I enjoyed the last book I read by this author so much that I didn’t even hesitate to request this one from NetGalley, even though the description might not have been one that appealed to me. I’m so glad I did. I loved this book and would list it at the top of my “fun” reads.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
To try to get over being in love with one of his best friends, an actor uses a bachelor auction as his opportunity to force himself to move on. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.
Alec has been in love with his longtime friend Theresa for years. Unfortunately, after he confessed his love to her, she rejected him. She wasn’t unkind about it, but Alec found it was harder to be around her. So he pulled away. And in the course of their friendship, he did this several times, always being there for her when she needed him, but then always avoiding her afterwards to save his heart (though it wasn’t really working, but whatever).
When Theresa asks him to fill in as a bachelor at a charity auction she’s helping organize, he reluctantly agrees. When a local artist wins him, Alec decides this is his chance to really try to move on from Theresa and he commits to having a good time and trying to find a connection with his date for the evening.
Time to Move On?
The first half of the book is told from Alec’s point of view and switches between his present date and his past interactions with Theresa, including meeting her for the first time, being there for her when she got robbed, and, most recently, the night they spent together a few weeks, prior after which Alec pulled away from her again, figuring it was only going to be a one night thing. While the flashbacks are poignant and sweet, his date with the artist is hilarious, mostly because of all the weird things that keep happening. Like the fact that every time Alec tries to kiss his date, something strange happens…like food flying at him and basketballs coming out of nowhere.
The second half of the book switches to Theresa’s point of view throughout her relationship with Alec and during his date. After a relationship that took a toll on her emotionally, she’s finally ready to be with him and admit how much she loves him. But when he ends up being won by another woman at the auction, she’s afraid she’s lost her chance. So she does what any self-respecting woman would do: she plays stalker for the evening.
Part of the reason the synopsis didn’t appeal to me was because my knee jerk reaction to Theresa was that she was selfish and kept the poor guy hanging on for no reason. But that’s not entirely correct. When Alec tells her he loves her, she’s in a weird situation with her long distance boyfriend, and the timing is just off. It genuinely takes her time to get it together and be the person Alec deserves.
The Romance Factor
Who knew unrequited love could be so sweet? I generally feel uncomfortable for characters who are hopelessly and one-sidedly in love, and there was a little bit of that with Alec. But on the other hand, once I figured out what was going on, I was invested and totally rooting for him to get his HEA. Even in the flashbacks, it’s obvious Alec and Theresa should be together. The journey to them getting there is a little bit heart wrenching, but also fun.
The Steam Factor
There’s a little bit of steam, but not a lot of graphic details. Just enough to let you know what’s going on. 2/5
This was a fun read that was both funny and sadly sweet at times. Not only did I love the story, but I liked the way it was laid out, giving both view points in two different halves of the book.