Saturday, August 24, 2019

Mini Reviews: Royal Blue, Summer Blues and Union Blues

These books have nothing in common except they're what I've been reading this summer but I think they really show the variety in the romance genre!

This New Adult debut about a fake friendship turned pond jumping romance between the Prince of Wales and First Son of The United States has taken the book world by storm. And yes, this book is totally an NA. I love a good NA romance because it fits right into my wheelhouse between the YA and contemporary romance genre. That said I did find the characters a little cloyingly earnest and parts of it really dragged. I’m glad to see that with the right marketing NA can do well. Debut author McQuiston weaves a whirlwind romance into an energetic coming of age story about politics, ambition and hope into something for everyone but especially LGBTQ people. ★★★ +.5

He’s an investigative journalist. She’s a divorce lawyer. These next-door neighbors don’t start off on the right foot but they’ll need each other to solve a civil paternity case. A lot of Julie James books boil down to 'fake dating to solve a crime and oops we fell in love' and I am always here for it. This, however, wasn’t my favorite James. It didn’t have the same thriller aspects as the other books and didn’t capture me.  It’s mostly the hero and heroine throwing their emotional baggage at each other.  This book does have the heroine doing a grovel which was an interesting subversion. I did part of this on audio and while Karen White’s voice has never been my favorite the enthusiasm she puts into her performance is a lot of fun.

The beach cover of this books feels super misleading.  Sure, the book takes place during the summer but never once do they leave downtown Chicago and the heroine spends most of her time in pantsuits and heels. - ★★★

It’s Reconstruction in New Orleans and schoolteacher Valinda Lacy heads down south to help educates the newly freed slaves. After a daring save from the dashing former Union Captain/architect Drake LaVeq, Valinda is taken in by the close-knit and loving LeVeq family. As she and Drake grow closer Valinda discovers passion and starts to imagine a better future she can build with Drake….unfortunately, she’s already engaged to another man

This was my first Beverly Jenkins and I enjoyed it. I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the historical aspects present in the book and I feel like I learned a lot without it feeling didactic. The wealthy LaVeq family and the rich New Orleans setting were fascinating. I found Drake a little annoying with all his "piracy in my blood" talk and constantly referring to himself as a pirate when his lifestyle seemed pretty un-pirate like. I can’t wait to see who the next daring woman will be and I’ll have to check out Through The Storm to see how the LeVeq family saga all began! - ★★★ +.5

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