Release Date: March 1st, 2022
CW/TW: mentions of cheating, drug abuse, anxiety and panic attacks
No more men. No more partying. No more risks.
From today, Hazel Jones is a hardworking, focused woman dedicated to a job she hates, true crime documentaries and pizza nights with her bestie.
So, the last thing she needs is to crash head-first into Patrick Healey. He oozes sex appeal and sarcasm in equal measures and is almost enough for her to forget her last soul-destroying break up. Almost.
Hazel knows she should stay away from the distracting man who’s hiding something, but she can’t deny the chemistry simmering between them. It doesn’t take long for her to let Patrick in, even though his life is eerily similar to her favourite crime series.
Patrick pushes Hazel to confront her fears but won’t reveal his own. As tension builds and secrets unravel, Hazel starts to uncover the truth about the mysterious man she’s falling for.
But will she like what she finds?
What an incredible debut by Hannah Smith! Hazy Love is the story of 27 year old Hazel Jones going through the motions following a break-up with her cheating ex, lots of drinking to numb herself and the constant struggle of being unable to do the one thing she wants—art and designing book covers. Told entirely through her perspective, the book features a host of hilarious and entertaining friends, a frustrating boss and job she wants to get out of and most of all, a sexy mysterious stranger who looks so good in suits and has far too many secrets for Hazel’s comfort. With Hannah’s smooth writing and the unique setting of an Australian city (we really need more Australian romances!), Hazy Love was hard to put down!
I loved Hazel—known as Hazy to her friends and Jonesy to her boss—and could relate to her on so many levels. She’s struggling and not even making excuses for it, but after three years in a relationship, she’s finding it hard to move on and move forward. Especially when the guy keeps popping up in weird places she doesn’t expect to see him. Hazel is trying to get her life on track, she’s working hard and consistently doing her job well. But she’s also not okay. While not an alcoholic, Hazel enjoys getting drunk and having a good time. The less she thinks about her struggles, the better it is for her and that becomes a bit of a refrain.
And then there’s Patrick. *happy sigh* While I always wish we could get the hero’s side of the story, this time around I liked the air of mystery that shrouded Patrick from the moment we meet him. He’s suited up, sexy and broody—all the ingredients of a great hero—but he’s also snarky and sarcastic, helpful and frustrated. The banter between Hazel and Patrick is entertaining as all get out, especially since she’s so drunk and he’s so very sober. Their first meeting is both hilarious and slightly cringey—mostly secondhand embarrassment for Hazel because omg girl!—but also so intriguing. You’re drawn into Patrick’s orbit much the way Hazel is and I loved how much I wanted to know about him right away.
Their relationship is interesting too! There’s a lot of push and pull and the banter is still so strong. I loved how they melt into each other slowly, but quickly at the same time. The attraction is there, the desire and lust is coursing through their veins, but they take their time crossing that line and I am all for it. But Patrick’s got secrets! And oh man, I loved all of the unravelling and the coming back together and the constant growling that happens between these two. Just…here for all of it.
I think one of my absolute favourite characters in this book is Kali. Unapologetic, total badass and the babe of all babes, Kali is Hazel’s best friend and an incredible woman. She’s the kind of best friend we all deserve—supportive, there at every turn and just generally fantastic. All I need now in my life is Kali’s story and nothing else matters.
Thanks to Hannah Smith for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.