04 October 2018

Cold Spell by Mia London & Susan Sheehey

Series: Sweet Escape, #3
# of Pages: 72
Publication: October 3rd, 2018
Source: Publisher Review Copy
Genre: Romance
Goodreads | Amazon 

She can't stand him. He thinks she's never more adorable than when she's angry at him. Liddy Drake would rather gamble on double black diamond runs than take a chance on love. Escaping dreary San Francisco for a Colorado mountain resort with her besties is just what the doctor ordered. But an injury on the first day lands her in the lap of a loud-mouthed ski instructor who knows exactly how to get under her skin. She doesn't have time to waste on a playboy with a too-easy laugh and gorgeous blue eyes. Luke Sawyer left New York ten years ago for the ski runs of Colorado, concealing his identity as a Rothchild heir. He'd seen money change too many people, never for good. Scrappy, sassy, and oh-so-sexy Liddy doesn't fall for the mask of his over-the-top charm. He accepts the challenge to show her his true self. Their chemistry is enough to melt snow-capped mountains, until she finds out the truth. There's no way her humble background could compete with America's royalty. How can he melt the ice around her heart and convince her that Mr. Wrong is actually Mr. Right, who loves her just the way she is?

Mia and Susan's third book in their Sweet Escape series did not necessarily meet my broad expectations; however, I found that it was a cute winter contemporary that would be fun for the holidays. There were several aspects of the novel that I enjoyed and others that I found quite challenging. I have not read the rest of the books in the series; however, I was able to read this book without being confused on who the characters were and their relationship to Liddy Drake.

What I loved about this book was the relationship that the main character had with her two best friends. They were constantly supportive of each other even in their worst moments. Liddy frequently struggled with attachment issue due to her less than thrilling time spent in foster homes. When she began to doubt her worth in regards to Luke's family, her friends reminded her how much of an amazing woman she was and how any family would be lucky to have her. I really appreciate books where female friendships and relationships are celebrated. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed definitely was Luke's personality; he was hard on the outside, but so soft and kind on the inside especially for a man that was hurt by so many previous relationships. And of course I completely enjoyed the steamy romance scenes between Luke and Liddy.

The only part of the book that I did not enjoy was the pacing. Because the length of the novel is so short, the authors did not get a lot of time to develop the relationship between Luke and Liddy. It felt really rushed and unrealistic in terms of time. I did not think it was realistic that Liddy would not only sleep, but also fall in love with her ski instructor over the course of a few days. I'm not saying that it can't happen in real life; however, it felt inauthentic. From revealing their most intimate secrets and personal struggles to the insta-love made their romance feel as though it was something that could only ever happen in a book.

If you enjoy cute, contemporary romances then I would recommend this book; however, if you are put off by books where there is a presence of instantaneous love and romance than I would steer clear. Overall, I did enjoy it and I would take the time to go back and read the other two.

01 October 2018

Anna & The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Series: Anna & The French Kiss, #1
# of Pages: 372
Publication: December 2nd, 2010
Source: Personal Copy
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Goodreads | Amazon 

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Quick Facts Review (Overview of the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly)
  -Anna is a loveable character who never attempts to be anyone but herself. 
           -There is a grey area of whether a main character is actively cheating on his girlfriend
           -The setting of the novel is phenomenal. 

I always feel as though I’m the last person on earth to have read this book and started this series; however, I’m glad that I did start the series because I really enjoyed this book. There were likeable characters, the writing was easy to follow, and I love a cute, cheesy romance. All of these elements worked so well together and it really made for a fast, engaging novel.

The characters were phenomenal. I’m really picky about whether an author effectively develops characters that I can either relate to or understand and Stephanie Perkins did such an amazing job. I could not directly relate with Anna because she came from a decent family with a good enough income to send her to boarding school in Paris; however, she was extremely likeable. There was never a moment when I felt as though Ana was disingenuous or attempting to be herself. She was different from the rest of the girls in the novel and that’s what made her stand out. Like the other characters, Anna does have her flaws but they seem to make her more human. A character that did take me awhile to understand and appreciate was St. Claire. He had a lot of trouble determining how he could break up with his girlfriend so he could start dating Anna and it irritated me that he kept hurting Anna. However, honestly when I realized that St. Claire exhibited traits that were complicated, but human I began to appreciate him more and of course he treated Anna like a gem.

The plot of this story was not extravagant or complex. It was mainly a plot based around whether Anna and St. Claire would ever have the opportunity to explore a relationship. However, there were other elements of the plot that defined the personalities of the characters and made the story more enjoyable. For example, it was hard to watch Anna betray one of her close friends by accident when she developed feelings for St. Claire; however, it led to some complex moments and it really defined how Anna viewed her friendships with the other characters as she pursued a relationship with St. Claire. I liked the back and forth between Anna and St. Claire. I’m sure that it annoyed some readers, but the thrill of never knowing when their opportunity was going to arise made the story that much more enjoyable. I went into the book expecting nothing more than a fluffy contemporary; however, I was granted with the opportunity to learn so much more about the characters

The writing of the book was simplistic, but entertaining. Stephanie Perkins understands how to write a story that is simple in nature, but has complex characters that translate into a complex plot. I read this book in about two days because Perkins writing was so accessible. I do not categorize it as a fully contemporary; however, it is easy in nature.

Honestly if you enjoy contemporaries at all then I would recommend checking out this book and series. As I’m writing this review, I have already finished the second book and plan to read the third book sometime soon.