I don't know about you, but especially in the winter I crave cozy reads; the ones that don't require too much thinking and can hold your attention seamlessly. While I can't promise that the following novels will rock your world or make it onto your favorites shelf, they're the perfect pass-time read and I've certainly enjoyed them very much this past season. Plus, at the very least you'll be compelled to go through the backlog of these authors sometime in the coming month and be assured to find a story you fall head-over-heels for; I'm sure of it. :)
Title: When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3)
Author: Tessa Dare
Rating: 3 Stars
I've thoroughly enjoyed Dare's recent trilogy, predominantly because they feature headstrong, feminist heroines and men who don't fit the classic mold. With When a Scot Ties the Knot, we have the female protagonist we expect--and one I love!--but the hero sadly reverts to being the all-too-familiar handsome man with a tortured past. As a result, the banter and much of the romance build-up didn't feel unique or exciting; it just felt expected. Still, a Tessa Dare romance is better than most and this one still has some fantastic moments and memorable characters so for fans of the first two novels, this is a must-read. For those who haven't picked up a book in this series yet, I cannot recommend them enough. You'll fall in love with these fairy-tale-like settings and vivacious heroines; guaranteed.
You can read my review of Say Yes to the Marquess, Book Two of this trilogy and one of my all-time favorites from Tessa Dare, HERE.
Title: Frisk Me (New York's Finest, #1)
Author: Lauren Layne
Rating: 3 Stars
You can read my review of previous Lauren Layne series such as Love, Sex, and Stiletto (After the Kiss, Love the One You're With, Just One Night, The Trouble With Love), Redemption (Isn't She Lovely, Broken, Crushed), and The Best Mistake (Only With You, Made For You).
Title: The Deal (Off Campus, #1)
Author: Elle Kennedy
Rating: 4 Stars
Get this: The Deal is a surprisingly good New Adult novel. I didn't think I'd be saying that this summer, that's for sure. But Elle Kennedy has managed to create the rare gem that is an angst-free, intelligent, sexy, and fun New Adult read. It isn't genre-defying or particularly earth-shattering--in fact, it's basically what you'd expect from its synopsis--but it's still leagues better than most of the novels churned out in the New Adult genre and, by that standard, The Deal shines.
What I particularly love about The Deal is that Hannah and Garrett's relationship is both a slow-burn of romance and of friendship. While its synopsis may seem to portray it as a sex-filled novel, or at least one that begins early-on with sex, in reality the sexual tension is built up and explored in length. Hannah is a rape victim, which we find out early in the novel, having been raped at the age of fifteen. Unlike a typical New Adult plot line, however, in which Hannah is raw and hurting, it has been years after her rape and Hannah has dated in-between. Yet, ever since her rape she has been unable to have a successful sexual relationship with her boyfriends and, at the advice of her therapist, is setting out to pursue one which she finally feels comfortable.
I loved Hannah's character: her strength, her passion, and her determination to move on despite the hand that life had dealt her. What's more, Garrett truly blooms over the course of the novel, proving to be far more than a talented jock. I especially enjoyed the fact that casual sex for women isn't looked down upon or treated with disdain. One of the biggest problems with New Adult novels is the fact that they continually slut shame and put down women who, at their college-age, are exploring themselves, what they want from life, and their bodies. The Deal not only avoids these potholes, it also passes the Bechdel test and I couldn't be happier. If you're searching for a fun, hot, and sexy read, The Deal should definitely make your TBR. It's spades better than most other New Adult reads and I'm surprised it didn't make itself onto my radar earlier.
Title: Playing with Trouble (Capital Confessions, #2)
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Rating: 3 Stars
What are some of the winter romances you've been curling up with recently?