Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
I’ve been trying to determine the best allusion, metaphor, or simile to describe Meghan Quinn’s romances. It’s too easy to call them rom-coms or contemporary romances or anything of that ilk because she writes stories that seem like a sugary piece of taffy when they are more like a decadent truffle. Her newest story, Those Three Little Words, is an enticing bonbon. The outside is sweet and fun, with a decided coating of excitement. A one-night romp turns into a surprise baby for Penny and Eli, one of the fabulous five hockey hunks from Quinn’s Kiss and Don’t Tell. Yet, the depth of flavor of the inside of this romance mires you in the gravity of her story. Penny and Eli have much more than a wild romp and a developing baby. They have pasts to contend with and feelings to process. What you believe you are getting in Those Three Little Words is more, and this is Quinn’s trademark, her signature, in the world of romancelandia: writing romances that seem like pure sugar but end up being 24 karat gold.
Loss is at the core of this story. The fun-loving nature of Eli is only a facade carefully constructed to protect his heart from loss and loneliness. It takes the independent, intelligent, and enticing Penny, Pacey’s little sister, to move beyond Eli’s emotional walls to get to his gooey center. Those Three Little Words is a slow burn that is necessary for Eli and Penny’s growth. You must be patient with these two. Yet, when they finally acknowledge their affection (thank you for Penny’s second trimester), Quinn pulls off the protective bandage, and these two are pure fire together. I don’t remember a recent Quinn story where the main characters spend so much time indelicato. Penny and Eli cannot get enough of each for the last third of Quinn’s book, so prepare yourself with the right pair of underwear.
As characters, Eli and Penny bring both laughs and tears. Eli is a bit of a cinnamon roll hero, his pain always close under the surface, making him adorable and protective when it comes to Penny. Penny can be pure lunacy in some of the best ways. She has a penchant for storytelling to work her way out of situations, and it’s laughable. Her best friend, Blakely, is her partner in crime and her wizened guide (it’s possible she might have her own story in this Quinn universe). And Posey, Pacey, Holmes, and Taters provide levels of friendship and family, each of them adding either humor, threats, or advice for our hunky hero.
Meghan Quinn’s Those Three Little Words is a tasty treat. Quinn is so thoughtful in developing their story and carefully plotting its pace. It would have been easy for Penny and Eli to jump into a relationship at the news of her pregnancy, but Quinn allows them to figure out friendship before they puzzle out their love. Eli’s story will break your heart, but Penny’s adoration and compassion will seal it. This is the exact type of romance you love from Meghan Quinn.
In love and romance,