Hot Copy by Ruby Barrett

Monday, April 12, 2021

by Ruby Barrett
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: April 13th 2021
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷

I love a good office romance and Ruby Barrett's teasers from this book had me hyped to read Hot Copy. It ended up being a really great debut and possibly one of the most realistic office romances I've read. I found it to be emotional, tense, and achingly romantic.

Hot Copy tells the story of Wes and Corrine, two characters dealing with a lot of grief in their own ways. I've said this before but I have a soft spot for characters who have an icy exterior, particularly when they are the protagonists. Corrine here certainly has a hard shell and is, at times, a tough nut to crack. She has this reputation at her office of being unapproachable and has even been given a crude and really gross nickname behind her back just because she is assertive. So obviously, I found Corrine to be endearing. One of my favorite parts about Hot Copy was watching her open up about her feelings and her vulnerabilities. And she grows a lot! She maintains her values and doesn't abide by anybody else's nonsense, but she learns to open up about herself to the right person. That right person happens to be her new intern, Wesley. Oh, how I adored this soft, cinnamon roll boy. Wes has this gentle energy to him that instantly made him likable. He is still reeling from the passing of his mother and is still dealing with that grief. You kind of just want to give the man a hug and tell him that everything will be alright. The way he treats Corrine with nothing but respect despite knowing her reputation makes him ridiculously attractive.

While I think most readers will have no issue with Corrine and Wes as characters, I do think that their romance might not be for everyone given the power dynamic of a boss and her intern. I personally thought that the author challenges that power dynamic in the text well, but I can see that others' opinions might differ. The romance worked for me because both Corrine and Wes acknowledge that what they are doing is questionable and won't be viewed kindly by others. Yet they can't entirely resist the connection that they obviously share with each other. It definitely starts off sexual in nature but evolves into something much deeper. It's really a story of two people finding peace and comfort with each other in the midst of grappling with their grief. It's a sweet, very steamy, and sometimes angsty romance that clicked with me. I believed in them as a couple and though they had a lot to overcome, I knew they would eventually get there.

If you like your romance books with a bit of a sad tone to them (don't worry there's a HEA), you'll like Hot Copy a lot. It reminded me a lot of the 2012s-2015s contemporary romance novels with its style and I've been really missing that so Hot Copy ended up hitting all the right notes for me. Ruby Barrett is a fantastic writer and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

CWs: death of a parent, cancer diagnosis, workplace sexual harassment

Relationship disclosure: Ruby Barrett and I are mutuals on social media.

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