Publication date : September 11th, 2018
Publisher : Bold Strokes Books
Genre : Adult | Romance
Page Count: 240
Synopsis : Onetime lovers, unexpected rivals…
Emmett McCabe never expected to see Sydney Stevens—a woman with whom she’d shared a brief, incendiary connection before it all went up in flames—again. Luckily, ascending the cutthroat ladder of a high-pressure surgery residency to reach the top spot makes it easy to ignore what’s missing in her life. Then Sydney reappears after nearly five years. Emmett is barely over her shock when she discovers Sydney is her new competition for the coveted chief’s position everyone, including Emmett, expects will be hers.
Professional rivalry and long-simmering passions create a combustible combination when the two are forced to work together, especially when past attractions won’t stay buried. (Goodreads)
*I received an earc of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
I honestly have such a weird history with this book. I never, in my three years of blogging, have forgotten to review a book…until now. I was 100% sure I’d already put up a review for Passionate Rivals, until I checked my blogging schedule and I figured I hadn’t, and by the time I realized that, my arc had already expired to I couldn’t get a quote and hence why there’s none in this post. So, bare with me for this review as I give my brain a mental slap for forgetting.
The writing is quite simple, it does its job of being a vessel through which we experience the story but in and of itself it doesn’t have anything going for it and it came across to me as fairly generic. Which is only my taste, but I think it could work for other people better than it did for me. There were also some medical mistakes that had me cringing especially when one of characters was capping a seringe, WE DON’T CAP USED SERINGES THAT’S DANGEROUS!!! But I feel like people outside the medical field wouldn’t have as much of a hard time with this as I did haha.
Passionate Rivals is mostly written in two POVs with a third one thrown in there, which…was confusing. So, we have both main characters, Emmett ad Syd, right? But THEN, there’s also a third POV from a main character in a previous book in this companion series, and when it comes to companions you’re supposed to be able to read them separately without anything throwing you off, and to me, someone who hasn’t read that first book, having that third POV felt like the randomest thing because I have no information about that story and I’m given the continuation of it. That being said (and yes, eventhough I just ranted about it), this didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book to drastic levels.
This book is the slowest of slow burns, I waited nineteen chapters for them to kiss (more than 70% of the book)!!! NINETEEN! It was agonizing but I enjoyed every second of it. This plays on one of my favourite tropes which is second chance romance and I lived for it, especially with all the angst, and Syd having issuesTM that got in the way. I gotta say though, that the angst got too much at time and was quite frustrating, it was a lot of flip-flopping, on Syd’s part and we have no idea why she does what she does until the end of the book, and even then I wasn’t 100% sold on it. It just all felt a tad too dramatic for what the backstory actually was.
I did like both girls though, they have distinct voices and I knew who’s perspective I was reading from no matter what and where in the book I was. Emmett is a natural leader, ambitious, driven and doesn’t want to be tied down, she has hook up after hook up and a friends with benefits situation (that never turns into anything else!!!) with her best friend at the start of the book. But then Syd shows up, the one woman she’s even considered breaking her rules for in the past and she starts questionning everything again. Syd is all of those things as well but softer, a little bit mored jaded and wary because of the issues I talked about above so she keeps her distance. Mostly.
Because truth is, Syd can’t resist her feelings for Emmett either so she keeps getting close, getting scared and running away again, which, if I was Emmett, I would Not Be Happy about. But it’s all understandable in hindsight. Kind of. What I appreciated most is that Emmett always respected Syd’s boundaries even with all the maddening back and forth, she gave Sydney the space she needed without ever giving up on her, letting her make the first steps whenever she felt comfortable doing so and never chasing after her when she scurries away, while still making sure to let her know that she will be there waiting. And that eventually pays off (duh).
One aspect of this book that I really loved is that something that started as intense resident rivalry between Emmett’s friends and Syd’s has turned into a tight knit group of friends who form a sort of unconventional but very heartwarming family.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Passionate Rivals? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.