Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Love in the City by Jen Morris checks all the boxes of a good romance novel. Alex, the main character, is cute and likeable. Michael, the love interest Alex literally runs into, is sexy and thoughtful. They are everything you want in a traditional romance with New York City as their playground, it is the perfect trifecta.
There are so many things to love about this first novel from Morris. She writes about New York with passion and the passion doesn’t end with her descriptions of the city. From the first moment Alex and Michael meet, steam is rising from the words on the page. For a good romance, there must be sexual tension and chemistry that leave the reader wanting more and Morris sure does deliver.
I would like to see Alex’s friends, Cat and Geoff, more fleshed out. This is particularly true of Geoff’s character, who is the gay, male best friend and Alex’s cheerleader and landing pad. The surface level glimpse we get of Geoff leaves me wanting more from him. Cat, Alex’s female friend and roommate, has a small storyline that helps Alex grow in the story.
Alex repeatedly barrages herself and relies on others to validate her decision. While I would expect her to have moments where she questions her major life choice and need external reassurances, I would also like to see her find more ways to work through this herself. Maybe I wanted too much from her because this growth is essential for Alex.
Part of Alex’s insecurity stems from her shame of loving romance novels, something I am glad this book addresses. Too many people feel shame for their “guilty pleasure,” but there is nothing shameful about reading romances. In fact, women can gain power and confidence from reading about strong women who know what they want, both in life and in bed.
This book had me laughing out loud, primarily in the first few chapters. I read another review who wished the author had Alex and Michael spend more time with his son. While reading the story, I didn’t think much about it because children are often conveniently not around when the romance starts heating up, but writing scenes where the new lovers were trying to sneak around without Henry finding out, could have led to some hilarity that endeared the characters to the readers even more.
Michael is easy to fall in love with and the more we learn about him, his desire to be a good father, and how he interacts with Alex makes him swoon worthy. His sex appeal is wrapped up into his personality, so I wasn’t sure I was going to like him when he is first introduced. It wasn’t long before I started falling for him myself.
This is Morris’ debut novel, and she did a wonderful job of creating characters I want to learn more about. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Love in the City is available for pre-order now and will launch on Oct 7. Don’t miss out on this one.