Happy escapism and silliness
Two books, in different series, but by the same author and featuring brothers as their respective heroes.
I started reading Pippa Grant on an epic 40 hour trek from Australia to a farmhouse in France (back in 2019, before the pandemic). I don’t know how that first book ended up on my kindle, but I spent a bit of time in Singapore getting several more onto my kindle before we flew onwards (Brisbane to Singapore is apparently 7 1/2 hours). I generally read new ones as they come out, and revisit some of the old ones through Kindle Unlimited.
Her books are light, entertaining romances. They can be an acquired taste(I don’t like all of them equally) as the heroines and heroes can be surprising clumsy and prone to mishaps. While she has several series, characters do bleed from one to the other.
I Pucking love you
This book is just out, so I jumped on it.
This is set in the fictional town of Copper Valley, Virginia and features a hockey player on the professional hockey team, the Thrusters. There are several books regarding the Thrusters and characters from those books pop up here, and the heroine is a minor side character from an earlier book. You don’t need to have read the earlier books, this will stand alone, but it may spoil you for those books endings (although they are romances, so not so much, perhaps). The book is told in alternating points of view.
Muffy, the heroine, runs a quirky matchmaking company, Muff Matchers but the business is struggling. She had a series of mishaps early on in the businesses history- referred to in the book but they are in the past, with the quality of men she set her clients up with. Consequently she has had to come up with new methods for screening clients. She is also working on building up the confidence of her clients, and supplementing her income by working at a fast food fish and chippery.
Tyler Jaeger is a professional hockey player, who hooked up once with Muffy, several months prior to the opening of the book. Since then he has been unable to perform sexually, he is trying to work out how to manage this and why she ghosted him(she thinks he ghosted her- this is never quite resolved).
Muffy needs a date for the funeral of the father of her med school best friend, for REASONS. She tries to borrow her friend’s husband for this, Tyler overhears and volunteers.
Road trip “Hijinks” ensue. When they return they end up living together, along with Muffy’s clutzy cat, as a result of some issues with Muffy’s mother. More craziness, including self doubt from both leads.
Ms Grant’s books are generally funny, with the main characters placed in extreme situations. This one is no different. Both of the main characters are human, with flaws and insecurities but they do appreciate each other. They provide unconditional support to each other, once they are in a relationship. The conflict of the book is more around the issues with Muffy’s business, the gossip press’s interest in their relationship and some long standing insecurities.
Crazy for loving you
This is an older book, but it’s part of a series written with three other women about 4 billionaire women who create a housing development in Florida called Bluewater. Each book deals with the romance of one of the women.
This book stars Daisy Carter-Kincaid, a (semi self made) billionaire and Westley Jaeger, a retired marine running a (small) construction company. They are both unexpectedly named the co-guardians of the orphaned son of Daisy’s awful cousin. The baby is very much a baby, only a few months old (named Remington, shortened to Remy). It’s not clear for much of the book why they have been named, as the awful parents of the cousin’s husband are trying to gain custody they are forced to work together.
Daisy is a seemingly flighty party girl who happens to work for her grandmothers international property and hotel company. In truth she is a people person who is invested in the people she works with and she has been a driving force in building the business.
Westley is the older brother of Tyler (book reviewed above), a retired marine who has an awkward dating life. He wants to settle down, but not with Daisy.
The two take on parenting Remy, living in Daisy’s mansion. Adjusting to parenting a baby, along with continuing to work, is a challenge. They also have to deal with challenges to their guardianship and a kidnapping.
Along the way they discover they are attracted to each other and have to work that out. The conflict here is a balance of external threats – the grandparents who want to take the baby and the other grandmother who wants to control all of relatives – and internal emotional challenges in understanding whether the other person in the relationships is there for the long term. Both characters have reason to doubt in their personal relationships.
Ms Grant’s books often feature “ordinary” people with famous people (celebrities, professional athletes, seriously wealthy) and both of these books do this. This is a common trope in romance, I appreciate that her books give the powerful person flaws, as well as the ordinary person. What works for me is how the couples match. Their individual weirds align. And they are always a little weird. My degree of tolerance and enjoyment is based on the level of social embarrassment suffered by the characters. What I do appreciate is the unconditional love and appreciation the characters have for each other and the unconditional support to help them manage the social embarrassment. In both of these there are definitely social embarrassment moments, but the characters are able to cope, and are sometimes in on the joke.
I enjoyed these books, they were a quick and easy read. I powered through both of these in a lazy Sunday, they kept me reading! They are definitely escapism, not everyone has the ability to wave the money wand the way some (not all) of the characters due. Muffy definitely has money woes, but Tyler does not. I also appreciate that the sex scenes, while still on the fantasy side, acknowledge reality as well.