Series: Hopeless Romantics #1
Published by Gallery Books on August 20th 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Tropes: Smalltown Romance, Enemies to Lovers
Source: Netgalley, Gallery Books
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What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.
When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.
Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.
A perfect blend of humor and heart, On the Corner of Love and Hate is the first in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci.
ON THE CORNER OF LOVE AND HATE
by Nina Bocci
I love enemies-to-lovers, it’s one of my favorite tropes because it usually comes with lots of banter and tons of chemistry between the main characters and this all can be said about Emma and Cooper.
He ignited every emotion in me, from love to hate.
Cooper is running a mayoral campaign in his small town of Hope Lake and thus is spread thin and not performing at work as he should. Childhood friend Emma gets to pick up the slack and as you can imagine isn’t very happy about it. This is where ON THE CORNER OF LOVE AND HATE starts and with Cooper being a major player I thought he’d be a jerk, using his candidacy as an excuse to get his rocks off. Thankfully this turned out to be untrue and I found out later that he was a really good guy who sometimes made questionable choices. There is so much more to this man than the player he seems to be but we don’t really have a chance to get to know him because we only have Emma’s point of view.
“I don’t know anything. You don’t tell me anything. I just have to guess. All the time, because Emma keeps everything inside.”
It’s hard to pull off this trope without the male POV, so for a long time we see Emma hurting over something that isn’t explained until much later, and while we know that she has deep feelings for Cooper we don’t know for the majority of the story whether Cooper reciprocates. There are glimpses that will make you suspect though. That part wasn’t winning me over completely because Cooper’s campaign was pretty much front and center and took away from the romance. Adding to that was some serious lack of communication, mostly Emma not wanting to talk. I wasn’t crazy about her, if I’m being honest. She comes across judgmental, bitchy and unforgiving.
But Emma wasn’t all bad, I feel I need to clarify. She had a kind side about her, one that wanted to help Cooper and sometimes gave him the benefit of doubt and that was what made me warm up to her eventually.
Anytime I was alone with him, which was why I actively avoided it, I was transported back to that eleven-year-old girl who realized that the belly flutters she got when he walked in wasn’t a lactose allergy but her first full-blown crush.
One thing I can say without a doubt – Nina Bocci has a beautiful writing voice and talent for weaving a riveting story to boot and I fell in love with her vivid descriptions of Hope Lake. Small town romance never fails to charm me with the meddling, gossipy neighbors. Supporting Cooper and Emma are a bunch of friends I’d like to know more about. While ON THE CORNER OF LOVE AND HATE didn’t win me over 100% I still enjoyed most of it and I wouldn’t mind going back to Hope Lake to read about Henry or Nick’s stories.