Monday, March 10, 2014

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning, Book Review

By: Sarra Manning
Published by: CB Creative Books
Released on: 8/7/2013
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 Stars - a brilliantly plotted romance
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Sweet, bookish Neve Slater always plays by the rules. And the number one rule is that good-natured fat girls like her don't get guys like gorgeous, handsome William, heir to Neve's heart since university. But William's been in LA for three years, and Neve's been slimming down and re-inventing herself so that when he returns, he'll fall head over heels in love with the new, improved her.

So she's not that interested in other men. Until her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she's an experienced love-goddess and not the fumbling, awkward girl he left behind, then she'd better get some, well, experience.

What Neve needs is someone to show her the ropes, someone like Celia's colleague Max. Wicked, shallow, sexy Max. And since he's such a man-slut, and so not Neve's type, she certainly won't fall for him. Because William is the man for her... right?

Somewhere between losing weight and losing her inhibitions, Neve's lost her heart - but to who?

Sweet, awkward, determined-to-keep-losing-weight Neve is easily one of my favorite romance characters ever. Yup, EVER. Reviewers use words like "relatable", and DearEverything, is Neve ever relatable. I completely understood her desire to re-make herself for her college crush's return home. So as you can imagine, I fell in love with the concept of a "pancake relationship" (based on the fact that the first pancake is never perfect so you tend to throw it away).

Max could not be a more perfect pancake partner -- as he himself says it, (paraphrased) he's done everything you can imagine and probably twice.  But trust me on this, when Max and Neve are together, their chemistry simply explodes off the page. And that, for me, makes for the best kind of storytelling.

Sarra has surprised me twice with the depth of her characters in deliciously plotted romances (my review of her YA story, Adorkable). There is so much more to both Max, and especially to Neve, than first meets the eye, and I enjoyed every reveal along the way. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I kept pestering Katie with texts and quotes from the story. Yes, I'm THAT pesky friend.

This is the perfect book to throw in your bag now that the weather is warming up and a lot of us are heading out to enjoy the great outdoors (oh, I know you guys are like me and always have a book nearby). But, here's a quick warning: you will have a desperate need to find out what happens next and if it ends the way you want it to end. Trust me on this -- desperate. So watch that clock carefully, you will lose track of time with this story.

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