Sex and Vanity revolves around a girl named Lucie who travels to Capri for her good friend’s wedding where she meets George. From their first meeting Lucie decides she doesn’t like him but gradually she is drawn closer to him as the festivities continues and eventually they are involved in a tryst that could damage her families reputation.
Lucie I am kind of in two minds about. I sympathise with her in regards to the casual racism and subtle ostracism she feels from her father’s side of the family but I can’t relate to her at all because of her wealth. She can definitely be likeable at times but she just doesn’t stand up for herself enough. I wanted her to call out her grandmother and her cousins about what they have been doing to her for all these years but she just takes it all out on Christine. And then petulantly running that smear campaign against Rosemary who has been nothing but nice to her was just unnecessary, though I am glad she got called out for it.
We honestly don’t find out enough about George. I wish we got a few chapters from his perspective or just even what he has been up to. His background is alluded to but we don’t really get any concrete facts about him or his personality. The relationship between him and Lucie is kind of lacking depth as well. We get a nice introduction at the start of the book and the foundations are laid but they just didn’t have enough scenes together for me to really be convinced.
There were just a little too many conversations throughout revolving around all of the connections and various famous people that they know. I found myself skimming through a lot of those sections because I wasn’t all that interested in reading all these different random names and titles all the time. If the narrative would have focused more on the actual characters and the relationship at the core of the story and not just name dropping all the time I felt like I maybe would have enjoyed it a lot more.
⭐️2/5 stars A little shallow…
Chloe Brown has been sheltered most of her life and has pushed away a lot of her friends because of the chronic pain she deals with on a daily basis. That is until one day she is involved in a near death experience that prompts her to move out of her house and start to fulfil some of the dreams she has put on hold because of her condition.
I really liked Chloe. She really knows her limits and is just currently trying to still live her life even though she is in pain. I find her not to be the most relatable of characters because of her wealth however, I think she is still quite down to earth and has really tried to step up and live by her own means. There isn’t a lot of positive representation of plus sized characters in literature and I really enjoyed the way that Chloe was portrayed and the language used to describe her. She didn’t really display any insecurities about her size and it wasn’t really a big factor of the story it was just who Chloe was.
Red really charmed me right from the start. From his relationship with his mother and the way he takes care of a lot of the older tenants in the complex, yet he is still kind of a badass with a motorbike. The banter between them was wonderfully entertaining, with the tension at the start slowly morphing into a friendship and then the way they both kind of push away their feelings before finally succumbing… I was a huge fan! He is just so considerate of her and is always asking how she is feeling or preemptively will make things easier for her. He was just such a sweetheart but still had his own issues he has had to deal with and sort out his feelings about his ex before he stepped fully into the relationship with Chloe.
One thing I appreciated about the book was the communication between the characters. If one of them was upset they would express that to each other and kind of work their way through all of their obstacles. Even when they had their fight and weren’t talking to each other Red was still working towards a resolution!
I thought Chloe’s sisters were really distinct and funny. Again they were always making sure Chloe was ok and checking in on her and was very supportive of her and her chosen lifestyle. I’m really interested to hear more about them and I am very excited to pick up the next book when it is released!!
⭐️4/5 This was just wholesome, endearing and highly entertaining.
This was a totally spur of the moment pick up for me. I’ve still been feeling a little funky in terms of my reading so I’ve been picking up a lot of romance to try to remedy that because its just so easy and entertaining to read. So when I saw a few different reviews for this book pop up in some recent booktube videos I decided to give it a go and actually loved it!
We follow the story of Jasmine who is a hardcore figure skater who was recently dumped by her skating partner. She hasn’t been able to find a new partner since so she is unable to compete. She has been training at the same complex as Ivan Lukov who is the reigning national champion, a 2 time gold medalist and is known as being the best figure skater in the world at the moment. Jasmine and Ivan cannot stand each other and since Ivan’s partner has bowed out for the season Jasmine is the only one good enough to step up.
The hate to love trope is my absolute favourite in romance novels and this book did so well in building up the sexual tension throughout the course of the storyline. The chemistry between these two from the start was palpable and I loved that it delved a lot more deeper into their backgrounds than what I was anticipating.
Jasmine’s candour really pulled me into the book. There’s just something about characters swearing in books that really endears me to them (lol). I just feel like that’s exactly how I would react in the same situation. As someone who swears a lot it make the book feel more realistic to me, which made me appreciate the story even more. I liked the fact that she is really trying to balance her life and not just have it be all about skating. The gradual arc of her character was very well done and she really had to overcome a lot of situations before she could really accept herself. I especially liked that she noticed how she has treated her family in the past and has tried to rectify the situation by being more involved and aware of everyone and their feelings.
Ivan at the start I thought was a little too good to be true being handsome, rich and the best figure skater in the world. I think his cocky attitude mixed with all the hard work we see him put in to being the best helped to ease my concerns about him as a character. Once we started to learn more about him and penetrate that guard he always has up and see some of the more emotional scenes he has with Jasmine and he finally shows how much he cares about her is when I started to fall under his spell! OMG after he made that speech to Jasmine’s father I was sold!
I highly enjoyed my read of this book. I think I picked it up at exactly the right time and I think it definitely helped me get around this slumpy feeling I’ve been having! I was totally surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and it just left me with some happy feels!
⭐️5/5 stars Caught me by surprise and made me shed a tear!
This was so engaging and entertaining from the start! I absolutely loved it!
Olive’s twin sister Ami has just gotten married to her boyfriend Dane and Olive couldn’t be happier for her, except the fact that she has to put up with Dane’s older brother Ethan who hates Olive for some unknown reason. So when the whole wedding party and guests get massive food poisoning and only Olive and Ethan don’t get sick and Ami insists that they should go away on their honeymoon instead Olive doesn’t know if they will make it out alive.
I love that Olive is so honest and upfront with Ethan from the start, and how that honesty becomes such a focal point in the relationship in the future. I love how confident and proud of herself she is and doesn’t shy away from her curves. She is super endearing and I loved the witty banter she shares with Ethan throughout the storyline.
Ethan I was a little unsure of at the start, but I definitely warmed up to him! I like how realistic he is as a male character, hopelessly naïve in some ways. He is always willing to communicate how he feels to Olive and he isn’t afraid to apologize if he feels it is warranted. I think it was fair that he stuck by his brother and wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, though I figured he would try to understand Olive’s intentions a bit more thoroughly than to just dismiss her so quickly and assume she misinterpreted the situation. I am glad that he circled back to their earlier conversations and he went with the grand-gesture to try to win her back, I thought that was very well rounded and well very swoon-worthy lets be real!
I also enjoyed the fact that the book didn’t just finish at the end of the ‘unhoneymoon’. They had to go back to the real world and actually deal with a lot of the issues that sprung up during the trip that they didn’t want to focus on. Again I found the whole thing really realistic. All of the characters reacted to the situation within reason. A lot of times in adult romances I found situations are dealt with too quickly and things work out a little too conveniently and I’m not sold or find it too fictional if that makes sense!
I am a sucker for the hate to love trope and I thought this was a super unique take on it! The premise as a whole I found super intriguing and I was invested in the characters and the storyline from the start. I am for sure going to have to dip into Christina Lauren’s previous books and see how they compare!
⭐️5/5 I loved it!
This was a random spur of the moment pick up and I was not disappointed!
The Kiss Quotient is about a thirty year old woman names Stella who is obsessed with her job as an economist. She comes up with algorithms that help predict future purchases for online shoppers. It’s recently come to her attention that she may be a bit under experienced in terms of relationships and sex so she hired a male escort to help her practice.
Stella was a really relatable character I felt. I loved her arc over the course of the storyline, how eventually she wasn’t ashamed of her little flaws and her quirks and just accepted herself for who she is. I like how honest she was with Michael from the start and how she stood up for him and spoke her mind after her father grilled him.
I like the fact that Michael wasn’t just a one dimensional character. Even though he is an escort he had a backstory and familial problems that lend to why he is that profession currently. I also enjoyed the fact that he wanted to be a designer; it was a nice change from a lot of other male protagonists in these adult romances who are usually tradesmen or executives.
The relationship and how it progressed was definitely a little awkward and cringey at first but evolved and become something a little more believable in my opinion. A bit more graphic than what I originally thought it was going to be but I did still enjoy it nonetheless! I did love how the sexual tension built up between Stella and Michael and how accommodating he was of her.
Overall I really enjoyed the read. I just needed a little romance in my life and this was exactly what I hoped it would be! I will definitely need to pick up The Bride Test by Helen Hoang soon and continue on my spree of adult romances!
⭐️4.5/5 the perfect amount of romance and drama to keep me entertained!