Rating 3.5 Stars
TW: This one is features the current Covid-19 pandemic.
What’s the book about?
While the world is ravaged by a global pandemic, hotshot NFL running back Evan Sparks is locked in his own personal hell. With a career-ending scandal on his back, Evan hides out in his best friend’s empty San Francisco home, the full city shutdown locking him in a lonely twenty-story apartment in the sky.
Romance writer Sadie Walsh is having the worst case of writer’s block ever…until the incredible, muscular stranger staying next door gets her muse going strong. The pair of loners, never expecting to find a friend in all the madness, meet each day out on their balconies like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.
Each new day brings unique challenges for the pair as they navigate the unknown and find solace together. They quickly figure out that as long as they have one another, they can handle anything.
Even falling in love under quarantine.
This one was really hard to review.
On one hand, it was a fantastic story and very well-written with only a few typos that had been missed in editing. The characters were charming, there was a mystery to be solved, and the hero and heroine were able to build and develop a genuine relationship. I loved it!
On the other hand, I didn’t expect to feel so anxious reading about the current pandemic. Personally, and thankfully, I haven’t been exposed too much to the craziness that has been happening so I found the premise of finding love during quarantine a lovely way to inspire hope during these times. In reality, I read this feeling restless, worried and with a racing heart during many of the scenes focusing on the impact of the virus and ended up having to skip over these parts.
For this reason, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND skipping sections if you’re feeling uncomfortable and still want to finish the story. Please also note: it is absolutely okay if you decide not to finish the story! With everything going on at the moment, everyone needs to look after their mental health as well as their physical health.
That all being said, if you focus solely on the story between the hero and heroine, it was really good. I loved getting into the head of a romance-writing heroine. She knows what’s up and the way she talked about her muse and how actions drive plots forward was so fantastic to read. The heroine was smart and independent, exactly what the hero needed. But oh boy, that woman needs to cut back on the snacks – I could almost feel the cavities as I read about spray cheese, multitudes of chocolate candy, cookies and more.
Speaking of food, that hero could cook! Every time he mentioned food, I would glumly look at my fridge and wonder how likely it was that a delicious, already-cooked meal would suddenly appear. The answer: Not likely. The hero showed real character growth in this story, going from partying manwhore to someone a lot more grounded and focused on his career and future. The change did feel a little sudden but based on the concept of being quarantined at home with only his neighbour (the heroine) across the balcony to talk to ‘in person’, I could understand why the change was so fast. It’s unusual actions occurring in unusual circumstances.
Overall, this was a really good story and an interesting premise. My only consideration is I think I would have enjoyed this more if I read it after the pandemic had officially ended. For now though, it’s a solid 3.5 stars.
(also available on KU)