Goodreads is so dangerous. I finish a book...off to review!! Then after a solid time scrolling through updates remember what I was really here for...
So...my expectations were pretty low for this. I couldn't tell ya why. They were though. So when this novel cleverly starts off with an actor (must be said in Tobias voice from arrested development, ty) on an airplane, getting away...I still wasn't expecting much. Until I was. Something about Carter's voice hit that Lauren Blakely feel for me-I like her male POVs-but this was kind of really cute. It was insta-lust, but with Carter imagining his future in a not-sappy but totally has the hots for the woman in 12D (or whatever). Sometimes we see people and I make up an entire future or backstory. I have, in fact, seen men that I've been attracted to and thought "hmm, in a parallel universe here's what happens." What saved this book from a case of insta-lust/insta-attraction/insta-insanity was that though Carter was quite interested, it was all kind of a lark too. And basically precisely fit the title "Acting on impulse." Sure, he was totally into her, and really wanted her--but it was a connection and he didn't over sap-ify or romanticize or alpha-male his way in there. He didn't even really pursue her aggressively. He was just charming, they had fun....she calls him on mansplaining, and basically things do not unfold in a predictable way. Maybe coming here wasn't a terrible idea after all. The woman I like is meeting my parents under circumstances that won't induce stress. Years from now, Tori will thank me for being forward-thinking.
This future-invested hero was done so cheekily, it really saved it from that shallow insta feeling that would normally plague a novel of this kind.
My comparisons to Lauren Blakely, my trusted palate cleanser, ends there. This is a higher caliber romance with more development than that if you ask me. A Puerto Rican heroine who is a personal trainer and shows plenty of all of that. An actor who loves his craft, his friends, and his family. Their families are in this book. The finesse in this book was building two characters who are good at showing their respect and admiration for each other honestly, and through gestures. (Tori telling him he has value as a rom-com actor because of how romance novels were her only escape when her father had a stroke because he felt like he had to be "more" than that. Carter checking out her community exercise class.) "What part of 'don't call attention to yourself' did you not understand?"
I shrug. "Most of it."
Totally weird, some of the humor relied on a second person narrative style. Thankfully, it was just glimmers, and I felt the whole book was so charming I kind of loved it. Other than some gimmicks at the end I wish weren't employed cause this book didn't need them, I was super happy and surprised by the whole thing.