Thanks to the author & Netgalley for the complimentary e-ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
I can’t even imagine how awkward I would be on a reality tv show (let’s just say very awkward) but it’s something the drama- & spectacle-loving part of me loves from a tv or book distance.
Courtney Kae’s In the Case of Heartbreak has a relatively peripheral reality tv situation with bakery owner Ben Parrish on a baking show trying to win the prize with his family’s cinnamon roll recipe.
But on the initial reality tv filming day, the man he’s had feelings for forever, his friend Adam, seems to firmly establish them as “just friends” in front of thousands of viewers.
Visiting family & planning his beloved grandma’s bday bash seems like a good way to get away, & then Adam shows up there, Ben learns things in his family aren’t quite what he thought, & he’s dealing with his narcissistic dad.
This small town romance has leads who are open & vulnerable with each other, slowly looking toward each other as confidants for their greatest fears & insecurities.
There’s a lot of beauty in the kind of vulnerability that Ben in particular offers, in the relatable fears he shares about failure & being the person someone gives up their career aspirations for & the responsibilities he feels weighing him down.
Therapy & meds are part of the storyline & though the starts & stops in the initial part of their storyline annoyed me a bit, on the whole the leads’ open-ish communication is something I love to see represented in romance.
This romance is for all the lovers of soft stories, lots of emotion, loving families (as well as some family baggage), & positive mental health rep.
4⭐️. Out 07/25.
CWs: Ben was a former missing child & has trauma surrounding media attention regarding that incident. His dad left the family. Narcissism & emotional abuse exhibited by dad. Financial stresses. Adam has a recovering alcoholic father; he was abandoned by his mom.
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