NetGalley Review: “No Rings Attached” by Rachel Lacey

Series: Ms. Right #2

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: April 12th, 2022

Add to Goodreads | Amazon.in (Available on KU)

CW: mentions of infertility and adoption (not the main characters), secondary character with MS, mild scenes of homophobia

Lia Harris is tired of being the odd one out. She’s never quite fit in with her uptight family, and now that her roommates have all found love, she’s starting to feel like a third wheel in her own apartment. Fed up with her mother’s constant meddling in her love life, Lia drops hints about a girlfriend she doesn’t have. But with her brother’s London nuptials approaching, she needs to find a date to save face. Lia turns to her best friend, Rosie, for help, and Rosie delivers—with the fun, gorgeous Grace Poston.

Grace loves to have a good time, hiding her insecurities behind a sunny smile. Her recent move to London has provided her with a much-needed fresh start. Grace isn’t looking for love, and she hates weddings, having weathered more than her fair share of heartache. Friendships are different, though, so for Rosie’s sake, she reluctantly agrees to pose as Lia’s adoring girlfriend for the wedding festivities.

Both Grace and Lia are prepared for an awkward weekend, complete with prying family members and a guest room with only one bed. As it turns out, they get along well—spectacularly, in fact. Before they know it, the chemistry they’re faking feels all too real. But is their wedding weekend a fleeting performance or the rehearsal for a love that’s meant to last?

 

When I read Read Between the Lines late last year, I fell in love with Rachel Lacey’s storytelling and writing style. It’s so different from other romances that I’d been reading and I needed more. And then I saw that we were getting a second book in the Ms. Right series and I was so excited! Because Lia Harris was one of my favourite supporting characters in Read Between the Lines and she deserved her happily ever after too!

While pitched as a ‘fake dating’ romance, No Rings Attached is so much more than that. In fact, the fake dating played a small role, but it was the connection between Lia and Grace that carried the whole book. Known as Rosie’s ‘imaginary friend’, Grace and Lia haven’t ever met before, but when she’s in need of a fake date for her brother’s wedding in her British hometown, Rosie asks Grace to help and so begins this relationship. Lia and Grace could not be more different from each other, but somehow that’s what makes the relationship work.

This book was a great balance between being fun and sexy, and being an emotional rollercoaster. Grace has spent so much of her life carrying around a secret that has weighed her down, it’s affected her decisions and also made her run away from things that might have been perfect for her in the long run. I related to her so much when it came to the way she saw relationships, the pressures people put on her and just life in general. And on the other hand, Lia’s life is a lot simpler and easier, making her the perfect person to provide Grace with support and balance. Their friendship, and later relationship, was so wonderfully crafted. I liked the little things that they did for each other, how they were always there even when they weren’t asked and just simply understood the other person through it all.

“There’s nothing wrong with a person being happily single, if that’s what’s right for them. Grace shouldn’t have to define herself by her relationship status.”

My favourite things about this book were the road trip that Grace and Lia go on as well as all the scenes with their friends. After meeting the gang in Read Between the Lines, I was really happy to see these incredible women again. I love how much they love each other, providing comfort and support through good and bad times. 

It’s an emotional book, because at the heart of it, No Rings Attached is about loving yourself first, giving yourself a chance to be more than what you think you always need to be. It’s about Grace’s journey to not letting the past affect her present or future. It’s about loving someone through their hard times and providing a shoulder to lean on when it’s needed. Grace and Lia’s friendship is the driving force of their relationship and that comes across really nicely in the book.

At times, it felt like the book was dragging even though I did finish it in 24 hours. There were some bits that felt a little repetitive and took me out of the moment temporarily. However, on the whole, Rachel Lacey wrote an incredible book about exploring the different kinds of relationships people can have and an emotional secondary plot that had happy tears rolling down my cheeks first thing in the morning.

Thanks to Montlake and NetGalley for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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