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 »

Top Five Wednesday: Romance Books I Should Read 

Today’s Top Five Wednesday topic is called “Reader Canon,” where we are prompted to talked about books that everyone in our bookish community has read. We can take this topic in any direction we’d like, whether that’’s by talking about five books we consider to be must reads, books we want to read, or books we just haven’t read. I’m going to take the second direction and talk about some contemporary romances I want to pick up.. eventually! I always tend to have books in the back of my mind or on my TBR that I know I should read. When I’m in the mood for that said genre or book, I usually just go to the library and pick it up that day! 

 

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – I feel guilty calling myself a contemporary romance reader when I haven’t read one of the most popular contemporary romance reads, The Kiss Quotient. This is a case of the hype keeping me away, but I know I’ll likely pick it up one day at the library. 

The Happily Ever After (The Friend Zone #2) by Abby Jimenez – The Happily Ever After completely took over my Instagram and blog feeds this spring. I know The Happily Ever After is the companion novel/second book to The Friend Zone, and while I believe there’s spoilers for the first book, so many people have said that you don’t need to read the first book to absolutely fall in love with this one. Read More »

TWO 2020 FAVORITES, ONE MISS: Contemporary Romance Mini Reviews

It’s one of my reading missions in life to also have a contemporary romance book ready to read! If you’re absolutely loving all the amazing contemporary romances that have come out in 2020, I have another two 2020 releases for you to read… and a 2019 much-loved release to maybe avoid….

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

On a beautiful day in August, I decided I wanted a fluffy book that would occupy my full attention while floating around the pool, which led me to pick up Mia Sosa’s The Worst Best Man. I’ll read nearly any book that has something to do with weddings. This contemporary romance follows Lina, a wedding planner who was left at the altar three years ago when her fiancé’s best man, Max, convinced Andrew to not get married the night before the wedding. Three years later, Lina is up for a wedding planning position at a luxury hotel in Washington D.C. and is forced to work with Max to prepare marketing materials for her final presentation. Although Lina finally gets the opportunity for some payback, her and Max begin to connect in ways both of them would have never expected.

The Worst Best Man is seriously one of my favorite contemporary romances of 2020! I instantly fell into this story and Lina and Max’s attraction. I thought it had the perfect balance between romance & relationship development, the setting, and the personal challenges each character faces. As I’ve said before, Say Yes to the Dress and Four Weddings are among my favorite reality TV shows, so I loved getting the inside look at wedding planning. I thought Lina’s job and all the details were so well-developed. As someone who has experience in marketing, it was also really fun to learn about Max’s job as a marketing executive and seeing him and Lina collaborate on their pitch. We also spend a lot of time with each character’s family, as Lina comes from a close-knit family led by women and is planning her favorite cousin’s wedding, while Max and Andrew are going head to head for the hotel pitch. 

This book  hit a home run when it come to one of my favorite tropes, enemies-to-lovers. Lina and Max seriously had no feelings or attraction for each other at the start and even as their feelings begin to build, Lina is still getting revenge on Max for helping ruin her big day. I loved their antics and their more emotional scenes, romance scenes of course included. Read More »

Contemporary Romance TBR

Since about mid-2019, adult contemporary romance has been the genre I’ve been craving the most. I absolutely fly through most books in this genre, yet I find myself unsuccessfully attempting to take my time reading them because I want to enjoy them as long as possible. Everyone knows I love binge-reading series, but I’ve been trying not to binge-read the books in the series so I know I always have a book to look forward to.

Since I’ve been practically adding more contemporary romances to my TBR whenever I’m scrolling through Goodreads, today I’ll be sharing which adult & new adult contemporary romances I plan on reading (hopefully soon). I’ve divided this TBR by released books and 2020 releases still to come.

Well Met by Jen DeLuca – I’ve decided that on my next bookstore trip (or whenever I get a Barnes & Noble coupon) I’ll be buying Jen DeLuca. I’ve heard so many great things about this ren-faire inspired romance from many contemporary-loving bloggers. There will be also be two more books set in the Well Met world, Well Played (September 29) and Well Matched (2021).

Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher – Not the Girl You Marry has received some mixed reviews, but I read its synopsis while strolling through the romance section in the bookstore and still added it to my TBR. I haven’t read a book set in the city in a while, and I love how the female protagonist, Hannah, is an event planner.

Roomies by Christina Lauren – I could probably dedicate a whole TBR to Christina Lauren books (actually, that’s not a bad future post idea…). Roomies received a ton of love and attention when it first came out in 2017, and I think it’s time for me to see what the hype is about.

Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec & Andi Arndt – What the main character does in Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words honestly sounds like something I would do. After being fired from her job as a kindergarten teacher, Heidi starts a podcast reading the steamy scenes from romance novels and finds way more success than she could have imagined.Read More »