Monday, March 2, 2020

Book Review: The Confetti Pact

By Sara Steven

When London's rising social media star, Nelly Roberts, is left in the lurch with not just a wedding but also the country’s biggest magazine feature on the line, she’s got no choice but to substitute one groom for another. Luckily she meets Rafael, who’s looking for a way to stay in the UK where he’s built the life he loves. So they make a pact: act the perfect couple for as long as it takes for Nelly to get her wedding and Rafael to get his visa. The catch? Absolutely nobody can know the truth.

With the magazine following their every move, Nelly’s ex re-emerges with a change of heart just as her pretend feelings for Rafael start to be anything but pretend. What could possibly go wrong? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

The situation that Nelly finds herself in reminded me of Debra Messing’s character in The Wedding Date. While Debra’s character wasn’t set on finding a groom, she needed to give off the appearance of having someone in her life, in order to appease her family. Nelly has a lot more on the line, but she deals with the same situation in trying to make everything look a certain way in order to show that nothing has changed, particularly for the magazine feature.

At the same time, Rafael is looking for a way to stay in the UK, and so begins a romantic persona meant to satisfy what both characters need. In moving their platonic relationship into fiancee mode, it was interesting to see how each one really showcases their true colors on who they are as people, particularly with Nelly. She’s an online influencer, which means continual photos and updates on social media, completely the opposite from Rafael’s interests and hobbies. How they handle their polar opposite characteristics becomes part of the scenery, and while Rafael can appear to be the perfect man, he’s got a tight friendship with someone who continually becomes a thorn in Nelly’s side. Plenty of moments that create friction and chaos, a perfect element thrown into this romantic experience!

Art imitates life? Or life imitates art. What starts out as an agreement between two people merely seeking out a means to an end becomes a potential budding relationship, and when Nelly’s ex re-emerges, a love triangle forms. The reader can really feel for Nelly’s tough decisions in going with what she knows and has known for so long, or attempting to go with something new, that might not be as predictable or safe. Considering her long-standing need for order, there are moments where we are unsure of how this story will end, and with who.

While the ending seemed like it buttoned up a little too nicely for my taste- I think I would have liked to see a little more squirming from certain secondary characters who caused a lot of drama for Nelly- I still enjoyed the entire story, and the discovery of two characters who never really knew each other, or whether they were ever meant to be. Sometimes, life can be like that!

Thanks to Lilly Bartlett for the book in exchange for an honest review.
The Confetti Pact can be purchased here.

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