Love a Little Sideways by Shannon Stacey

Love a Little Sideways (Kowalski Family, #7)Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This was a really big disappointment for me.

It started so promising …… two people who have grown up together fall into bed together one day during a wedding expecting it to be a one-time thing but then being forced to confront their attraction when they end up living in the same small town again.  However, two major things stopped this story from being enjoyable:

1. He’s the best friend of her brother

This is a theme dealt with in many romance novels and I have nothing against this trope … UNTIL IT IS DONE TO DEATH.  Honestly, the amount of times both Liz and Drew mentioned the problem that is Mitch (her brother, his best friend) ….. just get over it already.  I don’t know whether it’s because I am an only child but I am perfectly capable of understanding the friction there BUT NOT TO THE EXTENT IT IS PLAYED OUT IN THIS BOOK.  These are 30-something characters.  Mitch should have more important things to worry about like Paige.  Why would he be so obsessed with his sister’s sex life?!?!  Shouldn’t he be happy that his best friend, and all around good guy and town cop, is taking care of his sister?!

Weirdly enough whilst I didn’t like the whole He-Man nature of it, Mitch dealt with the whole thing better than I though.  It’s definitely weird when he ends up being the one to come out best of the whole mess.

2. He wants children, she doesn’t

Having watched Owen/Cristina dance around this for far too many seasons on Grey’s Anatomy I have some experience of watching writers deal with this topic and nothing will make me believe that a woman can change her mind about this at all, or definitely not in a blink of an eye.  There are exceptions to this (in fandom at least) say if she suddenly finds herself pregnant, having a child suddenly in her custody due to unexpected family death or a near-death experience.

None of these apply to Liz.

Okay, I admit Liz doesn’t ever say she doesn’t want children full stop but she does repeatedly say she doesn’t want them yet.  How does one conversation with Rosie (who does admittedly make good points and I can see how that would have helped Liz change her mind eventually) suddenly make her go “yup, actually I am happy with my life as a waitress and let’s start having children now” after spending the previous 200 pages claiming she doesn’t want children in the near future.  At least give her time to mull things over and come to this conclusion, some distance, perhaps sending her off to explore her educational options before she suddenly comes to the realisation that where she would be happiest is having a family with Drew.  Give me something to make me believe that her change of heart is believable!

Rant over.  This book wasn’t actually that bad.

Book: 2*

Cover: 5*

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