Disclaimer: I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review
When Josephine reluctantly attends her high school get-together, little does she know that an unlikely chain of events will lead to her embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. After an innocent night out with Matthew–a dashing billionaire who she never expects to meet again, she wakes up to find that her life has changed forever. She’ll have to do whatever it takes to unravel the mess that she has gotten herself into.
She’s just a small-town girl, who has floated through life feeling invisible most of the time. Now she finds herself journeying half way across the globe, striking one heck of a bold deal and taking her place alongside one of the most powerful families in the world. As she experiences another level of opulence and luxury for the first time, she must also learn to face new challenges with grit and resilience.
Heartache, betrayal, deceit, cruelty and outright cattiness lie in store for her, along with an unexpected chance at love. Will she have the courage to rise above the trials ahead, tackle her insecurities and come into her own? (Amazon, 2021).
This is the author’s debut novel and I think the overall story has a lot of potential. However, I believe that I would have enjoyed this one a lot more if certain things had been done a bit differently.
Even if a book is not my favorite I like to start out my review with the thing or things that I enjoyed about it. The main thing that I liked about this book is RMT Jay’s heroine, Jo Arquette. Jo is so relatable, which in my opinion is great for a main character. She had a childhood trauma and hasn’t been able to come out of her shell in some ways. Jo is also so good natured and well meaning that it’s impossible not to like her. This book is meant to be her journey of self discovery and I am always ready to root for a lovable protagonist.
I also enjoyed the setting. In my opinion, Italy is the perfect setting for a romance. I really enjoyed reading about Jo’s exploration of Rome, which included getting to know Italian food and fashion.
The major problem I had with this novel is that Jo’s potential love interest is so unlikeable and there is no tension or chemistry between the two. Matthew Devaro is cold and downright mean to Jo for most of the story and there is no logical explanation for his actions. It’s very hard to imagine what would make Jo care about a man who treats her so poorly and there were so many times in the story where I wished Jo would just abandon the fake marriage scheme. In my opinion, if we got more chapters with Matthew’s POV it would be easier to determine if there was some kind of justification for his actions, which in term might have made him seem more sympathetic to the reader.
Another problem in my opinion is that the pacing is a bit off. I understand that the author is aiming for a slow burn, but I think the antagonism between Matt and Jo could have been shortened considerably. At the same time when there is a change in Matt’s attitude towards Jo it comes off as too drastic to be believable.
This was a 3 out of 5 for me. It is a quick read with a lot of potential, but I hope that the next book in the series sees an improvement in pacing and more character development for Matthew.
If you would like to give Jo and Matthew a chance pre-orders are available at https://cutt.ly/0nqjRlI
Always love to hear your thoughts! What are some things you look for in a good romance novel?