Release Date: Dec 5, 2017
Heat Level: Sensual
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Gallery Books
I want to preface the review with a couple things. It’s been a while since I’ve read New Adult and this book popped my Christina Lauren cherry. That in mind, those who love Samantha Young and Christina Lee (without the dark and dramatic) will enjoy this book.
It’s a first person POV from the heroine, Holland. Holland has a nice unique voice that reminds me of so many young 20-something women. She’s having fun, enjoying life, and trying to figure out where she fits into everything. Included in that is a serious crush on a busker. For those who don’t know what that is it’s anyone putting on a performance, typically musical, in public for gratuities. The busker of course is our hero and he quickly becomes enveloped in Holland’s life, once by chance and twice on purpose.
I won’t go into all the details because reading the story, even the blurb, is a lot better than my half-baked explanation. Let’s dig into what worked:
This is a replay of the marriage of convenience trope, but it works. It’s modern and fits the times, the situation, and I think this is a good, fresh take. The budding romance is a good case of falling in love gradually, which I appreciate among the fast number of insta-lust/love stories available. I also appreciate the author(s) ability to make me truly wonder if our hero, Calvin really cares for Holland or not because he puts on a pretty convincing performance at the drop of a dime.
A couple other things that hit me – this book centers around a musical production, with pointers to music numbers, classical works, etc. Having a musical background, myself, I could easily relate and get into Holland’s head from that perspective. That being said, it’s not so comprehensive and deep that a person with no musical inclinations can’t appreciate the story. The vivid descriptions of the city, from traveling on the subway to New York nightlife – those were perfect and amazing.
What didn’t work? The start of this story is slow… so slow, it took me until chapter five for things to really pick up. Anyone looking for a fast pace, this is not that book. Once things take off with the hero and heroine finally coming together things take on a steady pace of budding relationship, conflict, and plenty of sexual tension. My only other caveat is that I felt the heroine was a bit wishy-washy, and some of the conflict between the couple is built on her inability to just communicate with Calvin. Again, this is something that’s probably prevalent in New Adult romance, and buyable because let’s face it when I was in my 20s I wasn’t very good at communicating either.
Overall, I liked it. The concept, the plot, both were unique. If you’re a fan of marriage of convenience trope, enjoy hero’s with accents, or possess a love of Hamilton I encourage you to check this out.