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About the Book:
Author: Hannah Orenstein
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
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Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein | Book Review
STORY | Alongside her sister, Eliza Roth runs a growing jewelry store called Brooklyn Jewels. The only trouble is, while her social media presence is large, and several of their pieces have been worn by A-list celebs, their lease is just too much to keep up with. Then, to make matters worse, Eliza sees on social media that her ex is engaged. To make herself feel better, she finds the biggest engagement ring in the store, and snaps a pic. Little does she realize that the photo, with the ring on that finger, is accidentally posted to the businesses Instagram page.
Their business suddenly doubles in popularity overnight, and Eliza finds herself the subject of all kinds of free wedding promotion. The only thing she’s missing is a fiancé!
REVIEW | At its most basic, this novel is really cute. The fake dating/engagement trope is a favorite of mine if done well, and that’s the entire premise of Love at First Like. There’s plenty to enjoy about this book, but the behavior and mindset of Eliza in the latter ¼ of the novel is what docks the star count.
To be perfectly honest, I loved this book through a good portion, at least halfway. Despite the heroine (who I can understand readers not loving) and the premise, there is just something about the story I like. It was a unique “fake” romance trope, and I also did not expect the direction it takes (for no other reason than I didn’t read the synopsis good enough). Eliza is a character the reader will either like, or find unreasonable. I do like her well enough to enjoy the story, but do understand she’s a bit prickly when it comes to keeping up her faux engagement. Then, this leads us into discussion of other characters.
SPOILERS ahead: Blake isn’t a bad guy by any means. I like him just fine and think he might be good for Eliza in many ways. Still, there is that sense that they’re a practical match and maybe not one that will sustain a marriage. Then, there’s Raj. He’s the unexpected part of this equation. Don’t mistake me, I really like the dude, but also feel a kind of disconnect because I don’t feel as if I really know him by the final page. Still, since Love at First Like is more a beginning in the end, I suppose we can forgive it these few flaws. END SPOILERS
This is a well-written contemporary romance that’s all about its popular faux romance trope. For the most part it does work nicely in this space. I enjoyed the story in spite of a few reservations. For me, it’s one that I find hard not to ‘like.’'Love at First Like': A Romance Novel with Famous Tropes. A book review of the secular romcom novel! Click To Tweet
Content: There’s multiple uses/forms of the F-word in the first 10 pages before that drops to a mere few through the rest of the novel. There’s also other commonplace uses of profanity, none of which because extreme. There’s 2-4 sex scenes, and while some are a bit descriptive, none ever become graphic. The novel would certainly be a hard PG-13.
Sincere thanks to Atria Books for a complimentary copy of this novel for the purpose of reviewing and sharing about Love at First Like; all opinions are my own.