The blurb on this one promised big things, comparing this novel to the works of Penny Reid, Sally Thorne, and Jennifer Crusie. I’m not entirely sure it lives up to that hype.
The story starts strong. Jeremy aids Melody in getting out of a bad flirtation in a bar and the two hit it off, despite having nothing in common except instalust. And the instalust! The part where Jeremy growls during their first encounter? Yes. There. Do that. Yes. Please.
After their hot one-night stand (behind closed doors, boo!), the pair part ways. Years later, after graduation, Melody reestablishes contact. Jeremy has a girlfriend now, so the two attempt to build a friendship.
At this point the romance stalls and the story shifts to Melody’s budding friendships. Melody’s friendship with Jeremy’s girlfriend is some of the best writing in the book.
Still, I spent the middle 60% of this book waiting for the “real” hero to arrive because it seemed clear that Jeremy wasn’t the HEA. (Because why would you set your hero up with that particular back story if you wanted readers to like him?)
I’m not against the slow build romance on principle. The friends-to-lovers thing can be very sweet, especially in a second chance romance. But maybe it’s too slow if I honestly want them to be friends more than I want them to be together? I can point to one or two instances which might have been intended to convey chemistry between the couple, but it’s utterly unconvincing. (Is this why the blurb compares this to Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game? Because Joshua was selling his side of that romance way better than Jeremy does.)
Also, this is not a romantic comedy. There’s some humor, but no absurd situations are played for laughs.
Remedial Rocket Science is fine. In fact, I like the heroine who is trying to make friends in a new town. I even like the deeply flawed, borderline unlikeable hero. I just feel like maybe this is fiction trying on romance clothes for no good reason.