Category: romance

Title: There’s Something About Sweetie

Author: Sandhya Menon

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance

Series: When Dimple Met Rishi, book two

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Sandhya Menon is one of my favorite authors; she won my heart last year with her debut romance, When Dimple Met Rishi. (Diverse books for the win!) There’s Something About Sweetie is the companion novel to Dimple, and it’s been on my list since before it came out. I’ve checked it out from my library a few times, but unfortunately had to take it back before I could read it. When I was at one of my book clubs, I saw it sitting on a new book display and had to take it home. I just finished it over the long weekend, and just thinking about it, I haven’t been able to stop grinning. With her signature romance, humor, and heart, Menon has continued the story, this time focusing on Rishi’s younger brother, Ashish. Fresh out of a painful breakup, his friend suggests that he let his parents set him up with a good Indian girl. Said Indian girl is Sweetie, a kind, gentle, and sweet fat athlete who is desperate for people to accept her and look past her weight. Thus ensues a romance straight out of a rom-com, complete with misunderstandings, cute banter, and a happy ending. I wish romances were written like this one, because if they were, I would read them more often! Sandhya Menon has knocked her third novel out of the park, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

               Sweetie is fat, and she knows it. She’s totally fine with it, but the same can’t be said for her well-meaning mother and other people who think they’re doing her a favor by telling her she’s overweight. Certain that if she can look past it and love herself, so can others. But unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Then there’s Ashish, fresh off of a bad breakup. Half as a joke, he asks his parents to set him up with a proper Indian girl. When Ashish and Sweetie meet for the first time, their attraction to one another is instant. Going against her parents’ wishes for the first time in her life, Sweetie begins seeing Ashish. Will true love win the day? Or will these two crazy kids’ love affair end before it has a chance to truly begin?

               I loved, loved, loved this book; there aren’t enough words in the English language to properly express just how much I loved this romance. When Dimple Met Rishi was one of my favorite books of last year, so I’ve been looking forward to Sweetie since before it came out. I loved the way it put emphasis on Ashish, Rishi’s younger brother. The pacing was breakneck and I was immediately spellbound by Ashish and Sweetie and their distinct voices. I’m such a sucker for love stories, especially ones where I’m rooting for both halves of the couple! This book might be my favorite in Menon’s entire body of work; it’s one of my favorite books of 2019! My favorite part of the book, though, was Sweetie, and her fierce devotion to herself. She was so gentle, sweet, and kind, and I really related to her because of that. Ashish, Dimple, Rishi, and the parents all made wonderful, heartfelt foils to both Ashish and Sweetie. The only thing that really upset me was Sweetie’s strained relationship with her mother; I understood where she was coming from, but it still seemed to me, at times, that she couldn’t accept Sweetie for who she was, until the end. But I loved this book, and I will never forget Sweetie and Ashish and their young, new love! A romance that should be required reading for all! The bottom line: Romantic, honest, and insightful, I loved There’s Something About Sweetie! Menon has outdone herself once again! Next on deck: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/12/theres-something-about-sweetie-by.html

               Burning
Love: Chapter 2

               Serena
could not believe her luck. She’d lost a fiancé, and somehow, she’d summoned a man,
whose skin could easily withstand scorching fire. If she were still a little
girl, she would’ve thought that she was inside a fairy tale, come true.

               Kaiden
stepped out of the fire, brushing ash off of his skin, and when he did, the
flames seemed to die, turning from a roaring inferno to dim embers. Serena
noticed, her skin flushing with heat, that he wore only a pair of plain black
trousers, and the taut, tight planes of his chest were exposed. Despite the
cool of the autumn night, he didn’t seem to notice.

               Serena
looked around for Abby, not sure how she was going to explain the sudden
appearance of a half-naked stranger to her best friend. Abby was clustered nearby
with their friends, a red plastic cup in hand. By the looks of her flushed
cheeks, she was at least tipsy. Serena had no idea how to get her attention,
but she gave Kaiden a look. “Stay here, please. I need to go get my friend.”

               In
reply, he smiled. “I’m not going anywhere, Serena.” He reassured her.

               Serena
crept over to Abby and their friends, grabbing Abby’s forearm.

               “Abby,
I… I don’t feel very well.” She lied quickly, widening her eyes so that Abby
could understand the urgency of the situation. “Could you come with me, please?”

               Abby
frowned, concerned, but she turned to the rest. “I’m going to check and see if
Serena is okay. I’ll be back soon, guys.”

               Serena dragged
her closer to Kaiden, frowning. She put her hand on Abby’s shoulders.

               “Before
I tell you what’s actually going on, you have to promise that you’ll believe me,
no matter how crazy it might sound.”

               Abby
frowned at her friend, squinting. “How much have you had to drink, Serena? I
know you’re sad over Leon, but you’re scaring me.”

               “I
haven’t had a drop of alcohol, Abs! Just listen!” Slowly, haltingly, Serena
explained everything down to the last detail, no matter how small. Abby stared
at her, her jaw hanging open.

               “Okay,
so where is this magical mystery man?” Abby asked, looking around, and Serena
couldn’t resist smiling, in spite of herself. Leave it to her friend to take
that news without even blinking. “Come on,” Serena said, taking Abby’s hand and
leading her to Kaiden, who was waiting patiently for her return.

               “Serena,
you’re back! Is this the friend you told me about?” Kaiden asked, flashing Abby
a friendly grin, eyes twinkling.

               “My
name is Abby. What’s yours?” Abby replied, raising her brows at Serena, as if
in agreement.

               “I’m
Kaiden.”

               “How’d
you end up here, Kaiden?” Abby asked, and Serena flushed, looking at her feet
shyly. She felt exposed and vulnerable, even in front of Abby.

               “Well,
it’s simple. Serena’s heartache summoned me to this plane. So, I answered it.”

               “But what
are you, Kaiden? No offense.”

               “I am a
fire elemental with the ability to shapeshift into a dragon.” Kaiden shrugged,
smiling, a flush coming to his cheeks at their scrutiny.

               This
time, Serena and Abby both gasped, as one.

               Was
this truly real? Or just a sweet, strange dream?

               **

(WP) Burning Love

               The
night after her fiancé broke off their engagement, Serena couldn’t help
wondering where it had all gone wrong. They’d been happy, hadn’t they? At least
she had thought they were. But she and Leon had been together since high school,
and now, she was single. She should’ve known that he was letting her down
gently: he’d even insisted on ordering wine and dessert. Serena hadn’t even
realized he was breaking up with her until she’d spotted tears running down his
cheeks, and he kept apologizing, over and over. That was Leon, polite and
courteous even to the end.

               “I’m
sorry, Serena. I just think that we’ve grown apart. I can’t even remember what
my life was like before you. You understand, don’t you? I can’t marry you. It
wouldn’t be fair to either of us.”

               And
what could she have said in reply? No, I don’t understand, this is a
mistake, please reconsider?
She’d just nodded numbly, accepting his hug
outside of the eatery while her heart lay in pieces. “I love you, Serena,” He’d
murmured, kissing her cheek. She’d taken off her ring, and tried to give it to
him.

               But he’d
refused, smiling sadly. “Why don’t you keep it? To remember me.” He’d walked
away, and for a little bit, she just watched him retreat.

               Serena
didn’t remember much after that; she called her best friend, Abby, and the
other girl took her to a bonfire on the edge of town. Now, she stood in front
of the flames, staring into them, the engagement ring cradled in her hands. In
the firelight, the trio of pink diamonds tucked into the band glittered.

               Abby
was drinking with some of their friends; Serena had requested that she be left
alone for a while.

               “I’m
sorry, Leon, that I wasn’t enough,” She whispered to the flames, holding the
ring above the roaring inferno. “But I will love you forever, and I will never
forget you.”

               She
listened closely, hearing only the crackle of the fire. She wasn’t expecting an
answer, but that was exactly what she received.

               **

               I
have seen your heart, and I accept.

               **

               Serena
could’ve sworn that she heard a deep, dry voice answer her from within the
fire. Was she going crazy, a result of her heartbreak?

               She
turned to it again, only to find that a man was standing within them, with
bronzed skin and tattoos all over, in a language she couldn’t read. If she
squinted, she could almost see them moving.

               “Don’t
be sad, little human,” The man crooned, his violet eyes gleaming in the light.
He held a hand out to her. “Your sadness summoned me to this realm. I’ve come
to ease your heartache.”

               Serena
stared at him, openly gawking. Was she losing her mind?

               “Who
are you?” Serena whispered, and the man smiled, showing off two gorgeous,
adorable dimples.

               “My
name is Kaiden. What’s yours?”

               “I’m
Serena,” She whispered, feeling her cheeks heat for an entirely different
reason than the fire in front of her.

               “You’re
so beautiful,” Kaiden whispered, paying no notice to the flames lapping and
licking at his skin.

               **

Title: Frankly in Love

Author: David Yoon

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance

Series: Frankly in Love, book one

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I’ve been curious about this book since before it came out, so, as soon as I was able, I reserved it at my library. Since then, it’s been sitting at the top of my library stack, begging me to read it. I picked it up, expecting a love story, but to call this book a love story would be to do it a major disservice. This book is about family, identity, self-acceptance, racism, and true love, and everything in between. Frankly in Love is that rare book that perfectly embodies the young adult genre, in the best kind of way. David Yoon has penned a fantastic and unforgettable debut, and I can’t wait to see what he delivers next! Frankly in Love just might be one of my favorite novels of 2019; I just finished it on Saturday night, and my heart is still aching from following Frank on his journey through life!

               Frank Li is a boy who is stuck between two worlds: his all-American upbringing and the expectation of his Korean parents and culture. He longs to be himself in a world that is always trying to press him into a mold. When he meets a white girl named Brit, he knows that his traditional, straitlaced and racist parents will not approve. He concocts a plan to stay under the radar: pretend to date a childhood friend, also Korean-American, named Joy Song, while dating Brit. But things get complicated when he begins having feelings for his fake girlfriend. What could possibly go wrong?

               I loved this book! It was hilarious, heartbreaking, honest and tender; it might just be one of my favorites of 2019. I was laughing, crying, and screaming throughout the whole book. Frank’s voice was honest, funny, and poignant; my heart ached for him as the book went on. The pacing was breakneck, and I was immediately spellbound by his narration. I adored Frank’s friends also, especially Joy, Q, and the Limbos. His family, too, was a fantastic foil to him; I loved the way it portrayed his parents and the immigrant parents-half-American dynamic. One of my favorite things about this book was the way that it highlighted racism! Unfortunately, that is a horrible and outdated practice that still persists in the lifeblood of America today. I loved the way that it went deep into Korean culture; it was as informative as it was funny and entertaining. I also adored the romance in this book; it reminded me of when I first fell in love with my husband. I was swooning as the book went on. I loved the ending; it was so heartbreaking and bittersweet. The only thing I didn’t like was that I wish there had been more said of Hanna, and her situation with Frankie and their parents. I wish she’d been more involved than she actually was. Nevertheless, I very much enjoyed Frankly in Love! One of my favorite books of the year! The bottom line: Hilarious, honest, heartbreaking and wonderful, I loved Frankly in Love! One of my favorite books of 2019! Next on deck: Come November by Katrin van Dam!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/frankly-in-love-by-david-yoon-review.html

Title: Kingdom of Exiles

Author: Maxym M. Martineau

Age Group: Adult

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Series: The Beast Charmer, book one

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I’ve been wanting to read this book since before it came out, and unfortunately, I had to return it to the library twice before I was finally able to read it. I pushed it to the top of my stack, as soon as I was finished with His Hideous Heart. Normally, romance as a genre makes me leery, but it has got me through some tough times, so I’ve been trying to expand my literary horizons somewhat. But I was really excited for this dark, magical and romantic series opener, and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. The best way to sum this book was like something of a mashup of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Assassin’s Creed, with a lot of romantic tension and humor thrown in. Kingdom of Exiles is one of my favorite books of 2019, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

               Leena Edenfrell is an exiled beast charmer, forced to sell her beloved creatures in order to make a living after she is falsely accused of an unforgivable crime. Now in hiding and trying to avoid getting caught for the hefty bounty on her head, things get even more complicated when one of the magical underworld’s most dangerous assassins comes for her. She strikes a deal with him: her own magical creatures in exchange for her life. Unknown to her, though, the undying are bound by magic to fulfill their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood—his family—of assassins, not even to save the woman that he can’t live without…

               I loved, loved, loved this book! The pacing was breakneck, and I loved the worldbuilding; I was immediately spellbound by Leena’s voice. I adored the creatures that Leena tamed and used as teammates, but my favorite part of this book was the romance between Leena and Noc; it was so white-hot that I was practically fanning myself as the book went on. I gobbled this book up in a day and a half, and I cannot wait for The Frozen Prince next year! Unique, magical, romantic and sexy, I loved every moment of it, and I really enjoyed the mystery behind Leena’s sudden and unexpected exile. And that ending! It was nothing less than perfect! I’m so, so excited for the sequel! Maxym M. Martineau has gained a diehard, lifelong fan in me with Kingdom of Exiles! The bottom line: Magical, full of humor, wit, and romance, as well as political intrigue, I loved Kingdom of Exiles! One of my favorite books of 2019, absolutely unforgettable! Next on deck: Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/kingdom-of-exiles-by-maxym-m-martineau.html

Title: Ghosts of the Shadow Market

Author(s): Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link, and Robin Wasserman

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Series: Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 1-10

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Cassandra Clare is one of my favorite authors; I’ve been wanting to read this set of short stories since they came out last year in ebook format. I had to return this once and I was so intrigued over it I went back and reordered it. Ghosts of the Shadow Market contains ten stories that all take place in the Shadowhunter universe, starting in the 1800s and going all the way to the present. It follows Jem Carstairs, the man who became The Silent Brother, Brother Zachariah. Jem is one of my very favorite characters, so to follow him through the years was a real treat. Honestly, this book might be my favorite of all of Clare’s work thus far; I laughed, I cried, and I was so excited for all the Easter eggs that Clare and all the other authors put in the book for fans of the previous books. This short story collection is quite possibly my favorite, and not the least of which because of its frontman! There are ten stories, so for clarity’s sake, I’ll write about the standouts and give an overall rating for the whole book. The four other authors did a fantastic job of fleshing out the gaps that Clare left in all of the other books; this short story collection is one I’d love to have in my own personal library.

               Every Exquisite Thing: 4 out of 5 Stars. I loved this story! This book begins chronologically, from the 1880s to the present. In this one, Jem finds out the truth about his wife, Tessa, and her demonic origins that made her a warlock. All of these stories made me cry to some extent, but this was one of the worst ones. It was fast-paced, dark, and surprising; that ending had my jaw on the floor. Absolutely fantastic! Told with signature flare and aplomb, I really enjoyed it!

               A Deeper Love: 5 out of 5 Stars. This story was one of my favorites, as it centered on my OTP, or one true pairing, Will, Tess, and Jem. I loved The Infernal Devices, and so when they made an appearance, I was so very happy! I loved the way this story explored their relationship with each other, and the way that they eventually met again, so many years later. It was painful, exquisite, lovely, and it made me cry, in the best way. It was wonderful, and made me ache. This whole collection did, to be totally truthful, but especially this entry.

               Son of the Dawn: 5 out of 5 Stars. I’ve been waiting forever to actually read how it was that Jace Wayland ended up with the Lightwood family as a child. So, this story made me so happy! I loved reading this story, seeing how Jace enmeshed into the family threads of them. Found family has always been an important concept to me, both in fiction and my life, so this story struck a deep chord with me. I loved every bittersweet, loving moment of this story. Beautiful, tender, and realistic, I loved it so much. One of my favorites of the whole collection.

               The Land I Lost: 5 out of 5 Stars. This story was my favorite of the collection, hands down. I loved the way it put emphasis on another of my OTPs, Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood! I’d long been wondering how Rafael was added to their cozy little family unit, and I loved the way it showed the love between them. Alec and Magnus are called by Jem and Tessa for assistance, and the pair go meet up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Faced with a broken Institute and corrupt Shadowhunters serving the new Clave, Alec is determined to save the Downworlders living there. His path crosses with one of a little Shadowhunter boy, orphaned after The Dark War. Magnus and Alec discover something entirely new across the globe, and I loved it. I loved it. So much. I cried, giggled, and laughed. By the time I was through, my heart felt like a hot air balloon. Easily my favorite in the entire collection. And, last but not least,

               Forever Fallen: 5 out of 5 Stars. I hesitate to even outline the plot points of this story, because Queen of Air and Darkness spoilers! I don’t specifically know anyone who hasn’t read it, but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. HOLY CRAP, YOU GUYS ARE REALLY GONNA END IT ON THAT NOTE?! Like I wasn’t afraid and anxious before. I need to know what’s going to happen next! It’s been almost four days and I’m still stunned; I can still feel it like a punch to the chest. Cassandra Clare, you really do love to leave things on awful cliffhangers. The bottom line: This beautiful, long-awaited collection of short stories is quite possibly my favorite of all of Clare’s work, and just thinking about the way it all ended has got me antsy. I loved it so much! Next on deck: Vicious by V.E. Schwab!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/09/ghosts-of-shadow-market-by-cassandra.html

Title: We Set the Dark on Fire

Author: Tehlor Kay Mejia

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Series: We Set the Dark on Fire, book one

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I’ll be honest: I’ve been so curious about this book, since before it even came out. Unfortunately, I had to return it three different times before I could read it. Before a total library haul overhaul yesterday, I decided that I wanted to make sure to read this book before I went back. I’d read some of Tehlor Kay Meija’s short stories in anthologies, but this was her debut novel, and I have to say that I loved it. The first book in a duology, We Set the Dark on Fire takes place in Medio, a place where men hold all of the power, and following ancient traditions, each man is given two wives: The Primera, his partner and equal in all things, and The Segurda, a woman passionate and nurturing, trusted with raising a man’s family. Daniela Vargas is assigned as the Primera to Mateo Garcia, and her old school nemesis, Carmen, is chosen as the boy’s second wife. As if this was not punishing enough, the rebellion, La Voz, has threatened to reveal Dani’s deadliest secret if she chooses not to cooperate with them. Dani finds herself trapped in a web of lies, political intrigue, and revolution, and she must decide whether to turn away from her people’s suffering at the rich’s hands, or if she will become a spy and work to free Medio from the vise grip of the powerful…

               This debut novel was absolutely fantastic; from the start, the prose crackled with life, and I was immediately spellbound by Dani’s frank, sweet voice. The pacing was breakneck, and the worldbuilding was one of my favorite parts of the novel. Medio was beautiful, forbidding, and terrifying, and reminded most unpleasantly of Margaret Atwood’s Gilead in more ways than one. The tension in this book, from the start, was at an all-time high. Dani’s parents have spent her life saving so they can send their daughter to the best finishing school for girls in Medio’s capital. But Dani carries a deadly secret: the papers are falsified. When she is selected to be the first wife to a politico’s son, she is determined to make sure that her parents didn’t sacrifice in vain. But things become even more complicated when the second wife, Carmen, is chosen. Still smarting from the other girl’s betrayal years earlier, Dani is forced to team up with her worst enemy to make this arrangement work. But it turns out everyone has something to hide, and some people are willing to kill to keep their secrets from coming to light. La Voz, the rebellion group fighting against Medio’s most powerful players, is fighting for the freedom of the people, and they recruit Dani to help make the new state a reality. Dani and Carmen begin to bond in the face of their new husband’s cruelty, and a tentative friendship blooms into something new and dangerous. In the face of growing unrest and rebellion, will Dani turn her back on her people? Or will she become a revolutionary herself?

               This book was incredible, and one of my favorite books of 2019! I can’t wait for the sequel. I loved the worldbuilding and Mexican-inspired culture and people; it was amazing! Diverse books for the win! The pacing was breakneck, and I was either gasping, swooning, or screaming. The tension was so intense that there were times that I wanted to tear my hair out. I loved all of the characters, and the forbidding islands of Medio. But my favorite parts of the novel are the romance between Dani and Carmen, sweet and shy and innocent but full of fire as well, and the ending! How am I supposed to wait until next year for the sequel?! I’m dying here, Tehlor! One of the best books of 2019! The bottom line: Sexy, romantic, thoughtful and unique, I loved We Set the Dark on Fire! Next on deck: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/09/we-set-dark-on-fire-by-tehlor-kay-mejia.html

(IP) A Long Journey and a Restless Heart

               The
warrior rested in the lush, green grass of the hillside, watching the peach
tinted clouds above her. The pennant she held was torn and battered, the horse’s
face upon it nearly unrecognizable.

               The
ache in her bones was familiar, and normally, she enjoyed it: it was proof of
her hard work. She was one of the Queen’s guard, and one of her best warriors. From
the time that she was twelve years old, all she’d ever wanted was to be one of
the Queen’s knights. But on this solitary hillside in the country, Selene could
not help but wonder if it was time to tell the Queen that she wanted a
different life.

               Her
horse stood behind her, his long, dark mane fluttering in the breeze. His
familiar weight was a comfort, the scent of hay and apples making her think of
home. Home also made her think of someone else, but she didn’t dare follow that
train of thought. It wasn’t forbidden, exactly, but a knight wasn’t to enter an
official relationship, not unless they asked the Queen’s permission to hang up
her sword.

               Her
heart ached; to distract herself from her conflicted thoughts, she reached for
the satchel that rested against Achilles’s flank, filled with dried meat,
cheese, and fruit. It was a lonely, solitary meal, but it worked. Giving Achilles
an apple and a carrot, she gnawed on her portion of the food, knowing that soon
she would return to the palace, to that familiar feeling of isolation and
loneliness and her.

               Try as
she might, Kaia could not stifle the memories that pounced whenever she was not
fighting or exploring, and she could not ignore the rush of heat and love that
lived on inside of her heart, despite the distance between them.

               She
stared at the palace in the distance, gilded gold and pink in the coming dusk.
A mad, crazy, impossible idea began to form inside of her mind, too reckless to
bring to fruition. Or was it? The scene unfolded in her mind like a dream.

               She
rode Achilles to the palace gates, waiting for the door to lower and grant her
passage. Rose was standing in the great hall, clothed in a gown the rich color
of sapphire, the hair she’d been named for piled in a chignon at the nape of
her long neck. She was deep in conversation with a male courtier, and as Kaia
walked up to her, she felt a reckless rush of jealousy, and had to resist
scowling.

               “Rose,
Rosie, I’m home,” Kaia said, walking over to her, clasping her beloved’s hands.
“I’ve come to take you away from here.”

               Rose
blinked, her brow wrinkled, and she stared up at Kaia as if in a dream.

               “Truly,
Kaia? You mean it?” She whispered, in a high, flutelike voice. “Don’t toy with
my affections. And The Queen—”

               “I’ll
give up my knighthood if it means being with you, Rosie.”

               “I
couldn’t take your career from you.”

               “Of
course, I love my profession, Rosie. But I love you more.”

               **

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Title: Red, White and Royal Blue

Author: Casey McQuiston

Age Group: Adult

Genre: Romance

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I
borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I’ve
been going through a lot of personal stuff right now, and so, I’ve been craving
romances and stories with happy endings. I don’t normally read romance, but with
this book, that has since changed. I was reminded of just how much I love the
genre. Red, White, and Royal Blue has become one of my favorite books of 2019;
it was a romance that was nuanced, hilarious, sexy, and tender, all at once. I
loved it; Casey McQuiston is a shining new talent in fiction. This modern, gay
fairy tale swept me off of my feet and stole my heart within the first chapter.
I was rooting for Alex and Henry through the whole thing, and I finished this
afternoon. I haven’t been able to stop smiling. This book was as delicious and
satisfying as a home-cooked meal, and I loved every moment of it. I’m glad I
started my journey into the romance genre with this excellently written book.
Enemies to lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes, and this book showcases
it fantastically.

               Red,
White and Royal Blue starts in the way that many romances do: two smart, sexy
main characters, a rivalry, and explosive, engaging chemistry. Alex-Claremont
Diaz is the First Son of the United States, the only son of Madam President and
her senator ex-husband, and he hates Prince Henry of Wales, who he thinks is
snobby, rude, and prudish. When an international incident occurs due to their mutual
dislike, the two young men are forced to feign friendship. But sparks fly as
they begin to understand each other, but it’s not exactly up to them to make
the decision. Will our two knuckleheads find love, in spite of the forces
rising against them?

               This
book was such a treat! I was immediately engaged in the story, the pacing was
nice, and the pages practically crackled with energy and chemistry. I loved McQuiston’s
writing style, wry and funny and totally unique. The premise certainly wouldn’t
happen in real life, but it’s not formulaic or unoriginal. I loved every
escapist moment of it. The characters were so great I was constantly laughing
or swooning! I adored Alex and Henry, as well as the characters around them:
Zahra, Cash, June, Nora, and their respective parents. This book was a real
breath of fresh air, and I’m very sad that I don’t have this book in my
collection. The love story was what really got me though; that was my favorite
part. Watching two people fall in love is such a magical, happy thing, and Casey
McQuiston knocked this element out of the park. I’m so very happy with this
book; I came away from it happy, diverted from my worries, if only for a little
while. And isn’t that all we can ask from anything we read, but especially
fiction? The bottom line: Sexy, sweet, and funny, I loved Red, White and Royal
Blue! Easily one of my favorite books of 2019! Next on deck: City of Girls by Elizabeth
Gilbert!

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