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Romance Reviews: THE LOVE CON & THE ONE NIGHT

 

Happy Monday all!  Just a few more days until Christmas and I’m thrilled to finally be able to say that I have made through the last big work deadline of the year and can now relax and enjoy myself until January.  And of course, read more books. 🙂  Later in the week, if I have time, I’ll probably be posting some quick reactions to the holiday novels that I’ve read so far this season, and then next week I plan to do a quick wrap up of the books from my own shelves that I’ve managed to read this year since that has been such a big goal of mine.  Today though, I’m sharing my thoughts on my last two December review books, both of which I enjoyed immensely.

 

Romance Reviews:  THE LOVE CON & THE ONE NIGHTThe Love Con Goodreads

Author:  Seressia Glass

Publication Date: December 14, 2021

Publisher:  Berkley Books

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

The Love Con by Seressia Glass is a delightful new rom-com that follows Kenya Davenport, a young woman whose passion is creating intricate cosplay costumes.  While it’s just a hobby now, Kenya is determined to win the reality contest, Cosplay or No Way, and turn her hobby into a career.

When the book opens, the contest is well under way and Kenya has just been named as a finalist.  She thinks she has the contest in the bag until the final challenge is announced and she learns that she is supposed to work in tandem with her significant other to create costumes for an iconic duo.  There’s just one problem – Kenya is single and so has no significant other.  When asked for the name of who she’ll be working with, Kenya panics and blurts out the first name that comes to mind, Cameron Lassiter (Cam), her roommate and longtime best friend.

Kenya and Cam were of course my favorite part of The Love Con.  I loved Kenya’s strength, her determination, and her passion. She’s also funny and sassy, and just a joy to follow as she follows her dreams.  I also loved Cam from the moment we meet him.  He’s such a sweetheart and I adored how supportive he was of Kenya and how protective he was of her. Even though Kenya was beloved by most of the TV audience, for example, she still had her share of online trolls who didn’t seem to like that she was a strong, independent black woman and they frequently made disparaging comments about everything from her appearance to her personality. Cam gets so upset by this that he creates an anonymous account so that he could defend her honor.  Not that she couldn’t defend herself if she felt the need to, but I just thought it was sweet that he cared so much.

I also enjoyed watching the two of them work together throughout the last round of the contest.  Even though they were supposed to be pretending to be a couple, they hardly had to pretend at all because they had such amazing chemistry.  What we learn early on though is that some of Cam’s chemistry with Kenya is because he has secretly been in love with her for ages and he’s hoping that this whole fake dating scenario can finally help him make the move with Kenya from friends to lovers.  The author did a lovely job of not only showing us how Cam and Kenya’s relationship changes as they work in close quarters for the contest, but also giving us some really cute glimpses into how they first became friends in high school.

The actual contest was entertaining to read about as well.  I don’t know much about cosplaying or costume design so it was pretty fascinating to see just how much work goes into designing and constructing a costume.

If reality TV contests, fake dating, and friends-to-lovers romances are your catnip like they are mine, The Love Con is a book you’re going to want to add to your reading list. 4 STARS.

 

Romance Reviews:  THE LOVE CON & THE ONE NIGHTThe One Night Goodreads

Author: Meghan Quinn

Publication Date: December 14, 2021

Publisher:  Montlake

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

The One Night by Meghan Quinn is a fun holiday-themed novella that centers on the lead-up to a one night stand between a recently divorced man and his ex-wife’s best friend.  And while it might just be a novella, it’s still packed full of what I love most about Meghan Quinn’s novels, namely laugh out loud humor and steamy romantic scenes.

The story follows Cooper Chance (Coop), a recently divorced man, whose parents are so determined to get him to move on and find a new love, that they dress up in their most festive Christmas attire and take their son barhopping.  Their philosophy is that if their son won’t go looking for love, then they’ll act as his wingmen and bring love to him. Coop’s parents are hilarious, steal every scene they’re in, and I just adored them.

The bar they end up in brings Coop face-to-face with someone he wasn’t expecting to see, Nora McHale, the best friend of Coop’s ex-wife.  Nora has come to the bar, not looking for love, but rather to just have a drink and relax alone after an exhausting day of work. But not even Nora can resist the charms of Coop’s parents and soon she finds herself chatting with Coop and enjoying it way more than she expected to. Neither Nora nor Coop can believe how well matched they seem to be, but both wonder if they would be crossing a line they shouldn’t if they act on their attraction.

I loved the chemistry between Nora and Coop.  Their flirty banter was so cute and I really enjoyed watching them each see the other in a whole new light.  I also thought Quinn did a wonderful job of combining their increasingly steamy attraction to one another with very realistic internal monologues of doubt about whether or not they’re doing the right thing, if a relationship between them could even feasibly be possible.

The one thing I didn’t like about The One Night is that it actually ends on a cliffhanger.  I practically screamed when I got to the end because I wanted so much more of Nora and Coop.  Thankfully I soon learned that The One Night is also a prequel to Quinn’s upcoming novel, The Reunion, which focuses on Coop’s parents and their fiftieth wedding anniversary party.  So not only will I get to see what’s going on with Nora and Coop, but I’ll get to see more of Coop’s adorable parents. Win, win!

If you’re in the mood for a fun, flirty holiday-themed rom-com and don’t mind a little cliffhanger at the end, I highly recommend The One Night4 STARS.