Jilted

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

I decided to finish it even if I left it in standby for a very long time. I was just expecting something really different from what I got. The characters were nice enough but they didn't left a mark. The story started just like I thought but then it took a very different approach. I wish I enjoyed it more. But, alas, this book just wasn't for me.
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Lilah Suzanne has a gift for telling love stories that hit a really sweet spot; written with a light touch they are low angst and yet never shy away from the highs and lows of falling in love, learning to be in love, learning to trust yourself as you work it out.

Jilted manages all of the above, and so very well.

Before I begin I’d like to make clear that I identify as cis-gendered and so I can’t speak to the accuracy or depiction of Link as nonbinary from an #ownvoices point of view. The story read as respectful and well done, but again, I can’t speak to this as a lived experience and would love to hear from #ownvoices readers!

To begin, I have to give Suzanne credit for characterization from the get go. We are offered snapshots of who Carter and Link are in the first two chapters but from their own perspectives: this means we get unreliable narrators from the start. I love when this gets pulled off well because then we get to watch the characters figure themselves out, we get to experience their insecurities and how they affect their choices, mistakes, and triumphs from within their experiences. Since the majority of this book is told from Carter’s perspective, I’ll say that with him, Suzanne gets it exactly right. Carter has absorbed what he thinks people perceive, how he interprets others reactions to him, and how those have been internalized into behaviors and habits in his interpersonal relationships. The Carter we meet in the first chapter sees himself as others do. The arc of his struggles really unfolds throughout the book as he and Link have this wonderful and unexpected New Orleans adventure together, following him home as he begins to assess his happiness (or lack thereof) and back to New Orleans as he attempts to recoup and figure himself out. I loved that he didn’t initially. That despite the big move and choice to follow a dream (rehabbing an old home from start to finish), figuring himself out doesn’t just magically happen.
Because the book is told mostly from Carter’s point of view, Link is harder to pin down in the same way. I love that though, because Carter’s version of Link is really lovely and enigmatic. Link is fun and sensual; there’s something about their way of seeing and relating to the world that seems to disorient Carter in a way he really needs. There’s a quality to Link that hooks the reader, that speaks to volumes under the surface. Personally, there was something almost intangible (but really not, because we are still seeing Link through Carter’s eyes and again, unreliable narrator seeing through a lens of their own issues) that drew me to them; I always wanted to know more, loved their moments on page, yearned for each moment of closeness they and Carter shared.

I do appreciate books that are both studies in character growth and healing, and obviously love stories and romance are a thing. Jilted does capture both and in a beautiful setting. I was at times frustrated by Carter’s two steps forward-one step back progress, particularly when he and Link mis-communicated. This kind of narrative is difficult to capture because there’s a line between progress that’s realistic and frustrating a reader with too many obstacle and I think everyone’s bar for that line is a slightly different—a very different strokes for different folks kind of thing. Honestly, this is a small quibble in an otherwise fantastic book.

Ultimately, I loved both Carter and Link. I think their chemistry was so well done, it snapped right off the page at me (in a great way). Their sweetness and humor made for a really lovely story to get lost in. Additionally, wow this book has some great secondary characters. In particular I found Carter’s sister to be perfect. Their dynamic is gold; they aren’t always kind but they always love each other. Even when they fight and even when Carter is upset or angry, their actions speak volumes to their love for each other.
Let’s not forget New Orleans, which felt like a character of its own. The fake honeymoon portion of the book (such a delicious trope and so well done) brought the city to life for me. Here the reader gets to see one side to the city with such a rich sense of place. Even better, in my opinion, is the view of New Orleans we get when Carter moves back. Because it’s a different city, it’s a different layer: it’s not the New Orleans one visits, it’s not the trappings and the outings. It’s a life. It’s a sense of place that’s less about a fleeting moment in time, it’s about coming home.
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DNFed this book at around 30%. I was interested in a romance with a non-binary character but this one didn't work for me. I couldn't connect with either of the MCs. The writing did not to get me involved in the story. I didn't the siblings relationship. I din't find the story problematic and essentially bad, it just wasn't for me.
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Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations. I didn’t really connect with the protagonist, and would have liked a much more extensive peek into Link’s head. I have however enjoyed other works by the author in the past.
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I had a really hard time reading this book. Actually I had to DNF it.  I just felt no connection to the characters, and it being told in third person, which usually doesn't bother me, just made it worse. The pronouns used for Link was really difficult for me and that is totally on me.  I'm really sad that I couldn't get into this book, I really had high hopes for it.
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The cutest love story i have ever read. I couldn't put it down and just want more from this author. I have recently discovered i'm trash for any lgbt love story especially if published by interlude.
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This was an ok read for me. Not sure why we didn't get more of Link's POV. i would've loved to see things from their point of view. I feel like that was a missed opportunity. I did like how much Link would swoon when Carter was being his awkward self, but they found it charming as opposed to boring as others did. 

I really feel I would've loved it more, had we gotten into Link's head as well!
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Objectively speaking, JILTED should be the kind of story I would enjoy.  A romance that starts with a bolting bride and is full of quirky queer characters.  If I described what happens in the book it would sound like a mash up of “Being Alexander: a Novel”, “The Bone People”, and the movie “Addicted to Love”, all of which I enjoyed.

Unfortunately, I found the actual prose strangely dispassionate.  The narrative is  omniscient for pages at a time, and when we see into Carter’s head he is always thinking and feeling basically the same things.  The humor, wit, and angst never seem to be quite sharp enough to pierce the overall impression of “meh”.

My rating reflects that there is nothing objectively less-than-competent about the book, but I simply cannot say that I really enjoyed reading it.
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Carter is taken on a trip to New Orleans by his fiancé, Matthew where he finds out that Matthew is just there to stop a former love from getting married and to declare his love for her. Drowning his sorrows in the hotel bar he encounters Link the other injured party in this drama and they hit the town together. It seems a good idea to keep to the honeymoon schedule but Carter starts to wonder if he can really be liking Link that much or is it just due to the emotional trauma. It’s a really cute story, dripping with details and atmosphere, just took a while to get there. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*

- Review to come

Review originally posted on my blog with added content Mikku-chan / A world full of words
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Catch me leaving my fiancé at the altar someday to marry this book instead because I love it. It has second love and fake-married and an absolute nerd of a main character, and Link is the love of my life and the casual nonbinary rep was so good to have. I will never not be emotional about Carter learning that he is a worthwhile person who deserves someone who treats him right and I will DEFINITELY never get over Link always calling Carter adorable and loving him for all his quirks.

Also, as someone who hates when perfectly nice people get left at the altar in romcoms because the main character didn't work their shit out soon enough to break up in a polite manner, this book is balm for my soul. I love when there's a bit of nudging the fourth wall when Carter and Link worry that they'll always be the "boring background characters" compared to the vibrant "main characters" who jilted them, and I love reading them realize they're main characters in their own right.

There's quite a bit of both Carter and Link having to work out their own problems alone, but the frustration and loneliness there only made it more real, and made the romance even sweeter by contrast. I love this book a lot and recommend it wholeheartedly.
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Carter thought he was going on a getaway to New Orleans with his fiancé, Matthew, but Matthew was really going to stop the wedding of his ex and profess his undying love. Link was supposed to get married, but their fiancé has just left them at the altar for Matthew. Over a few drinks, Link and Carter bond and wake up in the honeymoon suite. When they are assumed to be the newly married couple, Link and Carter spend their time together partaking of all the already scheduled newlywed activities. They don’t talk about their respective breakups and they certainly don’t talk about their attraction to each other.

Carter isn’t looking forward to returning home and breaking apart the life he shared with Matthew for seven years. But Link doesn’t seem to be an option for him and Carter has no idea if his feelings are genuine or if it’s a rebound. Carter knows he needs to make some changes in his life, and he also needs to decide if he can take a chance on Link.

This book was difficult for me from the first word as it is written in third person present, which is excruciating for me to read. It took me halfway through the book to become even a little settled with the style and then the story itself didn’t prove to be worth the effort. The book opens in Link’s POV, but then quickly switches to Carter’s where we stay for the rest of the book and Link was the more interesting character.

Link is waiting at the altar when Carter’s fiancé bursts in and declares his undying love for the bride. Link knew something felt off, but it doesn’t make it any easier. The same with Carter and even though Carter had been with Matthew for years, he was starting to go through the motions with it. That’s sort of how Carter seemed to live his life, just going through it, keeping his head down, and mostly doing what other people wanted.

The blurb suggests that Link and Carter spend a good portion of the book being mistaken for a married couple, though that’s not even a little bit true. While they do spend time taking in the honeymoon activities scheduled, it’s only briefly they are mistaken for being a couple and even then, it’s of no significant consequence to the story. Their explorations are also mundane as it read like a things to do in New Orleans check list.

Link and Carter do have a connection and Carter is accepting right away that Link is non-binary and that is an accepted part of the story. However, while on one hand it was cool to see it be no big deal and just another feature of the character, on the other hand, Link was the more interesting character and I would have liked more exploration of Link overall. As it stood, we were in Carter’s POV and he was so non-descript and didn’t capture my imagination.

Carter and Link spend some time together and then spend some time near and around and thinking about each other, but for me, it was too much in Carter’s head with him trying to figure out his next move in all of the things. Carter’s sister, Paige, is also an integral part of his life and was way too involved. She was not an enjoyable character. Yet, she was written as if her obnoxious behavior should have been likable, but it wasn’t. Carter and Link’s attitudes were also way too easy going overall for me regarding their exes and I was not onboard with how easily that all played out.

I have read other books by this author and while I liked one series, some others, like this one, haven’t worked out nearly as well.
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It had seemed important to get the marriage done quickly . Now Link wondered where Jamie was. As Link waited at the altar she thought how they had only been together eight months. Jamie had been such a chameleon : changing jobs, hair, clothing, styles, interests, even friends. Link had found it interesting and exciting. Then Matthew declares his love for Jamie as she appeared in the doorway and Jamie left with Matthew. with Link still at the altar. Carter had been engaged to Matthew/Matt who had taken off with Jamie. Carter assumed when Mathew suggested a trip to New Orleans it was to be a romantic getaway weekend but he had been so wrong as he now knew. Matt was extremely agitated on the plane . The beautiful stone fountain on the center of the courtyard of the hotel where Jamie was supposed to have got married, Carter stood motionless before ,tracking the flow of the water from spout to basin several times and he does not feel angry, or sad, or even betrayed. He watched the water flow until he doesn’t feel anything at all. He leaves his luggage at the front desk as there are no rooms available and goes to the small bar in the hotel/ Carter had a well honed skill of crushing his feelings into nothing more than a small, cold pit in his stomach. The person next to Carter is slumped face down on the bar. Tjen Carter asked the person if they were alright. The woman sits up  and two wedding bands are on the bar side by side. Then he asked if she had been left at the altar ad when the woman said “ How did you….’’’ Carter said “Me too. I meant well...Perspectively I suppose.” Carter then offers Link a Mint Julep. After some drinks Carter says he’s bi and his family can’t seem to take that at face value.They can’t understand it. Carter wakes up in a strange hotel room and Link is next to him. Carter can’t remember much of the night before. A breakfast is then delivered to the room. Carter finds his wallet and also finds a napkin from a bar, a pot of glittery something, a tarot card, and a matchbook from a place called “Ye Olde Absinthe House,” He remembers he and Link hd makeovers after discussing the  depressing restriction   of sexual binary. Carter can’t really remember what happened last night but he feels bonded to Link, protective of Link’s broken heart as if connected permanently with his own. What happened to them is not fair. The Concierge came up with a blanket and a picnic basket. Carter feels Link has been humiliated enough and plays off like he knew that this had been planned. After the Concierge leaves Link smiled and thanked him for saving her. Link asked how long Matthew and Carter had been together and he said seven years.Matt had proposed  and said something about it being that time-that in itself should have been a red flag. Then Link and Carter talked for awhile, Carter said he was an architect from Aurora, Illinois. Link was an artist mostly sculptures  welded from recycled scrap metal. Carter said he wasn’t looking forward to going back home and facing everyone. Link said she wasn’t either. Link suggested they go through with the planned honeymoon together for the coming week and it was already paid for. He turned to say no but then somehow decided this unexpected adventure makes more sense than anything Carter has done in a long time. 
I didn’t like this as much as I wanted to just needed more character development and angst and more of a relationship as far as I am concerned. I did finish it and can’t say I didn’t enjoy but enough I would read this again or recommend it. I did like Carter and Link together and how they interacted with each other . I liked the author’s description of New Orleans. I did feel too much was being held back for a relationship just starting out though. Carter’s sister so needed to leave him alone -worry about her own life.  So as I said I had mixed emotions about this book.
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I'm going to be honest - this did not work for me. I struggled, mightily, with this from chapter 13 on. 

I think my notes say it best:
1. Why did the author bother with giving Link a POV in the prologue when they are silenced thereafter?
2. Link is completely one dimensional...I want to know more about them!! Should have had more POV!
3. Link is enby, but my brain isn't dealing well with they/them/their not actually being plural, which makes me mad at myself. Stupid brain.
4. Carter is boring. Paige (Carter's sister) is such a troll. I don't like her at all.
5. Why is this dragging so much?!
6. MISCOMMUNICATION. Kill me!!
7. What is with the time jumps?! Seriously, though, even between paragraphs?!
8. There's so little tension (and that's only from miscommunication) and where's the real build up to anything? Link could be a marshmallow for all they have been described!
9. Ugh, why did this have to be written in third-person present tense? Not digging it.
10. I'm super struggling to finish this.

The best part of this book for me was the time Carter and Link spend together during the faux honeymoon week. That part was great.

However, once Carter returns home afterwards the story seemed to lose most of its traction, quite a lot of its momentum, became a bit disjointed, and more than a bit boring. It's all surface for everyone, other than Carter, including Link. I had to push myself to continue to finish. Worse, in my opinion, is that the only real tension that's introduced is through miscommunication, which is my kryptonite.

I'll bump this up to 2 stars because I did like the first part for the most part, tenses and the gloss over of Link's character aside, but ultimately this was a miss for me.
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I enjoyed Lilah Suzanne’s Jilted more than I expected to. While I’m not a big reader of contemporary adult romance, I found this book an entertaining and fun read about romance, self love and relationships. It does have its faults, which I will get to in this review, but overall I found it an interesting and moving story.

The basic premise of Jilted is that when Link, a non-binary character, is left at the altar by their almost-wife Jamie, Carter is also dumped by his fiance Matt. Both in heartbroken Dumpedville and under the lively surroundings of New Orleans, Carter and Link meet and through their bond, they begin to repair their hearts and experience the possibility of new love. Of course, things are complicated and don’t make sense and it doesn’t all go to plans in Carter’s head.

There are a few things I really loved about this book. Firstly, I loved Link and the fact that they are non-binary as I haven’t read many books with characters who. They were so unique, sassy and vulnerable and I really enjoyed their arc throughout the novel. Secondly, Carter is a genuinely likeable, insecure and sweet character. It’s through his perspective that we read the whole novel and I really liked seeing how he grow throughout the story. His sibling relationship with his sister Paige was honestly one of the best things about this book. They are so hilarious and snarky together and I really enjoyed reading all of their scenes. Thirdly, I loved the messages about relationships and love in the book as well. There were some beautifully written moments, some of which involved references to The Princess Bride.

Now, onto Carter and Link. I did really like them together and I always enjoyed reading their scenes, but I sometimes felt like their romance was a little fast paced or that there just wasn’t enough slow burn for me. There was definitely a lot of pining and I still always felt like they belonged together, but I wasn’t always convinced about how they really felt for each other. I don’t know if that has something to do with the sex scenes, as I personally don’t go for semi-graphic, smutty scenes. I think I wanted to feel a bit more of the love and it just didn’t always resonate with me.

Overall, I liked this book and would recommend it if you enjoy a modern romance story with great characters that’s also about finding and loving yourself as much the person you love. Jilted will be published on the 8th of this month, so grab yourself a copy!
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I love this book. It’s such a fun take on a fake wedding story. But at its core, it has a lot of heart and soul. It’s also great to have a non-binary lead romance character be represented. A highly recommended read for anyone who wants a sweet, passionate romance in the great city of New Orleans,
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I think the best way to describe this book is: Vague. I expected a heart-warming, gay romantic comedy, of sorts but instead the book reads kind of like a meandering journey through fog-- only getting a slight glimpse of what the author intended to say.

From the very beginning, we meet Carter and Link but don't get a defined picture of who they are-- and by 'they' I mean both Carter and Link, not just Link, in the non-binary sense. This brings me to the second problem I had reading. The non-binary pronouns 'they, their' kept getting in the way and I was constantly having to re-read to make sure I understood. I also found the effort to keep Link gender neutral with the pronouns, clashed with the frequent use of adjectives such as 'smooth, soft' to describe them (Link). This is new territory for me, had I not read a book on gender pronouns earlier this year, I would have had no idea what I was reading, grammatically.

Aside from frequent  architectural (slight) descriptions/references, I didn't find much informative detail to draw me in to the story or its locations. Just vague. You know how when a friend is constantly whining about something but never gets to the heart of it? That's how I felt reading this book.

The premise is enticing and from what author Suzanne shares with us-- the characters could (and should be) really fascinating people. We just aren't given enough to care.

I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Jilted 
by Lilah Suzanne 
due Nov 2018
Interlude Books 

This started slowly. Predictably. But it got better. Much better.
Link and Jamie are at the altar. Jamie's ex, Matt, comes to the wedding to win back Jamie before she is lost forever. 
She leaves Link at the altar.
Carter and Matt have had a long relationship, and Carter is upset and is lost. He ends up drunk. Link is lost and drunk. Carter and Link end up in honeymoon suite talking and pass out. 
They are mistaken for the newlyweds, and decide to roll with it and enjoy the guest package included with the suite.

This is told through Carters point of view and I really grew to like Carter, and Link. When they run into each other again in New Orleans and decide to visit the tourist attractions there, they slowly develop feelings for each other. The relationship between them and their slowly developing trust was so good. Carter and Link won my heart. Their relationship is the 
 highlight of this novel.
Thank you to the author and Interlude Books for the ARC for review.
#Jilted       #netgalley
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A cute and fluffy, albeit maybe not the most realistic, romance between a man and a nonbinary character. The story was very, very cute and I #willgodownwiththisship that is Carter and Link. The beginning of this novel had me chuckle out loud because, drama. I feel like this was a very quick and light read and perfect for days when you're in that kind of mood. I liked Carter as a character but other characters could have used a bit more work and more of a dimension to them. I did find myself a new favorite trope through this book so there's that!
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i was pretty disappointed with the execution of the whole fake honeymoon thing. i was expecting it to be charming, full of flirting and opportunities to get closer emotionally and physically. instead it felt like i was being told about all the touristy things to do in new orleans over the span of a week while carter wondered if rebound sex was a good idea or not.

the writing was not enjoyable. its third person present tense, which felt awkward and never drew me into the story. also the dialogue was just... bad. i felt like i was reading about a bunch of kids, especially when carter and his sister paige were together.

"Well, this place is a dump," Paige announces [...].
"Takes one to know one," Carter quips [...].

does anyone know what a quip is? because this is not what i would describe as a quick and inventive humorous remark.

i found the characters rather one-dimensional and uninteresting. there is no chemistry at all. at one point link says something during the fake honeymoon like "does it sometimes feel like we're not pretending" and i was like ????? literally how?? i love the fake relationship trope. absolutely love it, but this had the absolute least sexual/romantic tension i have ever read from this trope.

i hope other people like this a lot better than i did. objectively it was a light-hearted, low angst read about finding oneself and finding love against all odds. i did like how many lgbt characters there were and i liked that link was never misgendered, but thats about it. the ending was pretty sweet i guess, but by then i was so done with the entire book i didnt really care.
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