Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Tropes: Dead Fiance’s Brother; Forbidden; Forced Proximity; Small-town Romance; family trauma
Stylistically, Winter Renshaw’s Love & Kerosene is interesting. At the start of each chapter, a word is defined. It is probably a new word to most people, but that word sets the tone of the chapter. This action mimics the love for words found in this story. Love & Kerosene is touted as forbidden when really it’s more forced proximity than anything. As her FMC, Anneliese, and her MMC, Lachlan, live together as a means to renovate Lachlan’s childhood home, their attraction becomes undeniable. What begins as an agreement to preserve history evolves into finding each other’s soulmate when it is least expected. The angst you expect from Renshaw is here; the difficulty of Anneliese and Lachlan’s situation is another common characteristic of Renshaw’s romance too. I loved Lachlan’s journey from wanting to burn down his family home due to its representation of his familial trauma to falling madly in love with Anneliese. Even more, Anneliese’s acceptance of the reality of her relationship with her dead fiance, to her evolving attraction and interest in Lachlan draws you into her story. Lastly, Love & Kerosene has secrets throughout it, and Renshaw is careful to draw them out. One area I’d love to see Renshaw work on is her pacing. In her last few romances, I’ve noted a quick resolution to a careful plodding of story arc points. Lachlan and Anneliese’s ready acceptance of their love for each other feels rushed even though it comes late in the story. I think there were other steps that could have been taken before they decide to spend forever together. That aside, from the start of the story to its end, I was captivated by Winter Renshaw’s Love & Kerosene.
In love and romance,