Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Following in the same vein as Ilsa Madden-Mills’s The Revenge Pact, Meghan Quinn’s The Romantic Pact is a heart-stealing, laugh one minute and cry the next romance of Superbowl proportions. In this book, we gain the story of Crew, one-third of The Kings of Football. There is so much I loved about this story because it’s layered and thoughtful in its depiction of two best friends finding love. In this book, you will find so many great truths about love sandwiched with the aspects of romancelandia that tug at your heart. Here is why you should read The Romantic Pact:
*Quinn does something right with The Romantic Pact that oftentimes stories with the best friends-to-lovers trope fail at. Crew and Hazel don’t readily fall into bed with each other. Quinn thoughtfully takes her time in developing their chemistry. Their friendship is clear, but the chemistry requires the space to build so that their eventual coupling feels believable even for a fictional story. What does this mean to her readers? This is a total slow-burn of a story, which I loved because it made sense that they wouldn’t rush into their attraction. Instead, Quinn stokes it for much of the story that when they finally consummate it, it’s like a Superbowl firework spectacular.
*I’ve loved that the heroes of The Kings of Football series thus far have been these young men of integrity and compassion. There is something gentle and sweet about River and now Crew which seems contrary to usual depictions of football stars. I love the intentionality of the character development in terms of all of these characters not being particularly successful in football because that isn’t the norm in sports romances centered around the football world. Instead, this offers up romances that read as a mixture of rom-com and new adult romance. It makes it easy to fall for a character such as Crew, who, while a bit vain and a little self-absorbed, shows his love and care for Hazel easily. It’s what makes him a swoony hero.
*In this book, the heroine is really the hero. Quinn’s feminism is shown through your characterization of Hazel in being an authority on the farm and in her want to save it. There are a few moments in this story where Quinn is intentional in subverting the typical roles of men and women, and it’s exciting to see an author challenging her readers’ values through her characterizations. Yet, she deftly illustrates through Crew and Hazel that we each have a flawed filter. Basically, this means we see the world through a particular lens, and in her development of Hazel and Crew, it’s a reminder to consider our own life views.
*Nothing makes me happier than an older person character in a story. In The Romantic Pact, my favorite character is Pops, Crew’s grandfather. He is a vehicle for the telling of Hazel and Crew’s story, and there are so many moments when your heart is pulled by his empathy, his foresight, and his love. There is something special about a wizened older character. It adds layers of gravity to a seemingly simple love story.
If The Revenge Pact and The Romantic Pact are any indications, Adriana Locke’s The Relationship Pact will round out a charming trifecta of modern-day romances. Every turn of the page of The Romantic Pact felt like falling into the rabbit-hole of the romance world. From the setting to their journey to Hazel and Crew as the hero and heroine of this story, this book left me feeling like the world was just a little less heavy today.
In love and romance,