You know how sometimes you’re in the mood for a historical romance, but you’d like a touch of spooky and a hint of lightness? This could just be me who wants that sort of book all the time, but if you are like me, that book is The Widow of Rose House.
Just for clarity: Frankly in Love is not a romance. Frankly in Love might contain a love story or two, but it is not a romance by the standards we, the genre romance reading populace, live by. However, it is sort of a relief that this was not a romance. This review contains unavoidable spoilers.
Sometimes, a book just really has too much plot - this tends to go with a lack of characterization - which is true of His Rebellious Lass. When this happens, the book tends to be a series of events and it never grabs hold of my attention.
In the evolving discussion of content warnings, the question of whether or not romance novels need content warnings for sexual content has become the current discussion topic. My brief opinion is that content warnings hurt no one and as an author you know better than readers, who have never read your work, the quantity and nature of sex in your books. My longer opinion is complicated.
I would be lying if I said that reviewing Always Never Yours was easy to do. First, I enjoyed it and especially the actual romance. Second, I loved that Megan is mostly happy with who she is (extroverted, open to romance, unapologetic about her number of ex-boyfriends, opinionated). Third, the romance had me anxious in the best way. With all of that, there are some things I’m not sure I’m comfortable with.
Editor's Note - This post is from Margrethe, but we're planning to make some more of these posts in the future. For now, you can check out the posts Suzanne wrote for RomBkLove on Road Trip Romances and Neighbors!
This post contains affiliate links.
First, this book was fine. I have no massive complaints or warnings. It’s a perfectly fine book that took me 35% to get into, and then there was no strong emotional arc to keep me engaged. Second, this is my biggest quibble, the book acts like it takes place in a small town, but Yakima is not a small town. So, you have to ignore that Yakima is a real place and a city of more than 90,000 people, and embrace the small town-ness.
Some books feel like they were written for you, as if an author is eavesdropping on what you want in a book and what you like in books, and part of me wants to accuse Ruby Lang of bugging my house. Playing House is charming and almost breezily free of plot. It’s two messy people going through big changes in their lives and finding each other at the right time.
In a surprising turn, I might actually be a fan of historical fantasy/paranormal romances. Spellbound is the second such book I’ve read this year (three if we count The True Queen) where I slip easily into the story and never fight the setting. The worldbuilding in Spellbound is complete and unobtrusive, so there’s never a sense of missing a detail or puzzle pieces that don’t fit. But the best thing about the book is actually the relationship between Arthur and Rory.
After my self-imposed exile from romance (I needed a refresh)*, this was one of the first romances I read. And reading Never a Bride was like rushing back home into a warm embrace. There was my current favorite trope: fake relationship. There was a woman who refused to apologize for what she wanted and deserved.