A note regarding the controversy surrounding this author can be found after the blurb
I couldn’t get the taste of bully out of my mouth while reading this. Oh, and the book wasn’t great either.
I was legitimately excited to read this when I received an early copy via NetGalley back in September. I haven’t loved most of the author’s newer books, but she is undeniably talented and has the potential to write something great. Since this is her first with a traditional publisher, I was hoping that this might feel more polished and perhaps reined in a bit.
That was all well before the allegations came to light.
I’m voluntarily leaving a review only because it was already on my Kindle. I have no plans to buy the book, nor to support the author further.
In terms of the story, there are definitely things that I enjoyed, but they’re greatly outweighed by the things I didn’t. The author excels at writing complex relationships that draw you in, and this one is an interesting mix of second chance and fake relationship romance. Unfortunately, the main issue between the two is the antihero’s past (assumed) cheating. It’s not made immediately clear to the reader – and certainly not the heroine – whether or not he actually DID cheat. That means that I cringed a little every time I saw the heroine start to fall for him again, and I had trouble respecting either one. He’s also kind of a jerk, which… is no surprise. If you’re in the mood for something twisty and already love the author’s work, this may work better for you. Oh, and if you’re also willing to overlook the multiple accusations against her. I’m not. For me, this wasn’t a satisfying read, and I’ve already purged it from my memory.
From USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen comes a second-chance romance about love, loss, finding yourself, and getting lost in the right person.
Maddie Goldbloom stitched up a plan to ensure everything in her life was perfect—from a career in fashion to a chic NYC apartment to a pediatrician boyfriend.
When her ex, Chase Black, storms back into her life with an outrageous request, her immediate reaction is to refuse him. But he only wants to fulfill his father’s last wish. So even though he’s the man who broke her heart, playing his fiancée shouldn’t be hard, especially if it means she gets to watch the arrogant devil squirm a bit.
What ensues is a chain of events that detonates Maddie’s life—and when Chase’s walls come down, they both are forced to face reality.
They say keep your enemies close. But what if your enemy is also the man you love?
A note about the controversy
I’ve never had any personal experiences with this author – this is the first ARC I’ve received for one of her books, and it was from the publisher, not the author.
I’ve enjoyed some of her books, I haven’t enjoyed others. I certainly haven’t read all of them. The most recent ones have been too over the top for me, but she’s a talented writer, so I’ve come back for more.
That is, until the controversy. Since I’ve never had any personal interactions with the author, it’s not my place to say whether the allegations are correct or not. But they certainly don’t paint a good picture.
If you’re unfamiliar, you can inform yourself by browsing some of the reviews of The Villain on GoodReads, the second half of this one in particular. There’s also an account on Instagram devoted to sharing screenshots of other authors’ reactions, etc. Find it here – I’d recommend starting with the older posts.
Form your own opinion, that’s all I’ll say. I personally will not be supporting this author further.
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