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. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Then & Now by Monica McCallan

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

This is a perfect romance in the light read category.

At twenty, Lily Connor has the first opportunity to travel overseas from USA to London as a part of a study abroad programme for one term. Her roommate in the tiny dorm room is another study abroad student, Bennett Burke. Nerdy, hardworking Lily is not exactly flush with money while Bennet seems to be the quintessential spoilt, rich girl. The unlikely twosome strike up a comfortable friendship which turns more. But that ends badly. Six years thence, Lily has made a success of herself as a wedding planner. So much so that the boss and owner (Diane) of the company she works in, Southerland Wedding Company, wants to retire and promote Lily to handling the organisation. One of the big wedding being planned is Diane’s nice, Nora’s wedding. Diane hand over the entire planning of this wedding to Lily. Lily is flattered but nervous. Lily’s nervousness is in no way assuaged when Nora and her fiancé go away on a pre-wedding holiday leaving the planning to Lily and Nora’s bestie, Bennet. The unexpected reappearance of the past throws Lily and Bennet into a tailspin as they try to reconcile the past, deal with the present and grapple with their feelings.

We absolutely loved reading this one with the two lovey, lovely ladies. The book is written with chapters alternating between the past and present so we are witness to the start of their feelings for each other, the growing romance and also their current state of being. This so helps in completely empathising with how both Lily and Bennet feel and where exactly they are. We absolutely love it when both people in a relationship have the same strength of love for each other. Bennet’s love is textbook romantic, passionate, profound and brave. Lily’s love is like Humdrum by The Coors, runs deep and strong. We loved that the relationship in the present is written realistically, in the sense, there is a lot of dealing with past hurt and struggle to get beyond that instead of nastiness, huge angst and/or victimhood (on either of their parts). We really enjoyed by how both, past and present unfolded and didn’t feel a single negative emotion for either Lily or for Bennet. In fact, even in their worst circumstances and behaviours, we only felt for both of them.

We recommend this one unreservedly.     

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

Second Time Around by Christine L'Amour




Though short, this one was a difficult read simply because one of the MCs is frankly quite terrible.

Single mom, Monica Sanders, is clearly unable to cope with her life including her four-year-old son, David, her job and her parents with whom she has a difficult relationship. It is like her life has always been a train wreck except for a brief moment in the past (during high school) when she was involved with Valerie Dawkins. Valerie, who had an equally bad relationship with her own parents, upped and disappeared on everyone (including Monica despite having seen forever together). Now, Valerie suddenly reappears as a new hire in Monica’s organisation. The flame between the two is still alive but there is too much hurt in Monica about their past. Valerie actually kisses Monica in their workplace and the fallout is that Monica is upbraided by their boss. Monica, mindful of her responsibilities and really needing a promotion, steps back from Valerie. A couple of days later, their boss warns Valerie also and she reacts aggressively resulting in Monica being demoted. Instead of taking responsibility, Valerie excuses herself saying that she is not responsible of the boss’ behaviour and that Monica shouldn’t blame her.

And therein lies the whole problem.

Valerie is constantly and consistently harming Monica (in the past and present) but has no remorse, no empathy and no consideration. We just cannot see how this can possibly be a romance. Monica is quite a tragic character – especially when she’s described as a rebellious girl with fire in her who has turned into a withdrawn, defeated, resigned and sad person. We don’t understand Monica’s attraction to Valerie in the present and can only explain it as Monica never having got closure. Monica’s relationship with David is another fail in the book. For one, David is described a constantly screaming and Monica is less than tolerant of him. Though Monica insists that David means the world to her, the only caring flowing between the two is from son to mother. So it is not as if Monica is written to be particularly likeable, but she’s still better than Valerie. In fact, we disliked Valerie so much and the relationship between the two made such little sense that we entirely skipped the sex scene towards the end eager to just finish the damn thing.

This one was so totally not for us.



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