Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Modern Love #1
Source: Libby (My Library app)
Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.
Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:
- Nude pics are by invitation only
- If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice
- Protect your heart
Only there aren't any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night... and disappears.
Rhi thought she'd buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won't fumble their second chance, but she's wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…
The Right Swipe is the perfect example of #BookstagramMadeMe. I’ve seen this book around on bookstagram a lot lately, something that makes sense, as it was released in the second half of 2019. I loved the cover and the concept, of two people meeting on a dating app and then work coming into play, and right in between them, while at the same time, pushing them together.
You know I love a good workplace romance, after all! It follows Rhiannon and Samson, who met using the “hookup” option on Crush, a dating app. They had an amazing date, and a great night together… until Samson stands Rhi up the next day. So she unmatches with him on the app, checks out of her hotel, and goes back home, completely writing him up for ghosting her. Except he had a pretty good reason, but since she used a false name, he had no way to get ahold of her and let her know.
Rhiannon has convinced herself that she’s over it, throwing herself into work as the owner of the dating app they met on. She’s convinced of it… until he shows up working for her competitor and they get thrown together again and again, even partnering on a project.
Wait a minute. No phone. No demands. The sounds of nature. Was this… a vacation?
I didn’t love this one. This is my first Alisha Rai book that I’ve read, although Girl Gone Viral is also on my list, it did slip down a bit after reading this one. I just didn’t connect to the characters hardly at all! I was not invested, and even considered DNFing, but finally the book picked up at 74 percent, and I was finally interested in the book a bit. But it shouldn’t have taken that long, and if I wasn’t reading this book for a video, I probably wouldn’t have continued to read to that point.
You know that my biggest pet peeve while reading is when the hero and heroine don’t seem to have separate lives away from each other. When it’s all Hero&Heroine in the book, I get disinterested and quick. But in this one… it almost felt like too much or done in the wrong way. We got a lot of moments of them away from each other, but those times were filled with menial tasks and a whole lot of introspection! So much introspection. Please stop thinking so much.
We didn’t really get to see Rhiannon doing her job, which I thought was one of the most interesting parts, her being the owner of a dating app! Rhi and Samson partner together to do a dating tips video, which they were filming on a smartphone as she gave him tips. The first video was funny! There was banter! And then a few pages later, “They did four more videos” was a throw-away line as she sat in her office and introspected (a verb? a verb). I wanted more moments like that!
“My sister, she’s one tough bitch. That’s what I tell my friends.”
“I’m a bit concerned you called me a bitch to your friends.”
Gabe chuckled. “Only in a good way. You’re an alpha. But alphas need to rest. And they need to recoup. And they need to cry and be vulnerable and take a break from taking care of everyone.”
I heard this book was diverse, empowering, and very feminist – and yeah, I think that’s true. But it’s not entertaining, or romantic. I wanted to swoon! I wanted banter! I wanted to understand why they loved each other. A boss bitch Rhiannon and a sensitive jock lover is a great premise, and I think I loved it more than the characters themselves. First of all, because I didn’t like the way Rhiannon was portrayed. I love reading about a powerful and confident woman, but Rhiannon was that to the extreme, all callous attitude, pessimism, manipulation, and very hard-headed. She didn’t hesitate to manipulate Samson, going to hear him apologize, and then when he’s feeling bad about his actions, ask him for a favor. This was her plan. This is why she went to hear him apologize. We never really got to see her develop, but instead, she remained cold and indignant, only for her to suddenly change. I wanted to see the journey.
She was, to be honest, the perfect counter to a bland and underwhelmingly *perfect and damaged* Samson, who just need more. ALTHOUGH I do have to admit that I did like that in the end, they both mutually and independently decided to fight for their relationship. One didn’t have to chase after the other and convince them. This was a definite positive for me.
The book felt like a bullet-pointed list of plot points, with the character’s emotions and convincing backgrounds thrown away. Most things were there… but it just didn’t feel convincing. I did enjoy the background themes that battled relevant topics like the #MeToo movement, misogyny in the workplace (and beyond), feminism and workforce demographics, and thought those were done very well. But those were the shining stars of the book. I went into this thinking it would be a rom-com, and it’s not. Alisha Rai’s passion for certain topics certainly shone through, which made it a triumph in many ways, but for its genre, the romance needs a lot of work. Even if, and I do commend the book for this, it did get noticeably better in the last fourth. I even teared up towards the end!
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(Or read the other reviews here: The Friend Zone, The Right Swipe, Honey-Don’t List,
You Deserve Each Other, If I Never Met You)
Other books you may enjoy…
Have your read this book? What did you think? What’s a favorite second chance romance of yours? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
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