Recently, my nine-year old daughter and I had a very lengthy conversation over breakfast one morning. “Mommy,” she began, “are you a Kristy or a Mary Anne or a Claudia or a Stacey?” Before I could even begin to wrap my head around her question, she’d answered it herself. “I think you’re a little bit of Kristy and maybe a little Mary Anne.” My mind had caught up by then, aware that we were maybe having our very first unofficial, mother daughter book club meeting, about none other than The Baby-Sitters Club books. A staple of most young girls' bookshelves in the 80s and 90s, this series resonated with me when I was her age and watching her discover these books three decades later has made me wonder what it was about these books that appealed to me so much and how it informed my reading choices as an adult.
It’s a pretty well known fact that I dig slow burn romances. And while this book definitely qualifies as the slowest of slow burns (the two main characters don’t even share their first passionate kiss until the 77% mark), there are a few things that left me wanting more from this book.
Before I start this review, let me just share one thing about myself. I’m not particularly fond of many sports but I have been a dedicated fan of tennis for most of my life. I know the game, I know how to keep score, I know a forehand from a backhand and a dropshot from a volley. A few years ago, when sports romances were all the rage, I was a bit sad about the lack of tennis romances. So, dear reader, you can well imagine my utter joy when one of my favorite authors announced a book featuring a tennis instructor hero.
There were a lot of things I liked about this book but there were also some glaring issues I had with this book that kept me from absolutely loving it.
A delightful collection of novellas from Ruby Lang, these three stories are sweet and low angst without being overly saccharine. The novellas were previously individually released but really work well together in The Uptown Collection.
Guarding Temptation was previously published as a short story titled Resisting Desire in the Rogue Nights anthology. The new and updated version has been revised to double the original story so if you’ve already read the original version, there’s a lot more to the story of Nina and James in this novella.
Here’s the thing about anthologies. They usually contain a couple of good stories that anchor the collection and a couple of middling to forgettable stories that might just get skimmed. However, He’s Come Undone features five incredibly strong, nuanced, sweet romances featuring five of the brightest voices in romance today. The connective thread that ties these stories together is that they feature buttoned-up, rather stuffy heroes who embark on unexpected romances with people who help them to, well, become undone.
Let me begin by saying that The Rogue of Fifth Avenue was my very first Joanna Shupe and it definitely won’t be my last. I already have the next book ready to go and have pre-ordered the final book in the series.