Guinevere Poe is living her best life. She’s a successful artist whose pieces sell for millions and engaged to a very hot, very rich man.
Eli Davenport is also living his best life. He’s a top neurosurgeon and about to marry a very hot, very rich doctor.
It all starts going wrong when Guinevere’s fiance runs off with Eli’s bride-to-be. During the ceremony. Awkward.
Eli and Gwen are both just trying to move on and find themselves in each other’s path again and again (because New York really is just a small town where everybody knows your name). If it’s not Gwen bringing Eli’s brother into the emergency room, it’s that she’s moving in to the apartment next door. Eli is a first-class jerk until he’s not and the two crazy kids find love with one another.
Wooo, boy! If unrepentant tools are your favorite flavor of romance hero, Eli is your man. Eli makes Act Like It‘s Richard look like a softie. The man learns that Gwen recently sold a piece for $2 million and immediately calls her a “con artist”. Gwen, for her part, pushes back, but she definitely has a whiff of that “good girl/punching bag” air that romance heroines too often have.
It took a while to settle in enough to actually like this one, not only because Eli is a hard guy to root for, but also because the writing is a little stiff in the first third. I can’t complain about the contrived interactions because it’s romance and that’s what we do here, but the dialogue feels cheesy. (I now realize that the word “hollered” should only be used once in a book.)
Once I gave in to the dialogue, it was a much easier to enjoy the rest of the book. There were the requisite shenanigans with the boomerang exes, yet McAvoy avoids any temptation to give in to noble idiocy on the part of either of the hero or heroine. The supporting characters are all a good time–if McAvoy wants to give Super Junior-loving Dr. Seo his own book, I am interested–and the external drama is kept to a relative minimum.
What would have been a solid 3 gets bumped to a 4 because the ending actually got me a little choked up. I only picked the book up because the cover featured an interracial couple and the woman looks vaguely like Paula Patton. This was a really pleasant surprise.
But Eli is an unrepentant tool.
Stupid romance thing that needs to die: No, honey, you being on the pill doesn’t mean he shouldn’t wear a condom. I say this because I care about you and want you to succeed.