Contemporary Romance Mini Reviews: November 2020 Edition

I’ve read some literary fiction and YA books in between, but the fall has once again been all about contemporary romance for me. Two of the books below are wedding-centric, while the third is a much anticipated sequel in one of my favorite contemporary romance series. 

Destination Wedding by Diksha Basu

My Rating: 4.25/5 Stars 

My currently adult contemporary and contemporary romance mood met my love for books featuring weddings recently with Diksha Basu’s Destination Wedding. Tina’s family and her best friend are spending a week in India for her cousin’s wedding. I wouldn’t say there’s a central conflict or plot to the book, but the novel explores so much about Tina and co.’s relationships with other people and to India. Despite its fascinating and sometimes luxurious setting, Destination Wedding is more of a quiet read, focused on character development and self-discovery. I know this might not be every reader’s cup of tea, but I personally really enjoyed it!

You may know that I’ve been super wary of any Crazy Rich Asians comparisons lately because the past few books that I’ve read with the CRA comparison just haven’t held up. Destination Wedding is by far the first book I would recommend to anyone looking to have those Crazy Rich Asians feels once again. Destination Wedding obviously takes place in a different culture, and I admit that is slightly less glamorous than CRA, but the book provides a look at poverty in India. The writing style between the two were so similar, between the satire and comedy (there were so many funny moments and funny one-lines from Tina’s dad, Mr. Das), and the third person perspective. The sections of each chapter are usually dedicated to one character, but will pull away for a brief paragraph or two about a side character there. 

I don’t think I necessarily had a favorite character, but there were never any chapters that I wanted to rush through because I didn’t like the character of focus. I feel like I did want more from Tina and her romantic’s endeavors, but I loved being able to explore her relationship with her heritage and her parents. I also feel like the novel gave such an inside look at India – the book mostly takes place in New Dehli. There was so much I never knew about the culture and traditions there, and honestly, the poverty and pollution.  If you’re someone who craves character-driven books and doesn’t mind a more literary fiction-type reader, I definitely recommend checking Destination Wedding out.  Read More »

MUST-READ SPORTS ROMANCE: Playbook Series Review

Sports romance is one of the many ways you could describe my reading life in 2019 and 2020. From Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus and Briar U series to Lyssa Kay Adams’ The Bromance Book Club, I have been especially craving new adult and adult romance series that involve protagonists who are in relationships with professional athletes. I find myself rating almost all of these books 5 out of 5 stars because I genuinely enjoy them so, so much!

Enter Alexa Martin’s football romance series, Playbook, which includes Intercepted, Fumbled, and Blitzed. The wife of an ex-NFL football player, I love how Alexa Martin brings some personal experience to this series. As a football fan myself, I really appreciated how this series incorporates football alongside romance, family, friendship, and the plot overall.

Intercepted 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

41V+0iO3ZkL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Intercepted was easily one of my favorite binge-reads of 2019. I read this book in two sittings, between the first one hundred pages and then the remainder of the book. Intercepted follows Marlee, a website designer and long-time girlfriend of Denver Mustangs football player, Chris. Marlee struggles fitting in with the Denver Mustangs WAGS (wives and girlfriends) club, the Lady Mustangs. Things get way more complicated when a football-playing, one night hook-up from her past, Gavin Pope, joins the Mustangs. When Chris cheats on Marlee one last time, Marlee finds herself once again falling for Gavin.

Intercepted was such a fun and entertaining read. A few reviews I’ve read have had problems with Marlee’s use of hashtags, but I didn’t really mind them and found myself relating to a few. “#SaintLukeBryan” is a personal favorite of mine! Much of the plot revolves Marlee’s combatting of the Lady Mustangs with her best friend, Naomi,  and the pressure and gossip surrounding her relationship with Gavin. However, one of the other major plot lines that I really enjoyed was Marlee’s balancing her career and personal apsirations with dating a NFL star like Gavin. Marleee does not at all want to give up her career and personal goals to become Gavin’s personal cheerleader- not that Gavin expected her to. Marlee is such a strong character and Gavin gives her space while yes, helping her fight some battles.

When it comes to the romance, Alexa Martin certainly delivers on the steam. There aren’t too many romance chapters, but the five to six scenes were very well-written. Outside of the romance, I really liked this installment’s balance of plot with football Marlee certainly knows her football, and I loved how realistic the story became when it came to contracts and free agents.

Fumbled 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

fumbMy final read of 2019, Fumbled was another great binge-read. I didn’t loveeeee it as much as I loved Intercepted, but it was a really solid installment in this companion series. I wasn’t into the premise as much as I had been with Intercepted, but the relationship development, plot, and characters were still really well done. Fumbled follows single mother Poppy Patterson, who feels like she’s finally found a new normal while raising her nine year-old son in Denver. When she unexpectedly runs into her ex-boyfriend and starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, TK Moore, at the club she works at, their suppressed feelings for one another suddenly rush back in. There’s some pretty big secrets between the two that make their relationship anything but easy.Read More »