Book Reviews

Book Review: On the Corner of Love and Hate, by Nina Bocci

On the Corner of Love and Hate,

by Nina Bocci

Publication: Gallery Books; August 20, 2019

corner of love and hateAbout the book: What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.

When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.

Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.

**My Review**

Due to real-life, work, etc., this is the first book I’ve had time to read and review in a while. Typically, I can finish a book in a few hours. If work is crazy-busy it may take me a day or two because I’ll just grab it whenever I have time and cram in as much as I can. This took me eight days to read. Eight days! First of all, it is a long book. I believe it’s about 330 pages or so. Secondly, it dragged for me. I fell asleep reading this one the other night which I’m about 99% certain has never happened. 

However, the last 10% or so of the book was amazing

I loved the premise of Cooper and Emma who had been friends forever potentially turning into a romance. Cooper has been a man-whore for years, they’re trying to clean up his image for the mayoral campaign and election, and over-worked Emma starts to come to terms for her true feelings for him. I enjoyed the small-town setting, the friendly vibe, and so forth. And I especially loved Nina Bocci’s smart and witty dialogue, full with several laugh-out-loud embarrassing moments involving Emma.

So what’s the problem? I am no editor, but I have a strong feeling that about 60% of this book could have been chopped. There were just too many pages of unnecessary memories, current events, things that people were wearing, eating, and so on. I love detail and vivid characterization as the next person, but there were times where I would swipe my Kindle page 1, 2, and 3 times still being told about Cooper ignoring Emma by playing on his phone while she was talking. There were so many details that I found my ADD self skimming and skipping pages before I had reached the 12% mark.

And I thought the book would never, ever end

Nevertheless, I pressed on because I continued to see sparks of potential. Again, I liked the overall premise of the book and at times I found myself truly impressed with Bocci’s intelligence, smart humor, and original plot. And I’m glad that I did. 

This novel does have a happy ending, but I never once felt that things were going to end as I suspected or hoped. There were numerous obstacles which at first were slow to build but later started piling on. Did someone beta-reading this suggest piling on some conflict and speeding things up?? Anyway, I had to continue on to see what would happen with the election, Cooper, Emma, and with the evil ex-roommate, Whitney. 

Stealing one of Cooper’s lines, “well, that was anti-climatic,” the ending that I had wondered about came along gently, rather than some huge, exciting moment. However, it was the ending I wanted and had held out for from the first page. 

My overall thoughts are that if you are someone that doesn’t mind treading slowly through a story, you will like this one. If you need a lot of ups and downs, steamy excitement, and so on – skip this one. Again, I feel like this story could have been whittled down a lot, making it more exciting by cutting out unneeded information, but the ending made me happy and made me feel better about the time that I committed to reading it. The next in this series, Meet Me on Love Lane, is already on my TBR shelf and I hope that its pace is a bit better. 

*Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.



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