Cover Image: Love, Me

Love, Me

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Member Reviews

Love, Me is probably one of those books that you finish reading and are pleasantly surprised that you enjoyed all of it. It is one of those books that when you start, you're lowkey expecting to hate, but then you don't, and when you think about its flaws, you can't really find any. I'm not saying this is the perfect novel or a new favorite, but it was perfectly fine for a Sunday, and I appreciate that.

Rachel, our main character, is in her late thirties or early forties and she's basically going through the motions in her work and in her marriage. She's one of those women who's tasked with being the responsible adult of the family, but she doesn't really stop and think about how unhappy she is until some old pictures and letters sent by her first boyfriend, who is now a celebrity, get leaked.

Despite what the title and my synopsis might suggest, this is not a romance novel, even though this is one of the main topics that the plot covers. I would say that at the center of this is the exploration of what a woman wants, and a review of the choices she has made, whether freely or somehow coerced by the circumstances. It is also a great excuse for readers to rethink about where they are in life and where they want to be, without it being a dense novel whatsoever.

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This was so addictive, I almost finished the entire book in one day. I loved the scandal, love triangle, and second chance. Above all though it was rewarding seeing the main character rediscover herself and make decisions in her best interest even if it wasn’t the easy or popular choice. I also appreciated that the conclusion was a bit open ended while also wrapping up a lot of loose ends.

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Good book with a cute story in the pages. I liked the main character and how she developed over the course of the story.

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The cover of this book screams romcom to me but it's more like women's fiction with a romantic subplot.

Rachel, a married mother of two, is shocked when racy photos and love letters from her high school boyfriend, Jack who is now an A-list actor, show up in the tabloids, and cause her to question the choices she's made. I was all in on the story of a woman facing the truth of her life and trying to decide how to move on but her relationship with Jack over the years borders on cheating and it was hard to root for her to find happiness. I didn't understand her decisions and the epilogue felt like a rushed ending instead of a satisfying one.

3.25 stars

Thanks to Union Square & Co. for the copy to review.

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I really enjoyed this one! I thought it was very mature, in terms of mindset. It’s about a woman, Rachel, whose marriage has been on the rocks but is catapulted even further when old letters from her high school flame, Jack, and now mega celebrity hit the tabloids. Suddenly all attention is on her, and as a result she is reunited with Jack. When it comes to light who it was that leaked the letters, honestly I think her reaction was very valid and not over-the-top which I find some books to do. Also her exploring her feelings about Jack— they were each other’s first loves and still feel strongly for each other. I will preface that while its a second chance romance, it’s not the romance you’re probably expecting. The ending is kind of open ended but also leaves you with a good idea of what could probably happen, which is the result we probably all wanted anyway. I like that Rachel used this eye opening experience to take another look at her life, and readjust it to a way that actually makes her happy and not just living on autopilot. In this way, everyone gets their HEA. I finished this one rather quickly because I got really invested and did not want to put it down!

Thank you NetGalley and the author for the copy!

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hank you so much to Jessica Saunders and @unionsqandco for my gifted copy of Love, Me. This fun women’s fiction book comes out next week, and definitely needs to be on your radar if this is a genre you like!

I really enjoyed the twists and turns this book took (I didn’t read the synopsis going in, so wasn’t sure what to expect). The book didn’t turn out as I hoped it would, but the journey getting there was still so well written that I gave it four stars.

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While admittedly (in my opinion) more “women’s fiction” than romance, I was fully captivated by this debut novel by Jessica Saunders that explores the forbidden “what if” you ran into your high school ex fantasy. However, the twist here is what if your high school ex was now a highly popular celebrity? I live for this kind of drama in my stories so this one was RIGHT up my alley.

The story follows Rachel, a successful lawyer, mother of two, seemingly happily married woman who is leading an honestly pretty good life in the suburbs of New York. She fits the bill of the typical “supermom” but isn’t resentful of her life. Though her marriage isn’t as great as it once was, all in all Rachel seemed pretty happy, clearly loves her kids and line of work, and has a great best friend she can depend on. It was refreshing to read one of these books where it wasn’t “woman is happy on the outside but resents every little thing about her suburban life on the inside!” (Hi, it’s me, I am 30-something woman, albeit without kids, who really enjoys my life in the burbs lol). However, a ton of drama befalls her when photos from her youth are leaked online and she is linked to having dated Jack, back then just her fellow drama club peer but who now is a Brad Pitt/Chris Hemsworth level actor. Of course this upends Rachel’s life and highlights the cracks already forming in her marriage while also catapulting her ex back into her life and dangling the “what if” possibility of a different turn her life could have taken.

I feel like the fact that Rachel did enjoy a lot of her life actually made the story more interesting because she was fairly level headed and I could have seen the romance really going in a few different directions. I was of course interested to see how Rachel’s scandal was going to impact her everyday life, from her marriage to her career, but the real treat was getting to see Jack in her life again and see the connection they had (and still do, TBH) even though he’s a multimillion dollar superstar and she’s more of a “normal” person (though still very successful!) I mean it’s obvious that all of these celebrities (pre-fame) likely had normal high school relationships and it made me really think about how wild it is that there are people out there who had these intense teenage love stories with major household names and we’ll really never know about them (I obviously need more books with this trope now that I’ve read this one lol).

There is of course an inevitable love triangle that emerges between Rachel, her husband, and Jack, and I am 100% that person who was like “please leave your loser husband for the handsome celebrity” which is probably not a popular opinion but I said what I said XD When I read books I like the entertainment of the wish fulfillment element, not a realistic outcome lol. I will say the ending was left sort of ambiguous but not so much so that I was angry, I think it’s easy enough to determine what probably happened and I understand why the author chose to end it the way they did.

The story also flips back and forth between present day and teenage Rachel’s timeline of meeting, falling in love with, and then getting her heart broken by Jack. I thought the juxtaposition was great, as it showed how the events of the past shaped who Rachel is today, and added a layer of depth to her relationship with Jack that you don’t get from just their modern day interactions (though you can definitely feel the heaviness of a shared history between them). There are also still a lot of key players involved from the past in the present (several friends, her parents, Jack’s sister, etc) and it was interesting to see how Rachel’s relationships with those folks were impacted by what happened with Jack, and even the role some of them played in that (there was honestly a revelation there at the end that had me fuming for Rachel!! She is a more forgiving friend than I, that’s for sure).

Included Tropes: Second-chance romance, love triangle, dual POV

Overall: If you want a read that explores the heroine’s life and love stories in more of a personal character study, this one is great! It’s not a “traditional romance” and lives in the gray space

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Love, Me: This was my first book by Jessica Saunders but it will definitely not be my last. I was glued to the story from the first page to the last. The three main characters were realistically imperfect, which I appreciated. Rachel Miller is a lawyer, married to another lawyer and mother to two young children. Her husband, Dan, is bored with his work, and there’s tension in their marriage. One day, out of the blue, their world turns upside down when somehow a tabloid gets hold of old love letters and photographs of Rachel with her high school boyfriend Jack, who is now a famous actor. How did the tabloid get all that? And what impact will that have on Rachel and Dan’s marriage? The book explores all of that and more.

Over the course of the book, we learn Rachel and Jack’s - and Dan’s - backstory, along with Rachel’s best friends, Alex (Alexandra) and Becca. This group of friends grew up in the 1990s and I appreciated all the pop culture references (I’m not that age but remember the period very well; my oldest son is about their ages).

I loved the matter-of-fact Jewish representation (references to getting the kids to Hebrew School, etc.).

I bounced between the audiobook and the ebook for this title, which was very convenient because it enabled me to keep going with the story whether I was able to sit down and read or not. The audiobook was narrated by Emily Ellet, who did a fabulous job with all the voices, both male and female.

Thank you to Union Square and Co. and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance reader copy of this book and to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the opportunity to listen to an advance copy of this audiobook. All opinions are my own.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are my own opinions.

I don't know how I feel about this book. I think it's because I was expecting a fun, cozy romance novel and got a bit of romance and then reality. The characters are well written and I did want to see what happened, I just felt a bit let down as I just finished a sad book and was hoping for fluff.

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I was recommended this book by Annabel Monaghan as part of my #12booksby12friends challenge and as she one of my auto. It authors I snapped this up.

I am so glad that I did as I devoured it in less than 24 hours. There was just something about the storyline and the characters that sucked me in and had me turning the pages.

🩷 Second Chance
🩷 Love Triangle
🩷 Childhood Sweethearts
🩷 Contemporary Romance

I absolutely loved Rachel, she was a hard working mum who did everything for her family. I did not like her husband Dan, he just seemed to do nothing for the family or help Rachel in anyway, he just annoyed me straight off the bat.

I really loved Jack, he seemed like such a nice guy and he just adored Rachel.

I love duel timelines and I really enjoyed seeing Rachel and Jacks relationship growing up, it was so sweet.

This book was such a fast easy enjoyable read that had me smiling throughout.

That ending 👌🏻

Thank you so much to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for the advance copy of this book, all thoughts are my own.

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If you love stories about second chances, what ifs, and TOTGAs (the one that got away), then this book is for you.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this book. When I read the synopsis I was pretty sure the story is up my alley. I enjoyed reading the first half of the book which is mainly about the main character’s love story with her high school sweetheart. But this book isn’t just about romance and cutesies, it’s about facing the truth and making uneasy choices. Now, this is where my excitement about the book began to drop. Personally, I think the cause of conflict in the story was too shallow for the main character to react the way she did. The way she was described as having feelings for her high school sweetheart even if she already has a family also didn’t sit well with me. Some may enjoy this kind of story though, it’s just not my cup of tea.

If there will be a book solely dedicated to Rachel and Jack’s high school love story—or maybe even Alex’s—I would not hesitate to read it! Let me know where to sign up lol

Rating: 2.5

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I really enjoyed this unique book. I would categorize it as women's fiction, because despite the romantic elements... it was really about one woman's complicated journey toward finding herself and what she wanted. The author will have readers unsure about where the ending goes, although I think readers will be satisfied with the ending as well as the short epilogue to give a little bit of closure to the story.

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3.75! By the end of the book I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about the book but I've decided I enjoyed it! It follows Rachel who is an amazing lawyer and mother of two children. She is experiencing difficulties in her life especially when it comes to her marriage. It does not help when letters and pictures of her and her ex-boyfriend from high school, Jack, who is now a famous actor, are leaked to the public. She must deal with the aftermath of this and the effect it has not only on her life but her family’s. Except now, she’s back in contact with Jack and is now faced with problems that were never resolved.

Overall I did enjoy this story because it did a great job at revolving the story around Rachel. You would think that because she is in her 30s, a lawyer, and a mother she would have no issues and live a good life. This story showed the truth that not everything is what it seems. Rachel didn’t even know there were things in her life that she was unhappy about until it felt like her life was falling apart. Rachel’s story and development provide reassurance to us as readers that it doesn’t matter what point of your life you are in, you can make changes that benefit your happiness. When it came to her and Jack’s relationship it was so fun to see what their relationship was like in the past and how their dynamic is completely different now that they are older. There were parts where the story fell flat but it wasn't much of an issue for me. I just wish that there was a bonus epilogue!!

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Was approved for the audiobook this morning and just finished. I listened to the audiobook and switched to ebook towards the end.

Rachel is kind of stuck in her marriage and routines. With her kids and job as a lawyer, she has a lot on her plate. Her world is upended when old pictures and love letters are published in a gossip magazines.

Through flashbacks we learn about Rachel's relationships.
Rachel's first boyfriend is now a famous actor and her husband, Dan, has a gambling problem. Dan also doesn't have the same work ethic as she does, and they need to figure things out.

This one is so fun! but there are heavy topics, so it's not just fluff.

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This was a fast read and had potential but it left me wanting more. I felt like the timeline changes between past and present were actually done well but I still wanted more. I will say this author must be an attorney or have gone to law school because they described the practice of law perfectly. I had hoped for a bit more intrigue and romance but it was fairly straightforward.

Love, Me comes out next week on January 16, 2024 and you can purchase HERE.

I ask him a question I've wondered about many successful actors: Is being a celebrity all it's cracked up to be? He lives a life most of us only dream of does he ever think about what life might have been like if he'd become, say, a teacher?

"And married my high school sweetheart?" he responds with a laugh. "Honestly, all the time."

In true Jack Bellow fashion, that's all I can get him to say.

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The main character of this novel, Rachel, is a suburban married working mom whose life is busy enough that most of the time she doesn’t think about the fact that her high school boyfriend Jack is now a super famous Hollywood actor. But when old pictures and love letters from her get published by a tabloid, her whole life is thrown into chaos! Interspersed with the present day story are chapters set in the past showing both Rachel’s relationship with Jack and her relationship with her husband Dan who she met in law school.

I really enjoyed this one! It’s actually less of a rom com than I thought it was going to be based on the cover and description, but just as much or more an exploration of marriage, juggling working and parenthood, and of course wondering about the one who got away. A light read but also one with plenty to think about.

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Rachel is a mom of two, working as a lawyer and living in Westchester, NY when letters of ex boyfriend and some scandalous photos of her go viral. Her former flame is now THE Jack Bellow, a famous Hollywood actor. But who would have access to this? And why now?

Rachel has to deal with the new notoriety and everyone up in her business. Her husband has always been jealous of this former relationship. Things haven’t always been good between them and this drives the wedge bigger.

Jack reaches out to Rachel during this time and she has to decide if she’s going to meet up with him. What does Jack mean for being back in her life? It definitely means the PTA moms will continue to gossip!

I enjoyed this debut novel. I love celebs and celebrity gossip so I really liked this part. Rachel made a lot of questionable decisions, but I appreciated her more at the end of the book. I can’t imagine what she was dealing with in her marriage and I don’t blame her for focusing on herself for a bit.

Thank you to @unionsqandco and @jessicasaundersbooks for gifted ebook.

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This isn’t what I expected. It’s not a romance. DNF.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.

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When Rachel Miller's past is plastered all over the tabloids, she finds her world falling apart. The attorneys at her law firm don't seem to take her seriously, her kids are being bullied, her husband isn't supportive and her ex-boyfriend shouldn't be back in her life - - but now he is.

Rachel's high school boyfriend is an A list movie star who she seems to still carry some feelings for. When some of their old pictures and letters are made public, Rachel is thrown back into the past when they were together and thought they always would be. The memories are both beautiful and somewhat painful. She's now married to another man so obviously, she and Jack didn't last forever.

This book takes an interest approach. It examines the past and shows you not only how Rachel met and fell in love with ex-boyfriend, Jack Bellows but also how she met and fell in love with her husband, Dan. You can see both the good and bad in both men. After all, no one is perfect - - not even a famous actor - - or a perfectionistic lawyer.

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: The audiobook was enjoyable. I thought the narration fit the book and made the story flow easily and kept the listener engrossed. 4 stars

Thank you to NetGalley for early copies of both the ebook and audiobook. I voluntarily chose to read/listen to and review both of them and the opinions contained within are my own.

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Advanced Book Review! Thank you @jessicasaunders, @unionsqandco and @netgalley for sending me this book for review consideration. All opinions are my own.
“A pitch-perfect exploration of modern married life, Love, Me embraces the truth that some old flames can’t be snuffed out, no matter how many years go by.”
Love, Me was a great debut from Jessica Saunders! I really enjoyed it and I couldn’t put it down. I love a good celebrity/regular person romance because I find that life so fascinating, but I’m not even sure I can say this fully fits in that category.
At first it seems like it’s going to be a second chance romance for Rachel with her high school boyfriend, Jack, who is now a famous actor. I feel like you would usually know how that is going to end, but with Rachel being married with two children, I honestly wasn’t sure! It really kept me reading and I loved that.
When old love letters and revealing photos of Rachel and Jack from high school are publicly released, we are with Rachel through the fall-out and learn how it affects her marriage, as well as her other relationships like her parents, friends and colleagues. She was honestly betrayed by so many of her closest people and I think I would have liked to see stand up for herself more than she did at certain points, but ultimately, she chose the right path for her.
I also loved that this book had three timelines – Rachel’s high school relationship with Jack, her law school relationship with her husband Dan, and present day. And I really liked that Rachel was a working mom who had it pretty together with her career and her kids.

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