Cover Image: Buzz Books 2020: Romance

Buzz Books 2020: Romance

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Member Reviews

This is my first time reading the Romance edit of Buzz Books and I'm so glad I finally did! I've got so many exciting reads lined up thanks to these excerpts. I especially love finding debut authors this way, and appreciate the diverse selection included here. Please never stop making these guides!
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These Buzz Books are so helpful in choosing new books! I've come across several winners after reading these previews that I may not have chosen simply based on the book description. Thank you!
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This is so informative. It has been incredibly helpful to have upcoming releases at my fingertips. Thank you for compiling it!
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Thank you Publishers Lunch @Netgalley for the catalogue. I found a lot of interesting books that I requested and look forward to reviewing them!
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They hype is real! I felt like the included books were straight out of my TBR list. Reading excerpts of some of the novels already on my TBR list made me want to read the rest. 
I'm especially looking forward to: The Roommate by Rosie Danan, The Cul-de-Sac War by Melissa Ferguson, How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams and Then There Was You by Mona Shroff. 
Books already out that I will finish: Scandalous Secrets by Synthia Williams and A Duke, a Lady and a Baby by Vanessa Riley.
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This is a sampler and provides a compelling selection of what's coming up in Romance. Thanks for providing this sampler.
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i really liked reading some sneak peeks of these books that will be coming out soon. but i don't think i'll be picking any of them up. none of them sparked my interest hard enough. so that's the tea.
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I always love this preview of what to look for in the year!  Amazing tool.  I hope it keeps coming!  It is my opinion that every reviewer should read this before each year to give a more in depth look at what is coming up.
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Great preview of upcoming titles.  There are titles to appeal to any romance reader.  So many to recommend to my library and our patrons!
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A good sampling of upcoming romance titles. It me adding some titles that I didn’t know of before to my tbr list.
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so excited for all of these. I love romance novels and cannot wait to get my hands on these, great preview!
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Being a part of this virtual event and getting to read these excerpts has been a highlight of the pandemic for me. SO many incredible titles included, and I’m especially excited to have gotten to read a few of the Romance titles I’m most excited about reading this year! 

Top of my must reads -
The Roomate 
Meet You in the Middle
Paris is Always a Good Idea
How to Fail at Flirting

Thrilled to already have an eARC of The Cul-de-Sac War waiting for be read. 

Was lucky enough to have already received RomeAntically Challenged (LOVED!) & A Duke, the Lady and a Baby.

Thank you for all the snippets of these amazing books!
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Loads of fun reading the first few chapters from several romance authors, many completely new to me. I especially enjoyed Paris is Always a Good Idea by Jenn  McKInlay. Ms. KcKinlay is my new favorite romance author and I look forward to finishing her latest release. Thank you for the opportunity.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Publishers Lunch for the chance to review this book! But note, this book is widely available as a free e-book full of samples to build book buzz.

I love the annual Buzz Books samplers, even if I tend to only come away with a few titles I'm excited about -- maybe my taste just isn't very mainstream! I will say that I miss the initial survey of books, those few pages jam-packed with mentions of upcoming trends, like the earlier Buzz Book Romance had. Now this is just the collection of the 14 excerpts - which is still a great chance to read early samples of books that haven't come out yet! And I appreciate that the introduction mentions the conscious effort to be more inclusive of diverse authors and stories.

ROMEANTICALLY CHALLENGED by Marina Adair
Cover: the lime green is a little blinding but it's certainly eye-catching, and there's a fun texture to the cover with the clouds and the e popping out
Excerpt: completely hilarious and engaging, I loved the scenes with her chewing out the clueless ex
Would I Read This: I actually won a copy on Goodreads and really liked it. I will warn that even though the introduction and cover are fun and light, there are some pretty serious themes in the book that put me through the emotional wringer

THE BALLAD OF HATTIE TAYLOR by Susan Andersen
Cover: this looks like historical women's fiction, not a romance (and the title has the same vibe)
Excerpt: I'm confused about why there's so much of the man's perspective when the cover is all about the heroine Hattie. And when we meet Hattie, she is an orphan kid and the man Jake is definitely an adult....is this....going to be a romance?
Would I Read This: I'll pass on this - the cover copy promises a coming-of-age Western, which are not two things I particularly care for, and the excerpt didn't grab me

SEARCHING FOR ROSE by Dana Becker
Cover: I instinctively avoid anything that looks Amish because of my negative associations with the genre, and the air of menace that hints at romantic suspense which is probably going to be too much because I am a scaredy-cat
Excerpt: I was very confused because the cover has a woman in an Amish cap, but our heroine April is a tough girl in the big city, and I couldn't reconcile the two (if you look over the cover copy, which I clearly didn't read, it mentions that she *goes* to the Amish countryside)
Would I Read This: yes, the prose is engaging and I'm interested in what happens next, but probably from the library if I can since I'm skeptical about both Amish romance and romantic suspense

THE ROOMMATE by Rosie Danan
Cover: fun 80s neon color and style
Excerpt: this flew by, it was very snappy and I was hooked from the first sentence
Would I Read It: yes, I've pre-ordered this

MEET YOU IN THE MIDDLE by Devon Daniels
Cover: well, it's very clear this is about politics
Excerpt: So, back when I was still on Twitter, I saw a LOT of complaints about the idea of this book. Republican propaganda etc etc. So I was not going in with an open mind, sorry. Much to my surprise, I hated this excerpt for other reasons! The heroine's opening thoughts are complaints about hashtags, which is honestly the most Fellow Kids thing I have ever seen and I hate it. The next page talks about Justin Timberlake memes and some other meme I've never heard of, and I hated it even more. My eyes rolled into the back of my head when reading about the wonderful boss Senator *Warner* (get it? she's from the Northeast and stands up for women's rights...hmmm I wonder who in the world this could be a reference to). Then we get to the hero and heroine meeting, and we're supposed to feel bad for the heroine because the hero is not paying attention or taking her seriously or something, but honestly all I was thinking was how justified he was and how utterly naive and incompetent the heroine was being. This woman has all the political acumen of a toddler and I loathe her. I'm sure I could hate the hero too if given a chance, but it's never a good sign when we spend the whole excerpt in the heroine's head and I'm all "well I hate you but this guy seems reasonable." So, yeah. I hate this book already, thanks to the writing style and characterization, without even needing to assess the politics.
Would I Read It: absolutely not

THE CUL-DE-SAC WAR by Melissa Ferguson
Cover: this looks much more "women's fiction" or even "chick lit" than romance
Excerpt: this opening chapter is pretty chaotic and I'm confused about why it was so hard to find emergency clothing repair on hand in a theater group, and the whole weird road rage thing (with the despicable bumper stickers that I'm assuming will turn out to be a borrowed car from a brother-in-law or something)
Would I Read It: I don't think so -- the scene with the hero was charming but a little too-good-to-be-true, and the rest of the time the heroine was completely scatterbrained

FOLLOW YOUR HEART by Brenda Jackson
Cover: soothing beach scene
Excerpt: I like the meddling matchmaking matriach who's going to pair up the heroine. I always get nervous about political protagonists but nothing bothered me about the hero so far. And then our heroine talks to some jerk.
Would I Read It: not sure, as I didn't really get a good taste, I'm not sure what the point of the heroine talking to the jerk was and I wish we'd gotten to see the hero and heroine together

PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA by Jenn McKinlay
Cover: very cutesy, looks like a light travel memoir rather than a romance
Excerpt: wow I hate the heroine, she is a total jerk to her poor dad who's just embracing happiness. I want his story, not this brat's
Would I Read It: no thanks - the heroine was being inflexible and selfish (and creepy Electra complex when she told her dad he didn't need to re-marry, he had his adult daughters). plus, the cover copy is about jet-setting around Europe and I don't think I have patience for the "poor little rich girl I'm just finding myself by traveling" routine

BETTER THAN PEOPLE by Roan Parrish
Cover: tones are much more muted than on most romance covers, but I love the action shot of the dog, and the walking couple in the background
Excerpt: A CAT IS WALKING ON A LEASH ON THE FIRST PAGE so I was done for with the cute. All the scenes grabbed me and warmed my heart with animal antics and two heroes who think animals are, well, better than people
Would I Read It: pre-ordered immediately

A DUKE, THE LADY, AND A BABY by Vanessa Riley
Cover: cute, with unusual eye-catching color scheme. i like the detailed silhouettes
Excerpt: I was thrown off when this historical was in 1st person POV, and I was very confused as we start right in the thick of things. Also, I'm very skeptical of children in romance so starting out the first scene with feeding the baby was not the most engaging introduction for me, even though there was a lot of action and stakes
Would I Read This: I read a copy from the library but never warmed up to the writing style; however, I'm delighted that a historical with a POC lead and by a POC author has gotten such a big push from the publisher

THEN THERE WAS YOU by Mona Shroff
Cover: none available
Excerpt: wow, reading about back-to-school was VERY weird to do in August 2020. and this excerpt has a LOT of heavy themes - explicit racism and a random character's suicide attempt to name two, plus hints at a traumatic background and lots of emotional baggage for our hero
Would I Read This: no thanks - the heroine was sympathetic but the hero was kind of a creepy stalker, just because he realized it didn't make it less creepy

HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING by Denise Williams
Cover: I like the dark background and bright colors but I don't like that both protagonists have their back to us
Excerpt: oof, academia is really tough for me to read about because I have a lot of baggage around gunning for the same path this heroine did, and then ditching it in the middle of grad school for a much more stable and mentally healthy life. Also, we get a lot of hints at an emotionally abusive ex and that just sounds like more than I'm up to reading (especially for a book with such a cute title and rom-com-type cover)
Would I Read This: no thanks, this sounds like it will be too emotionally exhausting for me

SCANDALOUS SECRETS by Synithia Williams
Cover: cute cover with loving pose (even if I hate the chin scruff) and gorgeous sunrise colors in the background
Excerpt: political scandal and protecting heroine from abusive ex getting out of jail
Would I Read This: this will be wayyyyyy too stressful for me

THE WAY YOU TEMPT ME by Elle Wright
Cover: really cute even if it looks a little more stock than the others. I LOVE her dress, the couple looks cute together, and I like the neon lighting of the big city in the background
Excerpt: I was wary at first because it's all about high-pressure business (agency) and family succession, which is more drama than I like. but the hook at the end of the excerpt, well, hooked me!
Would I Read This: I would give this a try and look forward to checking it out at the library

OK, so of 14 books -- I've read 2, pre-ordered 2, and will try to get 2 from the library. Disliking or even hating more than half of the samples isn't great, but hey they're samples! And I appreciate the chance to try some things out I might not have picked up otherwise.
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A nice overview of upcoming titles, and it is nice to see a blend of familiar names and debuts! I particularly enjoyed the excerpt for How To Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams.
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This was a great way too see what books are coming up. I can’t wait to read more if Romantically Challenged, Follow Your Heart, How to Fail at Flirting just to name a few.
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A book of excerpts of upcoming romances. Enjoyed reading these sneak peeks!

Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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This sample anthology contains some interesting selections that I’ll be looking for when they come out.
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I’ve been hearing about A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby and was very excited to read an excerpt. I found the beginning a bit tricky to follow, but I am intrigued. There is a lot to unpack here, and I believe more would be explained in chapters to come. So far, I don’t see a lot of emotion from the main character, I would hope for more. I might check this book out, but it would be based more on external interest than on these first chapters.

How to Fail at Flirting

I love a heroine who shows the difficulties of research and academia and I also love a story in which her career plays a significant role.  This sneak peek teased friendships with my kind of humor and a story about the heroine finding herself again. I definitely want to read this book! 

Better Than People

The start of this story was almost too graphic for me, and the number of animals was a bit much to keep up with. I’m curious about Jack and Simon, but not feeling like I need to pick this up right away.

The Roommate

I have heard from trusted sources that this book is right up my alley and the first two chapters have definitely caught my interest. I find the family curse intriguing, the unrequited love for the absent best friend very easy to relate to, and I can’t wait to see our heroine open up! I am dying to read this book.
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short samples of upcoming books.  I find this difficult to work with on an e-reader as if I want to find a particular book it's hard to do so.
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