Review: “The Fiction Between Us” by Julie Olivia

Series: Honeywood #2

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: September 22nd, 2022

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

CW: mentions of bullying (past), character with depression

Some fairytales may be real, but ours is strictly fiction.

I’ve been Queen Bee at our theme park for ten glorious, uncomplicated years. I’m far better at creating fictional magic than real life miracles. So when Landon Arden, my best friend’s twin brother and my old high school bully, starts to work at Honeywood, I’m wishing for some gift from above to fix this mess.

Cue a worse situation.

After Landon falls on stage during one of our shows, the guests mistake him for a character in the park: Ranger Randy.

The problem isn’t when our manager asks him to perform as the bearded, tight tush, short shorts-wearing hero. No, my fairytale comes crashing down when we’re told that Queen Bee and Ranger Randy must appear as a couple.

Fine. Whatever. Ten years ago, my teenage crush for Landon may have been real, but I can fake a happy ending with Ranger Randy. I can sign autographs with him, have his arm around my waist, hold his hand, and… kiss him on stage?

I tell myself it’s all for show. We’re just characters in a theme park. And I won’t fall for true love’s kiss, even if I do want to try it one more time…

 

There’s just something about Julie Olivia’s stories that make me feel all warm and fuzzy. And with her new Honeywood series, it’s constant warm and fuzzies and I am all about it. With this second book in the series of standalones, we’re treated to some very special tropes and some very special characters. I can’t even begin to express just how wonderful these characters were! Everyone from Quinn and Landon to Honey and see Lorelei and Emory again, plus all of the hints of books and romances to come!

In The Fiction Between Us, you’ll enjoy:

✨ frenemies to lovers

✨ ALL THE GIGGLES!

✨ best friend’s (twin) brother

✨ the best group of friends

✨ so much pining!

✨ a dimpled redheaded hero in really tight shorts

✨ food as a love language

✨ faking it till we make it!

✨ swoony kisses

✨ the most wonderful heroine ever (she’s also a queen!)

✨ also, a sloooooow burn

“She’s more than intoxicating. She’s fire licking across my nerves, a venom in my heart, a glass shard stuck in the depths of me that I’ll never be able to dig out.”

From the cover to the blurb, this book called to me desperately and I am so glad I was able to get an ARC, because reading this in a few hours was enough to bring some joy into my life. Quinn and Landon are so amazing, together and apart. Like with all slow burn romances, I waited for them to kiss or touch or do just about anything, and when they did, it felt so magical. Ha, pun intended. But it’s their history and the way they move around each other that really drives the story. I’m always so sceptical about romances where one character is love with the other, but they both behave like idiots through the whole book. But Julie didn’t make me feel that way here. Especially because there’s just so much to unpack for Quinn and Landon and I appreciated going on the journey with them.

As the twin of her best friend, Landon was once the object of Quinn’s affection. She loved him in the way teenagers love someone and even added his name to her diary a few times. But when that diary lands in the wrong hands and she’s bullied quite terribly in high school, Quinn shuts Landon down. She doesn’t have time for patience for him, and her teenage crush fizzles out into nothing as she finds her own purpose. For Landon, Quinn’s always been the only woman he sees. He’s never been able to find someone who fits his life the way she does. So when he comes to Georgia and gets a job working security at Honeywood, the two of them have to deal with so much more than their teenage feelings.

“You are my undoing, Quinn Sauer.” 

“And you are full of shit, Landon Arden.”

Their chemistry, the banter, the sexual tension! Julie built that up so nicely that by the time they shared their first kiss, I was a bucket of swoon. But seriously, that first kiss (and every single one after) was so beautiful. I don’t always get caught up in kisses when I’m reading romances, but these two really got my attention. I think some of my favourite scenes between Quinn and Landon were when they were ‘running lines’. I put quotation marks not because they get naughty, but because it’s so much more than just reading a script for their performance. Those moments were soft and special in all of the very subtle ways. It really showed how their trust was built and how the two of them found their way back to each other.

While not as steamy as the first book, the thing that really worked for me in The Fiction Between Us was just how well matched Quinn and Landon were. Her sarcasm meets his cool facade and they just work. Also, let’s not forget Honey and Landon’s banter and relationship, because that added a whole other level to this story that I did not see coming!

Thanks to Julie Olivia for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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