t’s irritation at first sight when Lulu destroys Nick’s shoe, and his peace of mind, with a wicked stiletto. And that’s just for starters.
He’s so annoying.
Okay, so maybe he is the sexiest man I’ve ever met in real life. I mean, those lips…
And maybe he did give me the best O of my life.
But it absolutely won’t happen again.
Until it does.
And not my type. Definitely not my type.
But the smell of her wildflower hair goes straight to my boxers.
I barely recognise the man I become when I’m with her. In the best of ways.
It can’t last, of course.
Battling to overcome their lifetime of baggage is one thing, but will taking on a meddling mother, an ex-girlfriend who won’t take no for an answer, and a wicked set of bovine horns prove too much?
What was it all about
The Art of Falling in Love, a debut by author Carrie Clarke, was an amazon suggestion that I picked up purely based on its cute cover and the fact that I wanted to read a romcom kinda romance. This was me just going in blind into a new book.
The grumpy-sunshine romance trope between Lulu and Nick, it had the main characters disliking each other right from the first elevator ride. But sparks of lust flared between them along with clashes of spike heels and wild curls, Italian shoes and stern looks.
Lust turned to love with a lot of miscommunication and assumptions until they found their life of bliss with an added gift or two.
The author managed to capture the essence of romance with the banter between the leads while retaining the cuteness of a romcom. I would think the writing of this author would keep getting stronger as she gained more reviews and understood her strengths.
A standalone, I could finish this 275+ pages book within three hours and was quite impressed with the continents covered in them. There were subtleties of the book in the title too.
Trigger Warnings: none I could think of.
The sparkling skirmishes between the main characters would keep readers hooked to this sweet story along with the understanding that for a relationship to succeed, the lines of communication with the significant other ought to be kept open.
I had no expectations while reading this book other than wanting my brain distracted so that it didn’t concentrate racking through my body at the moment. And the book succeeded in doing that.
The characters stayed well within the bounds of the roles written for them. The more she was perky, the further he became churlish, sometimes to the point of extremes. Luckily, he realized his mistakes and made amends.
Yet, I felt his backstory could have been developed a wee bit more. Irish roots along with a creative side were layered in her characterization whereas, with a manipulative relative, he kept to his stiff-upper-lip moments, except for when he was making love to her. There, all bets were off.
The blurb said Nick loved dirty talk during sex, but worry not. There were none while reading the book, just a few steamy scenes, but they too didn’t stray to the level of smut.
The one factor that was common to both was they were sometimes completely non-communicative, which became the theme of the story as the pages progressed. But then, there would be no story if the main characters were open and able to talk out their problems.
Independent in life characters rolling in sarcasm and attraction along with moments of vulnerability were the crux of this book.
To conclude, I would say I liked the characters but didn’t love them. They needed to have more presence and a stronger voice for me to fall in love with them.
As per the norm of every romance, they met, they clashed, they burned in lust, they fell in love while running away from their own fears.
Slowly and progressively, the characters faced the hurdles that came in the way of their finding true love. The prose kept me engrossed in the book. I couldn’t feel the emotions deeply as the prose remained on the side of cuteness.
As a debut romance, it was quite well done in league with the other books out there. With good publicity and getting more bloggers on board, it could give the author an edge for this book to become a bestseller.
HEA was the end result as who would want there to be a tragic ending with such a cover. The book had the characters glowing in love after a few moments of running away and giving in to their fear. But love conquered all, and they lived happily ever after, albeit asking a few characters to amend their ways.
Good moments of friendship between Lulu and her bestie along with her relationship with her Da, I enjoyed such warm scenes that were threaded in the story. The ending had them find their Isla of love, a blissful island
Despite the flames of attraction that had them making love in nearly most of the book, the story managed to keep to the aura of its cover. Cute and sweet with a bit of spice.
For me, the book kept a steady pace with the author keeping good control over her characters. There were no places where they behaved weird to cause me moments of rolling my eyes. The book was engrossing without moments of a slow pace. This worked for me.
The style of writing - The Prose
I would say the author would keep getting stronger with every book. There was power in the words and even a formulaic story was quite interesting to read. The characters needed a stronger voice and slightly more presence within the terms of attraction and emotions.
Being in the romcom-ish kinda vibe, this too worked its magic in quite a few moments.
How it made me feel
My first thought on reading this book was it was written well for the genre it was slotted in. I liked the Irish roots that Lulu had and the other managed to show the crispness in the prose along with fun banter.
I couldn’t feel the intense attraction between the main characters. They told me they were attracted to each other, but the zing of heat between them was missing. I wanted to burn too, but… That was the only place where I felt the book let me down.
Do I recommend this book?
Yes. Of course, I would recommend this book. The heroine was intelligent with a few vulnerable flaws, the hero was stiff sometimes (not to be confused with the hardness he sported in most of the book for her) but he had strength in his characterization.
The book didn’t read like a debut at all. And I would say it was a great palate cleanser in between intense thrillers or if you were going through a reading slump and wanted something lighter.
I got the paperback version of the book from my friend, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
If you’ve loved the review, buy me a cuppa to perk me up.
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I have not read this one, Shalini. But this is a great review. Happy Friday 😊
I have not read this one yet, Shalini. But this is a great review. Happy Friday 😊
A good palette cleanser! Good one, Shalini!