I was looking forward to this book, as it features as STEM focused heroine. I was willing to look past the fact that the hero is a billionaire. The blurb references being similar to Penny Reid, Sally Thorne, and Jennifer Crusie all of whom are authors of books I have loved. This book really fell short of my expectations. It wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t wow me with its brilliance or comedic banter.
We are first introduced to Melody, our heroine, when she is in college. She is out at a bar and a guy starts giving her unwanted attention and won’t back off. Jeremy, the hero, steps in and helps her out. They don’t know each other, but feel drawn to each other and hang out and then have a one night stand. The ONS is fade to black/closed door and I should have known then that this book probably wasn’t for me. But I am an optimistic reader so I kept reading and hoped that the story would really pull me in and make up for the lack of sexy times.
It did not. I found Melody and Jeremy kind of boring. There was a lot going on around them and their story. When they first meet, Melody doesn’t know that Jeremy is a billionaire and that his family owns a tech/aerospace company. When she graduates school and is relocating to LA, she calls him up in a friendly manner to have a friendly face when she relocates. Melody struggles to find friends in LA and slowly becomes friends with Jeremy and his circle of friends. Particularly his girlfriend Lacey. There is no love triangle. Lacey quickly became one of my favorite characters and I noted at one point that her story was the most interesting plot point.
There is a lot of relationship dynamics that happen off the page that left me wondering what exactly I was missing. Jeremy was at some point involved with Lacey and her sister, Charlotte. Also Charlotte is involved with Jeremy’s best friend, Drew. All of these people got page time, but it felt superficial and I wanted to know more about their dynamics and how there was all this partner swapping. Love and live is messy, but if you are going to have it in the book, I want to know all about it.
The story was told exclusively from Melody’s POV and I think that hearing from Jeremy could have helped. This story is a little bit second chance romance, with some fake relationship turned real in it. I didn’t find Melody all that appealing so getting Jeremy’s POV would have helped me connect with them more. Because the physical relationship wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, I wanted to see more between the two MCs and their relationship and I felt like it got washed out by everything else happening.
There is also a plot point about Melody’s previous boyfriend who completed suicide, which is a super heavy topic- I thought it was brought up, talked about minimally, and then it kind of disappears. Additionally the ex-boyfriend is referred to as being “bipolar.” That grates my nerves like no other. We don’t say someone is depression, or cancer or broken leg, it is a condition that someone suffers from NOT what/who they are.
Although this book didn’t work for me like I had hoped it would, I will probably read the next one. I am curious to see how or if the author style grows or changes. I liken it to Penny Reid, her first book was closed door, but over time she seems to have grown way more comfortable with physical intimacy on the page as well as writing fully formed and flawed characters with redeemable qualities.