Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review. This book will be released on June 11, 2019.
Good lord. I have never read a book in recent memory that was pretty much panned by all of the readers who posted reviews for it. I wish I had looked at Goodreads before applying for this book via NetGalley. I wanted some romance reads and I was thrilled that this book was a romance read with two POC as the romantic leads. I also really loved the cover too.
So pro, this is short, around 280 pages. So I was able to finish this pretty quickly between my screaming at the character of Angel and feeling appalled and repulsed by the character of Duke.
Con, everything else. Let’s get to it shall we?
So “The Perfect Date” should not even be in the same sentence with other romance reads like “The Wedding Date” and “The Kiss Quotient.” Those books were fantastic, and this book just reads as a how many ways can a woman’s life be terrible.
Angel Gomez is going through nursing school while bartending trying to provide for her son, Jose. Caleb “The Duke” Lewis, known as Duke throughout this story plays for the Yankees (he’s a pitcher) who is still recovering from being shot in the ankle that left one of his team members dead and him dealing with a lot of angst and anger over the incident. These two have a “messed up cute” when Angel is at the clinic dealing with her son who is suffering from an asthma attack and Duke is there trying to keep it hidden that he is seeing a doctor about his ankle. There’s some long winded explanations about why Duke doesn’t want anyone to know that his ankle is still not doing that great.
Angel and Duke meet again when she’s bartending and he asks if she’s a stripper and can he see her [redacted]. I maybe full body shuddered. Angel throws a drink, gets fired, and poor Duke feels bad. Though his agent and friend think she was asking for it due to how she was dressed.
Can I also bring up that before all that mess with Angel and Duke meeting again, that Angel walks in on her boss having sex with the hostess and it’s graphically explained what is happening and I could feel my insides trying to climb into one another?
There’s no development to these characters by the way. The whole way we get to the “romance” portion of the evening made my head hurt. Angel is of course just attracted to Duke though he propositioned her and thought she was a stripper.
I felt sorry for Angel, sorry for her son, and despised Duke and his terrible father. Duke at several points in this romance puts his hands on Angel and I started wishing that the book ended with his death.
Duke’s father and that whole plot point just made me sigh. Along with Duke and the plot point with his ex Regina that had me disgusted.
I really wish that this could have just been a more rags to riches romance with a woman learning about being thrust into the celebrity sphere and maybe focusing on the lack of privacy, money, etc. This whole book read very soap operaish at times and not in the good way either.
The writing was not great.
“He was staring at her.
So, she stammered. You are the Duke.
And you are the nurse. Not a stripper.
Ha ha. Very funny.”
“The music suddenly changed, became louder. His mood lightened.
He was ready to dance, let off some steam and watch Angel move those hips and shake that ass.
Looking at her glistening skin and alert eyes, he suddenly had a strong urge to unpin her hair and run his fingers through it, let her long curls fly around free.
She finer than every woman in here.”
“A couple of the women squeezed his popped muscles, oohing and aahing, but Angel simply hoisted her glass at him.
Impressive, she said, her eyebrow arched.
Oh duke, you must be so excited. It’s almost time for you to start playing again, isn’t it? one of the younger women asked–the girlfriend of a rookie who was already at spring training.
He turned up the charm. I’m a playa all the time, am I right?
She giggled. I guess. For an old guy.
Ooh, ouch. Kicked me right in the nuts with that one.
Well, a hot old guy…Does that make you feel better?
Almost as good as if you had that hot little ass pressed against me.
It was like out of a cartoon, the silence that followed.
He could swear a needle screeched across a vinyl record and a circle of faces whipped from Duke to Angel and back.”
The flow was not great either. I am assuming that when the final book is published we are going to have some page breaks or paragraph breaks between dialogue. A few times I realized that we had switched over to Duke and we were still not following Angel’s POV. That said, the book doesn’t move forward much at all. Took to more than the half way point for things to get revealed.
I feel so dirty right now. I should have put up a gif of a thumbs down and been done with this review.