I was truly not expecting to get hold of this before publication. But I did, and I am so happy. If you haven’t read the first book in the series, Spoiler Alert, now is the time to go correct that. Going into All the Feels, we know why Lauren and Alex are thrown together, and we know that things are going disastrously for them at the end of Spoiler Alert. We also know that Alex has feelings for Lauren, but not why or whether they are reciprocated. All the Feels exceeded my expectations of all the stuff we didn’t know and my expectations were high.
Alex and Lauren are thrown together when Alex is arrested for starting a bar fight in Spain while filming the last episodes of the Game of Thrones-esque Gods of the Gates tv series. One of the producers hires his cousin, Lauren, to be Ale’s minder until the final episode has aired. Alex accepts the arrangement because he doesn’t want to be sued or tank his career. Lauren accepts because she left her high stress job as a mental health practitioner in an ER and babysitting one actor for a few months will give her more financial breathing room. Fundamentally, they are both big hearted people who put other people first, and that is where they run into trouble.
I loved that for a good half of the book, they are just getting to know each other and becoming friends. When they start to acknowledge (to themselves) that they have feelings, Dade has built their friendship so that love and attraction flow naturally. Alex wants attention and engagement and is willing to irritate Lauren until she gives it to him. He also uses that same energy to care for Lauren, who tends to make herself as small as possible. Alex will sacrifice everything for one wrong person, while Lauren wants to help as many people as possible, recognizing that she can’t help everyone as much as she would like. In the process of falling in love and building a life together, they have to find a way to be together where Alex’s protective instincts don’t burn everything down and Lauren includes herself in the list of people who deserve her care.
It’s such a warm and comfy hug of a book.
Thank you to NetGalley and Avon for the advance reader copy. I reviewed this voluntarily.