Tag Archive for: alison cochrun

Can’t Wait Wednesday – KISS HER ONCE FOR ME by Alison Cochrun

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in since I first started blogging, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is KISS HER ONCE FOR ME by Alison Cochrun.  I loved The Charm Offensive when I read it last year so I was thrilled to see Alison Cochrun has a new book coming out this fall and that it’s a queer holiday rom-com. It sounds like such a fun read!

 

KISS HER ONCE FOR ME by Alison Cochrun

Publication Date:  November 1, 2022 by Atria Books

From Goodreads:

The author of The Charm Offensive returns with a festive romantic comedy about a woman who fakes an engagement with her landlord…only to fall for his sister.

One year ago, recent Portland transplant Ellie Oliver had her dream job in animation and a Christmas Eve meet-cute with a woman at a bookstore that led her to fall in love over the course of a single night. But after a betrayal the next morning and the loss of her job soon after, she finds herself adrift, alone, and desperate for money.

Finding work at a local coffee shop, she’s just getting through the days—until Andrew, the shop’s landlord, proposes a shocking, drunken plan: a marriage of convenience that will give him his recent inheritance and alleviate Ellie’s financial woes and isolation. They make a plan to spend the holidays together at his family cabin to keep up the ruse. But when Andrew introduces his new fiancée to his sister, Ellie is shocked to discover it’s Jack—the mysterious woman she fell for over the course of one magical Christmas Eve the year before. Now, Ellie must choose between the safety of a fake relationship and the risk of something real.

Perfect for fans of Written in the Stars and One Day in DecemberKiss Her Once for Me is the queer holiday rom-com that you’ll want to cozy up with next to the fire.

 

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Romance Reviews: THE HEART PRINCIPLE & THE CHARM OFFENSIVE

 

Happy Monday all!  Today I’m back with a couple of fun romances that are releasing soon.  Helen Hoang’s The Heart Principle is the third novel in her popular series, The Kiss Quotient, and one of my most anticipated reads of the year, while The Charm Offensive is Alison Cochrun’s debut queer romcom and is receiving rave reviews over on Goodreads.  I’m excited to share my thoughts on both of this books with you today!

 

Romance Reviews:  THE HEART PRINCIPLE & THE CHARM OFFENSIVEThe Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient, #3) Goodreads

Author: Helen Hoang

Publication Date: August 31, 2021

Publisher:  Berkley

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

With his tattoos, motorcycle, and his ultra-kind heart, Quan Diep stole my heart in Helen Hoang’s debut romance The Kiss Quotient even though he was only meant to be a secondary character.  I adored his character so much and was thrilled to learn he would be featured in Hoang’s new novel, The Heart Principle.

The Heart Principle follows a young woman named Anna Sun.  She is a gifted violinist who is suffering from burnout that is the result of the pressure of her own success.  When a well known composer writes a piece of music specifically for her to play, Anna finds herself completely incapacitated and unable to play the piece no matter how many hours a day she tries to practice it.  Anna has hit a wall and doesn’t know how to move forward.  As if her career struggles aren’t weighing her down enough, her personal life has taken a hit as well.  She has been expecting her longtime boyfriend to propose to her any day now and instead he tells her he would like to have an open relationship for a while first, to see other people and just make sure they’re really right for each other.  Anna is of course hurt and furious, although she doesn’t tell him that, and decides that if he’s going to date and sleep with other people, so is she.  That is, if her anxiety and panic attacks don’t get in the way. This is where she crosses paths with Quan and their journey together begins.

I adored Anna.  She’s such a sweetheart and I hated that she was going through so much, especially since it was clearly draining her both emotionally and physically.  I also really hated her boyfriend and practically jumped for joy when Anna and Quan find each other on a dating app.  It’s obvious from their very first conversations that they have so much chemistry and I just loved how patient and understanding Quan was when it came to Anna’s struggles with anxiety.  He feels such a strong connection to her and just accepts her exactly as she is.  It was so sweet watching the two of them grow closer as the story progressed.

What surprised me about this book was how sad the overall story was at times.  It’s a beautiful story and a special one but it also just covers so many heavy topics. In addition to Anna’s struggles with anxiety, there’s also toxic relationships, cancer, the death of a beloved family member, and more.  It was definitely not the cheerful story I would have expected based on the cover.

Even with it being a lot sadder than I was expecting, I still loved The Heart Principle overall, especially because it also has growth and healing, and ends on such a positive and uplifting note.  If you’ve enjoyed Hoang’s first two books, you’re sure to love this one as well.  I also highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys romance with relatable characters who face very realistic challenges.  Read the first two books in the series though so that you meet Quan and his cousin, Michael, who also makes an appearance in this book.  4 STARS

 

Romance Reviews:  THE HEART PRINCIPLE & THE CHARM OFFENSIVEThe Charm Offensive Goodreads

Author: Alison Cochrun

Publication Date: September 7, 2021

Publisher:  Atria Books

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

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun is a heartwarming romance that features a sexy but awkward tech guru named Charlie who is in serious need of an image revamp.  He chooses to do this by playing the part of Prince Charming on Ever After, a popular reality TV dating show.  It is there he meets the other star of this book, Dev Deshpande, a producer on the show who is tasked with making Charlie less painfully awkward and stiff when he’s on screen.

While the reality TV dating aspect of the show was a lot of fun and filled with plenty of hilarious antics, what really made this story shine for me was the bond that immediately forms between Charlie and Dev.  Dev is so sensitive to Charlie’s OCD, anxiety and awkwardness and really does everything he can to put him at ease and keep him calm. Dev is also a romantic who believes in happily ever afters and that he can help Charlie find love.  As the filming of the show progresses, however, it becomes clear that Charlie has forged more of a meaningful connection with Dev than he has with any of the women vying for his affections.  What does this mean for Charlie and his image rehab and what does it mean for Dev and his job?  He’s supposed to be helping Charlie find love, not fall in love with Charlie himself.

This was such an adorable romance.  Both Charlie and Dev are sweethearts and it’s impossible not to root for them to just put themselves out there and go for their happily ever after.  I also enjoyed that the story also had a nice balance of weightier topics to complement the romance:  self-doubt, discovering one’s sexual identity, mental illness, rejection, and an exploration of the often toxic nature of reality TV, just to name a few.

The only real issue I had with this book was that the pacing was a bit slow for me in the first half.  I think it’s mainly because once I became invested in Charlie and Dev, I just wanted them to get on with it already and so the reality TV filming just felt like it was distracting me from what I wanted.  That’s just a me thing though because I get impatient sometimes when the romance is a slow burn.  The ending of the story is so precious and so satisfying, however, that it totally made up for the slow-ish beginning.

Funny, heartwarming, and touching, The Charm Offensive is sure to please romance fans who enjoy books like Red, White, and Royal Blue and Boyfriend Material.  4 STARS