More high school/college romances with ample chemistry between the characters. I’ve found books by Tijan and L.J. Shen to be extra steamy (like…my glasses are fogged up from the words on this page) and infused with a lot of chemistry between the leads. Sometimes I like the male love interest and other times I’m not a fan. With the exception of Enemies, I wasn’t too big a fan of the male leads in this set of books.
Rich Prick (2020)
Publication: June 15, 2020
Series: N/A but there are crossovers
One liner: Bad boy falls for shy girl who has a crush on him.
Aspen is shy and used to being alone. She has a crush on Blaise, who is her complete opposite. Yes, he’s the rich prick the book is named after. Despite not being a fan of Blaise’s personality, I ended up liking it because Aspen and Blaise had so much chemistry with one another. While a complete a-hole to the other people around him, he at least managed to treat her well and they pushed one another to be better. Although it’s entitled a sports romance, sports is not a very large part of the book until the end. (Content warning: It’s not mentioned in the summary but there is mention of domestic abuse and child abuse.)
Publication: December 1, 2019
One liner: Professional football player comes to aid of childhood friend (present day enemies) after tragedy strikes.
Dusty is head strong and works hard at trying to keep to herself. Stone is actually a pretty good guy despite our very first impression of him from Dusty’s perspective. He’s not an alpha jerk male so I was happy about that. (Hallelujah!) This was a good read and it was feels-inducing especially when tragedy hits. (Content warning: It’s not mentioned in the summary but rape is alluded to at the very beginning of the book and mentioned at the end.)
Playing with Fire (2020)
by L.J. Shen
Publication: September 15, 2020
One liner: Moody and destructive boy is drawn to the girl who tries to keep to herself because of her outward appearance.
Grace and West are individuals with tragic pasts that continue to haunt their present. With his anger issues and short-temper, I wasn’t a big fan of West. He was sweet to Grace and went to great lengths to protect her, but I still wasn’t quite sold on him. She isn’t exactly the meek person people think she is despite her willingness to allow people to make fun of her. Because of her scars, she tries to remain invisible. Grace is a resilient individual who speaks her mind but only those who know her get to see this side of her. I liked Grace, and as much as I wasn’t keen on West, I liked how he pushed her to ask more from life and to stop hiding.