Really conflicted with this one

Anything But RealAnything But Real by Alex West

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There were elements of this debut romance from Alex West which I absolutely adored there were also times that reading it felt exhausting.

The intriguing way in which it’s written I think perhaps sounded better as an idea than it did in practice as having three different narrative styles in one chapter made it feel jumbled at times.

Still, the romance itself was a sweet one, both friends to lovers and second chance all in one and I liked both Ben and Reid as characters.

Ben was occasionally hard work to read though, we only get his first person thoughts and at times the incessant worrying became too much. Reid we only see through Ben’s eyes and through a third person narration so we only get his motivations in passing, not a constant stream of doubts.

The setting and fake fiance trope, however, worked really well and Ben’s family brought a fair bit of light relief to help ease away the tensions.

There is no smexy times at all in this book, other than a couple of kisses, everything happens off page or in fade to black, which is a little disappointing but not out of keeping with the higher focus on romantic love.

The epilogue is super sweet though and includes a nice time jump showing the two MCs still living their HEA.

Oh, there’s no need for an apostrophe in lots though and there were a couple of other odd grammatical errors which most people probably won’t care about but my journalist/sub-editor head doesn’t skip over.

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