Published by Promise Socks Publishing on May 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Friends to Lovers
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Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.
Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.
She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between the pages of books, but rather than worrying over her own lacking love life, she puts all her energy into playing Cupid, using her job at the book bar, Wasted Words, as her stomping ground.
Tyler Knight always looks on the bright side. His career-ending injury turned into a job as a sports agent. A horrible breakup led him to Cam, his quirky, smart roommate who is far more beautiful than she realizes. She’s made it perfectly clear she’s not interested in him — not like that at least — but if she ever changes her mind, he won’t hesitate. Because he doesn’t see the lines she’s drawn between them, as much as she insists that they’re there. Deep down he knows that despite their differences, they’re a match well made.
*A romantic comedy inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma*
I’ve never read a Staci Hart book, nor have I read Emma by Jane Austen, so this was a completely new experience for me. I’ve actually never read a Jane Austen book so I don’t know if I can even call myself a real reader *hangs head*. I sincerely apologize. With this being said, my view of Wasted Words may be different than that of someone who has experienced the original work in which this is based. I regret nothing of what I’m about to say, just know it’s the opinion of a complete outsider. But do know I asked some friends about Emma and they gave me some character traits and a brief rundown, so I’m not completely clueless.
Tyler is absolutely perfect in everything he does. He’s patient and kind, caring, sweet, your general nice guy. He’s loyal to a fault and just wants to be himself with no pretences. Cam helped him do this. But when they started a relationship? Dear Lordy Mr. Tyler was a saint. He was reassuring and loving, despite her problems. Always there for her, giving her someone to lean on. He made no wrong actions or spoke any wrong words. Everything he did was classic and swoon worthy. How could a girl not want that?! Drives me bonkers. If he’s not your type, that’s fine, move on. He’s hopeful and tender, perfect gentleman. He deals with her shortcomings with grace and dedication time and time again while she’s running around being whiny and anxious. Even after one fight (when lets be honest, all problems were pretty much Cam’s fault, combined with issues communicating), Tyler made the absolute right decisions for himself. But then he felt bad and thought HE had to be the one to fix it – seriously, what an angel, but he had to learn to stick up for himself. Ultimately, I cannot stress enough how amazing he was — albeit I’ve never even heard of a guy like this in real life — I quite enjoyed him. All of him. All 6’6 of him.
My major problem this story was the heroine. It had to deal with how much she felt the need to meddle into other people’s lives. She was a know it all and was pushy about it, always thinking she knew what was best for others – even when he opinion was either refused or never asked for. This was ridiculous, if someone acted like this towards me I would’ve called them out on it real fast. After talking to some friends about Emma, apparently this is how it’s suppose to be (when relating to Austen’s work) so at this point I’m like, “Staci:1, Shannon:0”. But then the heroine got super insecure about one event that happened many years ago, and she can’t. Let. It. Go. It’s aggravating. I had very little sympathy for this girl because she kept creating her own problems out if nothing, making them up in her head. Then of course they would act out in real life. Grow up. Listen to your friends and the guy you’re dating. This trait here is NOT an Emma trait, so it seems to be thrown in just for the sake of the story. Then it’s made into the focal point of the story… I’m sorry, but if you’re going to pick an issue, don’t pick this one. Or expand upon it at least. These characters had the same fight and same conversation no less than three times, all about the heroine’s damn insecurities. If you want a relationship with him, actually commit to it. Stop throwing it away and coming back just to do it again, cause this will only destroy the hero. It was like riding a Merry-Go-Round. Round and round and round we go. Always visiting the same stops.
I think this story would have been more effective had it been shorter. It was extremely wordy, the characters kept moving in circles, and there were a few scenes that I don’t think added to the story at all. The writing was very well done, but it was more so the story that bored me. There was a significant amount of time when the story was going literally nowhere. The first 30% or so is solely background info. Then, with all of this being said, the story only takes place over one week! There’s so much going on but very little progression in the story line, if that makes any sense. The set up for the friends to lovers trope was good, but then it kept going. There was too much, the pacing slow. And once the characters finally did become a couple? They fought all the time. Over the same issues. The heroine couldn’t get past her insecurities no matter how amazing the hero was. She didn’t trust him, so it lead to a very roundabout argument that happened over and over again.
I really wanted to love the more emotional scenes that Staci did, but just couldn’t get there. The words were perfect, the scenes were perfect, the hero was perfect, but that damn heroine kept talking in circles and rehashing the same thing over and over. She was insecure. She was anxious. She couldn’t get out of her head long enough to see how much of an idiot she was being. Tyler deserves a medal for putting up with her crazy.
I love the book bar idea, but I can’t help but chuckle on the title of Wasted Words. Oh believe me, there were a lot of words being wasted in this book. An eye rolling amount. Declarations falling on deaf ears. Not understanding that you are your own problem. Way too much ‘extra’. Just something’s that really didn’t need to be there.
I love real talk. Someone lays everything out on the line and shows you how stupid you’re acting. No holding back, verbal diarrhea that just spews until you have no choice but to accept it or the next thing is a cuff to the back of the head. Someone that’s there to point out your crap and pull your head out of your butt. In Wasted Words, that’s Rose. I loved her. Everything she said I enjoyed. Everything she embodied I enjoyed, so I’m glad this book had a character like her to try to keep people in line.
Resolution/conclusion (since it was just all wrapped up into one) was fun and light. I could easily predict something was happening and had some ideas, but the extent of the plan surprised me. It was well thought out and well deserved, and I love how everyone helped out.
Thank the lord that the epilogue was cute as a button. That part I did really enjoy. Note: it’s told from Tyler’s point of view. Is that why I loved it? Don’t know, but it worked. It ties up lose ends and gives the reader a *desperately wanted* (sarcasm) HEA.
Overall, I didn’t have a great time with this book… But there are many people who are singing its praises, so take this how you may. Maybe people who’ve read Emma will take to it more, but I believe even if I book is related to or based on something else, its story and its characters need to speak for themselves.
*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.