The first week of July contained way too many releases so here are the first three ARC reviews I’m providing for y’all, and you’ve got two more to look forward to. For now though, let’s focus on Insatiable Hunger by Yahrah St. John, A Reunion of Rivals by Reese Ryan, and The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. Thank you to Netgalley, Harlequin, and Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read and review these books!
Insatiable Hunger by Yahrah St. John
The premise of this book is that Ryan has been in love with Jessie since they were children, but Jessie started dating Hugh when they were still in high school and feels obligated toward Hugh’s family. At their ten year high school reunion, Jessie and Ryan have a moment. This leads to Jessie and Hugh taking a break. When Ryan invites Jessie to the Hamptons for the 4th of July, things really heat up between them. But is it just a physical thing or could it be something real?
Although this was better than the first Yahrah St. John book I tried, I really struggled with the fat shaming surrounding Ryan. There was a lot of value judgment in his looks and what he eats and how he exercises based on how he used to look compared to now. I just didn’t love how that was handled. I also ultimately didn’t love the relationship between Ryan and Jessie even though there kept being parts of it where I would sink into their story. For me, Ryan was really pushy and I like, sort of understood, but also like… Jessie JUST got out of a decade long relationship, so it didn’t seem unreasonable for her to need some time. At the same time, Jessie was so dumb about like, everything? And also, communication really would have helped the two of them figure things out. I also just felt like there were weird dynamics between them but I would have given the book three stars if it had stuck the landing. Unfortunately, I just didn’t buy the HEA at all in the end.
(And there’s this random storyline thrown in with Jessie’s mom and Hugh’s dad that was just kind of gross. Idk.)
Anyway, regardless, I like where the overarching series is headed and I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen with Black Crescent.
A Reunion of Rivals by Reese Ryan
This has been my favorite Reese Ryan book to date. It’s a second chance love story between Max and Quinn, who are unexpectedly reunited when Quinn becomes the PR lead on a joint project between their two family’s companies. It was an incredibly abrupt ending between the two of them and there’s a lot of tension because Quinn is none too pleased to be around Max again, but she’s also determined to excel at her job.
I don’t know that I can fully articulate why I enjoyed this book so much, but it was just such a delight to read. I don’t normally like second chance romances, but something about this one just really swept me away. I absolutely adored what Max did after their breakup, but I won’t spoil anything. I loved seeing the family members in the background and I’m anxious for the next books in the series. I love Cole, but I think Reece Ryan is saving him for last.
I just really liked this one and would definitely recommend if you’re in the mood for a quick category romance to hit the spot.
The Heir Affair by Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
You know that gif of Marie Kondo where she is clapping her hands and saying “I love mess”? Well, that’s me and also, that’s this book. It’s not perfect, Act One could have been like fifty pages shorter, for example. But it was an addictive read and I read it in a day.
I think, if you’ve read The Royal We, you’re likely prepared for all the twists and turns the authors like to take you on. So there’s more drama, more Nick and Bex not talking to one another like incompetent adults, and so many antics. I loved Queen Eleanor and all the ways we got to know this cast of characters better.
Some parts of this book are hilarious and some require content warnings. For example, this book deals with miscarriage and infertility.
All in all, I’m grateful we got a chance to have this sequel and I know that I, for one, really, really enjoyed it!
I’m really so grateful to publishers for giving me the opportunity to read and review some of these books that I may not have otherwise picked up. And it’s fascinating to me to feel like maybe my taste in tropes is changing. I never ever thought that I would be a second chance person, but here we are. Have you ever had that happened?