Hey There Bookworms,
How are things? This weekend, my best friend got married. She and her fiance had planned a big wedding, and then COVID-19 went and ruined it. The party has been rescheduled to next March, but the date they’d originally chosen held a lot of significance for them. They opted for a low key backyard vow exchange to make things official on their original wedding date. Since travelling wasn’t in the cards for me, I offered to be a “hologram” Maid of Honor. And by “offered” I mean I demanded that I be there, even if I had to be broadcast on a literal iPad via FaceTime. So, I got to watch my BFF say “totally” to her partner of 11 years. It was a great moment.
Life during the pandemic remains what it is. Making the best of a crap situation and trying really hard to stay healthy. As I’ve been wont to do, in order to keep my spirits up, I’ve been continuing to read romance novels and rom-coms. I’ve been making a concerted effort the last couple of years to seek out books written by Black women and other authors of color. We’ve all got our part to play in dismantling systemic racism, and if doing my part involves reading and promoting excellent and entertaining books? Sign me up. Speaking of excellent and entertaining books, who is ready for more Alexa Martin? That’s a rhetorical question. The answer is me, because I decided to binge read the remainder of the currently published Playbook series. (Another installment is due out in October. Eeep!)
Fumbled by Alexa Martin: After devouring Intercepted last week, there was no way I wasn’t going to continue with the Playbook series. Finding herself pregnant at 16, Poppy Patterson moved to Denver to begin a new life. Or, more specifically, her jerkface parents tossed her out when they found out she was pregnant and her aunt took her in. Still, she’s managed to build a life she loves and raise her son to be a fine, upstanding 9-year-old. Who cares if she has to wait tables in a corset to fund her son’s soccer expenses? Her hours work with his schedule and she makes good money. Things are going well, until the one person she doesn’t want to see walks into her nightclub and sits at her VIP table. TK Moore, renowned playboy of the Denver Mustangs is known for his sense of humor and refusal to take things seriously. His high school sweetheart is just about the last person he expects to run into on a night out with his teammates. TK and Poppy have undeniable chemistry, but their past holds a lot of secrets. Like, a LOT of secrets. One big, giant, 9 year old who loves soccer kind of secrets. Gaaaah this book was so good! I looooove Poppy and TK together. And I love that Poppy has boundaries and sticks to them. Like, even though her kid is clearly a super talented athlete, she puts the kabosh on tackle football. Because head injuries. I am ONE THOUSAND PERCENT in support of that kind of Momming. Speaking of head injuries, this book tackles some of the uglier parts of the NFL, namely, CTE and the horrific injuries that result from sustaining concussions and, you know, being tackled all the time. TK and Poppy turned me into a literal heart-eye-emoji.
Blitzed by Alexa Martin- In for a penny, in for a pound, amiright? Everyone loves a good binge read. Brynn, whose bar HERS featured prominently in both Intercepted and Fumbled, gets her chance at love in Blitzed. While Brynn Larson didn’t set out to be a WAGS groupie or anything, her bar is set up specifically to appeal to women. Reality TV, tasty cocktails, and an extremely low tolerance for creepers make it a safe, fun place to hang out. After hiring an on-the-rebound-from-awful-boyfriend Marlee in Intercepted , the WAGS made HERS their unofficial club house. And, because their wives and girlfriends are always at Brynn’s bar, the Mustangs players themselves often make appearances. Maxwell Lewis, the soft spoken, secretly-wants-to-work-for-NASA defensive superstar and Brynn have been eyeing each other from a distance for several years. Light flirting, longing looks, and the like. Until one day Maxwell loses his cool (for reasons unbeknownst to Brynn) and ends up flinging a glass at her bar… Which ends up smashing a whole bunch of stuff. Not the best way to move from buddies to romantic partners, but it turns out Maxwell is REALLY good at apologizing. Plus, the two work out some of their own baggage and family drama before the HEA which is great. Personal growth! I love to see it! The romances and steamy scenes in these books are great, but the female friendships are just delicious. Yes, there are some nasty, catty WAGS (wives and girlfriends of the fictional Denver Mustangs), but the good ones find each other and stick together. Is it October yet?
This week I’m reading The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon, which is, thus far, pretty darn wonderful. As for what’s in my earbuds, I’m listening to Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland- it’s the sequel to Dread Nation, which is a kickass historical fiction/zombie mashup. I read Dread Nation during a quiet blogging phase, but it was awesome, obviously. Deathless Divide is narrated (in part, at least) by Bahni Turpin, whose voice I will never, ever tire of. What have you been reading, Bookworms?
If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. Links in the post above direct to Amazon, but if you’re interested and in a position to do so, please consider making a purchase from a local independent book store. IndieBound and Bookshop make it easy to do just that without having to leave your home!