Trigger Warnings: sex and nudity, alcohol, deceased parents, sexism and misogyny, eviction threat
Genre: Romance, Adult, Contemporary
Publication date: 2nd February, 2021
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Synopsis (taken from Goodreads)
High efficiency break-ups, flashy start-ups, penthouses, fast cars…these are the things Hudson Craft believes in. His app, Break Up, is known as the “Uber for break-ups.” It’s wildly successful—and anathema to Annika’s life philosophy.
Which wouldn’t be a problem if they’d gone their separate ways after that summer fling in Las Vegas, never to see each other again. Unfortunately for Annika, Hudson’s moving not just into her office building, but into the office right next to hers. And he’ll be competing at the prestigious EPIC investment pitch contest: A contest Annika needs to win if she wants to keep Make Up afloat. As if it’s not bad enough seeing his irritatingly perfect face on magazine covers when her own business is failing. As if knowing he stole her idea and twisted it into something vile—and monumentally more successful—didn’t already make her stomach churn.
As the two rival app developers clash again and again—and again—Annika finds herself drawn into Hudson Craft’s fast-paced, high velocity, utterly shallow world. Only, from up close, he doesn’t seem all that shallow. Could it be that everything she thought about Hudson is completely wrong? Could the creator of Break Up teach her what true love’s really about?
Author Bio: Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of several novelswith lots of kissing, girl power, and swoony boys. Her books have been featured in many cool places, including on The Today Show, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, NPR, Seventeen, Entertainment Weekly, and Buzzfeed. Two of her books have also won the Colorado Book Award. A full-time dog servant, Sandhya makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado. With a glass of wine at her elbow, she also pens adult romances under the name Lily Menon.
**ARC provided by the author and NetGalley for an honest review**
If you’ve been following me on other platforms for a while, y’all KNOW I’m a diehard fan of Sandhya Menon’s books. When I heard she was writing an adult romance under the pen name Lily Menon (to keep the YA and Adult separate I think) I was OVER THE MOON. As part of her street team I was provided with the ARC a while ago and I sat my ass down that moment and began reading. It was slow going at first but overall I really liked it for an adult romance debut.
Annika is a no nonsense tech bitch who is scrambling to keep her app afloat. She knows it is an amazing idea but development is slow going and the industry is impatient. On top of all of that Hudson, her nemesis/ex friend/idea thief, moves into the office on her floor and is obviously flaunting the success of his idea while she’s toiling. Their flirt-hate dynamic is really funny because it’s evident Hudson is doing everything to get under her skin and Annika is so easily riled up. Still, they have undeniable chemistry and I was just wAIITING for that sweet sweet moment where tensions broke and they kissed. It’s a bit of a slow burn, what with the enemies to lovers dynamic REALLY going at the enemies bit (Annika holds a grudge like no other…even if the guy is rlly fkn hot) but the payoff at the end is 😙✨ *chefs kiss*
Annika is delightfully bossy and no nonsense and kind of reminded me of Dimple in that ~acquired taste~ abrasiveness. Frankly, her reasons for being perceived as mean are so justified. The tech industry is full of shitheads so if she finds that a rude exterior gets her through the bullshit then power to her. Obviously Hudson has his own reasons to poke at her. First off he’s got a gigantic crush on her plus ✨backstory✨ that informs the angst and therefore is a spoiler. He starts to grow on you as a reader even if Annika isn’t warming up to him as fast as you do.
I also really enjoyed June (the bff) and Annika’s father as side characters with consistent appearances. June softened a lot of Annika’s pointy edges while the page time with Annika’s father showed a lot of her motivation and tender sides that rounded her out her as a main character.
I wish the book had a bit more of the tech side of things in terms of industry interaction. Since both Hudson and Annika are developing their own apps, there was no real in industry interaction (other things happen during those scenes *wink*). But this is a massively character driven book so in the end I wasn’t too sad upset. I did also have a few issues with pacing buttttttt the characters and the interpersonal drama carried me through a lot of those moments so it worked out.
Overall this is a really great start to what is sure to be Sandhya/Lily Menon’s incredible lineup of adult romances. Hope y’all enjoy reading it!!
Until next time dorks 🙂