E-galley Review: One-Star Romance by Laura Hankin

Posted June 17, 2024 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 7 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

E-galley Review:  One-Star Romance by Laura HankinOne-Star Romance by Laura Hankin
Published by Berkley on June 18, 2024
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Source: the publisher
Format: E-galley
My Rating: three-half-stars
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A struggling writer is forced to walk down the aisle at her best friend’s wedding with the man who gave her book a very public one-star rating in this fresh romantic comedy from Laura Hankin.

Natalie and Rob couldn’t have less in common. Nat’s a messy artist, and Rob’s a rigid academic. The only thing they share is their devotion to their respective best friends—who just got engaged. Still, unexpected chemistry has Natalie cautiously optimistic about being maid of honor to Rob’s best man. 

Until, minutes before the ceremony, Nat learns that Rob wrote a one-star review of her new novel, which has them both reeling: Nat from imposter syndrome, and Rob over the reason he needed to write it. 

When the reception ends, these two opposites hope they’ll never meet again. But, as they slip from their twenties into their thirties, they’re forced together whenever their fast-track best friends celebrate another milestone. Through housewarmings and christenings, life-changing triumphs and failures, Natalie and Rob grapple with their own choices—and how your harshest critic can become your perfectly imperfect match. 

After all, even the truest love stories sometimes need a bit of rewriting.

It took me a minute to get into this one, as it was in third person and I do prefer first person POV for romance, but once I kept going, I ended up enjoying this one. The story takes place over several events that bring our two main characters together. We mostly get more from Natalie’s viewpoint, but as the story goes on we get more from Rob’s as well. They have a bunch of misses, starting with some misunderstandings, then getting over those things and it seems like maybe they can connect, but then something else comes and gets in the way and messes it up. Often a mispoken word to someone, or a misunderstanding occasionally too. Or they’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time, with both having their own significant others.

I ended up really connecting with Natalie a lot though, when it came to how she started feeling about being left behind as her friend, her best friend especially, seemed to be moving on to different phases of her life. Pretty much all my college friends did that. And I got left behind. As they got married and started hanging out with their husbands’ friends who were also married. When they had kids it was even more that I lost them. And I understand why it happens. But I also totally understood Natalie in this book at that point. Then towards the end Rob’s father suffering from dementia hit a bit hard for me with my own stepfather’s journey over the past few years.

I still liked the book though, and think it was definitely worth a read, lots of emotion and great takes on things.

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7 responses to “E-galley Review: One-Star Romance by Laura Hankin

  1. This sounds like a good one and it is nice when you can relate to and udnerstand a character so well. That does sound tough with the dementia reminding you of your stepdad.

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