We’re back with more KU reviews! I did another trial (don’t ask me how I keep getting them, I legit don’t know) and was able to extend my membership for a few dollars so y’all will probably get another set of these reviews.
In this post – I’ve got some sports romances, some college romances, a reread of a fave, and some vacation romances for you!
The Bombshell Effect by Karla Sorenson – DNF
I have mixed thoughts on Karla’s books, I’ve loved some and the others have been meh. This one was fine I just wasn’t really vibing with it and didn’t care so I decided to DNF. Plus, some of the things Luke (the male main character) said annoyed me/didn’t sit right with me. I’m sure they get addressed, but I did not want to stick around and see.
I wish I had loved this one more because the cameo we see of Allie in Luke in The Marriage Effect (book three in this series & one of my faves) was adorable. Also, idk if this will still be true when you’re reading this, but at the time of me finalizing this post, it’s free on Amazon.
I saw someone compare this to Ted Lasso…and just no.
Love at First by Kate Clayborn – reread
TW: death of a family member, grief
I wanted to reread this one and seeing that it was on KU seemed like a sign. I read the ebook instead of my physical copy to get Kate those cents!! I loved this one so much and it made me cry even though I clearly knew what was going to happen.
I might have loved this one even more a second time? Kate Clayborn is just so good. She recently announced a her next book and I’m just very excited.
Anyways. If you want to see more of my detailed thoughts you can check out my review here.
The Puck Drop (Central State #1) by Jaqueline Snowe
TW: strained relationship with parent/sibling, parental death/car accident (prior to story, discussed), grief
Plot: After a chance meeting at a bar where Michael helps Naomi out, they find out they both will be working for her hockey coach dad
I knew nothing about this series until I saw Nick (The Infinite Limits of Love) posted about it on Twitter. I wanted something fun after my last romance novel was annoying, so I gave it a go and read half of it in one sitting.
This was a fun hockey romance set on a college campus. I loved the first half, but the second half did not grip me in the same way. The best part was Michael and Naomi’s friendly banter it was so cute and a lot of fun to read.
I did like how Snowe described why the “villains” acted the way they did and did not leave them as one-dimensional characters. I hate when in books the author does not explain the actions of side characters and instead just is like THEY ARE BAD, but Snowe gives reasons on why they acted that way. I did want a bit more from all the resolutions as they came a little too quickly for me, but I really appreciated that she included them at all. 3.5/5 stars
From the Top (Central State #2) by Jaqueline Snowe
Plot: Cami and Freddie are both having tough starts to the new school year. Because of a mold issue they are forced to move out of their apartments and into the dorms. Next door to each other. This would not be a problem except they had a ~moment~ a few months ago and it did not end well.
Cami and Freddie are both introduced in the first book in the series, Cami’s sister is the female main character and Freddie’s roommate is the male main character.
This one was fine, but nothing standout. I enjoyed it and if you’re looking for a college set romance between a dancer and a nerdy guy, this is probably something you would enjoy. I enjoyed Cami’s plot line, but Freddie wasn’t my favorite. I was tired of him being like I’M A NERD WHY WOULD SHE LIKE ME and honestly, which is just…whatever and was tiring after the first few times.
What I liked about this first one, the cute banter and the friendship, wasn’t as present in this one and it just did not keep my interest in the same way. 2.5/ stars
Enemies Abroad by R.S. Grey
Plot: Audrey and Noah have taught at the same middle school for the last three years and they hate each other. They end up both being chaperones on their school’s trip to Rome during the summer and suddenly their dynamic changes and they are forced to confront what their relationship really means to each other.
Look R.S. Grey and I have a fraught history. Her books are quick reads and I used to enjoy them so I keep coming back. Someone on bookstagram enjoyed this one and since I have KU again I downloaded it and went for it. I love books with teachers and I love books where two teachers fall in love so this seemed up my alley because teachers + Rome + enemies to lovers.
I mostly enjoyed it in the sense that it was a distraction and I could not stop reading it. But, obviously this was not perfect. We have a situation of “hate to love” where the guy clearly does not hate their love interest. Plus we did not get his POV so Audrey was just very dense to not notice that his sparing wasn’t mean.
I also was uncomfortable that Audrey was described as having almond shaped eyes and very straight black hair, which tend to be stereotypical descriptors of Asian charters, but Audrey is not Asian on page, and I don’t believe the author is Asian. So that was weird. Also, Audrey is 27, but her parents are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in the book, which is not impossible, but it felt like it deserved a mention.
I was able to cut some slack and enjoyed the first 50%, but the second half was not enjoyable and just made me roll my eyes multiple times. The only thing that saved this novel was the setting as I really enjoy books that feel like traveling in these times where I am not traveling myself. Overall, I just need to stop reading R.S. Grey’s books. They used to be easy to slip into and were an enjoyable distraction, but now they require too much suspension of disbelief and lack the banter/chemistry I am looking for in romance novels. 2/5 stars
For Vacation Only by Mila Nicks
Plot: Blake has been left at the alter and decides to go on his honeymoon cruise – solo. He lasts about half a day before he realizes how lonely it is to be a on cruise by himself. He runs into Jubilee, a singer on the cruise, and they hit it off. Neither of them are looking for a new relationship, but they like hanging out and Blake asks Jubilee to be his tour guide.
Look I am pretty sure this pandemic is making me gravitate towards all these traveling books, but I also was just drawn in by this adorable cover. Which can you blame me? Look at this cover!!
Anyways. I enjoyed this one a lot. Blake and Jubilee are just having fun on a cruise and I had a fun time following along. It is cute and the perfect escapist read.
I only rated this 3/5 stars even though it does feel higher than three stars to me, because I was basically skimming at the end because I did not care about the drama at the end. I really don’t like when an ex is involved in the drama and I thought Blake’s ex was unnecessarily annoying and her meddling was blah. Anyways. Would read more by Mila Nicks).
Thanks for reading & if you have any KU recommendations please leave them in the comments.