Series: From Manhattan with Love #4
Published by Harlequin HQN on May 30, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Narrator: Jennifer Woodward
New York’s most famous agony aunt, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they’re other people’s. The only love of her life is her Dalmatian, Valentine.
A cynical divorce lawyer, he’s hardwired to think relationships are a bad idea. If you don’t get involved, no-one can get hurt. But then he finds himself borrowing a dog to meet the gorgeous woman he sees running in Central Park every morning…
Molly and Daniel think they know everything there is to know about relationships…until they meet each other that is…
**Review may contain minor spoilers**
I’ve read a number of Sarah Morgan’s books, and most of them have been very pleasant. I decided to read New York, Actually because I have liked other books in this series, and it was available through my library’s Hoopla service. Unfortunately, New York Actually by Sarah Morgan just wasn’t a good fit for me.
New York, Actually is about Molly, who maintains a website for people needing relationship advice and is also a bestselling author of a book giving relationship advice. Molly is British, but had a very bad experience in the U.K., and went running to New York. She doesn’t want anyone in her new life to know what happened in England. She’s also sworn off relationships herself, and there is no one she loves as much as her dog, Valentine. Daniel is a successful divorce lawyer, and has revolving door of women. He sees Molly running in the park with Valentine, and in a desperate act borrows his sister’s foster dog, to try to get her attention. Of course, they do end up hooking up, but their romance was a bit frustrating on my part.
Initially I quite liked Molly. She’s quite brilliant, a hard worker, and nice. She clearly loves her dog (even if his name is a bit ridiculous), and she is not afraid to put Daniel in his place. However, as I read more, Molly started to really get on my nerves. Despite the fact that she is a revered and skilled psychologist, she has this ridiculous notion that she cannot love anyone romantically. Honestly, these kind of plot points just never work for me. And it worked even less for me here because Molly was a psychologist, and didn’t really make sense to me. Molly ended up being really annoying.
As for Daniel, I wasn’t madly in love with him, either, although I didn’t dislike him. I admired how he tried to help women who were leaving their horrible husbands, and I loved how much he adored his sisters. But he also has some weird ideas about relationships that got on my nerves. And I wasn’t all that thrilled how he used Brutus (the dog his sister was fostering) to get Molly to notice him. Especially when he formed a strong connection to Brutus, but took way too long in actually adopting him.
Now, I did quite love Valentine and Brutus. The two dogs were full of personality, and I absolutely adored them, even with their silly names. A lot of my annoyance with this book is that I just didn’t like the conflict. It’s not my cup of tea, and just left me annoyed for most of the book. That said, I think this concept would work for a lot of people, and the book is well written.
As another note, I wasn’t a fan of the narrator for this audiobook. I’ve listened to other books Jennifer Woodward has narrated and enjoyed them. But here it didn’t work for me, and I ended up switching to the ebook halfway through the novel. So I do recommend New York Actually to fans of contemporary romance. It may not have been for me, but I think it will work for other readers.