Cheri Reviews a Bunch of Romances

February and the beginning of March has been up and down emotionally for me so I’ve been reading a shit ton of romance novels. Some have been good, some have been… less good. Bad even. I haven’t felt like writing reviews that I consider long enough to post here – I keep that stuff on Goodreads or Literal – so I’m going to group them together and share them. That way I’m not wasting the money I laid out for the URL and paid WordPress account. At least that’s what I’m telling myself today.

So here you go! My last several romance reads. Hope you find something to like – or to avoid.

Her Royal Happiness by Lola Keeley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mostly enjoyable listen but would have enjoyed it more if I had read it with my eyes. The narrator was lovely but the voices for both MCs were so similar that I couldn’t tell who was talking during some of the dialogue.

About That Kiss by Harper Bliss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book. And Abby Craden did a great job. This reminded me of And Playing the Role of Herself a lot but much better in some ways.

I loved the honest communication between the MCs, loved that it’s clearly in the same universe as other books based on some of the references but it made absolutely no difference in my ability to focus on the story unfolding. I also loved both Ida and Faye – together and separately.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book by Harper Bliss but she’s going back into the rotation.

Training For Love by Amanda Kabak

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I thought the way the two main characters were developing separately at first would eventually bring them together for the relationship to grow. But that’s not what happened. This didn’t feel like a romance at all, really. It felt like two damaged individuals working through their own issues with minimal actual contact with each other. And then suddenly they have a connection that made no sense to me at all. We spent more time in the characters heads with their doubts, disappointments, and anger than we did with developing the relationship.

Overall, by 70% I just wanted it to be over. Nothing significant happened, I felt no connection to either MC, and even disliked them both a bit. The narrator didn’t help with my enjoyment either. But I’m not 100% sure it was her fault. Except for the Spanish-tinted accent for Carmen. Unless I missed something, she was born in the US and lived in at least Boston and Chicago…

This is one of those times when trying a new to me author didn’t pay off at all. Thanks to the public library for allowing me to listen to the audio without being out money.

I went back and forth over star rating. Between one and two. Eventually I decided on 2 because of the discussion of mental health. A super important topic and was well depicted in Charlie.

The Wrong Date by Sienna Waters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not sure what prompted me to pick this one up again after a start and stop last year. According to my notes, I was annoyed with the use of “The City” repeatedly with no mention of what city it was. If I had gone on further, I would have figured out it was New York which is often referred to in that way. But, to be fair, I’ve seen it done in a few books where the author just couldn’t commit to picking one…

Anyway, I must have been in a better place this time around because I ended up liking it quite a bit. So there’s something to be said for giving books a second chance. Especially for folks like me who are totally mood-based readers.

The narrator was pretty good, too.

The Next Life by Lise Gold

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I initially quit after the first few chapters because it seemed more like the premise of a porno or, and I’m going to date myself here, a Penthouse Forum letter. After reading another book about a sex worker, I decided to give it another shot. And I’m glad I did. I ended up enjoying the family dynamics and the honesty of the two MCs. And holy shit snacks, the sex was smokin’.

The Best Time by Sienna Waters

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I feel like I should really give it a one star but I can’t bring myself to do it. I did enjoy bits and pieces throughout but mostly found the situations unbelievable, Riley ridiculous in her choices and actions, Lil was fine but there was still something about her that didn’t ring true. One of my notes says “…Ugh. My BS meter has exploded.”

The narrator’s choice of voices for Wanda, Marge, and others were irritating and grated on my nerves. I mostly wish I hadn’t picked this one up.

I’ll still give the author’s other books a shot because I’ve enjoyed them but this one was a big miss for me.

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved, loved, loved this book. The humor, the chemistry, Iris, just about everything was damn near perfect. Iris is my spirit animal.

I particularly liked the change in Delilah’s perception of past events and situations. Because life is like that. We grow, we learn, we change, and we’re able to see things differently with distance and experience. That’s what a lot of this book is about. But it’s also about connection, humor, and love. And very well written which isn’t always a given with our little genre. So bonus!

Definitely goes on the re-read stack.

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