Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The Designated Valentine by Drew Taylor: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

There are only two things I loathe in this world: Valentine’s Day and Mason Kane. Valentine’s Day is actually Single’s Recognition Day, and Mason Kane is the genesis of my contemptuous heart. I’ve totally moved on, and my life is 

Just great.

Should I say it one more time so you’ll believe me?

That is, until both elements of my hatred merge together into a nightmare of epic proportions. One: heading the Valentine’s Day marketing campaign for my boss’ jewelry brand as a way to fulfill my internship class. Two: Mason Kane will be appearing in the commercials.

Ruining my life again.

I can’t mess this up, but how can I pretend everything is fine after how Mason disappeared from my life three years ago?

I never thought I’d build a vacation home in Mississippi, but one reason is all I need: Karoline Wright, my childhood best friend, lives there, and I realized a little too late that I was in love with her. But all my grandiose plans to reunite with her are tossed out of the window when I’m ushered into her sphere sooner than expected.

Why did I agree to star in a jewelry commercial for Valentine’s Day, and why on God’s green earth is Karoline heading up the campaign?

Now, I have to figure out how to get all this boiling hot water between us under a very big bridge. Stat.

It’s now or never. I have to weasel my way back into her life and prove myself changed against her rightfully earned suspicions and doubts. And maybe—just maybe—the bricks will crumble away from the mile-high wall she’s built over the past three years.

Drew loves to write clean stories that leave you swooning and yearning for more. She believes romance isn't just about the physical, but about connections, friendships, and commitment. She is here to tell you that Christian romance can be hilarious, witty, and swoon-worthy. 

Drew is from south Mississippi, where her heart lies, but now resides in Alaska where she teaches English. When not teaching or writing, she enjoys reading, Bookstagram,  baking Christmas goodies (even in the middle of June), researching random history facts, and spending time with her family and friends and doggos. 

The Designated Valentine is a novella that comes after The Designated Friend. I had not yet read the previous book and found that this reads just fine as a standalone as well. 

Despite its shorter length, this book was not short on great moments. I loved the friends to enemies to love... it gave us all that history that I love in a friends to lovers, as well as the banter and tension of enemies to lovers... all rolled into one. Mason and Karoline were friends when they were younger... until he royally screws it all up. When they reconnect years later, he has the chance to show her that he has changed and tried to win her back over. I couldn't help but enjoy these two together! We were given glimpses of those moments in the past and I thought the author did a really great job of giving just enough at the right time to keep me wondering what happened. By the end when everything is revealed... well, let's just say I appreciated Mason even more! 

The Designated Valentine is a closed-door romance with kisses only. While this is not Christian fiction, both characters are Christians and that definitely plays a significant role in their growth and actions throughout, which I did really appreciate. 

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