Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:
Synopsis for Love and Kerosene (from Goodreads):
For me, family is a curse. My father and brother made my life hell. My mother’s untimely death still keeps me up at night. Now that my brother, Donovan, has been killed in an accident, I can forget the past.
The last remnant is the childhood home I’ve inherited—and which I intend to burn to the ground. The only obstacle? Anneliese Nielsen, Donovan’s fiancée.
Donovan left her destitute, and selling this run-down house is her only chance to recoup her losses. I shouldn’t care, but…maybe it’s her eyes when she sees me. I look strikingly like my brother, a man she loved despite everything.
So we strike a deal. We’ll renovate the house together, but she’ll have to convince me to sell—or up in flames it goes.
But the more time we spend in the house, the more its terrible history threatens to come out.
And even more dangerous, the harder I start to fall for Anneliese.
SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Author: Winter Renshaw
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: October 11, 2022
Source & Format: Author–eARC
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I love a good slow burn romance, especially when it is between two people who are love-broken. This premise was super unique and I couldn’t wait to see what twists Winter Renshaw had in store.
This book had the right balance between character growth and romance. I loved that we saw both characters learn from their past and face their “demons” so to speak.
Annaliese is hurt by the betrayal of her fiancé and is left in the mess he created. Lachlan is also trying to come to grips with the relationship he had with his estranged brother. Donovan is dead and so these two will never get that big, all will be revealed moment for him and so it brings an interesting dynamic to their individual character stories but also to their budding relationship as they navigate how to reconcile the past but build a new future without getting those answers from Donovan himself.
I thought these two had a lot of chemistry once they started to get to know each other. The romance is sweeter than it is outright passionate but I think that makes the connection seem stronger. It isn’t something that burns hot right away but slowly catches heat as it builds.
My Rating: 4/5
Overall, while the premise seems like an outright soap opera, Winter Renshaw finds a way to ground the story with strong, likeable characters as she shows the power of reconciling the past to create a great future.
Read if You Like: characters learning to love again, character driven romances
Avoid if You: dislike contemporary romance
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