Love a Little Sideways by Shannon Stacey is 99c today only as a Kindle Daily Deal. I hope the price matching fairies can visit us on this one – I know many of you like the Kowalski series! This is book 7 in the series, and as much as I wanted to like it – and there were plenty of jokes and scenes that I enjoyed – the conflict didn't work for me because I dislike when everyone in the story insists that a conflict is present because reasons. In this case, Liz has a secret thing going on with Drew Miller, who is Liz's brother's best friend. I wrote about this trope working and not working for me in an entry in December, wherein I talked about how the sibling/bff/no is tricky for me to believe:
On one hand, I understand that conflicts in contemporary romance are tricky because, really, there's not a lot of emotional or physical boundaries to keep people from hooking up if they really want to. But for me, this particular conflict does not work if all the reasoning behind it is, “because reasons.” I'm going to compare and contrast two books wherein this conflict worked for me and did not work for me, and explain why those books were or were not successful for me as a reader. Part of the requirement, I think, to accepting what I call the “bff/sibling/no no” conflict is that the reader must agree that this is a viable boundary between two people, and for me, I don't think it is unless there's consequences. Real consequences for the hero and heroine, that is, not just “someone will be mad at you for awhile.”
But, as I said, even with a conflict and resolution that didn't rock my world, there are few family relationships – by which I mean the whole family – that are as well-written and hilarious at the Kowalski clan. There is DOOM. And for $1, if you've liked the others, this is a great price for continuing the series.
Liz Kowalski is heading home to Whitford, Maine—this time for good. Eager for her family, a fresh start and some fun, she doesn't count on being rescued by the chief of police her very first night back in town. Drew is everything she's not looking for…so why is she still so attracted to him?
After a brief, forbidden rendezvous at her brother's wedding, Drew Miller expects Liz to return to New Mexico and stay there. He's searching for someone to settle down with, not a casual fling with his best friend's sister. But when they're stuck together on the annual Kowalski camping trip, things start going a little sideways. Keeping their hands off each other proves just as impossible as keeping their secret from becoming public knowledge.
Amid family, mud and melted marshmallow, Liz and Drew try to fight what's growing between them. But a little time alone, a lot of chemistry and too many opinions might be just what it takes to bring together two people so determined not to fall in love.
Beauty and the Beast by Hannah Howell is 63c at Amazon right now. I love when Amazon has weird sale prices for no explicable reason. Like, why 63? Does 63 have mystical significance to people in Seattle, or for medieval romances? No idea. Anyway, this is a medieval romance with a hero who feels that he's not worthy of the heroine due to his looks. (CATNIP ALERT.)
On the eve of her wedding to the heir of Saitum Manor, the stunningly beautiful Gytha is shocked to learn that her betrothed, a man she barely knew, is dead. Now, she must marry the new heir, Thayer Saiturn, a battle-hardened knight known as the Red Devil…
With a face scarred in battle and a heart broken in love, Thayer has no interest in marriage. But not even the Red Devil can break the promise his foster-father made years ago and soon finds himself married to a woman whose exquisite beauty and sweet innocence intrigue him. But can his new bride look beyond his scars to find a hidden passion and undying love locked deep inside him?