Tag Archives: Contemporary Romance

Built to Last, by Erin Hahn

17 Oct
Illustrated cover for Built to Last; it shows a house with two open windows; in one, there's a dark haired white man with a beard, in the other a blonde white woman. They're both leaning slightly out the windows to look at each other. There's a ladder outside, leaning against the siding, with an open can of paint.

I asked for an ARC of this back in May, because I saw the cover on twitter, and the blurb said it has the kind of second chance at love I can enjoy: they were friends and more as kids and teens, now they’re in their late 20s. There’s enough time and distance for them to have grown from the people who screwed up their chances to grown adults who can make a relationship work.

Reader beware: there’s graphic sex on the page, and some cursing; there’s the tropetastic narcissistic stage mom, and a bastard ex whose motivations are…he’s an asshole? Also, all white, all the time.

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“The Year of the Crocodile” by Courtney Milan

16 Sep
Cover for "The Year of the Crocodile"; a Chinese young woman stands against a young white man, looking up at him over her shoulder. His arms come around her as he looks into his eyes.

This very short story is part of the Cyclone Saga, set a year after Trade Me, and as the events in Hold Me take place.

Reader, beware: there’s a rather high rate of swearing for the actual word count, and there’s also a sex scene.

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“Layover”, by Katrina Jackson

30 Mar
Cover for LAYOVER, showing a muscular bearded Black man, with long hair in a top knot, in a grey t-shirt, with a tattoo covering most of his left forearm, leaning against a wall.

I would very much recommend this novella is an introduction to the writing of Katrina Jackson, with a couple of caveats: it’s very much HFN rather than HEA, and one of the characters is dealing with grief over the loss of a parent.

Also, graphic sex on the page and a bit of cursing.

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A Gifts of Ghosts, by Sarah Wynde

12 Jan
Cover, A Gift of Ghosts; a field of dark clouds at the top, with two streaks of lightning coming down, and a three on the middle ground. Tag line: "Akira has secrets. So does the town of Tassamara."

I am not entirely sure why I got this one, though I have a vague memory of it being one of those, ‘this cute story is on sale right now, grab it’ tweets passing my feed in late December 2021, so I did. And it is a cute story in the “quirky small town” subgenre of romance, and honestly a refreshing take on paranormals.

If you want to skip the review, this is mostly a fluffy, just over category-length, 1 paranormal story with a romance tacked on.

A couple of warnings, though: there’s a history of physical child abuse, which is explained as loving concern (me: hell, no). There are also mentions of traumatic deaths for some of the ghosts in the story, including a suicide and the accidental drug overdose of a teenager.

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