"I’ve spent so long being afraid of love, because the last time I was in love, the man I loved only loved one part of me, but not all of me, and I thought love meant having to sacrifice a part of yourself."
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Number of Pages: 327
Perspective: Alternating Third
Location: Los Angeles, CA
TL;DR: I’m in denial about the love between these diverse characters in denial about their love.
Full Review: I didn’t realize that this is technically classified as a sequel when I read it. [The first book is The Wedding Date.] Never fear, I think the main characters of the first book only had a cameo in this one, so it did not hinder my ability to comprehend this story.
I am honestly surprised that this book was selected as one of Reese Witherspoon’s book club books. It was pretty surface-level compared to the complex plots of her other choices [such as The Alice Network or Little Fires Everywhere]. My guess is that she wanted to branch out from historical fiction by including a contemporary romance with some diversity. This book definitely offers that, but that’s where my praise ends. I had high hopes for this book, especially since I had to wait to get a copy from the library for six months. It must have been because people suffered to finish it, rather than hogging it for their enjoyment.
It started off with a neat concept but rapidly went downhill from there. I don’t normally complain about the perspective, but in this case, third-person was very strange. We would hop from Carlos to Nik within a chapter. The narrator would jump into their heads so much it felt like it was trying to hop in and out of first-person. It would have been better in alternating first.
I may also be biased because I hate book about writers. There are so many! Maybe because I am a writer, but it seems too cliche to have a writer write about a writer. Let’s branch out a little bit, shall we? And, to be honest, no one cares about the life of a writer except other writers (or people who want to be writers).
Then there was the repetition. Then there was the annoying repetition. Then there was the repetition that made me want to bang my head into the wall. [See how annoying that is?] We would experience an event from both of their perspectives. Then we would rehash the event in their reflective thoughts. Then we would get the same story told to their friends and family. If the repetition was cut out, this book would be half the length.
I married the man I met my first semester of college, so maybe the idea of going on dates is obscure to me. But I hated all their weird small talk throughout the book. I know they were trying to get to know each other, but it felt awkward and forced. And, OH MY GOD, I don’t need every meal cooked step-by-step and every flavor described to me. I don’t like cooking in real life. Maybe I should change my TL;DR description to: repeated stories + food + fade-to-black sex scenes. To be honest, I skimmed the last 100 pages. 90% of that was a description of a meal. If the food and repetition were cut out, we would have a beautiful 30-page novella.
If you want a light romance to half pay attention to on the beach, then this is a good pick. If you want something more meaningful, look elsewhere, such as any of Colleen Hoover's books. [Check out my reviews of Confess, All Your Perfects, and November 9]. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
"You loved every part of me, even the parts I don’t like. And that scared me more, because I thought there must be some trick and that I couldn’t let myself believe it or I’d fall into the trap. But finally I realized it wasn’t a trap."