I have three exciting new releases to talk to you about today! Keep reading to learn more about Eva Leigh’s latest historical romance, Olivia Dade’s contemporary romance novella collection, and Alexis Daria’s telenovela-inspired contemporary romance.
Would I Lie to the Duke by Eva Leigh (July 28)
In Would I Lie to the Duke, Jess is determined to save her family business, and her best bet at doing that is by attending a private investing event in London. There’s just one problem: she hasn’t actually been invited to the event. So when she’s mistaken as a lady and invited in, Jess seizes the opportunity. Only she isn’t prepared to match wits with Noel, Duke of Rotherby, or to like him as much as she does. But as the two of them fall further in love, it becomes harder and harder for Jess to confess who she really is, especially with her family business at stake.
I really enjoyed this! I really liked Jess and Noel’s relationship and seeing them slowly fall in love throughout the course of the story. It was a really delightful romance, and the banter and exchange of wits between the two of them was perfect. I also really loved seeing more of the Union of Rakes and Noel’s friendship with them. My only drawback was the fact that this premise is based on Jess lying about her identity. There were chances for her to come clean throughout the story, and I wish she’d taken one of them, because I really hated that she was lying to Noel the whole time. That said, she did have a nice romantic gesture for Noel, and I was obviously happy they worked things out in the end, because the two of them really are perfect for each other! All in all, this was a solid historical romance and a great addition to the series. I can’t wait for the rest of the Union to get their own stories!
Rep: White woman author, white main characters.
I received an arc of Would I Lie to the Duke from the publisher via Edelweiss.
Sweetest in the Gale by Olivia Dade (July 30)
Sweetest in the Gale is a collection of short stories set in the fictional town of Marysburg. The titular novella follows two teachers who bond over shared grief and slowly and sweetly fall in love with each other. Unraveled also features two teachers: an uptight math teacher who is mystified by the carefree new art teacher. And Cover Me is a marriage-of-convenience story between two friends after one of them needs healthcare in order to deal with potential breast cancer.
Wow, Sweetest in the Gale is so sad! Like, it’s excellent, don’t get me wrong. I really love Candy and Griff, especially together, but I struggled to read about Griff’s grief for his late wife. This was incredibly well written and I think Candy and Griff are perfect for each other, but definitely keep some kleenexes handy when you read it!
I read Unraveled in the recently released He’s Come Undone anthology, and it was easily my favorite story and made me an immediate fan of Olivia Dade. I love how uptight Simon is and how Poppy is seemingly his opposite and yet is completely perfect for him. I also really loved their frank discussions, and how he wasn’t shy about apologizing when he underestimated or hurt her. These two are adorable together, and I absolutely adore the new epilogue added at the end of this story. My heart was so full after reading it!
Cover Me is a really beautiful friends-to-lovers story, though maybe keep some kleenexes on hand when reading this one, too. Elizabeth’s situation was so heartbreaking, but I loved that James insisting on helping her and seeing their relationship finally develop into something more.
All in all, this was a really excellent collection of short stories. Dade is such an incredible writer, and I can’t wait to add a physical copy with this gorgeous cover to my shelf! It’s going to look so pretty with 40-Love, and I need to pick up the new cover for Teach Me to complete the set!
Rep: White woman author, white main characters.
I received an arc of Sweetest in the Gale from the author.
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria (August 4)
In You Had Me at Hola, Jasmine and Ashton are set to star together in a new telenovela-inspired show. For Jasmine, this is a chance to refocus on her career after being in tabloid headlines across the country for a recent high-profile breakup, while for Ashton this show is his opportunity to leave telenovellas behind and make it in Hollywood. The two start off on the wrong foot after Ashton accidentally spills coffee all over Jasmine at their first script reading, but they each have too much at stake for this show not to succeed. So the two agree to rehearse in private, and the more time they spend together, the more undeniable their attraction becomes.
I really enjoyed this one! I shouldn’t be surprised since I loved Daria’s previous books, but it’s been a while since I’ve read anything from her, and I had almost forgotten how much I love her writing. I just really enjoyed watching Jasmine and Ashton dancing around each other and trying not to fall for each other, but finding it impossible not to. They both felt so real, and you could see exactly why they couldn’t help but fall in love, and how they both managed to make everything worse when things went sideways. I was in the middle of a serious reading slump—like, I had gone more than a week without reading much of anything and struggled even to stay focused when rereading a favorite book. But this was able to capture my attention and even keep me up late in order to finish it! I’m not sure how to properly articulate it, but Daria has a way of sweeping you up in the story, and I absolutely loved it. Oh, and Nik and Jess from the Dance All Night novella make a quick appearance, too, which was really fun! I wish we’d gotten a little more of Jasmine and Ashton together at the end and seen them get to know each other’s families a bit more, especially since that was such an important part of the book, but otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed this and can’t recommend it enough!
Also, be sure to check out #YHMAHChallenge on Twitter and Instagram. Organized by Andrea (@alifebydreaming), this great hashtag challenged readers to recreate their favorite celeb candid picture. People are so clever, there are a lot of really great ones!!
Rep: Latinx woman author, part Nuyorican/part Filipino heroine, Puerto Rican hero.
I received an arc of You Had Me at Hola from the publisher via Edelweiss.
All in all, this was an excellent batch of romance novels! There’s a little something for everyone, and I think these would all make good slump busters if you’re struggling to read. Which one are you most excited to pick up first? Let me know in the comments!