They haven’t even had sex yet because Benjamin wants their first time together to be special. Surprise, surprise, it turns out that Benjamin isn’t going to propose, and that he’s gay. Kate is shocked. Shocked, I say! So, at this point, I go back and read the blurb, hoping the heroine of the story isn’t Kate, because I hate Kate. She’s a whiny, needy, clingy wannabe-bride cliche who is too dim (or self-centered) to realize that her boyfriend of a year doesn’t want anything to do with her physically (which should’ve sent up a HUGE red flag, Kate, honey).
Then we jump to Nate, but not Nate in 2016 where our dim-witted heroine Kate is, but Nate in 2006. Young Nate’s a med school student who decides to lose his virginity to a stranger who just picked him up in a bar, no questions asked. She could be a serial killer, or have herpes or God knows what, but young Nate doesn’t care because she’s pretty. So now I think that Kate and Nate (how gross is it that their names rhyme?) are dumbasses and I kind of hate them both.
Then we jump to Jess in 2006. I’m confused at this point. There wasn’t a Jess mentioned in the blurb. Who is Jess? Turns out Jess is the, um, friendly gal who picked up Nate in the bar. Jess is vapid and self-centered and generally horrible. It’s a toss-up whether I hate her more than Kate and Nate.
Chapter two jumps back into 2016 (seriously, WTF is up with all these freakin’ time jumps?) with Kate’s perspective. Kate is now forcing poor Benjamin to pretend that they’re still together and that he’s not in love with another man because she’s too much of a wuss to put on her big girl panties and tell her family what happened. It’s now official: I hate her more than Jess and Nate combined.
Jump back to Jess in 2009, who is now married to and cheating on Nate. No big shock. That’s a risk you run when you give up your virginity to the first random in a bar who offers to take it, Nate. Can’t say I feel to sorry for you.
Chapter three jumps back to Kate in 2016 who sees Nate at the gym and immediately thinks, “He’s not the one.” Because who doesn’t look at every dude they see at the gym as a potential life mate? And why does Kate feel that Nate isn’t for her, you ask? Not because their names grossly rhyme (which is a valid reason not to get involved with him), but because he has tattoos, of course. Turns out Kate is as vapid and judgemental as Jess.
And I’m out. I’m out with EXTREME prejudice because I hate all of the main characters. They’re all awful, stupid people who don’t deserve a HEA.
(Kind of off topic: it looks like the book is being marketed as romantic suspense. Um...no. The cover kind of hints at romantic comedy, but there’s nothing funny here. Not intentionally, anyway. So, I’m calling bullshit on how the book is being marketed and I’m calling it contemporary romance. Be warned if you go into this one looking for romantic suspense. Unless there’s a serial killer that shows up at the end to kill everyone. In which case, maybe I should’ve kept reading...) [UPDATE: This mis-marketing might not have been the author's fault. It was brought to my attention that sometimes Amazon takes it upon themselves to "help" authors out by adding their books to categories they don't belong in. My bad for not realizing that.]
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
This one IS the romance stigma. Ugh.
Other reading suggestions
Anything other than this. Literally anything. Pick a 5-star review or one of our 1-Click Wonder authors and go from there. On the other hand, if you’re a masochist and just enjoy reading really bad books like this one, then by all means, go check out our list of What Not to Read. You’ll find plenty of books that are every bit as putrid as this one. You’re welcome.