The Audio Files: Romance Books I

by - October 08, 2020


Welcome to The Audio Files, a new series on my blog that's all about the latest audiobooks I'm loving (or not). If you'd like to skip the following introduction, scroll down to the mini book reviews.

Let me start off by saying "2018 Tina" is cackling with disapproval right now. You see, I am part of the very proud few that believe audiobooks are just the start of a series of events that will eventually lead to the hardback book dying out. I was part of this select few until quarantine happened and I was looking for an escape. My mind couldn't grasp the concept of hardback books during a time that it was loaded with anxiety and heartache. I needed an outlet that helped me wander off without the requirement of 24/7 attention. This led to me downloading the app Scribd. I decided to simply take a look around but that journey ended way different than I expected. 

This has all brought us here, to the moment where I actually create an entire blog series about audiobooks. Like I previously said, "2018 Tina" is dying right now. But nonetheless, here we are and I am thrilled to say I see the value of audiobooks. In fact, audiobooks are the reason I fell back in love (hehe) with romance books. The BIG GIRL romance books to be exact. 

To be fair, I wasn't "out of love" with this genre but I didn't have any strong pull towards it. I usually preferred my romance to be paired with a thrilling fantasy plotline. They were also easier to read about when I dove into young adult romance books as well. But as I grew older, the appeal of romance books just didn't take off. They are fairly tropey and I often got burnout because they're filled with the same romance over and over.

But 2020 has changed a lot of things, including the love for romance books. This was evident whenever I checked Bookstagram or watched BookTube. Favorites like Take A Hint, Dani Brown, Flatshare, and Beach Read were everywhere this year and I fell for it. I fell for the hype and I am not ashamed. This hype machine led me to read two of my favorite books this year.


The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren.

This book started it all. I first learned about this book when I watched an episode of Thoughts on Tomes. Sam recommended this book a lot in many videos so I decided to give it a try one night. I loved this book and can officially say that Christina Lauren is one of my new favourite romance writers. The story was fun, light, and had one of my most beloved tropes; enemies to lovers. Everything about this book just screams summer romance, making it the ideal fit for the hot days that are coming. I was a bit annoyed with the final plot twist because I just can't stand a bad guy that everyone believes to be good. However, that was kind of the point of THAT character. I gave this read a four-star rating. 

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang.

When I went into this book, I was fresh off the high of The Unhoneymooners and this seemed like the perfect read. Thankfully, this story really took hold of me and would not let go until the final chapter was complete. I was so enthralled with the story of Esme, who was as determined as any mother looking to create a better life for their family. I loved her bravado, especially when she had to interact with someone like Khai who was more reserved and straightforward. But now that time has passed, I do see where this book fell short. I feel like Khai should not have been forced to profess his love in that setting, I definitely wanted more with Esme and her daughter, and I felt like Helen introduced Esme's need for education and independence very late in the book. However, this book was fantastic and an absolute joy to read if you're looking for something sweet and HOT. I gave this book 3 and a half stars.

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey.

This book. What do I say about this book? I could say that I did not like it. I could also say that this book is the reason I previously considered romance to be too tropey. But what I really want to say is that this book was just filled with too much sauce and not enough meat, and I don't mean that in a good way. The "meat" that was missing was the actual storyline. It didn't intrigue me like the first two books because I couldn't connect to any of the characters. I actually felt like I was watching (in this case listening) to season two of a show without watching the first season. Something was missing and I ended up DNF'ng this book. I gave this book a two-star rating.

Which audiobooks are you currently listening to? Leave some suggestions.

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