While I loved the snarky banter and enemies to lovers vibe of this fake relationship romance, there were too many stumbles along the way for me to say that I loved it. Along with a slow start and a heroine I struggled to like, there was a complete and total lack of communication between the characters that was endlessly frustrating. That being said, I loved the forced closeness, the connection they feel at the wedding, and the dialogue that Alam excels at. So you can see why I’m torn about this one.
The story follows Heather, a socially awkward, insecure woman who finds herself dateless for a wedding. When she catches her new coworker, Archer, out with someone that could be problematic for his career, she uses that as a way to secure him as her fake boyfriend during a weekend away. It isn’t until they begin spending time together that these two opposites get to know one another better, and somewhere along the way they start to connect – both in and out of the bedroom.
Alam’s last book was one of my favorites of 2019, so I was eagerly anticipating this release. While it wasn’t bad – the writing, dialogue, and sexy scenes were too strong for that – it didn’t have the same polish I’m accustomed to from her work. The serious lack of communication is what drops this otherwise 4-star read to 3 stars for me. The miscommunication results in an ending that felt incredibly rushed and unsatisfying. If you’re looking for something playful and sexy, this is that – but it’s not without its issues.
THE STAND OUT by Donna Alam
Release Date: February 6th
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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Dear Archer Powell,
You are cordially
Your presence is
I need a plus-one for a wedding,
And when my friends start talking incentives, I begin to freak.
Like what? Free drinks? My underwear?
But then a bonus falls into my hands in the shape of Archer Powell,
Tall, dark, gorgeous. Looks good in a suit.
He’s also the office heartthrob.
He’s perfect for the position.
Or even a few of them.
If only I had some way to persuade him.
Oh, wait, I do!
Blackmail is such a dirty word.
Turns out, it’s fun, too . . .
The Stand Out features a quirky girl and the office heartthrob, office enemies with (blackmailed) benefits, a fake relationship, and is full of fun, fire, and f—sexytimes!
About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Donna writes dirty stories, according to her family. She hopes you find them funny, too.
When not bashing away at a keyboard, she can usually be found hiding from her family and responsibilities with a good book in her hand and a dog that looks like a grey mop by her feet.
She likes her humour and wine dry, her mojitos sweet, and her language salty.
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