Bite Sized Books // Two Sequels With MCs I Hated When I Met Them But Loved When They Got Their Own Starring Role

30 August 2018

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74. A Duke By Default
A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2) – Alyssa Cole
Published: 31st July 2018
Source: Bought
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way…

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project. 

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?
Well... this book made me want to go to Scotland. There must be plenty of sexy Scottish sword makers hanging around, right?


Don’t ruin my dreams guys!

Yet again, I went in wary to a book and got blown away by its brilliance. I was wary of it because I wasn't a fan of the female lead in the previous book. Portia did some questionable things in A Princess in Theory and I wasn't excited about her getting her own book until I read the summary of this one, a grumpy, sexy Scottish boss? I was all over needing this book, I was ready to forgive Portia for her sins. And Portia didn't even need much forgiveness. Once you start reading from her POV and you get her barrelling in with her mace ready to rescue someone she'd never met I knew me and her were going to get along just fine.

Portia is an impulsive character. She has a bad reputation for acting first and thinking about the consequences later. This isn't always a bad thing because it means she gets shit done but it does mean she ends up acting a little rashly and that gets her in trouble from time to time. It also means folks up making her doubt herself by calling her out on her rash behaviour in the worst possible way. I felt for Portia because she had been drowning herself in alcohol and masking her problems by partying and having meaningless sex. It was messy and she had turned over a new leaf so sparks flying with her new boss were not part of the plan. And her parents questioning her decisions and giving her zero support did not help matters. Girl needed a better family support system and a little more self-confidence.

And boy was Tav amazing too. He had the gruff Scotsman thing going for him. And he was an older grumpkins who was adorable too with his squishy centre he didn't like folks to show. He was adorable... until he was with Portia and then sparks were flying. Those two together! Wow, they were amazing. I loved their snarky banter. And then there gentle teasing. By the end, I was yelling for both of them to pull their heads out of their arses already. I admit Tav did need a lot of help to figure things out for himself. He was a typical male who needed the obvious pointed out to him because he couldn’t see beyond the end of his nose, but I forgave him for being dim because he had a good heart and always had good intentions.

I admit, the duke element of the story bothered me slightly... but only because they kept saying the Duke of Edinburgh and that's Prince Philip so I was kind of visualising Queenie's husband, you know? Like, guys, I know in The Crown he was Matt Smith but in reality, dude is old and causes a lot of offensive but we forgive him because he’s like your racist grandad, you love him but you don’t half wish he wouldn’t speak in public. But I digress! Apart from the whole Duke of Edinburgh/Prince Philip debacle, it was all totally cool. The rest of the book was all kinds of enjoyable. Also, loved all the geeky references.

72. The One You Can't Forget
Published: 5th June 2018
Source: Bought
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
Most days Rebecca Lindt feels like an imposter...

The world admires her as a survivor. But that impression would crumble if people knew her secret. She didn't deserve to be the one who got away. But nothing can change the past, so she's thrown herself into her work. She can't dwell if she never slows down.

Wes Garrett is trying to get back on his feet after losing his dream restaurant, his money, and half his damn mind in a vicious divorce. But when he intervenes in a mugging and saves Rebecca―the attorney who helped his ex ruin him―his simple life gets complicated.

Their attraction is inconvenient and neither wants more than a fling. But when Rebecca's secret is put at risk, both discover they could lose everything, including what they never realized they needed: each other

She laughed and kissed him. This morning she'd melted down. But somehow this man had her laughing and turned on only a few hours later. Everything inside her felt buoyed.

She felt...light.

She'd forgotten what that felt like.
Another sequel I was hesitant about reading! I’ve got to stop being wary when I know I enjoyed book 1. Again, I wasn’t the MCs biggest fan in the first book, though. Me and Rebecca did not gel in book 1 so hearing book 2 was going to be about her I was like, really? And no, it wasn't because she'd stolen my name. I just, didn’t like how she came across in the first book and even the snippet at the end of the book didn’t get me excited to read but I preordered all the same and when the reviews came rolling in I glad I did. I was all for a divorce lawyer getting it on with someone whose ex she’d helped get a good settlement. It sounded like an interesting messy romance where two characters shouldn’t work together but do. Also, I heard there was food involved and turns out I love foodie romance.

The romance was sweet That actually really surprised me because when Rebecca and Wes meet they aren’t aware of who the other is so the sparks are flying without them knowing. When they both figure out who the other is this should really drive them apart and I figured this would be a romance which is all passion but they actually are so cute together. When they aren’t aware who the other is they were sweet and when they moved passed it and spend time together they’re downright adorable. Their friendship and bond grew over time and that’s not something you always see in romance and that was a really great part to it. I was frustrated by them denying what they meant to each other but it’s a romance so you know it all worked out in the end. I got their reasons, at least.

It was a such an enjoyable read with a good level of swoony romance. Also if you like men that can cook and food, in general, you should totally check this out because you will not be disappointed. Turns out I like foodie romance and men who can cook just does something for me. We all have our thing, right?

There were have it, two sequels with MCs I didn’t expect to like but did. Have you read either of these? What did you think? And am I the only one doing a 180 with my opinions of characters?
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