Anything But Love by Abigail Strom
Publication Date: July 12, 2016.
Publisher: Montlake Romance.
Genres: Adult, Contemporary and Romance.
Selling points: Good backstory, sexy couple, and magical Bermuda.
Purchase here: Amazon | The Book Depository
Synopsis: Socialite Jessica Bullock can’t catch a break. After a lifetime of chasing perfection, hoping to please her parents, all her hard work is set to pay off. But on her wedding day, her fiancé leaves her high and dry. Humiliated, she finds her calm, cool facade beginning to crumble…until an unexpected wedding guest, her childhood best friend and crush, offers to help her pick up the pieces.
Never in his wildest dreams would Ben Taggart have imagined he’d be escorting Jessica on her honeymoon to Bermuda. Although they haven’t seen each other in years, he can’t leave her to fall apart. Agreeing to keep things platonic, they vow to make the most of their spontaneous vacation—until an unplanned kiss sparks a powerful passion.
They tell themselves that what happens in Bermuda will stay in Bermuda. But when old secrets are revealed and new feelings ignite, will Ben and Jessica be able to leave their romance behind?
Thank you, Montlake Romance, for my advanced review copy of Anything But Love. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
Anything But Love is an amazing story that’s both cute and sexy. It’s about Jessica and Ben, who used to be best friends and then became enemies in high school. Ben never got to know why that was and what made Jessica turned her back on him.
“One was a memory of Jessica from Junior High, when the two of them had still been friends. The other was a memory from high school, when they’d been enemies.”
The story starts with Jessica being left at the altar by her fiancé, and Jessica is embarrassed. She decides to put on a brave face, and on her wedding reception meets Ben again after all these years. Through an encounter, they end up talking and Ben decides to join Jessica on her honeymoon in Bermuda.
Their trip is all about Jessica finding her passion for life again after living an empty and hollow one, one where she only lived for others. After being molested as a child, she reinvented herself and that’s why she turned her back on Ben. However, nobody knows this, including Ben. On their trip to Bermuda things take an unexpected turn when old feelings emerge, but what happens in Bermuda stays in Bermuda. Or so they say.
What I love about Anything But Love is seeing the romance grow between Jessica and Ben. They decide to trust each other, and Jessica starts a journey that was long overdue. You get to see all of those emotions that taunted them as teenagers come back all over again, and it’s just amazing to see how that’s dealt with.
“He knew the mind and heart and soul behind that beauty. He knew Jessica’s strength and vulnerability, her fears and her courage, and the light inside her that had refused to die.”
Seeing Jessica and Ben’s feelings arise, their passion burning bright, and them learning the truth of the past is something that really makes you root for them so much more. You want them to get their happy ending, even when it seems impossible. These characters make each other grow and make each other braver, in ways that seem impossible in the beginning of the story.
Anything But Love is about finding your inner passion, learning to love and also letting yourself choose your own happiness and love. This contemporary romance is cute and sexy, but also provides you with a complex backstory to the relationship between the characters. It’s a book I really recommend.