I’m a little late in getting this post out, but it’s here!! Keep reading for my reviews of the latest historical romance from Eloisa James, the newest addition to the Psy/Changeling Trinity series by Nalini Singh, and a hot new contemporary from Farah Rochon.
Say Yes to the Duke by Eloisa James (May 19)
Say Yes to the Duke continues the romances of the massive Wilde family, this time focusing on Viola, who was not born a Wilde and doesn’t have the Wilde family name, but was adopted into the family nonetheless when her mother married the duke. Viola is incredibly shy, and her insecurity about not being a true Wilde only makes matters worse. So when her worst nightmares come true and she overhears the Duke of Wynter saying she’s not a Wilde and that he wants to marry her sister, the real daughter of a duke, she finds herself free to tell Wynter exactly what she thinks of him, and it’s nothing good. Only her fearlessness has captured Wynter’s interest, and now Viola is the one he’s desperate to make his bride.
The release date for this book got moved up, so while it properly should have been in my last arc roundup, I didn’t realize it was out yet! So I decided to hang on to it for this one. Long story short, this book is so good! I really loved the banter in this one, and it was so refreshing to see a hero who quickly realized he was an idiot and how forthright he was about wanting to court the heroine. And I really loved that Viola wasn’t afraid of Wynter and had basically no interest in him. It made for a great dynamic where she really let down her guard around him, and he had to work extra hard to make her fall in love with him. And the side characters in this book! Otis is hilarious, and I really enjoyed the secondary romance in this story.
Can I also mention how surprised I am that I like this considering I don’t usually love it when one of the main characters is in love with someone else at the beginning of the book? Viola was determined to marry a retiring vicar, and I think it helped that the duke knew about it, and that the vicar was engaged to someone else. Plus Viola herself knew she was more in love with the idea of the vicar than the vicar himself. And I really liked the scene where Viola’s family called her out on her pursuit of the vicar.
Please keep in mind, this is definitely one of those low angst/low plot books, so if that’s not your cup of tea, this book probably won’t work for you. But I adored it and think it was one of my favorite additions to the Wilde series. Fingers crossed all ten (TEN!) of the Wilde siblings get their own book!
I received an arc of Say Yes to the Duke from the publisher via Edelweiss.
Alpha Night by Nalini Singh (June 9)
Alpha Night is the fourth installment in the Psy/Changeling Trinity series, switching gears and focusing on the BlackEdge wolf pack in Moscow. The book opens with an attack on an E conference in Russia, bringing skilled Arrow Ethan in contact with Selenka, the alpha of the BlackEdge wolf pack. While the two of them are interested in each other when they first meet, neither is prepared for a mating bond to snap into place almost immediately. As the story progresses, the two must learn to navigate and heal their mating bond while also tracking down a deadly threat to the Es and the PsyNet.
This book is so good!!! If you’ve been around my blog for any length of time, you know I’m a huge Psy/Changeling fan, so of course I was going to love the latest addition to the series. But seriously, I think Alpha Night is one of my new favorites. I really like that this is a dynamic we haven’t seen before in terms of the instant mating, and I enjoyed how they both leaned into it and didn’t fight it. This book did have the ticking time clock for the Psy/Arrow character, which I’m kind of sick of seeing at this point since it happens so often and doesn’t really add any stakes for me, just unnecessary tension. But it really didn’t detract from my love of this book at all. I’m just so obsessed with how committed Ethan is to Selenka, and I really like him viewing himself as the knight to her queen, protecting and supporting her. They’re just so perfect for each other. All of this raving is just reminding me exactly how much I love this book, and I think I need to go reread it now. Read this book!!
I received an arc of Alpha Night from the publisher via Edelweiss.
The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon (June 9)
In The Boyfriend Project, a viral tweet makes successful software engineer Samiah realize that her new love interest is actually dating several other women using the same playbook. When the three women confront him at a restaurant, their horrible night ends in a new friendship, where the three of them agree to commit to their own careers and interests rather than trying to find boyfriends. So of course, as soon as Samiah stops looking, she meets a cute new guy at work. But while Daniel is incredibly attracted to Samiah, he can’t tell her that he’s actually there working undercover trying to track down a money laundering operation. But the more they work together, the harder it is for Daniel to resist, and for Samiah to keep her guard up.
I was really looking forward to this book after hearing some early buzz about it, and while it does a lot of great things, in the end it didn’t particularly work for me. For starters, the intro is amazing and I really loved seeing Samiah meet London and Taylor and the three of them forming this important bond. I wish the focus had stayed on them, because once it left, my interest in the story really dropped and I found myself reluctant to pick it back up. Daniel’s great and all, but he just didn’t hold my interest the way Samiah did. Mostly, I just wasn’t very invested in this story, though I did seriously love seeing Samiah being a badass coding boss. As someone searching for their first job in a software engineering role, she was super inspiring, and highlighted some important issues about the role of women, especially Black women, in tech.
I was mostly bored by this book until the end, when Daniel made a colossally stupid decision that kind of made it impossible for me to root for him anymore. SPOILERS AHEAD. We know fairly early on that Daniel is an undercover financial crimes investigator, and while I wish he had shared that fact with Samiah earlier, it could have worked for him to keep it secret. But when he specifically stole her key card while she was sleeping naked in bed and knowingly put her job at risk, I lost it. I was so furious! He knows how hard she’s worked and how much her job means to her, and he couldn’t give her the courtesy of asking for her help and letting her make the decision? Seriously?! While I recently read a book that had a similar plot involving an undercover officer, that one had the hero make a seriously huge and personal gesture to the heroine, and he expected nothing of her for doing it. In contrast, Daniel barely apologizes, let alone grovels, and Samiah basically forgives him without him needing to say much of anything! And he ropes her friends into it and gets them to lie to Samiah so he can make his super bland apology! I was pretty disappointed in how the ending was handled, and it left me unhappy with the book overall. END SPOILERS.
Ultimately, while I wasn’t a fan of this book, I know an awful lot of people love it and can’t stop raving about it. So if it’s caught your attention, give it a shot and see what you think! I hope you love it!
I received an arc of The Boyfriend Project from the publisher via Netgalley.
It’s kind of exiting to be able to have reviews from three different romance subgenres in one post! I don’t read an awful lot of paranormal, so I feel like this doesn’t happen all that often.
Have any of these books been on your radar? Which one would you pick up first? Let me know in the comments!