**2.5-stars rounded up**
Everly Dean is a producer of a radio show, working alongside her best friend, Stacey, the DJ.
On Everly’s 30th-birthday, she catches her boyfriend, Simon, with another woman. Not a great way to start a day.
Arriving at work, she proceeds to rant to Stacey about it. Unfortunately, the microphone was on and now all of their listeners know of the problems with Everly’s love life.
Trying to spin a negative into a positive, Everly agrees to participate in a Bachelorette-style dating show hosted by the station. Their numbers have been struggling and it may boost their ratings just enough to keep them going.
This is a really tough sell for Everly. She suffers from severe social anxiety, so even the thought of going out on a series of random dates with a bunch of strangers causes her to hyperventilate.
Her cute boss, Chris, the one who doesn’t seem to like her at all, thinks it is a great idea though; as does Stacey. She’ll give it a shot. What’s the worst that could happen?
As it turns out, the dates aren’t too bad, but Everly can’t stop thinking about her boss.
Alternating between Chris and Everly’s perspective, the Reader gets a front row seat to all of their pinings, doubts and insecurities, as an adorable friendship develops.
The first half of this book, I was pretty into it. I liked the characters and although not super romance heavy, I enjoyed reading about their friendships and issues.
Everly’s anxieties were relatable and I thought she was doing a great job getting outside of her comfort zone and working at lowering her walls.
I really liked Chris as well. He was in a difficult position. His father owns the radio station, but he didn’t want any of the employees to know. He wanted to be judged on his own merit, not because of the fact that his father is super rich.
Chis has a huge crush on Everly, but doesn’t feel like he is in a position to make a move considering he is her boss. That makes sense. I get that.
Everything was going along nicely, but then somewhere around the 80% mark, it just went off the rails for me.
It got beyond frustrating. I actually started to get angry with the characters and the way things were going. I was yelling at them. Literally exclaiming things randomly while reading.
Everly ended up turning into one of my least favorite characters ever. She was so rigid. Holding everyone to these impossibly high standards. It was so freaking aggravating.
It was like she had never made a mistake before. She’s a 30-year old woman, judging people based upon decisions they made when they were 20-freaking years old.
I don’t know, something about that just rubbed me the wrong way. I couldn’t get over that distaste once it was in my head and the rest of the story suffered for it.
I rounded up to 3-stars, because I feel like this has the workings to be a good story, and if you don’t have the same issues with Everly that I did, this could work for you. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t a great fit for me.
I did adore Chris though. He deserves better, in my opinion, than the end of this book.
Also, although this didn’t have an impact on my rating, I know for a lot of Romance Readers it might, there is zero steam in this story. There is more steam in a Hallmark movie than in this book, so if that is what you are looking for, look elsewhere.
Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I do appreciate the opportunity to provide my opinion.
While this didn’t knock it out of the park for me, I would definitely try more from Sophie Sullivan.