with names like Stone and Dare it was just one big porn star scene in my mind, and I could barely tell who was talking half the time. Even at the last chapter, I kept having to repeat "Dare is the one with the dog," but even that wasn't quite enough.
The story grew on me towards the end, and I found myself feeling mushy at their climb towards love and all that gooey stuff, but it took me nearly a week to finish, which is crazy for a fluffy contemporary romance.
I think the back and forth in the beginning put me off a bit, but I was pleased at the direction the story went over time. I'm still hooked on this series, and I can't wait to read about the next bear to fall in love.
Cute story, took me exactly a month to get through the paperback. Romantic comedy with some good scenes but it never fully engaged me in the story. A Cute story, took me exactly a month to get through the paperback. Romantic comedy with some good scenes but it never fully engaged me in the story. A fun in-between read.
Interestingly, I think that most people would enjoy Unconventional, especially if they are into more mainstream versions of BDSM. I, however, am not into floggers and bondage and "master"-ing, so this particular brand of kink was boring and honestly difficult for me to get through. I almost DNF-ed at 90%, which is saying something.
You should know that this shouldn't be read as a stand-alone. The relationship between Finn and his BFF Ryland plays an important role in this story, and all of that is established in book 1. I actually enjoyed the scenes between Finn and Ryland more than the scenes between Finn and Beckett.
I thought that Finn and Beckett's relationship progressed too quickly. One minute Beckett was going on and on about how he couldn't date a student and five seconds later he was calling Finn "Master." I don't think so. They were talking about love when they barely knew each other. I also think that a lot of Finn's kink-learning were omitted from the story, which was disappointing. I also was promised (view spoiler)[sounding (hide spoiler)] and I wanted it, dammit!!
Not my kink and not particularly exciting, Unconventional was a bit of a disappointment. I'm hoping book 3 is better.
What Kristan Higgins always does so well is make multi-faceted characters who are not simply likable/unlikable. I had mixed emotions about each character, and I found that the author treated each one with empathy and realism. I was riveted by the story, honestly, and found that it got better and better as it went along. It started off a bit slowly, but it picked up towards the end and became extremely engaging.
My one real sticking point is that I didn't like the switch from 1st to 3rd person between chapters. I found it to be pretty jarring, though I think the author did it to differentiate between the voices. Still, an odd choice. I also found the chapters from the father's perspective to be a bit too sentimental.
Overall, just as tight, well-edited, and interesting as I was expecting. Kristan Higgins is a pro and continues to show us why with each book.
I enjoyed this gamer-geek, new adult read from Annabeth Albert, even though I've read more compelling books from her in the past. Conventionally YoursI enjoyed this gamer-geek, new adult read from Annabeth Albert, even though I've read more compelling books from her in the past. Conventionally Yours is a bit different from what I've previously read from Annabeth Albert, but I think it will please many fans of hers, especially those who like her #gaymers series.
Truthfully, I much prefer the tension and faster pace of her military romances, but this story had a lot to like. I enjoyed the diversity of Conventionally Yours, and I'm always excited to get a Jewish MC (even though I wish Jewish characters were shown to be good at cooking things other than latkas, but that's neither here nor there). I know this is a little been there, done that but the stereotype of the pushy, overachieving Jewish parents is a real thing, and I enjoyed seeing Jewish characters I identified with here. Plus, we get a neuro-diverse MC, which I absolutely love in romance.
I know literally nothing about gaming, and I think it might help if you are at least interested in gaming to keep you engaged in this story. The plot is pretty focused on the actual act of gaming, and I found those parts to be a little... boring. It isn't my thing, so maybe it would help if it was your thing, though I don't think it's a requirement to enjoy this story.
Also, I think this is the first new adult book I've read from this author, and I have to say, I missed the heat from her previous books. It isn't fade-to-black, but it's very tame, especially from Annabeth Albert. Perhaps that reflects the younger age of the characters or the more mainstream publisher or just the author's mood, but it's something readers might want to know going into the story.
I found the enemies-to-lovers plotline to be very fun (as it always it), plus we get one of my favorite plot devices (There is only one bed in the hotel room!), which is always a winner for me.
The romance itself was just okay, and I wish I felt more sparks between them. I'm not sure if it's because the middle of the book felt very draggy (just a looooong time road-tripping), but the romance and tension between the two MCs wasn't at the level that I was expecting.
A solid new adult romance for those who enjoy gaming and Annabeth Albert, though I don't think this series is exactly my speed. I'm excited for this author to have a mainstream publisher and I can't wait to see where her career goes next.