Romantic Comedy Recap 7.17.19
I can’t believe it’s been 8 months since I’ve done a Rom-Com Recap. As you know, I was in a major reading slump for the first few months of the year, but most of what I’ve read this year has been romance. I read and adored Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, and I can’t wait for Shonda Rhimes’ Netflix adaptation. Julie Andrews is going to voice Lady Whistledown! But I wanted to talk about a few romantic comedies that I’ve read and enjoyed recently.
As you know, I am a huge Lucy Parker fan, and her most recent book, The Austen Playbook, came out in April. I devoured it like I have all of her other books. The Austen Playbook features Freddy Carlson, who we first met in Pretty Face, and theatre critic, Griff. They could not be more opposite in personality, but their relationship was so much fun to watch play out. Freddy’s recent acting roles have not been fun for her, and Griff’s reviews acknowledge that. So when a Jane Austen live-television event is held at Griff’s family’s home, Freddy and Griff end up spending a lot of time together. Love and sexy times eventually ensue. I absolutely loved Freddy and Griff’s relationship, but also the side characters too, especially Freddy’s sister Sabrina (who is featured in Parker’s next book) and Griff’s brother Charlie. Griff and Freddy are the Slytherin-Hufflepuff romance we all need in our life; Griff is an extremely sarcastic, grumpy, icy hero, while Freddy is super outgoing and friendly and basically lets Griff’s harsh comments roll right off her. If you’re a Jane Austen fan, you’ll appreciate all the little Austen callbacks, especially the live, Austen-crossover event. After each scene, the audience can vote on what happens next. It could have been a cluster, but Freddy is a huge Austen fan, so her enthusiasm for the event is contagious. This book was just a lot of fun, and for fans of contemporary romance, I cannot recommend Lucy Parker and The Austen Playbook enough.
I follow a lot of romance readers on Twitter, and everyone was really excited for Olivia Dade’s newest release Teach Me. This was a romance featuring older characters, which I haven’t read much of, but really enjoyed nonetheless. Rose and Martin are both history teachers, but Martin is hired to take over some of Rose’s classes. Rose is determined to not like Martin, but he quickly befriends her and shows her what a precious cinnamon roll he is. Rose and Martin are both in their forties; Rose is divorced, and Martin is recently divorced with a teenage daughter, Bea (who was a delight). Rose comes across as an ice queen, and she is to a certain extent, but she has her reasons. I love how passionate the two of them are about teaching and reaching the kids. I was a history nerd in high school, so reading about two avid history teachers falling in love was delightful for me. These two shouldn’t like each other, but they can’t get enough of one another. I loved that they were friends before anything happened, but I also loved that Rose had to figure out some things before the two of them could be happy together. Her hangups seemed grounded in reality, and I know that must have been hard for her to get over. If you’re looking for a romance with older characters, I cannot recommend Teach Me enough. I am looking forward to reading her Lovestruck Librarians series.
Longtime readers know how much I have enjoyed Susannah Nix’s Chemistry Lessons series. Her series features females in STEM professions, who are unapologetically smart and capable. Nix’s most recent book, Applied Electromagnetism, features Olivia (Penny’s best friend from Advanced Physical Chemistry) and her coworker Adam. Olivia has crushed on Adam from afar, but when she asks him for a favor and he turns her down, her crush immediately disappears. Yet when they are assigned to a work trip to Texas, their forced proximity makes things difficult to keep professional. First off, forced proximity is one of my favorite tropes, so this was already catnip for me. Adam and Olivia have the trip from hell; first, their flight to Austin is delayed, then they hop a plane to Houston, only to be rerouted to Dallas. Then on their drive to the power plant that they’re supposed to transfer over to their company, they get caught in a horrible storm. Each day, there’s some obstacle they have to overcome; my favorite being the one where the hotel room Adam is staying in gets hit by a tree, so naturally he and Olivia have to share a hotel room. Their trip is chock full of sexual tension; it’s fabulous. I enjoyed their relationship because they both had baggage to overcome, and it made their connection more real. I can’t say enough good things about Susannah Nix’s series, and Applied Electromagnetism was another winner.
I’m still not reading as many books as I was last year, partly because I’m preparing for a baby and also because our library branch is closed for renovations. I have been using Libby a lot to find books, so that’s helped. But if you have any good recommendations (romance or otherwise), let me know!
What rom-coms have you enjoyed lately?