30 May 2018

Bite Sized Books // Two New Books From Some of My Favourite Authors

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Today I have a review for two books from authors whose books I have loved. They are authors who have placed themselves firmly on the favourites list in the past couple of years and who happen to have books coming out around the same time as each other. They are two very different books but they are both firmly in the romance category and so they’re getting reviewed together an you lot can’t stop me.

Making Up
Published: 28th May 2018
Source: Netgalley/Purchased
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
Author of Act Like It and Pretty Face Lucy Parker returns readers to the West End, where it’s fireworks onstage and off in a sexy enemies-to-lovers showdown.


Once upon a time, circus artist Trix Lane was the best around. Her spark vanished with her confidence, though, and reclaiming either has proved…difficult. So when the star of The Festival of Masks is nixed and Trix is unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight, it’s exactly the push she needs. But the joy over her sudden elevation in status is cut short by a new hire on the makeup team.

Leo Magasiva: disgraced wizard of special effects. He of the beautiful voice and impressive beard. Complete dickhead and—in an unexpected twist—an enragingly good kisser.

To Leo, something about Trix is…different. Lovely. Beautiful, even though the pint-size, pink-haired former bane of his existence still spends most of her waking hours working to annoy him. They’ve barely been able to spend two minutes together for years, and now he can’t get enough of her. On stage. At home. In his bed.
When it comes to commitment, Trix has been there, done that, never wants to do it again. Leo’s this close to the job of a lifetime, which would take him away from London—and from Trix. Their past is a constant barrier between them.

It seems hopeless.
Utterly impossible.
And yet…
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

I have adored Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities series thus far. Considering, until now, there have been just two books released in this series that could seem like a ridiculous claim, but I’ve read those two books several times already and they are firmly in the favourites category. It’s safe to say I knew I needed to read this book as soon as I heard about it so you can imagine my squeal of joy when I got approved for it on Netgalley. I downloaded the eARC so fast and started reading practically immediately.

It’s safe to say my expectations were high for this book and I already had my own idea of where this book would go based upon my glimpses of both Trixie and Leo in the previous book. Lucy Parker blew all those expectations and preconceptions out of the water. I was in no way prepared for the book I got and I’m pretty glad for it. One of my grumbles when I first began reading Pretty Face, the previous book in this series, is that I’d been concerned it was going to be similar to the first book simply because the tone felt similar and there were similarities to be seen in the romance between those characters. It was a superficial similarity, which I soon realised as I got beyond the first couple of chapters, but it was one of my initial thoughts as I was reading. I didn’t have that concern when reading this one. Making UP has a different tone and a different kind of romance. It was a second chance romance and it was so very enjoyable to read.

Trixie is a circus artist with pink hair and a whole heap of personality. Anyone who has read Pretty Face will know is she’s coming out the other side of an extremely toxic relationship and her entire sense of self has been shaken by that relationship. This is the aftermath of all of that and she is slowly adjusting to the after and learning who she is once more on the back of that. She doesn’t have anytime for Leo Magasiva, with whom she has a whole heap of history she doesn’t want to get into and she most certainly doesn’t want to be working with him. He doesn’t have quite the same problems with her, but that’s an element of their relationship which I will not reveal in this review.

I wasn’t certain how I felt about Trix and Leo together. We only had a small glimpse of solemn Leo in Pretty Face, and there was certainly no hint of their past in that book. And Trix is coming out of coming, but even so she was a live wire and a bundle of energy and I’ve heard of opposites attract but I was going to take some convincing to believe them together. Turns out, I was totally wrong to have doubts. There were hidden depths to both of them and exploring their past was just the best. I mean, there were sparks flying off the page when they were together and I as time progressed I was rooting for them to sort their shit out and just get together. And the epilogue near enough killed me. Seriously, the epilogue is one of my favourites I#ve read because it felt real.

Definitely another book added to the favourites list and it surprised me. Second chance romance can be really hit or miss for me. I sometimes find myself rolling my eyes because even though we’re told it’s a second chance romance it comes across a bit insta-lovey because I don’t believe their history, this time that didn’t happen at all. I will be rereading soon with it’s release.

One Night Wife
Published: 28th May 2018
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
Finley Cartwright is the queen of lost causes. That’s why she’s standing on a barstool trying to convince Friday night drinkers to donate money to her failing charity. Hitting on the guy on the next stool wasn’t part of her plan. Still, hot but grumpy venture capitalist Caleb Sherwood might just be her ticket to success.

Professional grifter and modern-day Robin Hood, Cal Sherwood is looking for a partner for a long con. Sexy Fin, doing her best Marilyn Monroe act for her cause, has the necessary qualifications. By the time he cuts her free, her charity would be thriving, and she’d have helped him charm billions out of arrogant, gullible marks to fund his social justice causes.

But just when he thinks he’s about to pull off the best con ever, his feisty new partner gets the upper hand.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

As I said, these two books are pretty different apart from the romance aspect. This is Ainslie Paton’s newest release and I just know she’s been marketing it as a Robin Hood style romance all about social justice and that’s pretty damn accurate. As soon as I saw it included con artists I was intrigued (I like books about con artists, there’s something about it… don’t know what) and then she said it was a fake relationship book and I was like sold, take my money.

This book was such a fun read. I mean, it was funny and just a joy to read, I cared about Finley from the start. Sure, she acted a little impulsively and didn’t think things through but she cared so damned much about her charity and even though people had put her down as flakey and she never finishes anything but she just hasn’t gotten the chance to find her passion. So when she stumbles upon con man extraordinaire (and the Robin Hood of this tale) at a bar while she’s trying to pick up donations and then bumps into her ex. Turns out the pair have all the chemistry and should totally be together. Me and Fin were on the same page… Cal, not so much. He leaps to helping her con some donations and using her to help hi perform his own cons. That did bug me a little.

I know, I’m reading a romance, I know they’ll get it on eventually but the characters aren’t aware of their romance novel situation so obviously act accordingly. That meant that Cal stayed wanting to keep things strictly professional to further the con and also planned to keep Fin in the dark about his family (because conning is obviously a family business) which seemed a bit harsh to me because she didn’t even realise that what she was doing to garner donations (like ridiculous donations to do a whole heap of good) were done using a very mild form of con to get people’s interest. Now, I’m not hating on Cal, he was head of the little con game he and his family did and they did it all for the greater good. Sure, they were all getting rich from it (I know, doesn’t sound great when I put it like that) but by making themselves rich they ran in the circles of uber rich who did terrible things and never gave money back, instead Cal comes along, takes all their money and sends it off to charities to do good because these rich douches weren’t smart enough to do it themselves. I can’t fault Cal, his heart was in the right place at least and I totally agreed with why he was doing these things. I just wish he had used his words a bit more and he could have saved everyone a little bit of heartbreak.

Look, this is a story that is all about showing up rich folks and demonstrating that there are a lot of awful people in the world and there are plenty of over privileged folks. You will be cheering on Cal with his schemes, these rich folks deserve everything they get. And you’ll be cheering for Cal to remove his head from his ass and admit he’s got a good thing right in front of him in the form of Fin and they should just get it together already.

This is probably a terrible review for a book I really enjoyed but all the best reviews are a little bit terrible (mine are, anyway) so take that as a sign you should check it out. I’d only read Ainslie Paton’s Stubborn Hearts series before this but she can most definitely write all the good stuff, not just one series. Check this out if you want to read a little social justice with your romance and want to feel inspired to give to even more charities.

And there were two reviews for books from some of my favourite authors. Have you two read either of these, weren’t they awesome?

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