Today is Friday and I’m here again with the next letter of the ABC Book Challenge!
MEMORABLE TITLES THAT START WITH THE LETTER “V”
BOOKS STARTING WITH “V” ON MY TBR
Title: Love Her or Lose Her (Hot & Hammered #2)
Author: Tessa Bailey
What is this book about? Love Her or Lose Her is about second-chance romance and falling in love all over again with your spouse. The story focuses on Rosie and Dominic, who we were introduced to in Fix Her Up, and the desperate attempts they make to save their crumbling marriage.
What did I like? My favorite part of Love Her or Lose Her is the hopeful message. Contemporary romances featuring characters trying to save their marriage and falling in love again with their spouses are such a sweet spot for me. I loved watching Rosie and Dominic “relearn” each other’s love language and figure out how to better communicate and what needed to be changed in order to grow together and fix their marriage.
What didn’t I like? I didn’t end up loving this one as much as Fix her Up, and I think it’s because I struggled with Dominic’s character. I understand that he’s not meant to be a touchy-feely talkative guy, but I feel like 99% of the problems could have been solved quicker and with less heartbreak had he just talked to Rosie. There were also moments where he was very overbearing towards Rosie.
Overall thoughts: An enjoyable contemporary romance about second chance romance and going to the extreme to save your marriage, but it didn’t wow me as much as Fix Her Up.
Title: Bringing Down the Duke (A League of Extraordinary Women #1)
Author: Evie Dunmore
Another historical romance written by a debut author that absolutely thrilled me! Bringing Down the Duke had me hooked from the beginning and it was nothing short of a fun, page-turning story.
What is this book about? Annabelle Archer, a poor vicar’s daughter, earns entrance to Oxford on a scholarship. However, in return for the scholarship she must join the women’s suffragist movement and she’s tasked with gaining the support of the Duke of Montgomery.
What did I like? There’s so much to praise about this book. The wonderful characters, the simmering attraction between Annabelle and Sebastian, the witty banter and humorous writing. Everything came together perfectly to create this very compelling story. The relationship that develops between Annabelle and Sebastian was amazing. The author did a fantastic job writing the tension and passion between the two of them and I really loved how they overcame the obstacles of their love.
What didn’t I like? I’m having such a hard time trying to think of something I didn’t like.
Overall thoughts: Bringing Down the Duke was a fun, delightful read about a bluestocking heroine with strong convictions and the duke she finds herself falling for. Everything about this debut novel was perfect and I really recommend this story for fans of historical romance!
Title: The Kingdom of Back
Author: Marie Lu
ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.
“And then one night you realize that you have given him so much of yourself that you are nothing but the curtsy and the smile and the quiet. That you are nothing.”
What is this book about? The synopsis is definitely a bit misleading (at least to me). I was expecting a fantasy story with musical aspects something along the veins of Wintersong. However, The Kingdom of Back is a historical fiction focused on the bond between siblings with some fantasy elements mixed in. The book follows the Nannerl Mozart and her relationship with her brother as they discover and cultivate their prodigious musical talents together.
What did I like? I’m a big enough person to admit that prior to this book, I was unaware of Wolfgang Mozart’s equally talented sister, Nannerl. Once I had read up about her on Wikipedia, I was able to better appreciate Marie Lu’s story. She gave such an important voice to Nannerl and I loved how true to history the book’s events were. Even the mention of the Kingdom of Back was really well done and did a great job giving insight to the possible thoughts and emotions Nannerl might have had about her success and place in the world compared to her brother’s.
What didn’t I like? The Kingdom of Back was a lot slower paced and longer than I had anticipated. Because it was lacking in action and focused more on Nannerl’s inner monologue, I struggled to push through parts of the book.
Overall thoughts: The Kingdom of Back was a totally different type of story than I had been expecting: the book is more historical fiction than fantasy. Marie Lu’s lyrical writing focuses on music and sibling love, however the book’s slower pace and lack of action failed to keep my attention.
Title: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
“The first slide says: SEXUAL EXPERIMENTATION WITH FOREIGN MONARCHS: A GRAY AREA. Alex wonders if it’s too late to swan dive off the roof.”
What is this book about? Red, White & Royal Blue is a warm, amusing story about self-discovery and an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers romance between Alex, the First Son of the United States, and Henry, the Prince of England.
What did I like? Who could help but love these characters? Alex and Henry were such soft, tender-hearted men and I felt giddy the entire time as their relationship and feelings unfolded between them. I also really enjoyed how funny the book is. It’s no secret I’m a big fan of rom-coms, and some of the one-liners in this book were absolute gold.
“How dare Henry come into Alex’s house looking like the goddamn James Bond offspring that he is, drink red wine with the prime minister, and act like he didn’t slip Alex the tongue and ghost him for a month.”
What didn’t I like? For whatever reason, this book seemed to really drag. I think it’s because at some parts of the book, the plot seemed to stall out which left me inpatient for it to get on with already. I also found some of the political aspects of the story to be unrealistic and overly-romanticised for the sake of the novel, which is fine-it’s fiction, but bothered me enough that I don’t think I enjoyed the overall story as fully because of it.
Overall thoughts: Red, White & Royal Blue is a heart-warming, romantic story about two young men coming to grips with who they are and who they want to be. As always, I absolutely loved the hate-to-love aspect of the story and Alex and Henry are such wonderful characters it’s hard not to root for them throughout the book.