A delightful enemy to lovers/fake engagement rom-com themed around Valentine’s Day! Jennifer Lopez’s new movie Marry Me meets Erin Sterling’s holiday-themed The Ex Hex.
Cupid only strikes once. At least that’s what Lissette Alonso believes. Ever since the Most Disastrous Valentine’s Day of All Time™ she has hated all things V-day. But Lizzie’s best friend is having pre-nuptial festivities for a week leading up to her February 14th wedding and Lissette is taking her maid of honor duties seriously, maybe too seriously. Of course of course of course who is the first person she runs into on the way to the wedding? None other than her childhood nemesis, Brian Anderson, the reason for all of her Valentine’s Day hatred.
Brian knows he messed up with Lizzie but give him a break, he was just a kid who was trying to look cool and Lizzie regularly pushed all of his buttons—both in school and out of it. He’s always been gruff and grumpy, but these days, Brian is much better off with his writing; fictional characters never talk back. Unlike Lizzie who always has something to say.
Suddenly the two are back under the same roof and bickering like old times, except that Brian has bigger problems than dealing with Lizzie’s verbal sparring. Someone Brian is desperate to avoid shows up and somehow Lizzie gets roped into pretending to be dating him. And, suddenly, the simmering anger has blossomed into something extra spicy…
I like the history and the series of unfortunate coincidences that lead toward the enemies-to-lovers theme, forced proximity, and fake relationships and engagement. This book has a beauty and a geek vibe with the characters’ personalities.
I love that this book starts in the past, so we get an explanation of the title and the moments that changed Lizzie. A boy from her youth has always been her nemesis. The flashback jumps to the present day after all the epic Valentine’s Day mishaps. She couldn’t stop whatever had started between then.
Lizzie is a working woman in London now. She is still besties with Mariana and is the maid of honor at her upcoming Cancun wedding on Valentine’s Day. Brian runs into Lizzie on a plane to Mexico. I’m surprised she doesn’t recognize him, although the book does specify they are in their midlife now.
Brian’s character is an author, which is very interesting. I like that we get the inside peak into their mind from his pov. But also that he could be better. Turns out Brian is very introverted and needs help from Lizzie. A moment of uncomfortable pressure gets her to agree to a fake relationship to assist her childhood enemy. As if that wasn’t complicated enough, let’s add her best friend’s wedding, her ex, and his fans. This is a disaster waiting to happen.
Lizzie and Maria definitely add some comedy to this. Still, Brian is right in the middle with an even better oops. Their passion ignites finally with a super steamy scene. Somehow admitting this epic disaster, they seem to catch feelings, which is quite sweet. I love his gesture on Valentine’s Day even though they are very complicated.
Weekend fling or the beginning of the forever love, both characters have issues, and when real life comes knocking, they both run home. But what now? I love his grand gesture and her response, and this book ends with a happy-for-now ending.
This story has beauty and the geek thing going on, which was still very swoon-worthy. The main characters were quirky, had history, and had the whole enemies-to-lovers vibe going. As the storyline plays out, this book has sweet moments and eye-rolling ones, but these characters seem larger than life. I love that Brian was an author, and Lizzie wasn’t looking for love. It made the whole premise of this much more realistic. This was a sweet romance with a little holiday feel.
If you want to read The Valentine’s Hate by Sidney Halston you can find this book on Amazon. As an Amazon Assocaite, I earn on qualifying purchases.
If you like this book, you may also enjoy books with these tags and categories Enemies to Lovers, Fake Relationship, and Holiday.