Each year during February, I always gravitate toward reading romance books. When people are going out for Valentine’s Day, I’m in my room, in my book corner, reading about fictional characters to escape reality.
Night Shift by Annie Crown
This story follows Kendall who works at a college library and Vince who is a varsity basketball player. Kendall Holiday spends most of her time reading romance novels and staying in her dorm instead of partying with her friends. Vincent Knight, captain of the basketball team, turns up with an injured wrist and a need for poetry recommendations for a class he hates. Suddenly, Kendall is falling headfirst into her own romance novel, but it takes a lot more truth than tropes to get to a happy ever after in real life.
I really enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and the story progressed as I kept reading. I felt that I related to Kendall a lot during the story. This book was fast paced and entertaining. The romance was well done and it wasn’t cringe-worthy. The banter between the characters kept me laughing. When I first started the book, I didn’t know that it was based off of a Wattpad story, which I thought was really cool.
Exes and O’s by Amy Lea
Romance novel expert Tara has been dumped ten times by different guys. Through obstacles, Tara is determined to find “the one.” She revisits her exes in hopes of getting a second chance romance. She decides to get an apartment and meets her new roommate Trevor, who is a local firefighter. When Tara asks Trevor for help to reconnect with her exes, he agrees. But Tara’s journey is leading him to discover his own new chapter.
While reading this book, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the slow-burn. The main characters didn’t kiss until about 200 pages in. I felt like it was worth it in the end because they did have very good chemistry from the beginning. Tara is a book worm and likes to read, which I also relate to. Trevor is a great book boyfriend, he really cared about Tara and went out of his way to make her feel better whenever she felt down. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I feel that it is perfect for Valentine’s Day.
The Do-Over by Lynn Painter
After living through a terrible Valentine’s Day, Emilie Hornby escapes to her grandmother’s house for some comfort. She passes out on the couch, but when she wakes up, she’s back home in her own bed and it’s Valentine’s Day all over again, and again. Emilie is stuck in some sort of time loop nightmare that she can’t wake up from as she re-watches her boyfriend, Josh, cheat on her day after day. In addition to Josh’s recurring infidelity, Emilie can’t get away from Nick, who she keeps running into.
This book was interesting to read. I really liked the concept of how Emilie had to relive the same day over again. She always tried to find a way to break the rotation and make different decisions.
Nick was a grumpy guy who doesn’t believe in love and hates Valentine’s Day. It was fun to see Emilie have fun with him and try to cheer him up each day. This was my first Lynn Painter book. I thought she did a great job portraying these characters.
Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
By day, physicist Elsie Hannaway is an adjunct professor, grading labs and teaching thermodynamics. When she’s not in the lab, Elsie offers her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her people pleasing skills and giving her clients whatever they need. Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive, older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted physicist who ruined her mentor’s career. Jack now sits on the hiring committee at MIT, right between Elsie and her dream job.
Ali Hazelwood is my favorite romance author, so I was excited when she released this book. I really like how she focuses on STEM empowered women and their experiences in a male-dominated career. I really like the tension and dynamic between Elsie and Jack. There were moments where I was laughing but also crying. Jack was always attentive to Elsie and cared about her deeply. The plot wasn’t very fast or slow, it was just the right pace for me. Overall, I loved this book and it’s probably one of my favorites from Hazelwood.