Love’s No Joke – Cheri Ritz

3.5⭐️ – A comedian at the Rothmoor Hotel in Las Vegas, Mara is hoping for her big break. She’s focused on her career and relationships will wait. Nothing wrong with that, she believes, despite her friends teasing her for being a player. Victoria loves her job as a nurse and is especially proud of being her own person, unlike her socialite cliche of a sister. When they first meet, Victoria seems immune to Mara’s charms. The second time, not so much. To get her mother off her back, Victoria needs a date for her grandmother’s birthday, could Mara play the part?

Victoria doesn’t seem as taken with Mara as Mara is with her when they first meet, but that may have to do with the fact that Mara is more or less covered with vomit at the time. The second time they see each other, the attraction is clearly mutual, then they spend an unreasonably long time wondering about whether it is or not. Lesbians are notoriously obtuse (you know I’m right) when it comes to knowing whether another woman is into them and Victoria and Mara are prime examples of that. Once they give in, however, they’re all in and they’re pretty hot together.

Mara and Victoria are sweet and relatable. Mara is rather straightforward, she’s not hiding anything but there’s more to her than the player her friends take her for. Victoria is a bit more difficult to read, probably because she, herself, isn’t completely sure of where she stands. She puts a lot of effort into getting away from her family, with only relative success, and trust doesn’t come easily to her.

Mara’s friends (including Penny from Vacation People) are solid secondary characters and Victoria’s sister Maddie is annoying and spoiled and exactly the kind of character that I love to hate. I would love to find out more about Mara’s family.

Except for a short saggy part in the second half, the pace is brisk and the tone vivacious.

The main problem with this book is the black moment. The author seemed to dangle it in front of the reader for a while, with a will they/won’t they game, creating unnecessary mini arguments for no reason. When it finally arrived, it felt like the MCs had been spoiling for a fight anyway, which doesn’t bode well for the couple, if they start bickering so early in the relationship.

Despite its flaws, Love’s No Joke is a very enjoyable read for when you need something nice and easy.

4-stars

Love’s No Joke @ Bella Books

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