I really enjoyed both of these RomComs. They are both the second books in a duology or series and I did not read or listen to the the first in either. I had not problem enjoying these stories, but wish I had read the first ones. I will go back and read #1, but there are some spoilers for me now. Both of these audiobooks were generously provided by the publisher upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
All the Feels (Spoiler Alert #2) by Olivia Dade, Kelsey Navarro (Narrator)
Published October 26th 2021 by HarperAudio, November 16th 2021 by Avon
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Although this is the second book in the Spoiler Alert series, but this can be read as a standalone story. Alexander Woodroe is an attractive, sexy actor who stars as Cupid in TV’s biggest show, God of the Gates. He has issues that no one knows about and he has been caught in a few unsavory moments that the tabloids have spun to make him look bad. With the last season of the show coming up, his agent needs to keep him on the straight and narrow, so hires his cousin, Lauren Clegg, to be his minder. Lauren was an ER therapist who was assaulted at work and reached a burnout point. She is now unemployed and at loose ends, so when her cousin asked her to watch him and keep him in line, she figured it couldn’t be that difficult compared to her previous work. Alex is not pleased and baits her constantly, but the more time they spend together, the harder it gets to keep detached. As she discovers the reasons behind his recklessness and he learns about her insecurities, they slowly become attracted to one another. When another scandal erupts, Lauren and Alex need to decide what they really want out of life.
I enjoyed this romantic comedy with its wounded main characters trying to find their way in a world that had put them in a box. Alex has seen things in his past that cause him to react and that is what gets him in trouble. Lauren, being a larger sized woman, has been treated differently and had people in her past and present treat her poorly because of that. She has low self-esteem and puts up with stuff she shouldn’t. As they get to know each other, they share feelings and emotions that not only helps them understand one another, but also helps them to grow and decide what they really want. This is not instantaneous, we see them go through the stages of a relationship starting with antagonism. I enjoyed their banter and teasing natures as they develop feelings toward each other. Lauren is a good balance to Alex’s impulsive character and that helped to steady him, and Alex helps Lauren to see that she is worthy and should not be treated in certain ways. This was a fun romance and I will definitely be going back to read or listen to Spoiler Alert. The audiobook was narrated by Kelsey Navarro, a new narrator to me, but I will not hesitate to listen to books she performs in the future. She has a voice that was easy to listen to and brought the characters to life. She gave them each their own voice and personality with tone, expression and pacing adding to my audio experience.
Duke, Actually (A Princess for Christmas #2) by Jenny Holiday, Stacy Gonzalez (Narrator)
Published November 16th 2021 by Harper Audio
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the second book in the Princess for Christmas series. In the first book Leo Ricci gets engaged to Princess Marie of Eldovia. It is a year later and the wedding is going to be during the Christmas holidays. Leo’s best friend, Professor Dani Martinez, is going to be his best woman and Max von Hansburg, Baron of Laudon is going to be the Man of Honour. While Max is in New York to attend a party and meet a woman that his parents want him to marry, he texts Dani so they can meet up and have a drink. Dani has no intention of spending time with the arrogant Baron and Duke to be. She has also sworn off men since her husband left her for a student and they are in the middle of a divorce. When she realizes there is a University Function coming up, she asks Max to attend with her as she does not want to meet up with Vince and his young girlfriend without a man by her side. It turns out that Max is very attracted to Dani, and as they spend time with one another, he begins to let down his guard and allows her to see the real Max. As the wedding comes closer and so do Max and Dani, will there be another royal/commoner wedding in Eldovia?
This was a fun story, but it had some serious issues to be dealt with. Dani is a great character, who goes through a lot of changes in the story. She is an insecure woman who was blindsided by her husband, who had basically taken over her life. She decides never again, but it takes time to develop a backbone, which she does. Max has a saviour complex. He has spent his life protecting his brother and sister from his father, a mean alcoholic. He also pretends to be something he is not, but he has been hurt and needs to accept some things, forgive some others and act on some as well. He grows and discovers things with the help of Dani. I really enjoyed their banter and loved how they were together. And then there is little Max, Dani’s dog. He was an important part of Dani’s life and integral in getting big Max and Dani together. This is a slow burn romance using a friends to lovers trope, which was very well done. I really enjoyed this book, despite not reading the first in the series. The audiobook was narrated by Stacy Gonzalez. I enjoyed her performance very much. She had great expression and tone while presenting this story. She gave voice to the various characters that allowed me to differentiate between the characters. I absolutely loved the snooty voice she gives Max. I definitely recommend this romcom.