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Blog Tour: Romancing the Bookworm by Kate Evangelista {Review+Giveaway}

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Welcome to my stop on the Romancing the Bookworm tour hosted by AToMR tours!
To see other stops on the tour for reviews, guest posts, and excerpt click here.
Romancing the Bookworm
   by: Kate Evangelista

Publication Date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by AToMR book tours and the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 294 pages
Order Links: Amazon| B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans can unravel.

It's spring break, and Tamara Winters would rather stay on campus and read romance novels than flaunt her size-fourteen body on a beach. But her best friend, Ronni, has other ideas. Against her wishes, Tamara is whisked away to picturesque Maverick Bay, where she's wrangled into waiting tables with Ronni at the Shore Shack for its busy week leading to Maverick's Surf Invitational. There she meets fellow schoolmate Xavier Solomon, the Invitational's organizer and campus womanizer by reputation. From the moment Tamara sees him emerging from the waves like a hero in of one of her romance novels, all she wants to do is run away from the feelings he inspires in her.

Little does she know Xavier has been watching her for weeks now. In fact, after failed attempts at asking her out on campus, he's concocted a crazy plan: fabricating romantic situations straight out of her favorite books. Xavier quickly realizes that if Tamara gets a whiff of his designs, he might as well spell CREEPER across his forehead. Yet as they grow closer, he's convinced it's a risk worth taking. What he hasn't planned on, of course, is his drug-addicted, alcoholic stepbrother, who decides to join the fun and put a wrench in Xavier’s scheme.

Spring break is proving hotter than Tamara expected. Will her romance novels be able to compete?
My Review:

When I first read the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to read it. A love story about a bookish girl and a hot surfer guy? Count me in!

Tamara always has her nose stuck in a book. She is curvy and not ashamed of that fact, which I really admired. She didn’t obsess over her weight, but she did know that she wasn’t completely comfortable flaunting her curves on the beach in a bikini. Tight clothing made her uncomfortable and tried to hide behind flowy, loose fitting dresses and clothing. I really liked that her best friend Ronni, had confidence in her and wanted her to show off her body. She told her to stop hiding because she really did look good. And Xavier? He found her to be beautiful and didn’t bother hiding his lust for her!

Tamara was a somewhat complex character. I liked her but most of the time I wanted to throttle her. At times she acted quite ridiculous and was definitely a bit of a spaz around Xavier. At the beginning she is constantly referring to scenarios in her romance novels: she doesn’t see the point in bothering with the real thing because what happens if it doesn’t satisfy you? At least with her books, she will never be disappointed and can take care of the “job” herself. She tends to get so lost in her books that she doesn’t focus on reality. She inadvertently shut out her best friend when she needed her to pay attention to her and even though her friend didn’t outwardly show it, it really did hurt her feelings.

Xavier, on the other hand, is a surfer who from the get-go makes it clear he’s interested in Tamara. He knows about her obsession with books and therefore concocts this whole big plan to reenact romantic scenes from her books to get her to notice him. However, nothing ends up going his way and he’s afraid that the plan is going to fail because he can’t seem to get his act together around her. Hudson, Xavier’s best friend and Ronni’s older brother, is also in on this plan to get Tamara to notice him. I have to admit, the beginnings of their relationship are so awkward you don’t know whether to laugh or groan. I felt so bad for Xavier. He’s a good guy, he’s attracted to her, and really wants to get to know this girl without coming on too strong. Tamara is so oblivious to everything, but it’s not lost on her how hot he is.

What I really struggled to understand was why Tamara was so paranoid around Xavier. Clearly, this guy is interested in you- why are you freaking out? Sure, I can understand the first few times, but after awhile, it did become a bit irritating.

Ronni, as I said, is Tamara’s best friend and desperately wants her to come out of her shell. She sees how beautiful Tamara is and she doesn’t want her friend wasting her life away, hiding in her books. She’s completely missing out on life: building friendships, exploring relationships. Ronni wants to change that and so she thinks this spring break trip could be the game changer for Tamara.

One major point of conflict is Xavier’s stepbrother, Zander. Zander is reckless- his drinking and drug use have gotten him into trouble before and Xavier is not happy that he showed up to surf in the Invitational. Xavier feels a responsibility to his stepbrother, which is why he hasn’t completely said the hell with him. Zander knows exactly how to push his brother’s buttons and is not afraid to do so multiple times throughout the book. Zander is the one person Xavier loses control with and I hate the tension between these two. Zander also broke Ronni’s heart and is still a sore spot for her. She is constantly sucked back into his web, even though she knows it won’t end well, despite her secretly wishing it would.

I really felt that Evangelista did a good job with pacing- I read through this quickly and felt it flowed quite well.  Overall, I found it be a likeable read, minus a few issues with the characters’ behavior and the rather abrupt ending. (I did feel the book ended at an awkward point and I would have rather seen a bit more plot resolution. ) This was the first book I’ve read by Evangelista and am interested in checking out some of her other books.
About the Author:
When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. Ms. Evangelista lives in the Philippenes.
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  1. I love that the MC carrying some weight, that is rarely the case and I wish we saw it more often in books.
    Love the name too :) Had to click in for more info as soon as I saw it!

    1. Agreed Trish! I really liked that she was ok with her body and not overly obsessive about the fact that she was curvy.

  2. I. Need. This. Book. I mean what book near wouldn't? xD Except for the few minor flaws, I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! Great review(:
    Happy Reading

    1. Thanks Jackie! I hope you enjoy it once you read it!

  3. I'm really glad to hear that you enjoyed this one because I am really excited to read it. It just sounds so darn cute. Like a great beach read. Great review my dear!

    1. Definitely let me know what you think once you read it! There were some points that drove me absolutely batty, so I'm curious if you get the same effect.

  4. This does sound like a fun story. Tamara and Xavier both seem like great romantic leads. Zander sounds kind of awful. I'm glad you like RtB!

    1. Thanks Andrea! I liked Tamara and Xavier for the most part. They did drive me nuts at times though! And yes, Zander definitely had some issues in this book.

  5. This sounds super cute. I definitely need to check it out.

    1. I liked it for the most part. I definitely had some issues with the MC. But overall, I didn't hate it.


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