Release Date: Apr 21, 2020
Series: Modern Love
Heat Level: Hot
Imprint: Avon Books
A fabulous story about unrequited love and the family you choose. Sometimes that can involve people you’re related to and sometimes not.
Girl Gone Viral is slow paced and drawn out for those who love a slow burn and it shows the depth of the writing capability Rai possesses as the first book in the series, The Right Swipe, was a fast paced, sensual romper right out of the gate.
I’m always impressed with an author who can make me truly believe I’m living out different characters lives, even with the same writing style. Katrina and Jasvinder are distinct and marvelous. From their quirks, Katrina loves all the animals to Jasvinder who has never met one that didn’t dislike him. Katrina’s love of cooking from scratch and the sour dough starter she always travels with. Followed with Jasvinder’s quiet, unassuming nature and creature of habit tendencies. They come from different backgrounds and this story explores the age-old bodyguard trope. Cue the reminders of Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, the Bodyguard movie is still a favorite of mine. This book puts a nice twist on it.
For the modern crowd, our heroine, Katrina is also put on the spot after a random conversation with a guy turns into social media wannabe romance fodder by some rando woman. Hero Jasvinder is dealing with some issues from his past that make him equally eager to get away from any possible limelight which leads to the pair going on a road trip to Jasvinder’s family farm. There’s family drama, forced proximity… these are common elements I have seen in Rai’s previous series and I’ll admit the author knows how to keep it fresh and interesting.
She also know how to bring tears to my eyes with her dialogue. Take this precious line shared to Jasvinder by his grandfather:
“I love you, you know. I don’t say it enough, because I assumed you knew I loved you. But that’s the problem. Sometimes we think a person doesn’t need to hear something because it’s obvious, because they know what’s in our hearts. But that’s not how the world works. We have to say the things.”
Another time to point out Rai is breaking even more barriers around the concept of emotion and masculinity. Her heroes and male characters in her stories are consistently open with their feelings, or at least learn to be, and aren’t afraid of words like love or shedding a few tears. Falling apart is okay and that’s awesome.
My only hiccup, what kept this from five stars, I wanted more intimacy between Jasvinder and Katrina. There is a fair amount, but if you have read a lot of Rai books (I have), this one is definitely not as high on the sexual Richter scale. Normally that wouldn’t bother me, but for some reason this time it did. Again, a personal preference thing and no way indicative of how good this story was.