Heat Factor: It feels kinda like a slow burn but it’s not TOO slow.
Character Chemistry: At first it’s not very apparent but a hot spring makes things…hot.
Plot: Charlotte gets her hiney handed to her after a brutal break up with a terrible ex…but worse, she nearly lost her long-time best friend, Julien, in the process. They end up going on a road trip—but while HER goal is sweet, sweet revenge, Julien’s is sweet, sweet love.
Overall: The writing was quite good (I’d read another book by this author in a pitter-pat of a heartbeat). If you’re a Marie Kondo reader, you’ll love this one.
I’m going to take a minute to talk about the difference between “reveling” and “relishing” because if I read another book that says “relishing in” (which I absolutely will, probably this week, even) I am going to SCREAM.
Please give me a little bit of credit (Just a little bit! I am trying!) for constantly reminding myself that the English language is a living language and is therefore constantly evolving. We don’t need to be huge snobs. We can roll with an evolving language. But, like the time I was told “in lieu of” when the speaker meant “in view of,” I simply cannot get behind the use of “relishing” combined with “in”. Can’t do it. You don’t relish in an ice cream cone. You just relish it.
Just look at the definitions of these words (courtesy of Merriam Webster):
relished; relishing; relishes
Definition of relish
1: to add relish to (not relevant to our purposes)
2: to be pleased or gratified by : ENJOY ( ← this one here)
3: to eat or drink with pleasure (tangentially related)
4: to appreciate with taste and discernment (this also works-ish)
: to have a characteristic or pleasing taste (also not relevant to our purposes)
reveled or revelled; reveling or revelling
Definition of revel
1: to take part in a revel : CAROUSE (relevant probably only from a metaphorical standpoint)
2: to take intense pleasure or satisfaction ( ← this one here)
It pretty much boils down to the fact that, in use, revel is an intransitive verb while relish is a transitive verb, meaning that relish has a direct object while revel doesn’t. Meaning that whatever is being relished is being acted upon. If the verb is acting on an object (Sam relished(v) the taste(direct object) of Taylor’s mouth(prepositional object).), then there is no need for a prepositional phrase to describe where the verb is occurring (Alex reveled(v) in the heat(prepositional object) of Jaime’s embrace(prepositional object).) Or, because it’s an intransitive verb, Alex could, I suppose, simply revel, no further words required. But we need to know what it is that Sam is relishing or the sentence does not make sense.
So I’m begging for characters that are relishing in things to pretty please just not do that.
Heat Factor: This one’s a proper slooow burn: no sex, barely even kisses
Character Chemistry: heavily centered on PK’s pining for Art
Plot: PK’s been in love with his best friend since college, and just when he thinks that Art will finally realize PK’s the boyfriend they’ve always wanted, Art’s dismissive comments crush PK into writing the perfect boyfriend into a romance novel
Overall: This one’s for readers who like single-protagonist personal growth arcs, super slow burns, and personal accountability