We are so close to Christmas that I can almost taste it! I’m making a (not so) sweet potato casserole to take to an extended family celebration, and this will be the first time I have made something for this. It’s also the first time I will be included in the “grown up” category for gifts, and honestly, I’m not terribly excited. Thank goodness that isn’t what this is actually about. The sermon at church yesterday dove into the reasons behind why Jesus was born and the importance of remembering this while celebrating; perhaps a predictable topic, but it was a good sermon and I intend to keep it in mind this week. There is going to be a lot going on the next few days, and I want to take it all in and treasure the time and celebrate appropriately. Maybe I’ll find a few minutes to sneak in a little bit of reading, too.
If you have any reading time in the coming days, you might enjoy the book I’m reviewing today!
About the Book
Title: Borrowing Amor (Borrowing Amor #1)
Author: Kat Bellemore
Genre: Contemporary, Clean Romance, Holiday – Christmas
Publication Date: October 26, 2018
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Love is a nuisance when all you want is to disappear.
Two weeks before Christmas, Katie is kicked out of her apartment. Again. Rather than wander the streets and continue to work for a dirty cop, she decides to leave the city and disappear for good. But her car breaks down in a New Mexico town, and everything is threatened when she falls for the charming mayor.
Sam Freedman is the first bachelor mayor of Amor. After convincing the locals that having a mayor without family responsibilities means he can dedicate all his time to the community, townspeople watch his every move. Then Katie Andersen shows up. Against Sam’s better judgement, he hires her to replace his event coordinator. Now he can barely think straight, let alone run a town.
In the midst of half-truths and outright lies, Katie and Sam desperately search for the place where honesty and trust lead to love. Can they find it before the past catches up with them?
Borrowing Amor came as a surprise to me. Earlier this year I read another novella from this series called Borrowing Time; it was fun and unique, about a dog trainer and a pilot who fall in love, so when I saw Borrowing Amor on sale I decided to check it out as well. There are definite highs and lows to this book; it does some things well, and some are simply less to my taste.
The good: Homelessness is brought up and dealt with as a serious topic. It plays a huge roll in the story, and several characters are homeless. Different stories are explored, and no one is vilified or blamed for their situation, but neither is an ambiguous “other” blamed for the specific situations people find themselves in. I love that Katie has an unconventional background; it’s heartbreaking to realize that this is reality for so many people around me, and it is good to be reminded even in my fiction pleasure reading that there are people in similar difficult situations all the time.
Another related high point is the way the characters are written. The villains are terrible, but not cartoonish; the love interest is…interesting, I guess; the side characters are each appropriate levels of detailed for the roles they play.
As for the less good/not my taste: the “saving the world by putting on a show” trope is a bit stale for me at the moment. Katie does a good thing by involving members of the homeless community in the town’s Christmas celebration, which she organizes, but still…using a big event and saying that it solves nearly everyone’s problems is a little old.
Also: the romance between Katie and Sam is way too much, way too fast, and borderline inappropriate for an employer-employee situation. As a short term emergency situation, sure, I’m willing to overlook it. But when she takes a regular job working in his office, that crosses the line of what I am comfortable with. Pick one: work together, or be in a romantic relationship. I can’t see both going well if they happen at the same time.
Borrowing Amor is a good, clean contemporary romance. It brings in a difficult situation that is rarely dealt with in literature, and even more rarely dealt with well. The romance is acceptable, but I never really found myself as invested in it as I would have liked to be. I don’t know if I will read any more in this series, but I don’t regret reading this by any means. This is a solid book if you enjoy clean contemporary romance. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t blow me away.
Have a wonderful day/week/month/year/decade! Merry Christmas!
Until the next chapter,