While I would normally give my own summary here, there is so much happening in Jessica Calla‘s The Love Square that I don’t want to leave anything out and end up being confusing. So, here is the back cover blurb.
Clare Davis hates everything about L.A. Well, almost everything… Accustomed to a small town life in Nebraska, Clare is miserable in her new role as manager of an L.A. bookstore. She yearns to return to the simple life on her family’s farm. That is until she literally runs into up-and-coming movie star Dylan Barnes. Dylan resents the Hollywood limelight. Awaiting the premiere of his first feature film, it would be nice to meet someone real—just not someone who rear-ends his BMW with her oversized truck. Dylan is instantly attracted to Clare and her Midwestern charm. And as he shows her the wonders of California, Clare can’t resist falling in love with the Golden State and its newest star. From West Coast to East, friendship and love are equally complicated… On the East Coast, Dylan’s childhood friend, Alex Popovich, loves his carefree life as a minor league ballplayer. He’s the man-whore of Brooklyn, playing the field in more ways than one. So when real feelings for his best friend erupt, Alex isn’t interested. A gorgeous ballroom dancer-slash-office worker, Jenna Stecco wants her best friend, Alex, to take a leap from friends to more. Busy having one night stands, Alex is quick to let Jenna go, telling her it’s time to give up lost hopes and move on with life. Complicated turns full on crazy with a tangled love square… When Dylan returns to New York City, he meets up with Alex and is introduced to the stunning Jenna. Believing Clare is unavailable and Alex isn’t interested, Dylan and Jenna share a night of passion and embark on a long-distance relationship. Everyone is thrown by this love square, as Dylan, Jenna, Alex, and Clare struggle with their feelings for each other. When Jenna reveals a secret that will change their lives, all hell breaks loose. As the love square crumbles, the four friends must find a way to rebuild or risk losing love forever.
This highly entertaining NA Contemporary Romance settles into each of the four main characters POVs with an ease I’ve not seen often in contemporary fiction. Each of the characters had their own distinct voice, so it was easy to remember whose head you were in. Plus, seeing each perspective added layers of subtext that would have been impossible without it. They were each enjoyable in their own way and all felt real, like people I would know.
I’m not gonna lie, this story is sneakily captivating. Didn’t realize how sucked in I was until I tried to sneak in reading it at work – and then purposely sat at the small table at lunch so I could read without interruptions.
Calla also kicked some of the more annoying tropes I’ve found in a lot of contemporary romance. For example, I hate when the characters can’t seem to see the obvious. In The Love Square, so many things you’re thinking, the characters flat out say. It doesn’t dance around the obvious and hope you won’t notice. There is a lot of miscommunication that causes a great deal of the drama, but there were real, understandable reasons why the characters didn’t say anything. It wasn’t just avoiding saying something to create false drama.
Since we have a bit of summer left, I can still say it would make a great beach read. Though if you’re like me, you might draw attention with all the shouting, crying, and laughing!