BOOK REVIEW: Love Show by Audrey Bell

BOOK REVIEW: Love Show by Audrey BellLove Show by Audrey Bell
Purchase on: Amazon
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Hadley Arrington is the career-driven Editor-in-Chief of her university’s prestigious newspaper. Jack Diamond is a laid back student whose good looks have made things even easier than they need to be. She’s the girl who came out of nowhere and kissed him in the rain. He’s the boy who made her do something crazy.

When the stakes seem too high, they have to decide if they’ll let their love show or if they’ll walk away for good.


“I’m a little bit of a disaster, Hadley.”

“Then, you’re my favorite disaster, Jack.”

Ahhh….now that’s how you write a male lead. Sigh. Yes-It’s official. My first sentence in this review is about the male lead. And, ya know, there’s so much more to the story than him, but I can’t help but say he was my absolute favorite part. I know I tout a lot of men throughout the year, I’m, admittedly, a little shameless. It’s all in fun, though, you know?? It’s fun to imagine these men, whether you’re married or not, come on now, actually existing. They are the literal perfect men we seek in the world, and to see the finest of the fine emerging from certain stories…yeah, it makes me a tad giddy and breathless.

“He did it just fine,” I said.
“No, he definitely did it wrong,” he said. “Which is criminal. I could fix that though.”
“Excuse me?”
He looked at me. “I mean, if I were so lucky as to have the chance to sleep with you, you would be, you know, impressed.”
“You’re extremely arrogant.”
“Right back at you.”
“How am I arrogant?”
“What kind of person gives sex one chance and decides it’s not for them?”
“This kind.”

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And this isn’t even my real point-I just ended up going off on a tangent because I got lost in Jack fantasy land. For real…he’s that great. Just let me get to him when it’s his turn, though. I’m working super hard to build him up, a right he wholeheartedly deserves, because not many guys really compare. Again, my point is that this story had so much more than a beautiful book cover (it’s not in print anymore, boo, what the f) pretty faced college boy, and romantic adventure.

It’s funny how quickly you begin to talk yourself out of your own dreams.

That’s the thing I can’t quite put my finger on-Just how deep this story was. I can’t tell if it’s a stroke of brilliance, or a case of shit gone wrong. I’m more than aware I gave this an extremely high rating, but at a certain point in this book it stopped being so….light and fluffy. Jobs took precedent, choices had to be made, friendships were tested, loyalty was as delicate as glass, close to bending and breaking-but tougher than a diamond, grittier than dirt in it’s determination….and hearts were broken. Or should I say heart? Shit became real….and I wasn’t ready for it.

“What? It’s ridiculous. Control your emotions. Can you imagine if criminals went around saying they fell into hatred or jealousy and that’s why they killed four people or robbed the bank? We act like love is this uncontrollable thing. But when it comes to anger and all that ugly stuff, we’re expected to control it. We’re supposed to handle those emotions without hurting anyone. But throw out the word ‘love’ and everyone thinks all the rules should go right out the window and who can help it if someone gets hurt?

I’ll go ahead and admit that this is the first book of the year-and in a long fucking time, I assure you-that made me bawl like a baby. That’s right-2016 is here, bitch, and it’s taking my soul with it. I bet most of you that have read this find that hilarious and highly unbelievable-Well, I’ll tell you this: I was expecting butterflies and rainbows, candy and sunshine….and there was. It was kissing in the rain and spontaneous messaging that encouraged a smile that couldn’t be stifled. It was flirting and supporting each other when things became unbearable. It was friendship and unbreakable bonds and lasting laughs. It was everything love should be, and it was what dreams were made of. And that, my lovely friends, is why I’m tearing up, becoming emotional, and trying to ignore the tightness in my throat even as I type up this review. Their love was something that blinded me from the fire-hot passion they shared…and that’s why I lost it, emotionally speaking…I just couldn’t handle when the fire turned to embers in the ashes.

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But enough about the seriousness with which this novel was underhandedly constructed (it took my breath away like a thief in the night, the smug bastard), I want to talk about all the good things-and believe me, there were too many to count (about 90% perfection, for real). I mean, just look at the previous paragraph!! I obviously adored almost every minute of the story…I just had my issues like the next person.

You’ve Got Mail could only be the name of a romantic comedy in the 90s,” I said. “The only thing I like about my inbox is the delete button.”
David took a handful of popcorn. “You. Need. To. Get. Laid.”
“I need to get a job.” I said. “And a haircut. And new eyes. Have you seen this? My eyes are different sizes.”
He looked at my eyes. “It’s ’cause you’re tired. So, close them. And stop talking. And go to sleep.”

One of my favorite parts I’m going to start with, hold your horses, everyone and their brother knows I will most definitely get to Jack (Jack, don’t let me go, Jack-shout out to Anna lol), is the friendship between David and Hadley. I can’t say the first chapter drew me in like it did everyone else, but once the second chapter hit, I was completely and utterly obsessed-And I hadn’t even met Jack yet. David was the typical clichéd gay best friend…except he wasn’t. I was expecting something often seen in romance books-I’m not complaining about this issue in books, by the way-the best friend being placed in a very important position for the main character in the beginning, but then slowly becoming as important as background music in a crowded bar. But here, this wasn’t the case-David may have swayed a little, every relationship is tested in life and not at all for the same reasons, but in the end he was as sturdy as a rock and never once lost sight of who his best friend was.

Nobody should drink alcohol at eleven in the morning. It’s a recipe for disaster. Nigel was slurring his words by noon and David was trying to cut my hair and I was singing Ke$ha at the top of my lungs.
“What the fuck are you doing?” I demanded when he came at me with scissors.
“You need a haircut.”
“Trust me.”
He pouted. “But, Hadley, I’m dying to cut somebody’s hair.”
“Cut your own damn hair.”

Their banter was hilarious and much like my favorite duo from The Middle (one of my favorite television shows ever), Sue Heck and Brad. I’m not kidding-from the moment I read one of their interactions, I was laughing out loud (this was a common theme throughout, me barking laughs and giggling like a psycho in a quiet room) and smiling so big that I swear my husband thought something was wrong with me. ’What are you laughing at?’ he asked. ’Nothing, my book,’ I said. *Giggles* *continued staring at me* ‘Nothing. Really’ *still staring at me* ‘YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND, OKAY???’ At this point I think it needs to be declared that I was mostly giggling at Jack and how fucking cute he is. For real. So….yeah, I guess that’s my cue to start heading over that way. But to sum up for these two friends: they cared more deeply about one another than many romantic relationships I know of in real life here, and that is truly saying something…even if its only a book.

“You’re scared that our third conversation will devolve? Into what? Silence? That would be awkward, but I bet we could survive it.”
“I really don’t have the time to date anyone right now,” I said. That sounded believable. It was certainly true.
“Aw, I’m not going to give up that easily,” he smiled. “You’re the one who started it. You shouldn’t have kissed me like that if you wanted to be left alone.”
“I’m going to swing by,” he said adamantly. “We can hang out. That’s a good idea. No dinner. Anti-date date.”

Ahhh and finally, my boy JACK!!! I will admit that the crazy alien amazing friend who forced me to read this reccd this to me staked a claim on this wonderful, adorable, loyal, smitten, obsessed, protective, jealous, and loving boy beforehand. In fact, she was quite clear about this such issue because she just knew this problem would arise. You know, where we both want to marry Jack and lock him up for the rest of eternity? (Or maybe that’s just me…oops, here comes your lovable GR psycho!! Come out come out wherever you arrreeee) Yeah, we had lengthy conversations about this boy I’d never even heard of….but I guess I just don’t give a flying fuck.

“I mean, maybe.”
“What are you doing tonight?”
“Nothing, but-“
“Great. I’ll swing by tonight.”
“No, I don’t think you understand. I said dinner wasn’t good for me.”
“I thought you said dating wasn’t good for you. We won’t have dinner. It’ll be a non-dinner, non-date hangout session.”
“I don’t even know what that means.”
“I just want to talk to you,” he said casually.
He laughed.
“I think you’re fascinating,” he said, the same wry amusement coursing through his voice. “I’ll stop by tonight.” He hung up before I could say anything else.

Jack is, and always will be, a definite top book boy for me, and if anyone has a problem with that (cough, ahem, Bananaaaaaaaaa), then I guess they’ll just have to go through me, won’t they??? Have you seen my list? Could it be any more huge??? (bahahah Friends references, oh boy, I am getting TIRED)

“What are you doing next year?” I asked Jack.
“I’m going to try to find a way not to work,” Jack said. “Which I’m actually pretty good at, so I don’t foresee any problems.”
“Good plan,” Xander said sarcastically.
“I think it’s a great plan,” Jack said simply. “They always tell you to do what you love. And I love not working.”

But let’s cut to the GD chase-When I met Jack, in the rain, out of nowhere, completely blind-sided…my breath was stolen in the span of less than 10 seconds. I’d venture to say I was beyond completely and utterly obsessed-I was a fucking ravenous madwoman. He became an instant book boyfriend and I ached to see him even when he couldn’t possibly be a part of the story. And then, as if by magic, he’d appear again-laughing, smiling, ogling, fantasizing, and falling in love with Hadley a little bit more each and every time he saw her. I swear to God, you could literally, literally feeling him falling harder and harder with each passing chapter.

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And it’s just…it’s so much more than that, and it’s so hard to explain. This kid, this boy that has no clue what he wants to do with his life, finds a girl that is opposite of him in each and every way, career wise, life-choice wise, and he just…he falls. Hard.

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He falls and he doesn’t brace himself and he crashes, he crashes so hard into this sea of emotions he wasn’t prepared for and fights drowning at each and every turn. But resistance is futile, because he drowns anyway.

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“I was ready to go. But you were all like stay,” he whispered in a breathy imitation of me.
I laughed. “I was not.”
“It was like when the Titanic was sinking and the redhead was all like, oh my god, I’m so cold, let’s hold hands.”
“It was not like that.”
Jack, never let go. I mean, what was I supposed to do?”

But for each breach of surface from the sea of Hadley, he finds a breath of life that makes him feel whole, makes him believe things can be different, that the rules are meant to be broken and one day she’ll realize she loves him as much as he loves her…

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but time and again she pushes him back under, only for him to keep kicking and pushing to the surface once again for that next chance of everlasting life in the form of Hadley fucking Arrington-his most suffocating and deadly weakness.

I rolled my eyes. “Yes. In my own bed.” I kissed him briefly and he reached for my wrist. I held the book he’d given me in one hand and looked into his brown eyes. And I leaned in for another kiss.
I loved the way he kissed me. But this felt more serious, deeper and longer, and we held each other’s eyes for a long moment before I cleared my throat and felt a flush rushing to my face.

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Jack was the most loyal guy ever, and I’m not just saying that. Lots of guys are loyal-tons. But in this sense, I have to say it’s rare. Its rare that a guy as attractive, kind, and popular as Jack would wait for a girl who only wants to play the friends with benefits card. And I really did like Hadley from chapter two on-she is a fucking badass chick who would do anything for the people she loves. But that’s my thing: as soon as she needed to do something for the person who would literally die for her-even went so far as to imply he’d give his kidney for her (yes, dramatics on my part, I know, but it makes it no less true)-she just couldn’t fucking do it.

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And that’s when I kind of lost my undying (apparently it’s not so undying, because, hey, look, it’s dead) love for her. And to clarify, because I see a French frown forming-View Spoiler ». And to also clarify in a non-spoilery manner-He could have done a little more, too. Duh. But Jack’s perfect….so… He did no wrong. Obviously.

“Are you seriously hurt?”
“What happened?”
“My knees went out.”
“I made you weak at the knees?”
“I’m serious. It hurts,” I growled.
“Alright, alright, alright,” he said. “Hey!” He shouted to one of the instructors. “She hurt her leg. Can you…” They started running over and he looked back down at me. “Babe, can you stand up?”
This is supposed to be my section on Hadley…but I am a stubborn ass and don’t feel like wasting any more time on her. She’s top dog of the newspaper. She wants to do combat journalism. Her dream job is to work for the NYT. Yada yada. Smart smart. Fierce Fierce. We get it. Later douche.

Anyone who tells you that you should wait for that guy who makes you weak at the knees should be shot.

And there you go. That’s it. Lordy Lordy I could keep going on and boy was that a lot, but some things just need to be said, and Jack deserves every minute of my time. Did you guys know, so conversational I am at this wonderfully late hour on a work night, that I had NO time for a review??? That I should have posted a mini review and said, eh, it’s okay, I know I loved it and that’s all that matters. But no. It was 10 pm when I picked this bad boy up and I sucked it the hell up when hubs started whining because he wanted to hang and when the dogs wanted to cuddle and snuggle (such heinous crimes, the lot of them, whatever am I supposed to do with them??). I did those things while I typed this out (Why yes, I did type a lot of this one-handed, and yes, it was a fucking treat). Jack deserved so much more than he got at one point in this book, and he deserves a long-winded Chelsea review that freaks everyone out as it always does. He is my first BBF of the year and I will send him off right-even at the cost of my own sleep. This was going to be an absolute favorite-hell, it still might be-but when certain things transpired and ripped my heart to shreds, it made it hard to reconcile my turbulent feelings and emotions (which were like a tidal wave, thank you). I’d like to say I’ll get over it completely-I really mostly have-but it did leave a sour taste in my mouth and I think the HEA could have been more epic. But who am I to say??? This book was fucking amazing, and if something had been changed, maybe it would have altered the course of events for the worst and made this a POS novel. Everything happens for a reason and I’m willing to believe that this book will be read by me on numerous occasions to lift my mood and give me the best BBF ever (aka JACCKKKKK) fix. Now I’ll go on my merry way and try to forget the boy (Jack! Don’t let go….Don’t let go, Jack) who gave me instant butterflies the moment I met him (this NEVER happens…SO RARE!!!!!!) and became and instant win. God the fucking feels. They hurt. I love him. Okay. For real. Bye. JACK!!!

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  1. A

    Loved your review! (besides agreeing with you, the fact that you added Lana del Rey’s gifs <3). It also made me cry and I think it's one of my favorites books read on 2016. I am looking for similar books because this is definitely the kind of NA I like.

    • Chelsea (Peril Please)

      Thanks so much!! Well…it made me upset, too. Aside from a few grammatical errors, this book was close to perfect. But then that end broke me a little, and not in the way I like to be broken. I was obsessed with it until that point-even now I am obsessed with it, I just wish it had a better last 20% lol. But I am so bad about wishing for such things.

      Ah, finding decent NA (And anything like this story, for that matter) is almost virtually impossible. Not everyone agrees with me, but perhaps The Deal by Elle Kennedy might suit your fancy? Lol

      It’s one of the other VERY popular NAs with a large following. 🙂

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