The two greatest contemporary romance writers of this generation, Julie James and Jennifer Probst, each released a new book this year, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been salivating over the two. Thankfully, the wait was over about a week ago, and I spent last weekend in bliss, reading both these new releases instead of studying for the AP Biology test. Do I regret it? Not. One. Bit.
Then, as I was reading both books, I realized that not everything was exactly what I expected. Some things were disappointments, and some things were even better than I’d expected. I had a favorite in mind, but after reading, it turned out that the other book was the better read. One thing is for sure: the authors sure did surprise me. Both were great reads, but I’m here to help you determine which author is the “Best Contemporary Romance Writer of 2014.” Every year past, the winner has been Julie James – with her engaging, sexy FBI reads – but who will outshine the other this time? I don’t know, but the question is: are you ready to find out?
Questions & Answers
1. Which book did you read first, and why?
I actually bought both books at the same time, so it was all my choice which book I’d read first. As I mentioned before, though both authors are amazing, I tend to prefer Julie James to Jennifer Probst, not because she’s better exactly, but because her romances with either an actor or an FBI agent, a lawyer, or the “Twitter Terrorist”, they’re things I’m interested in as a career (not the Twitter Terrorist), and after reading Julie James, you’ll realize that romances between people handling truth and justice are always the best. So yeah, you guessed it, I chose to read “It Happened One Wedding” first.
2. Which couple was your favorite?
This is a bit of a toughy, but I think I’d have to go with Kennedy and Nate, the duo from “Searching for Perfect”. These two were just so imperfect that they were perfect together, and reading about their journey together was just beautiful. Also, you don’t usually see a nerdy rocket scientist as the main male character, so Nate was really refreshing. Also, since he signs up at Kinnections, we get to watch his transformation; he gets a HUGE makeover and even does Zumba! I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of makeovers, and how can it not be fun reading about a scientist attempting to get their groove on?! This couple just totally outshone the other two.
3. Which character from any of the two books did you enjoy reading about the most?
Definitely Nate Ellison Raymond Dunkle, “rocket scientist and nerd extraordinaire.” His second introduction in the book was BY FAR the best I’d seen in my entire life. In fact, I think I’m just going to have to give you a sneak peak, since the man is indescribable (and unbelievable).
Ned stood in the doorway. He wore his lab coat, baggy tweed pants, and his trusty pocket protector. His shoes looked almost orthopedic, with a thick sole. He’d also done something strange with his hair. Instead of hanging in his face, he’d slicked back the edges with a pound of hair gel until he was sporting a kind of half-assed psycho Mohawk. She wondered if a category five hurricane could move a strand.
“Hey.” He paused, waiting for them to speak, but it took them a minute to get over the hairstyle. “I’m Ned.”
Yeah, I think that should back up my statement XD
4. Which book did you get bored of? Which was the most cliché?
Though, as expected, both books are pretty predictable, I didn’t get bored of any of them. Both novels kept me reading non-stop until the very end! Of course, Julie James’s novel was more cliché than the other, but it was different. Julie’s past books seemed to have more of that FBI/lawyer/criminal justice aspect to the plot, and though Vaughn was an undercover agent, I wasn’t really satisfied with the legal additions in the book. The romance was great though, and I managed to get over my disappointment.
5. Which book had the most amazing backstories?
Without a moment of hesitation, I’d say Jennifer’s “Searching for Perfect.” Kennedy, the seemingly perfect woman with the killer bod, suffered from bulimia, and then anorexia, as a child. She was bullied by boys for her big breasts, and even know she doesn’t like looking in mirrors. She has a bad relationship with her parents, especially since her mother encouraged her starving herself, and her father divorced and married anew (though I love him because he actually cared enough to put Kennedy in therapy)! Then there’s Nate, with the womanizing elder brother who works in construction, but doesn’t get paid much because didn’t get to go to college? And neither of them knows how to treat women, one because he’s a nerd, and the other because their mother left them when they were little. Can you not say ouch to these’s character’s terrible childhoods?
6. Which couple had the best sex?
Umm…I don’t think I’m old enough to be discussing this. I definitely have an answer, but yeah…no. NEXT!
7. Which novel had the best ending?
Even while reading the books, I knew I was disappointed by Julie’s ending. In my mind, every good contemporary romance novel has three stages: 1) the I-hate-you becomes I-can’t-get-enough-of-you, 2) the argument/temporary break-up, and finally 3) the happily ever after. “It Happened One Wedding” literally just skipped the second stage, which kind of sucked since I was looking forward to that part ever since Sidney and Vaughn’s romance started blossoming. It may sound a bit cruel, but in my mind, no romance is complete without that bit of anger so the characters can sort out their feelings, and prove that they mean the world to each other.
“Searching for Perfect,” on the other hand, had the most beautiful – and painful – second stage ever. I wanted to slap some sense into Kennedy so many times, but then at the end, it was Nate’s turn. I mean really, I think their separation may have traumatized me for life O_O The ending was good, and I really love how we get to see our other beloved couples from Jennifer’s last series, but the ending still wasn’t perfect. Nevertheless, I was more than happy with the novel; it surpassed everything I had hoped for, and I’d hoped for a lot.
So who do you think the deserves the award of “Best Contemporary Romance Writer of 2014”? I dunno about you, but I believe the award goes to…