⭐️⭐️⭐️ Back half sours otherwise phenomenal read

Not sure how I restrained myself from throwing my Kindle against the wall, because this book is gut-wrenchingly FRUSTRATING. I say that with both love and disappointment. Love, because the first half is pure magic, light and gooey rom com goodness that will warm your heart. Disappointment, because the second half takes that fragile relationship and smashes it to pieces. It’s a love story in two parts – one of which I never wanted to end, and the other I just wanted to be done with.

If you’ve read Jimenez’s debut, The Friend Zone (not required reading for this but helpful), you already know how divisive her writing can be. I’m not sure that anyone questions the quality of her writing – the first half of this book is one of the best things I’ve read this year – but the tonal shift is jarring and, frankly, unnecessary. These two already have enough hurdles in their path to happiness; it didn’t need to devolve into such a hot mess. While the back half certainly elicited an emotional response from me, I cannot say that I am at all happy with the way things played out.

If you want storyline details, you can look elsewhere. I will say that this is half rom com, with an adorably original meet cute, fantastic banter, chemistry that sparks off the page, and a hero who will melt your heart. I didn’t even mind the insta-love connection; I just wanted more, more of Sloan and Jason. He is such a loving, understanding, marshmallow of a man that I loved him right away… which made the second half that much more devastating. All I’ll say about the back half is that it focuses on the perils of being a rock star and the strain it puts on a relationship. I didn’t love the people either Sloan or Jason became by the end, and my heart hurt for what they once had.

Ultimately, if you loved The Friend Zone (which the vast majority of people did), then I don’t see any reason why you won’t love this. For me, the two books are equally frustrating reads. I would’ve rated each of Jimenez’s books as 5 stars without hesitation if the back halves hadn’t obliterated the relationships I had come to love. I so appreciated receiving an ARC via NetGalley since I was eagerly anticipating this release (and am voluntarily leaving a review), but I’m left with a lot of conflicting thoughts on this one. While I love Jimenez’s writing, I don’t love the beatings her couples have to take in order to find their happy ever after.

Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/2XaW4Sq
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3dXPyUM
Audiobook: https://amzn.to/2yzQ9fm


BLURB:

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone comes a fresh romantic comedy full of “fierce humor and fiercer heart” about one trouble-making dog who brings together two perfect strangers. (Casey McQuiston, New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue)

Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.
Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?

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