April 15, 2021

Abbreviations #128: A Princess in Theory, Crushing on You + The Boyfriend Project

While I enjoyed A Princess in Theory, I didn’t necessarily feel like I needed to immediately continue reading the Reluctant Royals series. But I decided to pick up A Duke by Default on a whim one weekend… and I’m glad that I did! In this novel, Portia Hobbs is tired of being a disappointment to her family, friends and herself and has decided that she’s going to turn things around. Her new start begins with an apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland, where she’ll learn to forge weapons and also offer her other skills to help the armory stay afloat. But she doesn’t count on developing feelings for her silver fox boss Tavish… who also ends up being the secret son of a duke. As they work together to save the armory and figure out all the things Tav needs to know to assume his new role, will they also be able to figure out how they can have a happily ever after? Just writing this summary made me smile because this contemporary romance was so adorable! I loved how the setting, characters and romance all came together, and while I’m not always into royalty, I thought it was done in a really fun way here. While the miscommunication between our main couple was frustrating, I was willing to let it slide because I was having so much fun. I genuinely enjoyed reading A Duke by Default, and it certainly made me want to read more from Cole… including the rest of this series!

Pub Info: July 31, 2018 by Avon | Add it on Goodreads

Credit must be given where credit is due, and I genuinely would not have known about Crushing on You were it not for my pal Lisa. This indie romance is the first in the Burlfriends series from Jen Trinh, and it’s a great starting point! Aspiring music journalist Anna has one rule of dating: no Asian guys, after being traumatized by her own experiences with her family. But when she meets successful, athletic Ian on a flight to attend a friend’s wedding, she finds herself reluctantly charmed. Will it be possible for him to break down the walls Anna’s put up around her heart so that they can find their way to happily ever after? I inhaled the entirety of Crushing on You in one sitting because it was just that adorable! I enjoyed getting to know both Anna and Ian, including the myriad interests depicted like music, rock climbing and food. and found it all too easy to root for them to be together. I liked the romance a lot, especially as it balanced the sweet moments and sexy bits well and also had realistic conflicts that our couple needed to overcome. I appreciated how it depicted two different experiences going up Asian-American and how their histories informed their personalities and choices. All in all, this was a great introduction to Trinh’s storytelling style, and I look forward to reading more books in this series.

Pub Info: December 6, 2019 | Add it on Goodreads

I decided to listen to The Boyfriend Project on a whim (and I’m sure you can sense a theme with my recent reading choices since I’ve said this pretty often). This novel has a great premise: three young women end up discovering that the guy they’ve all been dating has been catfishing them and end up involved in a very public confrontation that goes viral online. The only good thing to come out of this? Samiah, London and Taylor have become fast friends and make a pact together to spend the next six months investing in themselves instead of investing in romantic relationships. But at around the same time, Samiah ends up crossing paths with the sexy, sweet, possibly too good to be true Daniel Collins at work… While this is a reductive summary considering there are other elements at play in this novel, I’m going to leave it at that. And I did enjoy reading The Boyfriend Project! I was charmed by both Samiah and Daniel (and also really liked the secondary cast of characters), and it was easy to be invested in the pair finding their happy ending. I was also surprised by some of the other elements in the story, especially on Daniel’s end. It did have a lot of repetitive inner monologue on both ends, and it was obvious from the start what was going to wind up being the main conflict. But I was still entertained! While this isn’t a new all-time favorite, I did have a lot of fun listening to the audiobook and I’d definitely consider picking up the next book in this companion novel series.

Pub Info: June 9, 2020 by Forever | Add it on Goodreads


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