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Plot Twist

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Sophie is a romance writer who has never been in love. Struggling to finish her second book and terrified of becoming a one hit wonder, she devises a plan: meet up with each of her exes and figure out what went wrong, all while documenting her experience on TikTok. Dash Montrose, her hot landlord and former actor, offers to help her navigate the social media scene, though he doesn't mention his anonymous online presence as a crafter, a hobby that has helped him maintain his sobriety. As the two grow closer, Sophie suggests a friends-with-benefits situation, but a casual relationship might end up being more than they bargained for.

I thought I was over the "romance novel about a writer" trope but I enjoyed this a lot! It was fun, brought in some of my favorite tropes (close proximity, only one bed), and featured multiple steamy scenes. While dual POV usually isn't my favorite, I absolutely loved Dash's chapters and his sobriety journey felt authentic. I appreciated the pansexual representation via Sophie and the TikTok aspect wasn't overdone. A solid, enjoyable romance!

Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for the digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

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For a book called "Plot Twist" this book was more tropey than twisty. And while tropes definitely aren't a bad thing, I felt like the focus on the tropes overshadowed what otherwise could've been a great story. Now, that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy this book, because I did. I liked the characters and the general storyline. I also enjoyed then author's writing style. The story flowed pretty smoothly and made for a relatively quick read. I also appreciated the queer rep. But something didn't quite click with me. I don't know exactly. Maybe this is a classic case of "It's not you, it's me." I am a bit of a mood reader, so maybe I wasn't in the right mood for this book. I'd definitely be inclined to read more by thus author in the future, though.

3.5/5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC!

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of the ebook in exchange for a review!

When I first heard about this book and read the description, I was immediately hooked. The idea of a romance author who had never fallen in love was very intriguing. Unfortunately, the execution was disappointing and somewhat lackluster.

One aspect of the story that I did not enjoy and would take me out of the story whenever it came up was the whole TikTok thing. I, as well as many other readers that I know, do not like pop culture references in books. They date the book, make it less enjoyable in my opinion, and frankly are just cringey to read. The plot is started and continuously moved forward by the needless incorporation of TikTok.

The novel starts with Sophie's landlord/neighbor/best friend's brother, Dash, knocking on her door telling her that Poppy, his sister, told him to check on her. He shows her a TikTok video of her that was posted the previous night while she was drunk and out with her friends proclaiming that she has never been in love and that "love isn't real". She is embarrassed and hungover and then promptly vomits all over herself and Dash. They spend a good few pages discussing TikTok and its features as he convinces her to stitch the video of herself and explain.

By reading the description of the novel, I thought that her announcing she had never been in love was going to be a huge scandal and all of her fans would be outraged, but literally no one cared. Her publisher didn't care, none of her fans cared, literally no one who saw the video knew who she was and thus they did not care. Sophie has an epiphany and decides she wants to reconnect with her exes to try and figure out....and then document it all on TikTok.

There is a subplot where Dash, who is a nepotism baby, has an anonymous TikTok account where he created pottery. Through this account, he has an online and somewhat flirty friendship with another TikTok creator, with whom he has shared intimate details about his life, like the fact that he went to rehab for alcoholism and is eighteen months sober. This woman reveals herself as a crazed stalker/fan of his that thinks they're in love.

It is possible to remove the TikTok of it all. I would do this by first having the initial video have been filmed by Poppy and then shown to Sophie the next day as like, "haha, look at how embarrassing you were last night." Sophie can still have her epiphany this way and still decide to reexamine her past relationships, but instead of documenting it on TikTok, she can just document it in a notebook, or something. Cindy, the stalker, can maybe be someone Dash knows from AA who he thought was a friend and someone he could trust, who then turns out to be crazy. This would also give her more credibility when she reaches out to Sophie, because Sophie likely would have met her before, like how she met Chris (Dash's sponsor and best friend).

The romance between Sophie and Dash was honestly not very believable to me. At one point in the book, Dash thinks to himself how before the start of the novel, he and Sophie had had said about twelve words to each other. They only knew each other through Poppy and by Sophie sending him her rent money each month. There is an obvious mutual attraction between them, which is essentially the basis of their romance.

Dash is continuously telling Sophie, Chris, and himself that he does not feel steady enough in his sobriety to be in a relationship, which was very confusing to me since this is a romance. Based on my limited knowledge, I think that the way he was written as an alcoholic was respectful and accurate, but I did not understand how that added to the story at all, in fact I feel like it hindered the story and my enjoyment of it. He ends up relapsing toward the end of the book and the big romantic gesture that Sophie does after the third act conflict literally happens while he is in rehab. I assume they were together from that point until the epilogue one year later. I do not think this is healthy and it kind of cheapened their relationship for me because I do not think that they have a solid foundation. Also the fact that they "fell in love" after like a month and a half of hanging out does not bode well for them.

Even though Dash was insistent about not wanting a relationship, and Sophie saying she does want one, they settle on a friends-with-benefits situation. Since they're not in an actual relationship, they decide not to tell Poppy for fear of her reacting poorly. The whole book takes place over the course of about 6 weeks, so they were only hooking up for about 2 or 3 weeks before Poppy catches them and is unreasonably angry and upset. Dash is 36 and I can only assume that Poppy and Sophie are also in their thirties, which made this plot line so confusing. Why is she a full grown adult and acting like this? Maybe if this was a young adult novel and they were all 16/17 it would make sense, but this just felt senseless and like it was just there to create conflict, despite there being no real basis for it.

There was a lot of exposition regarding characterization, but not a lot of demonstration to back those claims up. For example, Dash is constantly referred to as being broody, but nowhere in the book is he shown to be broody. I do not at all believe the claim that Sophie has not been in love. Through her own descriptions, Sophie was for sure in love with her ex Carla, with whom she had the longest relationship with of eleven months. Carla said she loved Sophie about five or six months into the relationship, but Sophie never said it back which eventually led to their breakup. The way Sophie thinks about Carla and reflects on their time together, I got the impression that she was in love with her, but was unable to say the words for whatever reason.

The premise was promising, but so many aspects of this book made it not enjoyable and a pretty average read for me.

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This was such a sweet romance. Dash is Sophie’s landlord and also her best friend’s brother, and over the course of the book, they both grow closer as friends and begin to develop feelings for each other despite Dash’s issues that are preventing him from starting a real relationship with Sophie. While I am not a big TikTok user (ok, i don’t use it at all) and some of those details lost me a bit, I was really won over by the relationship between Sophie and Dash. About halfway through the book, I found myself hoping for more scenes with the two of them together, but I appreciate how the author built each up character separately to allow me to get to know both of them as individuals. Knowing them better as characters allowed me to become more invested in seeing them find their way to being together. None of the conflict keeping them apart felt manufactured, which is one of my biggest pet peeves in romance. I really sympathized with and understood Dash’s struggles and reluctance to enter a relationship, and I appreciated how those more delicate issues were sensitively handled in regards to the ending of the book. Lastly (and my favorite element of the book), I just loved both leads. They were incredibly sweet and endearing, and I was fully invested in seeing their HEA play out in the end. So overall, despite my boomer confusion with the frequent references to social media, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more by this author.

ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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I really wanted to like this book. And to be honest there were some parts I did enjoy. Overall though this was trying to be too much and therefor missed the mark in many ways.
Pros: Sophie had some funny parts. I liked the relationship between the sisters. The bit with the squirrel was cute. I liked how they didn’t make a big deal about Sophie being pansexual, she just was and it was natural.

Cons: So many tropes and cliches I couldn’t turn a page without stumbling on one. The premise of meeting with her exes had promise, but didn’t go anywhere, so what was the point? Additionally the “TikTok videos” were boring and unnecessary. As was the stalker. Dash dealing with alcoholism could have been a deeper angle, but his reactions to things seemed so over the top and unbelievable sometimes. I’d love to have seen more interaction or back story with the mother to make his and her choices seem more believable and make me care about them more. Especially since this turned out to be a Thing. And the sexy times were a bit cringy, imo. “Can I ride your face?” was a bit… yikes.
I did finish it though, so that’s why it’s 2 stars. And there were some funny and sweet lines/moments.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers and author for providing an advance copy for my honest review.

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I loved this romance and finding love. I loved that she had writers block and ending up finding love and discussing her past relationships. I hope that there is more romance from the sisters or the Montrose family. I hope that poppy gets romance along with rhy's . I loved learning more about his family and very realistic with drinking and love.

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I wanted to love this book. The characters were great and the romance hit the majority of the time. But I just was never able to fully commit to the novel the way I hoped I would. There was just something missing in the back half that really would have kept my interest.

I would definitely still recommend any rom com fans to read this book because it is well written and I did enjoy the first half of the novel.

Thanks to NetGallery for this eArc on exchange for my honest review.

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Unfortunately this book really did not work for me. My rating was 3.5 stars, but rounded up to 4. I do think it was a cute book, but I am definitely not the target audience. I immediately grew tired of the TikTok references. I could not escape into this world because I already live in it!! I had to skim all the TikTok manuscripts so I could enjoy the book more. I thought the spicy scenes were good and I liked the writing, but the execution of the concept didn’t really work for me. I was a lot more interested in Dash’s family dynamic and journey with sobriety than Sophie’s writing career. I rushed through Sophie’s chapters to get to Dash’s. I was ready to give up on the book about 50% through, but I decided to keep going and I’m glad I finished it. I liked the ending a lot and it brought the rating up for me.

Thank you NetGalley and Canary Street Press for this read!

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Tropes/ Themes
- Friends with benefits
- Romcom
- Alcohol use recovery
- Best friends brother
- Forced Proximity
- One bed
- Pansexual fmc

Sophie (fmc) is a struggling romance author who has writer's block and hasn’t been able to finish her second book. She hasn’t ever been love and discovers herself with the help of her neighbor/ best friend's brother Dash( mmc) and exes.
Dash and Sophie immediately have a connection and start a friends-with-benefits type relationship, and none of them want to commit.

I really liked the first half of the book. There were funny moments and good character interactions. Despite this being a romcom, Dash is recovering from alcohol use which brings serious issues into the book. The romance was cute and steamy.

I didn’t really like the many tropes that the main characters talked about and the frequent TikTok references, but that’s just me. Overall this is a good one for anyone looking for an easy-to-read and cute rom-com.

Thank you, NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing, for this arc!

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I don't have the words to explain how much I loved this book! I absolutely loved the double povs! I felt like this book was such a beautiful read. I instantly fell in love with both Sophie, and Dash. In love with their individual stories as well as their story together. This book does deal with some addiction but I absolutely appreciated how it wasn't made such a dark and ugly thing. Addiction is different for everyone and in this story the character wasn't made dark or too overly damaged. I actually cried a few times because I fell for these characters in such a deep way that I felt their pain through the pages. I couldn't put it down and immediately I knew that such a book had to be read in one sitting.

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“Dash, in the places where we’ve both been broken, being together makes me feel whole. As soon as I fell in love with you, I knew I couldn’t be without you.”

-close proximity, dual pov, best friend’s brother
-Sophie is romance writer who’s never been in love 👩‍💻❤️
-Dash, who is also her landlord, starts helping her see the possibilities
-I enjoyed reading about their vulnerabilities and building of their friendship to something more!
-tw: substance abuse
-thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for this read ✨


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Plot Twist by Erin La Rosa

This story had a lot of good elements, however I always felt uninvolved. The plot was almost formulaic. It was definitely not the light hearted storyline that the blurb and book cover hinted at.

The story seemed juvenile/YA, due to the characters personalities, but at some point you get that Dash is in his mid 30s and figure that Sophie is close to the same age. Yet it reads as though they should be in their early 20s….. everything is drama and about them, very self centered and somewhat narcissistic. Perhaps it’s because neither goes off to a job where they have any responsibilities other than to their own interests. No need to move forward and earn a living.

That being said, it was easier to relate to Dash than Sophie. He is definitely more mature. You get more of his internal debates and more of his life and background. You know why he struggles. With Sophie, I had difficulty forming any connection. She hardly interacted with her Bestie or sister. Eventually you get Sophies background but it just doesn’t grab at you like Dash’s does. Perhaps that’s because of her lack of interaction with anybody, other than Dash, except through her Tik Toks.

Ultimately, I found this to be more about Dash’s story than about Sophie’s.

*** My thanks to the Publisher and NetGalley. This is my honest review given in exchange for the ARC of this book. ***

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I want to thank NetGalley and Harlequin for an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.

I was sad that I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would. I will say I think that sometimes books can still be enjoyable but not everything is for everyone and I don’t think I was the right audience for this book.

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I really enjoyed this romance. I loved Sophie and Dash. They were very relatable. I also loved that the book touched on alcoholism in a classy way.

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this arc in exchange for an honest review!

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Full disclosure, I wasn't a big fan of the first novel in this series. I found it kind of boring and I didn't connect at all with Nina and felt like her and Leo were tiresome and hard to stomach, but when I was given the opportunity to read this through NetGallley, I decided to take the opportunity and...

I'm so glad I did. This one is sooooo much better than the first in the series. First of all, Sophie is sooooo much more likable in this story than Nina was in hers. Sophie is also a huge mess and feeling like she's incapable of love despite being a romance author. When a video goes viral of her saying she's never been in love she reconnects with her exes to help her figure out why it is and then we meet an entire cavalcade of her exes meeting with her and basically doing nothing but stonewalling her, exacting revenge on her, or gaslighting her. Her high school boyfriend, was appallingly awful and I'm shocked he found someone to marry him. Her last ex wasn't that much better either, however, they were all used to show how much better off she was without them in her life. I enjoyed her journey of discovery.

I thought Dash was amazing as well. I really connected with his story and I really enjoyed seeing his journey of sobriety, especially as the son of major Hollywood royalty. It was heartbreaking to see how awful his mother was to him throughout the story, but overall, I had peace with how that ended. I also loved how he couldn't help but want to help Sophie whenever he could, despite him trying to push her away.

I really loved Sophie and Dash's journey together, as well. They had a very interesting dynamic even before the friends with benefits story happened and their secret relationship, due to who he was, and the fact that neither wanted his sister, Sophie's best friend to find out. I loved how it all blew up and the conflict happened, but most of all I loved the adorable ending.

I definitely recommend this cute romcom!

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

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Plot Twist was an absolute joy of a book. Striking the perfect balance between idealistic and realistic, Sophie and Dash's love story was wonderfully written. It was clear that La Rose had put significant effort into these characters and the result was the best type of romance novel: one that reflects the real world while also offering an escape from it. It was wonderful to see representation for pansexuality, sobriety, and pacemakers. In the spirit of full honesty, I picked up Plot Twist because the illustration of Sophie on the cover looks a lot like me (and I'm partial to love interests with tattoos), but this very well may be one of my favorite romance books ever.

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"So he did what any person would when wanting to avoid emotions and pivoted the conversation. “I’ll carry you to the couch,” he said."

This book proved to me that even when I hype up a book in mind A LOT, it is possible for it to not be a 5star read for me. Which isn't a bad thing; I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and smiled and lot during it.

For my absolute least favorite thing about this book that cost it at least like half a star, is the SMIRKING. There is simply way too much smirking going on and 90% of it makes no sense. The word appears 33 times which may be only once every 10 pages, but because of how out of place it is for the scene and characters, it just enraged me every single time.

I also wish there was more development for Dash. I loved him but I feel like he only had too personality traits and neither really had anything to do with his PERSONALITY. I honestly feel like this book needs another round or two of editing.

Onto the things I did like... honestly most parts of the book. Sophie's relationship with Nina (I MISS THAT QUEEN) and Poppy was really genuine and refreshing. I loved how much Sophie messed up and was forced to be vulnerable. I really enjoyed the scenes with her meeting her exes; most of them were absolute trash, but it was frustrating in an entertaining way, if that makes sense.

More random thoughts: I actually really loved all the side-plots in the book, especially all the ones Dash had.
Him in the the last few chapters was very 🫶🏼.
The dirty talk was not it for me.
Surprisingly enough, I loved all the TikTok stuff.
I loved the lack of bookstagram stuff.
Sophie's internal monologue sometimes was hilarious like this perfect line, "Say it. Say it, you absolute and complete turd."

MVP: Nina Lyon i miss you 🥹

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Another instance where I really wish good reads would give .5 stars as an option. Because I liked this read but it just wasn't quite a 4 star read for me.

This one features Sophie, a romance author with a bit of writers block who decides it may be time for a bit of self discovery to figure out why that is after a drunken debacle leads her to going viral, and she throws up on her hot and off limits landlord Dash. Dash is a former child star with a famous family and a secret sobriety, Sophie is not only his tenant but also his sisters best friends. Neither of them are looking for anything and definitely not with each other, but with Dash giving Sophie the helpful tips for her tiktok and learning that he trusts Sophie more than his family with his sobriety the two can't help but fall for each other.

Overall I did like this book it was spicy and I was rooting for the love interest, the only thing that brought it down for me was that it was kind of repetitive and the fact that Dash kept pulling Sophie in and then pushing her away.

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Sophie is a romance writer who has never been in love. Dash is a former actor, newly sober and channeling his energy into crafting and making beautiful ceramics in secret. He also happens to be the brother of Sophie’s best friend. Sophie lives on Dash’s expansive property in LA. There are many reasons they each have for not pursuing a relationship with one another. However, that doesn’t stop them from being attracted to each other. Can they face their fears and figure out if they might be meant to be?

Plot Twist is an enjoyable read largely due to the chemistry between Sophie and Dash and Dash being a sweetheart. He is struggling with being sober, has low self-esteem, and has a demanding (and very famous) family. I wish there had been an even larger focus on his crafting in the book. I did not feel the characters were consistent throughout the entire story but that did not prevent me from enjoying the read. It manages to balance very serious topics with fun and light moments.

Thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy.

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Thanks to Netgalley and Canary Street Press for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Overall the book was fun and I liked the general plot. The idea that a romance author had never actually been in love and needs to track down her exes to gain insight as to why, was really fun. I enjoyed Dash's character quite a bit but struggled to find an ounce of likability in Sophie.

What I liked:
- Dash's character arc. I loved reading his chapters and his sobriety journey. I think the author did a really good job in curating his struggle with alcohol and the intricacies of relationships after someone has decided to be sober. It killed me when the reader found out who leaked the story but I wasn't all that surprised. I don't want to spoil it but it fit with that character's arc quite well (of course they were the one who leaked it).
- The inclusivity of pansexuals. I've read a few books with pansexuals as side characters so it was nice to see a main character be one. I also loved that there wasn't a lot of explanation with Sophie's sexuality... like, she's a pansexual... done. Loved that.

What I disliked:
- Their meet-cute. It was so gross and something that wasn't remotely fun or cute. I feel like the author could've done anything else and it would've been better than what was done.
- I wanted more time with each of her exes. I didn't like that she wanted to try to get back together with the doctor (sorry, forgot the name already) even though there wasn't a lot of history given there. And then the sommelier (again, sorry, forgot the name) sold out Sophie's sister. I just don't get it. What was the motive?
- The romance unfortunately. It felt rushed and confusing with all her exes in the mix and the way she was feeling. It was just...weird.
- The cover or the title. It doesn't fit the story after reading it. They're both kind of a mess and in the cover they look put together. Not sure what the plot twist was so it's a confusing title.

Again, there were some great aspects to the book (I truly loved Dash's character and his development throughout the book) but for a modern romance I think it fell flat.

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