Hannah Orenstein comes to the blog with her sophomore release – a fake engagement story set in New York City with
Love at First Like
Eliza and her sister have a small boutique jewelry shop in an up-and-coming area of Brooklyn. Since childhood in Portland Maine, Eliza has been fascinated with jewelry – mostly due to the shop next door to her parent’s boat works: Eliza is NOT a good sailor -so many hours were spent dockside and in the shop learning about the jewelry – and she went to school for business to learn just HOW to be an entrepreneur. Now, her sister Sophie who handles the design, and she have a shop – and a fairly solid list of clients. But, we all know that breaking even and making a living are two different things: and Eliza is in charge of the social media accounts, and keeps the shop’s pages busy. She’s got a secret though, as she is always the model for the rings and jewelry – after a night of drinking she’s often finding herself making “fake posts” about engagements using her hand as the model and hash tagging it appropriately. Yet, this time, she sent the post and promptly fell asleep.
And thus begins Eliza’s search for the ‘appropriate fiancé’ and convincing him to marry her. No more appropriate than Blake – a man who owns a specialized men’s watch business, doesn’t use social media, and is possessed of model-looks, a great sense of humor, and the two get along well. If things are going slow. Rather than come clean with Blake and explain the ‘fake engagement’ as a marketing ploy, she went so far as to ask her salesperson to claim the post as her own, while justifying the story and her plan to her friends and sister. And then, an offer for a venue in the city, cakes, flowers, honeymoon, etc. – all based on her increased follower numbers.
Of course, there is the new male friend (working at the bar where she meets many of her failed tinder dates) that is perfect for her – where she just relaxes and enjoys their time while she doesn’t see his affection for her. And the constant dithering about coming clean… I liked Eliza and found most of her banter with herself, friends and family to be understandable. And yes, people can be driven to extraordinary and out of character acts when their dreams are threatened. But the whole lying for months, then hoping (and initially expecting) forgiveness from Blake about being led on and deceived about the wedding and by extension, her feelings – kept me from truly hoping for her to find a ‘real’ solution to the self-created problem. Fortunately for her, someone did step in – but it was the constant ‘self-interest’ that was promoted from Eliza with little to no real thought of others (despite her worries for her sister) that had me feeling ambivalent about the character, and the lack of actual ingrained and palpable growth after suck a mis-step had me thinking that the next ‘bright marketing idea’ she has will be enacted, no matter the cost.
Title: Love at First Like
Author: Hannah Orenstein
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Published by: Touchstone
Published on: 6 August, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 8 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
Eliza Roth and her sister Sophie co-own a jewelry shop in Brooklyn. One night, after learning of an ex’s engagement, Eliza accidentally posts a photo of herself wearing a diamond ring on that finger to her Instagram account beloved by 100,000 followers. Sales skyrocket, press rolls in, and Eliza learns that her personal life is good for business. So she has a choice: continue the ruse or clear up the misunderstanding. With mounting financial pressure, Eliza sets off to find a fake fiancé.
Fellow entrepreneur Blake seems like the perfect match on paper. And in real life he shows promise, too. He would be perfect, if only Eliza didn’t feel also drawn to someone else. But Blake doesn’t know Eliza is “engaged”; Sophie asks Eliza for an impossible sum of money; and Eliza’s lies start to spiral out of control. She can either stay engaged online or fall in love in real life.
Written with singular charm and style, Love at First Like is for anyone growing up and settling down in the digital age.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.