By Any Other Name by Lauren Kate is a new romance novel set to be published March 1st. This was a cute bookish rom-com despite a rough start. I gave it 3 stars.
What she doesn’t know about love could fill a book.
With a successful career as a romance editor, and an engagement to a man who checks off all ninety-nine boxes on her carefully curated list, Lanie’s more than good. She’s killing it. Then she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to work with world-renowned author and her biggest inspiration in love and life—the Noa Callaway. All Lanie has to do is cure Noa’s writer’s block and she’ll get the promotion she’s always dreamed of. Simple, right?
But there’s a reason no one has ever seen or spoken to the mysterious Noa Calloway. And that reason will rock Lanie’s world. It will call into question everything she thought she knew. When she finally tosses her ninety-nine expectations to the wind, Lanie may just discover that love By Any Other Name can still be as sweet.
This was a fun read. It was overall enjoyable and I had a good time reading it. I really enjoyed the second half, it was a 4-star read. It was a romance and I knew what would happen but it had some cute twists and I liked the slow burn that really had them getting to know each other. However, I could never quite get over the beginning which is why I ended up at 3 stars.
Lanie is just so annoying and childish at the beginning. She’s planned her life around a romance novel and her entire life unravels because the author is a man instead of a woman? I didn’t buy it and was really annoyed. The whole list of things she wants in a husband and how it’s tied to a dead mother, I swear I saw that movie years ago. The relationship with Ryan was also so obviously and over the top toxic that with only her point of view, it was totally unrealistic that the relationship ever existed. Lanie eventually won me back over but for maybe 50 pages towards the beginning, I was incredibly annoyed with everything she did.
I did like Noah’s character throughout but felt like I never really got to know him, maybe a split POV or just more scenes with him would have helped. Their pets were adorable though and he had some really cute scenes with Lanie. I was pretty sure I knew where this plot was going (and I was right) but some of his actions just didn’t add up. Again, it was a case of the beginning just being a little odd and not lining up with the rest of the book.
I did find the whole idea that it was such a big deal the author of romance books was a man to be a bit patronizing. There are male romance authors. Yes, the lie is bad and a big deal but I don’t understand the point of the lie. The story focused too much on Noah’s gender rather than that some publisher lied about it for ridiculous reasons. But even with that, you’d think a romance writer could give romance readers a little more credit. Why disparage your target audience?
So overall, a fun read but not my favorite. It’s a cute slow-burn romance with zero smut. If that’s your thing, power through Lanie’s terrible personality in the beginning, it gets fun eventually.
*I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.