I’m a bit overdue with this blog post, but I am back with another batch of arc reviews for you! This particular post features a fun new rom com from Mia Sosa, the latest historical romance from Lisa Kleypas, and the newest release from YA author Sandhya Menon.
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa (February 4)
The Worst Best Man has the best cover that goes perfectly with the setup of this book. Carolina is left at the altar by her fiance, and the only person she hates almost as much is his annoying brother, who convinced her fiance that the marriage wasn’t the right thing for him on the eve of his wedding. So the last thing she wants to do to land an amazing new job is have to work with said brother on her proposal. But of course, the more the two of them work together, the more Carolina realizes that maybe Max isn’t so awful after all.
This was such a fun, delightful read. It’s everything I was looking for when I picked it up. If you’re in the mood for a lighthearted, fun contemporary, I think this book is exactly what you need. I really liked seeing Lina start to let go and realize her emotions are a strength, especially if she’s in a relationship with the right person, and I liked seeing Max start to emerge from his brother’s shadow. That said, there’s something about this book that didn’t grab me and hook me the way I wanted it to, and I have no idea what exactly that is. All I can say is it was a well written and enjoyable read, and you should definitely check it out if you’re looking for something with a fun premise.
Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas (February 18)
Chasing Cassandra is the latest installment in Lisa Kleypas’ Ravenals series, this time centering on Cassandra, the last member of the Ravenal family to find her happily ever after. Cassandra wants to marry for love, and while she’s attracted to business magnate Tom Severin, he’s insistent that he’s incapable of feeling love, though he’s eager to have her as his wife. But the more time they spend together, the more Cassandra realizes Tom could make her happy, if only he’d let himself feel emotions again.
There’s just something about Lisa Kleypas’ writing that works so well for me, though I do want to start my review by pointing out a few big flags. For one thing, there’s a lot of casual food and fat shaming at the beginning of the book, where Cassandra doesn’t allow herself to eat sweets and is worried about gaining weight. While I appreciate that it’s resolved by Tom fully supporting Cassandra in eating anything she wants and saying she’s beautiful no matter how much she weighs, it’s still something I could have done without. I also didn’t care for the fact that Cassandra was sexually assaulted (forced kissing and groping), and that the assault was used as the means to bring her and Tom together. Again, I absolutely loved how her family was fully supportive of her and immediately shut down any of her thoughts that what happened was her fault, placing the blame squarely on the villain, but I would have preferred it weren’t in the story.
As I said, though, I just really love Lisa Kleypas’ novels, and I especially loved the romance between Cassandra and Tom. How can you not love watching a hero slowly unleash himself and make himself vulnerable to the heroine? And I adored Cassandra and how lovely she seemed. Also, I especially liked her contract negotiation with Tom! It was hilarious and adorable and their relationship in a nutshell. Basically, this book had everything I want in a Lisa Kleypas novel, and I’m so glad that Cassandra and Tom got their happily ever after!
Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon (February 18)
I don’t love DNFing arcs, but this is a case of where I should have looked into the book more before requesting it. I literally just saw Sandhya Menon (I loved When Dimple Met Rishi!) and Beauty and the Beast retelling and immediately requested Of Curses and Kisses because I’ve been meaning to pick up more of her books.
I started reading it and was pretty confused by what was going on. There were a lot of references to a curse and a family feud and something terrible that happened this last summer, and it just annoyed me rather than making me want to keep reading and solve the mystery of what’s going on. But then I got to the point where the heroine lays out her master plan to make the hero fall in love with her and then break his heart in revenge, and it was such a silly idea that it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me, and I had to stop reading.
Turns out, if you read the description, it says right there in the summary that that’s part of the premise of the book. If that doesn’t bother you, then you might want to give this a shot! Menon did an amazing job with her debut novel, and I can only imagine she’s gotten better since then. But for me, I couldn’t take the plot seriously. That combined with having no idea what was going on and finding the heroine a bit of a spoiled brat just made me really reluctant to pick up this book when I had time to read, and I ultimately went ahead and DNFed it.
Have any of these books caught your eye? Which one are you most interested in picking up first? Let me know in the comments!