Monday, October 9, 2017

Book Review: Text 2 Lovers by K. Webster

Text 2 Lovers Cover New adult, x-rated, romantic comedy

Text 2 Lovers (2 Lovers #1) by K. Webster

Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: January 21, 2017
Length: 275 pages
Source: Purchase
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry

Dani AKA ”Buttercup” and Ramsay AKA ”Ram” have a classic "meet cute" that is a vital component of all good romantic comedy. Dani drunkenly texts someone whom she assumes is her cheating ex, a man she has dated for eight months and who has just dumped her for another woman days after talking her into loaning him $10,000. Because her BFF moments before deleted the ex's phone number from Dani's contact list in her smart phone, not to mention that Dani is drunk on the tequila said BFF keeps pouring down her throat, it's no wonder that Dani accidentally types in a wrong number. As a result, her first and subsequent rather incoherent texts are delivered to a stranger, a fellow twenty-something who, luckily, is amused rather than offended by her texts. And thus begins their often amusing, and frequently X-rated, romantic journey.

This is an excellent update of the "you've got the wrong number" romance plot which, since the days of smart phones, has been difficult to convincingly create. As described above, this "meet cute" ploy is very well done.

In most ways, this is a typical New Adult romance, which is a good thing if you like that genre's conventions, and not so good if you don't. One rather unusual aspect for NA is that this book is a romantic comedy, which is quite rare in a genre noted for its angst-filled melodrama. The light tone means that this book's plot doesn't get bogged down in the usual NA "tortured hero" tropes, even though the hero, Ram, at least initially, is depressed. Depression is serious business, which means it's a difficult choice to carry off in a light-hearted comedy. The authors manage it by the simple expedient of Ram cheering up substantially after the perky heroine splash-lands into his life.

For those who like familiar byways in NA, Ram is, of course, quite handsome and heavily muscled. And happily, the authors demonstrate him earning those muscles by regularly lifting weights--which not all romance authors bother to include in their stories, in which, all too often, heroes magically are muscled and lean and heroines are slim and shapely, in spite of no visible exercise and terrible, high-calorie, junk-food-and-booze-laden diets. (Actually, Dani doesn't exercise, frequently drinks beer and eats fattening, unhealthy food, and is miraculously slender even so. Oh, well.)

As so many NA readers prefer, Ram is loaded with tattoos, and he is presented as being something of a "bad boy," but not, thank goodness, in the standard sense of that overused term equating with his being a "man whore." I'm not personally a fan of heroes who are promiscuous, so I was delighted to discover that Ram does not use women as sexual objects to prop up a fragile male ego. For the most part, he is simply a confused twenty-something who is having a career crisis and has a painfully tragic history of personal loss in his family. In fact, he is far more Beta male than Alpha in the sense that he is a sympathetic, supportive listener and unfailingly kind to the heroine.

The heroine, Dani, is a quirky Pollyanna type who, in the beginning of the book, is essentially a codependent doormat. That kind of heroine can really bog down the plot of a book because she tends to be a passive protagonist and, as such, is not very sympathetic. Fortunately, in this story, almost immediately, Dani attempts to develop some backbone, with the encouragement of both the hero and her loud-mouthed, slutty best friend (another standard-issue NA subcharacter that readers of this genre either enjoy or dislike). Dani's story goal is to become the "worm that turned," a confident woman who can finally give a resounding, "No!" to the various users abounding in her life, as well as to be more adventurous in her sex life, with the hero's help, of course.

Speaking of the latter, above all, as is typical of NA, this book is a series of sex scenes voiced in unromantic, gutter language, strung together with a simple and fairly limited plot. Again, fans of the typical tropes of this genre won't mind that at all. For myself, I get bored with sex scenes, and in this book, as in most romances, I skimmed the sex and stuck with what I found most interesting and rare, amusing banter between the hero and heroine and the many heart-warming examples of the hero treating the heroine with respect, compassion and kindness.

I rate this book as follows:

Heroine: 4

Hero: 4

Subcharacters: 3

Comedy Elements: 4

Romance Plot: 4

Writing: 4

Overall: 4

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