5 Romance Reads #MiniReviews #TheDevineDoughnutShop #RubySpencersWhiskyYear #GoodForYou #TheNeighborFavor #Repositioning #Romance

5 Romance Reads

I’m rounding up 5 recent romance reads for this mini-reviews post. The Romance genre guarantees an HEA (happily ever after) ending. Do you love an HEA ending?

5 Romance Reads (collage of covers)

Do you prefer romance or romantic comedies (romcoms)? I absolutely enjoy a bit of witty, snappy dialogue so I favor romcoms.

Because I prefer closed-door romance and very limited profanity, I have to carefully screen my romance reads! But I do enjoy them as a quick palate cleanser between heavier histfic reads.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

The Devine Doughnut Shop by Carolyn Brown

Thanks #NetGalley #Montlake for a complimentary e ARC of #TheDevineDoughnutShop upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Devine Doughnut Shop by Carolyn Brown (cover) Image: right focus on a woam's pink apron

Three women (two sisters and a cousin) own and operate the Devine Doughnut Shop, a popular gathering place for locals. Each of the women faces personal challenges as they also struggle to keep the family business solvent. One day, a charming developer arrives in town and offers to buy the shop (and the grandmother’s secret recipe) and expand the shop into a national chain.

If you love small towns, family drama, entrepreneurial women, and a slow-burn romance, grab a pastry and enjoy this warmhearted women’s fiction story.

4 Stars

Repositioning: Lost Love Found by Jeanine Lauren

Thanks @BookSirens and the author for a complimentary e ARC of #Repositioning upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Repositioning: Lost Love Found by Jeanine Lauren (cover) Image: a man and woman stand arm in arm looking out to sea along the railing of a cuise ship

If you love cruising and stories set on cruise ships, mature characters, and second-chance romance (closed door), you might enjoy Repositioning!

After the death of her husband, fifty-two-year-old Maria has created the carefree life she loves living aboard cruise ships and traveling the world. Her sister and her young adult children would like her to return home but she is conflicted. As her current cruise gets underway, she is horrified to spot her old high school boyfriend, Nathan, among the guests. Suddenly, her life becomes complicated as she initially tries to avoid him and when that fails, she’s faced with having an uncomfortable and potentially combative conversation. As misunderstandings and old hurts are addressed, Maria and Nathan are faced with an inevitable attraction and the possibility of a second-chance romance.

Can they repair their relationship? What are the risks? How will their families react?

Amid the twists and turns, an engaging and heartfelt story emerges. Thoughtful themes include second-chance romance, newfound family, honesty and trust, reconciliation, sibling dynamics, heartwarming romance, loss and heartbreak, and complicated family drama.

4 Stars

Good For You by Camille Pagán

I grabbed Good For You off Amazon First Reads because I enjoyed This Won’t End Well by the author.

Good For You by Camille Pagan (cover) Image: graphic image of a woman and man lying on beach towls next to ocean waves

Aly is editor-in-chief of All Good magazine. One day she overhears a few coworkers gossiping about her and she has a public meltdown which causes her to accept a month-long unpaid leave. Aly’s brother has recently died and he left her his beach house on Lake Michigan, so she decides to head to the beach house with the intention of selling it. She discovers that her brother’s best friend, Wyatt, is living there and that he has inherited half of it. The situation becomes complicated.

If you enjoy a slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers, and closed-door romance, you might enjoy this well-written and engaging story. You can always depend on Camille Pagán for some witty and snappy writing!

4 Stars

The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary e ARC of #TheNeighborFavor upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest (cover) Image: a young black woman and black man talk on a falcony and had hand each other a book

Inspired by a You’ve Got Mail premise, The Neighbor Favor is the story of Lily and Nick who become email friends. Lily is a shy bookworm who works as an editor in the nonfiction department but dreams of becoming an editor of children’s books. Impulsively one day, she writes a fan email to her favorite fantasy author. They begin an online/email friendship. After a few months of steady correspondence, he ghosts her and she is perplexed. Meanwhile, Lily desperately needs to find a date for her sister’s wedding, so she gathers her courage and asks her charming and attractive new neighbor, Nick, to be her plus-one. He volunteers to set her up with one of his friends when he suddenly realizes Lily is really his email friend. Nick doesn’t want to reveal his identity even though he likes her, so things get complicated between them.

I love the epistolary format, so the beginning of this story was well executed. I wish the charming emails had continued for a while after Nick realized who she was. I also appreciate why he didn’t want to lie. However, this led to more lies which landed him in the unlikeable character category (in my opinion). If you like the You’ve Got Mail premise, you might enjoy The Neighbor Factor. Two other stories I’ve read and reviewed with a You’ve Got Mail premise are Hana Khan Carries On and Tweet Cute.

3 Stars

Ruby Spencer’s Whisky Year by Rochelle Bilow

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary e ARC of #RubySpencersWhiskyYear upon my request. All opinions are my own.

***Open-Door Romance***

Ruby Spencer's Whisky Year by Rochelle Bilow (cover) Image: graphic image of a young man and woman wrapped in a red blanket hugging each other

In search of inspiration, Ruby, a thirty-something American food writer, moves to a small Scottish village for one year. She meets a handsome Scottish handyman, plans extraordinary pop-up dinners, meets colorful characters in the community, and drinks lots of whisky. A problem arises when the new owner of the local pub wants to turn the beloved establishment into a chain restaurant.

I enjoyed the Scottish setting and the colorful locals….some readers might also enjoy the tongue-in-cheek references to Outlander. I prefer slow-burn romance more than instalove or in this case, instalust. Keeping secrets from your significant other is not my favorite trope….but both sides had their secrets so fair play I guess!

This story was more open door than I prefer (and I ended up skimming), but other readers in my buddy read group loved the moderate steam factor.

Content Consideration: lots of drinking (not necessarily drunkenness or addiction), and moderate steam (open-door)

2.5-3 Stars

5 Romance Reads QOTD:

Do you read in the Romance genre?
What are your favorite romance tropes?

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

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~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

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I purchase or borrow from the library all books I review unless explicitly stated that the book is free (arc)

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  1. I recently finished The Neighbor Favor and Ruby Spencer’s Whiskey year. I liked them both a bit more than you did, but yes, the steam was a bit much sometimes.

  2. It looks like you’ve found a few romances to enjoy recently! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.
    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  3. I read a lot of romance, so was interested in your thoughts, Carol. I love these short, concise reviews that give me just what I need. The only one on my TBR is the Devine Doughnut Shop. I was disappointed to be declined for Ruby Spencer, but now I’m kind of glad I was. I will be searching out Good For You and Repositioning. Both are books I have not seen around, so thanks for bringing them to my attention.

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