Wednesday, November 27, 2019

To All The Books We Never Reviewed

When Jess and I started blogging in 2011 we made a point to review every single book we read...or at least we thought we had, until we discovered there were a few romances we'd never reviewed!

Jess's Books

Hot Island Nights
Backstory : Back when we started the romance blog, indie romance was on the rise and Sara Mayberry's Her Best Worst Mistake was everywhere. It was a self-published follow-up book to her traditionally published Hot Island Night. Now I'm a completionist--so before I read  Her Best Worst Mistake  I wanted to read book one. I remember enjoying this book about a proper English rose who bails on her society wedding and runs away to the coast of Australia in search of her birth father, but gets caught up with a rugged Australian. I remember this was how I learned about Pimms and I remember the hero had a real tragic backstory. I did start Her Best Worst Mistake and just forgot to get back to it. 

Why I never Reviewed It: I used to write my reviews in OneNote and IDK what happened but it deleted all my notes and I never had the heart to rewrite it.

A Rogue By Any Other Name and How To Disgrace A Lady
Backstory:  When I first started reading romance I was in between jobs and just reading different samples and chapters from the library trying to figure out what the big deal was. The first two I read in full were a Rogue By Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean and How to Disgrace a Lady by Brownyn Scott because they were highly rated on Overdrive. I'll admit I did not care for A Rogue By Any Other Name. I thought it was boring and the heroine was just trapped in the house most of the time. I was almost ready to give up on this whole romance thing until I read How to Disgrace a Lady. It was a short historical where the hero is hiding out at a house party and falls for a bookish wallflower. It piqued my interest and I think I liked that it didn't take itself to seriously, there was humor and a sword fight. Plus the ending has kind of a brick joke.

Why I Never Reviewed Them: Well....I didn't think I'd ever be a romance reader and by the time the romance blog started, it has been about two years since I read them.

The Spymaster's Lady 
Backstory : My intro to romance was the Smart Bitches Trashy Book Podcast and in the early days this book was constantly being recommended. I read it on audio and, to be honest, I wasn't always a fan of narrator Kristin Potter but this book showed her amazing range. The book is about a blind French female spy who crosses path with a group of high-ranking British spies. They take her into custody and together they move from France to England to deliver a secret message and I was really fascinated by this book that was SO FAR from the ballroom. There is an infamous bathtub sex scene and this book is also infamous for the heroine hitting her head and being able to see again--cause you know you can't have a HEA with a disability. The heroine is 19 and the hero is 26, which I fond a little jarring but whatever. My enjoyment of this book was buoyed when I went to a panel with Joanna Bourne. She became a writer after retiring and she isn't one for all the sentimentality you sometimes see in the romance community.  She was matter-of-fact and down to earth which sometimes I appreciate

Why I Never Reviewed  It : I didn't finish the book. I had about 45 minutes left in the audio and honestly, the plot started to confuse me and I wasn't loving the whole heroine getting "cured" aspect. I borrowed it from the library and my time ran out.

P.S This book has a hero centered and heroine centered cover, which I find interesting.

K.E.'s Books

Backstory:  In 2013 I traveled for work and found I got a lot of solid reading done in the hotel room in the evening. One night I was browsing through Overdrive for something escapist and picked up Harlequin's Royal Babies Vol. 1. I chose this story, read it in one sitting and then never really thought about it again. This was in my pre-romance reading days, so I didn't even know what Harlequin Presents were. I think it I originally thought the collection was short stories. I've read other Yates books without even realizing she wrote one of the first Harlequins I ever read.

Why I never reviewed it: Like Jess said above, I didn't think I knew how to review romance novels. Also, I'd literally forgotten I'd even read this. If I hadn't remembered it being in a Royal Baby collection I might have never found this book again. It is also a super-tropey with an uber-alpha-kidnap-you-and-take-you-to-my-country hero that turned me off.

Backstory:  I can't believe it's almost been two years since this book was the talk of Romancelandia! I read this for book club while I was also in the Avon Addict program so I was just doing a lot of "assigned" reading at the time and this got lost in the shuffle.  I did enjoy this book, I actually laughed out loud at a few parts which is rare for me. This is one of the few books I think about revisiting.

Why I Never Reviewed it: Partially laziness but also because I felt like Jess' review said everything I would say and there were so many reviews about this book out there that I didn't think I had anything to add.

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