Well, what do you know dear readers? This is the first Romance Garden post of the year where it is actually garden weather! We can’t really be sure how long it will last, so we hope you take advantage of the opportunity to sit in the sunshine sometime very soon, and savor a good book–perhaps even one of the following from our romance reading experts?
Whatever your book of choice, we hope the longer, warmer days offer you the chance to sit back and relax for a little bit! And now, on to the books…
Bad Bachelor by Stefanie London
Imagine an app that works like Yelp…for men. Women are encouraged to find and rate their dates in order to help the community at large protect their hearts. That’s the premise of Stefanie London’s newest series. But far from being an episode of Black Mirror, this is actually a fun, steamy romance about learning to confront our faults, be honest with each other…and the power of reading, which made it a must read from the get go.
PR hotshot Reed McMahon is a whiz at making anyone look good to the public at large. But all his talents are useless when he unwittingly becomes the lowest-rated bachelor on the “Bad Bachelor” app…with lengthy reviews about his womanizing, his cold heart, and his utter lack of noble qualities. Desperate to improve his image (and eager to help out his assistant, who is a devoted library patron), he agrees to take on a pro-bono case and organize a local library’s fundraiser–bringing him face to fact with Darcy Greer.
Having tried and failed to live up to her mother’s expectations, once-engaged and unmarried Darcy Greer is trying to forge her own path in life. She knows Reid is bad news, personally speaking, as soon as they meet–but the longer she works with him, the more she realizes that he isn’t the guy the Bad Bachelor’s app is making him out to be. And as they slowly learn to trust each other, she finds herself wondering if she’s not crazy to want to keep him in her life for good.
I really appreciated how this book tackled issues about judgement and honesty right from the get-go. Reid and Darcy have a fascinating connection that even they don’t understand, and watching them explore all the ways they work (even while they both know they shouldn’t) was really fun. Although I had some issues with Reid’s uber-childish behavior at times, and there were some technical issues regarding Darcy’s job that I wanted to correct, overall, this was a fun read, and the start to a series worth watching.
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
If you’re a Free for All reader who regularly follows the Romance Garden, you know that I love the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series by Sarah J Maas. With the end of the last book, “A Court of Wings and Ruin,” Maas easily could have called it quits with a trilogy as many fantasies do, and a part of me feared she just might. But the other day when I walked into the library’s Teen Room, I was thrilled to find Book 4, “A Court of Frost and Starlight,” sitting on the New Books shelf.
Not as long as the first three books in the series, A Court of Frost and Starlight is a transitional book that sets up the story lines that will likely be explored in subsequent books. With preparation for Winter Solstice celebrations as the story setting, we get to know some of the secondary characters like Cassian, Nesta, Elaine, Lucien, and Mor better, and I expect we will see much more of them in coming books. But at the same time, we see plenty of Feyre and Rhysand whose passionate, loving, and fun partnership continues to be one of my romance novel favorites.
Set in post-war Prythian, we also see that Rhysand and Feyre are dealing with unrest in both the Winter Court and in the faerie realms beyond. They take an active role in maintaining peace in their home city and beyond, and at the same time seek to help both their friends and the community members of the realm they rule heal after the tragedies of the war.