Reviewing Spring Debuts: Real Love, For Her Consideration, and Love Buzz

I’m absolutely thrilled to be reunited with my laptop (post Italy, we were separated for over a week), so even though you’re not seeing this as my first post back from an unanticipated hiatus, this is my first post that I’m typing and I just had to share my joy!! This post is about some ARCs that I’m calling Spring Debuts, but you’re going to see a few caveats here as explanation for why I selected them!

Starting with Real Love by Rachel Lindsay, a book that is a Spring Debut in the sense that it is Lindsay’s first fiction offering and therefore a debut released in March (Spring!). For Her Consideration by Amy Spalding is extra tricksy to have in here because it is a Spring Debut in the sense that it is her adult debut and was released at the end of February so it’s a bit of a stretch, but we are counting it. And then Love Buzz by Neely Tubati Alexander is a true Spring debut, out in May!

Spring Debuts: Covers of Real Love by Rachel Lindsay, For Her Consideration by Amy Spalding, and Love Buzzby Neely Tubati Alexander

Real Love by Rachel Lindsay

Allow me to begin with I really enjoyed Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette and I have her memoir that I’m still really excited to read. But… Real Love being marketed as a romance does this book a true disservice in literally every way. There’s an open ending not an HEA and because this book is marketed as a romance, I feel like it’s only fair to let you know that up front. Because if you go in anticipating a romance, the ending will piss you off. Ask me how I know.

But, if you force yourself to look past that, Real Love is a book with an interesting concept that only kind of worked for me even if I consider it to be a contemporary fiction. It’s about a woman who thinks she’s satisfied with her life, but she’s actually living her life with her mom’s voice in her ear telling her what to think and what to do instead of living for herself. So instead of breaking up with her boyfriend when the spark is very much gone and they’re not prioritizing one another at all, she just keeps the relationship going. And then her best friend, Delilah, goes on The Bachelorette-esque show and comes back glowing and so happy in love. And since Maya had been offered the spot originally, she’s having a lot of thoughts and re-evaluating her life. To an extent, I really enjoyed Maya’s attempts to find herself. It made me think that I want to find hobbies outside of reading and blogging while reading it and that was exciting.

But the romance that is introduced is like… good, but not enough to carry this book as a romance and then the end happened and I just… Romance is not a genre for an open ending. So basically, what I’m saying is, this book is what it is and it isn’t a romance, so you’ll enjoy it way more if you go in expecting the personal journey that you actually get.

For Her Consideration
by Amy Spalding

I think the theme of these three books is that there is a lot of self-reflection going on in each of them… Nina Rice was broken up with in a rather brutal way, tbh, in that her ex-girlfriend gave her a list of twelve very specific reasons why she was a toxic person who would essentially ruin the lives of everyone she was close to. So Nina Rice pulled a Reputation Taylor Swift move and secluded herself in the suburbs of LA for like three years. But then she has to meet Ari Fox for work reasons and her life slowly starts to change.

Now, to be clear, For Her Consideration is absolutely a romance novel. This one hits the right beats and most importantly, ends with a happy for now/happily ever after vibe. And more importantly, this book is deeply healing in a way that I don’t think I can quite articulate. But there is something about the way Nina’s friends, her found family, welcome her back after her extended absence and the way they talk and heal and come back together. There’s something wonderful about the presence of Nina’s aunt in this book and the way she and Ari meet and the way Nina has lunch with her and her friends every Thursday. If you liked Love at First by Kate Clayborn, you absolutely need to read this book. I think you’ll love it.

Oh, and I did get the chance to listen to the audiobook narration thanks to Netgalley as well. It was a single narrator for a single perspective romance and I thought the narrator did a good job. The only issue I had was that I can read faster with my eyeballs than I can listen and I was really into the story so I kept pausing the narration to read with my eyes.

Love Buzz by Neely Tubati Alexander

This book is… certainly something. I would not recommend it if you’re in the mood for a romance, but if you’re in the mood for reading a book about someone deliberately imploding her life after meeting a man who makes her feel something for like thirty minutes, then this book is great! I used it for the Enchanted prompt for #SpringIntoLoveBingo because it definitely has the “please don’t be in love with someone else / please don’t have somebody waiting on you” vibe, as well as the literal “I was enchanted to meet you” vibe. And I was definitely loving the beginning. The first 19% of this book flew by. And then this woman who had worked so hard and was rapidly approaching her 30th birthday set her life on fire and it had me so alarmed.

I’m still not sure how I feel about this book as a whole because, honestly, I went through cycles of reading like I was watching a car crash about to happen and then reading in a way where I was fervently cheering for her. So I landed ultimately on 3.5 stars. Because this book was just complex in a way that I both could and could not appreciate. It might also be because I too sometimes feel like I’ve chosen a “safe” path, though my financial situation would definitely disagree. But regardless, I think this book has so much to offer and if you’re also feeling like you’re in a spot in your life where you can handle a lot of self-reflection and also grief content in your reads, I would recommend.

Oh, I also really appreciated the friendship evolution in this book. It was largely satisfying, though sometimes I felt a step too removed from being invested in the relationships. Anyway, definitely going to keep an eye on this author in the future!

Have you read any of these books that are out already? Do you want to? Let me know!


6 responses to “Reviewing Spring Debuts: Real Love, For Her Consideration, and Love Buzz”

  1. I had zero idea that Rachel from the Bachelor franchise wrote a “romance” book. Yeah, an open ending def doesn’t sound like an HEA to me so weird that it’s being marketed as a romance. That cover is very romance-y too!

    OK you mentioned Kate Clayborn in your review of For Her Consideration and I’m absolutely sold!!

    Love Buzz doesn’t sound like it would be for me personally but I do always appreciate good friendship evolution!


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