Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Stupid Love (Stumbling into Love #1) by Riley Hart

Amazon Link - Available in KU
Goodreads Link 

Out of all the apartments in Atlanta, I ended up with the worst neighbor. Shaw Hastings is a headache. He's so full of himself it makes me crazy. Our official language is snarky banter--which I don't enjoy, I swear. I've got eyes for my bestie Danny, anyway. I need to figure out if he feels the same, so I email an advice column written by a serial dater, who's just as annoying as Shaw. Now, I'm asking myself why am I thinking less about Danny and having a blast virtually flirting with Anonymous?

I don't know why I like my adorable neighbor, Elijah Coleman. We've got nothing in common, yet somehow he's both boring and kinda fun. He reminds me of this guy who emailed my advice column, so it shouldn't be surprising that--oops--they're the same person. Imagine me then offering to help Elijah get Danny in real life just because it means spending time with him. We go from angry neighbors, to frenemies taking dancing lessons together, to a flirtatious friendship where I enjoy making him happy.

No matter how much we fight it, Elijah and I are stumbling toward the L word. It's messy and scary, but then he smiles, strikes a beautiful dance pose, or kisses me, and suddenly it's not so bad. He's ruining me, and I sort of like it. Stupid love. Unfortunately, with my track record of running scared, I just might wreck the only real relationship I've ever had.

Stupid Love is a low angst, frenemies to lovers story, with an anonymous advice column, flirty emails, banter and other fun shenanigans. There's no love triangle or cheating in this book.

My Rating - 5 Stars!

Riley Hart's Stupid Love, the first book in the Stumbling into Love series, is a beautiful book. Even better though, it's a riveting page turner from the start. 

First of all, the cover is stunning, definitely grabbing my attention upon first look. Upon reading the story, you'll find the cover model perfectly represents Elijah, a twink who teaches pilates. 

A classic enemies to lovers tale, this one is between neighbors Elijah and Shaw. These two are such an interesting couple from the start. Elijah is a man looking for love, having long been pinning over his best friend. He takes an instant disliking to his neighbor Shaw, as he seems to be looking for no repeats. 

This is a great combination of slow burn and an online relationship.  Shaw is an online love column advice guru. Seriously, he's a love guru who gives heart-felt advice, all while being cynical of real love. So fun!
When he and Elijah start talking via his column, they don't know each other's real life identities. If you enjoy stories like this, you'll love this book. 

Their story includes homophobia and racism, as Elijah is biracial.

The highlight of this tale is the difference between the men and their individual journeys. Elijah and Shaw want vastly different things out of life. Shaw has been burnt in the past and doesn't want to open his heart up again, all while Elijah just keeps longing for real love. Their story is emotional and will grab your heart, as these men deal with their developing feelings. 

And then the author just adds to the fun with Eli's bendiness!

As far as quotes are concerned, I think we can all relate to this one by Shaw. "...I made myself believe those feelings of fear were gone. If you don't acknowledge something, it's not there, right?" 

As usual, the author gifts the reader with lovable characters and creates a fantastic journey for them. Told in alternating first person pov, the reader easily follows these men and their feelings throughout. 

One important theme the author addresses is the difference between thinking you're in love with someone, versus real love. She handles this well, with major character revelations. 

Stupid Love is a beautiful slow burn neighbor romance. I love every second of this sweet and touching Riley Hart gem. I can't wait to see what Riley has in store for the rest of this series!

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