Cover Image: Meet Me in Berlin

Meet Me in Berlin

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Member Reviews

Absolutely flew through this! Serendipitous sapphic love story - count me in.

Loved the characters + loved that all the side characters got their own development, and really felt like people you could connect with and weren’t just there for the sake of being there.

The writing was smooth and I was constantly anticipating what was going to happen next. Really enjoyed the fact that neither character was perfect and polished, but there was a good resolution by the end of it.

Will definitely be recommending this to all my friends! :)

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Title: Meet Me in Berlin
Author: Samantha L. Valentine
Genre: Romance
Media: ebook
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Favorite quote: N/A
Sum of this book in 5 words or less: Meant to be!
KU: Yes

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Themes: second chance, sapphic, on page drug use, cheating

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Thoughts:

Short summary - Casey and Holly meet in Berlin then promise each other that they will meet back in the same place. Casey is engaged to Eva, and Holly was in a relationship.

I like the fact that these two are truly meant to be. I liked their dynamics with each other and with their friends and family. This is a 4 star read due to the fact that Casey did drugs on page with her best friend and she cheated on Eva with Holly. I don’t find that a very good omen for their relationship, but maybe they’ll be okay!

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Thank you to NetGalley, Sapphic Stories Publishing, and Samantha L. Valentine for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Four stars!


Eleven years ago two women met by chance in a Berlin art gallery and began a whirlwind relationship that, while short, would change their lives forever.

Casey has her dream job at a London art gallery, but she’s set to marry beautiful influencer Eva in just a few weeks in the most insta-worthy lesbian wedding Eva’s rich family can afford, which has Casey dealing with more than just a case of cold feet—she can’t stop thinking about the woman she met in Berlin when she was twenty.

When Holly isn’t visiting her mother in a care facility she’s working in a career that’s a bit of a dead end, and her relationship feels that way too. Holly’s stuck cleaning up after her thankless partner and his son who hates her, when all she really wants is some time to herself and to get back into photography. And even though more than a decade has passed she can’t stop thinking about the girl she met while studying abroad.

When Casey’s job requires her to spend some time at an international gallery for an upcoming exhibition it’s a welcome reprieve from wedding planning (and Eva), and when Holly finds herself with a chance to pack up her life and travel alone it’s the perfect opportunity to make new memories and hash out some old ones.
Suddenly both women find themselves under a tree in a park in Berlin, just as they'd once promised each other. They can’t change their history, but a second chance is as good as any.

Meet Me in Berlin is a sapphic contemporary romance gem. It's a queer centric story of love, loss, sapphic yearning to the extreme, and self discovery after thirty. It's full of heart, it's funny, it made me cry several times. Not just a few tears either, I mean I was crying. The writing is lovely, the characters are great, as is the representation—not just of the queer community but also what it's like to be sapphic and biracial in England, and the exploration of depression born of losing a parent.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book is the difference between Holly's Melbourne and Casey's London. As an Australian who grew up watching a lot of British television it was very refreshing to read both Holly's and Casey's ways of speaking, and how they enjoyed and teased each other's ways too. I also really liked that Holly worked in and walked around places that I've passed through when I lived in Melbourne. It was super cool to feel almost a part of her life in a little way.

Valentine writes great characters if this bunch is anything to go by. Not just Holly and Casey but the rest of Casey's family in particular was a joy to read about. They're written in such a way that it almost feels like I know them in real life. The way that Casey's family and Jaz (who, let's be honest, is family at this point), sat together eating and cooking together felt similar to my experience with my grandparents when I was a kid. It made me feel really nostalgic, and there's something really special in that. I didn't expect to relate to the story on that level, but it was great that I could.

One of the standout parts of this book for me is Jaz and not just as a side character. She was so integral to the plot and the way that she was written in from the beginning made her involvement in certain hijinks later on feel seamless. I enjoyed her character so much that I'd like a book about her, and Leila too! Samantha L. Valentine, please give us—by which I mean me specifically—a Jazzy Jaz and Leila book with cameos from Casey, Holly, and of course Chandice. I'd read that in a heartbeat.

There aren't a lot of books set in Australia that find recognition abroad unless they're by big name (usually cishet male) authors—and personally I can't think of any sapphic books that are set in Australia other than Meet Me in Berlin. I hope, dearly and truly, that this book finds the success it deserves at home and overseas, and not just in London and Berlin either. I'd love to see it on shelves everywhere.

Meet Me in Berlin is a lovely book and one I'd be more than happy to read again. It's as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking, it's genuinely laugh out loud funny, and it might just make you believe in fate.


🚨 Content Warning: drug use, depression, grief, dementia, Alzheimer's, parental death 🚨 Please read with care.

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Sapphic Serendipity! On the surface very sweet story about two women reconnecting at the same spot after 11 years apart. That part I really liked, the connection between them was also fine and I wanted to root for them. Really I did. Yet, we have 2 people who with complete disregard for their partners start something together.
And I get that life sometimes works in mysterious ways, I also see that said partners are depicted as being bad for them, but it doesn't make Holly and Casey more likeable with the way they are treating them. So overall I really like the idea of this book, Holly and Casey work well together and who wouldn't swoon about the serendipity of it all. It would be better for me if there was no cheating and maybe stay away from the "I didn't tell her I was engaged-break up" cliche. But still mostly enjoyable book , especially if you just focus on the romantic meeting in the same spot 11 years later part of it.

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ℝ𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | 𝔽𝕠𝕣𝕞𝕒𝕥: 𝐸-𝐵𝑜𝑜𝓀

ℝ𝕖𝕧𝕚𝕖𝕨: 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐜𝐮𝐭𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐡𝐢𝐜 𝐫𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬, 𝐟𝐮𝐧 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩𝐬, 𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐨𝐫, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐬! 𝐈 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐄𝐮𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐀𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐚𝐧𝐝, 𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐀𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧, 𝐈 𝐟𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐠 𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠! 𝐀 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐭 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐰𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬.

𝐻𝓊𝑔𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓃𝓀 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝓉𝑜 𝒮𝒶𝓂𝒶𝓃𝓉𝒽𝒶 𝐿. 𝒱𝒶𝓁𝑒𝓃𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑒, 𝒮𝒶𝓅𝓅𝒽𝒾𝒸 𝒮𝓉𝑜𝓇𝒾𝑒𝓈 𝒫𝓊𝒷𝓁𝒾𝓈𝒽𝒾𝓃𝑔, & 𝒩𝑒𝓉𝒢𝒶𝓁𝓁𝑒𝓎 𝒻𝑜𝓇 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒜𝑅𝒞! 𝒜𝓁𝓁 𝑜𝓅𝒾𝓃𝒾𝑜𝓃𝓈 𝒶𝓇𝑒 𝓂𝓎 𝑜𝓌𝓃.

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I had a hard time connecting with the characters in this book. I found it really off-putting that both main characters are with other people, well into the book. Casey especially, seemed cold and callous towards her current partner. The author attempted to paint her partner in a terrible light, and there was little nuance to the “good vs bad” in the relationship. I found Holly’s attitude towards her partner’s son really off putting as well. However what saves a lot of the book, is the intense connection between Casey and Holly. It’s sweet, and that type of deep connection as well as chemistry. The location and overall tone was well done as well. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to provide my honest review.

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Serendipity but sapphic! A love that starts with a bang and withstands the tests of time and lives on different continents.
 
I received an advance copy from Netgalley and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
 
Australian Holly spent a semester studying abroad in Berlin. In a museum she meets the alluring Casey, a British exchange student and art-lover. The two spend a few weeks in a whirlwind romance. Holly is ready to see where their connection can take them, but when she tells Casey she feels serious about them, Casey flees.

Cut to 11 years later. Holly is stuck in her life. Stuck in a relationship that doesn’t make her happy and stuck in her job where there isn’t enough work for her to do. When she is made redundant, she decides to cut her losses and go. First up a trip to Berlin where she lost her heart to a woman she never saw again. Holly needs closure.

Casey is engaged to a social media influencer who is flittering around arranging their epic wedding. A wedding Casey didn’t even want. She feels in her bones this isn’t the woman she wants to spent the rest of her life with. When a job opportunity brings her back to Berlin, Casey needs to face the truth. Her heart has been with the one woman she met in Germany 11 years ago. Determined to call off the wedding she searches for Holly on social media. Her heart leaps in her throat. Holly seems to be in Berlin too. Casey rushes towards the park where they set they would meet again all those years ago. And there she is, stunning as ever, the woman she lost her heart to. Can they pick up where they left off?

For me parts of the story where a little bit too obvious. Of course things go wrong when Casey fails to mention she is still engaged to someone else. It’s the ever present lack of communication that causes so many book characters to almost lose the woman of their dreams. That being said, the story is still swoonworthy.

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Completely enthralled, I couldn't stop reading even though I was upset about Casey's situation. I wanted to continue reading more about them and every step they take
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Casey is about to marry her girlfriend of a year but she's having second thoughts from the moment she said yes. Eva is completely different from her, a life style influencer and with millions of followers following the wedding planning step by step, everyone seems super excited about the idea except her.
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For some reason she can't stop thinking about the girl she met years ago in Berlin and whom she left behind. That's why when her boss tells her that she needs someone to supervise the exhibition in the art gallery sucursal in Berlin, she jumps at the opportunity to take some distance and try to let the memory of her first love go.
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But strangely she was not the only one walking through the places full of memories and there she finds Holly, the same women she wanted to let go.
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I liked the chemistry and the deep connection between Holly and Casey. But obviously my heart followed Holly more and it made me happy the end, I like that she could find a new pat. Also I looked all the places and art mentioned.
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A beautiful tour for Berlin, London and Australia but above all a love letter to art and first love. I devoured this book in a few hours just because I couldn't put it down and needed to keep reading. I didn't know the author but I will definitely be looking for it in the bookstores
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Thanks to Samantha L. Valentine for give a copyof this beautiful book in exchange for my honest and voluntary opinion.

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Ever wondered if 'the one that got away' is also thinking of you? Imagine reaching a turning point in your life, craving freedom, and suddenly getting a chance to reconnect with that person. This captivating second-chance romance novel explores just that, and I was thoroughly enchanted by every page. The story adeptly captures the complexities of adult life without losing the exhilarating, intoxicating feeling of love often associated with the cusp of adulthood.

Holly is stuck in a stagnant relationship with the sensible, well-intentioned, but inattentive Tom. Various factors leave her in this mediocre resistance until bad news offers her a unique opportunity to chase her dreams. But she has to reach for it. Casey meanwhile, is in a pickle. She's found herself caught up in the lesbian wedding of the year and it's impossible to express her true feelings without huge emotional and financial fallout. Is it any wonder that this pair, who have become secondary characters in their own lives, find their minds drifting back to the one time they were happy and free together?

I loved all of the characters. I mean all of them. They were realistic and relatable. This writer is the queen of character depth in my opinion. I found myself feeling sorry for Eva and Tom at one point, because it is clear they meant well in their own ways, but they simply weren't the right ones. It was clear to me how Holly and Casey got swept into their orbits and then found it difficult to escape. Life, hey? It's messy. People do things that are ridiculous. They grow up, mature, and sometimes things are still hard.

This is what I liked best about Casey. She was a bit of a tortured soul and I adored that about her. She was so real. She recognised and regretted her mistakes and did her best to put them right. What I loved best about her is that she never blamed other people for things that she did wrong. Both her and Holly had particular struggles with emotions and expressing them (I'd say Holly was a bit of an anxious attachment type, while Casey was avoidant, initially), and I love how they faced up to those through this book and finally became free so they could love authentically and be their true selves.

And can we take a moment to talk about Jaz? Because I need a book just about her, thank you. She was awesome.

The other factors that can complicate life are worth their own mention. Whilst it didn't weigh the sweet aspect of the romance down, the other events going on with work, family and finance masterfully done and directly fed into the decisions that Holly and Casey about their futures. There was art, glam and travel, but no matter what your situation you can really see yourself in their world because those experiences are so easy to empathise with.

This story wasn't just about romantic love, I also felt it was about finding your voice and embracing what makes you uniquely you. Friendship love and family love. A fantastic read.

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Great love story with all the ups and downs you need in any true love story. The characters were also very nicely developed and I felt I really fought for them and their happiness.

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This was such a fun book! I loved that the author actually pulled emotions from me, positive and negative. I loved how both the characters were flawed, it made them more real. I connected with their story on a more personal level, so I was fully invested. Just hoping and praying Casey can fix up her mess by the end of the book. The writing is smooth and I am looking forward to the author's next book.

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would like to thank netgalley and the author for letting me read this book for an honest review

holly and casey seem to be star crossed lovers, they first meet 11 years as students in Berlin, and they made a pledge to meet up at a certain time and place .... if they ever got separated....

not realising that casey was about to walk out of hollys life dramatically

a stifled holly longs to get away from her humdrum life and after being made redundant she thinks about going back to photography and also to see a bit of the world.... plus that date in berlin is coming up and she wants to bring that part of a life to an end... after all its just a dream...right

casey is being stifled as well but its about her wedding to eva... one she doesnt want to marry but how to tell eva.... so she takes the offer to go to berlin and help over there for a couple of weeks....

fates are aligned that day when holly and casey meet up at their special place... but its not all plain sailing as life intrudes on them both

wow what a read...i was totally drawn into their worlds and felt for both of them... how misunderstandings kept cropping up and how life dealt them both a hard hand.... but i loved how the author kept all the characters real and made you feel everything that they were going through

will be keeping an eye out for more from this author...

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The main characters of this book are Casey & Holly. The two met in Berlin and had a short relationship before they had to go back to their homes in different countries. Before they left each other, they agreed to meet in a park in 11 years at 6 pm.
The two lead very different lives after that. Casey is living what she thought was her best life - she working at the job she dreamed of, she is engaged to her girlfriend who is a famous influencer and is planning the wedding of the decade. Casey is becoming overwhelmed with the planning and is wondering if she should call it off. A chance to help open a gallery in Berlin is handed to her and she gladly accepts it.
Holly is not happily married to a man, dealing with her mom's illness and in a dead end job. She is not happy and wonders what it would be like to be free. Then she finds out she will soon be out of a job, with a generous severance package. She decides to leave her marriage and travel to Berlin to pursue her true love, photography.
The two are in Berlin 11 years after agreeing to meet. I won't ruin the ending.
I would recommend.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Holly and Casey first met while in Berlin as exchange students at university for a short amount of time. Their relationship was also short but unforgettable and nothing has compared since. Years later, Holly’s career has gone downhill and she has a boyfriend who sees her as a housewife. Meanwhile, Casey is engaged to a woman who is perfect on paper but who doesn’t quite live up to Holly. When they were in Berlin, the pair agreed they could later reunite under a tree in a park at 6pm. When they both find themselves in Berlin, what will happen?
It is written well it feels realistic. The characters are not perfect and have to answer to their own actions.

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I unfortunately dnf’d this which absolutely kills me. I was so looking forward to this book. I loved the concept! I wanted to cheer for these characters.. I wanted to believe in them… but…. There was no connection there for me. Also, let’s just mention the cheating…. If you look at it as two horrible people getting together then if might not be that bad… Casey the cheater and Holly the willing to be a cheater…

I do realize that thing like this happen all the time.. there are whirlwind romances and people make mistakes but this didn’t do it for me. I like angst but not at the expense of others…

Thank you Netgalley for the arc!

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I haven't read a good lesbian romance in such a long time, and I think this is my favorite I've ever read! The character growth and relationship between Holly & Casey!!! Incredible. The very real life things still happening in their lives, and the way that they "moved on" but not really. Ugh. SO good.

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Thank you to the Publishers and NetGalley for giving me an eArc of Meet Me in Berlin.

The novel’s plot evolves around two characters who meet in Berlin during their early 20s and fall in love only to not see each other for 11 years afterwards. It is a dual narrative from the point of view of both women who get their 2nd chance at love in Berlin after circumstances lead them both to be at the park and under the tree where they promised they would meet again.
I enjoyed reading the book, it reminded me of a “chick flick” movie that I used to watch with my mum on movie nights years ago, just with a bit more spice. It was an easy going read but had stakes that kept me on the edge of my seat as I experienced each event with the characters. The writing is not overly complicated which I liked as it gave me a much-needed break from my usual fantasy reads, it was all about the love in the story, and that’s what I also liked about it.
I fell in love with all the characters I met which shocked me as I can be a bit of a hater, but even Eva, arguably the books antagonist, was likable in her own way. All the characters were incredibly relatable and full of flaws. Often when I read romance books the characters are seen as perfect or flawless which takes me out of the book. I liked that Casey made mistakes and was overwhelmed and unsure of her feelings for Eva and Holly. I liked that despite them all being 30 years old, they don’t have their lives sorted or planned really. Holly loses her job at the beginning and still had no idea what she really wanted to do with her life.
The author includes a variety of diverse characters, and it is flawlessly integrated into the story and used to highlight the issues within society that many encounter. It was done brilliantly.
I don’t normally read contemporary romance novels but this is a book I will happily reread.

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This was a gorgeous read with a beautiful and heart-felt storyline. I loved the way Samantha described the scenery as it really made you feel like you were there. Casey and Holly were both beautiful characters that you couldn't help but root for.

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Meet Me in Berlin is a very cute second chance sapphic book. I really enjoyed this one. I loved the chemistry between Holly and Casey. They met eleven years ago in Berlin and haven't stopped thinking about each other since. Don't tell me that that is not the cutest premise ever. I couldn't put this book down and absolutely devoured it.
The writing is easy to consume and kept me entertained throughout the whole book.

There is a trope in the book I don't really like which also wasn't executed very well. I won't spoil it for anyone so I won't name the trope but that did make it less enjoyable. It was only a small part of the book so I let it go and enjoyed the rest.

Overall I would recommend Meet Me in Berlin to anyone who enjoys sapphic romances. Its really good.

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This novel was a tough one to rate! It was very well written and mostly enjoyable to read. “Mostly” is unfortunately, an important word from that sentence. I can tell the author is a good writer, however I did not like some of the choices made in this novel.

There were lots of parts that I liked about this novel. The overall structure of the plot/relationship was clever and well set up. I loved the idea of their annual meeting spot; two people who otherwise don’t know how to find each other with this one special link to each other. A short and young romance that they were never able to move on from. The entire flow of the novel up until shortly after they met up again was great. I also loved the side characters and their relationships. The best friends and families of the MC’s were very well done and added some of the best elements to the novel.

Unfortunately, there were some big elements that I didn’t like. To be blunt, I didn’t like Casey, and the liking the novel depends on the reader liking (and empathizing/caring about) the MC’s. I can absolutely get behind a novel with unlikable or otherwise shitty MC’s, but only when it works with the story and they are supposed to be unlikable. This novel made the mistake of making the MC a crappy person but wanting the reader to like them regardless. My main issue with Casey was of course the cheating; the big one in the middle of the novel but also the near-miss earlier that warned us what kind of person she was from the start. This wasn’t the way to make me like the character. The cheating was crappy, and the aftermath was also handled terribly. I don’t believe Casey even felt bad about what she did, as much as that she got caught. She directly and intentionally lied on multiple occasions, and there wasn’t any good justification. Casey didn’t do anything to make up for her bad behavior either; she just sulked and waited for Holly to get over it on her own and forgive her. Add how immature Casey acts through the whole novel (the whole relationship with Eva) and how she ignores EVERYONE in her life telling her she is being dumb and acting shitty towards her two love interests and I can’t really muster up much empathy for her.

The big conflict in the novel was obvious from a mile away and annoyingly preventable. I found myself dreading it as I was reading (and not in a good way) and wanted to stop reading; this isn’t a good thing for your novel. There were SO many other directions/conflicts they could have gone with for this novel, and I’m disappointed that they chose this one.

The other love interests (Tom and Eva) were also painted as such bad people/partners/options. This was rather heavy handed and reminded me of a poorly written rom-com. Obviously it was to make the reader root for the MC’s to get together, but I think this was unnecessary. We didn’t need to spend nearly as much time following the MC’s interacting with their crappy partners in the beginning of the novel.

I think this novel was a few changes away from being 5-stars, unfortunately they are big details.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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