It’s been a while since I’ve thought, “this book would have been an easy four stars if it had been 100 pages shorter,” but that’s exactly how I felt about TEN RULE FOR FAKING IT by Sophie Sullivan. At 384 pages, it isn’t THAT much longer than other contemporary romances I’ve read, but it felt really, really long. It took me more than a week to read! The book follows Everly, a 30-year-old radio producer trying to find love while managing her anxiety and Chris, her sexy and caring, yet secretive boss. Everly accidentally blurts out a story about her cheating boyfriend on-air and gets swept into a dating show based around her and aired on her radio show.
Let’s start with the positives. This book has a lot of elements of other contemporary romances or romcoms I’ve read or watched while at the same time being wholly unique. I love that Everly is so darn relatable. I also recently turned 30, and so many of her emotional responses hit a chord for me. Now, I’m not on a radio dating show a la The Bachelorette, but I think if I were, I’d relate to Everly even more. I also enjoyed her love interest, Chris. He is a good guy trying to live up to his family’s expectations and succeed in his career. Too bad he is knocked sideways by his infatuation with Everly, who is absolutely not in his plans. This book also had killer side characters. I enjoyed both Chris and Everly’s BFFs and Chris’s brother. I feel future stories??
What didn’t work for me? As I mentioned, this book is a little too long. What I didn’t mention was that it’s a slow burn. So slow. The slowest slow. I was so irritated just waiting for ANYTHING to happen between Everly and Chris. I liked them both as characters, and I really wanted them to be together! So when they finally, finally kind of figure it out right before the end of the book… there is no steam. Zero. Nada. Nothing. It was such a disappointment. Sure, I’ve read books without love scenes that are fun and satisfying, but I thought Chris and Everly really needed that physical connection for me to believe they were actually in love. They danced around each other so much that I was completely let down by the lack of spark.
The other big problem for me was that as soon as this book started, well, as soon as we got Chris’ POV, we knew he was head over heels for Everly. It doesn’t matter that they haven’t really talked; he’s completely gone for her. All of these emotions happen before the book starts making Chris’ feelings for Everly, who, let’s be honest, is a bit of a mess, seem shallow at best, unbelievable at worst.
Overall, I liked a lot about this book, but it ended up being a “meh” read for me. I wish it had been faster paced and a little shorter. I don’t think I’ll give up on Sullivan’s books, TEN RULES was very well written, but I’ll temper my expectations for my next read.
**I received a free copy of this book in order to provide an honest review**