As 2022 comes to a close, I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and no book put me through my paces emotionally like Untying the Knot. Meghan Quinn is no stranger to my Best of the Year lists, because she swings for the fences with every release, and creates magic every so often. This marriage in trouble romance is equal parts uplifting and emotionally draining, with a vibe that is unforgettable and a story that’s impactful. I loved every minute of it, and it just reminds me why I jump on every new release from this prolific author. Here’s hoping that we get a few more gems in 2023!
And, by the way, this is probably the very best audiobook I listened to this year – highly, highly recommended. If you’ve been meaning to check out a contemporary audiobook with duet narration, this is a fantastic one. Details on that below.
You’ll find my original review and some quotes from the book below!
Devastatingly brutal yet poignant and hopeful, this marriage in trouble romance put me through my paces emotionally – and I loved it! Switching between past and present, we see the highs and lows in this couple’s relationship, with the chemistry and connection in their early days punctuating the loss of a love that was once vibrant and full of life. Initially, I wondered if there were too many flashbacks, but they served such an impactful purpose – showcasing just how many important promises our hero lost sight of, and revealing the ways in which he unintentionally inflicted (nearly) irreparable damage to their relationship. He’s steadfast and loyal, the perfect counterpart to a heroine whose past hurts have caused her to run scared more than once. It was easy to see all of the ways they were great together, which just made the present day conflict even more excruciating. I empathized with both characters, and I was absolutely rooting for them to find their way back together again. It’s a powerhouse of a read, juxtaposing playful, banter-filled moments with achingly raw and tender scenes. Plus, whoa boy was the spice INTENSE – this couple knows each other well, so that knowledge and trust takes things to a whole other level.
The story follows Myla, a woman who thought she had found her forever love. While her abusive mother made it difficult to accept love into her life, she found that with Ryot. But when the former pro baseball player retired, he lost sight of the promises they made together. His neglect has inflicted damage to their marriage, and Myla believes that it has reached its breaking point. Ryot disagrees. He was blindsided when Myla asked for a divorce, and he’s willing to put in the work to make things right again… if only he knew what he did wrong. Weaving flashbacks with present day, we see how this swoony and smitten man won his dream girl… and how he lost her along the way.
I’ve read some exceptional books by Quinn, and this will be among my favorites. It truly does have a little of everything, from the initial sparks and chemistry to the heartache and angst. I think this story only could’ve worked laid out this way – I know that I would’ve had some issues with the way Myla and Ryot’s relationship progressed in the past, and Myla is also the kind of heroine whose insecurities threaten to overwhelm any story. With the story switching between past and present, we didn’t have to linger in that headspace for too long at any one time. And those flashbacks served such a great purpose, showing how Ryot’s distraction with work is one of the worst things he could’ve done, given their history. I’m also impressed that I genuinely liked both characters throughout the whole story – Myla is a spitfire, and Ryot is kind, patient, and loving. That’s why it hurt so much when they were hurting each other, and this is one of the only books to made me cry this year. There’s also more potentially triggering content than anticipated (no cheating or OW/OM drama), including a central (non-couple) character who is battling cancer. The whole book is designed for maximum devastation, slowly building back into something that is hopeful and richer because of the struggle. A fantastic read.
The audio is phenomenal! If you’re someone who enjoys audiobooks or has been contemplating trying one, then this is the perfect choice. It’s told in duet-style, so it feels completely immersive and all the more engaging. The editing was also the most seamless I’ve experienced in duet. I love both Jason Clarke (my favorite!) and Stella Hunter, and they both give incredible, emotive performances. They also both handle the playfulness as well as the angst, which is even more impressive. It’s not a short book, clocking in at about 14 hours on audio, so I had to read this over 2-3 days to finish. And I didn’t want to stop anytime I set it down. I’m not sure that I’d recommend this as a workday listen, unless you enjoy crying at your desk and blushing at some VERY intense spice, lol. But I highly recommend the audio, and it was well worth the time.
A spin-off from the #1 Amazon bestsellers, A Not So Meet Cute and So Not Meant To Be, USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn brings you a heart-warming, yet hilarious full-length novel on what life is like after the happily ever after.
Ryot Bisley is my husband.
Yes, the former third baseman for the Chicago Bobbies and absolute heart throb of the Windy City. That Ryot Bisley.
The first time I ran into him, he was grumpy, a horrific host, and left me on his sofa with nothing but a nylon baseball flag to use as a blanket.
The second time, he reluctantly bought me dinner, stared at my chest the entire night, and still sported that permanent frown.
The third time . . . well, that was a game changer. His smile captured me, his teasing charmed me, and his touches excited me.
So when he was called up to the majors that didn’t stop us from knocking it out of the park and all the way down the aisle.
Eleven years later…I’d love to say we’re happy as ever but the man who sent me dirty text messages every day is long gone and Mr. Frowny Face is back.
He’s so focused on trying to build a life after baseball that he doesn’t see the life we’ve already created together. . .so I make the hard decision and serve him divorce papers.
Problem is…my husband refuses to accept those papers. Instead, he has a new game plan that makes untying the knot of our marriage a little tricky. And just when I thought I wanted to be traded . . . he’s slowly, tantalizingly roping me back in.
Those Three Little Words made my Best of the Year (So Far) list back in June and was on track to make my Top 20 until Untying the Knot released, so I have to give it a shoutout. If you’d asked me a year ago, this probably wouldn’t have been the Meghan Quinn book that I expected to make this list! She is an excellent writer who usually has a book on my Best of lists, but I wasn’t sure that this dynamic was going to work for me. But it SO did! This playboy hero has a lot of work to do on himself, and it’s only once his one night stand with his best friend’s little sister results in a pregnancy that he gets his act together. I loved the combination of humor and heart (and heat!), and it quickly won me over.
You’ll find my original review and some quotes from the book here.
I knocked up my best friend’s sister.
Figured I would get straight to the point because how it happened is a mere snippet of the story I have to tell. The real meat and potatoes is what happened after.
Let’s start with how she decided to inform me and Pacey the news . . . together. Imagine that nightmare. I was going into what I thought was a hockey marketing meeting and then BAM! I’m going to be a dad and my best friend/teammate is attempting to imprint my face with his fist.
It wasn’t pretty.
Threats were tossed around, friendships were revoked, and then I was marched up to her apartment, suitcases in hand, and forced to live with her so I could take care of her every need. Given how much I’ve pined for the girl, you would think that wouldn’t be a hardship. Wrong.
This is my one shot to win my teammate back. Pacey is the only family I’ve got, so hooking up with his sister isn’t a mistake I can make twice . . . despite the fact that she’s pregnant with my child.
But with every mood swing, every pair of pants that doesn’t fit right, and every late night run to find the perfect donut, I’m finding it harder and harder not to fall for my best friend’s little sister.
Especially when she kisses me…
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.
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