I don’t participate in a lot of readathons but I had so much fun with my time doing Smutathon. I admit, I didn’t take myself as seriously as I would with, say… Tome Topple, and I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. Really, it was a mere reason for me to read just romance for the whole week and I did that.
I read two and a half books. I finally pushed myself into reading two very popular contemporary romance titles. And I discovered a new favorite trope. I know I could’ve done better but I’m preparing for my vacation, going through a stash of yarn, and I wasn’t in the mood to read stuff just for the sake of satisfying the challenges. But if you did that and read more than 7 books in five days, I love you and I want to be you.
So let’s see how I did, yes?
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, narrated by Carly Robins.
This book made its rounds in all of booktube, not just with the romance booktubers. It’s about Stella Lane, a 30-year-old career woman on the autism spectrum. Her parents have been pressuring her to settle down and start a family. Social situations aren’t her best suits, let alone romance, so she hires a professional escort, Michael, to teach her the ways of the bedroom.
I’ve heard of plotlines like this before – a fake relationship between an awkward girl and an experienced guy, they fall in love in the end anyway. And I’m not gonna lie, this was that, yes. However, this was done so well. Stella is such a sweet girl. Michael, yes is very experienced, but I loved how he’s so vulnerable. I liked the narration. It was easy to follow even with the POV changes. The sexy-times were just right. I kind of wanted more but this was just perfectly toeing the line between tasteful and plot-driven and gratuitous. I loved it. So much.
Very early in the book, they mentioned that Michael looks like Daniel Henney. I’ve met Daniel Henney and that definitely helped enhance my enjoyment of the book. 😉 This satisfies the FAKE RELATIONSHIP challenge as well as the FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, if I had to force it hahaha. 5/5 stars.
A Nordic King by Karina Halle.
I hereby declare that my new favorite trope is anything to do with royalty. It could be between fellow royals or with commoners. No, this is not fairytale kink. I just terribly enjoyed this one book and am interested in reading more. Age gap romance is still my all-time guilty pleasure. And this book satisfies both of them!
Aurora starts working for the royal family of Denmark, headed by King Aksel, as a nanny for the two princesses Clara and Freya. The whole family instantly love her… including Aksel. I’ve read another Karina Halle book a few months ago and I do enjoy her writing. It was so easy to read and the enjoyment level is really high. The steamy scenes were very steamy indeed. I docked half a star because the bit about Aurora towards the end came out of nowhere and I thought a certain someone would have a bigger role. Other than that, I loved it!
And like with the previous book, I also had a dream casting for Aksel. Sure, you can argue he’s Swedish but Alexander Skarsgard is the perfect romance leading man. For anything. I survived reading the first two Fifty Shades books because I had him in mind. I’ve met Alex plenty of times and every time I do, I still get overwhelmed by his presence. We actually have a photo together on Getty Images, lol.
A Nordic King is my read for both DIFFERENT WORLDS (royal and commoner) and FORBIDDEN (age gap, if you really want to… Aksel is 14 years older than Aurora but she’s not that terribly young anyway) challenges.
I am currently 5.5 hours into The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. (Thank you, Hoopla for your no-wait audio books.) I thought I could work through this book over the weekend but a bout of anxiety laid waste on my Saturday and Sunday, I had no time. It started off rather… idk, uninteresting? I mean, it was just a back and forth banter between Lucy and Joshua from Lucy’s POV. I got tired of it quick and I really wanted the story to move along. I guess I was expecting The Kiss Quotient vibes but it wasn’t like that. It is smut-light, as someone on Twitter said, but so far, it’s been romance-light too. I am enjoying it though. I’ll finish it before I go on vacation.
I loved Smutathon. I will be participating again. Haha, as if I need an excuse to read romance. 😉
As always, I’m open to more recommendations. Remember… royalty and age gap romances are my jam!