Photos of You by Tammy Robinson– This is 100% not a romance, but it does have a romantic arc. I knew going in this would not have an HEA but I wanted to give it a try.
CW: death, dying, main character with breast cancer.
The main protagonist, Ava, discovers her cancer has not only returned but it is aggressively terminal. She wants the rest of her life to be on her terms and decides to have a wedding before she dies. It was a journey that had some brutal moments as Ava talked about her declining health. It was at times hard to read.
As Ava plans this wedding with the help of her friends and parents, her plan for a wedding goes viral on the internet. A lifestyle magazine picks up the story and follows Ava’s journey. Ava develops a relationship with the photographer from the magazine. She also writes letters to the magazine readers that were her take on dying. The letters were a lot. At times they felt a little saccharin and over the top.
I didn’t love this book. It felt a little superficial at times and was lacking depth. Maybe the letters were supposed to build that. But it fell short for me.
If you are looking for a read that has the potential to be emotional with no HEA, you may enjoy this book.
One Night with the Sexiest Man Alive by Ainslie Paton– Paton referred to this as her entry into category romance. It has some over the top feels to it with a famous actor meets and falls for a non-celebrity.
The heroine, Teela, is an event coordinator. The hero, Haydn, has been coined the sexiest man alive. They meet, there is chemistry. They decide to spend one night together. One night gets extended, because why not. They navigate things like power and money imbalance.
I pulled a quote to share-
“It’s a good thing I’m not second-date material,” she quipped, as he righted her and for a second, she was pleased with how casual that sounded until he slammed her in close, no daylight between their bodies. “You are cut from the very best material, Teela.” The jokey tone in his voice was gone, replaced by something sharp. “Don’t settle for a man who doesn’t know and appreciate that.”
This is a super sexy read and a quick read. I am always a fan of Paton’s and this book is no different. I look forward to reading more in the series.
Love Hard by Nalini Singh– This is only the second book that I have read by Singh, please don’t revoke my eligibility to romancelandia. The first was several years ago and if I remember correctly it was one of her first contemporaries. It was fine but nothing overwhelming that made me think I needed to read more. I don’t really like to read a book that is part of a stand alone series because I’m always worried I won’t know what is going on or I’ll be tempted to go back and read all the previous ones, and I do not have time for that. Anyway, back on track.
I don’t have much to say that Sheena or Angela haven’t already said, but this book is really good. The story is solid, the pacing is great and it is sexy AF. Jules and Jacob were perfectly matched. They start as sort of enemies and it quickly changes to friendship and then lovers. I was a fan.
Two small things I do want to mention- the characters are both 24 and normally I don’t like to read characters that young. But they were both very mature for their age and it was easy for me to age them up in my head. The other thing is the first 20% of the book is about the wedding of characters that I had no familiarity with and just as it was starting to be too much, it delved into the story of Jules and Jacob.