This is a cute and sexy contemporary romance set in NYC. Liana is a single romantic-advice blogger that is pressured by fans to add sex advice to her blog. Uncomfortable with the topic, she seeks advice from a cocky man that emailed her for advice about love. Enter Kade, the cocky guy who drinks too much whiskey and only has one-night stands. He wrote Liana asking her if love really exists. They develop an unlikely friendship, with Liana helping him figure out love, and Kade giving her advice about her sex blog. What they didn’t expect was the chemistry they can’t deny.
This was a quick and easy read that surprised me because it is more than just a rom-com. The book also delves into tough issues including drug abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness. I liked Liana’s firmly held belief in romantic love, despite not experiencing a lot of it herself. Steeped in a movie list of classic rom-coms, she exudes confidence that finding true love is attainable. However I felt her inability to forgive her step-sister for a youthful transgression, her seemingly indifference to repairing the relationship with her once-close sister, and calculated actions she takes later in the book was out of character for someone that portrays herself as a relationship expert.
I felt the back story with Liana’s father and their brief interactions were ultimately pointless in the overall story other than to depict Liana’s strive to be independent. I think that could have been described in a briefer way without pulling the reader out of the main story. It felt like the author was trying to pack in as much complicated back-story as she could, but the story didn’t need this and it was unnecessary. Also detracting from the story were the multiple forays into minor character arcs. I understand the author wanted to use these storylines to add background to why the main characters acted and felt the way they did, I just think they could have been tightened up and shorter, so the book wouldn’t lose too much focus on the main story.
I really liked Kade as well. He is a study in contradictions. He revels in his self-described jerk persona, however his big heart is clearly evident by his protection of his best friend Stephanie and his efforts to get her away from her abusive girlfriend. They share a backstory of childhood abuse and neglect, both fleeing their horrible existence in Chicago for NYC. I loved his interactions with Liana. Their chemistry is fire and their banter is adorable. The slow-burn love story is drawn out a bit long for my taste, but the author eventually gets there. What was a little bit jarring, however, was the speed at which they went from flirty banter to basically living and working together like an old married couple. Thus, the stereotypical 80% roadblock that halted the couple’s relationship was annoying and abruptly stopped the story’s momentum. However, the ultimate resolution and epilogue brought me back and the ending was satisfying.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley, Lake County Press and Review, and Love Book Tours. All opinions are my own. If you want a book with a bit more depth than your typical rom-com, I highly recommend you read this book.