*Graphics courtesy of Elle Woods PR.
Contemporary romance/Rom com
Publication date: 10/29/2021
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
Oh, the fun I had with this one, y'all...
Plot overview: Annabeth flees to her sister and brother-in-law's Montana mansion (and fancy dog rescue) in the middle of a mid-life crisis and ends up sharing the place for a month with hot former rock star Cane while the sis and BIL vacation. Hijinks, hilarity, and sexy times ensue.
Trope bingo: Hot guy falls for plain Jane, girl-next-door type, rock star romance, hero/heroine who rescues dogs, forced proximity, nice guy/cinnamon roll romance.
First of all, I was a little bummed back when I thoughtThe Has-Been and the Hot Mess was just a standalone book, because I loved those characters so much. So, when this book came up for pre-order, I might've done a little happy dance that scared my dogs (sorry, guys). And I'm pleased to report that I was NOT disappointed when I read this one IMMEDIATELY after it showed up on my Kindle. Here's the highlights:
That's right: the characters are NOT in their twenties. They are 38 (heroine) and 40ish (hero). We honestly just don't get enough mature romances these days, and for a reader like me (i.e.: one who aged out of new adult romance LONG ago), this was a breath of of fresh air.
The heroine, Annabeth, is smart, funny, and yes, a little messed up. She's at a crossroads in her life, but I for one was thrilled to see her open herself up to knew possibilities with minimal whining and angst. There wasn't a ton of hand-wringing and dithering about what she should do. She went after what she wanted (when she figured out what that was) and I loved her for it.
But as much as I loved Annabeth, the real star of this book is Cane. He's a nice guy former rock star who was NEVER a manwhore. Sure, he'd made some mistakes in his life where alcohol was concerned, but since stepping onto the straight and narrow path, he never ventured off it. And the speed with which he fell ass-over-elbow in love with Annabeth was ADORABLE. There are really just not enough great things to be said about Cane. He's 100% certified swoon-worthy.
Grandpa Frank, who appeared in book 1, is back in this book and better than ever. He's crass, rude, and most of all HILARIOUS.
Witty banter for days
No one does witty banter between characters like Isabel Jordan. NO one.
I think the sexy times in this book were hotter than in book 1, and the sexy times in book 1 were fairly hot, so that's saying something. Ahem.
But anyhoo, just read it, OK? Trust me. It's worth your time. :)
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
No rehab needed. This one is clean and sober.