One of the reasons I don’t consider myself a romance reader is because about 90% of contemporary romances I pick end up being huge disappointments. And I don’t expect much from them in the first place. So why do I do this? Because of the remaining 10%. Or, those books that punch me in the face with feels, sweep me off my feet, and remind me why I do love romance, that romance can be so, so good. You know, those books. The kind that Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday turned to be.
Slow burning friends to lovers and other tropes
I think about tropes a lot. Particularly in books. There is a reason cliches exist and that reason is simple as this: they work. If and only if you make them.
Leo Loves Aries is one fantabulous bunch of cliches and tropes. Starting with the ever glorious friends to lovers. Theo, the oblivious but hilarious hero, manages to get himself and his sister a very, very nice roommate. And from then on, they click. So nicely. What I really like most is that Theo and Jamie’s love story truly starts from a friendship and that friendship affects everything. It’s in their daily life, it’s in their conversations, it’s at the core of their romance. Even when the sexual tension smacks Theo in the face, almost literally, it’s still about being friends. And that’s beautiful.
Another walking talking trope is Theo himself. To be honest, sometimes I find oblivious main characters to be annoying. Or unrealistic. Theo, however, is neither. Or, well, he is ridiculously oblivious but it is so rooted in his view on friendship that it works. Sure, his utter blindness was at times upsetting, mostly because it hurt Jamie and you, the reader, could see it. But Theo, being the precious boy that he is, made it work. In his own oblivious way. And, well, when all is said and done, he sure makes up for it.
In addition to Theo and Jamie, Leo Loves Aries provides a nice cast of sidekicks. From the beautiful and athletic Sean who is entirely too close to Jamie if you ask Theo, to the incredible Leone who sees way more than her brother despite being blind. What I love most about them is that they add to the tropes and the entertainment, but don’t add any unnecessary melodrama. Not even the ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends. (Also, the moms. Oh, the moms. WHAT INCREDIBLE MOMS THIS STORY HAS.)
Oh, but the dialogue!
So, we got the characters. But even the greatest of them can be ruined by a boring environment. There is nothing boring about Leo Loves Aries. Because the dialogue in this book just shines. Sparkles. Attracts.
Oh, that flirtatious witty banter that sends off such sparks! This is what so many romance stories lack, in my opinion. This chemistry, these sparks that are the beauty of love stories that are only just beginning. It’s not about the happy ever after, it’s not about the sex. It’s about clicking. While being attracted to each other. And not realising it.
Leo Loves Aries turned out to be exactly the kind of romance I like. It’s ridiculously cute, sexy but not overly so, witty and funny, with adorable characters. Plus, friends-to-lovers and obvious-to-everyone-else are the tropes that can work so, so marvellously if done right. And here it is done very, very right. Much love.
Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday
Signs of Love #1
Published by Anyta Sunday on December 4th 2016
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A new person will enter your life in the early year, Leo. Look past any moments of frustration they might bring and laugh—this could be the start of a thriving friendship.
Theo Wallace usually laughs at the horoscopes his mom sends. Still hung up on his ex-girlfriend and practically friendless, this one begs him to reconsider. Because a friendship that stuck, that thrived…
Well, that would be a reason to leave past pains behind and look to the Bright Future.
When his sister Leone challenges him to find her the perfect date for a spring wedding, Theo uses it as a chance to make new friends. Theo’s ex economics tutor and newest roommate Mr. Jamie Cooper seems to be a possible and convenient match. Real convenient. Like written in the stars, convenient.
All he has to do is make sure this Jamie is good enough. Could really be The One for her, and the friend for him.
But watch out, Leo, the stars have a surprise in store…
Have you read Leo Loves Aries yet? How do you feel about tropes and cliches?