June ARCS, Part One: Alpha Night, The Boyfriend Project, and Forbidden Lust

I’m returning to my usual posting schedule, but I hope y’all continue to support the Black Lives Matters movement in some way. I’m continuing to engage in conversations with my family members and coworkers and to continue learning by reading nonfiction books about US history and how to confront my own biases. But this particular post is about three ARCs that come out either today or are already out, Alpha Night by Nalini Singh, The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon, and Forbidden Lust by Karen Booth. Thanks to Berkley and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read Alpha Night, to Forever and Netgalley (but actually Book of the Month Club) for the opportunity to read The Boyfriend Project, and Harlequin and Netgalley for the opportunity to read Forbidden Lust. Now, let’s talk about these three books!

Alpha Night by Nalini Singh

I suppose we should begin with an acknowledgement that there is a 0% chance of me not liking a Psy-Changeling book at this point, so I am biased in the sense that my love of this series is long established and also I’m a huge Nalini Singh fangirl. So now that we’ve established that this series is everything to me and I loved it, let me tell you about why this specific installment is really great.

Selenka Durev is our first opportunity in this long running series to have a book from the perspective of a woman in the Alpha position and that was really cool. Ethan is her love interest and he’s an Arrow, so, um, I should mention I’m trash for the Arrows because they’re everything. The two of them have such a unique dynamic because of the way Nalini brings them together and it makes for a fascinating and very different tale. I’m so excited for whatever the next book in the series brings us (and I know, that would have been true regardless, but really, Psy-Changeling is the best!).

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Sometimes unlikely events lead to friendship and in the case of Taylor, London, and Samiah that unlikely event is discovering that the guy they were dating was also dating the other two. This book starts with a bang and I absolutely adored the first chapter. It really propelled me forward through the story in a way that I appreciated all the more because of the world being on fire and that was before the latest round of fighting racism. We’re introduced to Daniel not long after, who is Samiah’s new coworker and also the only one that seems concerned about the fact that going viral for finding out you’re dating a two timing (three timing?) jerk is not fun. Unfortunately for Samiah, Daniel’s got some secrets.

As a person who despises deception plots, I think the fact that I still really enjoyed this book is a testament to how really fun it is. There are times where I got confused with the timeline or I thought we missed some scenes that actually felt like they would have been important, but those seem nitpicky. The main thing that cost this book a star is my current most repeated phrase, which is some variant of, they got back together and the book ended immediately. This book sets up a situation where there are a LOT of logistical issues for a relationship and so I really appreciated that we got an epilogue addressing that, but it still didn’t feel 100% satisfying because of that rushed ending. Will I keep reading the series though? 100% and let me tell you why.

This book had me laughing out loud with the windows cracked sitting outside the laundromat. The laundromat is one of my least favorite places in the world and I was getting rather hot sitting outside in my car waiting for my clothes. So to still be laughing and legitimately upset when the timer went off to let me know I had to go collect my clothes? A miracle. I also really liked the friendship between the women and the characters themselves. I even liked Daniel, although trying to decide if he could be selfish was kind of annoying at some point. Like, commit or get out, sweetheart, you know? Anyway, this was really enjoyable!

There are a couple of content warnings I want to flag though. There’s one off-hand suicide joke(?), someone got hit by a bus, microaggressions relating to sexism and racism are discussed and seen… I’m sure there are more, but those are the ones I remember right now.

Forbidden Lust by Karen Booth

It’s an older brother’s best friend romance, which is part of where the forbidden aspect comes from and it picks up just after Naima Simone’s first book in the series, Ruthless Pride. It’s really interesting to see Zane despise the hero (Joshua) in book one so much. It sets up such an interesting dichotomy in terms of romance conventions.

In terms of whether this book lives up to the Seven Sins concept, I actually felt like this book was more about wrestling with pride than lust. But I didn’t mind that.

The premise itself is that our couple winds up on vacation on an island in the Bahamas at the same time and Allison is determined that now is the time and she’s going to make it happen. But Zane has a lot of guilt about going for Allison because of Scott, his bff and Allison’s brother. Fortunately, they fall in love anyway.

This book has a compressed timeline and so it just moved a bit quick for my personal taste. But it wasn’t bad, just not the perfect book for me. 

And there you have it! I hope you found some helpful information about these books. If you’ve read them, please share your thoughts down below!

xx

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