Title : Love Match
Author : Laire_McKinney
Genre : Romance ; Women’s Fiction
Pages : 278
Publication Date : 3rd June 2021
I received this Advance Review Copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you so much Netgalley, BHC Press for giving me this opportunity to read and review this book in advance. A very big Thank You!!
Serena McAllister is devastated to find her fiancé has cheated on her—again. When she learns her newspaper is outsourcing jobs to freelance writers, she’s desperate to land the last remaining staff position. Unfortunately, her rival Jane Childers wants the coveted spot as well, and she’s just as determined.
Vowing to do whatever it takes to get her life in order, Serena decides to join a modern-day harem and write a provocative article about the objectification of women across the world to land her dream job at the newspaper.
When Serena arrives at the tiny tropical paradise known as Birin Island, she meets Prince Shailemon Sharma, who is dealing with his own issues of archaic customs in his homeland.
As sparks begin to fly, they discover that attraction can lead to so much more—and that there are no barriers of culture or country when love is on the line.
Love Match is a story of a Journalist, Serena McAllister who is utterly desperate for a happening story to publish in her newspaper, in order to retain her bread winning job. So, she decides to go to a Princely Island and become a part of a modern day Harem undercover and plans on exposing these kind of institutions which objectify women. But unfortunately, Serena finds herself insanely attracted to the handsome Prince and King-to-be, Shailemon Sharma of the Birin Island. And that of course, makes her task of exposing the Prince and his Harem a lot more difficult than she had anticipated.
Will she keep aside her jittery romantic feelings aside and focus on her job or become victim to her heart’s feelings ? That’s the story of this book.
Love Match is a romance novel which majorly focuses on the life of Serena McAllister and her romantic heart. This novel hardly spans between a week or so. It was utterly fast pacing and so was the relationship between Serena and her Prince which was kind of odd and highly accelerated. It would have been really great, if the author had taken their relationship a bit slowly and steadily. Since their relationship was very much accelerated, their relationship felt nothing more than pheromones doing its trick.
Since, the plot spans over a short period of time, even a day in the book moved forward at such a slower pace. For example, for a day to come to end, it almost took 50 plus pages and that definitely was tiring. The book was narrated from the perspective of both Serena and Shailemon, and that gave away the feelings and emotions of both of them in a silver platter to the readers which obviously did not leave any space of curiosity or anticipation from the reader’s side. Both the voices of Serena and Shailemon was very similar and that made it look like kind of repetitive and confusing at times.
The aura of the Birin Island has been beautifully developed and portrayed. The way in which the author has described the beauty of Birin Island was tremendous and immediately take the readers away to this beautiful piece of land in heaven on earth. Definitely, this effective description of the Island by the author will actually make the readers fallen in love with Birin. The mental image, the author’s writing induced the readers to see was simply spectacular. One can easily smell, feel and experience everything about this Island quite very much vividly.
The character development could have been a bit more interesting and strong. The short and constant anecdotes by Serena was really funny and engaging. Though, it was irrelevant at most of the times, it brought about a smile in Shailemon as well as the reader’s face. It was really satisfying. Serena was quite interesting and funny.
Though the book promises to unravel the truth about modern day Harems, it has failed to bring about the authentic life and cultural essence of Royal family and it’s affair. The author could have focused a bit more on this part. Because even after spending some considerable time at Birin Island’s palace and with the Prince himself and at the same investigating about the lifestyle, it felt like Serena hasn’t shed her stereotypical American outlook about Royal lifestyle or understood it properly. That was the big hole in the plot.
On the other hand, Shailemon’s side of the story brought about some light about his lifestyle in the palace as a Prince. His backstory felt quite authentic and it was well developed and materialized. His position and dilemma throughout the book was completely understandable and acceptable. This part has been wonderfully established and executed. The book told elaborately about the institution of Coterie and that was quite different and new. This ideology of Coterie opened a new door to the readers because Coterie was something definitely unknown to most parts of the world, that too during this modern time. It’s a good thing, that the author had decided to talk about something very new, unique and unknown of.
The writing style of the author was good, a bit of clarity would have been even more great and enchanting to read. There were a few hand full of side characters which were very interesting to read about. A little bit peak into these characters would have been nice. Other than that the plot was fine and moved ahead properly.
To be very frank, I was quite disappointed with how the book turned out to be because I was completely misguided with the cover of this book. All I found on the cover was Taj Mahal and the book was called Love Match and my mind immediately screamed that the book was based on India. And that was one of the main reasons why decided to go ahead with this book but to my disappointment, it has nothing to do with India or Taj Mahal and that kind of put me off.
The cover was extremely beautifuly and alluring. If you could ask me to dwell in the beauty of the cover, I can spend all my day gazing at it. A special appreciation should be give for the cover designer, I’m a sucker for beautiful covers. Here, the point is, the book wasn’t as good as the cover. I’m definitely not saying it was a bad read. The book was fine and will keep you occupied for some time. A bit more of detail, character development and baby step relationship could have been much more better.
The steamy romance part in this book was very enticing and fantastic to read but just romance and lust without any strong base of a relationship was kind of confusing and cliche. Because the author had equated sexual attraction to love and that wasn’t totally intolerable. I’m trying not be a prude here but if it has been established somewhere that both the character were in for casual sexual encounters or relationship, and then it has flourished into love, then it would have been completely fine by me to accept it. But this book emphasized on something like Love at first sight on which I seriously do not believe in. Though attraction at first sight is totally acceptable but dude love takes time!!! Serena and Shailemon’s relationship almost felt like a rebound because their relationship was not even deep or something. That was my only issue with this book. But that is completely my mindset right now and it my differ from person to person and maybe time to time, who knows ?
My rating for this book would be 2 out of 5 stars
I would like to recommend this book to people who are into easy, simply and breezy reads. This book will definitely keep you engaged.
Please do not start the book with any expectation like it would be based in India or Taj Mahal because that will completely ruin your experience with the book. And it will lead you to disappointment. Start the book with zero expectation and you might enjoy it!!
Publication date : 3rd June 2021
Happy Reading folks!!