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With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict! After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchma With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict! After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass. Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy... a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle's new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because... awkward. When Darcy begs Elle to play along, she agrees to pretend they’re dating to save face. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family over the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a fake relationship. But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars?


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With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict! After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchma With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict! After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass. Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy... a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle's new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because... awkward. When Darcy begs Elle to play along, she agrees to pretend they’re dating to save face. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family over the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a fake relationship. But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars?

30 review for Written in the Stars

  1. 5 out of 5

    chai ♡

    I’m gay, and I’m a sucker for the fake-dating trope. This book is sapphic, and has the fake-dating trope. It was a match made on the kindle app.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    4.75 Stars. I loved this! What a great holiday romance that just made my heart happy. It’s funny but I was just looking back on the WLW books that I have read this year and I realized I have not had the best luck with contemporary romances. I have read some great crime/mystery-romances, paranormal-romances, and even fantasy-romances, but plain romance has not been as strong for me as usual. Well, talk about the perfect time for this romance to come along. This was exactly what I needed and every 4.75 Stars. I loved this! What a great holiday romance that just made my heart happy. It’s funny but I was just looking back on the WLW books that I have read this year and I realized I have not had the best luck with contemporary romances. I have read some great crime/mystery-romances, paranormal-romances, and even fantasy-romances, but plain romance has not been as strong for me as usual. Well, talk about the perfect time for this romance to come along. This was exactly what I needed and everything I love to read in a great romance. This is the perfect book to read right now with the holidays coming up and I have a feeling I will be gushing about this book for a long time to come. I mentioned that this was a holiday and contemporary WLW romance, but I can stick on a few more tags than that. This is also, my favorite trope, a fauxmance. Fake relationship romances are some of the best because the author has to make two characters go from almost nothing in common to the potential for real love. Fauxmances make authors work hard and that makes them so fun to read. Not only is this a fauxmance, but one of the characters is a baby ice queen in training. I love ice queens. Something about watching that ice slowly start to melt, always makes me believe in the potential romance even more. And lastly, this book is also a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I’m an Austen fan and I like retellings of her books, but this is a very light retelling. You will see certain things and characters that will make you think of P&P but the feeling is not heavy. There were times I even forgot that this was a retelling since it feels like its own story. So if you are an Austen fan I think you will like the overall feel, but if you are not an Austen fan, the few light similarities should not bother you at all. This should not be a surprise but my favorite part was the romance itself. I love both characters, they are total opposites but they fit so well anyway. I’m such a character driven reader so loving characters always helps, but I was so swept up in the romance plot that that is where the book really won me over. It’s a slow-burn romance but it went at a really nice pace. But what convinced me so much was the chemistry. The written chemistry was so wonderful that as a reader you could actually feel it. These two women set off sparks on these pages and it went through the entire book. It was not one scene that was in the beginning, or one near the end, instead the entire book was chock full or emotional and physical chemistry. This romance was so nice and sweet, but it was also deliciously steamy at times, the perfect mix and what I want in my romances. My only real complaint, and the only reason this did not get a full 5 stars was that I felt like the ending was a little rushed. It’s not bad, it just needed a few more pages. This book is actually a good length for a romance, longer than most WLW romances that I read so I’m surprised to say this. I liked the actual ending but it really needed an epilogue. We should have jumped to New Year’s Eve, since that date held special meaning in this book. I think it was a missed opportunity and come on, romance fans like their epilogues. If you could not tell from all the gushing, I absolutely recommend this to romance fans. This would be the perfect book to turn into a holiday movie say for a Netflix. Hey, if Hulu can put on a WLW holiday romance this year, than there is hope for stories like this. There is going to be another book that follows this one, which stars the main character’s brother. I thought he was fine for a secondary character but I think he would get on my nerves for a main character so I’ll probably pass. However, if Bellefleur ever writes another WLW story, I will read it in a heartbeat. A copy was give to me for a honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    4.75 stars Just released my Top 10 Books from 2020 BookTube Video - now that you know this one made the list, click the link to find the rest! The Written Review Astrology and magic and soul mates. Darcy has had to deal with her overprotective younger brother for all her life...and recently, he's become more meddlesome than she can handle. "Quit trying to marry me off like I'm some Regency spinster in one of your favorite Austen novels." "Your name is Darcy." "And I might be a sing 4.75 stars Just released my Top 10 Books from 2020 BookTube Video - now that you know this one made the list, click the link to find the rest! The Written Review Astrology and magic and soul mates. Darcy has had to deal with her overprotective younger brother for all her life...and recently, he's become more meddlesome than she can handle. "Quit trying to marry me off like I'm some Regency spinster in one of your favorite Austen novels." "Your name is Darcy." "And I might be a single woman in possession of a good fortune, but I'm not in want of a wife." After one disastrous date too many, Darcy decides to throw up her hands and pretend that it went perfectly. Only, her plan immediately backfires when Elle (the disastrous date) finds out. Elle, who is desperate to gain the respect of her family, and Darcy, who's desperate to show her brother that she isn't the stick-in-the-mud that he thinks to see, decide to fake a relationship. Only they quickly find out planning a fake relationship and maintaining it are two completely different things. She looks at you like you hung the moon. This was a fresh-and-fabulous take on Pride and Prejudice and I absolutely LOVED this book. I really don't read contemporary books often, and romances even less. But there was something about this cover that drew me in. And I'm so glad I picked it up because I was blown away. I loved the two girls (Darcy and Elle) and they took the dynamic of Darcy and Elizabeth and transformed it in their own way that totally got me hooked. Darcy was a fabulously prickly main character and Elle was wonderfully starry-eyed. The way their lives intertwined was perfect. There were so many fabulous quotes and cute moments scattered in. I also loved that this story wasn't centered on overcoming societal expectations (aka coming out/homophobia/internalized trauma), it's just a couple of girls who fall in love and it really stood out to me. All in all, this is one of my top recommendations of the year! A huge thank you to Netgalley, Avon Books, and Alexandria Bellefleur for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    4.5 stars I love this book so much. I love the characters, I love the talk of astronomy and astrology and I just related so hard to Darcy and Elle for different reasons. I’m a Capricorn like Darcy, so I related to her soooo much in that sense. Here’s the reading vlog where I read this book: https://youtu.be/TCI_Zl2YDxA Also, if I made a bookish playlist for this book, it would include these songs: dress - taylor swift drops of jupiter - train mirrorball - taylor swift yellow - coldplay guarded - flor go 4.5 stars I love this book so much. I love the characters, I love the talk of astronomy and astrology and I just related so hard to Darcy and Elle for different reasons. I’m a Capricorn like Darcy, so I related to her soooo much in that sense. Here’s the reading vlog where I read this book: https://youtu.be/TCI_Zl2YDxA Also, if I made a bookish playlist for this book, it would include these songs: dress - taylor swift drops of jupiter - train mirrorball - taylor swift yellow - coldplay guarded - flor gold rush - taylor swift

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    CHRISTMAS GAYS!!!!! In Seattle!!! In all seriousness though, this book was an absolute delight. Even though Darcy and Elle were about as opposite as it is possible to be, they had SO MUCH chemistry and I was rooting so hard for them from page one. This book was exactly what I was hoping it would be and honestly you all just need to read it, like, yesterday. Also extra bonus points for the sexy scenes bc they were A+++++++++

  6. 5 out of 5

    mina reads™️

    pre-release thoughts: I see “f/f rom com” in the synopsis, I add it to my tbr

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    everyone on insta was yelling at me to read the holiday gays, so here we are! <3 also -- this was my 100th book of 2020! whew! mini review to come! <3 Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch Buddy read with Maëlys! ❤ everyone on insta was yelling at me to read the holiday gays, so here we are! <3 also -- this was my 100th book of 2020! whew! mini review to come! <3 Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch Buddy read with Maëlys! ❤

  8. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    A fake-dating wlw romance with nods to Pride & Prejudice and Bridget Jones (although not at all a retelling) featuring an astrologer? Honestly what’s not to love. This was a delight. The characters were opposites that complimented each other so well. The astrology bits were great Easter eggs for those who are familiar with it, but not so much that people who don’t care will be lost or pulled out of the story. And although is a book set around the holidays that doesn’t need to be read around the A fake-dating wlw romance with nods to Pride & Prejudice and Bridget Jones (although not at all a retelling) featuring an astrologer? Honestly what’s not to love. This was a delight. The characters were opposites that complimented each other so well. The astrology bits were great Easter eggs for those who are familiar with it, but not so much that people who don’t care will be lost or pulled out of the story. And although is a book set around the holidays that doesn’t need to be read around the holidays. Perfect for those looking for a wlw romcom!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    Sparks Galore! If you’re looking for a cute rom-com with loads of chemistry “Written in the Stars” fits the bill! Elle is an Astrologist who has only ever wanted to find the right gal and settle down. Unfortunately for her, she’s very unlucky in love. Darcy is a high-powered Actuary who doesn’t believe in love or in having fun. After being set up on a blind date by Darcy’s brother, sparks fly as do the drinks, and not in a good way. Needless to say, another date doesn’t seem to be in the cards fo Sparks Galore! If you’re looking for a cute rom-com with loads of chemistry “Written in the Stars” fits the bill! Elle is an Astrologist who has only ever wanted to find the right gal and settle down. Unfortunately for her, she’s very unlucky in love. Darcy is a high-powered Actuary who doesn’t believe in love or in having fun. After being set up on a blind date by Darcy’s brother, sparks fly as do the drinks, and not in a good way. Needless to say, another date doesn’t seem to be in the cards for these two, until Darcy fibs to her brother Brendon that the date was a success just to get him off her back. Now Elle and Darcy find themselves in a “fauxmance” just to make a few social events more palatable, up until New Year’s Eve. You can of course guess what happens next! Why Love of course! It is after all, “Written in the Stars.” A clever, cute, sweet, and somewhat steamy read that was a perfect way to end 2020. Although I had to skim through all the steamy parts, this was a quite delightful rom-com that I highly recommend for those looking for an adorable, light, laugh out loud novel that hits all the right notes. Published on Goodreads on 1.6.21. Review will be published to blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    With the craziness of this year, I have found myself seeking out cute and charming stories more than usual. This book provided a pleasant, escape from reality type of reading experience. The two female characters had good chemistry and it was fun rooting for them to find happiness. Darcy and Elle are set up on a blind date by Darcy's brother, Brendon. The date is a bit of a disaster and the two go on their separate ways. That is until Darcy decides to tell Brendon she hit it off with Elle and the With the craziness of this year, I have found myself seeking out cute and charming stories more than usual. This book provided a pleasant, escape from reality type of reading experience. The two female characters had good chemistry and it was fun rooting for them to find happiness. Darcy and Elle are set up on a blind date by Darcy's brother, Brendon. The date is a bit of a disaster and the two go on their separate ways. That is until Darcy decides to tell Brendon she hit it off with Elle and they are now dating. A bit of a spur of the moment idea but this will hopefully get Brendon to stop playing matchmaker. Elle agrees to go along with the whole fake dating scheme because now she can bring her as her date to her family's Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe now Elle's family won't look at her as such a disappointment if she is "dating" someone like prim and proper, Darcy. This fake relationship might actually turn out to be mutually beneficial in more ways than one. The story uses the popular trope of "let's pretend we're dating" and it's best to just roll with it rather than analyze it to death. Darcy and Elle are opposites in terms of their personalities. Elle is more of a free spirit, with her head up in the stars, so to speak. Darcy on the other hand is a practical, do everything by the book type of person. In spite of their differences, they really made sense together. Definitely recommend if you are in the mood for a good romcom! And I am very happy to learn the author has a book in the works featuring a character from this one. Thank you to William Morrow for providing me with a copy! All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I gave this book a big hug when I finished, so it’s a five star read for me. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ How dreamy is this cover? I LOVE IT. When this book arrived, I knew it was headed for the top of my nightstand stack. In other words, it was going to be read asap, and it was exactly what I wanted to read! Elle is an astrologer (ok, love that), and Darcy is an actuary. Opposites, right? They agree to fake a relationship until New Year’s Eve, but, you know? Is their love actually written in the stars? Cute, I gave this book a big hug when I finished, so it’s a five star read for me. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ How dreamy is this cover? I LOVE IT. When this book arrived, I knew it was headed for the top of my nightstand stack. In other words, it was going to be read asap, and it was exactly what I wanted to read! Elle is an astrologer (ok, love that), and Darcy is an actuary. Opposites, right? They agree to fake a relationship until New Year’s Eve, but, you know? Is their love actually written in the stars? Cute, charming, lovable characters, polar opposites, steamy, and the witty banter we all love, I rooted for Elle and Darcy to fall for each other from the very start. Stories like this offer hope and great joy. Plus, I just read there’s a spin-off already in the works. If you are looking for your next delightful and clever rom com, look right here! I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  12. 5 out of 5

    Corina

    ALMOST FOUR STARS Written in the Stars was an adorable ff romance. Overall I was very happy with Written in the Stars, it was incredibly cozy, endearing and charming. Thanks to the two main characters, Elle and Darcy, their attraction, and connection was heart warming. They were such vivid characters, and although they were pretty much opposites in demeanor and interests, their attraction gave them a reason to meet in the middle. And I just loved how they, after a not so great first impression, had ALMOST FOUR STARS Written in the Stars was an adorable ff romance. Overall I was very happy with Written in the Stars, it was incredibly cozy, endearing and charming. Thanks to the two main characters, Elle and Darcy, their attraction, and connection was heart warming. They were such vivid characters, and although they were pretty much opposites in demeanor and interests, their attraction gave them a reason to meet in the middle. And I just loved how they, after a not so great first impression, had each other’s back, and learned so much about the other. Their relationship grew and made sense, outside of their attraction. I really felt they actually complimented each other in a very endearing way. You can’t go wrong with this #ownvoices queer rom-com debut, which was well written, and had some popular tropes like fake dating, and some enemies to lovers at the beginning. I’m looking forward to more books by this author. ___________________________________ I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author. Find more reviews and book recommendations on my blog Follow me on Bookstagram

  13. 5 out of 5

    Madison Warner Fairbanks

    Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur Contemporary F-F romcom. Opposites attract and fake relationship troupe. Elle and Darcy have little in common beyond pushy family trying to create a romance. Sure, they have sparks but that’s not enough to build a relationship on, is it? It’s the sparks that make the relationship move from physical to more. Elle makes her intentions clear. She is looking for love and a permanent connection. Darcy has been hurt in the past and has decided she will not op Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur Contemporary F-F romcom. Opposites attract and fake relationship troupe. Elle and Darcy have little in common beyond pushy family trying to create a romance. Sure, they have sparks but that’s not enough to build a relationship on, is it? It’s the sparks that make the relationship move from physical to more. Elle makes her intentions clear. She is looking for love and a permanent connection. Darcy has been hurt in the past and has decided she will not open her heart again. Cold stop. A cute romance with a couple of hot sexy scenes. I admire Darcy for learning about Elle’s profession and realizing it’s importance to Elle even though Darcy doesn’t believe in it herself. Typical troupe complications build to a romantic ending. The book ended on Christmas Eve. It could have used a Christmas epilogue. I received a copy of this from NetGalley.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Kramer

    This was presented to me as a FF Pride And Prejudice retelling but it’s more inspired by Darcy and Elizabeth’s personality types than the plot, for which I am grateful. Faithful P&P retellings have their place but I’m much more interested in seeing the character archetypes in other settings than I am in, say, reading about an updated Wickham take off with spoiled Lydia. In this version, Darcy is a buttoned up actuary and Elle is a social media astrologist. Darcy’s brother Brendon is Elle’s busin This was presented to me as a FF Pride And Prejudice retelling but it’s more inspired by Darcy and Elizabeth’s personality types than the plot, for which I am grateful. Faithful P&P retellings have their place but I’m much more interested in seeing the character archetypes in other settings than I am in, say, reading about an updated Wickham take off with spoiled Lydia. In this version, Darcy is a buttoned up actuary and Elle is a social media astrologist. Darcy’s brother Brendon is Elle’s business partner—his dating app One True Pairing has just hired Elle’s company to provide an astrological component. He wants nothing more than for his sister to find love and he’s constantly setting her up on blind dates and she’s had enough of it. Darcy and Elle start off on the wrong foot and the date goes poorly and that should be that. Only Darcy decides fake dating Elle will get her brother off her back for a while. Elle’s not completely convinced but she would love for her family to think she’s not a complete mess and Darcy is exactly the kind of person they admire. They come up with rules and then it’s only a matter of time for the rules to get chucked out of the window. This was a very enjoyable 4 star read about halfway through and then I'm not entirely sure what happened but I could not get enough of the story and tore through the rest of it. I absolutely loved it! This is entirely because of Darcy and Elle. They were so fully drawn and I really empathized with their respective hopes and fears and the way those things got tangled up in one another. Darcy is terrified of falling in love after a bad breakup. She doesn’t want to give anyone a chance to break her heart again but Elle makes her feels things no one else ever has. Elle, on the other hand, has dreamed about finding her person her whole life and she’s all in once she and Darcy to give their fake relationship a real shot, even though she’s worried Darcy doesn’t believe in love. There were so many cute details. They have different texting styles! Elle bought Darcy a scraggly Christmas tree to cheer her up! The way Elle sees the stars! Elle drags Darcy into a thrift store! Darcy’s secret soap opera fandom! Brendon’s dreamy eyed romanticism! Plus, I loved Elle’s relationship with her best friend and business partner Margot. There was only one aspect I didn’t like and it’s a testament to the author that I understood why she did things that way. Elle’s family treats her horribly. Her parents push her to get stable jobs with benefits, in spite of her massive success with astrology. Her siblings are alternately smug and condescending passive-aggressive jerks. I could not understand why she still spent time with them. Why put yourself around toxic people? But this speaks to Elle’s optimism and her hope for things to change. If only the people we love would magically treat us the way we want them to. Instead, Elle has to stop pushing her hurt feelings down and call them out. Only then can lasting change happen. It’s not perfect—and it’s not a chance I’d give my own family members necessarily—but it’s incredibly true to who Elle is and in the end, I respected the development of this particular arc. A couple of last notes. First, while this is marketed as a romcom and has a breezy tone, I never laughed out loud. It’s a very cute, very enjoyable story and perhaps it’ll make other people laugh. I’m a tough customer when it comes to what I consider a romcom. Don’t get me wrong: I love books that get me to laugh out loud and I came in primed to do so here. But alas, the humor was too subtle. Second, this is set during Thanksgiving and Christmas but it 's not a holiday romance. However, it’s perfect if you want some holiday-adjacent reading.  Character notes: Elle is bisexual. I did not note Darcy identifying as a particular sexuality. They are both white. Elle's brother is married to a man and her best friend Margot is pansexual. I’m a cis-het woman so I’ll defer to LGBTQ+ readers on how the representation fared. This is set in Seattle. CW: toxic family, past death of grandmother, heroine's ex cheated on her, heroine’s mother dealt with depression after divorcing, heroine’s father cheated on her mother Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from Avon in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    tappkalina

    I'm torn between 2 and 3 stars. The first thing I want to say is that I really liked the story itself, recommend it to anyone who's interested, and it would make an amazing movie. The writing style, however, almost made it unbearable to read. So much so that I read the book for more than ten days, every day wanting to dnf, just suffering through the pages. The only reason I didn't put it down for good is the sapphic relationship - I'm sorry, I need them, especially when coming out is not the plot I'm torn between 2 and 3 stars. The first thing I want to say is that I really liked the story itself, recommend it to anyone who's interested, and it would make an amazing movie. The writing style, however, almost made it unbearable to read. So much so that I read the book for more than ten days, every day wanting to dnf, just suffering through the pages. The only reason I didn't put it down for good is the sapphic relationship - I'm sorry, I need them, especially when coming out is not the plot. It was full of telling and filler text that bored me to death. On day 11 (80% in) I decided to only read the dialogues. And that's how I was able to finish. That's what I should've done from the start. That's what I recommend, actually. This way it finally had pacing and I didn't even miss out on anything important. And in my opinion, one pov would have been enough.

  16. 5 out of 5

    aarya

    2020 Fall Bingo (#fallintorombingo🍁): ‪Quintessential Fall Activity B+ review (overall A- joint review with Tara but my grade is B+): https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/r... This is adorable and I shipped Darcy/Elle very hard. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 2020 Fall Bingo (#fallintorombingo🍁): ‪Quintessential Fall Activity B+ review (overall A- joint review with Tara but my grade is B+): https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/r... This is adorable and I shipped Darcy/Elle very hard. Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    When the holiday decorations go up and you start looking for happy holiday reads, remember this book that will come out November 10. Opposites attract - Elle is an astrologist and Darcy is an actuary. Oh yeah and that's an Austen shout-out. When the holiday decorations go up and you start looking for happy holiday reads, remember this book that will come out November 10. Opposites attract - Elle is an astrologist and Darcy is an actuary. Oh yeah and that's an Austen shout-out.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    4.5 stars I loved this book so freaking much. This was such a good YAAdult f/f romance. I was hooked from the beginning by these two polar opposites. On one side, we have Darcy, a girl who doesn't have a lot of friends because her focus is on her studies/career and she doesn't take the time or want to take a chance on someone else. But her brother is set on matching her up with his best friend Elle, a free-spirited girl who dreams of meeting her soulmate and believes in astrology. When they final 4.5 stars I loved this book so freaking much. This was such a good YAAdult f/f romance. I was hooked from the beginning by these two polar opposites. On one side, we have Darcy, a girl who doesn't have a lot of friends because her focus is on her studies/career and she doesn't take the time or want to take a chance on someone else. But her brother is set on matching her up with his best friend Elle, a free-spirited girl who dreams of meeting her soulmate and believes in astrology. When they finally accept a blind date, it doesn't go very well and even though they think they'll never see each other again, Darcy lies to her brother to get him to stop bothering her. That lie is going to end up starting their fake relationship... Overall, Written in the Stars was very entertaining and I loved the characters. They felt so real and I just wanted them to be happy. Edit: before you get upset (and feel the need to correct me) by an honest mistake I made writing the next comment, I just wanted to mention that when I wrote it and at the time I read/reviewed this ARC, the top tag in the genre section on Goodreads was Young Adult and not Adult. It's changed now that this book is published but I assume people might have tagged it as YA before they read it and when they saw the cover. Also, I wanted to note that even though this book is YA (No, it's an Adult book and a good one too), the characters share chemistry and sex is definitely there. I didn't expect it but it was a really nice surprise. I can't wait to read another f/f story by this author. If she publishes one, I'll be excited to dive into it. (Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Elle and Darcy, both in their late twenties, meet on a blind date set up by Darcy’s brother. The date is disastrous from the beginning and only gets worse. However, she lies to her brother and says it was great and they plan to see one another again to get him off her back about dating. Darcy finally talks Elle into pretending to date and the rest is history. Honestly, it is the perfect romance for me. It ticks so many of my boxes: mutual pining, opposites attract, fauxmance, a mini ice queen, c Elle and Darcy, both in their late twenties, meet on a blind date set up by Darcy’s brother. The date is disastrous from the beginning and only gets worse. However, she lies to her brother and says it was great and they plan to see one another again to get him off her back about dating. Darcy finally talks Elle into pretending to date and the rest is history. Honestly, it is the perfect romance for me. It ticks so many of my boxes: mutual pining, opposites attract, fauxmance, a mini ice queen, cute nerds, protective best friends, meddling siblings…the list goes on. Also, it’s funny! “Written in the Stars” has gone straight to my favorites list. I got the book from the library but I’ll also be buying it as it’s going on my list to read again.

  20. 5 out of 5

    ♡ jules ♡

    sapphic fake dating rom com, let me live i want my hand hELD

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jude in the Stars

    4.5⭐️ – Ending my 12 lesfic books of Christmas challenge with a rom-com seems kind of perfect, even if it’s not exactly a holiday novel. When her brother Brendon sets her up on a blind date with his work friend Elle, Darcy vows it’s the last time. The date is a disaster despite all kinds of chemistry but Brendon keeps pushing and Darcy ends up declaring it went well. Which leads to her asking Elle to pretend to be her girlfriend. Elle reluctantly agrees, hoping introducing Darcy as her girlfriend 4.5⭐️ – Ending my 12 lesfic books of Christmas challenge with a rom-com seems kind of perfect, even if it’s not exactly a holiday novel. When her brother Brendon sets her up on a blind date with his work friend Elle, Darcy vows it’s the last time. The date is a disaster despite all kinds of chemistry but Brendon keeps pushing and Darcy ends up declaring it went well. Which leads to her asking Elle to pretend to be her girlfriend. Elle reluctantly agrees, hoping introducing Darcy as her girlfriend to her family will help change their opinion of her. After all, Darcy has the right kind of job – she’s an actuary –, as opposed to Elle and her social media astrology business. If they see her through the eyes of someone who loves her – or fake loves her as is the case – for who she is, maybe they will too? As you may have guessed from the MCs’ names, Written in the Stars is a Pride and Prejudice retelling but a light one. If you’re an Austen fan or into any kind of fandom, you’ll probably enjoy the references, but even if you’re not, the story in and of itself and the way it’s told are enough to deserve your attention. If you like opposites-attract fauxmance novels, you’re in for a treat. Elle is kind of a mess but she’s an adorable mess. She loves her job and her best friend and business partner Margot. She believes her one true love is out there and she’ll find her or him. She’s driven, passionate and fights for what she loves and what she wants. She doesn’t settle, neither in her professional life nor in love nor won’t she apologize for loving boxed rosé. She’s fun but also smart and she listens. You don’t have to believe in astrology to fall in love with Elle, but I wouldn’t be surprised if, like Darcy, after listening to her talk about her passion, you find yourself just a tad fascinated. On the surface, Darcy could be mistaken for an ice queen. She’s been hurt, badly. As a child and as an adult. And so she protects herself with everything she has. She stays clear of what she can’t control and doesn’t want to depend on anyone. She enjoys her job because maths make sense and she thrives on logic and order. She loves her brother fiercely, even when she wants him to leave her alone and let her live her life the way she chose, i.e. without falling in love. Again. As Brendon keeps telling Elle, Darcy keeps her cards close to her chest for, you know, reasons. As much as they don’t want to admit it at first, the chemistry between Elle and Darcy is fire, instalust at its strongest. As is the dislike, based on appearances and stereotypes that are, as they’ll find out, far from the truth. The writing is excellent, the pace is fast and joyful when needed, slows down when it must. The dialogues (both between characters and inner) are full of quips and witty repartee. Even the texts and use of emojis translate well in audio. Kudos to the narrator, Lauren Sweet, for that and for giving each character a distinctive and suitable voice, in an overall excellent narration. My only complaint about this otherwise enchanting debut novel is that the ending is slightly rushed. A few more pages or, yes, even an epilogue, would have been cool. It’s worth noting that Written in the Stars is published by a major mainstream publisher (Avon Books is an imprint of HarperCollins, the audiobook is HarperAudio), not a lesfic publisher, as are the majority of the books I review. Bellefleur’s second book, Hang the Moon, will be about Brendon and if you read Written in the Stars, you’ll have a fairly good idea of who his love interest is. I liked Bellefleur’s writing a lot but maybe not enough to read an m/f romance, though Avon Books sells it as another own-voices queer rom-com so maybe there’s more to it than meets the eye. And I wouldn’t mind more of Elle and Darcy. So maybe. In any case, however, if Bellefleur writes another f/f romance, count me in!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Landice (Manic Femme Reviews)

    Written in the Stars is probably hands down the most adorable contemporary romance I've ever read. To be fair, I don't read a ton of books in this genre, but I’ve at least read enough to know that this one is something special! I just spent twenty minutes trying to write an analogy comparing Written in the Stars to peppermint hot chocolate that wasn’t super cheesy, to no avail, so I’ve decided to channel my inner Elle and just.. go with it: Reading Written in the Stars was like sitting down with Written in the Stars is probably hands down the most adorable contemporary romance I've ever read. To be fair, I don't read a ton of books in this genre, but I’ve at least read enough to know that this one is something special! I just spent twenty minutes trying to write an analogy comparing Written in the Stars to peppermint hot chocolate that wasn’t super cheesy, to no avail, so I’ve decided to channel my inner Elle and just.. go with it: Reading Written in the Stars was like sitting down with my first peppermint hot chocolate of the season. The story was warm, inviting, and familiar enough to be comforting, but it also felt new and unique enough that nothing about it felt stale or contrite. One thing I really appreciated about this book was that it didn’t get mired down in extended mutual pining the way romance novels often do. Not that there’s anything wrong with slow burn romances, but sometimes I want to be able to relish in the actual togetherness of the characters instead of spending the majority of the novel wanting to push the two leads’ faces together like Barbie dolls, screaming “just kiss already!” The author did an excellent job of finding the sweet spot between insta-love and slow burn, and the result is a compulsively readable novel with an adorable opposites attract romance that felt totally realistic and incredibly satisfying. It’s also worth noting that while there was enough tension to sustain the plot, the angst never felt superfluous or like it was thrown in just for the hell of it. My only complaint about Written in the Stars was that I wasn’t ready for it to end when it did! I really loved Elle and Darcy together, and while I understand that it’s not always realistic to include an epilogue when you’re planning a sequel that will likely pick up around the time the first book lets off, it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it (I kid… mostly). One more thing I want to state for the record, in case I’m not alone in this concern: I went into this read worried that my lack of astrological knowledge might be an issue, but my concern was completely unfounded! In fact, I think Elle’s narrative explanation of Darcy’s sun, moon, and rising signs helped me understand what the “big three” placements really mean better than any of the articles I’d read online. In closing, Written in the Stars is a cute, quirky sapphic romance that is (for me at least) the book equivalent of a cup of hot chocolate and a warm hug. If this sounds like something there’s even a slim chance you might enjoy, then please give it a go. It was honestly wonderful, and now I’m definitely rambling, but I cannot recommend it enough! ARC Note: Thank you to Avon and Netgalley for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and terrible, cheesy analogies are my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heinerway

    This story is just perfect. Almost. My only little itty bitty complain is it's sudden ending. I want more. I want to know what happens with Elle's family and with Darcy's mom. I guess I have to wait for the sequel, due in summer 2021. Although this book is about Brendon (Darcy's brother) and Annie (Darcy's best friend). We'll see... P.S. I'm in love with Elle. This story is just perfect. Almost. My only little itty bitty complain is it's sudden ending. I want more. I want to know what happens with Elle's family and with Darcy's mom. I guess I have to wait for the sequel, due in summer 2021. Although this book is about Brendon (Darcy's brother) and Annie (Darcy's best friend). We'll see... P.S. I'm in love with Elle.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    4.5 stars, rounded up. Alexandria Bellefleur's Written in the Stars is just the fun and sexy rom-com I was looking for! Ever since she moved to Seattle, Darcy’s brother Brendon keeps setting her up on blind dates that don’t seem to work. The latest one was the last straw. While she and Elle definitely had chemistry, they couldn’t have been less suited for each other—Elle is a quirky free spirit and an astrologer, and Darcy is an actuary who definitely doesn’t believe in that stuff. In an effort 4.5 stars, rounded up. Alexandria Bellefleur's Written in the Stars is just the fun and sexy rom-com I was looking for! Ever since she moved to Seattle, Darcy’s brother Brendon keeps setting her up on blind dates that don’t seem to work. The latest one was the last straw. While she and Elle definitely had chemistry, they couldn’t have been less suited for each other—Elle is a quirky free spirit and an astrologer, and Darcy is an actuary who definitely doesn’t believe in that stuff. In an effort to get her brother off her back, Darcy tells him that she has fallen for Elle. Of course, she didn’t count on him telling Elle (who happens to be his new business partner), who was surprised considering how dismissive Darcy was during their date. (She heard her tell someone on the phone that Elle was "a mess.") But when Darcy begs her to play along for a while, Elle agrees, because Darcy’s stability might help her own family take her seriously for once. So they decide to fake their relationship, just for a few weeks. What could go wrong? It’s not like they’ll ACTUALLY fall for each other, right? (If you’ve never read a rom-com before you might wonder what will happen, lol.) This was fun, steamy, and romantic, and I loved Darcy and Elle, as well as the two supporting characters, Margot and Brendon. I so enjoy the fake-dating trope, and this book had so much going for it. I’d love to see this made into a movie. I’m also psyched that Bellefleur is writing a second book with Brendon as the protagonist. Of course, we'll have to wait until sometime in 2021... Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hsinju

    Content warnings: graphic sex, infidelity, loss of close family member, divorce of minor characters, multiple references of the HP series, emotional abuse from family Never before had Elle met someone so pretty that it pissed her off. I cried so many times throughout the read I lost count. (jk, it was three times.) When astrologer Elle Jones (~27, bisexual) went on a date with her friend and business partner Brendon Lowell’s actuary sister Darcy (29), she thought she was finally getting her sou Content warnings: graphic sex, infidelity, loss of close family member, divorce of minor characters, multiple references of the HP series, emotional abuse from family Never before had Elle met someone so pretty that it pissed her off. I cried so many times throughout the read I lost count. (jk, it was three times.) When astrologer Elle Jones (~27, bisexual) went on a date with her friend and business partner Brendon Lowell’s actuary sister Darcy (29), she thought she was finally getting her soul mate. Unfortunately, the night ended horribly. But to keep Brendon from playing matchmaker, Darcy convinces Elle, who also wants to impress her family by being able to hold down a relationship, to fake date her for two months. It would have been easier if there weren’t an obvious spark between Elle and Darcy. The plot isn’t what got me. Have I read another f/f fake dating romance that opens with a date set up by one of the mains’ brother and they end up “dating” just to throw him off, all the while having another main’s family failing to take their child seriously? As specific as that is, the answer is yes. What makes Written in the Stars reads so differently and uniquely is all the little things. I absolutely love Bellefleur’s attention to details, the littlest prickle of sensory, the tiniest thoughts, the random sentences of how it feels to look at another person in the eyes or trace their fingers across the skin. Even all characters’ backstories were neatly tied with one another. The most beautiful things to read about were the icy Darcy’s emotional turmoil and the whimsical Elle wanting to be seen and these were what contributed to all my sobbing. Everything is so cute my heart aches. I find myself tearing up one minute and laughing my head off the next. There were also a lot of alliterations, which were fun to read. The intimate scenes were done really well. Bellefleur took the time to play out the tension between Elle and Darcy and their interactions so that these scenes do add to the story as part of the relationship development and aren’t just there for the sake of sex. Maybe it is because I was used to having an epilogue in a romance or that there is a follow-up book Hang the Moon starring Brendon, I find the closing of Written in the Stars a bit abrupt. With all the emotions in the book being so carefully handled, such as the subtle shift from mild hostility to love, the drastic change at the very end seemed almost shocking. I do wonder why there were no relationship compatibility reading in the book. It felt like something Elle might have done or briefly commented on (since Darcy didn’t believe in astrology) and I kept waiting for the moment where they talked about how their birth charts aligned perfectly, but it never happened. I am still disappointed by that. Written in the Stars has one of the best emotional and thought descriptions I’ve ever read in romance. Elle and Darcy’s cute fake-dating story truly provides readers all the feels and it is something I would definitely be revisiting soon. [Notes: I read the trade paperback version and I think there is one instance of mixed up fonts. There is also a very odd sentence about blond hair being green under bluish light. No, it is not going to be green.]

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨

    SWEET CHRISTMAS ROMANCE TO TAKE YOUR MIND OF THINGS Yeah, this year has been one of the worst one in living memory. The things we've all gone through in the past 8-9 months... So this book was perfect to take my mind of all the terribleness! It's cute, it's queer, it's fun and it's Christmas - what more could you want?! "If I make a Yoda joke, will you kill me?" - Brendon 👍 What I Liked 👍 Humorous: There were so many laugh out loud moments in this book and so many good quotes! "I'l SWEET CHRISTMAS ROMANCE TO TAKE YOUR MIND OF THINGS Yeah, this year has been one of the worst one in living memory. The things we've all gone through in the past 8-9 months... So this book was perfect to take my mind of all the terribleness! It's cute, it's queer, it's fun and it's Christmas - what more could you want?! "If I make a Yoda joke, will you kill me?" - Brendon 👍 What I Liked 👍 Humorous: There were so many laugh out loud moments in this book and so many good quotes! "I'll break into your apartment and move everything three inches to the left and fuck with your flow, okay?" - Margot F/F romance: Elle and Darcy were so cute together, they had such a great romance and chemistry right from the beginning. This is without a doubt one of the best F/F romances I have read so far! Pride and Prejudice: I always love a good P&P retelling, and this did a really good job of capturing the feeling and the spirit without lifting the story almost verbatim. "[...] I might be a single woman in possession of a good fortune, but I'm not in want of a wife." - Darcy Follow me for more book loving content! Blog ✨ Facebook ✨ Instagram ✨ Twitter Blog Post: 9 Hallmark-esque Christmas Romance Books

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chloe Liese

    Bridget Jones meets Pride and Prejudice in this sweet, sexy love story about total opposites finding love in the midst of a fake relationship! I loved Darcy’s and Elle’s chemistry, the character growth, the family dynamics and friendships that were more chosen family than friends. The sexy times were so tender and sensual and they always developed the narrative. I loved the build of tension and the way they both slowly fell head over heels in love. This is a delightful debut and I really canNOT w Bridget Jones meets Pride and Prejudice in this sweet, sexy love story about total opposites finding love in the midst of a fake relationship! I loved Darcy’s and Elle’s chemistry, the character growth, the family dynamics and friendships that were more chosen family than friends. The sexy times were so tender and sensual and they always developed the narrative. I loved the build of tension and the way they both slowly fell head over heels in love. This is a delightful debut and I really canNOT wait to see the incurable romantic himself, Brendon, find his OTP in Alexandria’s next book!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | Booked J

    Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Tik Tok | You can find my review here. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. Edit: October 20th, 2020 YES I ALREADY REREAD THIS NO I DO NOT CARE. Remember last year when I was busy having a series of meltdowns over rom-com's such as Well Met, Red White and Royal Blue, and The Unhoneymooners? Well, I think they've met their match: Written in the Stars was a Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Tik Tok | You can find my review here. As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. Edit: October 20th, 2020 YES I ALREADY REREAD THIS NO I DO NOT CARE. Remember last year when I was busy having a series of meltdowns over rom-com's such as Well Met, Red White and Royal Blue, and The Unhoneymooners? Well, I think they've met their match: Written in the Stars was absolutely EVERYTHING I needed in a romantic comedy and then some. Part of me wants to stand up on my desk and sing about it, but I'm pretty sure that would terrify my dogs a bit more than usual. Regardless, Written in the Stars has been my biggest source of warm and fuzzies in a long time. I am honestly grinning about it here and now. Sure, other novels have given me comfort, but something about this one blew them all out of the water. It genuinely set the standard for how I want all rom-coms to follow for the rest of the year. Was it the humor? The undeniable angsty chemistry? How easy it was to slip into, and connect with, each of these characters? The swoon-worthy, sizzling romance? Or maybe the use of nearly all my favourite tropes? Or! How about Alexandria Bellefleur's sweet and intrigue prose? Honestly, I couldn't tell you, but so much of this novel felt like an embrace that I didn't know I needed until I stepped into it. When it comes to romantic comedies, there has to be a balance that sets readers up to fall and yet still be caught. Written in the Stars does this almost instantly; gripping readers with a steady beginning, slowing burning into something more, and then shining brightly in our minds. From the moment we meet Elle and Darcy, and see their connection as it hits a few bumps, you can't help but to be hooked. You can't help but to be smitten. Of all the romantic comedies that have been released this year, this one is by far the best--because of its instantaneous balancing act. Written in the Stars is brand new, but still has that familiarity of a classic rom-com. It's the kind of WLW novel I finished and said, "Finally." Because... finally. Ultimately, Written in the Stars was everything a good rom-com should be. Well-written, full of great characters and steamy romance, and utterly charming. When I say I can't stop smiling, I mean it. A definite favourite of the year--and soon to be, of all time. Catch me, I'm swooning.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I am always always always here for fake dating and this one just sounded too good to pass up. I loved Elle. She's charming and maybe a little scattered, but loyal af. Darcy is a bit stiff and proper (like her namesake), but she's such a good person. Together there was loads of button pushing disguised as flirting until it was just straight up flirting and I couldn't get enough. I also loved Margot (Elle's roommate/BFF) and Brendon (Darcy's brother) and the maybe hint of the two of them getting t I am always always always here for fake dating and this one just sounded too good to pass up. I loved Elle. She's charming and maybe a little scattered, but loyal af. Darcy is a bit stiff and proper (like her namesake), but she's such a good person. Together there was loads of button pushing disguised as flirting until it was just straight up flirting and I couldn't get enough. I also loved Margot (Elle's roommate/BFF) and Brendon (Darcy's brother) and the maybe hint of the two of them getting together has me beside myself. Plot wise, it was so pure. I loved the enthusiasm, the binders (this will make sense upon reading), the stars, and the legit sparkle of this story. It's so heartfelt and well meaning. Yes, there's a lot more inner monologue than I would have liked. Yes, I absolutely wanted to shake them for being ridiculous. Yes, the grand gesture was not particularly grand, but it's one I'll never ever forget. Overall, this was a book I couldn't get enough of and I'm really hoping we get to see more of these characters because I'll be the first one to pre-order. **Huge thanks to Avon for providing the arc free of charge**

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    I had high hopes for this one and maybe that was the problem. I kept finding reasons to pick at this and as soon as one faded, I'd find another. This is normally a sign that I'm just not engaged and that's certainly true. Darcy is pretty much a dead loss from the start, so it's not a huge surprise that I was disconnected from sections from her PoV. I mean, she's kind of whiney; like she's the only one who ever found her fiancée cheating on her so now love is for chumps. It's not just that this is I had high hopes for this one and maybe that was the problem. I kept finding reasons to pick at this and as soon as one faded, I'd find another. This is normally a sign that I'm just not engaged and that's certainly true. Darcy is pretty much a dead loss from the start, so it's not a huge surprise that I was disconnected from sections from her PoV. I mean, she's kind of whiney; like she's the only one who ever found her fiancée cheating on her so now love is for chumps. It's not just that this is a negative motivation*, it's that it's poorly supported and, frankly, the author ignores it for vast swathes of the story, waiting to spring it on readers like a jaguar made of fire—yeah, scary and all, but a) you see it coming a mile away and b) you're mostly, like, where the crap did that come from? Elle would have been more sympathetic if I could take her profession seriously. Astrology as a thing mostly makes me scratch my head, which, I know, is totally not Aries so I must be broken, I suppose. It doesn't help that the author punts on it at least twice having Elle go all "it's a tool to assist empathy" while the rest of the time everybody is talking about how she/they believe in it. Well, those are a bit in opposition, if not exclusive, but can we square that circle a bit and have her actually state where she stands on it? Although now I think about it, it's probably a good thing the author didn't go there. Having that answered definitively would probably provoke strong feelings from those with a strong conviction one way or another and this way they can imagine Elle actually believes the approach they prefer. Still it bugged me. That said, I was totally in this, as much as I was in this at all, for Elle. I liked watching her gain confidence and begin asserting herself. Frankly, it was a relief when it became clear that was going to be a theme of the story because the biggest thing pushing me out in the beginning is how both Elle and Darcy are doormats to their respective families. All that appeasement for unreasonable importunities was annoying to get through even though it is the impetus for the entire story (it's why Darcy works out the fake dating story and why Elle grabs on when it's proposed). Where was I before going off on the whole whinging families? Oh. Right. Elle. She was a delight when I could just let go of her passion. Which was just often enough to keep me going, even in the dumb bit at the end. I mean, I almost lost it when (view spoiler)[Darcy went all "I'd better downplay this relationship because I'll be devastated when it ends" completely ignoring that not only is it already devastating to end it, but that she's been going along for weeks without once thinking "oh no, I'm falling in love." Indeed, she has embraced the relationship in a lot of definitive ways so pulling back at that point made her the queen of stupid. Or, you know, the puppet of the author to pull out a dark moment near the end (hide spoiler)] . So this is a mildly reluctant three stars. I wish Elle had fallen for someone worthy of her. At least Darcy put up with the astronomy nonsense with grace and solid support. That was a welcome surprise, even if it wasn't enough to endear her to me, really. A note about Steamy: There are a couple of explicit sex scenes putting this in the middle of my steam tolerance. Frankly, I liked Darcy best when she was being all attentive and loving. So they were appreciated. * Negative Motivations: I kind of hate that the term "negative motivation" isn't widespread, yet. Since it isn't, I'm going to save off this little jag to append to my reviews that feature the term. Jennifer Crusie blogged about it a bit back (or, if that link doesn't work, here's a cache of the original) and it changed how I understand story. The problem with the term is that if you've never heard it before, you'd assume it meant motivations that are harmful or immoral. Not so. What it refers to is motivations not to do something. The thing is that many of us are motivated to not do things for a lot of different, perfectly valid and reasonable, reasons. The problem is that in a story motivations to not do things are a huge drag on the plot—particularly considering the fact that most negative motivations are overcome by the character simply deciding they don't care any more (or, rather, that they do care and are now motivated to do the thing). So not only do you have a counter to action but you also have a situation where to overcome it, all a character has to do is change their mind. Which means eventually, the reader is rooting for the character to get over him/herself already and do the thing we want them to do. Conflict drives story. Conflict between a reader and a main character drives readers away from story.

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