ARC review: Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

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Going into her boss’s office expecting a promotion, Paige is floored to find out that she’s been fired. She’s even more surprised when it turns out that her two best friends have also been let go. She doesn’t even know what to do with herself – event planning was her life – until her brother’s best friend Jake suggests that she open her own business.  When the three friends go into business together, they get a lot of advice from the entrepreneurial Jake. Behind the scenes, sparks start to fly and it’s not long before Paige and Jake struggle to keep their hands to themselves. But what about the promise that Jake made to Paige’s brother years ago?

THERE ARE SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.

This book should have been everything I was looking for and more. I love brother’s best friend tropes. I love books that are set in New York City. This book, unfortunately, just didn’t do it for me. Like, at all.

I think the first problem was that an author who is clearly British tried to write American characters in an American setting. While I would typically take no issue with this, there were glaringly obvious errors that really pulled me out of the story. I would think that a big publisher like Harlequin would have a team of editors to handle things like this, but apparently not.  Some examples:

  • a character’s “cookery” blog = food blog
  • a condom’s “expiry” date = expiration date
  • “she’d left hospital” = she’d left the hospital
  • we don’t have cryptic crosswords here, especially not in mainstream newspapers

I really just took issue with the whole writing style in general. This contemporary romance clocks in at 464 pages, which is insane. There’s no reason for a book like this to be that long, and it shows in the extremely repetitive writing. Not only do we get the same ideas repeated again and again, but then the characters will sit down and analyze them! I get that Paige often puts on her Brave Face, I get that she doesn’t like being protected, and I get that she doesn’t want to hire people she’s just going to have to fire. It doesn’t need to be drilled into my head every third page.

The love scenes could be, at times, pretty hot. At least there’s that, but let’s be honest here. This is not erotica. We didn’t need ten pages to describe one kiss or thirty pages to describe one sex scene. The romance also went from 0 to 100 real quick when I’d kind of been assuming that this would be a slow burn. Paige and Jake had chemistry, but I don’t think the level of description was really warranted and the whole thing came out of nowhere.

And can we get back to the firing thing? Paige and company hate their former boss. I get that. I know what it’s like to work for an irrational boss who has no idea what they’re doing. But the reason the terrible boss gave for firing them was actually… pretty legit? They were repeatedly coming in late and setting their own schedules. Real life doesn’t work like that. If you start at 8am, you start at 8am. You don’t get to come in an hour late “because of traffic” or because you “stayed a little late last night.” It doesn’t matter how good you are at your job. If you disrespect your company’s time like that, you’re going to be fired. I feel like I would have sympathized with them more if the reason for firing them had been something like “a client complained about you” or “the CEO decided we needed to cut X jobs and you’re one of them, sorry.”

All things considered, I was set to give this book three stars and call it a day.  And then the ending happened. I had to subtract a star just for that. I mean…

BIG SPOILER AHEAD

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Did Jake really just break up with Paige for saying “I love you” and then not 48 hours later show up at her door and propose? Oh, but he didn’t even propose of his own volition. No, he proposed because everybody in his life berated him for being an idiot and told him he was going to lose Paige if he didn’t get his act together. And the actual proposal? Showing up at her house uninvited, whipping off his shirt in front of her friends (and her brother) and making some speech about “sorry I hate commitment but maybe we should get married?” And the girl goes and says yes? It’s a good thing the book was over at that point because I just turned my Kindle off and went to bed.

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SPOILER DONE

I appreciate the ARC but I won’t be continuing on with the (so far) seven other books in this series.

Final rating: ★★☆☆☆

I received a free ARC of Sleepless in Manhattan from the publisher (via Goodreads First Reads) in exchange for my honest review.

#killingthetbr: 5 months on TBR

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