Review: Love Coupon by Ainslie Paton


Title: The Love Coupon (Stubborn Hearts #2)
Author: Ainslie Paton 
Genre: Contemporary romance, Roommates 

Release Date: 2 Oct 2017 

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My rating: 3 Stars


How many coupons does it take to fall in love?

Flick Dalgetty knows what she wants and how to get it, which is why she’s about to start her dream job in Washington. Until then, she needs somewhere to crash, and Tom O’Connell’s place is her sole option. He’s a repressed, antisocial ogre…but man can he kiss.

For Tom, being around Flick is like being too close to the sun. Her untamed energy is overwhelming, and he’d spontaneously combust if he had to live with her long-term. Housemates with benefits—and an expiration date—suits him just fine. 

Then Flick gives Tom thirty coupons, each entitling him to one obligation-free activity, from bowling and bubble-bathing to morning delight, removing all the guesswork from being incompatible partners and shifting their fling into high gear.

Now the problem is their arrangement is drawing to a close, and they might be falling in love—and there wasn’t a coupon for that. 


I loved the first book in the series and after a somewhat shaky start and ended up enjoying this one  too.

It's a forced proximity, opposites attract kind of romance. She is impulsive, messy and a whirlwind of emotions while he is restrained, reserved, a stickler for order and planning.

It was she who took all the initiative - pushed to become his roommate, then offered a roommates with benefits type of arrangement. Flick leaving for a job of her dreams in two months and Tom having professional plan firmly set where he is, put an expiration date on their affair. And while they were fine with it initially, slowly both get to want more from each other

My main issue is that I felt she was too pushy at the beginning,  and while I do see how it was a game they both willingly played, still it made me uncomfortable at times, her insistence for him to let go emotionally and physically when they were together might have been what he needed but I also read it as she knew better than him what would make him happy, it appeared like she was ignoring his limits, the restraints he had imposed on himself. I think his consent in a couple of sexual situation early in their relationship was not as explicit and clear as it should have been and this put me on edge.

I quite liked Tom, he was caring, and considerate. He followed the rules and expected the others to do so too but in his personal and in his professional life. Becoming a bit more spontaneous, adaptive to changing circumstances was god for him in the end though I'm not fully convinced Flick's approach to this was the right one.

In a way they both helped each other become better - he taught her a much needed control and distance in her relationship with her family, while she showed him it's ok to trust your heart and not have everything planned.

The  coupon game was fun but it did come a bit late in the story, after 50%. It gave them the safe distance to work through their feelings and allowed them to really get to know each other and fall in love.

The ending was sweet and very romantic but a bit rushed and I felt it was slightly out of character for them both. I have no doubt is was the right decision and a well deserved HEA but I wanted it to be  more fitting to their personalities as I saw them in the rest of the story. I would have loved an epilogue showing them after a couple of months living together.

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

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