Morgan and Bennett share a one night stand and years later, she walks into the office of her new building and discovers he’ll be her new boss. When they shared their night together, he was reeling from the end of his marriage to a woman who cheated on him after they were unable to fall pregnant. Meanwhile, Morgan was struggling with the end of an engagement after her fiancee cheats on her multiple times with someone she’s close with.
At this new company, Morgan starts a dating app that is tested through her coworkers. She anonymously talks to her match through the app, but things are complicated when she develops feelings for Bennett. There are barriers – Morgan’s brother disapproving – keeping them apart, but the two have a fire between them that they can’t deny any further.
I love Claire Contreras’ writing and stories – and I can’t fault anything to do with her prose this time around. The main downfall of this book for me, personally, was how familiar I was with the plot. It’s reminiscent of two Christina Lauren novels I’ve read in the past: My Favourite Half Night Stand and Beautiful Bastard. The first because it contains a couple that talks to each other on a dating app and one of them is unaware of who they’re talking to and the latter for a boss/employee relationship where their turning point occurs in a hotel after going out of town for business. There’s nothing wrong with having comparisons to other books, but since I’ve read plenty of similar plot lines, I couldn’t enjoy this one to the fullest. In addition, I’m not a fan of the dating app/online discussion trope where there’s a big reveal towards the end that the main couple has been talking on the platform the whole time. It’s literally never been shocking in the slightest. I would’ve liked if the trope was turned on its head and Morgan ended up talking to another person, but it resolves exactly as one would expect. I don’t necessarily need a massive plot twist to blow me away in a book, but I’m not a fan of the predictability. Moreover, I wasn’t interested in the plot and it felt like I had nothing to keep me engaged in the story. It’s quite uneventful until the complication at the end and nothing much happens in the story. I want to reinforce this, though: all of this is a personal preference for books. I believe if I hadn’t experienced many of these plot points in the past, then I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed this even more.
The romance was sweet at times and had so much potential for me to love it. Something I really appreciate about relationships in current romance books is the way they explore authentic issues instead of being clean-cut and fluffy. Bennett experiences infertility issues and I’m struggling to recall whether I’ve read about conception problems from the male’s perspective before. I loved how this was approached throughout the book and they had no trouble stating they wanted to adopt or foster children and possibly try natural conception. I feel like other books that deal with infertile individuals always approach the topic as if adoption or fostering isn’t as valid as giving birth, which has always irked me. Additionally, this book explores drug addiction and a family attempting to reconcile after drugs pushed them apart. I wish the trauma Morgan experienced earlier on in life was elaborated on further and the possible damage it had on her ability to form relationships was explored. However, I liked that the book ended with her mother attempting to atone and the family coming back together again. Regarding Bennett and Morgan’s relationship, it was cute at times, but nothing special. There were a few instances that made me uncomfortable or had me rolling my eyes, such as him stalking her to another state when she didn’t answer his calls or the typical “watch me dance with another girl and get jealous in a club” thing. Otherwise, I have no complaints about the two.
I don’t have much else to say about this book, I just wasn’t its biggest fan. The main issue was my inability to retain any of the information I was reading and feeling like nothing was happening enough to invest me in these characters and their lives.
The Trouble With Love isn’t the book for me, but I can definitely see its merits and why others would enjoy it. Following a couple where one is disillusioned with love and the other craves it, we follow two people with concrete barriers keeping them apart who can’t deny a spark anymore. It’s a romantic, sweet book that also explores plenty of authentic, real-life issues and addresses many problems in some people’s daily lives.