There are so many wonderful things about the book that I’m not even sure where to start. Basically, the book takes a piece of Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie (another favorite of mine), another of Bridget Jones (especially since the book is set in London)…and then a little something all its own and made a book that I couldn’t put down. I read this 550 page chunkster in one sitting, y’all!
In her recent past, Neve was scary overweight. Like 350+ pounds scary. She has lost a lot of weight and, at the start of the book, is around a size 16. However – it is proving even more difficult for her to see herself differently than it was to lose all those pounds. She still looks in the mirror and sees only saggy/bulgey/gross.
Ever since she was a college gal, her heart has belonged to a guy named William, who is currently in the USA on a 3 year teaching contract. Since she doesn’t have any dating/sexytimes experience, she decides she needs a fake boyfriend to take on a trial run so she’ll be ready for William when he comes home. (Or as she calls it, the first pancake that everyone throws out.) Gorgeous, seemingly-out-of-her-league Max, who works with her sister, ends up becoming the guy through a comedy of errors (really really cringe-worthy and embarrassing errors). Before long, it was hard to see Max as a fake anything (hard for Neve AND hard for me). He is a semi-apologetic man whore, but is otherwise a decent human being.
So, both Max and Neve are very layered and complex characters. Sarra Manning knocked the characterization out of the park; the side characters are also well-developed. This is definitely gonna be one of those books I constantly end up rereading because I’ll want to ‘visit’ the characters.
The plot is also constantly entertaining – Neve and Max together is magic and fireworks. Part of the magic comes from the fact that things aren’t all rosy: they constantly butt heads and have to overcome terribly awkward situations. I promise you – promise you – that you won’t be able to get enough of them.
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me hasn’t been published in the USA, but I was able to get it for next to nothing used on Amazon (I’ll link you below). Definitely well worth it. I can’t recommend this book highly enough – I loved absolutely everything about it and plan on reading Sarra Manning’s other adult novel very soon!