REVIEW: On the Corner of Love and Hate – Nina Bocci (ARC)

42587433Title: On the Corner of Love and Hate
Author: Nina Bocci
Rating: ★★★★½

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

I enjoy the finer things in life and literature: slow-burn romance, hate-to-love romance, a healthy dose of angst. Thankfully, On the Corner of Love and Hate delivered everything I wanted in this fun, witty, charmingly romantic story.

I don’t often comment on book covers in my reviews, but I really think this book is going to fly under the radar undeservingly. I don’t hate the cover and I don’t think it’s terrible, but I really think having a cover that was brighter and more fun would attract the eyes of more readers (think along the lines of Christina Lauren’s The Unhoneymooners or Tessa Bailey’s Fix Her Up).

The crux of this story is a frenemies-to-lovers romance, so obviously I was all onboard. Emma and Cooper have a rocky relationship: they were childhood best friends who had a bit of a falling out later in life, and now work together in the same department. The two of them seem to be constantly bickering and arguing, but it’s still obvious that they care about each other.

I don’t think there was a single thing I didn’t love about this book. I adored the characters, the writing was fantastic, and the plot was super compelling. When a book gives me, the reader, a series case of butterflies during the first kiss scene, that’s when you know it’s done a tremendous job building the tension!

On the Corner of Love and Hate is the perfect summer read. It has a great blend of humor, politics, anst, and romance. I’m so thankful the publicist reached out to me about this title because I absolutely adored it. Nina Bocci has another book coming out this fall and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for it!

REVIEW: Fix Her Up – Tessa Bailey

39854434Title: Fix Her Up
Author: Tessa Bailey
Rating: ★★★★★

Tessa Bailey has earned herself a new fan. I’ve been craving adult contemporary romances lately and this was absolutely perfect in every way. Fix Her Up was lighthearted, funny, and down-right sexy. This was my first Tessa Bailey book, but it definitely will not be my last.

First of all, Fix Her Up features one of my favorites tropes: fake dating. But it was so much better than I could have hoped for. I loved watching the relationship between Georgie and Travis unfold. Their genuine friendship was endearing and it was very easy to see how well they complimented one another as partners. They both grow individually as people, but also help each other realize their potential. However, do not be fooled by the charming cover and cute synopsis: this book was hot as hell. I’ve seen Tessa Bailey hailed as the queen of dirt talk and now I understand all the praise. That first scene is honestly one of the best I think I’ve ever read.

There was so much to love about this book. The writing was fantastic, the characters were all charming, and the romance was spectacular. The only thing that kind of bothered me was the ending felt really abrupt. I was expecting one more chapter or at least an epilogue so I was surprised when I turned the page to find the acknowledgments. I could have read about Georgie and Travis’ relationship for forever, but I’m super stoked we’ll be learning more about Rosie and Dominic in the next book! I highly, highly recommend Fix Her Up to anyone looking for a fun, sexy, lighthearted summer read!

REVIEW: The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren (ARC)

42201431Title: The Unhoneymooners
Author: Christina Lauren
Rating: ★★★★½

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

As I’ve said in previous reviews, no one writes contemporary romances quite like the amazing duo of Christina Lauren. I read the synopsis once and immediately requested the book and I’m so extremely thankful I was approved. The Unhoneymooners was like reading my own romantic fantasies come to life: hate-to-love romance, fake dating trope, and a dream vacation to Hawaii. 

Everytime I pick up a CLo book, there are a few things I expect to find within the pages: a quirky, relatable heroine, witty banter, scenes that make me laugh out loud (or at least snort unattractively), and a swoon-worthy love interest. And thankfully, The Unhoneymooners checked all those boxes. The only reason I did not give this book five stars, was that it was surprisingly light on the tension/angst, especially considering the plot literally revolves around two characters who hate each other, pretending to be in love. 

The Unhoneymooners is a seriously fun and lighthearted read, perfect for the summer! This book is perfect for fans of The Proposal, The Hating Game, or Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Christina Lauren know how to write contemporary romance and it shows with every book they write.

REVIEW: Roomies – Christina Lauren

34466910Title: Roomies
Author: Christina Lauren
Rating: ★★★★★

I always worry that one of these days I’ll read a CLo book that doesn’t live up to my expectations. This is not that day. I wanted a fun, contemporary romance with a smidge of sexiness and and once again these authors delivered on all aspects.

“Crushes are the worst, but in hindsight a crush from afar seems so much easier than this. I should stick to making up stories in my head and watching from a distance like a reasonable creeper.”

I don’t know how they do it, but it seems like in every CLo book I read, there’s a heroine with whom I can relate to. And the fact that I can always connect with the main character on some level makes their books so much more enjoyable. Roomies was a witty, heartwarming, delightful book that I didn’t want to put down. The “fake marriage” trope was executed perfectly and it was so lovely to watch the relationship between Holland and Calvin slowly develop over time. And speaking of Calvin, from the first few chapters he had me turning into a puddle of goo. Holland Bakker is one lucky gal: she gets a handsome, wholesome, adorable Irish man as her husband – that’s the dream (or at least it’s mine).

Roomies had the whole package when it comes to what I look for in a contemporary romance: relatable heroine, witty writing, great dialogue between characters, steamy scenes, and a love interest I wish I could pull forth from the pages. This was such a fun and charming book and I always highly recommend Christina Lauren’s books! 

Favorite Romance Tropes

We all have those tropes that make picking up a certain book a no-brainer. In the honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to talk about all the romance tropes that I absolutely love in a book. If I detect a hint of any of these in a synopsis, you can bet I’ll be adding that book to my TBR. I’m also really mad because as I was writing this post, I was drawing some serious blanks and could not recall any books that featured a lot of these tropes. I need to go back and reread every book I’ve ever had and take notes.


ENEMIES TO LOVERS

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: hate-to-love romances are my bread and butter. There are so many great aspects to this trope: the heated arguments, the palpable angst, the sexual tension, the mixed feelings. Honestly, just give me two characters that hate each other and hint at an attraction and I’ll be good to go.

Favorite Examples: Cardan + Jude from The Cruel Prince, Eelyn + Fiske from Sky in the Deep, Magnus + Cleo from Falling Kingdoms, Matthias + Nina from Six of Crows, Anthony + Kate from The Viscount Who Loved Me


CHILDHOOD FRIENDS TO LOVERS

The next best thing to hate-to-lovers, is having two people who have know each other for forever and then eventually develop feelings – or better yet, discover the feelings have been there all along. I love everything about it: the history between them, the inside jokes, the established friendship, the moments of jealousy before they realize their feelings. 

Favorite Examples: Malyen + Alina from Shadow and Bone, Eril-Fane + Azareen from Strange the Dreamer, Elliot + Macy from Love and Other Words, Jay + Violet from The Body Finder


THERE’S ONLY ONE BED

You know this trope. The protagonist and love interest encounter a situation where they need to stay in a room with only one bed which – to my great delight – they end up sharing. Every time this happens in a book, I turn into giddy, squealing schoolgirl. I don’t know how this trope originated, but I would like to personally thank each and every author that’s ever utilized it. Bonus points if they hate each other. Extra bonus points if they end up cuddling by morning or the male love interest wakes up with a bit of a situation, ya know what I’m saying 😉

Favorite Examples: All of them. (but no seriously, I’m drawing a huge blank and cannot think of a single book with this trope even though I’ve read it so many times. If anyone can think of any specific YA books in which this happens, please comment below and put me out of my misery 😭)


FAKE RELATIONSHIP

I love me a good fake relationship, especially when the characters need to make it believable and act in love: hold hands, snuggling up, kissing. I know it’s probably redundant at this point, but the trope is even better when they don’t even really like each other at the beginning.

Favorite Examples: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, The Rogue Not Taken, Roomies


KISSING TO HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT

Ah, the infamous “the bad guys are looking for us, let’s kiss so they look the other way!” Or when two characters are in disguise and have to kiss to keep up the ruse. Classic. I love this trope, particularly because it always happens before either of the characters admit to any feelings. And also because kissing, duh.

Favorite Examples: Angelfall, Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact, The Devil’s Thief, Rebel of the Sands


HUDDLING TOGETHER FOR SURVIVAL

This is such a good trope, and one that sometimes allows for our beloved characters to strip down in a totally nonsexual way and then cuddle for warmth (or survival). I think I like it so much, because usually they end up falling asleep in each other’s arms, and then it becomes very reminiscent to the whole “there’s only bed” trope which we have all learned by now is one of my favorites.

Favorite Examples: Grave Mercy, The Hunger Games, The White Stag, 


SHARING A HORSE

I’m total and complete trash for this trope. Like, in every fantasy story where there is some kind of horse riding going on, I always pray that some kind of situation arises in which the main character and the love interest have to share a horse for the duration of the rest of the journey. Whether they end up riding in front or in back, doesn’t matter it makes me swoon so hard. 

Favorite Examples: Each and every time it happens.


Are any of these tropes you enjoy reading? What are some of your favorite romance tropes? Or what are some tropes in romance you cannot stand to read? Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!