Love or Hate “Hate Notes”? (by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward)

I was excited when the dynamic duo of Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward announced their newest release “Hate Notes” because I love their collaborative writing. As their RomComs go, this one didn’t quite hit the five star mark for me, and here’s why.

Charlotte is mostly endearing and amusing but at times she is annoyingly “cutesy”. Her penchant for swearing and liberal use of the F-bomb give her a sweet ‘n spicy flavor that’s definitely more interesting. On the other hand, Reed’s behavior is churlish and borderline passive/aggressive, even when you know the reason he continues to push Charlotte away, which is basically the plot but it gets tiring. The story is told from their alternating POV. The snarky banter between Charlotte and Reed is fun and, given their personalities, totally believable. But about two-thirds of the way in, the storyline and plot veer off in a different direction and the lighthearted banter gets weighted down in drama. As complications set in, the endearing quality of their relationship fades into the woodwork and it changes the whole tone of the story. Suddenly it’s more drama than romantic comedy – jarringly dissonant. That, coupled with the ho-hum editing for printing errors and some questionable word choices, makes it rate four stars in my book. Still, a darn good read, if a little unexpected.

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