Who’s That Girl by Celia Hayes

First things first: A big thanks to NetGalley and Aria for providing me an eARC of this book for my honest review.

Sam Preston knows she doesn’t fit into society’s pretty boxes.  She’s not thin, she’s not fat, she’s not overly remarkable, she’s not fiesty… she’s just status quo.  And in her land of status quo, she regularly dreams of her boss, Dave Callaghan.  Dave has yet to notice Sam exists, but as Sam gets an accidental boost in her career and meets Al, maybe she doesn’t need Dave’s attention after all.

This is a cute romance set in San Francisco.  It seems clear that Celia Hayes is from across the pond as many of the descriptions fall outside what us ‘mericans would use: i.e. lift vs elevator.  Honestly, I always think it’s fun for these phrases to be mixed into something, so I found it enjoyable, even if it didn’t fit our born and bred San Franciscans (is that the right term??).

First, a couple things I could’ve lived without:

  • Sam does not have a ton of self love.  I actually think on the whole this is super realistic.  It’s typical for romance heroines to not necessarily love themselves, but they aren’t actively negative either.  Sam definitely falls into the actively negative category.  I think it may go a smidge to the side of too far/frequent in some parts and becomes a little whiny.  I feel you, girl. I don’t always practice self love, but active self hate ain’t cuttin’ it either.
  • There’s a “twist” at the end that I definitely saw coming from like chapter two.  It doesn’t take away from the story.  It just didn’t have what, I assume, was the expected impact on me because it felt a little on the nose.
  • She chose the wrong guy!!  She chose the WRONG guy!!! That’s a subjective opinion, you say?  That’s not fair to put in this column, you say?  I clearly have a strong reaction, so this actually bodes well for the book, you say?  I hate it when you’re right.  *sigh* But you are right.  This should fall in the love column…

And some things I loved:

  • She chose the wrong guy!! Obviously, I was all in for one of the two suitors.  Ms. Sam Preston broke not just his heart, but mine.  The successful man did not deserve her, and I’ll probably be angrier than necessary about this for longer than is healthy.
  • Sam’s super relatable.  She’s not overly thin (i.e. described as above a size 14), and she deals with eating, clothes, feeling pretty;  things that girls regularly worry about… even if we’re not high maintenance.  For the record, I’m definitely high maintenance, but I hear these “low maintenance” rare unicorns exist.
  • It’s fairly PG but not in a little kid way.  Romance novels typically have a break between those that are ok for the kids to find, and those that have lovingly been dubbed “mommy porn” after the advent of 50 Shades.  This falls in between the two.  Not full on contact is described, but it’s not completely skipped either.  It was a nice blend for those that like either side of the divide.

The book gets released tomorrow.  I’m not sure it’s a run out and buy it immediately, but it’s definitely a good beach read for your next vacay.

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