My original intent for a theme for this month was to focus on different cover art trends, hence all the illustrated covers here, but I had a hard time picking enough trends to make it worthwhile. Instead, I decided to switch to a genre theme, and spend each Wednesday in November mentioning a few books from my favourite genres that I’ve added to my TBR. I’d noticed myself adding several books in a row from the same genre, often because I’d found a list on sites like Goodreads or BookBub that mentioned books by genre. I decided to start with contemporary romance because it is a genre that I’ve only really gotten into recently. I’d say that contemporary is a favourite genre, but romance is a bit more hit-or-miss. In the past year or two, I’ve started to really find a lot more contemporary romances that I’ve been enjoying. I tend to need some kind of different spin on the story to help it feel fresh enough to keep my attention, but I also love books that have characters with great chemistry and especially banter. The books listed here are all adult contemporary romances that I’ve added in the past couple of months, and I’d love to give them all a try at some point.
Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.
1) Well Met by Jen DeLuca
I’ve been hearing about this book absolutely everywhere lately! It is a debut novel about a woman named Emily, who has recently moved to a small town, and gets roped into volunteering for a local Renaissance Faire with her teenage niece. Simon, the teacher in charge of the fair, takes the event very seriously and does not have much patience for Emily’s more casual approach or her ideas to change things up. However, while on fair grounds, he seems to become a different person and flirts with her, leaving Emily confused about whether his interest is real or all part of the act. Although she’d only planned to stay in this town for the summer, Emily soon finds herself thinking about staying there and establishing something more permanent with Simon. I’ve heard some great reviews for this one lately, and I think the Renaissance Faire is a very interesting angle that could add something a bit different to the story. There’s apparently another book tagged as part of this “series” on Goodreads due out next year, but I’m not sure whether it is meant to follow the same characters, or act as a spin-off like so many romances have been doing lately. Either way, this one sounds like it could be a lot of fun to read.
2) The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
I have both books by this author on my TBR, but I chose to mention this one since it is already out. This book is about a woman named Kristen who is secretly facing a medical procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children. While planning her best friend’s wedding, she meets the best man, Josh, who seems to be everything she wants, except for the fact that he wants a big family someday. Knowing that won’t be possible for her, Kristen decides to keep her distance, which becomes more and more difficult as their attraction grows. I’m a bit hesitant about this one because I’ve seen a few reviews recently that have commented about how problematic the book is, and I have also unfortunately seen spoilers that have given away the ending. I’m not too surprised given that this is a book that addresses infertility, and I’ve rarely seen a fictional book including this topic that was not considered problematic in some way. I’m very interested to see how the author handles this complex topic, although the reviews have me a bit reluctant to give it a chance.
3) Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
I read The Wedding Date last year, and I have The Proposal in my current library stack to read in the next couple of weeks. Royal Holiday is the fourth book in the “series,” which just came out at the beginning of October. This is one of those contemporary romance series where the books are set in the same world have have characters that are loosely connected, but you don’t necessarily need to read one to understand the others. To be honest, I tend to be a bit of a Grinch when it comes to holiday-themed books. For some reason, I tend to find that anything Christmas-related is an almost automatic turn off for me, and I’m not even sure why. This book is about Vivian, the mother of the female main character of The Wedding Party, who has the opportunity to go to England to be a stylist for a member of the royal family, and is excited to have the chance to spend the holidays overseas. While there, Vivian is quickly drawn to a man named Malcolm who works as private secretary to the Queen, and the two of them must decide what will happen once Vivian’s holiday visit is over at New Year’s. I really liked The Wedding Date, but didn’t love it quite as much as I’d hoped, but I’m still very interested in trying the rest of the series. Neither the holiday angle nor the focus on royalty is really a huge appeal to me though, so I’m hoping to like this a lot more than I expect.
4) The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
I was first drawn to this book because of the social media angle. It is supposed to be the start of a series, although no details have been provided about any other books yet considering this isn’t even due out until June! The series is about a group of three women who become friends after live-tweeting a disastrous date, only to realize that all three of them have been fooled by the same man. Samiah, Taylor and London have gone viral online after realizing they’ve all been catfished, and they make a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves instead of men or relationships. This pact is quickly put to the test when Samiah meets a new coworker, Daniel, and starts to wonder if he’s really as great as he seems, or if he’s too good to be true. Given that this book is over half a year away, there isn’t too much about it yet on Goodreads, but the synopsis sounds like a lot of fun to read. I think the live-tweeting angle sounds like a great way to start out the story, and I’m curious to see how it evolves. I’m especially interested to see the friendship between the three women, since it seems to rightfully place the blame on the man who was involved with all three at once without telling them, instead of hating each other for it, as is common in many books.
5) Heidi’s Guide to Four Letter Words by Tara Sivec and Andi Arndt
This is another book that I only discovered recently, and it is due out this December. It is about a woman named Heidi who loses her job as a kindergarten teacher due to budget cutbacks, leading her to start working as a receptionist at an audio studio instead. One night, after a few drinks and feeling down, Heidi decides to use some of the hand-me-down equipment she got to start her own podcast where she reads some of the steamiest parts of the romance novels that they record at her workplace. The further Heidi delves into these podcasts, the more confident she starts to become both on and off the air, especially with the neighbour that she is crushing on. This book sounds like it would be so much fun to read! I love the whole concept of Heidi’s podcast, and it sounds like it will be very funny. It also helps that the cover art seems to depict her awkwardness around it so perfectly. This is exactly what I mean by a book having a bit of a unique angle on it to grab my attention, and this sounds like it would be such an entertaining story.