Though I tend to be a genre-hopper, there are two genres that I generally avoid. One is Westerns (I don’t like them in movie form, either) and the other is romance. Recently, however, I had noticed there were quite a few romance novels out there that actually sounded… interesting. I’d heard about them on Booktube, in Goodreads groups, or over on book Twitter. The more I heard about them, the more I thought that maybe it was time to lift my arbitrary and, frankly, silly ban on romances.
I ended up picking up three new adult romances that I had heard a lot about and found the most compelling: Well Met; Get a Life, Chloe Brown; and The Unhoneymooners. And, lo and behold, I liked all three of them! Let this be a lesson to myself. Don’t judge a genre by your preconceived notions!
(Although I’m still not sure about Westerns…)
Anyways, let’s get to the reviews!
This was my first pick to kick off my adventure into the steamier side and I think it was a perfect introduction! The story of Emily, a woman trying to put her life back together after a tough breakup/lost job, and Simon, an English teacher with a perpetual stick up his butt. Emily moves to Simon’s small town to help her sister, who is recovering from a car accident, take care of her teen niece. She is somehow talked into participating in the town Renaissance Faire, which is run by a curmudgeonly Simon. They butt heads almost immediately, but as time and the Faire goes on, sparks begin to fly.
Not only was this love story incredibly adorable, but it was just plain fun to read! I loved getting to know both Emily and Simon. I fell for their little community, as well. It was so richly imagined that I could picture the Faire and the people like I had been there before. And can we talk about setting this whole drama at a Renaissance Faire?! Absolutely LOVED that! And then there were the sex scenes. This was the part I was most dreading because I’ve read some truly horrible sex scenes (which is what put me off the genre in the first place). Thankfully, I had nothing to worry about! The smutty bits were well-written and got me sufficiently hot and bothered, lol. All in all, this was a wonderful bit of escapism and I’m glad it was my first pick!
My next romance adventure was with a more diverse book. Get a Life, Chloe Brown follows our titular character on her journey to… well… get a life. After a near-death experience, Chloe, who suffers from fibromyalgia realizes that she hasn’t led the most exciting life. So she makes a list to get her out of her rut. She’s already checked off a couple boxes when she meets Red, her building’s superintendent. Red is recovering from trauma of his own when Chloe waltzes into his life. An odd series of events leads Chloe to enlist Red in helping to complete her list and things get even more interesting from there.
Y’all, I would die for Chloe and Red. Seriously. I’ve lived a full life. They were so stinkin’ ADORABLE! This book was just beautiful. It wasn’t as fun as Well Met, but that’s because it was tackling some serious issues, like abusive relationships and living with a chronic illness. I was often moved to tears reading what both Chloe and Red had dealt with before they found each other. I kind of liked that their relationship was messy, too, because it felt real. The growth in these characters was just *chef’s kiss* Also, can we talk about the fat rep cause it was a thing of beauty. Which is ridiculously hard to find in any genre. And the sexy scenes were… *fans self* whew… Obviously, I adored this book!
The last book I picked up was actually the book that made me want to give romance a try. This book was EVERYWHERE last year. I couldn’t go a week without hearing about it on social media. And, the more people talked about it, the more I wanted to read it. Yeah, I fell right under that hype train.
This is the story of Olive, who thinks she has perpetual bad luck as compared to her twin, Ami. Her luck seems to change at Ami’s wedding when Olive manages to be one of two people who doesn’t get food poisoning from the buffet. Then, Ami insists that Olive take her place for her free honeymoon that she won and is, unfortunately, non-refundable. But to take advantage of the vacation, Olive has to go with the only other person who didn’t get sick: Ethan Thomas, Ami’s new brother-in-law and Olive’s arch-nemesis.
I’m going to say right now, of these three romances, this was the one where I wasn’t completely sold on the plot. It was cute, yes, and I ended up really invested in both Olive and Ethan. But it didn’t pull me in like the other two did. The “bad guys” were pretty one-dimensional, which I dislike. I like my villains, even in a romance, to have a little depth. The sexy bits weren’t as sexy, though still decently smutty. Based on these aspects alone, this book would have probably been a three star. Decent but that’s about it.
But holy *&#% was this FUNNY! The amount of times that I snort-laughed, LOUDLY, while reading this book is kind of embarrassing, tbh. I couldn’t help it, though! There were so many one-liners that had me giggling. The snark that was flung between Olive and Ethan was just my brand of banter. It was superb. It fit my sense of humor like a glove! And that helped me to connect to the story on a deeper level. By the end, I closed the book feeling so warm and fuzzy 💕❤
Now I need more recommendations! What are your favorite romance books/authors? Anything you think I need to read, like, yesterday? Let me know in the comments!
And, as always, happy reading!