Mutual Pining & Forced Proximity? I'm in Romance Heaven: Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai

GIRL GONE VIRAL

by Alisha Rai
Series: Modern Love #2
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: April 21st 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷1/2
Amazon - The Book Depository - IndieBound

Alisha Rai has written some of my favorite romance novels. Seriously, if you haven't read her Forbidden Hearts series, you are missing out on so much romantic goodness. While the Modern Love series is a touch different in terms of tone and writing style, it's still one heck of a great series. You've got the signature Alisha Rai romantic elements peppered with the author exploring serious relevant topics affecting all of us. Girl Gone Viral was even better than The Right Swipe for me because there was SO MUCH MUTUAL PINING and I was here for it!

We all remember the mess that was #PlaneBae, right? If not, then ignorance is bliss. Rai's latest book is inspired by that whole saga. While out at a coffee shop, Katrina who is very much of a reclusive woman has a flirty conversation with a fellow patron live-tweeted - a conversation that goes viral. Katrina suffers from severe anxiety as a result of a traumatic past event, so she wants absolutely nothing to do with this fame. To her, it is invasive and a complete violation of her privacy. In an effort to feel safe, she and her sexy bodyguard hide out at his family's secluded peach farm. The two have mutually pined for each other for years but have never acted on their feelings. The close proximity forces Katrina and Jas to learn even more about each other and to explore their undeniable chemistry and longing for each other. What a fantastic concept for a romance, though! Rai does such a wonderful job at showcasing how their relationship slowly (so slowly!) evolves into something wondrous for both of them. They both had their fair share of personal hurdles to overcome, but this new-found romantic relationship forces them to work together towards their happiness. To tell you I was giddy with happiness every time they progressed as a couple would be an understatement. Everything about this book made me swoon and smile!

It helped that both Katrina and Jas were such soft and lovable characters. I wanted to keep them in a protective little bubble with how much I adored them. I loved that they were so alike in personalities too - kindhearted, genuine people that cared about their loved ones, but were also a touch fragmented. As I mentioned, Katrina suffers from severe, at times debilitating anxiety. I thought Alisha touched on the topic very well. Jas suffers from PTSD from his time in the military and it has left him fairly stranded from his family as he isn't ready to open up just yet. Being back on his family's peach farm begins to slowly mend their relationship. I loved each and everyone in his family, especially his grandfather, and the scenes with Jas opening up to him broke my heart. This was a family that loved each other a lot but was perhaps not the best at communicating.  There's also an adorable giant dog that Katrina adopts in this book who will absolutely steal your heart. And I can't forget the amazing friendship between Katrina, Rhiannon, and Jia! I loved them so much!

Girl Gone Viral was exactly what I wanted out of this book. I am so pumped for Jia's book next!

Have you read any books from Alisha Rai? Do you like the forced proximity and mutual pining tropes?
Let me know in the comments below!

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