I initially requested an early copy of this book for one reason - the corgi on the cover. Did I judge the cuteness of the book by the cuteness of the cover? Yes. Was it the right decision? Yes. Because this book was so adorable and everything that I wanted and needed in a romcom book. It had quirky characters, a great group of girlfriends who supported each other, a meet cute that became an amazing relationship, and an ending that left me smiling. I have read books by this author previously, and there is always one consistent thought that runs through my head at the end of each book - I wish I could read it again for the first time.
Julia Carpenter is a walking disaster, especially when it comes to relationships. Between accidentally sending belfies (butt selfies) and going on disastrous first dates, she isn't used to things working out in her favor. When an upcoming layoff has her neck on the chopping block at work, she has to think of something fast to save her job as a reporter, and that's when she discovers a new vacation experience - an immeservice resort experience where guests can experience a romantic comedy in all its glory, as key players in their own story. She jets off to the resort alongside her two best friends, and soon they find themselves with new names, meeting people who may or may not be hired actors, and losing their hearts along the way. Julia, in particular, meets a guy who seems perfect for her - but at a resort where everything is a simulation, is their relationship one too?
Julia was a sweetheart, desperately wanting to succeed at life but constantly running into obstacles along the way. She wanted to do more than write listicles, but she struggled to find her niche. The resort was the perfect opportunity for that, and almost immediately she ran into, literally, the man for her - Luke O'Neal. Luke happened to be a software developer...and one of the designers of the resort experience. It was purely coincidence that they met, but Luke was intrigued by her and decided to be part of the game in order to get to know her and get closer to her friend, who he thought was the real reporter, which Julia allowed him to believe. So their relationship starts off with little white lies that they think are harmless, but as they grow closer, those lies start to show glaring concerns. They both know eventually the romcom experience will end, and they'll have to return to their normal lives. But it's not so simple, and I loved how they grew closer and more in love as time went on. Sure, it's a bit insta-love, given the timeframe, but sometimes you just "know" that the person is the one. Luke was hilarious, not your typical romance hero with lots of muscles and an alpha personality. He was a sweet guy who was more at home working at a computer than lifting weights, and it worked so well for the story. He and Julie were the cutest, and while they had bumps in the road, I was really pleased about how it ended. And there was some extra romance along the way for her friends, which was a nice bonus.
Highly recommend this as a beach read or just something to pick up when you're having a bad day. It's sure to cheer you up!
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**