Synopsis: After a bad breakup with an emotionally abusive ex Georgina reinvents herself as George, PR girl-boss. However, when she is assigned to rebrand a men’s lifestyle magazine her wounded self-confidence has to stand up to Sebastian… also known as the Bad Boy of Publishing. Sebastian spent ten years working his way to the top, from intern to creative director, and he was not about to let a bad rep nor a know-it-all female mess with his magazine. With careers on the line and hearts at stake, what is the bigger prize: the job or a chance at love?
Cover: I adore this cover! The body language of the man oozes confidence and poise, but only a partial view of the face so that we see he is handsome but not so much it affects our imagination as we read. Then there is the newsprint and cityscape filling the background as well as overlaying the man to add some artistic flare. Overall, it creates an aesthetic that totally fits this bad boy of publishing.
Writing Style: Jessica Hawkin’s other novels seem to be a bit darker and full of intrigue, but this one is a delightfully sweet contemporary romance. But whatever her usual style, her mastery of writing shines through.
Setting: This story takes place in New York and Boston, with both places are an important part of the characters and story. I rarely consider a city to be a character itself, but this book is probably the closest it gets considering how much these places affect the MCs. Whether it is rivalling baseball teams, a representation of family or fear, an escape or new beginning the setting adds an extra level of depth.
Romance: This is of the enemies-to-lovers trope, where the MCs fight their attraction from the minute they meet. Yet they do not truly feel like enemies so much as their circumstances putting them at opposite sides of the playing field and throwing obstacles in their way, when they would much rather just go for a walk in the park together. From the very beginning you can tell that these two MCs challenge each other to be better people, give strength to face their fears, and the courage to make a difference. Above all, I love how Georgina’s “flaws” are what makes Sebastian fall for her the most proving that you shouldn’t have to change yourself to meet the expectations of others, but rather just be yourself.
Character Development: Both main characters created a dichotomy of self. Sebastian having a public persona of a monied bad boy, but a poor immigrant upbringing he kept private; Georgina is a confident leader at work, but a doormat in her personal life. Throughout the novel each character finds a way to bring their halves together and become true selves.
Character: Sebastian’s best friend, Justin, plays the role of a Shakespearean wise-fool. He is mischievous and loves to prank his pals, but he is also the guy who would help you face your fears or play cupid in a budding romance. In this novel you could see Justin starting to grow from slacker to living up to his potential, so I would love to see that continue in a companion novel with Justin as the lead male.
Verdict: I did not put down this book until it dropped from my hand as I fell asleep struggling to keep reading despite the late hour. It is an enjoyable read due to being well written with a believable plot and engaging characters. Along with being a cute love story, it touches on what it is to be a good person, loss of a loved one, overcoming fears, and being true to yourself.