Cover Image: Under the Influence

Under the Influence

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Member Reviews

Under the Influence is tagged as a romance novel, but I'd like to consider it more of a... simple, contemporary story that follows two individuals as they mature and get out of their comfort zone. The main characters, Blake and Lois, are at the point in their lives where everything is going downhill. As their lives open up before their eyes, they can't help but notice how tangled their situations really are.

This was a light, cute, and mindless read. I honestly enjoyed the writing style of the novel. I know it may not be something that many would appreciate, but I like how each chapter seemed to end abruptly, letting us wonder what the hell happened in between chapters. I like that because it's unique and really gets you thinking, but at the same time, you won't have to think too hard. 

I just feel like the story is still raw. Although I think there are all the right elements, it still lacks a little bit of substance, especially toward the end. Some things felt like they were just put there for no reason, and then wrapped up in a way that doesn't really make sense with how things were built up. This had a weird pace that I couldn't tell if it was slow or not. For a romance novel, it's weird how it's already half the book and there's still not much happening in the romance aspect. 

I also find that Lois and Blake seem like a good couple, but they just lack the chemistry that could have made the book more interesting. If you want to read this book, just keep in mind that you should focus on seeing the main characters grow (though I still felt the book was lacking in that area) rather than how they interact with each other and how they end up together. 

Overall, this wasn't bad, but it wasn't that good either. I appreciate how it was written, though! So 3 solid stars for that. 

I recommend this for anyone looking for a quick and light read. Not stressful at all.
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This was a quick and easy romance set in Sydney and Peru. There were some cute moments in this book, I just wish we could have seen more!

Louise Lane works in finance, is engaged, and is trying for a baby. Her and her fiance, Jude, haven’t been connecting for a long time, which leads to an amicable split, which still deeply affects Louise. Blake lives in Peru running a clean water charity, WaterAid. He returns to Sydney when his father is ill, and is left to deal with Goldies, his family’s restaurant. This book is listed as a romance, but I would almost say it deals more with life changes as the romance itself sometimes felt like it was rushed and I would have liked to know more about these characters.

‘It meant I got to take you. Actually, Fernando gave me a whole spiel to impress you that day. But you made me so nervous, I forgot.’

Half of the book leads up to this trip to Peru and it isn’t until the second half that we have more interactions between Louise and Blake. I did enjoy some of the cute moments between these two, the Machu Picchu scene was very cute, and I wish there were more like that! Instead the ending felt very rushed, and there was a flash forward. Everything that had happened during the time, I would have liked to have read about, because it felt like the flash forward solved all the issues that were in the present timeline. I liked that this was a happily ever after, but I feel like I was robbed a bit of how they got there!

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy this book and the romance was sweet, but I just felt it was lacking and more could have been done with it.
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Thanks to Escape Publishing, Netgalley and the author for an ARC of this book - I am leaving this review voluntarily.

I'm a bit behind on this review - I read this book last month and then forgot to review it!  I think it's because I enjoyed it so much and I wanted to wait a while before I could review it to get all my thoughts down.  It was a quick read as well and fast-paced.

First of all, I have to say, that enemies to lovers is not usually something I enjoy overly.  Sometimes it can be overdone and leaves the reader wondering what the couple see in each other if they dislike each other so much. 
 But the instant snark in this book is so funny and enjoyable, that I could instantly see that it was a prelude to love.

This is really well-written and Blake and Louise are such great characters.  

Also, Peru, I really need to go there.

I expect I'll be reading a lot more from this author.
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A nice and easy read, that tackles hard hitting topics with a lighthearted approach. Louise and Blake are a match, but lacked the intimate connection I thought they would have. 

Thank you to Escape Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Blake runs a nonprofit organization, he takes a break from that to take care of the family Bar after his father passes away. Louise works for a bank who is in charge of approving loans.

😊What i liked -

✔ Opposite Attract/Holiday Vibes
✔ Blake and Louise's characters were well written.
✔ I liked the storyline. The struggles they each go through in their personal lives.
✔ I liked the banter in a few places.

🤔What could have been better -

✔ I kept waiting for the romance. I saw no chemistry between the two.
📚Who Should read :

💝Romance Lovers

📈My Rating : 3/5

P.s- It is a well written book, but it wasn't for me. But I am sure it will connect with a lot of people.

Thank you Karina, Netgally and Escape Publishing for a copy.
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I throughly enjoyed this novel. In fact, it’s one of the few lately that has held my attention throughout the entire story.    While I could see a few things coming, I never felt like rushing though it. I would definitely recommend it to friends.
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Unfortunately this isn’t something I could get into right now. I do not think it was the book. It was my mood. I will come back someday
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this book was just so much fun to read! i truly enjoyed my time reading this book. i am so thankful to netgalley for letting me read this book before the release date! please pick this up!!
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I didn’t really enjoy this book. The first half I considered DNF’I got a few times as the book mostly focused on the two characters’ lives separately. The main characters didn’t really start to become likeable until more than half way through and there wasn’t ever enough of them together, falling in love. The twist with Blake’s father was kind of interesting, but just ended up making the story more sad and frustrating that he didn’t tell his son what was going on for so long. He essentially hated his father for most of his life because of a misunderstanding mostly caused by their lack of communication. I was expecting more of a rom-com when I started this book, but that’s not really what I feel like I got, except for the tail end.
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Thank you NetGalley for the eARC. This book was so fun. I really enjoyed it. This book kept me interested and i enjoyed the book and this genre
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Thank you NetGalley and Escape Publishing for the chance to review this ARC. 

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed and I really liked the premise.  
Classic enemies to lovers with witty banter! 
I wish it was a little longer. 

Overall I really enjoyed it.
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SOME POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW (noted where to stop reading for spoiler-ish thoughts)
TWs: Infertility, IVF Treatment, Terminal illness Cancer, Loss of a parent, outing LGBT members

Overall I thought this book was cute and I like a lot of the banter between the FMC Louise and MMC Blake and the MMC with a side character, Feather. I was laughing at bits throughout and there was plenty of tension coming from all angles that kept my on the end of my seat

I felt like I wasn't emotionally invested in any of the character to really truly care about the story, but I liked them enough to want to finish the book.


I love the title and the cover- TOO CUTE! But I felt like they were a teeeeeeeeny bit misleading as this wasn't really a "romance" like I expected since the "couple" doesn't get together until basically the VEEEEERY end and there was a barely there squinty-eyed HEA.

I was honestly super upset about Louise outing Jude before having any conversation with him and it haunted that character for the rest of the book for me with not being able to be as emotionally invested in her as I wanted to be.
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Under the Influence has a really cute concept but it was really difficult for me to get into. I think this book would be better for other readers, but not for me. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Escape Publishing  for providing me with an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I do want to thank Net Galley for giving me an opportunity to read this arc. I'm a huge fan of romance and romcoms but this one didn't sit to well with me. I think I wasn't able to connect with Louise or Blake. I think I wanted just a little more of the characters in this story. I did finish the story and I'm glad I did. I think there are people out there who would love this one , just this one wasn't for me.
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I couldn't get into this book. I didn't like either of the characters so didn't really care what happened. This ended up a DNF for me.
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Super cute fun short read. I loved Louise and Blake's story. The trip to Peru & of course all of the Superman innuendos. This is definitely something I would recommend all my rom com lovers to pick up if they're looking for something short and sweet :)
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Fun reading, but not my favorite. In a crowded field of meet cutes, I just felt the story was okay, but not a true favorite.
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Blake Goldfield is ‘the guy who broke Tinder’ while raising funds for his charity. His friend is actually the one  who made the Tinder page for him. Louise Lane is a banker who is overworked. These two clash almost immediately when they meet at Louise’s office party. They continue to bump into each other and eventually start to like seeing each other and find themselves actually seeking each other out. 

Louise has a lot of personal things going on and finds herself wanting to take a break from work. So when her friend enters her in a contest to win a trip to Machu Picchu and she wins, she’s kind of excited to go. Blake is also going on the trip because a friend of the family organized the trip with him. They will go and see some sights and also do some volunteer work for Blake’s overseas charity. During the trip, Blake and Louise get closer and we get to see Blake be kind of jealous and super cute. 

I loved seeing their relationship blossom, it was so cute. By the end of the book I had tears in my eyes, happy tears and tears because I wanted more for them. But even though I was hoping for more, I thought the ending was perfect as it was because sometimes no matter how much or how hard you wish for something it doesn’t come true. That’s life and life is about adapting to things that can’t be changed, so I loved the ending. I’m sure little Kent is adorable and I love how they gave him a Superman themed name to go with Louise (Lois) Lane and Blake who looks like Clark Kent. This book was absolutely adorable!
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Thanks NetGalley and publishers for the e-ARC in exchange of an honest review!

I was so excited when I read the synopsys--perhaps set up my expectations too high because I have a hard time on finishing this book., so I'm still stuck halfway through. The setting of the story in Sydney and Peru itself was refreshing to read, since I rarely found any YA/Adult fiction set in said cities. Both of the MCs are facing complicated issues and it presented by the dual POVs--though I don't feel like really connected with them or their problems. I was expecting to have their interactions a lot, but it turns out they're rarely interacting with each other especially at before Peru. However, it doesn't works for me, but the story is well-written and complex, so I'm sure the right audiences would like it!

P.S: I really need to finish this ASAP, who knows I'll change my mind after.
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When I read the blurb on this book, I thought it would be a fun read, set mostly in my home town of Sydney and Peru, we meet Louise and Blake both are having problems in their lives and are looking to sort things out, can they do it together?

Blake runs a not for profit charity organisation in Peru and has returned home when his father becomes ill to manage the family bar Goldies, what he finds is a company in need of help, which is not going to be easy.

Louise works for a bank and is in charge of approving loans she is engaged and her and her fiancé are trying for a baby, things are not going the best and emotions are running high and Louise is soon single.

Blake and Louise meet at Goldies and there is instant dislike between them but life brings them together and Louise can either help Blake or not, throw in Tom another business owner and things start to heat up, will they sort their lives out and find love?

I struggled with this book, I didn’t connect with either Blake or Louise sadly, there are some great reviews for this book, but it wasn’t for me, it is well written and I am sure there will be lots of people who love it.
2.5 stars

My thanks to Netgalley for my copy to read andreview
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