2022, Week the Ninth: Slow Burn Romances

March 3, 2022 Romance 1

Hello My Darling Bookworms,

I know I’ve been slacking. It’s just that winter is so… Wintery. Today, however, it feels like spring time and the sun has energized me. I’d catch you up on life stuff, but nothing terribly interesting has been going on for us specifically. Thankfully. That is not something I’m taking for granted. I appreciate the boring. In fact, I’d love some more boring. C’mon universe! MAKE IT BORING. Seriously. We’d all love some precedented times. Maybe take a lil breather from the war and pestilence? Anything I say about world events is going to sound incredibly trite, so I’ll just say that unhinged dictators are universally terrible and people everywhere should be able to tuck their children and pets and selves in at night without having to worry about air strikes. I’ve got to say, though, the Ukrainian people changing all their road signs to confuse the invaders and filling them instead with threats and profanity is both genius and petty and I am very much in favor of it. I digress, as usual. I have for you today a list of slow burn romances that just might take you out of your own head for a while, should you need that sort of thing. Shall we talk books?

Love at First by Kate Clayborn- Boy doesn’t quite meet girl. 16 years later, boy inherits apartment in girl’s building. Boy decides to rent out his unit for short term rentals and threatens to disturb the careful familial ecosystem of the building. Girl decides to scare boy away. It doesn’t work, of course. Boy is slowly sucked into the irresistible found family of the building and falls hard for girl. Girl is trying to preserve the past but realizes she needs to move on and deal with some things. Basically everyone needs therapy. I can’t remember if they actually start seeing therapists on page, but in my mind they do, or at least find some really excellent self help books to read while they work through their baggage. Then, after much resistance and trying to stay away from each other, boy and girl hook up and catch feelings. I mean, obviously. Anyway. I like quirky neighbor situations, so I enjoyed that aspect quite a bit. The story as a whole had a higher angst level than what I typically gravitate toward, but if you’re into angsty slow burn romances full of found family, this one will definitely fit the bill. 

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas- Lina is an engineer working in NYC. There’s an infuriatingly handsome guy in her office who is a grumpy, uptight butthead named Aaron. When she finds out that her ex is going to be attending her sister’s wedding with his new fiance, Lina panics and tells her mom that she’ll be bringing her boyfriend. The one that doesn’t exist. Oops. Then, out of nowhere, Lurky McLurkerson Aaron pops up and volunteers to be Lina’s fake boyfriend. For her sister’s wedding. IN SPAIN. Ahem. Is there a “women being underappreciated/unfairly treated/sexually harassed in the workplace” trope? It feels like I’ve read it in several books now, but seeing as it’s just freaking REALITY I guess that makes sense. Not that Aaron is the culprit, as he is not. He is most proper. And very much into consent and whatnot which makes him extremely hot. Anyway. The two strike a bargain to, you know, be each other’s fake dates for events. Of course, the sexual tension is bonkers and Lina keeps resisting… Until she doesn’t. You know the drill. If you’re in the mood for a fake dating/only one bed/let’s just get it out of our systems trope, this one’s for you, friends. Oh, and the workplace drama resolves most satisfactorily. 

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle- Maybell Parish is a dreamer of the highest order. When she needs to escape her mundane life, she takes refuge in her very own imaginary cafe. It’s preferable to her real life of being undervalued at work, her toxic upbringing, and her somehow even MORE toxic friendships. When she finds out she’s inherited her Great Aunt’s house, she’s conflicted. She’d loved her Aunt Violet, but her mother burned that familial bridge not long after Maybell spent the best summer of her life with Aunt Violet as a child. They never met again. Now she finds out that she’s inherited a majestic home, only to find it’s a real fixer-upper. And to make it all weirder? She’s a co-inheritor with the standoffish but outrageously handsome Wesley Koehler. This is the second Sarah Hogle book I’ve read, and I find her style so refreshing. Her characters are such oddballs and you get so much clarity about what made them the way they are. They’re flawed and they remain flawed, but they fit together so nicely.  The way these characters figure out who they are deep down and who their partners are deep down and love them for just exactly who they are (and not a theoretical better version of themselves that they become because LOVE) is delicious. I think that feat is harder to pull off when both your main characters are stone cold weirdos, and I am HERE FOR IT. 

Alright Bookworms, that’ll do it for me today. I hope you’re well and I hope that things have been boring for you too. You know. The good boring. 

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One Response to “2022, Week the Ninth: Slow Burn Romances”

  1. Rhian Jenkins

    How about good not-boring? I’ve gone back to uni full-time. Part exciting, part terrifying.

    I’m not reading much romance at the moment but if you’re interested in a Victorian mystery/thriller I can highly recommend Lady Audley’s Secret.

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