Trust Fund Fiancé by Naima Simone & Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

Thursday, October 15, 2020



by Naima Simone
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: September 8th 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷

Naima Simone is a talented storyteller. Her romance novels are always full of the best kind of angst and the emotional intensity hits all the right notes for me. When I discovered that Trust Fund Fiancé was a marriage-of-convenience, a god-tier trope, in my opinion, I knew I had to read the book. Zeke and Reagan were both beautifully written characters. For such a short story, I was surprised by how much room the author had to explore the depths of their characters. Reagan has grown up feeling stifled by her father's expectations of her. She had dreams of her own that she was unable to pursue them because he was also controlling the inheritance her grandmother has left her. This was where the marriage-of-convenience came in and for the most part, I thought it was executed well. The chemistry between Zeke and Reagan was scorching and the emotional intensity palpable in every scene they shared. There was a comfort level that they grew between each other that made their relationship extra swoony. That being said, there were times when I felt like the emotional baggage the two characters came with often overshadowed the romantic arc. I think if this book had been longer, it would have potentially allowed the author to explore their baggage on a deeper level without taking away from the romance. Ultimately, I still found Trust Fund Fiancé to be a good book and I definitely recommend it to readers who enjoy this trope.

***

by Sarah Smith
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Publication Date: October 13th 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷

When a book's premise is a hate-to-love romance between two rival food truck owners, you know for sure I'm picking it up. I enjoyed Smith's debut, so it didn't take much convincing to read the book. There were elements that I very much enjoyed in Simmer Down, but there were also parts that I didn't particularly care for. Nikki's bond with her mother was Simmer Down's strongest suit. The love and care these two women had for each other were soft and very heartwarming. Sarah Smith showed every facet of their relationship, positive and negative, very nicely throughout the book. Their shared love for Filipino cuisine was another highlight of Simmer Down. All the food descriptions made me unbearably hungry but also a little sad that I don't have access to tons of Filipino restaurants. *sad face* The romance was what I had mixed feelings towards. I enjoyed the back-and-forth banter and prank wars between Callum and Nikki a whole lot and thought they had fantastic chemistry together. However, I did feel that their rivalry didn't last as long as I would have expected or wanted. My interest in them as a couple simmered down (pun intended) when they got together and I certainly wasn't a fan of all the drama and miscommunication that caused major interferences in their relationship. In the end, while not every element of Simmer Down clicked with me, I did find the book to be entertaining. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that Smith's writing is very breezy to get through. If you do like foodie romances, I would definitely give Simmer Down a try.

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