Saturday 24 January 2015

Review ~ Love Bites by Rachel K. Burke.

Title: Love Bites.
Author: Rachel K. Burke.
Publisher: Harper Impulse.
Genre: New Adult.
Publication Date: December 29, 2014.
Source: Netgalley.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

What do you do when you fall in love with your best friend’s boyfriend?

That is the question that twenty-six year-old Justine Sterling has been asking herself ever since the day she met David Whitman, her best friend Renee’s boyfriend. Justine is determined to ignore her growing feelings for the irresistibly charming David, until one night, when she finds herself in the bed of the one person she should stay away from.

When Justine and David’s affair ends in heartbreak, Justine is forced to repair the damaged friendship with her best friend. In doing so, she learns that right and wrong decisions aren’t always black and white, and sometimes you have to follow your heart to see where it leads.

I loved the sound of Love Bites, if maybe for all the wrong reasons. It’s billed as New Adult, so I was expecting quite a lot of angst and drama as the main character fell in love with her best friend’s boyfriend – the type of book I used to read a lot before I was swept up in the contemporary romance genre. So I guess I was a little surprised to find that none of the characters were in the new adult age range and Love Bites was actually a contemporary romance/coming of age novel. Reading the synopsis fully should have given me a clue, since it says Justine is 26, but I didn’t pick up on that and had been expecting something a bit different than what I got. Having said that, I found Love Bites to be a perfectly enjoyable book, a story about friendship and second chances and discovering where you belong. It’s about making mistakes and in turn learning from them and is a wonderfully told book from an author I’d like to read more from.

The story is told in two timeframes, taken back to when Justine meets Renee’s boyfriend David and falls in love, and the present day, where she’s living in the aftermath of the choice she made to betray her best friend. I’ve not read Sound Bites, which I think is Renee’s side of the story, but it was Justine and Renee’s friendship and the impact David took on that which I really enjoyed reading about. Once I’d got used to the switching in time, I liked the format to the story, and seeing the similarities and differences in Justine’s personality, how things had changed for her after David. Love Bites focuses a lot on Justine rebuilding her life and relationships and trying to make better choices. I connected with her character like I would do with a friend, wanting the best for her but also at times wanting to shake her up a bit when she repeats bad mistakes and doesn’t think things through enough. I loved seeing her character grow throughout the novel though and wasn’t quite sure what to expect towards the end, but I enjoyed how things worked out.

The whole premise and concept of Love Bites was captivating, and Rachel K. Burke has a lovely way of writing which keeps me eager to read on. I felt the friendship between Justine and Renee really captured the essence of the story, from the pain and the upset to the lighter, more humorous occasions as both characters’ lives change in a touching way. Their stories were developed well and it was quite unpredictable at times, which was a pleasant surprise. I loved the way Justine begins to learn more about herself and the positive things she’s capable of, how she isn’t just capable of making bad choices and messing up. Whether she was ever going to reach that stage of happiness and contentment is something for you to discover as you read, but Love Bites was for me, a really sweet, uplifting story which shows the importance of learning to respect yourself and how your life doesn’t have to be defined by your mistakes.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon


  1. I'm glad you said it's more than what the blurb says as that would just depress me. Another great review.

    1. Yeah, there's a lot more depth to the story than that, plus it's not the main focus of the book. Thanks Tanya x


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