In the Event of Love by: Courtney Kae

Releases: August 30th, 2022

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Morgan Ross can plan world-class events, but she didn’t plan on returning to the hometown that broke her heart seven years ago—and re-discovering the girl of her dreams…

With her career as a Los Angeles event planner imploding after a tabloid blowup, Morgan Ross isn’t headed home for the holidays so much as in strategic retreat. Breathtaking mountain vistas, quirky townsfolk, and charming small businesses aside, her hometown of Fern Falls is built of one heartbreak on top of another…

Take her one-time best friend turned crush, Reed. The memory of their perfect, doomed first kiss is still fresh as new-fallen snow. Way fresher than the freezing mud Morgan ends up sprawled in on her very first day back, only to be hauled out via Rachel’s sexy new lumberjane muscles acquired from running her family tree farm.

When Morgan discovers that the Reeds’ struggling tree farm is the only thing standing between Fern Falls and corporate greed destroying the whole town’s livelihood, she decides she can put heartbreak aside to save the farm by planning her best fundraiser yet. She has all the inspiration for a spectacular event: delicious vanilla lattes, acoustic guitars under majestic pines, a cozy barn surrounded by brilliant stars. But she and Rachel will ABSOLUTELY NOT have a heartwarming holiday happy ending. That would be as unprofessional as it is unlikely. Right?

Content Warnings: Loss of parent due to cancer and an alcoholic family member.

Formula wise this book has a lot of tropes, and themes, that I love, we have childhood BFFs with a second chance at romance, set in a small town at Christmas…and yet I didn’t love this book like I thought I would.

This book is set entirely from the perspective of Morgan Ross…who I found to be really unlikeable and narcissistic. Understandably when Morgan originally left home she was young and immature but it felt like she didn’t really do any emotional growth during the seven years she was away. If we’d gotten Rachel’s POV, as well, maybe I could have connected to her perspective, and it would have helped me understand why everyone so readily forgave Morgan’s behavior.

I wish more time would have been spent on Morgan self-reflecting and perhaps getting therapy to help her work through the trauma she still let’s affect her relationships…instead of so much time having Morgan blame everyone else for the problems she’s faced. With the lack of time spent on self-reflection, although this book ends with a seemingly HEA, it really just feels like an HFN. I don’t feel like the story showed growth in Morgan, in a way that would lead me to believe she won’t self-sabotage again…and that makes me so sad.

When I originally read the summary of this book I was so excited to read a sapphic romance, between two estranged childhood best friends, and watch a second chance romance occur in a small town during the holiday season…sadly this book just didn’t hit me in the feels like I thought it would. The flashbacks and stories told to Morgan, by her father and old boss, gave me the warm fuzzy feelings I was looking for but the overall story just fell flat for me.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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