by Roni Loren
Series: Say Everything #1
Published by Sourcebooks
Release Date: March 2nd 2021
Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance, Adult, NA
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
Everyone knows Miz Poppy, the vibrant reviewer whose commentary brightens the New Orleans nightlife. But no one knows Hollyn, the real face behind the media star...or the fear that keeps her isolated. When her boss tells her she needs to add video to her blog or lose her job, she's forced to rely on an unexpected source to help her face her fears.
When aspiring actor Jasper Deares finds out the shy woman who orders coffee every day is actually Miz Poppy, he realizes he has a golden opportunity to get the media attention his acting career needs. All he has to do is help Hollyn come out of her shell…and through their growing connection, finally find her voice.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Roni Loren is definitely known for her steamy romances, but in her next release, “Yes & I Love You”, she takes a dip into the rom-com world and I think she transitioned beautifully and in her own unique way!
She didn’t just give us a traditional contemporary romance book about coworkers. Instead she gave us a story about two very real humans struggling and dealing with their own very real crap…with some good romance.
I seriously love a book that helps me to view the world from someone else’s eyes! New perspectives help us to feel more empathy for others and just be all around better humans. In “Yes & I Love You” we get to experience everyday life and dating from the perspective of our female lead, Hollyn, who has debilitating social anxiety and Tourettes. Roni(Loren) helps us to see what it truly can be like inside the head of someone who is having a panic attack brought on by a social situation that many may see as “so easy” or experiencing facial tics that she can’t control when she’s nervous(or meeting a seriously hot guy!).
Roni didn’t give us a super hot, successful, billionaire love interest. She gave us Jasper and, to me, that’s way better. Jasper Deares is a bit lost, former foster kid with A.D.D.. He blew a huge audition, moved back home from L.A., is now working at a coffee bar, and living with his sister. Now that’s a 25 year old character I believe! In your twenties your trying, failing, pushing, and discovering who you are. Look, if you had everything figured out at 25, I bow down to you! The rest of us will gladly take these very relatable characters Roni has given us and quietly envy your amazing-ness from afar.
Now, we did get your traditional “fake relationship that benefits both parties and nobody can catch feels” trope, but the fact that it came about so Jasper could help Hollyn overcome her severe anxiety by practicing being in a real relationship(she’s only been in one before now) and explore physical touch outside of her family and best friend?? Just the sweetest thing!
Of course, “feels” were caught…they did try, y’all, but who doesn’t want a partner who sees every part of you, especially those parts you deem should be hidden from the world, and loves you wholly? While also helping you reach your goals and won’t let what you see as impossible limitations get in your way?? Ya, that’s a lethal combination. Jasper sees past Hollyn’s facial tics to the gorgeous and snarky woman underneath. While others have labeled Jasper as flighty and impulsive, Hollyn sees he’s simply a man who lives in the moment and just wants to belong to someone.
Clearly Ms. Roni Loren put her Masters degree in social work and years as a mental health counselor to good use in digging deep to fully developed our main characters. We stan an intelligent woman!
Can I just end by saying: I Love that we did not get some big makeover that turned the “shy girl” into a super confident vixen. That’s so cliché and unrealistic. Yes, Hollyn truly did transform and gained so much confidence throughout the timeframe of the book, but at the end of it she still struggles with being in front of new people. However, she now has better ways to deal with it and people beside her who support her no matter what. That is a realistic “transformation” in my opinion and I really appreciate that she didn’t have to become a whole new person to get the guy. *praise hands* all day!
I can NOT wait to dive right into the next book in the series, “What If You & Me”, to hear about how Hollyn and Jasper’s friend Andi, who has anxiety and trauma from a past relationship, overcomes her fears and meets her dream man. See, REAL humans with REAL struggles!
Shana is a book-obsessed professional dancer, so she can be found either prancing around the center of a stage or hiding in a corner with a book: there is no in between.
Her #1 book love is adult fantasy. Give her all the magic, creatures, and curses and she is one happy girl! A good rom-com style romance book is another way to her book-loving heart.
Shana also claims the title of “mom” to the coolest 5 year old little dude out there and there is really no greater joy for her than watching his love for reading slowly growing to be as big has his momma’s!