The Play by Elle Kennedy & Lush Money by Angelina M. Lopez

Monday, October 21, 2019


by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #3
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, NA
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 7th 2019
Source: Bought
Star Quotient: ★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷

... And I'm out, folks! What a disastrous wreck this was! I've loved Elle Kennedy's the Off-Campus series, but this spin-off is just not as enjoyable. I wasn't planning on picking up The Play but then the reviews rolled in and I decided, what the heck, I'd give the book a try too. I had to see what all the fuss was all about. Well, that was a colossal mistake.

If The Play is good at anything, it's at depicting exactly why white authors should steer clear from writing outside their cultures, or do better fucking research. Honestly, it's not that hard. The heroine in The Play, Demi is half-Latina, and her and her family's culture was written with stereotype after stereotype. It was honestly to the point that it had me cringing. You want to tell me, the heroine likes to "salsa" to her favorite song, Despacito, by bloody Justin Bieber??? Shudders. And the constant use of "mami" and "papi" don't make for proper representation! That's not all though. The author also decides to throw in a twist at the end by using a suicide attempt that is handled so poorly, only to show why the heroine would be a good psychologist as opposed to a physician. I can't tell if this book was just pure ignorance on EK's part or clear disrespect.

The actual characters themselves were one-dimensional, with nothing remotely interesting to their personalities. I've never liked Hunter, and here, I found him to be even duller. I felt like the only part of his character that was explored here was his vow of celibacy for the sake of hockey, which got old very fast. The romance was also too slow. Listen, I'm all about slow-burn romances, but for about 40% of the book or so, Demi is in a long-term relationship. Then, when that relationship ends, she gets over it pretty fast, which didn't feel all that believable to me. The chemistry wasn't there between Demi and Hunter. They lacked spark and that's partly because of their lack of character development.

Anyways, The Play was a miss for me and I'm officially done with this series.



by Angelina M. Lopez
Series: Filthy Rich #1
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: October 14th 2019
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: DNF
Kiss Factor: ✷✷

Oh man. I don't quite know what to say about Lush Money. I was very into the idea of a female billionaire and everyone and their mother knows that I'm a sucker for the marriage-of-convenience trope. Then, there were some pretty high praise floating around Twitter, so I was genuinely pumped for this book. You can imagine my utter disappointment when I found myself not caring for it and ultimately DNFing it.

I'll start off by saying this was likely a case of the book's style not working for me. Given that so many others enjoyed it, if you are interested in the book, I say go for it. For me, it was just a bit too old-school. There's nothing wrong with old-school books, but it's simply not the type of romance I enjoy reading. I had a truly tough time with both of these main characters. I love a good ice-cold, no-nonsense heroine, but Roxanne was also almost robotic in her persona. It was very tough to get a handle on her emotions and her motivations, so I wound up being very frustrated. Mateo was a bit more expressive than Roxanne was, but there were other aspects of his personality that I did not care for, including some of his cruel thoughts.

Rooting for these two as a couple was even more complicated for me because I actually found their relationship toxic, especially with the way Roxanne manipulated and used Mateo. I just didn't find it very romantic. I felt like all they did was get angry at each other and have sex. This could have changed beyond the point that I DNFed, but there is really only so much I could personally take.

I'll probably give this author another chance when she releases another book, but I'm still very sad that Lush Money didn't click with me. I hope if you read it, you'll have better luck than I did.

Have you read any books that have disappointed you lately?
Let me know in the comments below!

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