Love on Cue, Book 1
Heat Factor: Sex is hot, respectful, and realistic
Character Chemistry: Excellent
Plot: He’s an actor. She wants to avoid the spotlight. Can these two make it work?
Overall: Such a fun read!
So here’s the premise. Carter is an actor. He’s like, mid-level famous. Say Jared Padalecki level famous. But he just lost a ton of weight for a role, so is less immediately recognizable when he decides to go on vacation. And on the plane, he sees her and is like: “Someday I’m going to marry the woman sitting in 12D.”
Tori, the woman in question, isn’t looking for a relationship. And she’s definitely not interested in being followed by the tabloids. But she likes Carter well enough, though she is justifiably pissed when she discovers who he really is.
Carter isn’t ready to give up on Tori after he is outed by the paparazzi, so he hires her to be his personal trainer as he works on beefing up for his next role. She’s not thrilled with the plan, but she’s a professional, so she goes with it. And as they spend time together, Carter wins her over.
There isn’t one big conflict between Carter and Tori. Rather, their conflict morphs as their relationship develops. The central theme remains constant – how do we navigate a relationship in the public eye? But within that general rubric are smaller points of contention, as they clash about issues of trust and privacy. As such, the relationship felt more “real” to me than usual. The relationship evolves, and so the problems that they work through also evolve. I will note, however, that the way the relationship evolves makes the plot feel a bit jumpy, as there’s not one central issue that runs through the book. In addition, the conflict between the characters wraps up rather abruptly. One minute they’re on the verge of breaking up, and the next minute they’re like, “It’s worth it! I’ll do what it takes to make this work!”
Maybe they stay together because of the sex; the sex scenes in this book are stellar. Not just because they are fun and sexy (because they are), but because Sosa shows Carter and Tori actively talking about what works and what doesn’t in the moment: “Does this work for you?” “Yes.” “How about this?” “Yes.” “How about THIS?” “Let’s just assume it’s working unless I tell you it’s not working?” I paraphrase. So when the sex is GREAT, it’s not just because they have a magic connection, but because they communicate about what is going on to make the experience good for both of them.
Sosa also really kills it when it comes to the writing style. The story is told in alternating chapters written in the first person, so we get inside the heads of both main characters. They both have distinctive voices but have similar thoughts about some things to show they are compatible. And they crack me up, especially Carter.
One final note: Sosa includes a bit defending romance, and I kind of love when romance novels get meta-textual. See, Carter does romantic comedy type stuff, but wants to break into **serious acting.** And Tori’s like, why are you ashamed of making art that makes people happy?
That’s what this book is. Art that made me happy.
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