2.75 Stars. This blazingly fast romantic intrigue is mostly just okay and has a lot of bumps on the way despite Bassette showing a lot of potential. The plot was a little convoluted and just on this side of unbelievable, even if you're willing to stretch your own expectations of reality. I think that it has to do with the story being told exclusively from Aria Finch's perspective. The woman is a hapless genius who is a bit of a mess and definitely has issues with exploring her sexuality. Her romantic interest is her mysterious boss, North Acquati.
With the story starting off with North and Aria in bed together and having a sort of witty repartee, then it being revealed that Aria has a sort of boyfriend that she resents because he doesn't feed the cat, it felt like a bit of whiplash. I do have to say that parts of this book are absolutely hilarious. I couldn't tell if some of those moments were meant to be funny, though. The running gag with the cat was unexpectedly hilarious even when it pops up at weird times.
I don't think the romance worked as well as I had hoped. I am glad that both North and Aria are in their twenties and are close in age to each other. It was nice to see a girlboss type character not be in her late thirties or in her forties while the main character is still in her mid-twenties. The problem for me is that in the effort to keep North as this super mystery lady, I don't really know why she actually became romantically interested in Aria. At some point, North loves Aria but why? They're so different, and Aria is very much a hot nerdy bi-panic mess. It never connects with me, and it does make it harder to get into the intrigue part of the romance.
This does suffer from some debut novel pitfalls, but I do like that Bassette attempted the little used lesbian romantic intrigue subgenre, so that's fun. Bassette also has a pretty funny comedic streak as well. It felt a little bit like she may have leaned into a more dramatic Spy like story instead a straight up intrigue. Come to think of it, if Bassette could pull up a lesbian Spy comedy with romance elements in it, I'd be down for it.
*I received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
This was an entertaining read. It’s not perfect, there are a few areas where I wanted to shake the lead Aria Finch and she acted in ways I felt did not fit the character. But regardless I applaud Ms Bassette for taking on a tricky, complex plot and succeeding. Yes there are stumbles but the overall narrative holds together well. Aria is in a relationship with Thom but has the hots for her boss North. The story involves murder, intrigue, flying around the world in private jets and plenty of sex. There’s also a cat, some techie stuff, and a puzzle.
There are a lot of formulaic lesfic novels and this one is different. It might not sit well with some that Aria can have sex with her boss while in a relationship but I think it’s obvious the boyfriend isn’t "the one" and he is cool with the changes. As the suspense is ramped up towards the end I enjoyed the surreal behaviour by Aria and North and I found the ending satisfying. I will look out for this author in the future.
I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley
Promising debut suspense
This debut starts hot, heavy and full of self-doubt - themes which recur throughout the novel. The romantic suspense is written from a 1st person POV and Aria has certainly going around a lot of thoughts in her head - this internal narrative was well done and intriguing and we accompany Aria figuring out what is going on: with herself and with the mystery shrouding her boss North and her company. The first half of book was a good read, in the later part of the book things were not always adding up and I was not convinced that two intelligent women would act so naively to be rescued - oh yes, the cliché! - by the only guy in the equation. So literally not half bad and the content editor should have next time a keener eye on how things are adding up to make believe.
2.5 stars. The blurb of this book immediately caught my attention, a mystery and romance with a tech nerd and a successful business woman as main characters. In theory this book has everything I like, but in reality, I unfortunately had several issues with this book. Since this is a debut book I hope that this will improve in the future with more experience.
This book is written in first person from the POV of Aria and I liked how the book started with Aria who wakes up in the bed of her boss and not a lot of memories of the night before. Immediately some embarrassing moments follow and I was looking forward to see how they would deal with the situation, but very soon afterwards it went downhill for me. Aria has some insecurities and I didn’t like how she handled things. I found her responses to North quite rude and I was wondering what North saw in Aria. Also, the way Aria handles the situation with her boyfriend (yes, she cheated) after the event does not deserve any prizes in my book and they had the weirdest indifferent relationship. As to North, she seemed like an interesting person and I would have liked to get to know her better, but as it was, her character stays rather superficial.
The part that follows had a lot of push-pull between the MCs and the mystery is introduced but for a long time not a lot happened and I was none the wiser as to where the mystery was going, I would have liked more clues earlier on in the story. Only in the very last part of the book the pace of the mystery picks up and there was some action going on. While I enjoyed to finally get somewhere with the mystery it was a rather convoluted story and some things were a bit too convenient and unbelievable for me.
In summary, this was an easy read, but I had several issues with both the romance and the mystery and because of that I can’t recommend this book, but the story had potential and considering this is a debut book, I would be interested to read another book by this author.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
It was a good storyline. However North came across as a bit of Ice Queen. Both the main characters were beautiful and highly intelligent ladies. I just felt that more could have been done with the MC and they lacked chemistry in my opinion. I still recommend as this might appeal to other audiences. 3 stars
Thank You Bella Books and NetGalley.
Aria Finch wakes up to find herself in bed with North Acquati. On one hand she finds herself inexplicably drawn to North but on the other she has a boyfriend and North is her boss so she’s not sure how this will play out. As the details of her drunken night become more clear she finds a mysterious box that North has asked her to hold on to. As she keeps finding herself pulled into North’s world, it becomes more mysterious and dangerous.
I didn’t love this one, Aria didn’t draw my attention like a MC should and the flashes of North stayed too much on the surface and I didn’t get a feel for her true feelings. The story feels like it jumps right into the middle of the action with little development. I didn’t really like Thom’s character either, he just seemed so indifferent to Aria that I couldn’t understand Aria’s guilt and other actions around him. Hoping to see another book from this author to try but unfortunately this one wasn’t my cup of tea.
North Aquati is as alluring as she is aloof and shrewd in her business, Aquati Technologies. To her coding staff Aria Finch, the lady boss is perched high on her pedestal until she seems to take an unlikely interest in Aria. When North ropes Aria into a highly secretive project, Aria finds herself helpless with the attraction but resolute to unearth what and who North is.
I like the ideas and twists that are thrown into the plot but can’t help but hope that the sequences and events could be better placed. North and Aria are highly intelligent and likeable characters who would have shone even more with further character and background development.
I just reviewed Magnetic North by Marie Bassette. Thank you NetGalley and Bella Books for the ARC.
𝕋𝕙𝕖𝕞𝕖𝕤: ℂ𝕆ℕ𝕋𝔼𝕄ℙ𝕆ℝ𝔸ℝ𝕐. ℝ𝕆𝕄𝔸ℕℂ𝔼. 𝔹𝕆𝕊𝕊. 𝔻ℝ𝔸𝕄𝔸. ℂℝ𝕀𝕄𝔼-𝕀𝕊ℍ??
It was promising, office-romance with a little danger is such a sweet combination. In this book, the composition of the story was slightly confusing and somewhat messy which made it a bit hard to follow. Books usually have the start, middle and finish. Things that tend to happen in the middle or end, if they happen in the beginning that can give a "reading-whiplash". A better formulation would have made it so tasty because North Acquati was 𝐓𝐇𝐄 character.
There was potential in the cast, even that damn boyfriend (I usually loathe sapphic books that have boyfriends and husbands, like please no.)
Story was in her POV. And the push-pull agenda was pinching me because she couldn't resist North but still tried and that became too much at some point. And then the whole boyfriend thing.. just nah.
I really liked her. I wouldn't really call her ice queen but she had some qualities. I am a sucker for those. There was so much to North's story so I felt cheated because Aria's character didn't have THAT effect.
There was a scene of someone VERY connected to North, when Aria met this person, that scene would have a made for a perfect "mistaken identity" novella. I would die for that because that was my favourite scene.
𝙄 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙣 𝘼𝙍𝘾 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝘽𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙖 𝘽𝙤𝙤𝙠𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙉𝙚𝙩𝙜𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙮 𝙞𝙣 𝙚𝙭𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙖𝙣 𝙝𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙧𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬.
Aria Finch is a tech genius who works for her personal heroine, North Acquati. North assigns Aria to a special project where she finds herself embroiled in a life and death mystery surrounding North, her family and her company.
Magnetic North is a debut novel for Bassette and with that said there are some bumps along the way. The plot is convoluted and unrealistic at times but if you give the author some leeway it can be an enjoyable read or at least I enjoyed it.
The story is told from Aria’s perspective and as a result we learn much more about her than North. This leaves North as a bit of a mystery and it is hard to get a true sense of her and her motivations especially concerning Aria.
I appreciate the sensitivity given to the turmoil Aria goes through in reconciling her feeling and actions towards North. Coming out is never easy and accepting yourself and your feelings is a huge and scary step. Bassette took time and extra care to get this right in her novel.
I probably will be an outlier with my rating but I did enjoy this imperfect novel. I could see the movie version running in my mind’s eye as I read it.
I received an advanced review copy from Bella Books through NetGalley. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Although from the synopis I thought I would like this book I found it was not entirely to my taste. I feel if you have a lover you are supposed to be in love with you don't cheat on them. If you decide you have someone else who means more you don't go to bed with them then decide you made a mistake then go back to the original. I'm sure this is not how everyone feels so each to our own. Had it not been for giving a review I would not have finished it. As it was I felt the ending was very rushed (it was actually fairly intersting had it been more believable).
This isn’t a typical romance and I found the main relationship confusing. It begins with Aria Finch waking up in the bosses bed after a drunken and passionate night. Aria has amazing IT skills and been working for Acquati Technologies run by North Acquati. She has admired North for six years but seemingly neither has been with another woman before. Besides the power difference because of the work relationship, Aria also has a current boyfriend that she is intimate with (behind closed doors) but they haven't said they are exclusive. North has a special job coding and data job for Aria to do and also given her a mystery box. But she doesn’t share the details of her latest project. Aria isn’t sure who she can trust.
The plot is beyond realistic and you get very little of why North is drawn to Aria. Neither seems a full fleshed out character. I had to finish reading just to see how the author brings everything together. It is an okay read but it wasn’t an exciting thriller nor a romance where I rooted for the MC’s to get a HEA. Thank you to NetGalley and Bella Books for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
While the plot was all over the place at some points, Aria's and North's relationship was definitely a plus. While I knew what was going to happen by the halfway point, it what kept me going was to see how the characters would react to the information being revealed. While I wish that Nonna played a bigger role, I'm glad that she was there at all.
This book follows Aria Finch, a tech geek with a huge crush on her boss. The only problem, she has a boyfriend and a weird boss.
I'm not gonna get into the plot. It was a bit messy and at some times, annoying. The characters in this book have no sense of personality or any sense at all because they all lack so much of it it's almost unrealistic. Aria is dumb, instead of just straight-up asking questions she just makes assumptions and stays clueless. I didn't mind North but again, no personality of her own.
This was an interesting experience for me though, I absolutely hated the plot execution but god those scenes with North and Aria were hot. This is why I'm gonna keep an eye out for this author. This book was a bit longer than it should have been but I am not gonna deny how good of a job the author did in capturing that chemistry with such little build-up and writing.
Some plot rearrangement would do this book some good.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in return for this review.