Erryn reviews ‘Stupid Love (Stumbling Into Love Book 1)’ by Riley Hart. The ebook was published May 20, 2020 and is 227 pages. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Michael Dean, released May 29, 2020 and is 7 hrs and 26 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: Riley Hart and Michael Dean? Count me in.
***See below for giveaway details.
Out of all the apartments in Atlanta, I ended up with the worst neighbor. Shaw Hastings is a headache. He’s so full of himself it makes me crazy. Our official language is snarky banter – which I don’t enjoy, I swear. I’ve got eyes for my bestie Danny, anyway. I need to figure out if he feels the same, so I email an advice column written by a serial dater, who’s just as annoying as Shaw. Now, I’m asking myself why am I thinking less about Danny and having a blast virtually flirting with Anonymous?
I don’t know why I like my adorable neighbor, Elijah Coleman. We’ve got nothing in common, yet somehow he’s both boring and kinda fun. He reminds me of this guy who emailed my advice column, so it shouldn’t be surprising that – oops – they’re the same person. Imagine me then offering to help Elijah get Danny in real life just because it means spending time with him. We go from angry neighbors, to frenemies taking dancing lessons together, to a flirtatious friendship where I enjoy making him happy.
No matter how much we fight it, Elijah and I are stumbling toward the L word. It’s messy and scary, but then he smiles, strikes a beautiful dance pose, or kisses me, and suddenly it’s not so bad. He’s ruining me, and I sort of like it. Stupid love. Unfortunately, with my track record of running scared, I just might wreck the only real relationship I’ve ever had.
Stupid Love is a low angst, frenemies to lovers story, with an anonymous advice column, flirty emails, banter, and other fun shenanigans. There’s no love triangle or cheating in this audiobook.
What happens when you develop feelings for the guy who’s been your best friend forever and suddenly you feel like you’ll die if you’re not together and instead of reciprocating your feelings, he meets someone else? Write to an advice column of course. In Love With My Best Friend (ILWMBF) seeks out the advice of a columnist who swears love doesn’t exist, yet he provides advice to the lovelorn. Needless to say, this is a great set-up. Especially when it turns out the two men are enemies. Or at least neighbors who can’t stand each other.
Shaw is disillusioned about love. Burned when he was younger, he’s decided love is just a construct and that anyone who falls into the trap is destined for unhappiness. Unabashedly bi-sexual, he enjoys plenty of bed partners, always cautious to not form attachments to any of them. He plays the field and loves it.
Elijah is pretty much the opposite of Shaw. He’s quietly in love with his best friend Danny and he doesn’t play the field – at all. He pines for Danny even as Danny meets someone else. Writing to the advice column is sort of the last resort. And he’s met with a sarcastic and snarky man on the other line whom he loathes and yet finds funny all at the same time. They begin a bantering and fun relationship that’s never going to leave the cyber world because it’s not like they’ll ever meet in person.
Ah, but this book is a romance and it turns out Shaw and Elijah aren’t just guys who live across the hall from each other. When Shaw sees the opportunity to help Elijah make Danny jealous, he steps in, all gallant-like. Super sweet and totally out of character. To carry of the charade of fake boyfriends, though, they’ll have to do more than just dance at a club. Shaw discovers Elijah’s true passion of dancing and sets about to make him happy by doing that thing. Then Elijah turns the tables and gets Shaw to reveal his true passion. A lot of this book is about introspection and admitting there’s something missing in each man’s life. Gee, I think I could completely relate. There are things I let go to the wayside that I wish I had the time to pick up again. And to have someone in my life to support those passions? Swoon.
As time passes, the fake boyfriends begin to fall for each other and instead of being jealous, Danny becomes possessive. After all, Shaw and Elijah didn’t even like each other. And Shaw is obviously a player who is going to break Elijah’s heart. Except…what if he’s not? What if those feelings are real? Can a cynic and a romantic really make it work?
Wait for the grand gesture to find out.
I loved this book. (In case you couldn’t tell.) I love enemies to lovers – when it’s done plausibly. I love fake boyfriends when it’s handled deftly. It worked that the two men got together and overcame the very things that were holding them back. I loved that both supported each other. There was a dark moment, of course, but I had faith they’d overcome it. And it’s a Riley Hart romance so I knew I’d get my happy ending.
As a side note, Elijah is bi-racial and although it’s only mentioned casually, there are moments when the hate he’s experienced becomes an issue. Facing bigotry and racism is a real thing for people of color and bi-racial people. I empathized with Elijah.
On to narration. Michael Dean narrated the book and I thought he did a great job. I always love his work and this was just more proof of how talented he is. Looking forward to more books in the future.
10/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 5/5 Stars
As a cis queer white woman, I’m not as exposed to people beyond my sphere. I want to be a better ally, though, so I’m asking for your help. In the comments, feel free to add the name of an #OWNVOICE author of color you think I need to read. Also, I want more books by LGBTQ authors. Whether it’s a new read or a new listen, I’ll give it a shot and leave a review.
Now for the fun stuff – I’ll be randomly selecting one person leaving a comment who will receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card.
Contest closes June 28th at 8pm Eastern Time.
Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic. A lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. If she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her reading.
Riley lives in North Carolina with her awesome family, who she is thankful for everyday.