Friday, October 9, 2020

Quick Reviews: The Romance Edition

Coming Up Roses by Staci Hart (2019)

In this Pride & Prejudice re-imagining, a man returns home to help out at his family flower shop, and sparks fly with the woman who helps run it.  This was a really cute romance, and I can never resist something P&P related.  At first, the characters felt a bit one-dimensional - Luke is carefree but flaky and unreliable, and Tess is rigid and scared to try anything new.  It felt like I was being told this on every page.  But like in the original, the characters open up and see that there's more to each other.  I loved how Luke especially showed so many different sides of himself.  The flower shop setting was adorable, and I could just picture it all in my head.  Hart is always really good at creating a great group of side characters, and this story was no exception.  I loved hanging out with the Bennet clan and watching the close family interact with each other.  4 stars

Baking Me Crazy by Karla Sorensen (2019)

Levi has been in love with Jocelyn (Joss) since the moment he met her five years ago, but she wasn't looking for a relationship at the time and now they're best friends.  When Joss starts showing an interest in someone else, Levi realizes this may be the chance he's been waiting for to reveal his feelings.  This was an adorable friends to lovers romance; Joss is prickly and sarcastic and Levi is just a little too perfect, but they make a great team.  Sorensen's writing is very readable and the story flowed nicely.  I think the best part of this book was the disability representation.  An illness years before left Joss in a wheelchair, and we get to see how this has affected all areas of her life, as well as her physical therapy to gain strength in her legs.  Sorensen did her research and shows thoughtfulness and sensitivity in telling Joss' story.  I'm glad we got to be inside both her and Levi's heads.  4 stars

Tonic by Staci Hart (2016)

In this story, a reality show producer finds herself falling for the star of her show, the owner of a tattoo parlor.  I really enjoyed this "opposites attract" romance between Annika and Joel.  He's not looking for anything serious (until he meets Annika) and she normally goes for the buttoned-up, put-together, ambitious guys.  The fact that she's producing a TV show about his shop adds even more layers to their fledgling relationship.  I don't mind sex scenes in books, but in this one, I felt like they took over a little bit, especially at the beginning of the story - it was just one right after another.  There were so many more interesting things that I thought could be explored (like Annika's family).  The reality TV show aspect was really fun, especially some of the behind-the-scenes looks at the manipulation that goes on.  The story felt like it moved at warp speed sometimes, and I wanted it to just slow down a bit.  But overall, this was a good read!  3.5 stars

20 comments:

  1. I've never read a Pride & Prejudice retelling but I want to. And I love Staci Hart! And I love that Baking Me Crazy has good disability representation. More books need that!

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    1. I've really been loving Staci Hart's books!

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  2. I have a soft spot for Pride & Prejudice retellings, too! Sounds like I should add Coming Up Roses to my list as well.

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    1. Yes, it's a whole series called "The Bennett Brothers," and the next book comes out on Tuesday, Pride & Papercuts!

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  3. I love Austen retellings, so I'll have to add Coming Up Roses to my TBR list. That one is new to me!

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  4. You have been reading so many Staci Hart books. I really should crack one of those open (I have a few).

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    1. Haha, yeah! There were so many good deals on Kindle, so I stocked up!

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  5. I can't believe I still haven't read anything by Staci Hart. I like the sound of Coming Up Roses.

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  6. I love Staci Hart - her books always make me smile. Baking Me Crazy was adorable - the Donner Bakery series is so good!

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  7. Love your short reviews, I really need to try a Hart book :)

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  8. These are sound quite good. I'm especially drawn to that P&P retelling.

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    1. It was really good, I think you'd like it!

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  9. These all sound like fun reads! I especially like the premise of Baking Me Crazy.

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  10. That P&P retelling sounds adorable -- and I am so glad that the story comes together in the end instead of continuing to hit readers over the head with Luke and Tess' characterisatics.

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    1. Yes, definitely! I was a little worried about that.

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!