As 2021 comes to a close, I’m revisiting my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and Meghan Quinn is a repeat offender – as in, her books often fly to the top of my list. Quinn had two particularly excellent releases this year, including the forbidden and swoony, The Perfect Catch. I loved this strong and silent hero; so misunderstood by the world, but so freaking lovable once you get to know him. This started off as the typical sports-related rom com – with plenty of Quinn’s signature humor and compelling characters – before transitioning into a forbidden, angsty, and downright HOT slow burn. It’s one of my favorites from the author, and that’s saying something, because her books are often outstanding. There are a few unforgettable scenes in here, and it left me wanting so much more.
Read on for my original review and plenty of quotes to give you a feel for the vibe!
Phenomenal – a tense, sexy, intimate treat. Walker might just be my favorite MQ hero EVER. And that’s saying something, because she excels at writing alpha heroes with gooey marshmallow centers. I absolutely ADORED this grumpalicious hero; he’s a beast of a man on the outside, but so, so SWOONY once you get to know him better. This couple’s chemistry leapt off the page, and I loved the focus on intimacy. These two realize that there’s no way they can be together, so it’s a torturous slow burn that highlights the emotional connection. It also subtly ties three series together in a way that is sure to delight longtime fans – as will seeing Walker finally find his HEA. We’ve been teased by this broody bachelor for years, and his love story exceeded my expectations.
The story follows Walker, a baseball player who has lost his love of the sport. It’s no secret that he’s one of the most hated men in baseball, and that does nothing to improve his mood. Walker is quick to lose his temper and has a shell that’s tough to crack, but behind his intimidating persona is a kind, caring man. When the team decides that it’s time for Walker to clean up his image, he’s sent to work with Kate. She doesn’t back down when Walker gets surly, and even helps him smile again. But the team has a very strict no fraternization policy, so crossing the line would jeopardize both of their careers. As feelings develop and attraction increases, it becomes impossible for Walker and Kate to keep things strictly professional.
When this hero was announced, I snuck a peek at some of the books in my collection to refresh my memory. And refresh it did! Walker has had memorable cameos in several books, and I’ve been intrigued every time he’s been on the page (this is still definitely a standalone). He lived up to every expectation that I had for him – never has a hero been so completely smitten with a woman. I loved his singular focus on Kate, his sweet side paired with his intense alpha vibes, and his vulnerability. I just loved him, plain and simple. The two together make this an angsty, sexy read. While this still has the humor that I love about MQ’s work, it’s definitely got a forbidden feel that adds a level of tension. I had moments when I was frustrated by the situation and thought this take-charge hero would’ve done more, but that’s all part of the story. The growth in intimacy was my favorite part, and that was highlighted by some sizzling, emotional scenes. This had me absolutely HOOKED from start to finish, and I loved every minute of it. I was lucky enough to receive an early copy (then purchased it for my collection), and am voluntarily leaving a review of this forbidden romance.
“Kiss me. Just this once . . . please Walker.”
Those whispered words were my undoing . . .
As the most hated player in baseball, I had two options: either clean up my image or pack my bags. Being traded wasn’t an option which only meant one thing, I had to become compliant.
That’s how I found myself sharing a small bistro table with Kate Chapman, the Chicago Bobbies newest PR Manager. Devastatingly beautiful, vastly intelligent, and incredibly cunning, she knows exactly how to handle my grumpy demeanor.
It was supposed to be simple. Book some PR events, show up, smile for the camera, and be done. But one massive mistake on my end sends me into the trenches with Kate, forcing me to open up to her.
Innocent glances turn into cordial encounters.
Secret touches turn into tempting invitations.
And dangerous nights alone turn into consuming desperation.
I’ve never wanted a woman as much as I want her. And I know she wants me, but there’s a no fraternizing with the players rule. Neither of us can afford to lose our jobs, but we also can’t seem to keep our hands off each other either.
HONORABLE MENTION: A Not So Meet Cute
I typically try to honor twenty different authors with my Best of the Year list, but I was THIS CLOSE to adding A Not So Meet Cute as well. I loved it, and in a completely different way than The Perfect Catch. Definitely worth your time, and smokin’ hot! A link to my review is below.
From USA Today bestselling author of The Highland Fling comes a brand new romantic comedy about a desperate billionaire seeking to find a fiancée. This modern day take on Pretty Woman is brilliantly clever and hilariously page-turning.
How did you two meet?
The quintessential question asked to every couple. And the answer is usually some bubbly, lovey dovey tale of being struck in the bum by Cupid’s arrow.
My meet cute (well not so meet cute) is slightly different. I was trolling a wealthy neighborhood in Beverly Hills, searching for someone to take me as their bride, you know, to make my arch nemesis jealous who consequently just fired me.
He was stomping around the block like some sort of gorgeous ogre, mumbling about a business deal gone wrong and attempting to finagle his way out of it.
And that’s when we bumped into each other.
There were no sparks.
Not even a hint of blossoming love.
But next thing I knew, I was scarfing down free chips and guac, listening to this man lay out all of his problems which led to his big ask . . . he wanted me to be his Vivian Ward, you know, from Pretty Woman–minus the frisky behavior.
We’re talking about living in a mansion, intimate double dates, and pretending we were head over heels in love . . . and engaged. Can you imagine?
The absolute audacity.
But people do crazy things when they’re desperate. And I reeked of desperation. So, I struck up a deal.
My one big mistake, though . . . big . . . HUGE? I accidentally fell for the incomparable Huxley Cane.
Read the review here
About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.
More of the Best of 2021!
Top 20 of 2021: The Complete List – here
Best of 2021: Top Picks by Trope can be found here!
Best of 2021: My 10 Favorite Romance Series can be found here!
Every 5-Star Romance Novel I Read in 2021 can be found here!
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