Reviewed by Kini
What’s worse than losing everything? Try driving a phallic-shaped RV across the country with your vile womanizing coworker.
Copywriter Callie Murphy has a bad attitude, a vicious tongue, and a serious aversion to Shimura Advertising’s resident manwhore, Walker Rhodes. Know where he can stick his good looks and Southern charm? She can think of a few creative places. Avoiding him wouldn’t be a problem, except her boss threatens to fire her if she doesn’t go along with him on their RV client’s cross-country tour.
Walker is sick of his job, tired of women, and in a big old creative rut. The upcoming client road trip is just what he needs to shake things up and rediscover his lost passion. But his plans go south when his partner drops out at the last minute, and Callie, the foul-mouthed tiny terror, takes her place. Unless he can find a way to thaw his icy coworker, he’s looking at two month’s of pure hell.
On the road, they experience one hilarious misadventure after another and soon find themselves on a life-changing journey. But when their paths veer off in different directions, will they hit a dead end?
There were a few things that appealed to me in the blurb about this book, so I was interested. I love a good romantic comedy book, I think the trapped in a RV/small space can be a fun premise, and I work in the world of advertising, so I like to see how others portray it. Edited: I received a new file of this book from the author the day this review posted. The new file fixed proofreading errors. My review is based on a previous file I received.
Callie, the heroine recently relocated to NYC and is working for an advertising agency owned by one of her best friends. The story opens with the others in the agency having a party, being wildly inappropriate for a workplace- drinking, not working, and sexually harassing each other. Callie immediately hates Walker because he is beautiful and appears confident. At another event she sees Walker interacting with other women and immediately assumes he is a man whore. They have an encounter at a bar that leaves Walker confused on if he likes her or hates her. Callie can’t even for a moment think that Walker might be a decent man because she is too busy slut shaming the women she sees him interact with.
They get matched up to embark on the road trip from NYC to Seattle as part of an advertising campaign. The road trip was kind of a fun premise. One thing I really enjoyed was that the author had them stop at The Enchanted Forest in Ellicott City, Maryland. If you’re from Central/Western Maryland and grew up in the 80’s, there was probably a trip to the Enchanted Forest in your life. There were some other fun stops along the way. Walker’s grandmother was kind of cute. Walker was raised by her so they stop along their route to visit with her.
I had a few problems with this story. First, Callie is a big-slut shamer, from Walker, to women at the bar, to another female co-worker. Granted, her previous boyfriend was a douche and cheated on her, but not all attractive men and women are whores. Even when they wear low cut tops or short skirts. Second, Callie really dislikes Walker based on very little interaction and it takes her a long time to let it go. Third, Callie experienced some pain and loss during her life in Chicago. It was kind of a big deal, except it was kind of glossed over. It is mentioned twice and then never really again. Fourth, I never really felt I can an explanation on why Walker hated his job or was burned out. He loved photography, but it wasn’t really expanded on why. Lastly, there were a few jokes/inner monologue thoughts that were racist. One referenced “more chins than a Chinese phonebook.” I had a hard time finishing the book.
It’s so hard to review a book that had a few things that really make me take pause. For me, reading romance is an escape. And I realize that within my escape the people aren’t always perfect. And I’ve mentioned that I like my characters to be flawed and broken. But I also like them to not say racist things when it doesn’t seem to fit the character. Was the author just trying to be funny by saying outlandish things? Also, I wonder if I was being extra vigilant because I was already somewhat wary of reading the book after receiving the additional revised copies of the book.
The story itself was decent, enemies to lovers trope is one I usually enjoy. Added bonus of being confined in a small space together over extended period of time. In theory it works, but with the annoyances I had with Callie really hating Walker for so long and so hard for a mostly unjustified reason as well as the missing backstory/follow up on Callie’s pain and suffering, it fell flat for me. As well as the issues I had with slut shaming and poorly written jokes.