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5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Hot Mess by Elise Faber

hot mess noun

1. A disorganized, disaster at life.
2. Someone who excels at disorder and disarray.
3. A person who’s holding it together… but just barely.
4. Shannon Torres

Once upon time Shannon had been young and single. But then she’d met Brian and they’d gotten married . . . and now she was single again, only this time she had the best little girl on the planet to show for it.

Which was pretty much the only thing that was going right in her life.

Brian, her lousy cheating ex, was finally out of the picture, and she was left with an expensive house, a car payment she could barely afford, and a job that left her drained at the end of the day.

She was barely hanging on.

Then she met Finn. The number one movie star in the world. The most beautiful man she’d ever laid eyes on. Also, quite possibly the only man whose life might be a bigger hot mess than her own.

And he wanted her…

No, this couldn’t go wrong at all.

Title:Hot Mess
Author:Elise Faber
Series:Life Sucks (Book 2)
Pages:230
Genre(s):Contemporary
Trope(s):Celebrity Romance
Single Parent
Point of View:
Location:US
HEA:✔️
Release Date:3rd August, 2020
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A cupcake of a romance

Sometimes a book is a pure comfort read. It’s got all the elements required of a romance – a down on her luck, but still relatable heroine, a deliciously gorgeous hero who swoops in to save the day, and an unlikely but swoon-worthy romance with all the feels and all the sex. It’s the romance equivalent of biting into a cupcake topped with creamy frosting and sprinkles. This is that book.

First off, we get to know Shannon. She’s a single mum going through a horrible divorce with an even more horrible (soon to be ex-) husband. I don’t like to use words like ‘heartbreaking’ to describe a novel, or characters, as I don’t want to put people off, but lord do you ever feel for the situation Shannon finds herself in. She’s just a normal woman who wants to do the best for herself and her daughter, Rylie, in the face of someone who has betrayed and belittled her time and again. She’s a perfectionist and tries extra hard to make everything ‘just so’ to ensure that she pleases those she loves.

Despite her circumstances, Shannon is never a pathetic characters. In fact, she’s hella inspirational. You don’t feel sorry for her – just root for her to 1) best her vile ex-husband and 2) win the heart of the gorgeous Finn.

And boy is Finn gorgeous. He’s even got a hot-guy name so how could he not be?! Sure, he’s a hot, Hollywood actor – although you completely believe how Shannon doesn’t realise this at first. I mean, nobody would really expect a famous actor to move in next door to them! Despite his looks, he’s an absolute dream. He’s polite, sweet, kind and falls hard and fast for Shannon. He’s smitten and it’s lovely to watch. All he wants is for her to be happy – something that is so foreign to Shannon, someone who normally looks out for everyone else with no-one looking out for her. Despite their different backgrounds and lifestyles, they fit so perfectly, it made me sigh on many an occasion.

“[a] swoon-worthy romance with all the feels and all the sex.”

There’s a lovely simmering heat throughout the book as Shannon and Finn progress through their relationship. This also helped us see the change in Shannon as she realised her own worth, what she wanted and how she was going to go for her dreams. Without getting too schmaltzy, there were several points in the book where you just feel so damn inspired. Be more Shannon, everyone!

All the growth and love and sex and laughter, wouldn’t be possible without the engaging writing by Ms Faber. She writes in an absorbing way that makes you feel the emotions of her characters and all but taste the sea salt in the air and sun on your skin. There are also many laugh out loud moments – and that’s not including the cute chapter headings that made me snort with each one. I’ve just recently discovered Elise Faber’s writing and I can already tell she’s going to become one of my go-to authors for a satisfying read.

This is the second book in the Life Sucks series. The couple from the first book (Pepper and Derek) do appear in this one, but each story stands completely alone. I will, however, be checking out Train Wreck now I’ve finished this story.

At the start of the story, I expected – and hoped – that part of the happy ending would be Shannon getting back at Brian – her ex. What I especially liked about this story was the fact that in the end, that didn’t matter. Shannon had moved on. Shannon got Finn. Finn got Shannon. Brian didn’t matter anymore and ‘winning’ didn’t matter anymore either. And that meant Shannon ultimately did win! And I couldn’t have been happier. Just like eating your cupcake – at the end you’ve a delicious sugar high and feel delightfully happy and satisfied. 5 stars and recommended.

USA Today bestselling author, Elise Faber, loves chocolate, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and hockey (the order depending on the day and how well her team — the Sharks! — are playing). She and her husband also play as much hockey as they can squeeze into their schedules, so much so that their typical date night is spent on the ice. Elise is the mom to two exuberant boys and lives in Northern California.

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Life Sucks Series:

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