You Can Have Manhattan – a marriage of passion, humour and convenience

Arc provided by Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Buy it on: AMAZON
☆ ☆ ☆ 1/2

All I really need to say about this book: TROPES. You Can Have Manhattan has a combo of my all-time fav tropes which are: marriage of convenience, enemies to lovers and COWBOYS. This honestly had me SOLD on signing up for an ARC before I’d even read any previous reviews on it. All of my favourite tropes in one book? It was pretty much a no -brainer.

While I was expecting a delightful combo of grumpy cowboys and a swift trip to the alter, I didn’t go in to this book with high expectations in regards to writing quality and character development. This story surprised me though! In a good way. It had a great combination of strong-willed MCs and loveable side characters that I can’t wait to read more about – at least I HOPE they get their own stories!

CHARACTERS

SYDNEY – What a gem of a woman. She was strong, intelligent and fiercely loyal. My kind of character. I love reading about someone confident in their capabilities and willing to go the extra mile for those they care about. Sydney was all of this and a little bit more. She had hidden depths of vulnerability that pulled on my heart strings. After an abusive childhood she really deserved to get her HEA!

SCOTT – Unfortunately got on my nerves. He had so many moments of joyous goodness that I was tempted to scream at him when he treated Sidneys so awfully. I know that it’s an enemies to lovers and SOMEONE has to be the bigger ass… but Scott went just a TEENSY BIT OVERBOARD in taking his anger out on Sidney. It felt drawn out and honestly took away from my enjoyment in this book. When he finally decided to be a good guy though I LOVED HIM. If he’d been like that throughout I’d have given this book a higher rating.

While I loved the pace and dialogue in this book (some of it was so witty and well written that I could imagine it as an epic rom-com…) I did have a few issues with originality in the story line. I’ve seen some authors write these tropes in a way that was completely original and stole my heart – such as in Her Cowboy King – but unfortunately this author didn’t sell me on that. Despite this, it’s still a great summer day read that will leave you feeling happy and glad you picked it up.

// what are your thoughts on the enemies to lovers trope? yay or nay? //

Jen

Fix Her Up – a forbidden romance that’s addictively sweet, steamy and all-out hilarious.

Fix Her Up – Tessa Bailey
Buy it here: AMAZON KOBO B&N

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ FIVE STARS

This was such a heart-warming story filled with witty banter, clown costumes and off the charts chemistry. Bailey delivered a steamy romance that brought to light the importance of loving oneself and finding confidence in the face of adversity. This story was not shy to address some of the less perfect aspects of the self-respect we garner for ourselves, such as our dependence on others’ opinions. The imperfect nature of the characters’ and their families in Fix Her Up shines through to create a story that’s not only entertaining but highly relatable.

The love story followed Travis – a down-on-his-luck baseball player forced in to early retirement after an irreparable shoulder injury – and his best friend’s younger sister Georgie – an overlooked woman who seeks the acceptance and approval of her family and friends. Travis’ escape from the limelight and early retirement leave him back home in small town Port Jefferson, brooding and drowning away his sorrows in a bottle of Jack. Georgie’s considerate nature and tough love bring Travis out of his shell and together they form an unlikely friendship that seeks to help them both find acceptance and approval from others. As a man who considers himself unsuitable for love, Travis’ childhood loneliness slowly diminishes in the face of Georgie’s endless presence and enthusiasm. Her love affair for Travis may have started when she was in middle-school but Georgie’s desire to be seen as more than just the kid her family and town believe her to be, leads her to finally gain the confidence and unleash the passion she’s always held inside.

CHARACTERS

Georgie – is the protagonist that will melt your heart. She certainly melted mine! She is intrinsically kind and easily relatable. I felt myself relating to her a lot throughout the book. The optimism and strength that she maintains, even when faced with large odds and adversity, is inspiring and made me gain a lot of respect for her as a female character who was representative of many women who struggle to gain the respect that they deserve in their chosen careers.

Travis – was a highly likeable character and a classically appealing romantic love interest. His respect and encouragement of Georgie was a tick in the pro column and earned my respect. The support that he showed others, while maintaining his independence and domineering attitude, made this book a breath of fresh air. Too often authors get the balance wrong between respectful and domineering male leads and it becomes a massive turn-off for me. When done as Bailey has in this book, you cannot help but fall in love with Travis.

The level of steam in this book surprised me. The fake-dating trope is always a favourite of mine and Bailey managed to balance off-the-charts steaminess with respect and unleashed passion in a way that was irresistible to put down. I felt that the scenarios that occurred within their progression from unlikely friends to lovers and eventually partners were sound and believable.

The only contention I had with this book was the fast-paced nature of the ending. The build-up to the designated end of their fake relationship was done well and seemed believable. However, I was looking forward to seeing how the characters fared on their own when separated. I would have liked to have seen their newfound confidence continue in spite of the turmoil in their love lives. The lack of this was a bit of a let-down but did not hinder the overall impact of the book too much. It was still a very enjoyable read and definitely one of my favourite books for 2019!

// do you enjoy reading a fake dating trope? what has been your top read of 2019 so far? //

Jen