Because most romance authors have such extensive backlist, instead of taking a deep dive into their work, I’m taking a quick dip!
I decided to splash around in the Meghan Quinn waters after hearing Booktuber In Love & Words talk about her. Quinn writes romantic comedies the lean towards sophomoric humor and have varying steam levels
The Change Up (The Brentwood Boys #5)
Maddox Paige, bad boy pitcher of the Chicago Rebels, has a soft spot for his hippy-dippy childhood best friend Kinsley. When Kinsley is offered her dream job in Chicago, he invites her to move in and she promptly turns his life upside down.
I haven’t read a lot of friends-to-lovers and I think I’m here for this trope ? Because the characters have an existing close relationship, Quinn uses living together as the vehicle for them to reach a new level of intimacy.
The book is mostly heartfelt and silly fun with a lot of humorous beats from Kinsley’s vegan no waste ways intersecting with Maddox’s bachelor lifestyle. That said, there is a more serious angsty vein in the second half as Maddox works through his anger issues.
At 425 pages, this is pretty long for a romance and I’m not sure it needed to be. The first half drags with a description of mundane tasks and scenes of characters recapping scenes to other characters. Also, I’d skip the prologue, it tells you pretty much everything that is about to happen.
The audiobook is narrated deftly by Connor Crais and Kelsey Navarro, who embody each of their assigned characters. I’ve never heard Connor before and I thought his deep, gravelly voice fit the character perfectly. – ★★★★
That Second Chance (Getting Lucky #1)
This is the first book in a series about four brothers cursed with broken love by a fortune teller. Not everyone in ttheir small seaside town of Port Snow believe it’s a legit curse but our hero, Griffin Knightley does; especially since his wife died a few months after he and his brothers were cursed.
Griffin held himself off from love for two years but when Ren Winters– the new school teacher in town–literally crashes into his life he can’t fight the attraction. With a little dose of sibling meddling, he starts to see a future with her. But fear of the curse holds him back.
I liked pretty much everything about this book except the curse stuff. It feels cartoon-y in a book that is otherwise very down to earth. I mean… do fortune tellers even curse people ?
Despite that, this is my favorite of the Quinn books I read and if I ever go on a vacation again I am taking this entire series with me. The chances of me ever getting to live in a small seaside New England town are slim to none but I loved living vicariously through the characters.
This is one of Quinn’s books published with Montlake (Brentwood Boys is self-pub) and the editing feels tighter here. Some of her humor is reigned in and that works for me because Quinn and I do not have the same sense of humor. That said….it looks like Quinn published the last book in this series on her own.
The first three books are on Kindle Unlimited (with Audible narration included!) so I would rec them. I didn’t love the male narrator, William LeRoy–some of his voices felt off. But Reese Covington was great, can’t believe she hasn’t done anything else. – ★★★★
The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn
I wanted to get a taste of Quinn’s most recent work so I checked out her March 2021 release.
It is a hate-to-love romance set on a wedding reality game show. I was rooting for this book because it’s the first time I saw Quinn non-jokingly acknowledge the existence of non-heterosexual and non-white people…but she somehow managed to describe the Asain guy as both good at math and quiet in the first 15%. The setup for getting these characters on the show was so convoluted and outlandish that I couldn’t make sense of anything. The large cast of characters felt broad and over-the-top.
I heard someone say that the thing with enemies-to-lovers is that if it is not done well you end up hating both characters and that’s where this one was going for me. This was not helped at all by the narration from Thor Thom. I know people love him but he has a very Patrick Warburton-y quality to his voice that I couldn’t take seriously. – DNF
Tangled Twosome (Binghamton #3)
After DNFing The Wedding Game I decided to go back to some earlier Quinn and settled on Tangled Twosome–which was published as Twisted Twosome in 2017. This is another hate-to-love romance. Our heroine is a cut-off heiress tangling with the short-tempered contractor renovating her boutique.
I’m not going to lie I almost DNF’d this one too because the characters are so aggressive with their hate, it was like they were bullying each other. Also, the hero came off as needy and immature, which was not at all helped by the grating voice the narrators used for him.
But I powered through the ebook and once we get past the enemies part and our main characters realize they want the same things, there is a solid romance to be found. It’s ultimately a story about defying expectations and taking opportunities but it just gets so muddled in the beginning. I also loved the heroine’s ditzy best friend because she’s clearly there for laughs but was also a good friend doing her best. – ★★★
I enjoyed my experience with Meghan Quinn, she knows how to do a good rom com. I was surprised to discover how much of Quinn’s work focuses on the emotional journey of the hero–which I think is the opposite of what we typically see in traditional publishing.
As I said, my next foray into Quinn will probably be to go back to the Getting Lucky series and…I’m a little intrigued by this series about teachers (and no, no it is not teacher/student). I’d be curious how the school setting works in romance.