Whitney Ainsworth is not living her best life. She’s still smarting from her very public divorce from one of Hollywood’s hottest leading ladies, and she’s licking her wounds after her third book in a very popular series, bombed. It was received so poorly it’s triggered a major case of writer’s block. To keep her name relevant, she’s giving speeches about achieving personal and professional success at random corporate events. She feels like a fraud and isn’t sure how to snap out of it.
Gabriela Talbot has been a book lover her entire life. She runs her own book blog where she shares reviews and her love of literature with other fans. With the right inspiration and setting, she’s determined to finish her first manuscript since graduating from college and become a published author.
Gabriela is thrilled when she gets the opportunity to interview her all-time favorite author for her blog. She’s surprised because she totally trashed Whitney Ainsworth’s last book in a review that happened to go viral.
Whitney’s agent thinks a one-night stand might help her get her writing mojo back. The perfect opportunity presents itself in the form of a pretty, young book blogger with stars in her eyes.
When Gabriela turns up at Whitney’s hotel suite, the chemistry is intense, and they’re in bed together before they know it. When they wake up the next morning, Whitney is horrified to find out Gabriela is the woman behind her most scathing book review. Even though the sex was worthy of five stars, Whitney can’t get Gabriela out of the suite fast enough.
Gabriela can’t get Whitney out of her head, so she steadfastly pursues a friendship with the brooding author. Whitney’s intrigued and the more she gets to know Gabriela, the safer she feels. Gabriela helps assuage Whitney’s reticence about working with her ex-wife on the movie version of her first book, and she boosts Whitney’s confidence about her work.
When Whitney gets back to her writing, Gabriela feels cut off and insignificant. Was she just there to prop up Whitney’s bruised ego and help her overcome her self-doubt? Will a complicated ex-wife, an overprotective family, a meddling agent, and artistic insecurity keep Whitney and Gabriela from finding their way to love or will they figure out a way to create their own happily ever after?
Pros And My Favourite Parts
First of all, a book about a successful author falling for a somewhat unknown book critic was the ultimate draw for me. I’m not saying I review books hoping to find my soulmate, but the premise is appealing. As always, Spencer writes great banter. It’s natural. It’s not so perfect where you think, “Nobody is that witty all the time.” Her jokes always land with me. Some are subtle and some are flat out hysterical. I think Whitney and Gabriela’s chemistry’s great. It’s complicated which is always a plus for me. They’ve got the whole age gap thing going on and occasionally, Whitney can be a convincing ice queen. The story is sufficiently layered. It is more complex than – two women meet, fall in love, break up, and then make up. I so appreciate it when an author takes the time to make the romance formula feel fresh.
Cons And Heads Up
Whitney is a wonderful character, but it took me a while to warm up to her. If you find yourself feeling the same way, just stick with her. She’s a keeper.
Being a California native, I felt very at home in this book. Spencer nails the locales, the beach vibe, and the behind-the-scenes movie drama Southern California is known for. The entire atmosphere of the book feels right which in turn helps make Whitney and Gabriela feel authentic. There’s an easiness to this romance that left me content and gratified.
Excerpt from Give In to Me by Elle Spencer
“Let me buy you a drink, Whit. Please.” Brie knew she sounded desperate, but she needed to set the record straight. She needed to explain her review, or more specifically, she needed to explain that she had no part in the review taking on a life of its own. How she’d been horrified when people had started using her words to dump on Whitney. And she needed Whitney to know why she had been in the bar that night.
Whitney turned back and shot her a glare. “I’m not Whit. You’re not Brie. And we…” She waved a hand between them. “Are definitely not friends. Or anything else. Got it?” She turned on her heel and carried on down the long hallway.
The words stung. She wanted to shout something like, “Hey, don’t be so goddamned rude,” but decided to catch up to her instead. “Just five minutes and then I’ll leave, I swear.”
“Yeah, you keep saying that. It’s a shame you didn’t have more to say before you decided to seduce me.”
“It’s a shame your agent wasn’t more forthright with me,” Brie snapped back. “She could’ve used words like, she wants to fuck, not talk.”
“Oh, would that have changed your decision? Because it sure felt like you were just as into it as I was.”
Brie grabbed Whitney’s arm and stopped. “Look, we can fight this out and leave each other bloody, or we can have a civilized conversation over a glass of wine where you can admit that you didn’t really want to know who I was, and I’ll admit that for me, I walked in expecting to get an interview. Instead, I got more than I ever could have imagined, and I’d really like to know if there’s anywhere else for us to go.” She let go of her arm. “Sorry I grabbed you like that.”
Brie should’ve backed away to give Whitney a little bit of breathing room, but she stayed right there in her personal space. She’d let go of her arm, but it would’ve been so easy to take her hand and intertwine their fingers. So easy to whisper, “God, you’re beautiful. Mind if I stay right here forever?” She tried to hold Whitney’s stare, but the need to take everything in and commit it to memory overwhelmed her. She focused on those soft, kissable lips first. Then the neck she’d spent quite a bit of time on. And the jawline she’d run her tongue across until she’d found a sensitive ear. Given the chance, she’d whisper all kinds of sweet nothings, except they’d mean everything. She’d apologize and compliment and of course, try to seduce.
Her eyes met Whitney’s again, and the hard glare brought her firmly back to the present. “I’m already bloody,” she said before she walked away.
Despite the fact that Whitney went into the hotel bar, Brie felt increasingly sure that they would not share a bottle of wine or anything else. Ever. Her brisk saunter, and Brie had to admit, she had a great saunter, was saying “Fuck the fuck right off, you fucking fucker.” Or something along those lines.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9781635559101
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
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