Mall You Need is Love
Author: Sarah Robinson
Series: At the Mall
Publisher: Independent (February 11, 2022)
ebook, 96 pages
Romance, Adult Contemporary Romance
Jaded-by-love Amara Hart owns a retro-style gaming arcade in the local shopping mall that is bustling full of people who’d rather play Pac-Man than have a candlelit dinner with the charming Casanova store owner next door. Despite her cynicism toward anything roses, Amara finds herself agreeing to help Valentino Rossi when his store is robbed a few days shy of Valentine’s Day—his biggest annual moneymaker.
Valentino believes in endless love and has made it his mission in life to help others express that love through romance and custom-made jewelry. Silly little love songs are what make him get out of bed in the morning, and meeting the anti-Valentine Amara has thrown him for a loop. Determined to prove love me tender is more than a retro ballad, Valentino sets out to give Amara a Valentine’s Day she’ll never forget.
As Amara feels her rough edges begin to soften, she begins to wonder what would happen if she asked the man next door to…be mine, Valentino.
Mostly I just really liked Amara and her arcade, and her relationship with her kids. I adore the cover and really wanted to like this novella more than I did.
The chemistry between Amara Valentino is just kinda okay. Nobody in this book felt like a real person, they’re all very much two-dimensional cardboard cutouts. Valentino has a stick up his butt for most of the book but occasionally there are attempts at making a playful side come out, but it just felt awkward. Maybe it suffered from just not being long enough to give the characters time to really come to life. Everything felt kind of rushed, especially with their enemies to lovers romance and solving a burglary all happening in less than 100 pages. Then again, maybe not – the entire story is very much telling rather than showing.
Still, it’s a fun concept, and there are some fun classic rom-com moments that made me smile.
A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.