Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Book Review: Love you, Mean It by Jilly Gagnon


Title: Love You, Mean It
Author: Jilly Gagnon
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publication Date: April 30, 2024
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

A playful romantic comedy featuring dueling delis, fake dating, a shockingly awesome ex, and just the right amount of amnesia.

Ellie Greco wishes she weren’t stuck in Milborough. For a few brief, shining years, she escaped her hometown to pursue her dream career—designing beautiful, elaborate costumes for theater—until her father's death five years ago called her home to run the family's decades-old deli. Yes, she loves the place, but she’d always thought she was meant for more exciting things than stocking the right tinned fish. But when Ellie hears that a local landlord is planning to rent to Mangia, the glitzy gourmet food department store, Greco's Deli's very existence is suddenly in jeopardy.

She tries to plead her case to Theo Taylor, scion of the property management firm about to put her out of business, but their meeting goes from bad (it’s not her fault he’s infuriating) to worse (no one expects the ceiling to literally fall in).

With Theo out cold, Ellie panics and claims to be his fiancée… and almost passes out herself when amnesia means Theo seems to actually believe her. Soon, the effects of the head injury wear off, but Theo proposes that their “engagement” stick around. If they manage to convince enough people they might both get what they want: an end to the Mangia deal. Ellie doesn’t trust him (after all, if Theo Taylor wants it, how can it be good for her?) but seeing no other option, reluctantly agrees.

And miraculously, the fake engagement seems to be working—even Ted, Theo’s shrewd, cold father seems convinced—that is until Sam, Theo’s ex-fiance, reappears on the scene. Not only does she see through their ruse, she proposes an arrangement of her own, forcing Ellie to decide between blossoming friendship, her family legacy, and the burgeoning romance she frankly never asked for.


*I received a copy of this book digitally for free and I am leaving this review voluntarily*

Hello Fellow Readers,

I am an absolute sucker for the fake dating trope, like frothing from the mouth, zombie wants brains kinda obsessed with the trope, so I'll pretty much read any book that has it. Love You, Mean It is basically made for me (not really but I feel like it is) If I wasn't a sleep-deprived mom, I would have read this in one sitting. 

The book is through Ellie's POV, which I love as it keeps the mystery of what Theo is thinking and lets us (the audience) pick things up with his words and actions. I don't mind dual POV sometimes it works out, but in this case, I think it worked well. Ellie is very entertaining, but she is also very stubborn. There were times I wanted to get the power to reach into the book and shake her, but it's only because Gagnon makes you care about these characters.

The side characters were great, I wish they were in the story more as I think it would have helped Ellie more and also provide insight and comedy. I love Sam (Theo's ex) but I do admit that I kept waiting for her to turn into a backstabber but am I very happy that Gagnon did not go that route. We get too many times where women are pitted against each other, especially in romance novels, so the fact that I wanted Sam and Ellie to be friends gives this an extra thumbs up.

Overall, a very entertaining Romance must-read. 

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