by Kate Evangelista
Release date: July 9, 2013 by Omnific Publishing
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
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, Rony, has other ideas. Against her wishes, Tamara is whisked away to picturesque Maverick Bay, where she's wrangled into waiting tables with Rony 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 love reading New Adult books, specifically those under the Contemporary Romance genre. But lately I've been reading books that sound more or less the same. Most of what I read have one or two (or all... ugh) of the following: either one (or both) of the leads are "broken," the common case of insta love and a very dysfunctional relationship. However, Romancing the Bookworm did not have any of that. And that's basically what made it enjoyable for me.
To be honest, I had a hard time trying to understand Tamara's character. She's so... complex. Obviously I started this book knowing she loves to read. I mean, duh, it's on the title. I thought she'd be relatable because I love to read (another duh) but I wasn't expecting her to be so much of a bookworm that she'd miss out on living her life because of reading. She was closed off, always had her nose in a book and doesn't want to socialize much. She often compared social situations with those she read about in books, sometimes looking for answers there. This seriously bothered me at first. Was it believable? Not quite. BUT as I got to know Tamara, I found something about her that was rather...likable: her awkwardness. And I'm not talking about quirky, cute awkwardness. I'm talking about major social suicide awkwardness. Get this, she literally swooned at the sight of Xavier. She passed out. I'm going to let that sink in...
She looked at him, saw all the godlike hotness and fainted. I'm not kidding. It was so awkward that I had to close my ereader for a bit just to laugh and recover from the embarrassment. I was embarrassed for her. And as the story progressed, Tamara did more awkward (bordering on are you for real) things that, truth be told, made her endearing for me. I still didn't quite like how she made references to the books she's read whenever there was trouble but I somehow understand why she was so freaking awkward. Being so caught up in reading did that to her and I get that. At least it wasn't some kind of quirk that was aimed at making her look relatable or charming. That's just how she was. And to me, that was okay. At least it made me laugh a lot.
Then there's Xavier. Unbelievably hot and romantic. A bit of a stalker. But that's okay, we don't call hot guys stalkers. We call them admirers. *wink wink* Some chapters were written in his perspective, which I like. I was able to see what motivated him to concoct his spring break plans and just how much he wanted Tamara. It was also a plus that Xavier's a genuinely nice guy because nowadays it's like the default book boyfriend is the bad ass kind. Not that I'm saying I'm not a fan of those, but to read something that's uncommon is always a good thing.
The romance was quite enjoyable. It was very refreshing, even. Tamara and Xavier did not fall in love. Heck, they didn't even fall in like. Tamara had to constantly ask herself if she really did feel something for Xavier (aside from lust that is) even if she's only met him. I love this aspect of the book. I think it's uncommon now to find books where insta love isn't at play. But here, they really did spend time getting to know each other
and then some. I enjoyed reading their encounters and how Xavier's plans unraveled. It made for a really fun read that admittedly gave me feels.
Zander, Xavier's stepbrother, added a bit of drama to the story. I think he may be the only one with the broken soul but it's completely alright because, well, he's not part of the romance and I can totally take that. I like that he added a bit of depth to the story and that he somehow tied everyone together. It's like a mini-story of some sort that I'd very much like to read more about (this is a shoutout to the author. Ehem). I like how in the end, I was able to get to know even the minor characters, Ronni and Hudson, through everything Tamara and Xavier faced.
Summer or not, Romancing the Bookworm makes for a good light and fun read. It has its flaws but in my opinion, everything else makes up for it. No broken souls (Zander not included), no insta love, no I-hate-you-I-love-you relationships. Simply refreshing. I like it!
(Refer to rating system)
About the author
When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. Ms. Evangelista lives in the Philippines.
(1) Print copy of Romancing the Bookworm – international – value $18.99 USD
(1) Book inspired necklace that says “Surf” – international – value $15.00 USD
(8) eBooks of Romancing the Bookworm – International – value $3.99/copy USD
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