Contemporary Romance/Rom Com
Publication date: 04/26/2020
Kindle Unlimited: Yes
When I see either of these author's names on a book, I buy. It's as simple as that. I've never rated any of their work under 5 stars. So, this one pains me a little...
Plot overview: Ditched bride Hazel goes on her honeymoon trip alone and meets Matteo. Sparks fly instantly, and they end up road tripping together, without exchanging their real names because REASONS. Everything is glorious until they return to the real world and find out that they probably should have exchanged real names long, long ago. (Well, duh) Angst ensues.
I'll start off by saying all the good stuff. I mean, this IS a Penelope Ward/Vi Keeland collaboration, so all the stuff that is usually great with their books is great here, too. There's a sweet, sexy, and all-kinds-of-awesome hero, there's a quirky, fun heroine that real women can relate to, there's hilarious, snappy banter, and the sex scenes are hot as hell.
I pretty much hated Hazel from the mid-point of the book on. When she was on the road with Matteo, I loved her. But once she got home and was all of sudden confused about how she felt about the dude who ditched her before their wedding? The guy that pretty much always treated her like crap? That got old for me REAL QUICK. Hmmm...you can stay with the guy who is a complete turd, or you can go off with the perfect, hot, musician. Gee...whatever will you do, Hazel? (*eye roll*) The fact that she had to give it a second's worth of thought irked the crap out of me. The fact that perfect, sweet, adorable, sexy Matteo tolerated her wishy-washiness irked me, too.
And while the sex scenes were great, they were a long time coming. (Heh...coming...see what I did there?) I mean, there's slow burn, and then there's oh-will-you-two-just-get-naked-already-I'm-getting-old-here slow burn, and this one feel into the later category.
I wanted Hazel to get some good closure with her ex, too. Preferably, that closure would've included her nut-punching the jerk. But alas, Hazel pretty much took his crap in stride and didn't really say anything to him, which was INTENSELY unsatisfying for me as a reader.
And don't even get me started on the whole, Serendipity crap. If you meet a great guy, GIVE HIM YOUR NAME AND NUMBER. Do NOT under any circumstances decide you'll meet someplace at some point in the future and leave it all up to destiny/chance/serendipity. If you meet a guy like Matteo, you lock that shit DOWN with a quickness and you lock it down TIGHT. Otherwise, you'll be getting a virtual smack upside the head from yours truly. (Hazel, your ears should be ringing right about now)
If you're a die hard fan of this author duo, you'll probably enjoy this one. It is still funny, sweet, and well written. But if you compare it to other books by these fine ladies, I fear that you, like me, might find it a little lacking.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
It's not stigma-y. It's just not my cuppa.