Published by Self-Published on April 21st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
**A multicultural new adult romance from bestselling author, J.J. McAvoy**
Eli thinks he’s found the perfect woman to be his wife. She’s a doctor, like he is. She’s brilliant, like he is. And she’s wealthy, like he is.
Gwen thinks her fiancé is the perfect man. He’s handsome, successful and he was her first…
But when Eli’s bride runs off with Gwen’s fiancée on his wedding day, they are left to pick up the broken pieces of each other...
That Thing Between Eli & Gwen is a really cute story, but it took me awhile to warm up to it. Eli and Gwen meet on their worst day ever. Gwen’s fiancé runs away with Eli’s bride on his wedding day. He’s left at the altar, she’s left without a ride home, and they’re both left to suffer the public humiliation.
I thought their common pain might bring them together, but when their paths cross again a month later, Eli is blatantly antagonistic toward Gwen. An explanation is given, but it feels flimsy, and the extent of his hostility seems unreasonable. It does, however, provide room for their relationship to grow. It also emphasizes the extreme differences in their personalities. Gwen is a gregarious, insightful, kind, and quirky artist. Eli is a polished, grumpy, anti-social, and egotistical neurosurgeon.
Once I got over Eli and Gwen unnecessarily trading jabs at each other, I enjoyed the progression of their relationship from opponents to pseudo friends and from good friends to lovers. J.J. McAvoy takes time to allow the characters to discover their misconceptions about each other. I really appreciated that they get to know each other as friends first before taking their relationship to the next level.
If you’re an impatient reader, expect to wait a long time for them to recognize their attraction to each other. There’s a lot of build-up, but when they finally get together it’s both steamy and sweet. I loved how Gwen’s presence in his life transforms Eli from someone I disliked into a great boyfriend with some swoon-worthy speeches.
The story stresses the importance of family bonds, and I enjoyed Eli’s and Gwen’s interactions with their families. They lend a sentimental mood to this feel good story. Gwen’s dog, Taigi, deserves an honorable mention as a V.I.P. (Very Important Pet).
The plot is predictable at times and the writing isn’t always sophisticated—It’s a pet peeve of mine when authors include guttural sounds like Urgh and Ahh as part of a character’s quotes, especially inside the bedroom. Still, this sweet, fun story made me smile and took me away from real life for a bit. And honestly, isn’t that why we read romance novels?
Recommended for fans of:
Enemies to lovers
Lighthearted second chance romance
**ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.**