New Release Review: NOT OKAY, CUPID by Heidi R. Kling

Not Okay Cupid
by Heidi R. Kling

Synopsis:

Her wicked revenge, or his wicked heart…

Hazel McCallister loves her life. Perfect grades. Perfect best friend. Perfect boyfriend. Until her perfect boyfriend cheats on her with her perfect best friend. Now Hazel’s in free fall—until her best friend’s brother, Felix, gives her the perfect idea. Reclaim her power by taking revenge on her cheating ex.

Felix James loves his life. Casual relationships. Loads of surfing. He’s as drama-free as they come. But he can’t stand by when his sister steals her best friend’s boyfriend, and the dude insists it was Hazel’s fault. So Felix vows to help turn Hazel into a girl her ex can’t resist—so then she can break his heart.

With an alliance in place, Hazel’s revenge is all but assured. But with each piece of payback, she feels a stronger attraction to Felix, even though revenge will turn her into a girl Felix could never be with. And soon Hazel has to make an impossible choice: revenge…or Felix, the boy who’s stolen her heart.

WARNING! This book contains betrayal, revenge, and that most tempting vice of all, the bad boy you know you can’t have.

Review:

Not Okay, Cupid is a very cute enemies-to-lovers story that threw in a touch of best friend’s brother with a fake relationship/revenge plot just to keep things interesting. It’s my first from this author, but it definitely won’t be my last!

The characters of Not Okay were on the youngish side of high school, even though they were upperclassmen–and that was really okay. It’s nice to see teens acting like teens instead of mini adults. They spoke and thought in italics, parentheses, and exclamation points; they were essentially good kids who had respect for their moms and sometimes made silly choices but essentially tried to do good.

Hazel McCallister thought she had her life all planned out–she was going to go to college, marry her perfect high school boyfriend, and live happily ever after somewhere in the suburbs–much like her mom had tried to, before Hazel’s dad died. Finding out her best friend had stolen her boyfriend just before Valentine’s Day threw a bit a of wrench in the works. As the story goes on, it becomes clear to the reader at least that Hazel was probably only sticking with the boyfriend (and possibly her best friend as well) because his presence in her life made her feel safe and anchored–she really didn’t have deep feelings for him, and seriously, the guy was a bit of a tool. Her former bestie’s brother, Felix, witnesses Hazel’s public shaming in the caf and jumps to her aid with the promise of a revenge plot against the two.

Felix James has long been the best friend’s brother that lives to torment Hazel; but it’s pretty obvious early on that the antagonism–at least on his end–definitely has more than a touch of pulling-the-pigtails-of-the-girl-you-actually-like to it. Really, it reminded me quite a bit of the Anne Shirley/Gilbert Blythe dynamic from the early years, which is definitely a good thing 🙂 He throws himself full speed ahead into the “get back at Jay and Kimmi to make Hazel feel better” idea and soon finds out that spending more time with “Hazel Basil” makes all the girls he’s been “seeing” pale by comparison.

Felix and Hazel’s relationship was a slow burn, and it felt very realistic. I liked that they moved slowly, even though Felix was supposedly having much more adult-type relationships with the girls he’d been with before; Hazel was clearly not ready for that at all. Their reasons for each questioning the other’s feelings for them made sense, and the way they finally got together was adorable. The book left me with warm and fuzzy feelings all around.

(Plus, Felix wears holiday-themed boxers! I’m not a fan of the wearing your pants around your ankles so everyone can see your underwear trend, but I do enjoy seasonal underwear and guys who are confident enough to wear it.)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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