Reviewed by Kini
I don’t always include blurbs in my reviews any more, but for this review it is necessary.
Love doesn’t stick to the script in this witty romance from USA Today bestselling author Tawna Fenske.
TV producer Kate Geary is in unscripted heaven. She’s piloting a reality series featuring her favorite self-help guru, Dr. Vivienne Brandt. The Dr. Viv—whose nuggets of wisdom helped Kate get through some of her toughest times. Thanks to Dr. Viv, Kate is almost on the verge of figuring everything out. That is, until Jonah Porter, the superhot book nerd Kate just spent an amazing date with, appears at the show’s first meeting.
Jonah did not want to get reeled into a world filled with invasive crews, pushy network execs, and over-the-top drama, but a connection to the story leaves him no choice. Fortunately, Kate—hot, smart, and funny—helps make it bearable. Now they’re both on the verge of violating their contracts as they find themselves sneaking around off set. But the cameras have a way of finding out everyone’s secrets…especially the ones that can break hearts.
See right there is the first line how it says “witty romance”? It is lies, lies I tell you. Okay, that is a slight exaggeration, but this book is definitely more women’s fiction than romance. Here is my new motto- if it has looks like a romance, blurbs like a romance and is priced as a romance, then I expect I book that delivers a story that is a romance. For me, a romance novel is defined as the love story being the central focus of the book. I did not feel that way about this book.
There were so many things that overshadowed the love story. But mainly this book was about a reality TV show where the a therapist and her ex husband work with couples to help them save their marriage. It is an odd premise, but I thought it would work. Kate is the executive producer of the show and Jonah is the ex-husband of the therapist. They originally meet at an unrelated event and then reconnect a month later when they find out each is attached to this project. It is way more complicated than that, but it isn’t worth explaining.
The whole reality TV project took up entirely too much page time. Seriously, I think I am qualified to executive produce a show now, that is how much page time is devoted to the process and the show. It felt like Kate’s growth came as a product of the show and seeing other people behave badly.
Kate has a hero worship thing happening with Dr. Viviene Brandt, the aforementioned therapist, Jonah’s ex, and the star of the show. Viv gets WAY too much book time, both in scenes and in Kate and Jonah’s thoughts. I did a search and Viv’s name is mentioned 665 times. That is about half as many as the heroine (1297). Let that sink in, a character who should be secondary is mentioned that many times. It was too much.
There is a weird obsession with beer in this book. The word beer is used 117 times in this book. Seriously. The heroine, Kate, starts loving beer after the hero, Jonah, has her try one. And then that is all they talk about.
Because the premise is based around a reality show, there is some over the top shit that happens. Kate is bound by contracts and end up keeping some secrets that she shouldn’t have and when Jonah found out he was pissed, and deservedly so. It was stupid and predictable and made me not want to finish the book. But I did anyway. I think I kept hoping that it would get better, it never really did.
The sex was sort of on the page, but it was quick and not well written. With that kind of sex, I would have preferred it to have been closed door/fade to black. My kindle isn’t giving me page numbers, but the lead in to their first sexual encounter goes from location 2818-2839. I think they had sex again in the book and it was just as lame.
Although I finished this book, I wasn’t happy about it. It found the couple to have no chemistry, really hard to build chemistry when you spend so much time on beer and the ex-wife. Kate made some bad choices, but in the end it was Jonah making apologies. There is a happy ending, but the only satisfaction I felt was that it was over.
Amazon has it tagged as women’s fiction and romance fiction, in case that matters. I didn’t find this book particularly humorous. Immediately after finishing this book I was ranting about women’s fiction books trying to masquerade as romance books and how much that irritates me. But after some reflection I can’t decide if that happened here or if it was just poorly written. Or maybe both. It doesn’t matter. I can not recommend this book and I can never reclaim the time I spent reading it.
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