Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:
Synopsis for The Finn Factor (from Goodreads):
Sometimes all a girl needs is a little practice…
It’s been twelve months, three days, and eleven hours since accounting student Scarlett Logan made it past a second date. A pitcher of mojitos in hand, she employs her supreme graphing skills to narrow things down to one horrifying explanation. Kissing. Clearly someone needs to teach her how to kiss properly. Like, say, her best friend and roomie, Finn Mackenzie. He’s safe, he’s convenient, and yeah, maybe just a little gorgeous.
Finn knows exactly why Scarlett’s boyfriends are disappearing quickly. Him. Not a single guy she’s brought home is nearly good enough. And he’ll be damned if he lets some loser give her “kissing lessons.” No. He’ll do the honors, thank you very much. The moment their lips touch, though, everything turns upside down. But Scarlett deserves the one thing Finn can’t give her. And if he doesn’t put an end to the sexy little shenanigans, he’ll teach Scarlett the hardest lesson of all…heartbreak.
Author: Rachel Bailey
NOTE: For those who have read The Summer of Jake, some characters make an appearance in this novel.
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: September 28, 2015
Source & Format: NetGalley–eBook | Thanks so much Entangled Embrace!
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
When it come to friends to lovers stories, I am really picky. I don’t like stories where the BFF has an unrequited love for the heroine but I don’t mind stories where two friends have mutual feelings for each other. See, I’m big on my characters having that emotional connection together. I want them to know the other person; not simply be attracted to them. And friends to lovers stories often have that deeper connection. It just makes it easier to support romances when I can see that these two actually are a good match.
I’m also a sucker for stories where someone “teaches” someone else how to be a better boyfriend/girlfriend and they end up falling in love with each other. So the combination of that in The Finn Factor made it an immediate request for me on NetGalley.
I’m sure you have a pretty good idea how this book is going to progress just by reading the synopsis alone–and I would have to say that you are most likely right. But at the same time, I never got bored with this story despite all that.
This book did a great job I thought between balancing the romance and the character growth. It wasn’t just Finn and Scarlet “practising” all the time. You had their family and everyday lives to consider as well. And those other aspects to their lives really helped keep the story interesting to me. They allowed me to better understand the characters and their actions which I appreciated.
And at the same time, I think those interactions grounded the story in a sense of realism. Because overall, I thought the premise was a tad over the top. It’s a dramatic trope–the “help me to love” situation–one that I enjoy but nevertheless is one that is really only found in fictional books or movies. But bridging that gap between friends to romantic partners is something that happens all the time and can be really tricky, especially if you have been friends for years and are involved in each other’s family lives.
Unfortunately, the characters are what dropped my rating on this one. I really couldn’t connect with Scarlet at the start of the book and that really prevented me from liking her more as I read. Which is a shame because she does have some great growth by the end.
“He really couldn’t see it. It was tough to say where I was angrier that he’d so blatantly meddled in my relationships, or that he couldn’t even see what was wrong with that. Either way, the blood in my veins was simmering.” ~ Scarlet
When Scarlet thinks this about Finn, I wanted to facepalm myself because I found it to be so ironic. At the start of the book, I couldn’t tell if Scarlet was just being naive or extremely oblivious to the situation. Some of the things she said and did had me raising an eyebrow in confusion. For a girl who would create graphs about her love life, her logic drove me insane because it seemed to be nonexistent when it came to other things. It frustrated me at the start of the book and that frustration took a long time to go away. Perhaps it was just a simply personality clash with us (we wouldn’t be friends in real life) that made me be really critical of Scarlet.
Finn was great but nothing that really blew me away. He has some fantastic growth as well so I enjoyed that aspect of his story.
It was super easy for me to see why these two worked together. The romance was sweet but loaded with sexual tension–which is just what I wanted! I thought it was believable and I even if I didn’t love these two individually, I really rooted for them to be together.
And those kissing scenes—wow!
My Rating: 3/5
I think those who like New Adult romances that have more of that coming of age aspect with a solid romance (rather than lots of drama and romance) will really enjoy this one! I personally just didn’t connect with the characters which is why my rating is lower! I may pick up The Summer of Jake in the near future because I do like the way Rachel Bailey constructs her NA reads, even if I would personally like more drama/twists in mine 😉
Read if You Like: sweet romances, sexual tension, character growth
Avoid if You: want more drama, don’t enjoy coming of age NA
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