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Brooke Ellstein: middle school math teacher, head of the “Support Our Troops” pen pal program, daughter of New York’s future governor (if the election goes well)… overnight internet celebrity?

Let’s back up.

As a New Jersey native, Shane Develen didn’t qualify for New York’s “Support Our Troops” pen pal program. But rather than leave him hanging, Brooke Ellstein began corresponding with him outside of the program. What started out as lighthearted letters turned into an unstoppable attraction on both sides. The one time that Brooke and Shane meet in person, she gives him a photo of her in lingerie, making him promise that he’ll never show it to anyone else. All’s well until she wakes up one morning to find the photo all over Facebook, with her students commenting on it and alleging inappropriate behavior. Was Shane involved? Did he break his promise? How will Brooke ever get herself out of this situation?

This book is a very sweet, very cheesy, very quick read. I think I spent, in total, maybe three hours on it. Unlike a lot of new adult novels, the conflicts are fairly realistic. (No murderous fathers, no crazy stalkers, no mob connections.) The characters are described as more or less normal – no weird names, strange identifying features, or unrealistic jobs. This book would have been really easy to love (see what I did there) if the timeline had been better.

Oh, it’s so cute! you think at the end. And then you realize… Brooke and Shane have been together for all of maybe three or four weeks? Granted, a lot happens in that time, but still. Weeks.

I accepted the connection between Shane and Brooke. It was clear that they had feelings for each other. I just wish that we’d gotten to see more of their letters to each other before they met in person. It would have made the rest of the book seem less rushed.

I also wish there’d been a touch less angst. (After all, I do automatically subtract a star if I can’t handle the angst.) From the beginning, Shane thought he wasn’t good enough for Brooke, and Brooke didn’t want to subject Shane to the politics of her life. There were constant miscommunications, both accidental and deliberate. And, honestly, I couldn’t understand why Brooke put up with half of what she did from the Develen family.

Overall, Loving You Is Easy was fine. I wouldn’t turn down another book from the author, but I won’t go searching one out, either.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy!

Final rating: