Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Stefanie London
Release Date: May 3rd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
How do you start over when the biggest mistake of your life has more than one million views?
Forget diamonds—the internet is forever. Social media consultant Isla Thompson learned that lesson the hard way when she went viral for all the wrong reasons. A month later, Isla is still having nightmares about the moment she ruined a young starlet’s career and made herself the most unemployable influencer in Manhattan. But she doesn’t have the luxury of hiding until she’s no longer Instagram poison. Not when her fourteen-year-old sister, Dani, needs Isla to keep a roof over their heads. So, she takes the first job she can get: caring for Camilla, a glossy-maned, foul-tempered hellhound.
After a week of ferrying Camilla from playdates to pet psychics, Isla starts to suspect that the dachshund’s bark is worse than her bite—just like her owner, Theo Garrison. Isla has spent her career working to make people likable and here’s Theo—happy to hide behind his reputation as a brutish recluse. But Theo isn’t a brute—he’s sweet and funny, and Isla should not see him as anything but the man who signs her paychecks. Because loving Theo would mean retreating to his world of secluded luxury, and Isla needs to show Dani that no matter the risk, dreams are always worth chasing.
Thank you to the publisher for an eARC.
I gratefully enjoyed this more than I hoped for, even if a few things took it down here and there.
I really liked Isla as one of the main points of view. She was optimistic and full of light. I was willingly cheering her on through the ups and downs of trying to be a good caretaker and parent to her sister and finding a new path after losing her job. Isla’s resilience knew no bounds and I was proud of what she accomplished.
Theo was the other point of view (YAY for double points of view in a romance!). More gruff around the edges and unwillingly to see past his own walls, he took some warming up to see his soft side. I ADORE the grump/sunshine trope and thought this was an excellent execution of that.
Mixed thoughts towards some of the plot. I think there was almost too much focus on other things and at times I noticed a repetitiveness to the inner dialogue about varying situations. It took me awhile to feel invested in the romance because I thought things jumped off too quickly since the focus kept turning to other matters.
The conflict had me shaking my head a bit as well. It was heavily hinted throughout buuuut still. I guess I just hoped it would work a bit differently or there’d be a spin on it that I could get behind. While that wasn’t the case, I did absolutely LOVE the grand gesture at the end and the sweetness that followed. FYI this was steamier than I expected and there’s a few scenes, easily skippable if you prefer that like me!
Also yes, the dog, Camilla, is feisty and lovable and played a good sized roll. I loved her spunky vibe and how incredibly touching she could be. Pulls at your heart strings for fellow animal lovers!
Overall audience notes:
- Contemporary Romance
- Language: a little strong
- Romance: multiple open door
- Trigger/Content Warnings: recounting loss of parents (car wreck), parental abandonment, grief, brief mention of suicide ideation, loss of a grandparent
Stefanie London is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. Her books have been called “genuinely entertaining and memorable” by Booklist, and her writing praised as “elegant, descriptive and delectable” by RT Magazine. Originally from Australia, she now lives in Toronto with her very own hero and is doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges her passions for lipstick, good coffee, books and anything zombie related.