From the mind of Evie Alexander and Kelly Kay come two sizzling friends-to-lovers novellas with a wild wedding, a fake family, diplomatic disasters and a runaway pig. These hot and hilarious stories are the perfect romcom recipe.
Off with a Bang by Evie Alexander
Posh Brit Tristan has fallen for his American work colleague over Zoom. When she invites him to spend the Fourth of July with her and her family, he leaps at the chance to meet face to face. Maybe they can be more than just friends?
Sherilyn is in big trouble. She’s in love with someone she’s never met, and he’s just accepted an invitation she was sure he’d turn down. Tristan might think he’s about to meet a cute girl and her cookie-cutter family, but she’s Sherrie-Lynne, not Sherilyn. And when he discovers her family are lawless rednecks, he’s going to run a country mile.
Now, Sherilyn has to produce a fake family and put on a show bigger than her small town’s Fourth of July celebrations. Can she pull it off, or will she end up driving both Tristan and her family away forever?
Up in Smoke by Kelly Kay
Cute farm boy Jonathan is about to get married to the wrong person. He’s clinging to an ideal of love, but his bride-to-be seems more interested in his best man, and wants to eat his pet. Jonathan’s heart has always belonged to his friend Juliet, but she left town years ago.
Now, the day before his nuptials, Juliet’s back and Jonathan’s had an epiphany. Can he get the right girl and find real happiness? Or is everything about to go up in smoke, including his pet pig?
|Author:||Evie Alexander and Kelly Kay|
|Series:||Evie and Kelly’s Holiday Disasters (Book 2)|
|Category / Genre(s):||Contemporary|
|Trope(s):||Second Chance Romance|
|Point of View:||Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Location:||UK and USA|
|Release Date:||23rd June, 2022|
A bang and a fizz
Evie Alexander and Kelly Kay are back with another set of “madcap romantic comedy novellas” this time focussed around American Independence Day. The first book in the series, Cupid Calamity, set up the premise behind these interconnected stories but I do think you’ll do fine if you haven’t read that first book. In a nutshell, a group of people meet when they get stranded at an airport during a snowstorm. A night of drinking and sharing secrets makes them firm friends and a group chat is born.
Up in Smoke by Kelly Kay
Huge but cute, new-wave farm boy, Jonathan, realises he’s marrying the wrong person. But breaking it off isn’t as easy as he thought – especially now his former bestie and secret love, Juliet, is back in town.
I didn’t really take to Kelly Kay’s writing style with my first introduction to her in Cupid Calamity, so I was more than delighted when the first couple of chapters of this story really held my attention and made me ridiculously excited. A great hulking teddy-bear of a man in a state of unrequited love for his former bestie? Gimme.
But then things went tits up when we meet Jonathan’s fiancé. I mean, there wasn’t even any pretence that these two loved each other – or even liked or knew each other. I didn’t believe it. And then Juliet comes back to town and Jonathan, having accepted that he loves her… tells her to leave. Wait, why? The rest of the tale is Jonathan trying to convince people that he’s not still getting married to his crazy ex-fiancé while trying to corral a horny runaway pig.
I’m not ashamed to say I totally tapped out. As before, the writing was frenetic and confusing, and it didn’t flow for me. I am all-in for ridiculous shenanigans and madcap comedy capers, but things still have to make sense. And this book made no sense.
Off with a Bang by Evie Alexander
Brit, Tristan Fawcett-Underwood meets American, Sherilyn Boden when they meet during their company’s Zoom calls. A friendship follows but who will be disappointed when Tris decides to fly to the US for July 4th and neither is who the other expects?
I have loved everything I’ve read from Evie Alexander and this story is no exception. We’re first introduced to Tris and Sherilyn as the pair exchange texts and messages after meeting over a Zoom call. The messages are funny, cute and sweet – and really give you a feeling of the growing relationship and the feelings. I also loved the way Ms Alexander was able to show us the real feelings of the pair without giving it away to the other person.
When Tristan comes to Chicago the first time, Sherilyn’s parents are in town and, embarrassed, Sherilyn refuses to see Tris. The second time, there’s nowhere for Sherilyn to hide as he comes to her hometown during the July 4th celebrations. It’s then that the shenanigans begin.
Tris was wonderful and was absolutely smitten with Sherilyn from the first. I loved him. In revealing his secrets, I loved him even more. I liked Sherilyn although I couldn’t really wrap my head around her acute embarrassment of her family. Sure they were over-the-top but I didn’t like that aspect of her, or her attempts to cover them up – funny as it was.
As always, Evie pulls out a wonderful happily ever after yet still leaves me wanting more – like the stories of Sherilyn’s brothers, Axel and Fender (no, really!).
So, as with Cupid Calamity, it’s a hit and a miss for this story duo. 3 stars for one and 5 for the other gives an average of 4 stars. I’ll still be looking out for the next in the series, Christmas Chaos, as it features a story about Rory and Zoe from Highland Games. Squee!
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *
Evie Alexander is the author of sexy romantic comedies with a very British sense of humour. She takes a method approach to her work, believing her capacity to repeatedly fail at life and love is what has given her such a rich supply of material for her writing.
Her interests include reading, eating, saving the world, and fantasising about people who only exist between the pages of her books. She lives in the West country with her family.
Kelly is a writer of modern, funny, and fun romance, married to a writer, mother of a creative dynamo of a nine-year-old boy and is currently a little sleepy!
She’s a klutz and goofball and loves lipstick as much as her Chuck Taylors.
Good things in Kelly’s world include pepperoni pizza, Flair pens, wine, coffee, laughing with friends until her stomach hurts, a musician at the top of their game, matinee movies on a weekday, the Chicago Cubs, a fresh new notebook full of possibilities, bourbon on a cold night, Fantasy Football, witty men, walking through the local zoo in the rain and that moment when a character clicks in and begins to write their own adventure.