Thursday, May 19, 2016

That Thing Between Eli and Gwen by J.J. McAvoy

* * 1/2

Source: advance e-galley from NYLA on Netgalley

**A multicultural new adult romance from bestselling author, J.J. McAvoy**

Eli Davenport thinks he’s found the perfect woman to be his wife. She’s a doctor, like he is. She’s brilliant, like he is. And she’s wealthy, like he is.

Guinevere 'Gwen' Poe thinks her fiancé is the perfect man. He’s handsome, successful and he was her first…

But when Eli’s bride runs off with Gwen’s fiancée on his wedding day, they are left to pick up the broken pieces of each other...

Source: advance e-galley from NYLA 

Two people wronged on the same day by their lovers. One is a jilted groom who’s left alone at the altar. The other is a stunned fiancé who sees her man run away with the bride. On the wedding day. At the wedding. Talk about messed up! 

Everything between Eli and Gwen starts off acrimoniously. The animosity doesn’t lessen when they wind up being next door apartment neighbours. How much does the universe hate these two because they’re both painful reminders of their humiliation and heartbreak. Eli is unreasonably harsh towards Gwen which ticked me off because it’s not like she wasn’t just as destroyed by what their fiancées did that fateful day. He is a successful doctor and dives into his work after his wedding debacle. He is extremely gruff with people. Gwen is a complete opposite. She is a highly sought-after and successful artist in her own right but you wouldn’t know it on the surface. She’s humble by nature and doesn’t brag about or display her success or wealth. The fact that she gets to be an artist and express herself is reward enough for her. Eli disregards her work while she wonders why he’s so arrogant. Their opposite natures clash but since they’re neighbours who run into each other often, they begrudgingly learn to tolerate each other. It’s just a matter of time before they accept the inevitable.

There are aspects of the story I liked. For example, Eli’s professional persona and his interactions with the hospital interns reminded me a lot of Dr. Cox from the tv show Scrubs. His rants and various nicknames for them had me giggling from time to time. I also enjoyed that Gwen was so passionate about her art, deriving pure happiness from it. She’s proud of her work and not even Eli can make her think it isn’t important. Actually one of the best scenes involves him seeing her exhibit for the first time and finding himself immersed in those pieces. Even with these few things, I still couldn’t connect with the entire story. I found certain situations where they were thrown together to be manufactured and I couldn’t get the flow of their conversations.

I really wanted to like this novel given that it had a title that teased of things to come and a cute cover. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me. 

~ Bel

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