Tag Archives: contemporary romance

Review of Sonata, by A.F. Henley

Author, A.F. Henley was generous enough to send two of their books to be included in my Little Free Library. Sonata is one of them. This afternoon, I chose to borrow it back and read it.

Description from Goodreads:

At thirty-six Ian feels done with the world. When a night at a bar goes as poorly as expected, he wants only to return home to be miserable in peace. Instead, he encounters Jordan. Hot, young and interested, Jordan is everything Ian’s ever wanted and nothing he believes himself capable of actually obtaining. 

Jordan has enough going on in his life trying to scrape together a living for himself and his autistic son. When he meets Ian, all he wants is a brief, erotic moment and nothing else. 

But fate throws them together again and again, and Ian finds himself determined to do whatever it takes to give their story a happy ending – no matter what secrets Jordan’s past has waiting for him.

Review:

This is another hard one to review. I really adored some aspects of it. I mean Ian’s openness and heartfelt desire to care for someone was super touching. I really liked him. I felt Jordan’s desperation, even before we knew why (though I guessed his circumstances fairly early on). They were a compelling pairing.

However, even as I appreciated Henley’s inclusion of an autistic child, I also felt like he was simply a plot device. He had no real discernible personality and conveniently disappeared when the plot needed him to. Plus, the happy ending wrapped up so easily that I felt Cole had simply been shunted off into the wings.

Speaking of endings, I felt like Henley just fixed everything off screen and I found it difficult to make the transition along with the story. Plus, I felt like there were a lot of things I wanted the men to talk about (to see the men talk about) that didn’t happen.

For the most part however, I thought this was a sweet little romance.

Review of Let It Snow, by Nancy Thayer

I won a paperback copy of Nancy Thayer‘s Let it Snow through Goodreads. I read it now, in September, so that I can put it in the Little Free Library with the other holiday themed (or set) books in December.

Description:

Christina Antonioni is preparing for the holidays at her Nantucket toy shop, unpacking last-minute shipments and decorating for her loyal Christmas shoppers. But when her Scrooge of a landlord, Oscar Bittlesman, raises her rent, it seems nearly impossible for Christina to continue business on the wharf.

Even so, Christina hopes there is a warm heart underneath Oscar’s steely exterior. When she bonds with Wink, his sweet, young granddaughter who frequents the shop, it becomes clear that perhaps he isn’t so cold after all. And with the help of Wink’s uncle, who happens to be a charming and very handsome bachelor, this may be the best Christmas any of them could have ever imagined. Nancy Thayer’s enchanting Nantucket setting provides the perfect backdrop for this holiday love story. 

Review:

This is a hard book for me to review, because everyone’s taste varies and this particular kind of book makes me cringe. At about the halfway mark I thought, “This is the sort of book people who like the Hallmark Channel would enjoy.” It’s completely true. At one point the main character even sits down and watches it herself. Unfortunately, that particular brand of wholesome, clean (read bland in my opinion), never rings true for me. I dislike it extremely. But I also acknowledge that there is a reason the Hallmark Channel has been around as long as it has. There are people out there who love tis kind of feel-good cheese. I’m just not one of them.

So, I’ll give it a middle of the road three stars. Acknowledging that the writing is perfectly solid and though I can’t relate to a 3-week romance culminating in a proposal, or the crass talk of who is rich and who is poor, or even the fact that everyone refused to get involved in the business issue and that was somehow supposed to be fair, others will no doubt love this.

Review of The Right Swipe (Modern Love #1), by Alisha Rai

cover of the Right Swipe

I won a paperback copy of Alisha Rai‘s The Right Swipe through Goodreads. However, since I seem to be listening to a lot more books than reading lately, I borrowed an audio copy through Hoopla to listen to . I’ll put the paperback in the Little Free Library next time I swap books.

Description from Goodreads:

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules: 

– Nude pics are by invitation only 

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice 

– Protect your heart 

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears. 

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

Review:

I have to give a caveat that contemporary romance isn’t really my jam. I love me some romance, but I’d rather it be set on Mars or in some fantasy realm with Elves or dragons. But interesting looking contemporary romances keep falling in my lap and I’m reading them. 

There seems to be a trend lately of writing romances that correct for all the harmful BS that the genre has suffered from in the past (and a lot of why I’ve avoided it). They’re sex positive, inclusive, diverse and feminist. And I cannot tell you how strongly I am here for that shift in tone! The Right Swipe has that in spades. Samson basically offers to hold Rhi’s purse while she works toward world domination. I loved it. 

I did think Rhi was overreactive at times and the book bordered on didactic on several fronts. But I loved Samson and generally enjoyed the story. Plus, Morton and Pallino did great jobs with the narration.