I heard about No Love Allowed* back when it was first called Warning! You Might Fall in Love With Me written by the fabulous Kate Evangelista. While I wasn’t able to read the story in its pre-published form, I had every confidence that Kate’s work will be picked up by Swoon Reads at the time she was crowd sourcing this piece for reviews and feedback. Turns out I wasn’t wrong because soon enough, it was soon considered for publication!
I’ve read all of Kate’s previous books from other publishers and what made each novel a worthwhile read was the fluid prose. It was so easy to get into the minds of the characters and feel whatever they’re feeling, even easier to read the entire book in one sitting. While I loved Kate’s paranormal stories, her contemporary novels are also something of note. Reading No Love Allowed made me live vicariously through the characters, and made me fall in love with the picturesque Dodge Cove.
When reading stories, I take particular interest in the characters, as I always envision the book playing out like a motion picture in my head. The plot for No Love Allowed wasn’t exactly new, but the characters behind the story drew me in, particularly the interesting kids of Dodge Cove. When the rich and famous Caleb Parker met the impoverished and talented Didi Alexander, sparks didn’t exactly fly between the two. It took a lot of effort, cajoling, parties, and one heck of a grand gesture for these two teens to get their love story together. I’m a fan of grand gestures and Kate did not scrimp on the scenes that led to that romantic scene.
Speaking of characters, I wanted more depth for Didi’s character exposition. Aside from being described as a talented painter, she also suffered from bipolar disorder. While it was mentioned that she took meds on a regular basis, it wasn’t until the tail end of the story when her mental illness was mentioned. I would’ve pushed the envelope more in that aspect to shed more light and understanding with regards to manic depression. Meanwhile, Caleb wore his heart on his sleeve despite his macho image and tough guy exterior. His flaws made him more endearing, his backstory made me tear up. In some ways, he was the one who had a lot to lose in this, and he was the very first to pick up and fight for what he deserved to have.
The secondary characters were likewise noteworthy. I loved Caleb’s cousins Nathan and Natasha. I loved the twins’ unique brand of wit and charm, especially Nathan who just charmed the socks off me. He’s like the fairy godmother every girl dreams to have. Preston was the silent one in the group, but what the hey, did you know he and Nathan will have their own story as well? Kate just announced the publication of No Holding Back which is slated for an October 2016 release. How awesome is that? I can’t wait!
Overall, No Love Allowed is a great read that would have you rooting for Caleb and Didi’s happily-ever-after. And when you do get to the end, you’d end up smiling just like I did. 🙂
* I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.