Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today we’re talking about good books to read by the pool. When I think of pool reads, I think of cute romances that are light on the drama. The ten books below fit the bill for me! I read most of these books in one sitting… or at least within a day or two.
Not only is it really hard to believe that March is already over (I swear it was just St. Patrick’s Day), but it’s also hard to believe that I had so many highly-rated books last month! I had six four-star reads and five five-star reads out of seventeen total books, which is probably the best I’ve ever done.
Without further ado, here are my top three picks from March of 2018. This was a really hard decision, but I think I made the right choices.
March’s theme for Monthly Motif was Travel the World. There were three tracks we could take for this month’s prompt — a book set in a foreign country, a book in which the characters travel, or a book written by an author from another country. Initially, I decided to do a book set in another country and a book written by an author from another country, but then I had a couple books sneak in unplanned, which is basically the best thing to happen during a reading challenge.
The Green Unknown by Patrick Rogers (set during the author’s travels to India)
The Hook-Up Experiment by Emma Hart (author from another country)
Alphas Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie (a book in which the characters travel)
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (a book in which the author discusses growing up in South Africa)
Books not read:
To be honest, I can’t really think of any books I wanted to read but didn’t get to!
I’m really looking forward to April’s Monthly Motif (Read Locally) and have already picked out some great books. Did you participate in this month’s Monthly Motif? Or, even if you didn’t, did you read any books that meet the criteria?
I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Emma Hart’s The Hook-Up Experiment! I absolutely devoured this book and I’m sure that you’ll love it, too. Without further ado, here’s what you need to know.
1. Hate-screw my high school nemesis.
2. Remember to hate him.
3. Prove my brother wrong.
It should be easy. It isn’t.
As the owner of Pick-A-D*ck, New Orleans’ premier hook-up website, my job is simple. Connect two people for a no-strings, no-expectations hook-up. The plus for my clients is that I’m the one who gets to sift through the d*ck pics—except this time, they’re required.
My problem? My brother, co-owner of Pick-A-D*ck’s sister dating site, doesn’t believe it’s possible to hook up with someone three times and not fall in love. I disagree. I know it’s possible.
And my disagreement is exactly how I end up reconnected with my high school nemesis, Elliott Sloane. The guy who asked me to junior prom and then stood me up. Who egged my car when I rejected him, and convinced my senior homecoming date to ghost me.
It should be easy to hate-screw him. If only he was still that person, instead of a hot-as-hell single dad, working as a builder to make ends’ meet, fighting for custody of his daughter.
One outcome. Right?
“Is she okay with that juice?” Peyton watched her go.
I selected the Blu-ray from the cupboard and shot a smirk her way. “Sorry to break it to you, but you’re getting a juice box.”
“I can live with that.”
I turned away and hit the eject button on the player. “You didn’t have to say yes to her, you know.”
“Of course, I had to. Have you seen those eyes? How do you say no to her, ever?”
“I think of all the times she screams and swings her arms like a tiny terrorist, and it’s pretty easy.” I put the disk in and turned around.
Peyton had one eyebrow raised. “See, now, I’d think that’s reason to say no.”
“It depends on the day. Sometimes it results in her being put to bed to calm down, which means she ends up taking a rare afternoon nap, and I get some peace and quiet.”
“That’s a thing around her? She was talking to me for thirty minutes flat about what I did and didn’t like.”
“Only thirty minutes? Lucky you. She has about three hours of material of that.” I took a seat on the sofa, making sure to leave space between us for Bri. “Did she get started on hedgehogs yet?”
Peyton looked a little confused. “Hedgehogs?”
“YouTube is the devil.”
“That…was quite the jump in subject.”
I laughed as the main menu music hit on the TV. “I’m going to preface this by saying kids are weird.”
“Some get that from their parents.”
I blinked at her for a second. She wasn’t wrong if half these people who had a mini-career opening fucking toys on YouTube were parents.
“There are a bunch of stupid videos on YouTube, and apparently, watching people open toys is thrilling.”
Now, she looked really confused.
“And on one of those she watched, the person had a pet hedgehog who wasn’t having the nonsense of her opening a Hatchimal on camera, so it stole the egg.”
She blinked several times in quick succession. “I have no idea what you just said, and if I’m honest… Please don’t explain it.”
I laughed and hit play on the TV.
“Here’s your dooce-box,” Briony said, handing Peyton two. “And das mine. I can’t do the straws.”
“Oh. Right. Okay.” Peyton looked at the two juices that had been thrust at her.
Smiling, I took one from her. I pulled the straw off the back, out of the tiny plastic slip, and poked it through the foiled hole in the top. “There you go,” I said to Briony. “What do you want for dinner?”
She put the straw in her mouth and pursed her lips as she sucked the juice up. Peyton watched her, lips twitching, as she put her straw in place.
“Pizza!” Briony announced.
Oh no. I’d eaten too much pizza lately.
Was there such a thing as too much pizza?
Maybe if the toppings were changed up…
“Peydon, do you want pizza?” Bri asked, leaning right into her.
“I like pizza,” she replied, smiling sweetly down at her. “What’s your favorite?”
“I like spots and cheese.”
I coughed on my water. “Pepperoni,” I explained. “They look like spots on the pizza.”
Peyton’s eyes met mine for a minute. Silent laughter shone back at me. That really was toddler logic at its finest.
“You know,” she said, looking down at Peyton. “Spots are my favorite, too!”
Once again, Briony gasped. “Reawy?”
“Really, really. I love spots.”
It might have been a mistake introducing these two. Not only was my daughter becoming increasingly obsessed with someone who seemed to be a brunette, adult version of her…
No, that was the problem. Peyton was the brunette, adult version of Briony, attitude and all—and if there was anything my daughter didn’t need, it was someone who could teach her a thing or ten about sarcasm.
“I’ll order pizza,” I said, going to stand.
“Oh, you got it last time. I’ll go call them.” Peyton put her juice on the side table and tried to move, but Briony stopped her.
“No. Mimi told me that only gentlemen buy dinner. Princesses sit and look priddy.”
Peyton looked down at her. “Sit and look pretty? I like to buy my own pizza sometimes, and that’s okay.”
Without missing a beat, Briony said, “Princesses sit and look priddy so the mens buying dinner don’t know dat we can kick dere butts.”
When Peyton lectures her brother on the mechanics of a proper friends-with-benefits situation, he bets her that she can’t sleep with the same guy three times without falling in love. Peyton’s not looking for love, she doesn’t have time for love, and she’s nothing if not competitive, so she takes the bet, allowing her two best friends to set her up on a blind date. She never expected that they’d choose the guy that broke her heart in high school.
There’s absolutely zero chance of Peyton falling for Elliott. High school may have ended a decade ago, but seeing Elliott again takes her right back to the tears and the anger. To top it all off, he’s even moreattractive now as a fully-grown man. Maybe the two of them can burn off some steam between the sheets, but that’s as far as this will go… right?
Holy tropes! This book includes some of my absolute favorites:
✓ It’s enemies-to-lovers
✓ It’s (sort of) a second chance romance
✓ Peyton’s got some meddling friends
✓ And Elliott seems like a jerk but is really a big softy
I loved how Peyton and Elliott actually communicated, even when it was hard or awkward or uncomfortable. I loved how Elliott owned what he did and explained himself, but never tried to excuse what happened. I loved how Peyton softened so much around Elliott’s daughter and that the two of them spent so much time with her throughout the book.
This was my first book by Emma Hart and I was so pleasantly surprised! I need Chloe’s romance next! I have to know what happens!
Final rating: ★★★★★
I received a complimentary advance copy of The Hook-Up Experiment from Inkslinger PR in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies—usually wine—and writes books. Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love. She likes to be busy—unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.