My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the author Evie Knight and the publisher, ILwR.
Love by Design tells the story of Amanda Roberts who is desperate to get her unique shoe designs into the world of fashion, if it’s the last thing she does. Tristan James, a fantastic baker and owner of his own cupcake store, wants nothing more than to get his own TV show. When these two meet, sparks fly and a rollercoaster of romance and business opportunities begins.
Seeing as I only rated this one out of five stars, it’s safe to say I didn’t enjoy this read. As I always state, I hate giving books a bad rating because this is someone’s work, something they worked hard on – and then I don’t like it. In this case it’s even worse, as I really had high hopes for this book and judging on the other reviews, I was looking forward to reading it.
I really felt no connection to either of the main characters, nor any of the side characters and I felt like everything was super rushed. The story flipped from one day to the next and I found it to be quite bothersome, as I never managed to get a firm grasp as to what was going on. One moment she’s fine, the next the story skips three weeks and everything is not fine. I could literally pin-point when Amanda (named Mandy in the book mostly, so from now on I’ll also stick to that) was going to run back to Tristan. Hell, I called those moments even before she had a chance to wallow about her breakup.
Speaking of Tristan and Mandy, their entire relationship was one big rollercoaster as well, and not the right kind. They broke up three times over the course of the story, and all three times Mandy had the physical restraint of a five year old. “I’m mad at you!” – proceeds to get back together within the next five minutes. It was completely unbelievable to me and did not make her at all more appealing to me. Tristan at the same time was dominating and unnecessarily jealous almost all the time, making him one of those anger-bomb characters who freak out at the slightest issue.
The sudden twist on Jude’s character was completely unnecessary in my opinion and was just used to keep the two main characters together, because quite frankly if Jude had stayed ‘the good guy’, Mandy wouldn’t have had a single reason to make up with Tristan – any of the three times, in fact. Aside from the amazing sex we kept reading about, I didn’t feel like Tristan was offering Mandy anything she couldn’t have gotten from someone else.
Some of the side characters were unnecessarily there – Norah and Caleb both, again – just step stools to get Tristan and Mandy together, and I thought that was a shame. Nothing wrong with the writing in itself, though I couldn’t take them singing along with songs, but other than that it was fine.
I did not enjoy this at all, maybe it just wasn’t for me seeing as everybody else has rated it three stars and up. I’d probably recommend this to my friends who primarily enjoy romance books, but I would personally not read this again.