The premise of this romance is one that all romance readers have encountered before. While the basis of it is not particularly original, the writing is witty and hilarious, making it definitely worth the read. It may not have any surprises, but the delivery is a wonderful surprise of its own.
It begins with the typical gorgeous girl who thinks she is unattractive and unworthy of love. It also has the typical gorgeous guy who is obligated to convince her of her delectable sexiness. Of course, the reasoning behind her hang-up is eventually cleared up and then you understand why she thinks so little of herself in comparison to his Adonis-state. There are a lot of stereotypes in this story, such as her girlfriends all calling each other bitch and squealing like little girls, and guys who are macho and cannot show their feelings. Thankfully, Bailey is anti-girly and fights hard to maintain that status. Jake also tries to break the mold by being the guy who is in touch with his feminine side and acknowledges his emotions. They balance out the side characters to a certain degree.
The story is told first-person and it is that fact that makes it so enjoyable. All the entertainment comes from the inner dialogue, some of which is directed right at the reader. If I had not been able to hear what Bailey was thinking I would have viewed her as a girl who likes to make a guy work a little too hard for her attention. No matter what I would have liked Jake. He does work hard to get her attention. It is a refreshing break from so many romances where the guy must “own” her. I love having a male lead who is a down-to-earth guy instead of a pompous showboat who tosses her over his shoulder and takes her back to his cave.
While I enjoyed the main characters immensely, I had some difficulty with one aspect of the writing. The style is wonderful, but there is an overload of cultural and/or social references that went right over my head. I have never encountered a book like this, where I had to google terms, some of which I couldn’t locate. Perhaps they were too obscure, but I was supposed to get it right off the bat. Just one example is dead rabbit pregnancy. That reference threw me for a loop and was a shock. There are numerous phrases that are intended to be funny, but when even my auto-correct cannot figure it out, it’s simply frustrating. While reading this story I was forced to learn what French bowling is and that apparently it is also referred to as boules, bocci ball, and cornhole. YouTube was the only thing that answered my question there. I also had to look up IPA, because the context was barely there and all I garnered was that it was alcohol. Too many phrases were stated with the expectation that the reader is up on all things cultural and an avid lover of the Urban Dictionary.
This book could have been a hard one for me to read. I’m not easily impressed with romance since they all tend to follow the same formula. This is no exception, but it was consistent with its sense of humor and the characters never strayed. It was strongly written and overall I’m impressed with how well the author made a typical romance truly stand out.
Now, for the rating:
- Genre and general reading age – Romance for adults only.
- Level of sexuality – It’s graphic when it’s there. It is surprisingly low considering how they met and the entire beginning of the story, but when it happens there are plenty of juicy details.
- Is there graphic language? Of course. No contemporary romance is complete without a good dose of swearing.
- Did I cry? Nope.
- Did I laugh? Not out loud, but I chuckled inwardly all the way through.
- Is this part of a series? The characters are definitely interwoven in other stories. In fact, the end of the book lets readers know to expect the next character’s happily-ever-after later in 2017.
- Level of character development – Bailey and Jake are well done. Considering they somewhat follow typical romance leads, I was delighted with how well it was handled, making them stand out amongst the rest. The side characters were a boost to the story and did not disappoint.
The actual story itself is nothing new. It is the genius of the writing that makes it stand out. The first part of the book was a little slow, but at the halfway mark it picked up and I couldn’t put the book down. It might have taken a while for it to grow on me, but I’m glad I stuck with it. I highly suggest it for all romance readers who want a well-written, hilarious tale of insta-love. I gladly give this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 stars.