Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Well…she did it. With the completion of Falling Into Love with You and her Hate-Love Duet, Lauren Rowe takes two characters who aren’t initially easy to like and makes them fated soulmates whose love is BIG. If you read Falling Out of Hate with You, then you know…Rowe’s hero and heroine, Savage and Laila, have had a bit of a fraught journey thus far. In fact, with my review of that book, I received a comment from a fellow reader who indicated they DNF at 32%. This reader thought the characters were, my words here, ridiculous. In other words, that reader had a difficult time caring about the characters because, at first glance, Savage and Laila are seemingly immature. Now, I can understand the reader’s disdain for the characters, but having read that book, 32% gives you nothing about the reality of the characters in this duet. In fact, Rowe is smart in her elaboration of their story that you know, in retrospect after finishing Falling Into Love with You, you are receiving the fake personas of Laila and Savage in much of that book. When you read Falling Out of Hate with You, there is a lot of discussion about the constructed “rock and roll” archetype. And I think Rowe, in all of her writing genius, offers up that “role” for both Laila and Savage in that book. As you work through that book, as I stated in my review for that book, there are deeper psychologies to Laila and Savage, and I intuited that those would be revealed in Falling Into Love with You. AND…I was correct.
What does this do to the duet as a whole? Well, the second book proffers up more of the rockstar life while unraveling those carefully crafted rockstar personas, gifting Rowe’s readers with the “real” Laila and Savage. All of the misconceptions and misunderstandings are brilliantly and carefully undermined. Even more, Rowe sets about building more of her extended rockstar universe while dropping clues for readers to speculate about future stories in this world. And…she shows her flex at developing a well-developed romance between soulmates that melts your heart WHILE imagining this world fully. Since this duet is my FIRST Lauren Rowe set of books, let me just say right here and now: I am INCREDIBLY impressed with her insistence on developing the entire Savage and Laila world. It is astounding that she recognizes we live in a diverse multi-media world, and books can be more than simply words on the page. They can be images and songs and links to websites integrated directly into her stories. I mean…c’mon. Her stories have the actual songs of her artist characters. I can count on one hand the number of romance authors who integrate “more” into their books. Each time I encounter it, it impresses me because it’s another layer of creativity and craftsmanship that makes the reading experience enhanced. I have read many a romance where the author writes “a song” within the story, and I always want to hear the melody. That’s the part missing with these songs. Lauren Rowe is now only the second author who gifts us both the melody and lyrics in fully recorded songs. It’s astounding and “next level” for a story.
Beyond that, if you struggled to like Laila and Savage in the first book, it is this book, Falling Into Love with You, where they will steal your heart. There is still so much chemistry and eroticism between the two of them in this book, but now, we are treated to their never-ending love. Don’t be like that reader who quit 30% of the way through the first book of Lauren Rowe’s Hate-Love duet. If you don’t make it to the final page, you will miss out on the unraveling of emotional walls and the vulnerability of two people falling deeply, madly, passionately in love with each other forever.
In love and romance,