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I absolutely adored this book! I'm always scared when a book is so overly hyped that it won't live up to it, but I loved every single page. The characters were adorable, sexy and witty. Thoroughly recommend.
I'm a fan of the fake-dating trope, but this is the first time I've seen a reverse fake-dating story! This book has such delicious tropes, including forced proximity, and features an older heroine (Shay is 29) and younger man (Dominic is 24). The relationship builds really beautifully - they start off disliking each other and finding each other really annoying, but as they're forced to work together and spend time together they find a grudging respect that builds to camaraderie and reluctant attraction. Even though Shay can't see it, it's clear to the reader how much both parties are fighting their feelings. The slow-burn build-up is absolutely delicious, and when they finally do come together it's hot as hell. I appreciated the explicit inclusion of enthusiastic consent throughout, as well as discussion of contraception.
Beyond the main relationships, there's a whole lot more that makes this book worthwhile. Shay is Jewish and Dominic has Korean heritage, and I enjoyed seeing their cultures and families on the page. Shay's father died during her teenage years, and that grief is something that she carries with her. How we deal with grief over time, and love after loss, are so beautifully handled. As much as I was glad for a mask while listening to the steamy scenes on the train, I was glad for it during chapters that more directly addressed that grief, which brought me to tears. It's something that had wider impact throughout the story, as we also see how Shay's mother dealt with it. There are themes of how family changes over time, with Shay's mum's new relationship (she proposes to her boyfriend!! Bonus points for having a woman propose!). The book also addresses how friendships grow and change over time, the loneliness and confusion of becoming an adult and finding your footing, and questioning and discovering your own personal and professional interests. It shows how pervasive and subversive sexism in the workplace can be, and the importance of women supporting women.
I borrowed the audiobook from the library and ended up buying the ebook. The audio performance is so moving! The performer does an incredible job, especially in highly emotional scenes where she really captured the depth of all the feelings coming to the fore. I definitely recommend listening to the audiobook if you have that option.
This was such a touching, evocative read, with an ending that hit all the right notes while leaving some things satisfyingly open to growth for the characters. Relationship Goals, indeed!
I love Dominic and I love Shay and I wars incredibly excited about this book, which sometimes is a problem, because the book itself can be underwhelming. While that wasn’t the case there’s some aspects of this I didn’t love completely, but Rachel’s voice is incredible and she’s an auto buy author for me!
I didnt really mean to read this tonight and shirk everything else I was planning to do but *britney spears voice* OOPS I DID IT AGAIN.
I haven't read any of Solomon's books before, but I was really interested in this one's premise, especially as someone with a background in radio myself (both on the production and hosting sides! Just like Shay. Although, I certainly didn't have a Dominic Yun. Tragic.).
Speaking of Dominic Yum-- I mean, Yun-- the sexual tension between them was insane especially in the first part of this book. I was truly dead. And their banter was amazing--some of the stuff they said on their show made me Chuckle.
All in all, I loved this one. So enjoyable, so unique, and such a page turner.
The storyline about how the main character felt after losing her father was very authentic and touching. A lot of the heartbreak and angst over bad relationships was also very genuine. On the other hand, I found this book/author tried way too hard to represent “diversity”. Every single character was “representing” a group: African, Asian, Indian, several LGBTQ, etc. it was way overdone and came across as forced i.e. checking the boxes of working every community into the story to the point of distraction. If you name a character an obviously Indian name, you don’t have to go out of your way to point out to the reader that the character is Indian when it doesn’t add to the plot or story. It felt very forced.