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The View Was Exhausting

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Faking a love story is a whole lot easier than being in love . . . The world can see that international A-list actress Whitman ("Win") Tagore and jet-setting playboy Leo Milanowski are made for each other. Their kisses start Twitter trends and their fights break the internet. From red carpet appearances to Met Gala mishaps, their on-again, off-again romance has titillated t Faking a love story is a whole lot easier than being in love . . . The world can see that international A-list actress Whitman ("Win") Tagore and jet-setting playboy Leo Milanowski are made for each other. Their kisses start Twitter trends and their fights break the internet. From red carpet appearances to Met Gala mishaps, their on-again, off-again romance has titillated the public and the press for almost a decade. But it's all a lie. As a woman of color, Win knows the Hollywood deck is stacked against her, so she's perfected the art of controlling her public persona. Whenever she nears scandal, she calls in Leo, with his endearingly reckless attitude, for a staged date. Each public display of affection shifts the headlines back in Win's favor, and Leo uses the good press to draw attention away from his dysfunctional family. Pretending to be in a passionate romance is one thing, but Win knows that a real relationship would lead to nothing but trouble. So instead they settle for friendship, with a side of sky-rocketing chemistry. Except this time, on the French Riviera, something is off. A shocking secret in Leo's past sets Win's personal and professional lives on a catastrophic collision course. Behind the scenes of their yacht-trips and PDA, the world's favorite couple is at each other's throats. Now they must finally confront the many truths and lies of their relationship, and Win is forced to consider what is more important: a rising career, or a risky shot at real love? The View Was Exhausting is a funny, wickedly observant modern love story set against the backdrop of exotic locales and the realities of being a woman of color in a world run by men.


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Faking a love story is a whole lot easier than being in love . . . The world can see that international A-list actress Whitman ("Win") Tagore and jet-setting playboy Leo Milanowski are made for each other. Their kisses start Twitter trends and their fights break the internet. From red carpet appearances to Met Gala mishaps, their on-again, off-again romance has titillated t Faking a love story is a whole lot easier than being in love . . . The world can see that international A-list actress Whitman ("Win") Tagore and jet-setting playboy Leo Milanowski are made for each other. Their kisses start Twitter trends and their fights break the internet. From red carpet appearances to Met Gala mishaps, their on-again, off-again romance has titillated the public and the press for almost a decade. But it's all a lie. As a woman of color, Win knows the Hollywood deck is stacked against her, so she's perfected the art of controlling her public persona. Whenever she nears scandal, she calls in Leo, with his endearingly reckless attitude, for a staged date. Each public display of affection shifts the headlines back in Win's favor, and Leo uses the good press to draw attention away from his dysfunctional family. Pretending to be in a passionate romance is one thing, but Win knows that a real relationship would lead to nothing but trouble. So instead they settle for friendship, with a side of sky-rocketing chemistry. Except this time, on the French Riviera, something is off. A shocking secret in Leo's past sets Win's personal and professional lives on a catastrophic collision course. Behind the scenes of their yacht-trips and PDA, the world's favorite couple is at each other's throats. Now they must finally confront the many truths and lies of their relationship, and Win is forced to consider what is more important: a rising career, or a risky shot at real love? The View Was Exhausting is a funny, wickedly observant modern love story set against the backdrop of exotic locales and the realities of being a woman of color in a world run by men.

30 review for The View Was Exhausting

  1. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Jenkins Reid

    The public and press cannot get enough of international stars Win and Leo’s relationship. The couple’s ups and downs have been center stage for nearly a decade with no end in sight. But Win and Leo each have their own secrets, including the biggest one of all: their relationship is just for show. I devoured this one.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I completely loved this. So much tension, angst, humor, and atmosphere, and stellar writing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    booksandzoe

    This book was STUNNING! Fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid are sure to love this Hollywood love story following Bristish-Indian actress Whitman Tagore's journey of being a woman of color in the industry, as well as her torrid fake romance with Leo Milanowski. Whitman Tagore is seen as a control freak by those who know her best. And perhaps she is, however she *has* to be, because one crinkle in her public reputation may very well lead to the end of her career. Set in our modern universe, Hollywood has This book was STUNNING! Fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid are sure to love this Hollywood love story following Bristish-Indian actress Whitman Tagore's journey of being a woman of color in the industry, as well as her torrid fake romance with Leo Milanowski. Whitman Tagore is seen as a control freak by those who know her best. And perhaps she is, however she *has* to be, because one crinkle in her public reputation may very well lead to the end of her career. Set in our modern universe, Hollywood has a gross lack of Desi actresses, and Win can't risk her fragile place among Hollywood royalty. Enter Leo Milanowski. Anytime Whitman's public reputation needs tweaking or fixing, Leo swoops in to publicly woo her. This decade-long on again/off again public romance has ensnared the press and public back to her good side. In reality, Win and Leo have settled on being good friends. But When Leo reveals a secret that could change everything, Win must re-evaluate his role in her life, and work to find ways of managing her reputation on her own; however is this fight worth giving up her shot at true love? The way the authors write Whitman with such complexities, intricacies, development, and care really makes this book shine. Whitman is such a 3-dimensional, multi-faceted character in a way that I rarely see women being written, which I adored about this novel. Whitman's relationship to Leo is written with *such* strong chemistry; you will fully believe in their love for each other!! I was constantly rooting for them, even when I wasn't, which made this relationship /so/ special. I strongly, strongly recommend this book to anybody who likes reading about famous people, realistic Hollywood pairings, and dynamic representations of race and feminism, particularly amongst Hollywood.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Olivie Blake

    There were times while reading that I felt things were moving quite slowly, almost at a literary pace, and while I didn't really mind it—the writing quality is very, very high, not just for a contemporary romance debut but in general—I did find myself surprised by the pacing. The cover and pitch sells a quick, light-hearted beach read, but the book itself is an interesting exploration of race and gender within the microcosm of celebrity. After all, take away the glamor and the romance and what y There were times while reading that I felt things were moving quite slowly, almost at a literary pace, and while I didn't really mind it—the writing quality is very, very high, not just for a contemporary romance debut but in general—I did find myself surprised by the pacing. The cover and pitch sells a quick, light-hearted beach read, but the book itself is an interesting exploration of race and gender within the microcosm of celebrity. After all, take away the glamor and the romance and what you're left with is a woman of color struggling to maintain a career that would be far easier if she were white, or a man, or ideally a white man. Full review here: https://olivieblake.tumblr.com/post/6...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kas

    first read: im a leowin shooter second read: leowin are everything to me

  6. 5 out of 5

    LianaReads blog

    4.5 stars If you’re looking for something great to get yourself lost for a few hours, this is definitely the book for you. I loved it. From the characters and settings, the writing and how atmospheric and reliable everything was in the book, it surely makes for a must-read beautiful romance story that many people will enjoy this year. And there’s so much more than the eye cam met in here. A fake relationship with great banter and interesting scenes, a love that blooms big by bit and grows to bec 4.5 stars If you’re looking for something great to get yourself lost for a few hours, this is definitely the book for you. I loved it. From the characters and settings, the writing and how atmospheric and reliable everything was in the book, it surely makes for a must-read beautiful romance story that many people will enjoy this year. And there’s so much more than the eye cam met in here. A fake relationship with great banter and interesting scenes, a love that blooms big by bit and grows to become one of the most beautiful nowadays romance, everything adds up to a perfect read. So yes, that’s all I can say, a must-read novel of the year.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/... Reading a collaborative novel, I have always been curious about how the writers agree on plot direction and character development. It’s an interesting method of writing a novel and I can only imagine the creative differences that may surface along the way! However, this offering from Clements and Datta is an interesting drama that raises many thought-provoking issues in the media-obsessed society that we live in today. For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/... Reading a collaborative novel, I have always been curious about how the writers agree on plot direction and character development. It’s an interesting method of writing a novel and I can only imagine the creative differences that may surface along the way! However, this offering from Clements and Datta is an interesting drama that raises many thought-provoking issues in the media-obsessed society that we live in today.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    When Taylor Jenkins Reid calls a book “a pure delight,” you listen. Boy, did I love this romantic, soapy story of a couple whose on-again, off-again relationship keeps the public utterly captivated! “The world thought Win had the perfect love story with the perfect man, passionate and devoted, always breathless, always in the honeymoon stage, stormy and on-again, off-again but still that strange, magical thing: true love. But Win had something better than that. She had a friend, and a secret.” Whi When Taylor Jenkins Reid calls a book “a pure delight,” you listen. Boy, did I love this romantic, soapy story of a couple whose on-again, off-again relationship keeps the public utterly captivated! “The world thought Win had the perfect love story with the perfect man, passionate and devoted, always breathless, always in the honeymoon stage, stormy and on-again, off-again but still that strange, magical thing: true love. But Win had something better than that. She had a friend, and a secret.” Whitman “Win” Tagore is a beautiful British Indian actress whose talent is mesmerizing. She burst on the scene as a teenager and has had a successful career, but hasn’t quite reached the heights she deserves because the film industry has impossible expectations for an actress of color. Sometimes the stress gets to her and publicity turns against her. And that’s when she turns to Leo Milanowski, the playboy heir to a hotel fortune, who at times is followed by his own cloud of trouble and ennui. The two have been romantically linked numerous times, and whenever they’re together their romance lifts both of them out of whatever scandal either faces and distracts the public into buying into their love story. But while their romance is for show, there’s no denying the pull they feel for one another. And when Leo finds himself in the midst of a real scandal it threatens to undo everything—and it forces them to realize what’s real and what’s for show. I thought The View Was Exhausting was just excellent. I love “Hollywood” novels even if this didn’t take place in Hollywood, and I thought it raised some interesting discussion about racism in the film industry. I was utterly captivated from start to finish! Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  9. 5 out of 5

    mansi

    The View Was Exhausting follows Hollywood upcomer Whitman ‘Win’ Tagore and Leo Milanowski’s mutually beneficial friends-with-benefits fake dating on-off relationship. They rely on each other as the big guns when things inevitably go awry in their lives and they need a boost of some good publicity. Off the bat, what I liked about the book was the way it attempts to address Indian actors and actresses in Hollywood. I grew up rarely seeing anyone who looked like me on the screen, and if I did, it w The View Was Exhausting follows Hollywood upcomer Whitman ‘Win’ Tagore and Leo Milanowski’s mutually beneficial friends-with-benefits fake dating on-off relationship. They rely on each other as the big guns when things inevitably go awry in their lives and they need a boost of some good publicity. Off the bat, what I liked about the book was the way it attempts to address Indian actors and actresses in Hollywood. I grew up rarely seeing anyone who looked like me on the screen, and if I did, it was some sort of a caricature of a person, an exemplification of all the Indian stereotypes (think, taxi driver or a super computer nerd, or gas station owner or whatever) There was specifically a line that made me realize, ‘If the one actor/actress fails, its seen as representative for the rest of the community, and there won’t be another chance taken on the community for a while longer” which stuck with me and I think was a good point to have made, when looking at careers of other indians, the first coming to mind being Priyanka Chopra. A book can be interesting and still have nothing to say and I found this to be true for this book. I loved Leo and Win’s relationship, I thought they had real chemistry and knew they were doomed from the start. As a part of an Indian diaspora I also understood the hardships Win faced, I felt her as an interesting character, icy and cold and aloof at times but also warm and real and caring and I felt captivated by her. However, overall I felt the book lacked a lot of substance. I found myself saying ‘so-what’ fairly often. I don’t really think a lot of character development occurred, I found a lot of the plot to be monotonous. Leo’s brother’s character didn’t feel fully fleshed out either. To me, it felt unfinished. Plotlines were wrapped in a quick sort of manner that I’d maybe have preferred to be drawn out, or eliminated entirely. In the words of a friend, it felt like nothing happened and then something happened but at the same time nothing was happening. (edited) changing to 2.5 stars from 3 because while I did find myself enjoying the storyline, and respected the attempt for diversity/inclusion, there were definitely things I would change and i would be hesitant to recommend

  10. 4 out of 5

    k.

    wow

  11. 5 out of 5

    маја

    4.5* i can't formulate coherent thoughts 4.5* i can't formulate coherent thoughts

  12. 5 out of 5

    lau

    "you're gold dust, i swear to god." leowin i love you "you're gold dust, i swear to god." leowin i love you

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    Fun? Heck yeah!! I devoured it. It’s blurbed by Taylor Jenkins Reid and Emily Henry, so of course, I had to see what all the fuss was about. Rightly so, as I had so much fun reading this. And it’s a brand new debut, no less. It’s about Whitman (Win), she’s named for Walt Whitman - a British Indian international starlet, and Leo - the playboy son of a millionaire hotel mogul and reclusive ex-supermodel. Leo’s a famous NYC/UK jet-setter rarely seen without a cluster of socialites around him. Unles Fun? Heck yeah!! I devoured it. It’s blurbed by Taylor Jenkins Reid and Emily Henry, so of course, I had to see what all the fuss was about. Rightly so, as I had so much fun reading this. And it’s a brand new debut, no less. It’s about Whitman (Win), she’s named for Walt Whitman - a British Indian international starlet, and Leo - the playboy son of a millionaire hotel mogul and reclusive ex-supermodel. Leo’s a famous NYC/UK jet-setter rarely seen without a cluster of socialites around him. Unless he’s with Win, obviously. For almost a decade, the public, press and paparazzi can’t get enough of their relationship. What they don’t know is their romance is staged. BUT is it really all for show? The authors show the barriers for women of color to achieve success in Hollywood—Win, being one of few headlining starlets of color, has worked nonstop to break that barrier in the industry. Leo’s family is dysfunctional, and what he feels for Win, she wants nothing to do with. And for years he hasn’t decided where to open his art studio. He’s stuck in a rut. Several twists (or I should say, secrets revealed) put Win and Leo’s friendship on pause, and has Win scrambling for cover. She finds refuge back home in the UK with her mother. My favorite character is Win’s bestfriend Shift—always putting her two-cents in, always telling it like it is, and yes, even calling Win’s staged romance “a stupid platonic publicity thing.” She keeps it real. Win needs that. This tale of Win and Leo’s relationship is quite refreshing and unique. Am truly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aoife McMenamin

    1.5 ⭐️ Well, I think we can say definitively that the millennial romance genre is not my thing. Honestly, this book was exhausting. Recommended by Taylor Jenkins Reid, billed as a hot summer read, a booktok sensation and written by a married couple which can be an interesting angle, this was flat as a pancake. Whitman and Leo are a hot famous power couple, she’s a British Indian Hollywood superstar, he’s an IT boy and heir to a fortune with model good looks. They’re not a real couple though - the 1.5 ⭐️ Well, I think we can say definitively that the millennial romance genre is not my thing. Honestly, this book was exhausting. Recommended by Taylor Jenkins Reid, billed as a hot summer read, a booktok sensation and written by a married couple which can be an interesting angle, this was flat as a pancake. Whitman and Leo are a hot famous power couple, she’s a British Indian Hollywood superstar, he’s an IT boy and heir to a fortune with model good looks. They’re not a real couple though - their romance is fake and one of convenience for them both to keep the press at bay. You can predict the rest - suddenly they realise they have feelings for each other, but the road to romance is full of potholes. This had a promising first 50 pages with some smart writing. Unfortunately, it then tanked. The relationship between the couple was ridiculous with them having the same tedious argument for 300+ pages. Good representation with a British Indian main character in Whitman, but she was so beyond dislikeable, it bordered on parody at times. Also, what’s with all the smoking? Great cover though.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Farheen

    Win and Leo were interesting in the beginning but it went downhill for me around the 50% mark, after Leo's big secret was revealed. I was still processing that and then it got boring. I think I would've  liked it more if they didn't have the same arguements over and over again. Win did get on my nerves a bit in the last few chapters. The book felt dragged. The ending was cute but I wish there was more than that, something from their povs at least. Win and Leo were interesting in the beginning but it went downhill for me around the 50% mark, after Leo's big secret was revealed. I was still processing that and then it got boring. I think I would've  liked it more if they didn't have the same arguements over and over again. Win did get on my nerves a bit in the last few chapters. The book felt dragged. The ending was cute but I wish there was more than that, something from their povs at least.

  16. 5 out of 5

    m.

    LEOWIN ARE PERFECT

  17. 4 out of 5

    jay

    leowin i owe you my life

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The View Was Exhausting is written by a married couple as co-authors. The tag line "Faking a love story is a whole lot easier than being in love..." had me initially intrigued. Win is a British Indian Hollywood starlet who feels tremendous pressure to help pave the way for other young women of color in the industry. Leo is well known because of his family name but he has his own artistic passions. Win and Leo decide that they can be good for one another's images and decide to fake being a coupl The View Was Exhausting is written by a married couple as co-authors. The tag line "Faking a love story is a whole lot easier than being in love..." had me initially intrigued. Win is a British Indian Hollywood starlet who feels tremendous pressure to help pave the way for other young women of color in the industry. Leo is well known because of his family name but he has his own artistic passions. Win and Leo decide that they can be good for one another's images and decide to fake being a couple thus setting the tabloid headlines on fire! Faux couple or not, I was all in on Win and Leo. He supported her big Hollywood ambitions and believed in her before she made it "big," as we learn from the references made to their first encounter seven years ago. Now, as she is experiencing/managing the fallout of another relationship gone south, Leo is there again to help her move on and maintain a certain image in the press......being Whitman Tagore is a full-time job after all! Being there for one another over the years has started to blur the lines of their "relationship." Their story evolves into the "friends to lovers" romance trope and though that particular trope is not my personal favorite, I think it worked well here! I enjoyed the commentary/insights into the celebrity world and the pressure Win felt to be perfect, act a certain way, say this but not that....you know, all of those unofficial guidelines designed to help make someone a starlet and stay one. The direct discussions about the issues women of color face in the industry, the standards they are held to, the constant scrutiny they are under.....all of that had a place in this book and for me helped to elevate the story. Leo's unintentional ignorance of what it's like for Win in the industry was handled well and I felt for them both during those dialog sections. To me the book worked best when they were together. My review for this book is based on an ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley; all opinions I express are wholly my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    amanda

    leowin came to save 2021 and they did.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kate Olson

    Sigh. Sometimes this BOOK was exhausting. When I keep speeding up an audiobook so it will just end, that means I’m getting bored ~ and I got this one up to 1.5x which is super fast for me. The narration however was excellent and the reason why I stuck with it. I was frustrated with Win for the entire story and loved Leo so much. I feel like I *could* have loved this book if I hadn’t been so annoyed with Win. Honestly, my favorite part of the book was the epilogue in which the Win I wanted her to Sigh. Sometimes this BOOK was exhausting. When I keep speeding up an audiobook so it will just end, that means I’m getting bored ~ and I got this one up to 1.5x which is super fast for me. The narration however was excellent and the reason why I stuck with it. I was frustrated with Win for the entire story and loved Leo so much. I feel like I *could* have loved this book if I hadn’t been so annoyed with Win. Honestly, my favorite part of the book was the epilogue in which the Win I wanted her to be was finally realized. This was definitely a hit for some people, just a so so story for me. Came for the hope of a good book, stayed for the narration.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jane Healey

    “Somewhere along the line, the kisses started to linger. They began to take on an unscripted quality. Win told herself she was taking the initiative. She was an actor, getting into character. She let herself look longer and longer at Leo, the width of his shoulders, his big hands, the secretive curve of his mouth. Whenever she looked at him, he was always looking back at her.” The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements & Onjuli Datta is *utterly* delightful, the Hollywood fake dating romance o “Somewhere along the line, the kisses started to linger. They began to take on an unscripted quality. Win told herself she was taking the initiative. She was an actor, getting into character. She let herself look longer and longer at Leo, the width of his shoulders, his big hands, the secretive curve of his mouth. Whenever she looked at him, he was always looking back at her.” The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements & Onjuli Datta is *utterly* delightful, the Hollywood fake dating romance of my dreams ❤️ A glittering, swoon-worthy love story that’s also about the intersections of power, representation, fame and privilege. It’s funny and warm and gorgeously written, and I’m calling it now as the beach read of the summer (or, if we’re all stuck inside, the escapist read of the summer, because reading this I was totally swept away)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I don't even know what to really rate this book - all I know is that I hated it. It's a book cub pick, and I ALWAYS commit to my book club reads - I never back out on those. I first got 20% into it while I was reading it while I was in the hospital and couldn't get into but thought "hey, I'm in the hospital - maybe I'm just not in the right place, let me pick it up again." So I literally started all the way over and got to 40% the second time and was like "nah, this is just a bad book." I just d I don't even know what to really rate this book - all I know is that I hated it. It's a book cub pick, and I ALWAYS commit to my book club reads - I never back out on those. I first got 20% into it while I was reading it while I was in the hospital and couldn't get into but thought "hey, I'm in the hospital - maybe I'm just not in the right place, let me pick it up again." So I literally started all the way over and got to 40% the second time and was like "nah, this is just a bad book." I just don't understand the purpose? Nothing happened?? I have seen that it's supposed to give Evelyn Hugo vibes and let me tell you dear sir, it did not. Is there a celebrity? Yes. But that's about it. It was just dreadfully boring, and reading the book was exhausting for me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    cossette

    buddy read with bie & mansi my beloveds 💕 unsure if this is a 3, 3.5 or a 4 star… will have to think about this more

  24. 4 out of 5

    layla

    leowin you are everything to me

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elena

    luv books about rich people but these specific ones STRESSED ME OUT also i had no idea "juddered" had made it mainstream. god. look at her go. luv books about rich people but these specific ones STRESSED ME OUT also i had no idea "juddered" had made it mainstream. god. look at her go.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Lester

    I was completely immersed in this book almost immediately and loved the imperfect, real characters at the heart of the story. Throw in the French Riviera and Hollywood and it was quite the addictive read!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Flat characters and flat romance. Thank you Grand Central Publishing for my gifted review copy!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anjitha

    I really had high hopes about this one but unfortunately was not up to my expectations, read halfway through the book and couldn't connect at all neither with characters nor story but maybe will pick it up in the future. I really had high hopes about this one but unfortunately was not up to my expectations, read halfway through the book and couldn't connect at all neither with characters nor story but maybe will pick it up in the future.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Booksandchinooks (Laurie)

    I loved this book! It is about a romance but so much more. Whitman and Leo have been fake dating for the paparazzi and fans for many years. Whenever Win (an actress) needs to look like she is happy and in love she calls on playboy Leo to help her out. In the beginning it is just fun but as time goes on they develop deeper feelings for each other. Win is completely about her career and her public persona. Being a woman of colour in Hollywood is not something easy to navigate when you want to be a I loved this book! It is about a romance but so much more. Whitman and Leo have been fake dating for the paparazzi and fans for many years. Whenever Win (an actress) needs to look like she is happy and in love she calls on playboy Leo to help her out. In the beginning it is just fun but as time goes on they develop deeper feelings for each other. Win is completely about her career and her public persona. Being a woman of colour in Hollywood is not something easy to navigate when you want to be at the top. Win is solely focused on her career and lets the rest of her life pass by until she starts to have second thoughts. This book was one I couldn’t put down. Both of the main characters were compelling with their charms and their flaws. This story really intrigued me and I loved the writing. This is another one I’m recommending for your TBR.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    A lot of glitz and glam but still with heart and interesting commentary on race and feminism. This was perfectly fine without being great which makes it the hardest kind of book to talk about. I’m not particularly interested in the cult of celebrity and although I enjoyed the familiar fake to real romance trope I wasn’t fully invested in Win and Leo as a couple.

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