Is it really wrong to have more than one boyfriend?I brought a new one into my bed almost every night.
From conference rooms to broom closets, I escaped reality with my leading men. Okay, so they were fictional book boyfriends.
In reality I should have been concentrating on classes while I looked for a living, breathing man to help me achieve my romantic fantasies. It was a friend who suggested combining my passions for romance novels and psychology to generate my Master’s thesis research topic: Does the modern day romance novel leading man create unrealistic expectations for a prolonged adult relationship?
To find out, I’d run a social experiment. I’d be the constant. The variables would be my leading men. I’d date every stereotype in the books, from billionaires to bad boys, rock stars to bikers, dominants, athletes, and…my stepbrother?
If my research was successful, I’d end up with a degree and maybe even my very own happy ending.
–Love the premise: What happens when you decide to examine male stereotypes in romance novels, by actually dating each of the stereotypes? That’s what Piper decides to make the basis of her master’s thesis in psychology and I was drawn in from jump. I loved the idea of meeting real life counterparts for classic book boyfriends such as the bad boy, the rocker, the DILF, the billionaire CEO, etc. Even more fun was seeing the heroine realize that some book boyfriends, should stay just that – in your book, not real life. It’s all in first person POV, and it’s more chick lit than straight romance, if that’s your gig.
–Some good humor: Alot of the humor comes from her misadventures with the romance novel dates, but it never crosses over into outright slapstick which I enjoyed.
–The dreaded T word: yep, you guessed it – the romantic triangle. If there was something that brought down my enjoyment, and my rating, is that the dreaded T makes an appearance, plus things progress very far on both sides of the triangle. Trying to look past my personal bias against it, I think it was done in a way that made both sides of the triangle sympathetic, even if it’s clear who she should ultimately be with. Had it not progressed as far on both sides, I probably could have enjoyed it more. Also, all the characters are pretty young and act accordingly, so there’s some drama and some emotional angst that comes from that lack of maturity when you’re in your early twenties.
The Bottom Line
I liked it and I think the idea was fresh, even if I had issues with the triangle. I will definitely keep an eye out for more from this author.
*An ARC was received for an honest review.
He studied the list for a moment before handing it back to me. “I know a few.”
Six eyes turned to Austin. “Who?” I asked.
“I know a rock star. Well, kind of. He sings for a local band, but they’ve got a great following. I know several businessmen, but not any CEOs. I might be able to hook you up with one, though. And I know a few bars around here where your bad boys hang out.”
My jaw dropped. Everyone has that one friend who knows everybody. Austin had lived in San Diego his entire life, so he knew the lay of the land.
“Take me to your bars!” I practically yelled, garnering a glare from students studying nearby. “Sorry,” I whispered.
“Wait a minute,” Shannon said. “I thought of a few you’re missing from your list.”
A few I was missing? I thought I’d pretty much covered all the bases. “Who?”
“You need a Fabio.” She stated it like it was obvious.
“Like a cover model?” I asked.
She shrugged. “Sure. Or like a historical romance guy.”
I laughed. Shannon could be a bit of an airhead sometimes. “Where am I going to find a historical romance guy? We’re in the present tense, Shannon.”
“Duh. Renaissance Festival. And Austin, you seem to know everybody else. Do you know any vampires?”
Laughter bubbled up from my chest. I couldn’t help when it spilled out, and when I looked over at Austin and Scott, I found a similar reaction. Shannon stared at us blankly.
“What?” she asked.
“Vampires?” I asked through my giggles.
“They’re in all the books,” she clarified, only spurring on our laughter. Her brows came together in anger.
My giggles turned into those silent quaking convulsions that I couldn’t possibly control. Scott was holding up his hand as if to tell Shannon to stop while he laughed, and Austin clutched his stomach from the hilarity.
We’d stop for a minute only to glance at one or the other, and then we’d start back up again, garnering more glares from students near us.
Our laughing had to have gone on for at least a full five minutes before we were composed enough to talk about it.
“What?” Shannon finally asked in frustration.
Austin gave Shannon a very serious look while I stifled another wave of giggles. Scott had to excuse himself after a less than flattering snort.
“Vampires aren’t real,” Austin finally said.
“Well, you need a paranormal,” Shannon said, her voice both irritated and completely serious. “How about a werewolf?”