Paperback, 256 pages
Expected publication: April 19th 2016 by Swoon Reads
It's all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.
Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!
Reviewer's Copy: ARC
Source: Kate Evangelista (Thank you!)
Upon cracking open No Love Allowed, I thought that it would be similar to the other no-strings-attached contemporary novels I have read. Instead, I was swept into a thrilling story about pretending, parties and paintings. The collision of Caleb and Didi’s worlds created a beautiful spark. They physically lived in the same area and yet they might as well be living in two different galaxies. They were the kind of people who didn’t meet and go out every day. Their meeting was exhilarating and refreshing.
Didi was under a lot of pressure. She and her mom were barely getting by, with all the bills and the medication that Didi needed. Our heroine was not as psychologically stable as we would have liked her to be but with this little handicap, came her abundance of inspiration and creativity. Didi agreed to Caleb's proposal for the fun and the chance to breakaway from her typical daily routine. I am quite fond of characters with mental conditions - I truly am. Didi was a fascinating subject. I liked that this novel didn't show the darker side of mental conditions, unlike most novels I have read in the past. Didi's condition became her "feature," a fact, a reality that brought about good and bad things. I liked how it wasn't treated as negatively as it was in other novels. This enabled me to keep an open mind easily, to witness and understand its effects on Didi as a whole without judging right from the start.
Caleb was the boy who had all the resources at the tips of his fingers. He would do everything in order to get back his gap year, which would be spent roaming Europe, far away from his distant father. I actually expected to dislike Caleb. That was what usually happens when I read stories with this kind of plot. But I was quite surprised when I ended up rooting for him. Although the No Love Allowed rule came from him, I saw in the beginning that he was in more risk of breaking the rule than Didi. He was surprisingly sweet and thoughtful in his own way. He reminded me of the song The Only Exception by Paramore, believing that love brought about bad things instead of the opposite. With Didi, the doom and gloom vibe of his otherwise glamorous life fell away.
I liked how the Caleb and Didi's relationship developed, from a catastrophic incident at the clubhouse, to agreeing on a no-strings-attached-set-up, to nearing the end of their agreement, and yet being unable to fully let go of one another. It was sweet and a little bit chaotic. The collision of two different worlds made their interaction more fun. I particularly liked Caleb's teasing and swag and Didi's personality and bubbly, enthusiastic side. Together, they made a cute pair right from the start.
I liked the story world that Kate painted in this novel. It had a movie-like quality to it, in the sense that I could imagine the setting and the vibe easily in my head. The parties and all the planning and preparation really intrigued me. I loved details in my books, and Kate gave me just what I wanted: a shower of details, from the very basic, generic ones down to the tiniest ones. I could imagine No Love Allowed as a television show, even. It was vibrant, filled with life and a cast of strong personas. The secondary characters were as magnetic as Caleb and Didi. Nathan and Preston were a sight to behold, the closest friend of Caleb. Nathan was the resident gay supportive friend. Natasha was the beautiful goddess, model-esque cousin. She was friendly and supportive to both Caleb and Didi. But to be honest, I wanted to see more of her and Preston. I wanted to get into their heads.
No Love Allowed was a vibrant, fun-filled and paint-splattered contemporary novel that would leave readers entertained, hooked and wanting more. I wished that the book was longer. I loved the story world and the cast of characters so much that I wanted to spend more time to get to know them and explore every inch of the setting. Though, I am hoping that Kate's follow up to No Love Allowed, starring Nathan and Preston, would be the answer to this. I recommend this to readers of contemporary romance, readers who are looking for a fast and fun read - you could easily finish this in one sitting -, readers who are interested in novels with psychological themes and novels exploring family dynamics.
4 Cupids = Strong book love.
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!