3 out of 4 stars
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Anything For Love by Gracie Bond follows the story of Leah Jensen. Leah lives in Yorkshire with her gay cousin, Joey, and grandpa, Thomas. She and Joey work all sorts of odd jobs to pay for her grandpa's knee operation, but they need to put a deposit down soon and don't have nearly enough. That's when Joey introduces Leah to Madam Butterfly, an exclusive escort agency that's based in London. Leah promises herself that this will be a one-time deal, that she'll never sell herself again or let her grandfather know the lengths she had to go to to get this money.
That's how Leah finds herself bungee-jumping from the roof of a hotel and onto the balcony of her client's room, falling quite literally into the arms of Dan Ryan. Dan co-owns a company with his mother and is obsessed with work, but the stress his secretary has been placing him under in both his business and personal lives has made him snap and order a hooker. Sparks fly when Leah appears, literally from the sky, and they share a magical night that leaves Leah with more than just the money for her grandpa's operation. That little something causes her to seek out Dan once more nine years later.
Anything For Love was a quirky and funny read with unforgettable characters and a slow burn that kept me wanting more. At first I thought it would be Harlequin-esque, but the pacing and amount of ridiculous stunts pulled by the characters put it firmly in the romantic comedy genre. Some of the scenes definitely forewent reality for comedic effect, but they all added to the book's unique charm.
To be honest, as an American reading a book by a British author, some of the comedy went a little over my head. But it was easy to get sucked up into the drama of the characters' lives, so I don't think it affected my enjoyment of the novel. There were two things that bugged me, however. The first is that the book drags a bit in places. Some of the scenes could have been abbreviated without changing the overall tone and characters tended to explain things in full detail to other characters despite the reader already knowing what was going on, so some areas were a tad bit repetitive. The second thing that bothered me was Leah's behavior in specific scenes. For example, she performed crazy stunts just to be able to talk with Dan, but got upset and ran out of the room before he could even say anything. Her actions didn't feel realistic and I wondered if the author didn't just write things that way so she could include more crazy stunts for comedic effect.
In terms of editing, the book was fairly well-edited, but there were a few minor mistakes. I would only give this book 3 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't the most amazing romantic comedy I've ever read. I would recommend it to romance lovers who want a slow burn romance with plenty of drama and comedy. It was fairly clean, with only a few curse words and sexual scenes, so I would not recommend it to anyone looking for a quick read that will get your blood pumping.
Anything For Love
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