Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Nothing is better than a hero who has endured a past trauma, in the case of Meghan Quinn’s So Not Meant to Be, the death of his father, and hides his pain behind a carefully constructed facade, ONLY to have it broken down by a willful, intelligent heroine. This is the foundation of Quinn’s newest story. And it makes for moments of romance magic as Kelsey and J.P. (we learn what J.P. stands for) fall madly for each other.
To get there, though, you must endure J.P.’s need to infuriate Kelsey. These are the most immature moments of the book, but also their funniest. They are also an emotional tug, as Quinn gives us access to J.P.’s thinking. And it’s clear that her hero simply wants someone to “see” him.
While Kelsey is willful and intelligent, she is also, at first, a bit blind. This is the typical “boy pulls the hair of the girl to get her attention” type of situation. Quinn infuses these moments with humor, but also vulnerability as she switches between viewpoints to help us better understand the inner world of her characters. What we find is (1) a hero who desperately wants the heroine and (2) a heroine who struggles with insecurity about her body and her talent. This causes an emotional tug-a-war for much of the story. However, as J.P. feels seen by Kelsey, and as Kelsey acknowledges her insecurities, the magic of Meghan Quinn is revealed. She has the capacity to make you laugh for a portion of her book, pulling you into her story, while then flipping it to moments of sentimentality, provoking the tugging of heartstrings.
The message of So Not Meant to Be is simple: we all have the capacity to love and be loved. As Kelsey and J.P. negotiate their journey, Meghan Quinn steals your heart and reminds you why her books are a must-read.
In love and romance,