So Harlequin has a new series: Harlequin Kiss. See the press statement from Harlequin (because it’s too fucking early for me to think of something witty)
A NEW contemporary romance series from Harlequin with books launching January 22, 2013!
Four stories every month of fun, flirty and sensual romances that you will love!
If you think of flirting as an art form, Harlequin KISS stories are all about the delirium of a potential new romance – where fun-loving heroines and irresistible heroes just can’t get enough of each other.
So every month you get four new contemporary romances, each 200 pages (or 50,000 words) with varying degrees of physical contact- and descriptions of said contact. I know, because I looked up requirements of submitting a story. But more on that later. Like in another post later.
Since they’re being released as a set, I thought it would be a lark to review them all together. Looking back, I can’t decide if that’s as clever as I thought it was last night, but I’m going with it anyways.
(Ginny’s note: Now that this is written, it’s a hella long post. You should probably take a potty break now. And maybe get some snacks. A nap wouldn’t be a bad idea either.)
Let’s start with the book that… well… started it all. The one that’s free on Amazon Kindle. I was able to preorder it, but I didn’t want to wait. So I went over to Netgalley and requested everything in the series. And got access to all of them the day “Waking Up Married” was released.
BECAUSE GOD HATES ME.
Well not really. I mean, I did get four fun quirky romances. I just had to wait for them. And I seriously hate waiting.
*insert a snappy transition here… maybe an funny story about barking ducks*
WAKING UP MARRIED by Mira Lyn Kelly
Her first thought: “Who are you?”
It’s the morning after her cousin’s bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she’s in a stranger’s penthouse having woken up with something else as well—a funny, arrogant, sexy…husband!
Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible—been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter…no, Connor Reed and she’s gone from first meet to marriage in one night!
Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor’s shocking bombshell?
“I don’t want a divorce.”
Two people go to Vegas. One to get over a failed relationship, one to deal with an utterly craptastic wedding. Both want kids without the emotional commitment that comes with a relationship. They get drunk. They get married.
OH MY GOD I LOVE THAT PREMISE.
Look at all those shitty reasons to get married. Or even better, those stellar reasons NOT to get married. IT WAS GLORIOUS!
Alright, seriously though, on to the review. After the ill planned wedding, and Connor’s announcement that they should remain married, and going to the afore mentioned wedding from hell, they move in together. Megan’s still not convinced this whole “beget children without emotions” is a good idea, but she’s willing to give it a shot.
So of course she falls in love with him. And he freaks out, as expected. What wasn’t expected was his reaction when the strife hits. Well okay, it was expected, but the way he handles it? Superb. I have read a lot of contemporary romances, and this has to be one of my favorite freak outs by a long shot.
HOW TO GET OVER YOUR EX by Nikki Logan
Valentines Day Survival Guide
Being rejected is one thing. Being rejected live on radio takes it to a whole new level!
After her on-air proposal is turned down by her commitmentphobe boyfriend, Georgia Stone must learn to survive singledom. Unfortunately, thanks to a clause in her contract, she has to do it under the watchful gaze of brooding radio producer Zander Rush.
And so begins the Year of Georgia! Lurching from salsa classes to spy school, Georgia discovers a taste for adventure. Her biggest thrill so far? Flirting with danger—aka the enigmatic Zander. But admitting she’s ready for more than just a fling…? Definitely Georgia’s scariest challenge yet!
I read all of these a month before I wrote this review. Still, after all this time, I’ve got to tell you this was my favorite of the bunch. Girl gets dumped on air. ON AIR! While fleeing in shame, mysterious man helps hide her from the prying eyes of the scandal hungry public.
That man? The… uhh… caustic manager who is responsible at least in some small way for her now very public shame. But it’s okay. He has a plan. Mainly to save his ass, but you know… still a plan. See, Georgia has this contract for a year, and instead of having to go through all this wedding planning without a wedding, they’re taking the money and spending it on a year of self improvement. All while the uh… again I’m going with caustic Zander follows her around.
You know, like the blurb said. But I’m leaving my recap because I like it and don’t believe in the backspace key. Plus I can’t really tell you more without giving away key points. I can’t even tell you why it was my favorite. Aside from the fact that this book came up with a genius way to throw the two main characters into utterly implausible situations designed to test their boundaries of their relationship. Its so genius, I might hate the author a little bit that she thought of it first.
Seriously though, I want to talk about why it’s my favorite, so someone else read it stat. Hint: It was not the belly dancing, hot air balloons, spy school, or gardens. Though those were all just tops.
HITCHED! by Jessica Hart
Planning the most talked about wedding of the year is enough to make engineer Frith Taylor break out in a cold sweat. She’s used to construction sites, not wedding fairs! But estate manager George Challoner’s offer of help is one that’s too good to resist.
….the unsuspecting bride!
George may be the rebel of the prestigious Challoner family, but his insanely good looks are giving Frith wedding fever! Charm personified, he’s making her feel things she hasn’t dared feel before. Maybe her little sister’s wedding won’t be the only one Frith’s planning…?
Dude. That blurb sucks. It sucks worse every time I read it too. I don’t remember Frith planning her own wedding even once. And what the fuck kind of name is Frith anyways?
In spite of my miff with Frith *gigglesnort* I really enjoyed this book. This is one of those stories where once the girl actually gives into the guy’s advances, they have a pretty solid relationship. Unfortunately Frith just doesn’t see how it fits in her five year plan.
Ugh, I just read the blurb again. I REALLY fucking hate that blurb.
Where was I? Oh yeah… So you’ve got Frith, the career driven woman who is, admittedly, not that likable at times and George, who really is charm personified, on an estate in the English country side with horses and utterly drool worthy ham sammichs…
Damn, now I’m hungry. See, this is why you needed a snack.
…Again I’m sort of at a loss. I can’t really tell you my favorite moments without ruining the book. Or why the chips on shoulders were there, or how the characters overcame them. I can tell you that it’s a highly enjoyable little contemporary romance with an ending that was a bit surprising (always refreshing) and I recommend it.
THE DOWNFALL OF A GOOD GIRL by Kimberly Lang
“Why would you decide to seduce me? And why now after all these years?”
Southern debutante Vivienne LaBlanc can’t believe bad-boy rock star Connor Mansfield is back in town for the New Orleans annual Saints and Sinners pageant. He has a reputation as wicked as his devilish smile, and Vivi has no intention of becoming one of his latest groupies!
He once crushed her high school heart, so playing the saint to Connor’s sinner should be easy. But how can Vivi get those less than angelic thoughts out of her head—especially when Connor’s so good at tempting her to be bad?
This was a stupid plan.
You want to know why? Because I’m burnt out on writing reviews for 200 page contemporary romances where you can’t really say anything without giving away key plot points.
I can’t tell you that… or that… or even that… GAH THIS IS UTTERLY MADDENING!
What I can tell you is that, once again, I enjoyed this story. The setting and characters were compelling. Again, it was a well written, standard contemporary romance, and again, that’s not a complaint.
This time, former rivals square off in a competition to raise money for charity in New Orleans. Another of my favorite settings for… well… anything. This time though, this time I can vaguely hint about something that I enjoyed. There’s a scene in the supply closet. Tops.
Well there you have it, four fun romances with likeable characters and vaguely believable plots with satisfactory strife and resolution. (And me not being able to articulate exactly why I enjoyed the stories because inevitably my “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS” moment is a major spoiler.) Harlequin Kiss, I think you and I are going to be great friends.
Or worst enemies.
Either way, I won’t be ignoring you.
WAKING UP MARRIED
Click here to purchase your Kindle copy from Amazon!
THE DOWNFALL OF A GOOD GIRL
Click here to purchase your Kindle copy from Amazon!