On The Corner of Love and Hate
by Nina Bocci
Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC. Apologies for the long overdue review…
You guys. I was told A Curse So Dark and Lonely was a slow burn romance. No, no, no, no. On The Corner of Love and Hate is the slowest burn of all the burns. If it had burned any slower, it would have sizzled itself out. Holy. Cow.
This was a romance set in a politically charged world. Our main character, Emma’s, father is the sitting (and soon retiring) Mayor, and her long time best frenemy, Connor, is running for Mayor in the upcoming election. If you don’t like a romance that is centered around workaholics, an office setting, or a political campaign, this may not be your cup of tea. I think the political atmosphere electrified this novel, and pushed these characters to act, or not act, in specific scenarios. It reminds me of Red, White, & Royal Blue only in the sense that that novel also centers around a romance of political figures.
The absolute best thing this novel had going for it, aside from the chemistry, was the support systems Emma had. Her parents were wonderful with her, her neighbor/coworker had her back on the job, and her two other guy friends from birth were the perfect guiding force whenever she needed reassurance.
I felt a lot of different emotions while reading this book. I felt jealous when an ex-girlfriend is introduced, I felt hot and bothered when Emma and Connor were briefly together, and I felt sad at their rather dumb, emotionally stunted reactions to each other. Thankfully, I also felt ecstatic by a happier than happy ending.
Did I mention this was a slow burn? If you’re looking for a novel with smut, this probably isn’t the best choice (with the exception of one scene towards the end). Despite that, I could see myself reading this again one day. I really liked how fleshed out all the characters were, and I loved the setting of this novel.
Set in a small town in Pennsylvania, I could practically see the leaves changing colors and littering the ground around the lake and mountains in the background. Emma loves to ride her bike around town, and those scenes were so picturesque that when I finished this novel I cleaned off my bicycle and took a ride around my own neighborhood (while maintaining proper social distancing measures, of course).