This started off well. Was fun, interesting and by the page count, yes I stalk page counts, clearly long enough to be slow-burn style. Basically all the makings of your classic romance. However, I couldn’t get into it. I like slow burns but this one just didn’t grab me.
Firstly the mom screamed personal space violations. It was funny at first but I kinda stopped liking her the moment she demanded after Gideon made it extremely clear multiple times he did not want to join them for dinner, that he come and then say it was all about them getting to know each other better because she’d been spying how they looked at each other. I was more than triggered by this like he said no many times and the book was long enough for her to continue to scheme. Part of her appeal was her matchmaking schemes so her just disrespecting boundaries took the wind out of that. It was supposed to be funny but it didn’t have that effect on me.
Then there was the reason why Gideon hadn’t gone back home, and that he hadn’t told his family. This is fine cause some things are hard to say but he’d def have to tell Isaiah at some point and after the mom episode, my brain just envisioned him waiting until it was too late and it turning into one of those avoidable romance drama scenes that bug me because they are only there specifically to drum up drama. So that, plus Isaiah’s mom being pushy and then the “Gideon had to reveal information to his mom and Isaiah also’ situation just sent up a lot of the forced drama flags in my ‘I have read way too many of my share of romance novels to read certain things’ playbook. To add to that there was mention of Isaiah having an over religious brother and sister-in-law so I knew at some point that would be tackled.
Ultimately when attached to the length of the book I had to decide on how long I was willing to wait for things to happen and even if they happened at the right time how many pages I was willing to continue reading after the tension arrived. I decided to just skip to the end and make my decision based on that.
88 percent seemed good. Not quite the end and plenty of time for more things to happen. It seems the relationship had well solidified by then. The first issue I mentioned about why Gideon didn’t go home as fast as planned, gets brought up here, just after 90 percent. So I would’ve had to read almost an entire book for him to tackle this issue and in a big epic ‘life-changing decision moment’ and it’s resolved immediately because there isn’t enough page time to deal with this bomb.
Not only that but I was reading the end, there’s talks of house buying and rent and there’s a lot of ‘we’ going on. Naturally, I assumed everyone knew because of how the conversation was going, however, immediately after this the whole religious thing with the brother comes up and this bit of tension I was worried about is also solved in a few paragraphs. Less than one page. From my little bit of hoping maybe not this book it, unfortunately, it did wait until the very end when there was no page time to dig into what these emotions would mean for the main characters and how they balance this with their love life and family, and neither issue gets a fraction of the weight they deserve. Quick resolve endings aren’t unique in the world of romance and I always wonder since writers can find the time to dig into these intricately detailed drama’s with splashes of comedy, romance and avoidable conclusion jumping situations, why they wait till the end of the stories to solve serious plot issues as quickly as possible.
Based on what I did read I can assume I probably would’ve been really annoyed by the plot choices, however, there are some assumptions that can be made from that also. Like the humour will probably be great. The tension would be the balance of tension readers expect from these types of novels, a certain level of angst and drama mixed with the occasional steamy scene and even some shocking, but not so shocking reveals. The biggest assumption I can make, based on things I see in most romances is that this one probably crosses almost if not everything on the list for what readers want. Even down to the no cheating in Romance as this is brought up very early on during a dinner date which I epically rolled my eyes at. It gets three stars even though I only read a third of it. To be fair I stalked the reviews so I know this is a hard yes for most, but I also know that for a few people the angst and drama didn’t sit well like I thought it wouldn’t with me. Basically, I was right in my assumption of the things I wanted to avoid being in here.
If a fun sweet, humourous and slightly angsty romance is what you love then for you this book is an easy win. If you like those super-hightend quickly resolved endings romance tends to have, this is for you. And if you like a good steamy interracial romance again, this book is for you. It will definitely be worth the read, but for me, it just wasn’t enough.