Bite Sized Books // Three Romances I’ve Enjoyed Lately

06 September 2017

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It’s been a while since I wrote up a collection of reviews and I’ve read a handful of romances lately that I want to talk about. apart from a bit of romance they really have nothing in common but that’s ok. I mean, who doesn’t love a good romance? One was a brilliant historical romance which I sort of wasn’t in the mood for it. One was a sports romance which kept making me think of X-Men. And one was a contemporary romance I went in wary and came out loving.

Published: 17th January 2014
Source: Library
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating:
From the Design Book of Marcelline Noirot:
The allure of the perfect gown should be twofold:
ladies would die to wear it . . .and gentlemen would kill to remove it!

Brilliant and ambitious dressmaker Marcelline Noirot is London's rising star. And who better to benefit from her talent than the worst-dressed lady in the ton, the Duke of Clevedon's intended bride? Winning the future duchess's patronage means prestige and fortune for Marcelline and her sisters. To get to the lady, though, Marcelline must win over Clevedon, whose standards are as high as his morals are . . . not.

The prize seems well worth the risk—but this time Marcelline's met her match. Clevedon can design a seduction as irresistible as her dresses; and what begins as a flicker of desire between two of the most passionately stubborn charmers in London soon ignites into a delicious inferno . . .and a blazing scandal.

And now both their futures hang by an exquisite thread of silk . . .

This book wasn't what I fancied reading when I started it. I had just finished another book which overwhelmed me with its stunning writing and I was lost but I fancied romance, I just don't think it was a romance of the historical variety I fancied. The writing in this book and the spark between Clevedon and Marcelline was amazing. And once they had returned to England and still Clevedon found himself drawn to Marcelline, that was the point I became truly invested. Especially as glimpses of his past came up and the way he was with Lucie, Marcelline's daughter, well my heart just melted.

This was a little different to the other historical romance I've read so far (I am still not well read in this genre) as Marcelline is a working woman. She was a dressmaker and so she gained access to the elite in society as she clothed them but was never a part of their world either. She is the greatest modiste in the world and she has excellent taste. She has not yet been recognised by many in society for her skill (people don't like trying new things) but her quest to woo the Duke of Clevedon, to entice him to bring his future Duchess to shop with her is her first step on being recognised by all. The only problem is she is more interested in Clevedon that she should be and he has fallen in lust with her.

The sparks flying between the two were amazing and as they spent more time together I found my interest picking up in the book. They were obviously meant to be but you could tell there was more to both than they were letting on. The twists and turns of their relationship were great but as I said, it was Clevedon with Lucie which did it for me, he was adorable and she was amazing. She deserves her own book she had me in stitches.

I wasn't totally swept away in the romance. I was not in the right mood for this but it was so very enjoyable and I'm glad I picked up a copy.

Published: 14th August 2017
Source: Bought
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports Romance
My Rating:
Hot in Chicago series author Kate Meader returns with her all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series, featuring her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (Romantic Times). Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?
He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…
First of all, Remy DuPre? He gave me full on Remy Lebeau vibes you don't even know. All I could think was X men and I felt bad about that as it did take me out of the story at first. Come on, he's name is Remy and he's a Cajun from New Orleans, who could blame me? About 20% in I was pretty solidly invested, though.

I wasn't Harper's biggest fan when I began reading. It wasn't that she was a driven woman who was focused on a single path, it was the fact she was focused and had blinders on. She was so closed off she was unwilling to rely on anyone else. Meader did an excellent job of explaining the independent streak Meader had going and Harper did grow on me but I still wanted her to reach her final realisations for sooner. It was a good kind of frustration, at least. And I had huge respect for what she did when she had been continually beaten down by a father who did not respect her brilliance and accept his own flaws.

As for Remy, everyone loves a passionate man, especially when he is a sexy hockey player who respects women and isn't afraid to talk about his feelings. And he's a musician as well? Don't mind me, I'm just swooning here.

The chemistry between Harper and Remy? Well, hot damn this book is on fire in that department. I loved them together, they were so good together and you could see sparks before they even had a proper conversation. I loved seeing them getting together and they were brilliant.

I also loved the family feels with the sisters together. I have high hopes for more family time with Harper, Violet and Isobel. Those girls will be hilarious together, I can see it now. Also, the DuPre family feels were good, too. Got to love a big family and Remy was so adorable with his nieces.

Published: 4th September 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
When an entrepreneur and an Army reservist end up in their own reality show fauxmance, they have to decide whether their love exists just for the cameras...or if it’s for real in this warmhearted romance, perfect for foodies and wine lovers!

Bryn Aquino, the former manager of a Filipino restaurant, knows the value of hard work. With a shiny new MBA in tow and an investor, she’s ready to start her own business: a culinary retreat where visitors can relax, cook, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Dubbed Paraiso Retreats, she leases the childhood home of army reservist Mitchell Dunford—who returned from Afghanistan to revive his family’s vineyard—but finds herself in a bind when her investor pulls out of the business.

When the retreat catches an internet live stream producer’s eye through social media channels, Bryn is offered the opportunity of a lifetime—to document her journey in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Excited, Bryn happily agrees to the arrangement...only to find out that she’s going to have to fake an onscreen romance with her indifferent landlord in order to keep her audience interested.

As Mitchell and Bryn put on a show for the cameras, they find their romance isn’t hard to fake. They’ve got more in common under their bluster, banter, and doubts. As their relationship heats up and the cameras keep rolling, the line between show and reality blurs. And when the pressures of family, business, and the audience stack against them, will their romance survive internet stardom? Or was it just for show?
I had my doubts with this one. I'd seen Nick saying she wasn't Bryn's biggest fan because she was mean so I went in with a couple of reservations. At first, I agreed, Bryn was mean and quick to judge when she didn't know everything. She wasn't willing to let folks close to her and needed control. And then Mitch looked like he was going to grow closer to Bryn with this livestream and not mention his ulterior motives and when he cared for her. I should've known there was no need to be worried. Did North To You teach me nothing? Marcelo knows what she's doing.

Mitch and Bryn were very different and they didn't get off to the best start. He did spill his coffee all down her and then he ended up being her landlord. There were sparks from the start, though. No one is that bothered by someone and doesn't have an interest in them.

Mitch was the easier character to like. He was a war veteran and suffering from insomnia and PTSD. He had things mostly under control and he was working to make his family's vineyard a success once more. He was a genuinely nice guy and he was so easy to fall in love. Bryn was not. She was harsh in North To You but in this, her determined personality shone through. She was focused and independent and that did make me like her but, like Mitch, I had to get past those walls she built to see what she was really like. Once she released a bit and got to know Mitch that was one I really started to like her.

There were several ups and downs in this book. I really enjoyed it, though. I also loved that it was a fake relationship book, except that it wasn't a fake relationship. They were taking a fake relationship and that was a good twist on a common (and far-fetched) trope.

And there you have it, three romances which I enjoyed (even if I wasn’t in the mood for one). Have you read any of these, what did you think? And what’s the best romance you’ve read lately?
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