Book Review: Hot Mess

review-cover-hot messTitle: Hot Mess [Love is Messy 1]

Author: Emily Goodwin

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

My life is a hot mess.

Single, working, and raising two daughters, it’s a miracle I get us up, dressed, and fed every morning. Forget about dating—nobody’s got time for that. Even if love hadn’t left me jaded, I’m not settling for anything less than perfect this time around.

Lucky for me, the perfect man just happens to work in my office. But there’s just one small problem: he’s my boss, and is totally off limits. But hey, if it’s meant to be, it’ll find a way, right?

Then a night out with friends turns into a night in with the walking-talking bad boy cliche of a bartender. It’s just one night. No harm, no foul, right?

Except when the hot bartender turns out to be my boss’s trouble-making brother, who wants more than just one night with me. The more I resist the spark between us, the more I find myself wanting him too. Which puts me in the middle of what could be the biggest sibling rivalry of the century.

Life is messy.

And love?

Well, love is even messier.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I liked Hot Mess by Emily Goodwin for a lot of reasons. For one, the main character was both smart and capable. Her relationship with the main male lead was a balanced mix of seductive and sweet, and her kids were adorable. The way the male lead interacted with them was beyond heartwarming.

The writing, for the most part, was an easy read, flowed reasonably well, and the characters didn’t spend a large amount of time jumping to conclusions and misconceptions – which is always nice… but that doesn’t mean it was necessarily perfect.

There were a lot of unanswered questions that I expected to know more about by the end of the book… and I didn’t. So much time was spent making the relationship between the two main characters ridiculously sweet and sultry, that a lot of the plot seemed to get lost. Character’s behaviors weren’t explained the way I expected them to be. The character’s pasts were only vaguely hinted at… and the book didn’t end with a HEA as I expected. In fact, it ended rather abruptly with the story largely unfinished.

Honestly, I’m not quite sure what happened. Up until the last 15% of the book, it looked like everything was going great and things were going to be wrapped up nicely… and then it all fell apart in the last two chapters. It left me with an unsettled, unfinished feeling about the book that really knocked this down from a 4-star to a 3. There were some minor editing errors I’ll just gloss over, but my overall feeling of this book was… I liked it. I’m glad I read it… but I’m also just… really confused, and a little disappointed. I think it’s still worth the read if you enjoy romance, but this isn’t a book I’d recommend picking up unless you’re certain you’re going to go further into the series because this installment simply can’t stand alone.