Poor Justine…I feel her pain!
New Adult Contemporary
Published by HarperCollins
Release: December 29, 2014
What do you do when you fall in love with your best friend’s boyfriend?
That is the question that twenty-six year-old Justine Sterling has been asking herself ever since the day she met David Whitman, her best friend Renee’s boyfriend. Justine is determined to ignore her growing feelings for the irresistibly charming David, until one night, when she finds herself in the bed of the one person she should stay away from.
When Justine and David’s affair ends in heartbreak, Justine is forced to repair the damaged friendship with her best friend. In doing so, she learns that right and wrong decisions aren’t always black and white, and sometimes you have to follow your heart to see where it leads.
Love Bites is definitely more of a coming-of-age/finding yourself story than a romance–which is exactly what its main character, Justine Sterling, needs. At the beginning of the novel she’s at loose ends–she’s moved back to Massachusetts and mended things with her best friend Renee, but she’s also jobless, practically homeless, and still totally hung up on the guy who dumped her back in LA.
The same guy she slept with while he was technically still Renee’s boyfriend. The one she later moved in with.
Yep, making wise choices has been an issue for her for a while before the book begins.
David was just the latest in a long string of bad dating decisions, though, and before Justine’s ready for a real relationship, a better and more grown up one, she needs to figure some things out for and about herself…which is what she spends the majority of the novel doing. Though we meet her love interest earlier, he doesn’t become a real possibility until the book passes the 90% point. (Gotta love the percentage indicator on my Kindle. The Nook gives me a sliding bar so I can see the progress, but I’m obsessed with knowing the numbers. It almost makes up for the lack of page numbers.)
The novel–a bit like Justine, actually–flounders at times, and the back-and-forth present time to past events narrative can be somewhat disconcerting to read, especially in the beginning. Ultimately I enjoyed Justine’s story, though, and was happy to see her turn her life around in the end. We don’t quite see enough of her new relationship to ensure that she’s not going to lose herself to it as she had done in her last one, but we do get enough evidence of her personal growth and maturity the believe that it’s unlikely she will.
My interest has definitely been piqued to pick up the first book in the series– Sound Bites , Renee and Dylan’s story–because I liked what I saw of them here. And the TBR pile continues to grow…
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
Rachel discovered she wanted to be a writer at the age of ten, when her love of R.L. Stine murder mystery novels inspired her to start writing her own.
In 2008, she began freelance writing for several magazines including Prevention, Jamsbio and Worcester Magazine.
Rachel graduated from Bridgewater University in 2011 with a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies. She currently resides in Santa Monica, CA.