Fresh Fridays: On Friday, I review a brand new series (ie. only has one book released so far) to see if the series is worth keeping up with. Here is this week’s offering:
If Love Duet
Other books planned to be in the series:
Synopsis for If We Ever Meet Again (from Goodreads):
One year, two opposites, and a love that will blindside and, ultimately, shatter them.
She’s an aspiring interior designer who dreams of falling in love.
He’s an ex-football star who thinks love is a con.
She’s a virgin, and he doesn’t do virgins.
He’s cocky, infuriating, and not her type.
She wants the fairytale.
He wants freedom.
Blake and Farrah shouldn’t have fallen for each other the way they did: totally, completely, and irrevocably.
Because they’re studying abroad in Shanghai, and they only have one year.
Because forces at home threaten to rip them apart, even if they don’t know it yet.
And because, eventually, they must face the most heartbreaking lesson they’ll ever learn: sometimes, even the greatest love can’t conquer all.
Series: If Love Duet
Author: Ana Huang
# of Books: 2 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: No, If the Sun Never Sets, will be released July 2020
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: Toasty
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Date: June 30, 2020 — ongoing
Source & Format: Author–eARC | Thank you Ana Huang!
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
When Ana asked me to review her newest novel, I easily accepted for a few reasons. First, I loved the premise of a year abroad in Shanghai. Second, I liked that this is a duet of books about the same couple. I find we rarely get those series about the same couple anymore. We tend to get a single book and then the next book is about a different couple. But this one has somewhat doomed start so I was eager to see what she had in store for us!
What I Liked:
–The Setting of Shanghai–
A lot of novels that have the year abroad or the expat premise to it tend to take place in European countries (or at least the ones I’ve come across are). So I was excited to explore this new setting. I’ve always wanted to go to Shanghai but this has me really dying to explore it!
–The Bittersweet Tone of the Romance–
The story starts with a bang by showing the relationship’s eventual demise. Knowing that things aren’t going to end well for these two gives this story a bittersweet tone when we start to see their relationship from the start. But the “sweet” outweighs the “bitter” if you ask me and I was totally in love with these two.
–The Struggle With Intimacy–
I just loved how real their romance was. They struggle a little with their intimacy and I really appreciated how that was all handled. I thought that was a real approach for a character like Farah who really hasn’t had that stronger physical intimacy before. I find a lot of romances portray the virginal heroine as some one who is immediately great in bed in all aspects so it was refreshing to watch these two explore that deeper connection together and talk about it.
What I Didn’t Like:
–Almost Too “Hot and Cold” At the Start–
The first few chapters were a little bumpy for me. I thought their hot and cold attraction was a little too cold on Farah’s end; I didn’t really see how she would be attracted to Blake besides his physical appearance. But once those deeper feelings started to come to the surface as they spend more time together, I was really onboard with their romance. It kinda went from 0 to 100 though and I would have liked another chapter of them hanging out as friends to really cement their connection.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
I will admit, I shed a tear or two near the end even knowing how it would end early on still didn’t prepare me for how much I would feel for their inevitable breakup. I can’t wait to see their second chance!
My Rating: 4/5
If We Ever Meet Again 4/5 | If the Sun Never Sets TBP
This was a great read! As I read more and more about their story, I was super invested and addicted to finding out what happens next.
Read if You Like: love stories, set aboard, New Adult Romance
Avoid if You: want erotica, dislike romance
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- The Perfect Game by J Sterling (The Perfect Game Series #1)
- Unfixable by Tessa Bailey