Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: Three Simple Words by AJ Pine

Three Simple Words by AJ Pine
Series: Kingston Ale House #3
Published: October 17th, 2016
Publisher: Entangled
238 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Acquired this book: Via NetGalley in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

She's holding out for a happy ever after.

Annie
I know where to find my happily ever after—between the pages of a romance novel. It’s why I sell books, why I blog about them, and why I’ll never get disappointed by love.

So what if my brother’s best friend from high school is now a bestselling author? Or that he just blew back into town on a Harley, filling out a pair of jeans like he never did before? Or that he’s agreed to do a signing at my bookstore on such short notice? Because despite all his adoring female fans, I kind of hated his book.

Wes
The last time I saw Annie Denning, she was a senior in high school, three years older than me and way out of my league.
Now I’m her last-minute date to a wedding, and what started as a night of pure fun has turned into something more real than either of us anticipated.

Annie is my muse. When I’m with her, my writer’s block fades away, and the words finally flow.

The only problem? She wants the fairy tale—her very own happily ever after—and anyone who’s read my book knows the truth. I just don’t believe they exist.


 
In the acknowledgments of Three Simple Words, AJ Pine refers to the book as a ‘love letter to romance’. That’s exactly what this book felt like: a love letter to the romance genre and to the people who love it. Three Simple Words has everything I love most about romance: a strong, smart heroine; a sexy, swoonworthy, and flawed hero; and plenty of banter, sexytimes, and real emotion.

Annie not only believes in happily ever afters, she wants her own. She wants the type of love she reads about in books...which just happens to be the type of love Wes doesn’t believe in and didn’t include in his best-selling book. His novel is loosely based on his own experiences with romance, sex, and his aversion to the whole concept of ‘happily ever after’. He and Annie seem like complete opposites, but there’s this spark between them they can’t deny. What ensues is a lot of familiar romance tropes rolled into something special and fun. While there were familiar elements, which was an added bonus to the ‘love letter to romance’ feel the book had, the story and characters felt fresh and unique, and I was captivated from beginning to end.

One of the things I liked best about this book was how involved the characters from the previous books were. Each book can technically be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend reading each of them, and in the order of publication. This book in particular is tied in more tightly with the others because of certain events. There was one truly lovely scene that made me cry, but I don’t think it would have as much of an emotional impact to people who hadn’t read the first two books. I loved seeing Jamie, Brynn, Holly, Will, and Jeremy be such a big part of Annie and Wes’s story. Pine has a knack for writing ensemble casts - I felt like I was part of the group from her If Only... series, and now I feel like I’m a member of the Kingston Ale House group, too.

Three Simple Words is a book I know I’ll be recommending often to people who are looking for well-written, fun, sexy romance. It made me laugh out loud, tear up several times, and swoon. The characters weren’t perfect - they were flawed and they made mistakes, which made them feel real and made me root for them even more. Three Simple Words is my favourite in the Kingston Ale House series, which is saying a lot because I loved the first two books!




Other books in the Kingston Ale House series:


Have you read Three Simple Words or any of the other books in the Kingston Ale House series? What did you think? If you haven't read them, do you plan to? Who are some of your favourite romance authors?
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