Love Interest by Clare Gilmore

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: October 10th, 2023

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Adult, Fiction, Chick Lit, New Adult, Adult Fiction

Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible | B&N | AbeBooks | WorldCat

Goodreads Synopsis:

A sparkling adversaries-to-lovers romcom set at a magazine publisher in Manhattan. When Casey and Alex are forced into proximity, they soon realize falling for each other is just as much of a risk and as it is a reward.

Casey Maitland has always preferred the reliability of numbers, despite growing up the daughter of two artistic souls. Now a twenty-four-year-old finance expert working in Manhattan, Casey wonders if the project manager opening at her company – magazine powerhouse LC Publications – is a sign from the universe to pursue a career with a little more sparkle. That is, until she’s passed over for the job in favor of the board chairman’s son.

Alex Harrison is handsome, Harvard-educated, and enigmatic. Everybody loves him – except for Casey. But when the two are thrown on the same project, they both have something to prove. For Casey, it’s getting tapped for a transfer to the London office and fulfilling her dreams of travelling. For Alex, it’s successfully launching a brand that will impress his distant father.

As work meetings turn into after hours, Casey and Alex are drawn to each other again and again, but neither can avoid the messy secrets and corporate intrigue threatening to tear them apart. What they discover about their workplace might change everything – including the dreams each of them is chasing.

First Line:

The meeting invitation appears on my cell phone screen when I’m halfway up the subway staircase.

Love Interest by Clare Gilmore

Important things you need to know about the book:

Pace: Love Interest is a medium to fast-paced book. While the pacing suited the book, the author could have slowed it down. I had to go back and read some significant parts of the book. There is a lag in Love Interest. The lag didn’t affect how I liked the book.

Trigger/Content Warning: Surprisingly, there are no trigger or content warnings in Love Interest. After reading many books with triggers, it was refreshing to read one that didn’t.

Sexual Content: There are sexual scenes in Love Interest. Seeing that this is a modern-day romance, I wasn’t too surprised that there was. The sex scenes are explicit enough to be hot but didn’t cross the line into TMI.

Language: There is foul language used in Love Interest.

Setting: Love Interest is set entirely in New York City.

Representation: There is queer and BIPOC representation in Love Interest. Casey is white and straight, but she has friends who are BIPOC and queer (which is fantastic). Alex is half Korean and straight. His friends are Casey’s friends.

Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Forced Proximity, Workplace Romance

Age Range to read Love Interest: 21 and over

Plot Synopsis (as spoiler-free as I can get):

Casey is a financial advisor for a magazine who wonders if she can insert a little pizzazz into her life. So, when a position for project manager becomes available in her company, she applies. Casey is mad when she is passed over for the job for the chairman’s son, Alex. She is furious when assigned to the project that Alex is heading. But her fury wanes as she gets to know Alex, and she starts to catch glimpses of the real him. A friendship evolves that soon turns into a not-so-hidden workplace romance. But, as rumors swirl about the fate of the magazine and the project Casey is on becomes Alex’s chance to show his father what he can do, can their romance survive?

Main Characters

Casey Maitland: I will be the odd one out here, but I didn’t initially like Casey. Her attitude towards Alex was awful. Yes, I get that it was fueled by disappointment and anger, but it made her seem like a teenager instead of the adult she was. But, by the middle of the book (when she and Alex started dating), I liked her. This was an infrequent case of a character redeeming herself. She became a supportive girlfriend who wasn’t afraid to tell it like it was. But she also kept her sense of self. She had plans, and those plans were going to happen, if Alex was in her life or not.

Alex Harrison: I initially liked him, but he had Daddy issues. His sense of self was wrapped up in getting approval from a distant and cold father. But I liked that he didn’t use nepotism to get the job at the magazine (but I am sure that’s what got him the job if it makes sense). I liked how he handled Casey at the beginning of the book. But he did change a little towards the middle of the book. He had stated at the beginning of the book (shortly before Casey and he started hooking up) that he didn’t believe or want relationships because he didn’t want to be tethered. Yet, by the middle of the book, he was only with Casey. I liked that the author did have Alex come to terms with his father by himself.

Secondary characters: I know this paragraph is the same in every review, but in this case, the secondary characters did make the book. Each character added extra depth, nuance, and flair to the storyline. If the book weren’t about Alex and Casey, I would have been happy to read about the secondary characters. That is how much oomph they brought to this book.

My review:

Love Interest was an interesting and good read. I got involved with the main characters and was rooting for them to overcome their obstacles. I also loved the secondary characters and the vibrance they brought to the book.

The main storyline of Love Interest focuses on Casey and Alex as they navigate their romance and project together. I liked that the author made this storyline relatable and believable. I wanted them both to succeed at what they were doing and their romance. I was caught up in this storyline and was very happy with the ending and the epilogue.

I liked the romance angle of Love Interest. I liked that Casey and Alex’s romance happened organically (as organic as a romance novel can get). It wasn’t Instalove by a long shot.

The end of Love Interest was sweet. I loved how the author ended all the storylines and tied them into Casey and Alex’s storyline. I also loved the epilogue. After reading that, I went to sleep with a massive smile.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin, NetGalley, and Clare Gilmore for allowing me to read and review this ARC of Love Interest. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

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