April Showers Bring Rain, OK?

April 15, 2022 Fake Dating, LGBTQIA+, Romance 0

Salutations Bookworms,

The sun is shining for the first time in what feels like a million years. Am I about to break into song? I mean, who could blame me, because “Here Comes the Sun” is one of the loveliest songs in all the land, but no. I’m not going to sing. I will say that it has been raining a lot which is just depressing. Unless you’re my kid, who literally told me the other day that he “hates the sun.” I DID start singing on that occasion, because how could I not belt out “I’m only happy when it RAINS” to a child who has not yet been exposed to all the nuances of 90s alternative? Are all 4 year olds macabre weirdos? I’ve been chatting with friends whose kids are also asking creepy questions about graveyards and souls and stuff, so at least Sam’s in good company. They may be scattered across the country, but I am in contact with the parents of Sam’s mutuals, apparently. Once they all learn how to type they can have a lil Discord chat where they can be tiny agents of chaos and doom together, I guess. (Seriously though, all these kids are hilarious and creative and utterly themselves. I can’t wait to see what kind of adults they grow into, these Goth bebes.) I have read some books, most of which are much sunnier than the preceding paragraph, so I suppose I should switch gears, huh?

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey- I cannot resist reading a series. I looked at the statistics on my reading last year and the proportion of books that fell into a series was staggering. It wasn’t just because I went into a deep dive on Ice Planet Barbarians (reviews and more reviews) either, there were also plenty of new installments of completely different series I enjoy. Naturally, since I was a fan of It Happened One Summer (review), I HAD to read Tessa Bailey’s follow-up, Hook, Line, and Sinker. I mean, I needed to know what became of Hannah Bellinger after that hottie left her the Fleetwood Mac record, OK? It was necessary. Ahem. Hannah has gone back to LA but is homesick for Westport, weirdly enough. She somehow convinces her boss that they need to shoot the movie they’re working on in Westport, which is great because she really misses her sister. It doesn’t hurt that she’s been texting with Fox (record guy) since she left… When she arrives, she stays with Fox because Piper’s future in-laws are visiting. Hannah and Fox are all “oh no, we’re just friends” when they super want to jump each other. Fox has all these hang ups because everyone has always treated him like he’s destined to be a serial cheater and he thinks he doesn’t deserve a real relationship. Then there are sea chanties and bingo nights and a lot of working through baggage. It’s a sweet little love story. It’s a surprisingly slow burn from Tessa Bailey, who typically has her characters in flagrante delicto much earlier in the story’s progression, but it really worked for this pairing. A+ on letting the characters be your guide here, Tessa. The epilogue made it seem like this book was the end to this particular storyline, and it was quite satisfying.

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun- This book was extremely charming which shouldn’t be surprising given the title. It definitely had Red, White, and Royal Blue overtones, which I always enjoy. Charlie has committed to being on a reality show in search of love (it’s not The Bachelor because of copyright reasons, but it’s totally The Bachelor.) He’s doing it to rehab his public image as he was recently ousted from the tech company he helped found. Dev is nursing a broken heart and ready to bury himself in work- work that just happens to be as a talent wrangler for this “definitely not The Bachelor” reality show. Dev is a romantic, and despite knowing all the dirty details of what goes on behind the curtain, he’s still optimistic that his show helps people find love. Too bad Dev is getting a crush on this season’s Prince Charming. Charlie, for his part, has a lot going on. He’s got severe anxiety and OCD and he’s on the asexual spectrum (I don’t remember if that was canon, but it’s pretty clear.) Since Charlie has never really been attracted to anyone before, he figures he’ll go on the show, get a fake fiance, and rehab his image while his female companion gets publicity for whatever venture she favors. Dev is quickly made to be Charlie’s “handler” as he seems to be the only one who can get Charlie to be less than an awkward robotic mess on camera. Why? Welp. Turns out Charlie’s got his first real crush ever, and it’s not on any of the eligible ladies on the reality show. Dev and Charlie should definitely NOT hook up, but I mean, LOVE. So. Anyway. It’s extremely cute and very mushy and I love these messy marshmallows.

Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma – Kareena Mann dreams of a love marriage like her parents had, but thus far has been unlucky. When her father threatens to sell the home that Kareena’s late mother designed, she strikes a deal with him. If she’s engaged within 4 months, her father will sell the house to Kareena. Dr. Prem Varma doesn’t believe in love. Or, at least that “love” can lead to a lasting marriage. He espouses such claims on his local access talk show, which makes him a hit amongst the matchmaking Aunties in the community who are all about arranging marriages. But when Prem and Kareena collide one night at a bar, things start to get a little complicated. They get even worse when the two have a giant blowup on the set of Prem’s show and the clip goes viral. The viral clip leads to one of Prem’s major investors backing out of the community health clinic Prem has been trying to build to benefit the South Asian community. What are these two kids to do? FAKE ENGAGEMENT, DUH. If Prem can rehab his image to seem like a stand up gent, he may win back his investor. If Kareena is engaged, she gets the house. It’s a win-win and nobody’s deals need to lead to a real marriage. And we all know that fake dating NEVER leads to real feelings, right?! This book is really sweet and full of heart. I do have one small gripe though…. The hero has given his, uh, equipment a name. Like. That is possibly the least sexy thing I can think of. Don’t name your junk, dudes. Unless it’s named after like, the Kraken or something. I might make exceptions for mythological creatures, but really, no guarantees on that. To be fair, I can’t recall if Prem ever told Kareena the name or if it was purely in his internal monologue, but just. IDK. I’d have been a swoony mess over this fictional guy, but every time this came up it was like a bucket of cold water. No thank you, sir. You should still read this book, obviously. Just try not to giggle too much in inappropriate places.

That’ll be all for me today, folks! Happy Passover and Happy Easter and Happy Middle-of-Ramadan, friends. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

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