Decidedly Off Limits (Stina Lindenblatt)

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Best Friend Rule #1: never want the guy’s sister.

Oops.

Trent Salway is one of San Francisco’s hot up-and-coming-under-thirty bachelors. A highly successful mutual fund portfolio manager, a workaholic, and a ladies’ man, he’s got everything he could possibly want… except one thing.

Physical therapist Kelsey Quaid dumped her ex-fiancé six months ago because she was tired of not even being a distant second to his career. Which is why despite secretly crushing on her big brother’s best friend for as long as she can remember, there’s no way Kelsey can go there. One workaholic in her life is more than enough, thank you very much.  

Before Kelsey’s brother leaves on his Navy SEAL mission, he asks Trent one simple request: make sure Kelsey isn’t dating any assholes while he’s away. As Trent does his best to do just this, he and Kelsey spend more and more time together. Sparks fly, as do a few items of clothing, and the next thing they know things are getting physical between them. Now, Trent has to decide what to do about the woman he’s falling for — the one whose brother would take him down faster than he takes down the enemy. And Kelsey will have to decide if Trent is just another workaholic or if he’s decidedly off limits.


Once again, I read this book with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, so head to her blog in the next few days to check out her review of this book.

As soon as I read that blurb I WANTED THIS. Why? Well, I just love the best-friend sibling thing, and this book promised me that. In spades. So I requested it and I was oh so excited to read it.

By the way, I think I should let you know that this romance is a romantic comedy, this is clear on the internal monologues both main characters have, and how it reaches to the reader. It felt like the characters were talking to us sometimes, and I really liked that, I thought it was a clever way of writing. For the most part, I liked the writing and the pacing flowed well, but there was something off for me. I felt that somethings were told too abruptly?! Maybe?! I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something kept me from enjoying it wholeheartedly.

I did like both main characters, Kelsey and Trent, though because of the story and the way it’s written, I thought they weren’t totally fleshed out. I did like that they both evolve a bit during the book, with Kelsey finding her confidence and her passion, and Trent learning how to trust again and to make room in his life for more than work.

As I said before, I do love this trope, and this book had it in double, because Kels’ brother is Trent’s BFF, and Trent’s sister is Kelsey’s BFF, so the couple has 2 siblings going against them for several reasons. I did like that both of them had feelings for each other from long before, though I would have liked to see their previous friendship explored a bit more. The connection was there though, and so was the chemistry. I liked it, but again, I wished we had more of them being friends, talking, communicating, because I felt that that was their major issue.

Some of the things that happen in the book, and some decisions didn’t make complete sense to me and I thought they were a bit silly, though they worked in the comedy side, so… Some of the conflicts didn’t totally work for me either, but everything was solved rather easily. Also, as Cátia so wonderfully put it a moment ago, it lacked drama!

Ultimatly, the fast pace and easy read made this an enjoyable book. Also, it was super funny. But for me, it lacked depth and something else too.

Also, without spoiling anything, there’s a sex scene in this book that was just too weird for me, in the sense that I wasn’t 100% positive that it was consensual! Don’t worry, it wasn’t between the main couple, those were all 100% consensual, but this particular one… I don’t know… it felt weird. Too weird.

Book Recommendations & Romantic Tropes (part 3)

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Hey guys, here we are for the second post of recommendations based on my favorite tropes. You can see my first post here and the second here.


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Who doesn’t love a good book about second chance at love? I know I do, especially when couples reunite after a good while.

  • Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen is a great example of this trope, because Leo and Georgia were highschool sweethearts, until they went their separate ways… and then they reunite several years later and it’s so good!
  • The Mistake by Elle Kennedy also follows this trope, though Logan and Grace’s romance doesn’t go quite that far back.
  • Whatever It Takes by L.E. Bross is also about young lovers who get separated, and find each other again after a few long years.
  • Steadfast by Sarina Bowen… yeah, I squeezed 2 of Sarina’s books in here, because I just had to, ok? Jude and Sophie… ❤

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Forbidden romances can be caused by a lot of situations. Anything is a good excuse for being forbidden, eheh. I do love a good written forbidden romance.

  • Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O’Roark is a romance between a college student and her coach. Now, I know a lot of people have a lot of problems with the student/teacher thing, but keep in mind that these 2 are very close in age, and the story is so well written that you need to give this one a chance.
  • Did I Mention I Love You by Estelle Maskame is a step-siblings romance. I have to admit that I fell in love with this series, big time, because Eden and Tyler do so many wrong things, but they do try their best. Also worth mentioning that they didn’t grow up together, at all, so all is good!
  • The Rule Book by Jennifer Blackwood is a forbidden office romance, and it’s good. Lainey shouldn’t have fallen for her boss… but how could she not?
  • The Summer Before Forever by Melissa Chambers is yet another step-sibling romance, but with much less drama than the DIMILY series. Read it. It’s so worth it!

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This is a tough one, because most books with this trope don’t announce it on the blurb, lol. So I needed to find 4 books in which the pregnancy is not a spoiler. It wasn’t easy!

  • The Goal by Elle Kennedy, because OBVIOUSLY! Heck, I decided to include this category so I could tell you to GO READ THIS BOOK! I loved how Sabrina and Tucker dealt with this huge life changing thing.
  • Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach is definitly about teen pregnancy, from the guy’s POV. Though I wouldn’t quite qualify this one as a romance book… but you should still read it, because it will surprise you.
  • Because I Love You by Tori Rigby is such a sweet story about teen pregnancy and finding support and love where you least expect it.
  • You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross & Mark Perini has a pregnancy in there… ok people, this one is tricky, because this trope will be where you least expect it, so keep an open mind, ok?

Ok, that’s it! Three more tropes :D. Now, I can’t think of any other one worth mentioning, so I need your help here, ok?

Hit me with your favorite trope, and I’ll try to find books that I loved that fit it. Yes? Good! 

Book Recommendations & Romantic Tropes (part 2)

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Hey guys, here we are for the second post of recommendations based on my favorite tropes. You can see my first post here.


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I love this trope! It’s so great when there’s a romance between someone and their sibling’s BFF, right? It always creates a good kind of tension, with a hint of forbidden romance.

  • Mister O by Lauren Blakely is an amazing example of this trope, because Nick falls in love with his BFF’s little sis… eheh. (have you read it? WHY NOT?)
  • Not Okay, Cupid by Heidi R. Kling is such a cute YA romance
  • Always Second Best by Elodie Nowodazkij is also a very cute YA romance… about ballet, no less!
  • Three Simple Words by A.J. Pine  also involves this kind of “forbidden” relationship. So good.

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I love it when the 2 protagonists decide to start a casual relationship, not realizing that they’ll fall in love in less than 100 pages. This happens a lot in books, and I love it, eheh.

  • Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover – Miles and Tate get in a casual relationship, but it becomes so much more.
  • Smut by Karina Halle – Well… they start as enemies, become partners and kind of friends, then become f**k buddies, and then… yeah! READ IT!
  • The Score by Elle Kennedy – Dean and Allie have a very good relationship… SO GOOD!
  • Lessons in Gravity by Jessica Peterson – Well… you know how the relationship will turn out, right?! 😉

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Read talk here: I’m a sucker for single dads in books! A guy raising a child? ALONE? Yeah… HOT!

  • My Perfect Mistake by Kelly Siskind – This is not a spoiler, right? Kolton has a little boy, and oh man… they’re ADORABLE!!!
  • The Years We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen – Bridge doesn’t have a child, per se, but he’s raising his little sister, actually like a single dad, so he counts!
  • Six Month Rule by A.J. Pine – Will has a child! He doesn’t shave when he’s not with her. It’s so so cute!!
  • The Girl I Was Before by Ginger Scott – Houston is a widower and a single dad… *sigh*

This is it, my second recommendations post that fit another three romantic tropes that I really like. So, have you read these books? Which is your favorite trope in books?

Book Recommendations & Romantic Tropes (part 1)

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By now, you guys should know that I love my romances, right? I do! I love romances! They make me happy :D. But with every good romance, comes a healthy dose of tropes that are used quite often in this genre.

Everyone has their favorites and the ones they can’t stand. For instance, I hate the “hidden baby” trope, you know, when the girl gets pregnant and decides not to include the guy in her decision to keep it?! I hate that one!

But I LOVE a lot of them though, so I thought “why not recommend a few books from some of my favorite tropes?“. So that’s what I’m doing! Why not, right?! I do love a few of them though, so this theme will be divided up in a few posts.


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Who doesn’t love a good “fake relationship turns real”? I know I do. I’m kind of a sucker for them actually.

  • Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman is totally adorbs, and it’s about 2 BFFs who fake a relationship, only to realize they’re both in love with each other.
  • Big Rock by Lauren Blakely is so good! Also about 2 BFFs who pretend they’re engaged, only to realize they’re perfect for each other.
  • To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han… everyone knows this one, right? Adorable!
  • The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen is also an amazing fake relationship book. Also adorbs!

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Friends to lovers is one of my all time favorite tropes used in romance books, because we all know that friendship is the base for any great relationship, right?

  • Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy is one of my faves, because Jamie and Wes are BFFs and AMAZING!
  • The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen is another great one, where the main couple become super close friends before anything romantic happens between them.
  • The One That Got Away by AJ Pine is another BFFs turned lovers story, and it’s super cute.
  • Loud is How I Love You by Mercy Brown deals with the consequences of what happens when you get involved with your best friend and bandmate. SO GOOD!

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This is another good one. Who doesn’t love the tension the animosity creates at first, only to know that they’re totally made for each other?

  • The Hard Count by Ginger Scott is such a good one… YA too… amazing.
  • Wallbanger by Alice Clayton is hilarious. And the fights between Simon and Caroline? EPIC!
  • That Thing Between Eli & Gwen by J.J. McAvoy… even though Gwen and Eli have one thing in common right off the bat, they do take their time to warm of to each other.
  • The Deal by Elle Kennedy is hard to define, because Hannah and Garrett begin as “enemies”, then they become friends, then super great friends, and then so much more. WHY HAVEN’T YOU READ THIS ONE?!

There you go! Twelve books that I absolutely loved, and fit the 3 mentioned tropes. Have you read them all? Tell me, which is your favorite trope in books?