Pick of the Day

Sparks Fly by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Take every love-at-first-sight movie; add to that every romantic movie of falling head-over-heels in love with someone in a ...

Delicate by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Damn! What a beautiful romance! Sports romance with the most gorgeous MCs.

Valentina González was a promising tennis player who lost the plot. Unwilling to give up, she successfully plays doubles in the tennis circuit but nurses a secret dream to getting back into singles. Sonja Romanov is the Golden Girl of tennis, the current No. 1 who has set all sorts of records. Just that she privately hates tennis.

Valentina and Sonja are such gorgeous characters. We love the loving unfolding of the romance between them. The way the author subtly shows the physical blooming in Sonja (small smiles to wide ones, tentative holding hands to assertive exploration in bed) is remarkable. We love that there are scenes where each of them are vulnerable with the other and the other one holds them gently leading them back. Their relationship is equal, nurturing and supportive. The chemistry between them jumps – totally jumps – off the page. And the thing that totally swept us off our feet; that made us swoon? It has the most magical 'I love you' moment ever.

This book is all sorts of awesome and highly recommended. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Vacation People by Cheri Ritz

⭐⭐⭐


This is an even-paced, even-tempered simple age-gap romance.

Life is far from good for Penny Rothmoor. She had brought her boyfriend, Bryce, on board the casino her family owns as the security head. First her cheated on her and then her walked away taking half the casino’s security staff to a rival casino. When her turns up at the casino again, Penny has something of a meltdown on the floor, with the result that she is ‘asked’ to take time off. Serendipitously, Penny has a dinner engagement with her dead mother’s erstwhile best friend, Lauren Hansen, the same evening. Lauren is a fairly successful Chicago-based photographer who is on her way to Hawaii for what should’ve been an anniversary celebration. Except that she has been unceremoniously dumped and is on her way to the all-paid-for holiday week alone. Egged by Penny’s friends, Lauren and Penny decide to vacation for a week in Hawaii together, solemnly agreeing to not think or work or terrible exes, but just be vacation people.

For a workaholic, casino heiress, Penny is surprising soft and vulnerable. There is something very young about her. We loved the mini-breakdown she has and her self-aware revelation that she is not ‘vacation people’; she doesn’t go with the flow, she is a person who stresses about things. Lauren is also likeable enough. The two together are very sweet. Despite the mom-connection, there is nothing discomfiting about the attraction between Penny and Lauren. Potentially drama and/or angst inducing situations are dealt with without putting the MCs (or the readers) through an emotional wringer. We liked that by the end, both of them are equally willing to make sacrifices and major changes to their lives for the other. What we didn’t quite get is Penny’s relationship with her father and her standing in the casino (which is destined to someday come to her).

On the whole, this not-too-long book is an easy weekend read.  

⭐⭐⭐
 


The Inheritance by Ali Vali

⭐☆

This was one hell of a disappointment from a usually dependable author.

Augusta “Tucker” Delacroix and her brother, Jim Bob, are co-owners of a hugely successful oil business. Despite twenty years between them, the siblings are close. Very close. But just not close enough for Jim Bob to confide about his mistress of over two years, Monique, and son with Monique, Grady. Willow Vernon, an engineer specialising in oil rigs and Monique’s sister, obviously and justifiably hates Jim Bob for the half-life he offers Monique. Willow and Tucker meet during a work meeting and hit off so instantly that a couple of hours later, they are in bed. When Willow discovers Tucker is a Delacroix, she ghosts Tucker, convinced that the Delacroix siblings we in on the Vernon girls together and were laughing at the sisters. Jim Bob’s wife, Ivy, and his two adult children absolutely hate him. He finally sets his divorce in motion and proposes to Monique. However before anything can really move, Jim Bob dies. Jim Bob had set a lot of his affairs in order before he died, including making Tucker the sole owner of the company. Strangely, even in his beyond-the-veil letter to Tucker makes no mention of Monique. Ivy and her kids are not pleased about losing their lives, home and company even though Jim Bob has left them financially very well off and Ivy is on a mission to get back the company, which she feels rightfully belongs to her kids. Monique touches base with Tucker because she wants her son to know that side of his family also. Tucker embraces Monique and Grady into her family and life, but much too soon, Monique dies. And then Tucker realises that Monique has a sister and that sister is Willow. Before dying, Monique made a will that forces Tucker and Willow into co-parenting Grady together which somehow means that the two women have to live together for at least six years.

So yeah, it is a convoluted plot.

The start of the book was pure erotica. In fact, we were certain that this was Vali’s foray into erotica. Also, the typical Vali pairing of mega-rich-super-butch with sassy femme has grown rather old. We didn’t like any of the MCs. Especially Tucker. Particularly her behaviour with her assistant, Syd. In a small role, Syd is the most likeable person in the whole cast. Unexpectedly, though Ivy is painted totally black, we felt for her. All of Ivy’s actions, in another world, would be those of a protective lead and would be positive ones instead of negative. Everything that Syd is and does, in another Vali book, would make her the perfect femme lead instead of someone to be tossed aside. In this one, neither Tucker nor Willow make a lot of sense. Their relationship doesn’t make a lot of sense either.

The positives? Excellent sex scenes.

This one is a total miss.

⭐☆





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