You won't want to miss these sassy, sweet, clean rom coms! They're just the ticket for a spring day at the park or a cozy evening inside. #inspy #amreading #cleanromcom #romcom #closeddoorromance #beachreads

You won’t want to miss these sassy, sweet, clean rom coms! They’re just the ticket for a spring day at the park or a cozy evening inside.

I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.

You won't want to miss these sassy, sweet, clean rom coms! They're just the ticket for a spring day at the park or a cozy evening inside. #inspy #amreading #cleanromcom #romcom #closeddoorromance #beachreads

Looking for Clean Rom Coms With a Lot of Sass?

A friend on social media posted a question that had me thinking about my reading habits. She wanted to know what her friends had been reading when they were eight or nine years old. My elementary school used the hated Dick and Jane series, so I refused to read at that age. Fortunately, my dad read to us every night from real books: stories about animals, Irish setters, and falcons.

Somewhere between nine and eleven, he quit reading to us (we probably had more interest in our own books by then). At 11 and 12, I had moved on from horse stories (I read every one our library offered) to sagas by John Jakes. If you’ve never heard of John Jakes, let me assure you: tweens shouldn’t read his books. They are the polar opposite of clean rom coms.

Nowadays, I prefer suspense, mysteries, historical fiction, and clean rom coms for casual reading. If you love closed-door romances (sparks can still fly, but nothing that would make your granny blush), you’ll love these new releases!

How to Plot a Payback

By Melissa Ferguson, Thomas Nelson, April 2024, 320 pages.

When the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself to successful Hollywood screenwriter Finn Masters, he jumps at the chance for change. He even successfully negotiates a job for his mentor, as well. Finn knows he’ll need a friend in his new job.

Despite the pay raise and prestige of writing for a famous producer of a wildly successful long-running sitcom, Finn will enter the orbit of his nemesis. For over a decade, Lavender Rhodes has inadvertently caused every life disaster Finn experiences—starting with breaking his ankle (causing his broken ankle, not snapping it in two) right before the school play back in England and stealing his role while he suffered through multiple surgeries.

Lavender’s list of iniquities takes up almost an entire sheet of paper. This could be his breakout opportunity if Finn can ignore America’s darling and keep his nose to the grindstone.

Unfortunately, Finn discovers why everyone loves Lavender—she’s down-to-earth, genuinely kind, and upbeat. But she’s still causing him career problems. Within weeks, he gets fired, and things only get worse.

Finn goes on the offensive and plots a series of perfect paybacks. However, each attempt at a payback goes horribly wrong, forcing Finn to realize his feelings for Lavender have changed dramatically.

Why I Love This Book

Ferguson knows how to plot a perfect, clean rom-com—even one based on revenge. Readers will love the hopelessly optimistic Lavender, especially once they understand her journey. Finn’s attempts to avoid Lavender (or even liking her) will make the reader laugh out loud. Ferguson proves the impossible can happen with proximity, compassion, and friendship.

Fans of Pepper Basham and Emma St. Clair will love this book.

Love, Unscripted

By Denise Hunter, Thomas Nelson, March 12, 2024, 304 pages.

Chloe Anderson has no use for smooth-talking, two-timing, handsome men. A string of stalled relationships and a bad break-up inspires her to write the perfect boyfriend into being. Ledger Ford, her fictional hero, captures the hearts of millions of readers and earns her a script and movie deal.

Even better, the movie will be filmed in her small beachside town, and she’ll act as a consultant. When things couldn’t get any better, her agent dropped a casting bomb on her. Liam Hamilton, Hollywood’s biggest smooth-talking, handsome, playboy flirt, won the role of Ledger Ford. To make matters worse, her first meeting with him ends in disaster, and an unwanted photo of their encounter ends up online.

Liam’s agent insists the only way to salvage Liam’s reputation and save his career is to manage the story. And what better story than a fake romance between devil-may-care Liam and squeaky-clean Chloe?

Liam convinces Chloe to team up with him to save the movie from the rabid tabloids and improve her social media following. Now, all she must do is fake a real romance. As they spend time together, a friendship forms—one that seems based on truth, although the entire relationship is a lie.

And the longer Chloe lives the lie, the more difficult it becomes to hide her true feelings—from herself and everyone else. 

What I Loved About This Book

I loved the juxtaposition of a hometown girl and a Hollywood bad boy. Readers will relate to Chloe’s struggles with the aftereffects of her father’s choices and the burden of living a lie. Although he looks like a bad boy on the outside, Liam has a heart—one badly bruised by his parents’ choices. Although it’s the perfect beach read, Love, Unscripted isn’t a fluffy romance. Hunter crafts a believable story about two broken people searching for love, maturity, and lasting changes.

Readers who like clean rom coms with a side of serious will enjoy this book, as well as fans of Sarah Monzon and Melissa Ferguson.

You won't want to miss these sassy, sweet, clean rom coms! They're just the ticket for a spring day at the park or a cozy evening inside. #inspy #amreading #cleanromcom #romcom #closeddoorromance #beachreads

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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