Welcome back to The Minis – a section where I do mini-reviews of a couple of books at the same time! And this time the theme is once again Romance. I do read a lot of Romance, but I rarely have enough to say about them to justify a whole review, which is why most of The Minis are for Romance books. If you want to check out any of my previous reviews (including books by the authors we’re discussing today), you can do so HERE.
Today I am here to review books by arguably some of the best in the genre – Helen Hoang, Alisha Rai AND Jasmine Guillory. So yes, the holy trinity. All of these authors are among my faves and they have new 2019 releases I am excited to chat about.
I read this way back in April, but I never got around to writing up a proper review. I was a huge fan of The Kiss Quotient, and this one did not quite match my obsession for the first one, even though I really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed how different the autism spectrum representation was in this book, as opposed to its predecessor – Khai has a lot of different struggles to Stella, and it was really great to see that contrast explored so well. I also absolutely loved how caring and thoughtful Esme was with Khai, and how she was very aware of what he wanted and needed at certain points. Also, I think Hoang did a wonderful job at portraying the struggles Esme has to go through as an immigrant. It was a really thoughtful portrayal.
My grievance with this book is that there’s a huge power imbalance between Khai and Esme, and there’s this huge secret that looms over their relationship, and it’s very hard for me to root for a relationship that stands on a premise like that, which really hindered my enjoyment of the book.
However, I still really enjoyed this and there’s so much to love in this novel, which is why I would still wholeheartedly recommend this!
Alisha Rai is again, one of my favorite authors and someone who is so good at writing really amazing and thoughtful romances and relationships. The Right Swipe is her upcoming release, coming out in August this year.
I enjoyed this, but I am sad to say that I did not like it nearly as much as I was hoping or expecting to. I liked the exploration of online dating, and I did enjoy how empowering it was and how it focused on women and feminism. It was a really great premise to set the book on. And I really loved all the fantastic representation we got in here, and I really adored all the side characters so much.
I liked both the main characters – Rhiannon was really driven and ambitious, and Samson was a sweetheart.
However, I feel like this really leaned on a lot of the corporate values which just isn’t my favorite thing and not something I enjoy reading. On top of that, I really did not feel ANYTHING at all for the romance and their relationship. It was a tiny bit instalove, but the book was still off-paced and just didn’t do all that much for me, unfortunately.
I still think people will find a lot of stuff to love in here, and I think Alisha Rai always deserves all the love!
Finally, another one of my absolute favorites – Jasmine Guillory! I loved The Wedding Date and really enjoyed The Proposal, so you bet I was gonna be reading this one ASAP, because it follows two of Alexa’s (main character from the first book) best friends, who hate each other! This one is out in July!
This was classic Guillory on a lot of fronts – it had these subtle discussions of local politics, people looking down on women’s jobs or even how subtle and awful can racism sometimes be which were amazing. Both Theo and Maddie (our main characters) are fantastic, smart and compelling characters. I also really loved seeing Alexa, I love her to bits and it was great to see her again.
However, this book lacks any sort of real conflict. There’s no point to Maddie and Theo disliking each other, there’s no point in them keeping their relationship secret and there was just nothing to create any sort of tension. Because of that, I didn’t feel particularly invested in their relationship, which again, always leads to me liking the books less.
However, I adore Jasmine Guillory and her writing and would still really recommend you pick this one up in July!
There you have it! Three mini romance novel reviews! Let me know in the comments if you’ve read some of these authors’ earlier books or if you have already picked up any of these. I’d love to know your thoughts.
*I received all three of these books from the publisher through Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.
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