Romance Reviews: THE MAKE-UP TEST and DRUNK ON LOVE

 

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I had to work for most of this one, hence I’m behind with my blog hopping again.  I hope to get caught up this week though.  In the meantime, here are a couple of good romance books that I’ve read recently.  Both are September releases, so if you like what I have to say, they are both available now!

 

Romance Reviews: THE MAKE-UP TEST and DRUNK ON LOVEThe Make-Up Test Goodreads

Author:  Jenny L. Howe

Publication Date: September 13, 2022

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

 

The Make-Up Test by Jenny L. Howe follows what happens when Allison and Colin, two ex college sweethearts, not only find themselves in the same medieval literature Ph.D. program at Claymore University, but also battling for the same mentor, who only has room for one student in her schedule.  Will it be a contentious and awkward battle as each student tries to achieve their academic goals, or will it be a second chance at love?  Or perhaps a bit of both?

Allison is a fantastic heroine. She’s brilliant, plenty of grit and determination, and she’s also messy and flawed, which made her feel all the more real. Allison has a true passion for academia and has achieved most of her dreams without the support of her father, who just tells her that she’s overweight and wasting her time and money going to school.  His lack of support weighs on her, but it makes her more determined than ever to get that Ph.D.  Allison is also carrying around the baggage of what happened with Colin while they were together before.  Allison wanted to win the Rising Star award because she just knew it would open doors to the best Ph.D. programs for her.  She thought she was a shoe in for the award, only to lose out to Colin, who never told her he was even applying for it.  Colin then added insult to injury by breaking up with her the very next week.  Needless to say, Allison is not at all pleased to find out he has somehow ended up in her Ph.D. program and competing for the same coveted mentorship. I had tremendous sympathy for her because of what she was dealing with because of her dad and Colin. I love a good underdog story and Allison really fit the bill for me.

Colin, on the other hand, was a character that I found myself wanting to throttle occasionally.  Hearing how things played out between he and Allison when they were dating really cast him in a negative light for me, and like Allison, I couldn’t fathom how he ended up in the same Ph.D. program. As I got to know Colin, however, he thankfully grew on me, especially as he gradually reveals the reasons behind some of his seemingly suspicious actions and as it becomes clear how much he really does care about Allison and that deep down, she still has feelings for him as well.

The Make-Up Test is an entertaining read from start to finish.  There are frustrating moments, flirty moments, and of course dramatic and tense moments as Allison and Colin try to navigate both this new awkward environment they find themselves in, and as they also try to figure out how to move forward and address those unresolved feelings.  I was fully invested in their story and also loved the message that it is possible for people to learn from past mistakes and to change and grow.  4 STARS

 

Romance Reviews: THE MAKE-UP TEST and DRUNK ON LOVEDrunk on Love Goodreads

Author: Jasmine Guillory

Publication Date: September 20, 2022

Publisher: Berkley Books

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.

 

Drunk on Love is the latest romance from Jasmine Guillory and it is a delight! It follows Margot Noble, who co-owns a family winery with her brother.  Margot goes out one night, looking to relieve some stress, and she meets a handsome stranger named Luke, who has just arrived in Napa Valley.  Margot and Luke have major chemistry and one thing leads to another, culminating in a very sexy one-night stand between them.  Imagine their surprise, when Margot goes to work the next morning, only to learn that Luke is the winery’s newest employee, hired by her brother.  What could possibly go wrong?

I loved this story so much.  Both Margot and Luke are just such easy characters to like.  Luke had my heart when he immediately offered to quit his job so as not to make things super awkward for Margot. Margot similarly captured my heart when she refuses to let him do that because she thinks it’s unfair to him.  I enjoyed their chemistry so much and all of those awkward moments as they tried to keep things professional between them when all they really wanted to do was jump each other’s bones, haha. I also really enjoyed the evolution of their relationship, both the professional dynamic and the personal one as they really did start to get to know each other.

In addition to enjoying the relationship between Luke and Margot, I also loved the added layers where each of these characters had personal journeys they were also working their way through.  Margot and Elliot, her brother and co-owner, used to be super close when they were younger.  Inheriting their uncle’s winery together, even though it was Elliot who had always worked there, created tension between them.  Margot feels like she always has to prove that she belongs at, and is invested in, the winery, and it weighs on her constantly.  Luke is also dealing with some emotional and professional baggage related to his last job, which was a Silicon Valley tech dream job turned nightmare.  He has come to Napa to hide out for a while and regroup.  I found both of their journeys equally compelling and was very invested in seeing how each of them would play out.

Drunk on Love is steamy and swoony but also filled with heartfelt and tender moments as well.  The workplace romance trope is not typically a favorite of mine, but I really loved what Jasmine Guillory does with it here.  4 STARS

14 replies
  1. Verushka
    Verushka says:

    Thank goodness Colin was redeemed in the end — the beginning of your review sold me on Allison and I wanted her protected SO much!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.