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Parties (Girls Weekend #2) by CM Nascosta

I was first introduced to author CM Nascosta after reading and falling in love with Finley Fenn's orcs. I needed more orcs. Stat. And someone recommended Girls Weekend by CM Nascosta for a different sort of orc. I was skeptical at first because they're so much...nicer than Fenn's orcs but in the end I absolutely fell in love with the Hallmark vibes meets monsters meets contemporary world that Nascosta created.

Blurb: Several months after a weekend girls' trip, suburban elves Lurielle, Ris, and Silva are still affected by their experiences at the resort and the orcs they met there.

Lurielle discovers that being in a multi-species relationship presents its own unique challenges: meeting Khash's family, introducing him to hers, and facing the harsh realities that lie ahead if they stay together. A lifetime together or a lifetime apart — she must decide if she can bear all that the future holds.

When Ris returns to the resort on a whim, an unexpected encounter with a slightly familiar face upends this elf's desire to be a free as the wind. Ainsley is simultaneously everything and nothing that she's looking for - smart and sexy and completely unattached, and happy to stay that way . . . but how long can they "keep things casual?"

Silva struggles juggling her two halves: Daytime Silva, crushed beneath the expectations of her family and snobbish Elvish society, and Silva of the Nighttime, unfettered and free, seeing Tate in secret. When her web of lies tangles beyond her control, she must make a choice — will she follow the carefully mapped life of privilege her family has planned for her in their Elvish community . . . or throw it all away to follow her heart, for a man with his own heart full of secrets.

Parties is a multi-POV story, following all three girls through a succession of soirees, each one winding their separate storylines — and the work friends — tighter together.

Review: Parties (and Girls Weekend) are so unique because they cover three relationships occurring simultaneously between three elven coworkers (and friends).

We have Lurielle, who is happily dating fan favorite orc Khash. Their relationship was solidified in book 1 but--and this is what makes this series so great--it doesn't end there. We get to see what happens after the HEA (happily ever after) which is pretty unique, even among romance novels. They're happy together and very much in love and pegging their lives away, but they aren't without their struggles. Lurielle is still in therapy working to improve her self-esteem and her body image, and she's finding it difficult to fit in among the close-knit orc species. I love the continued peek into their relationship and watching them work through things as a couple.

Silva and the terrifying, yet incredibly sexy, orcish, elven, fae creature Tate are trying to make places for one another in their lives, but it's hard when Tate works nonstop and Silva battles the harsh expectations placed on elven women to continue the pure bloodlines. She doesn't want to have to choose between the man who makes her truly happy for the first time in her life and the family she loves. And what the fuck is going on with Tate? Book three is gonna be wild.

Ris doesn't want to be in a relationship. Or getting married. Or have kids. But she does want really hot sex, so I'm sure many of us can relate to her. She's dating her way through various male species and being repeatedly disappointed by selfish, negging monsters who are more concerned with getting off than getting her off. But then she meets the adorable Ainsley who is just the right amount of fun and willing to be adventurous with her. I was genuinely pleased to get to know her more in this book! I wasn't the biggest fan of her chapters in book 1 (not through any fault of her own...just her sections were overshadowed by her friend's) so it was really great to learn more about her and her motives.

I put this off because everyone kept saying it was emotional and a little cliffhanger-y and it was. I mean, I definitely teared up a bit at a few points, but the cliffhanger wasn't so bad that I'm going to claw my face off unless book 3 lands in my hands immediately. Although, it'd be cool if it did...

Highly recommend this series if you want sweet monsters living as accountants and grocery store workers and Herd Resources and bistro owners. It's just plain fun.

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Dec 28, 2022

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