In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a live-tweet event goes viral for a camera-shy ex-model, shoving her into the spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’d been pining for.
OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate???
I don’t see any wedding rings [eyes emoji]
Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!!
One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for…
He’s got a [peach emoji] to die for.
With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…
Title : Girl Gone Viral Author : Alisha Rai Series : Modern Love #2 Format : eARC Page Count : 400 Genre : Contemporary Romance Publisher : Avon Books Release Date : April 21, 2020
Reviewer : Micky Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5
Micky’s 3.5 star review
GIRL GONE VIRAL was a stronger second title in the Modern Love Series, it was all cute couple and story. I already knew that I was going to like Katrina from book one and this introverted and secluded woman had lots of mystery shrouding her but she was genuine, lovely and easy to side with.
Her bodyguard and head security guy, Jas had been with her for years and they had a caring yet professional relationship dynamic. I loved watching them interact and tip toe around their similarly fully developed feelings that they kept shrouded from one another.
The story took an interesting turn when Jas’ family came into the mix and it was a rich, funny and quirky element to the story. I liked how this prompted a re-evaluation of their professional friendship. The storyline in general was interesting with a side of predictability and ease.
GIRL GONE VIRAL was diverse to its foundations. It had good mental health representation but I would have loved to have got a bit deeper into both Jas’ and Katrina’s issues. I wanted more than the surface of how they dealt with their issues on a daily basis.
This was a story that I enjoyed but I didn’t love. I am definitely here for the series, as this was better than book one and I hope to see that upward trend continue.
Thank you to Avon Books and Edelweiss for the early review copy.
Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup.
The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules: – Nude pics are by invitation only – If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice – Protect your heart
Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.
Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…
Title : The Right Swipe Author : Alisha Rai Series : Modern Love (book one) Format : ARC Page Count : 400 Genre : contemporary romance Publisher : HarperCollins/Avon Release Date : August 6, 2019
Reviewer : Hollis / Micky Rating : ★ .5 / ★★★
Hollis’ 1.5 star review
So I didn’t love this, which is obvious, and there’s a bunch of reasons for that but it’s mostly because I didn’t like the characters. Specifically, Rhiannon.
The plot opens up with our heroine fixated on the fact that she wants to buy up this eHarmony-esque dating site, one of the OG sites of its type, to expand her own app-based dating service. We see her drive, we see her reminisce about the one that got away, and who happens to be the new face of her competition’s marketing campaign? The one who got away. The one she almost threw her rules out the window for. And boy does she have a lot of rules.
The girl is.. rigid. Uncompromising. Unforgiving. Hard to forking love and, as a reader, hard to endure. I don’t want to be dismissive of the heroine’s very real trauma and trust issues but holy forking shit did she also make this a brutal read. She’s something of a shark when it comes to business, she’s successful, all that, all of which are positive things that loads of women get flak for, so it’s unfortunate I found this kind of character so frustrating, but she’s also problematic. She skirts very very close (and sometimes crosses the line) into outright manipulation of the hero — as well as relying on an emotional debt she feels she’s owed (and maybe sorta is but not in this particular context) — and it felt gross. She constantly doubted him, (falsely) accused him of this that or the other thing, was totally hypocritical.. and it was just hard. I am exhausted from it.
She’s not the only drawback THE RIGHT SWIPE, though. The hero, for all his goodness, didn’t do much for me. There’s a whole secondary plot line surrounding brain injuries and concussions (which makes for the second or third time I’m reading of this particular issue in sports-ish romances — not a complaint, just an observation) and a whole lot of baggage that Samson is carrying around but, back to my point, it didn’t do much for me. Which is rather how I feel about the story itself.
What didn’t frustrate or exhaust me just.. did nothing.
There were a few side characters that lightened some of the load of the plodding, and that helped a bit, but not enough. Infact, a certain eccentric aunt did the opposite of what I think she was supposed to do — which was charm the reader. Even she annoyed me. Or, maybe more to the point, I didn’t care and so, again, I was unmoved.
The writing made for an easy read but the plot, the people, the point? Nope. I have yet to determine if I’ll read on in this series. I think it hugely depends on which side character will get the spotlight and I’ll definitely have to pay closer attention to the plot. It’ll have to really draw me in for me to push on in this spinoff. I’ve loved Rai’s books in the past, in particular her Forbidden Hearts series had so much greatness, but this one just totally missed the mark for me.
** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Micky’s 3 star review
THE RIGHT SWIPE has a synopsis that bites, a cover that entices and an inside that lacked something in execution for me. A dating app mogul is how I would describe Rhi (Rhiannon). She’s all hard lines, walls up to the sky and even a little harsh with those that she loves, her family and friend. Her life’s ambition was work, work over family, work over her friend and work over down time. I found her so very hard to like and that was my biggest struggle with this book.
Samson Lima, ex-NFL player and minor shareholder in his Aunt’s rival app to Rhi’s Crush app was everything opposite. He was kind, patient and a large gentle soul. I really liked Samson’s character and in particular, his background family story which was rich and detailed. I get that these two were opposites but I remained forever uncertain that Rhi deserved Samson’s affection and more.
This isn’t about not tolerating a women in the mogul position, a reversal on that trope found in so many romance books, it is about how Rhi was written right to the end, she was so harsh. For me, it was also about Rhi and Samson’s lack of ‘more’ until the final pages. I felt all we got was friends with benefits and I was ready to move beyond that from halfway through the book.
What I did enjoy was the general storyline focus of the battle for the matchmaker app and also the background story of concussion in football players. There was some weak resolution for both, however. The harrassment in the workplace storyline was the strongest and it gave me all the feels. All that said, it was a relatable and contemporary storyline for the age group of the main characters.
THE RIGHT SWIPE was an okay read but it didn’t grab me in the way that previous Alisha Rai books have. I am interested to see character beyond Rhiannon in this series, particularly her friend Kirsten.
Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the review copy.