Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the audio ARC. It hasn’t affected the contents of my review.
I’m seriously so torn on whether to round this one up or down. I’d written this author off after reading their first book, which didn’t work for me at all. But this premise sounded really cute and I’d seen some good-ish reviews, so I thought I’d give them another shot. And this is indeed a much better book than their first! (I still don’t want to read their second, and probably won’t read any more after this.) But it’s also pretty flawed in a way that made it really hard to fall into the story.
I liked the first half of this quite a bit, as Phoebe and Grace got to know each other. Grace is the ten year veteran and Phoebe the energetic rookie. And then the author decided that really doubling down on the miscommunication trope would be a great idea, resulting in the extremely agonizing-to-read result of one of the characters thinking they are dating for a whole month and the other having no idea. On top of this, one of the characters is so mistrustful it verges on paranoia, and is on the autism spectrum disorder (without knowing it). And all of this sort of sploots together in a way that was embarrassing and distressing. The end sort of made up for it, but I had already checked out. It was too much for one story. Just the paranoia/mistrust on the one character’s part would have been too much for me.
When their chemistry is working, though, the book was very absorbing. The sex scenes in here are SEX SCENES. Although like other reviewers, it got a bit frustrating to see them constantly using sex to distract from actually communicating.
Worth noting, I did the audio version, which made it easier to overlook the very extensive internal monologues other people seemed to have such trouble with, judging by other reviews, but also I didn’t really like either narrator, and they didn’t enhance the story for me. I particularly think the narrator for Phoebe was a mismatch.
CBR BINGO: Getaway (using this in place of the Hold Steady square). I know you can use this square for anything, but it’s fitting that the MCs travel for their careers, and spend a lot of time exploring New Orleans.