Romancing the Bookworm by Kate Evangelista
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: July 9, 2013
Format: eARC, 309 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Sometimes, even the best-laid plans can unravel.
It's spring break, and Tamara Winters would rather stay on campus and read romance novels than flaunt her size-fourteen body on a beach. But her best friend, Ronni, has other ideas. Against her wishes, Tamara is whisked away to picturesque Maverick Bay, where she's wrangled into waiting tables with Ronni at the Shore Shack for its busy week leading to Maverick's Surf Invitational. There she meets fellow schoolmate Xavier Solomon, the Invitational's organizer and campus womanizer by reputation. From the moment Tamara sees him emerging from the waves like a hero in of one of her romance novels, all she wants to do is run away from the feelings he inspires in her.
Little does she know Xavier has been watching her for weeks now. In fact, after failed attempts at asking her out on campus, he's concocted a crazy plan: fabricating romantic situations straight out of her favorite books. Xavier quickly realizes that if Tamara gets a whiff of his designs, he might as well spell CREEPER across his forehead. Yet as they grow closer, he's convinced it's a risk worth taking. What he hasn't planned on, of course, is his drug-addicted, alcoholic stepbrother, who decides to join the fun and put a wrench in Xavier’s scheme.
Spring break is proving hotter than Tamara expected. Will her romance novels be able to compete?
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In Review: My Thoughts
“I’m happy this way, Ronni. And I don’t appreciate you trying to change me just because you’re worried I’m not living my life. Did it ever occur to you that maybe I’m enjoying myself?”
I’m not even going to lie, this book made me face some rather uncomfortable truths about myself. I could see myself so very clearly in Tamara. I am a bookworm. I often choose reading over happy hours or going out with friends. I’m just as happy losing myself in book as I am going to a club or a movie. Now, that’s not to say I don’t still do those things, but I can rationalize my way out of it – and into a book – pretty easily, just like Tamara did often in this book. I’m a social person, but sometimes it feels good to withdraw into books. So yes, while I believe the author wrote Tamara to be an extreme bookworm, I think most avid readers will identify with her to at least some extent.
“While she picked up men in bars, I preferred to meet them in the pages of a book. I had no idea why someone like me had Ronni as a friend, but I didn’t question it anymore.”
While I really liked Tamara’s character, I didn’t love her. I connected with her, but I wanted to scream at her at times. I found her very frustrating at times. Tamara was likable, don’t get me wrong. She had a great sense of humor and it made me giggle when she identified things going on in real life with things she had read in romance novels, something I do frequently. I found her to be sweet and awkward, not really naive, but … inexperienced. She was far too closed off and I can understand why her friend Ronni agreed to help Xavier carry out his plan to catch her attention. Ronni bothered me at times. I know she was trying to push Tamara out of her comfort zone, but I feel like she went about it in a judgmental way. I know from personal experience how ineffective that is. One thing was for sure, though, the girl who expected to find Spring Break adventures in the pages of a book was about to experience them for real.
“Girls were like piranhas sometimes. They swam in swarms and could smell blood in the water. I, for one, wasn’t gonna give them a chance to tear me apart. All they saw when they looked at me was my father’s money.”
I loved Xavier. First off, I just loved the name. Secondly, a sexy, charming, hot and sweet surfer? Yes, please. He was more than just a pretty face and a hot body though. He was a genuinely good guy looking for something real, which made him all the more swoon worthy. I have no idea how Tamara was able to stay buried in a book with that temptation dangled in front of her. Self-preservation, I suppose. It’s not as though she was unaffected by him. I thought his plan to get her attention was charming. Likely doomed to backfire, but sweet. I thought he and Tamara had great, believable chemistry.
“I don’t even know him, and yet he makes me react the way the heroines in my books do when the heroes come along.”
Ronni pursed her lips. “But that’s fiction.”
“Exactly!” I looked back at her. “I didn’t think that was possible outside a book.”
This was just an all-around fun book. It was a quick and easy read, one that sucked me in from the start. Sure, it was totally predictable, but there’s nothing wrong with that. There was sweet romance, smoldering sexy times and just enough conflict to make it believable without being angsty. If you’re a bookworm looking to escape from your life for a few hours and you enjoy books with a charmingly awkward main character, a sexy love interest and a sweet HEA, this one is definitely for you.