Mini Reviews: Recent Romance Reads!

Posted May 18, 2017 by Madalyn || 6 Comments

Hi, everyone! I’m here today to bring you another edition of mini reviews. I have three recent (and diverse) romance reads that I enjoyed and wanted to share my thoughts about. Romance is typically a genre I steer clear of, but these three books all piqued my interest, and I’d heard fantastic things about them from those I trust. I’m so glad I decided to pick them up! I highly recommend you check all of these out!

Mini Reviews: Recent Romance Reads!Second Kiss (Violet Hill #1) by Chelsea M. Cameron
on December 13th 2016
Format: ARC
Source: Author

Daisy Grace Webber's life hasn't exactly turned out how she thought. She didn't think she'd drop out of college and come back to the small town she grew up in. To be fair, she didn't think her love of baking would turn into a job at the Violet Hill Cafe either, but it did.
Something else she didn't expect was for Molly Madison to walk back into her life, eight years after she moved away. They'd been best friends forever, or so she'd thought. But Molly is back in town and she's looking... really good, actually. And that reminds Daisy of that one time at a sleepover when they'd kissed during a game of Spin the Bottle. That one kiss has been on her mind since then, but it's irrelevant. Molly isn't into girls.
But as Daisy and Molly spend more time together, feelings start to grow, and Daisy is wondering just how "straight" Molly really is...

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Second Kiss was an adorable, f/f second chance romance. It follows our main character, Daisy, who has recently dropped out of college and moved back to her small Maine hometown. She has a job she loves at a local cafe and bakery. One day, her childhood best friend who she hasn’t heard from in eight years suddenly moves back to town. The two of them rekindle their friendship, which ends up turning into something more. This novella dealt really well with two of my favorite romance tropes– second chance romance, and friends-to-more. I enjoyed seeing Daisy and Molly’s relationship develop. One thing I loved about Second Kiss was the setting– the small town was really well-developed, and it lent the book a real sense of atmosphere. I so wish that Violet Hill Cafe were a real place! Second Kiss doesn’t do anything revolutionary, but it’s romantic and simply adorable. This novella is total f/f fluff, and I think that’s something I could always use more of in the romance genre. I recommend checking this one out if you’re looking for a cute wlw romance, if you enjoy New Adult, and if you need a quick read!

Mini Reviews: Recent Romance Reads!Haven (Beards & Bondage, #1) by Rebekah Weatherspoon
on April 25th 2017
Pages: 228
Format: e-ARC
Source: Netgalley

A week-long getaway…
City girl Claudia Cade's carefree life is plunged into chaos when a camping trip with her brother in the national forests of Northern California turns into a deadly dash for her survival.
A solitary world turned upside down…
Nature photographer Shepard Olsen has resigned himself to a quiet existence, with only his dog by his side, until a woman in need of his protection shows up on his doorstep and throws his universe into disarray.
Two lives linked by tragedy…
Claudia is desperate to heal from her traumatic loss, but can’t stop thinking about her run-in with evil….or the grizzled mountain man whose quick thinking and good aim saved her life. When she shows up on Shep's doorstep again, she finds she isn't the only one who can't move on.
…saved by bliss.
The two begin an intense, passionate relationship of Dominance and submission, pleasure and pain, but with dark memories haunting them and decisions about the future rapidly approaching, Claudia can’t help but long can they be each other's haven?
*** WARNING: This book contains a sexual relationship between a fashionista and a cranky mountain man who are dealing with physical and emotional trauma. And a very big, cuddly dog.***

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THIS. BOOK. I don’t think I’ve ever rated a romance novel above four stars until now. Literally every single person on my Twitter and Goodreads timelines was raving about Haven, and I’m so, so glad I decided to pick it up (psstttt… it’s free on Netgalley right now. DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY.). I was worried the romance would be problematic due to the nature of how Shep and Claudia met (he literally saved her life when he shot a crazy murderer who had been chasing her for hours and had already killed her brother), but the two of them worked through these complex feelings in a very understandable, healthy way. Overall, I thought Shep and Claudia’s relationship provided a great model for a healthy romantic and sexual relationship, which is something that the romance genre tends to lack. Haven does involve a dom/sub BDSM romance, but consent is always, always explicitly present. I am amazed at how the author was able to develop these characters so well in under three hundred pages. They were complex and, again, so realistic. Shep is an introverted mountain man, while Claudia is a badass Afro-Caribbean fashionista. The strength of Weatherspoon’s writing really impressed me, too, particularly her dialogue. The romance is sweet, and the sex is super hot. And I loved the mountain setting, of course. Overall, this book was refreshingly wonderful, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys romance, or who– like me– has been searching for the *right* romance for them. (BONUS: Dogs. Shep owns an adorable bear-dog named Titus.)

Mini Reviews: Recent Romance Reads!Fearless by Shira Glassman
on December 24th 2016
Pages: 30
Format: Kindle Book
Source: Purchased

A newly out-of-the-closet band mom falls for an orchestra teacher while snowed in at All-State. Lana Novak hasn’t played violin in over twenty years, her musical life these days confined to being a devoted band mom to her clarinet whiz daughter Robin. She didn’t think she could get back into it after this long, but Melanie Feinberg, the outgoing, enthusiastic, and very cute butch orchestra director from Robin’s school, has other ideas.

Fearless was too cute. It’s a super short f/f novella (seriously, I read it in under 20 minutes) that follows band mom Lana as she meets and falls for her daughter’s orchestra teacher, Melanie. It takes place over a weekend at All-State Band (!!!!! I didn’t realize how much I needed a book with an all-state ensemble setting, haha). This novella is seriously just… cute. There’s no sex or epic romance, but it captured the feeling of developing a crush on someone (and having that crush reciprocated) extremely well. I mean, f/f + a musical setting and premise? How could I not love this one?

Have you read any of these books? What is your favorite recent romance read?

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Madalyn is a 20-something music student and lifelong lover of reading. When she's not reading or singing, you're likely to find her drinking coffee, traveling, or buying more lipstick than one person could possibly need.
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6 responses to “Mini Reviews: Recent Romance Reads!

  1. Sydney West

    Have you read ” How to MaKe a Wish” by Ashley Blake? I found it at my parents local used bookstore. An ARC someone foolishly sold. But I snatched it up and thought of you.

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