Keep This Off the Record
by Arden Joy
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Pub Date 30 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2023
Rising Action Publishing Co., Rising Action
Abigail Meyer and Freya Jonsson can’t stand one another.
But could their severe hatred be masking something else entirely?
From the moment they locked eyes in high school, Abby and Freya have been at each other’s throats. Fifteen years later, when Abby and Freya cross paths again, their old rivalry doesn’t take more than a few minutes to begin anew.
And now Naomi, Abby’s best friend, is falling for Freya’s producer and close pal, Will. Both women are thrilled to see their friends in a happy relationship – except they are now only a few degrees of separation from the person they claim to despise… and they can’t seem to avoid seeing one another.
After their encounters repeatedly devolve into warfare, Abby and Freya’s friends decide their age-old rivalry can only mean one thing: true love. Will their friends bring them together? Or will Freya’s refusal to admit who she is keep them from discovering their underlying passion?
Keep This Off The Record is a fun and fresh LGBTQ+ story about the freedom to be who you are, even if that means falling for the person you hate.
"A fun, fiery, and modern twist on a classic!" - Abby Jimenez, NYT best-selling author Part Of Your World
“A joyful and witty enemies-to-lovers romance—pure fun!” - Ashley Herring Blake, award-winning author of Delilah Green Doesn't Care
“Delightful! This modern-day twist on Much Ado About Nothing is sure to please both lovers of romance and Shakespeare.” - Jean Meltzer, International best-selling author of Kissing Kosher
"If there is a fine line between love and hate, high school enemies Abby and Freya are happy to cross it. Readers will be happy too! Arden Joy lives up to her last name. Keep This Off the Record is a joy!" - Meredith Schorr, author of Someone Just Like You
"I'm a sucker for enemies-to-lovers and this charming love story, complete with a delightful cast of characters, Jewish, and LGBTQIA+ rep, checked every box. With equal parts humor and heart, Arden Joy delivers a feel-good romance that reminds us to love ourselves for exactly who we are." - Lindsay Hameroff, author of Till There Was You
- National Broadcast Publicity
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- Blog Outreach
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- Full publicity plan with Books Forward that features reaching out to 80 journalists, editors and producers
Average rating from 63 members
“Keep This Off the Record” has everything you could want in a book: girl enemies-to-lovers, wedding drama, Judaism, cats, best friends, social media, public declarations of love, a nosy old lady neighbor, wine, texting that turns to sexting which ends up with naked ladies in bed, and sneaky friends. It was such fun to read from start to finish. The central queer romance was one of the most intense enemies-to-lovers I ever read. Abigail Meyer and Freya Jonsson really, really hate each other. But the second their lips crashed into each other the first time, I felt as relieved and giddy as they did, and by the end, their relationship felt delightfully inevitable. My only wish for this story is that there'd been less friend group and more Abby and Freya. But that might just be because I couldn't get enough of them. Abby and Freya's fiery dynamic keeps you hooked, and their character development is a joy to witness. As their layers are peeled back, we see beneath the surface of their hatred, revealing genuine vulnerabilities and hidden desires. The supporting characters, especially Becca and Riley, are a highlight. Their witty banter adds a delightful comedic element to the story, creating a perfect balance between the romance and lighthearted moments. I couldn't help but become invested in their lives too. The pacing of the story is spot-on. It keeps you engaged with its rapid progression, sprinkled with OMG moments that are both surprising and heartwarming. The alternating POV gives insight into the emotional world of our two main characters while fleshing out the often hysterical supporting cast of friends. The ending was epic and that’s all I’ll say because everyone needs to read it for themselves. Thanks to Arden Joy, Rising Action Publishing Co and NetGalley for allowing me to read this ARC and leave an honest review. I look forward to reading what Arden Joy writes next!
This is one of the best romances I've read all year!
This is basically two romances in one. The main story is between Abby and her high school nemesis Freya, but the whole reason their paths keep crossing is because Abby's best friend Naomi and Freya's friend Will have their own romance going on.
There are so many good elements to this story. Each character is dynamic, and the side characters are so vibrant. I love the shenanigans that Becca and Riley get into, and Naomi's journey in getting through her past with her narcisstic ex is so wonderful to see. I had so much fun reading this amazing debut!
Reader, you are in for a treat with Keep This Off the Record, a masterful, modern, and queer retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. I am not overstating it when I say this book had me giggling and kicking my feet with joy and anticipation. With strong narrative voice (which adds another layer to arguably my favorite Shakespeare play), Arden Joy weaves a dynamic story filled with hijinks, drama, and lovable (and lovably annoying) characters. Trust me when I say ‘do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, immediately read this book’ if you’re looking for an engaging and laugh out loud read. A very unapologetic 5/5 stars from me and I cannot wait to see what Arden Joy has planned next!
I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.