Joint Review: As You Wish by Elyssa Patrick

Publisher: Self-pub
Where did you get the book: e-arc from author
Release date: Out now

Love doesn’t always follow the sheet music . . .

This Christmas, Portia Jackson needs a miracle to save her family’s generations-old florist shop. What she gets instead is a car that breaks down during a blizzard. Help arrives unexpectedly when the infamous Aubry Riley pulls over. She only expects him to drive her to the gas station . . . she never expects that kiss. But Portia lives in the real world—she knows this is only a holiday fling for Aubry. Except it doesn’t feel so temporary, and the last thing she wants is a broken heart.

Sometimes you have to sing some different notes . . .

Rock star Aubry Riley has no secrets. Thanks to the media, everyone knows about his troubled past. Six years have gone by since his world crashed, and now he’s ready for a comeback. But first he needs to reconcile with his family—starting with his six-year-old daughter. A month-long vacation at a Vermont lake house affords him the perfect opportunity to take a step in the right direction. He doesn’t need any other emotional entanglements, especially not with the bright-eyed florist he can’t stop thinking about. But no matter how hard he tries to resist her, he can’t. Now all he has to do is to convince Portia that there is nothing temporary when it comes to love.

*blurb taken from Goodreads*

Lou: When Elyssa sent this to me for review, I was very excited. Rock star hero in a contemporary romance setting FTW. I first want to mention that Elyssa has got a fantastic author voice. I read a version of the book before it was copy edited, and her writing talent was so evident on the pages. I also want to get this out of the way. After reading so many self-pubbed titles with terrible editing and formatting problems, the author has gone out of her way to make sure this book is up to professional standards. You hear that certain contemporary romance self-pub authors out there?! E.D.I.T.O.R.

Anyways, back to the book. This was a fun romance about a rock star hero who arrived back to a small town to reconnect with his family. Aubry Riley is a rock star who took drugs in his past, and to this day he’s not a very nice person. He doesn’t know how to be a Father to his little girl, and he lost his wife. He’s travelling to his sister’s house to become a family unit again. On his way, he meets Portia whose car has broken down in the snow. Portia and Aubry soon start a flirtation, and soon enough things have become hot and heavy. Portia knows she’s out of her league with Aubry, and Aubry is fascinated with Portia.

First off, I liked Aubry but he’s not a very nice person. Why did I like him then? It’s because he acted messed up without coming off as a goodie two shoes rock star.

Has: I so so so totally agree with you about Elyssa Patrick’s voice, and how engaging and sweet this romance was without any forced angst. And when there was real emotional scenes, it felt organic and the evolution of Aubry and Portia’s romance played out wonderfully. I enjoyed seeing how Aubry’s character developed throughout because he felt so real and authentic. He was not perfect and had real flaws and realising that his past hangups and pain about the lost of his wife and dealing with the aftermath of his addiction freefall and grief really stood out for me.

I really enjoyed his first meeting with Portia who really shines in this book for me, she was very quirky, and cute and a great foil with his surly attitude by keeping him off balance and it made the romance fun and enjoyable, because I could believe that a damaged rock star who is grieving could gain a new chance at love.

Lou: Whilst I lurved the witty banter between Aubry and Portia, I didn’t like how gruff he was with his child. I liked his character archetype , but he’s definitely not a hero that everyone will love. I did have a few problems with the set up of the story, such as Portia not realising she was behind on her mortgage payments. It shouldn’t have come as such a surprise to her. I wanted Portia to sometimes not fall too easily in with Aubry, and I wanted her to be a little more tougher. The love scenes were very smexy, though, and the actual romance was the strength of the book. I wanted more time with the secondary romance because I felt that it was a little sudden with Portia’s brother, Finn, professing his love to Portia’s best friend, Laura.

Has: I understood why he was so gruff and surly, especially with his past and background, but I found that it was refreshing that it was Portia was the one to help crack his walls, but it took his own will and desire to discover the damage he was doing to his own family. I was actually frustrated with Portia’s reasoning at the end to keep their relationship casual when he wanted to make more of a commitment. I found that refreshing that even though he was a rock star hero who had his share of women, he wanted a real relationship and a touchstone to keep him grounded.

And I agree about Portia’s financial problems shouldn’t have taken her by surprise, especially on how long she was running the business. But my main issue was the secondary romance, with Laura and Finn, Portia’s best friend and brother. I actually loved the potential and the set-up for it, but it was was so under-developed and rushed at the end of the book. I was very disappointed on how they came together and realised they were in love so suddenly, which didn’t feel realistic for me and I would have loved that it would have been better developed because the characters were well fleshed out.

Lou: I think As You Wish shows the potential of how great an author Elyssa Patrick can be. There were parts I loved, and other parts that I didn’t, such as the rushed ending and the lack of romance between the secondary characters. I loved the family unit though, and would love to see Gideon get his own story, and see a woman take him down a peg or two. What I also liked was that the author didn’t make Aubry’s deceased wife to be evil or messed up, and that’s a huge plus for me. As You Wish is a fun contemporary romance that shows the potential of a great contemporary romance author, and that excited me. I gave As You Wish a B-

Has: I enjoyed As You Wish, and agree that Elyssa Patrick has a wonderful voice, especially with her characterisation and contemporary romantic tone. I think this would have been a standout book if the secondary romance was well developed and the ending not as rushed also. But I loved the family dynamics, and the core romance, which was rich and fleshed out with quirky and likeable characters. I highly recommend As You Wish because it was a sweet and fulfilling contemporary romance, and I am definitely on board for more books by Elyssa Patrick!

I also give As You Wish a B-

Kindle eBook

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