Saturday, November 11, 2023

Review: Plot Twist by Erin La Rosa

Plot Twist by Erin La Rosa
Series: The Hollywood Series, Book 2
Publisher: Canary Street Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Plot Twist cover
ISBN: 9781335458117
Release Date: November 14, 2023
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

She’s written off more than she can chew…

Romance author Sophie Lyon’s ironic secret just went viral: she’s never been in love—and it’s ruining her reputation. With a manuscript deadline looming, Sophie makes an ambitious plan to overcome her writer’s block: reunite with her exes (including her last girlfriend Carla, the one person she could have loved) to learn why she’s never fallen in love, and document it all for her millions of new online followers.

Luckily, Sophie’s reclusive landlord, Dash Montrose—a former teen heartthrob—has social media all figured out and is willing to help. What he doesn’t mention is that he’s an anonymous online crafter, a hobby that helps him maintain his sobriety. No one knows about his complicated relationship with alcohol, and with a family that’s Hollywood royalty, Dash has to steer clear of scandal.

As Sophie and Dash grow closer, they discover a heat between them that rivals Dash’s pottery kiln. But Sophie needs to figure out who she is outside her relationships, and Dash isn’t sure he’s stable enough for the commitment she deserves. So Sophie suggests what any good romance author would: a friends-with-benefits arrangement. Surely a strictly casual relationship won’t cause any trouble…

Romance author Sophie Lyon’s big secret has just gone viral: she’s never been in love. After a hit debut novel, she’s got a terrible case of writer’s block and – when combined with her recent TikTok revelation and a looming deadline – she’s in trouble. Her solution? Go back through her exes and see where things went wrong. Along for the ride (somewhat reluctantly) is her sexy landlord, Dash Montrose. Dash is Hollywood royalty, but he’s quit acting to focus on maintaining his sobriety. He doesn’t want any upheavals to his carefully constructed peace and Sophie is a whirlwind filled with complications. But the two of them are drawn to each other and the longer Dash spends helping Sophie the more impossible their mutual attraction is to resist…

Erin La Rosa leans hard into tried-and-true romance tropes in Plot Twist. You’ve got grumpy + sunshine, best friend’s brother, only one bed…it’s cute and fitting when you have a heroine who’s a romance author. I had mixed feelings about Sophie and Dash’s story but overall it was fun.

Dash was an easy hero for me to like. He’s Hollywood royalty and being shoved into acting from a young age didn’t help him in the slightest. He’s a recovering alcoholic, less than two years into his sobriety and he’s focused on that. He’s holed up in his home, using crafting as an outlet while he tries to determine what direction he wants his life to take. I was rooting for Dash and even though he’s (very slightly) grumpy I found him an endearing hero who was there to cheer on and bolster Sophie. His family life is messy and I wish we’d explored the dynamics there a bit more because it was interesting and had potential.

Sophie is a hot mess in the beginning of Plot Twist. Her looming deadline is weighing on her and she can’t capture the magic of her bestselling debut. I never fully connected with Sophie, but I liked that she eventually started to realize that maybe she was part of the problem when it came to her past relationships not working. She’s messy, flawed, and screws up, but takes the time to realize her flaws and doesn’t balk when her best friend and sister point them out. She and Dash have good chemistry and it made their romance work. It’s sweet and sexy, with some good humor thrown in (Richard the squirrel made use of his cameos).

La Rosa makes the most of the romance tropes she employs and that’s generally fun. That being said, some of the drama – especially at the end of the book – felt forced and rushed when it could have been woven in better over the latter half of the story. There were real issues in this book that gave it depth and could have been explored more to take this from good to great. And while I didn’t mind all the TikTok references, I’m worried this book will start to feel dated quickly. While Plot Twist didn’t dazzle me, I liked it and La Rosa’s writing enough that I’ll be on the lookout for more of her work.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.