Tag: contemporary romance

Tempting the Best Man by Jennifer L. Armentrout Review

Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers, #1)

Title: Tempting the Best Man

Series: Gamble Brothers #1

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Madison Daniels has worshipped her brother’s best friend since they were kids. Everyone thinks she and Chase Gamble would make the perfect couple, but there are two major flaws in their logic. 1) Chase has sworn off relationships of any kind, and 2) after blurring the line between friends and lovers for one night four years ago, they can’t stop bickering.

Forced together for her brother’s wedding getaway, Chase and Madison decide to call a truce for the happy couple. Except all bets are off when they’re forced to shack up in a tacky 70’s honeymoon suite and survive a multitude of “accidents” as the family tries to prove their “spark” can be used than for more than fighting. That is, if they don’t strangle each other first…

Tempting the Best Man by Jennifer L Armentraut Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Format: ebook

Pages/Hours: 131 pages

Ownership: own

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Tags: Novella

Themes: Friends to Lovers, Brother’s Best Friend

Review: This was a bit too short for me. I need romances to be longer to really care about the characters and I need more subplots. If you’re looking for a quick sweet romance with a bit of steam then this is perfect.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

July TBR

“But here I am in July, and why am I thinking about Christmas pudding? Probably because we always pine for what we do not have. The winter seems cozy and romantic in the hell of summer, but hot beaches and sunlight are what we yearn for all winter.” 

Joanna Franklin Bell, Take a Load Off, Mona Jamborski

I’m taking part in Jane Austen July this year which I’m really excited about. You can check out my TBR for that here.

I’m really behind on the Romanceopoly so I’m really hoping to catch up this month. I have about 20 spaces to read for between now and the end of the year which is definitely doable I just struggle with reading a book for a specific task.

July is going to be a busy month for me so I’m not expecting to get too many books read but here are the ones (other than the ones for Jane Austen July) I would like to read.

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Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

I felt a bit deflated about the Grishaverse after finishing Ruin and Rising but so many people have told me Six of Crows is better that I’m going to pick this one up.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Synopsis: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

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Alpha (Shifters #6) by Rachel Vincent

This series I need to finish and it suits the Leather Lane spot on romanceopoly.

Alpha (Shifters, #6)

Synopsis: The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder and treason. Yeah, we’ve been busy. But now it’s time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother’s death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council. 
It’s not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I’m heading for a final showdown that will change everything forever. A showdown I’m not sure I’m ready for. 
But life never waits until you’re ready.

Falling for a Dancer by Deirdre Purcell

I’ve been itching to do a reread of this and summer seems like the perfect time. It’s my favourite book.

Falling for a Dancer

Synopsis: If the bus hadn’t broken down that August afternoon on the road between Dublin and Cork, Elizabeth Sullivan would never have met George Gallaher, a travelling actor of infinite charm and fatal weakness. She would not have been forced to marry, nor found herself trapped in an alien landscape.

The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark

I’d like to fit some short books this month if I can. I started this one during my 24 Hours of Reading challenge and I really liked it so I want to finish it.

The Girls Of Slender Means

Synopsis: Like the May of Teck Club itself, “three times window shattered since 1940 but never directly hit,” the young women of London after WWII do their best to act as if the world were back to normal: practicing elocution, jostling over suitors and a single Schiaparelli gown. Chosen by Anthony Burgess as one of the Best Modern Novels in the Sunday Times of London, The Girls of Slender Means is a taut and eerily perfect novel by an author The New York Times has called “one of this century’s finest creators of comic-metaphysical entertainment.”

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What are you reading in July?

Voyeur by Fiona Cole Review

Voyeur

Title: Voyeur

Series: n/a standalone

Author: Fiona Cole

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:  
I didn’t know she was my student the first time I paid to watch her at Voyeur.

Once she walked into my classroom, another smiling college freshman, I knew I should stop going. Stop watching.

But I couldn’t do it. Everything about her makes me want more, and once I realize she wants me too, the temptation becomes irresistible.

The worst part is that she has no idea her professor is the one watching behind the glass.

I just have to hope that once she finds out the truth, she wants the same thing I do. Because now that I’ve seen all of her, I can’t look away.

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Format: ebook

Pages/Hours: 310 pages

Ownership: Owned

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Tags: Contemporary Romance, Erotic, New Adult, College

Themes: Forbidden Love, Sex Work, Age Gap, Tortured Hero, Student Teacher Relationship

@elainehowlin_

Review: Very steamy book with a sweet romance. It starts off with a bang and slows down a bit in the middle but has a satisfying ending.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

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99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne Review

99 Percent Mine

Title: 99 Percent Mine

Author: Sally Thorne

Genre: Romance

Synopsis: Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.

Format: ebook (eARC from Edelweiss+)

Pages/Hours: 368 pages

Ownership: Own

My Rating: ★★★★★

Tags: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Adult

Themes: Friend’s to Lovers, Second Chances

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Review:  I stayed up until 6.30am to read this book. That should really tell you enough about how much I enjoyed it 😅

It was a complete joy to read that left me with warm fuzzy feelings and a book hangover.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

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The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken Review

The Matchmaker's Playbook (Wingmen Inc. 1) [Kindle in Motion]Title: The Matchmaker’s Playbook

Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Wingman Inc. #1

Goodreads Rating: 3.99/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis:  Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.

After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.

From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule.…

The Matchmaker's Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

What I thought about the book:

This was ok. Not an amazing story and I wasn’t too keen on the main male character. He was a bit too much of a fan of himself and the book as a whole was very tropey.

I did really enjoy the banter between the characters. It was a fun relationship to watch grow and the supporting characters have a strong presence.

Ticks all the boxes for contemporary romance formula fiction so if you’re into that you will probably enjoy this.

Though it’s certainly not the best romance book I’ve read I did enjoy it enough to read the whole thing and I will most likely read the next book in the series.

My Rating: 3 star review

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

The Matchmaker’s Playbook has been adapted into a movie by Passionflix