Series: Hopeless Romantics #1
Published by Gallery Books on August 20, 2019
Genres: Romance, Women's Fiction
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FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ON THE CORNER OF LOVE AND HATE Review
I was drawn to Nina Bocci’s new novel On the Corner of Love and Hate as soon as I read the synopsis. An enemies to lovers romance perfect for fans of Christina Lauren? That just screams sexy romance with plenty of flirty banter and laugh out loud moments, so yes, sign me up, please!
When the novel opens, we meet the main characters, Emma and Cooper. They’re coworkers now and were childhood friends, but it becomes immediately clear that they are friends no longer and that Emma is not even remotely a fan of Cooper. Basically everything Cooper says and does annoys her and he seems to really enjoy that he’s able to annoy Emma so easily. Cooper is also running for mayor of Hope Lake, the small town they live in. Emma’s dad is currently the mayor but wants to retire and really wants Cooper to follow in his footsteps. Did I mention that even though Emma hates Cooper, Emma’s parents think he walks on water? So, bottom line, when Emma’s dad encourages her to be Cooper’s campaign manager because his image needs a serious revamp to take him from playboy to golden boy, she feels like she can’t say no. As I’m sure you can imagine, the sparks immediately fly.
Sounds fun, right? And for the most part, it was fun. The writing is light and fun, Emma and Cooper are likeable enough and definitely have chemistry. Even the witty banter I was hoping for is there. Even so, however, I still initially struggled to get into the book because I wasn’t really connecting with the characters, especially Emma. Part of it for me was not understanding why Emma has so much hatred for Cooper. Yes, he can be a complete moron sometimes and the fact that he’s a hopeless flirt gets old, but Emma’s hatred of Cooper seemed a little disproportionate to his behavior. It turns out that there is a reason for the hatred based on something that happened when they were younger, but for the majority of the book, I was just sitting there wondering what had happened and it somewhat tainted my view of Emma until I finally got the answer I was looking for.
Even though I struggled to get into the book at first, there were still plenty of things I enjoyed about it once I got going. The small town setting was absolutely charming, and the secondary characters were adorable, especially Cooper and Emma’s mutual friends and the elderly citizens who were volunteering on Cooper’s campaign. Cooper’s opponent in the mayoral race was also great in the role of character you’ll love to hate. I wanted to throttle him a few times along the way.
Between the charming setting, the fun cast of secondary characters, and the evolving dynamic between Emma and Cooper, all I kept thinking while I was reading was that this would make a cute movie or TV series.
In spite of my early struggles with it, I’d still recommend On the Corner of Love and Hate for anyone who enjoys light, fluffy reads, enemies to lovers romances, charming small towns, and local politics with all of its shenanigans.
For fans of Christina Lauren and Lauren Layne comes a delightfully sassy and sexy romance about a campaign manager who reluctantly works with the local Lothario to help revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections, only to discover that he’s hiding something that can turn both their lives upside down.
What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.
When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.
Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.
A perfect blend of humor and heart, On the Corner of Love and Hate is the first in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci.