Publication date:10/26/2017 Kindle Unlimited:No Cliffhanger:No Rating:3.5 out of 5
This one had several good things going for it, and a few that really irked me. So, I’ll start with the positives:
It’s well-written. Dialogue has a nice, natural feel to it. (You’d be surprised how much crappy dialogue there is out there in romance land)
It’s the second book in a series, and even though I didn’t read the first book, I had no trouble following the storyline or relating to the characters. It’s really hard to create a series where each book can stand alone, and I give the author kudos for pulling that off with this one.
The side characters are just so darn delightful that I found myself a little sad when they weren’t in a scene.
It’s a character-driven story, which I enjoy. This book doesn’t rely on huge plot twists of fantastical events to keep the story moving. It’s all about the characters, which is just what a romance should be (in my humble opinion).
The heroine has an anxiety disorder, which is something you don’t read about too much in romance land. I always enjoy reading about characters who are flawed and all the more relatable because of those flaws.
Now for the stuff that had me side-eyeing my Kindle pretty hard at times while reading:
Alex is terribly insecure and can be whiny at times. I totally understand her insecurity (it can’t be easy to be torn apart on social media by fangirls who only hate you because of who you’re dating), but there were definitely times when I wanted to throat-punch her to snap her out of her whiny, self-pitying ways.
Alex and Mark have some pretty serious deficiencies in the communication department. Talk to each other, damn it! Quit keeping things from each other. Grow the hell up, in other words. If there’s one thing I can’t stand in a romance it’s a bunch of stupid misunderstandings that could’ve been cleared up by a few open, honest conversations. I cut Alex and Mark a little slack because they’re young and in a situation that would be super weird for even the most grown-up of, um, grown-up’s out there, but it still irritated me that they kept so much crap from each other.
I felt like the smarmy talent agent and skanky, unscrupulous, fame-grabbing whore of an ex-girlfriend were terribly cliche. For once, I’d like to read about an ex-girlfriend who wasn’t trying to ruin everything for everyone. The implication in romance that all ex-girlfriends are inherently evil really chaps my ass.
Every time Mark put his work ahead of Alex, even knowing how upset and on-the-edge she was, I wanted to knee him in the nuts on Alex’s behalf, because God knows she wasn’t going to do it. And it needed to be done, people. Seriously.
There’s a new love interest for Alex that’s introduced about halfway through, then dismissed so quickly that I found myself wondering why he was even there at all. And sadly, I kind of liked him better than Mark at that point in the story.
This book is long. Really, really long. I feel like it probably could’ve been about 50-100 pages shorter. (That might just be my preference, though, y’all. You know how much I love a quick read)
Long-story-short, this was a decent read from a new-to-me author with great potential. I’m a tough grader, so a 3.5 from me is probably like 4 or a 5 for a normal reader. So, I would say lovers of Bridget Jones’s Diary or Notting Hill should give this one a try.
Disclaimer: We received an ARC from the publisher at no charge.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma? Just because it didn’t strike a huge chord with me, it was well-written and engaging enough to avoid contributing to the romance stigma. No rehab needed.
Other reading suggestions Like I said, fans ofBridget Jones’s Diary would probably really enjoy this one. And for a great famous-actor-finds-the-woman-of-his-dreams-outside-of-Hollywood story, try the Julie James classicJust the Sexiest Man Alive.