Title: More Than Fashion
Author: Elizabeth Briggs
Series: Chasing the Dream #3
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
They’re enemies who will do anything to win…including each other.
When Julie Hong wins a spot on a fashion design reality TV show, she celebrates by picking up a hot English guy in a hotel bar. But too many drinks leads to a night of embarrassment and a major hangover, and wow is she glad she’ll never see him again. Until the show starts, and he’s on it too.
Julie quickly realizes she’s out of her league among the other designers, and Gavin Bennett, with his cocky grin and sexy accent, is her biggest competition. Julie can’t decide if she wants to kiss him or kill him. Or both.
After she’s almost kicked off, Julie convinces Gavin to pretend they’re sleeping together for the camera. The ploy works, but as they get closer to the show’s finale their fake relationship starts to become too real. But only one of them can win the show—and they might both end up heartbroken.
Source: Review copy via NetGalley
Although I enjoyed the reality TV aspect of this book, I think it’s probably my least favourite of the series so far. Julie is a woman who knows what she wants when it comes to relationships (she doesn’t want one), knows who she is as a person, is prickly and independent and confident and bitchy, yet can’t admit to her parents that she doesn’t want to be a doctor and would much rather go into fashion design instead. Which is all fine, but I found her tricky to like. Even though I admired her talent, confidence and the way she owned her sexuality, the way she treats Gavin is pretty unreasonable. She keeps trying to believe that he’s a bad guy when he really isn’t. Even when she thinks he’s being cocky and arrogant, he’s never actually that bad. She’s just determined not to let him in, and since she had absolutely no grounds for that except stubbornness, I couldn’t get my head around it.
Which also made me wonder why Gavin liked her so much. She’s horrible to him – except for when they’re kissing and denying they feel anything for each other. There is definitely an attraction between them and they have great chemistry, but I couldn’t understand why he would want anything more when she’s so prickly and rude. It might also have been nice to have had a little more substance to Gavin beyond the accent and tattoos and a few references to his past. He’s okay, but a bit vague.
Without Julie’s unreasonable behaviour, though, there wouldn’t have been much substance to the romance, since they meet, they are attracted, they get closer over the show, things happen. Julie’s prickliness certainly helps to flesh the plot out, it just didn’t do much for me.
As for the show itself, that was interesting with the rigging and the other contestants and general sneaky behaviour. The challenges did feel a little repetitive after a while, but then it’s pretty hard for them to be otherwise when you’re condensing what on TV would be several weeks worth of challenges into a handful of chapters. I still enjoyed it, though, especially the creative aspects and how Julie and Gavin handled the pressure.
So, overall, this one was okay. It didn’t grab me and pull me in as much as other books in this series, and the main characters weren’t as compelling for me. However, there is plenty of chemistry, the plot ticks along pretty nicely and I did like how everything ended. A solid addition to the series. Can’t wait for Carla’s tale.
More Than Fashion is Out Now!
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