Romance Your Enemy with Pop Culture and a Dash of Snark

I’ve been a Bethany Turner fan since I read The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck in May 2020 and sent Ms Turner a gushing (and borderline TMI) email about how much I loved her book and engaging writing style.

If you enjoy edgy Christian fiction, which deals with some uncomfortable real-life “taboo” issues, I highly recommend the aforementioned novel. But I digress.

Ms Turner released her latest romantic comedy, Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other, on Tuesday, and I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy.

Isn’t it a fabulous title for a love story? (The Dedication at the beginning of the book is fabulous too. 🤣)

This enemies-to-lovers romance amused me from the first chapter when stuck-up city snob Brynn Cornell, beloved girl-next-door morning-show host, delivered several awkward performances on and off camera, kick-starting her journey home in a fun, cringeworthy and snarky way.

Brynn landed in small-town Colorado, where Sebastian Sudworth, the newest resident of Adelaide Springs, enters with all his quick-witted snippy remarks. The banter, back talking, and amusing awkwardness between the two leads fixed my grin in place. Seeing them navigate their world with each other in it, their foundations shaking and shifting with each biting remark or stab of guilt, kept me entertained and invested.

Although Brynn’s not very likeable in the beginning of this story, her trip down memory lane softens her sharp edges and changes her into a character I wanted to see thrive. I liked Sebastian from the beginning, even with his sharp tongue, desperately hiding his wounds while working out where he fit in the world, and knew he would end up finding the part of himself he had lost years before. Eventually.

But my favourite character in this novel was Adelaide Springs. Brynn’s hometown fast became a fictional destination I’d jump on an imaginary plane and visit any day of the week. What a fabulous adventure I’d experience waking at The Inn Between and downing a breakfast burrito with Mr Wonderful before we trekked the trails near the Fielding farm and admired Mr Fielding’s 152-foot-tall ponderosa pine tree. But, unlike Brynn and Sebastian, trespassing and tree-climbing aren’t really my thing.

After our walk, I’d savour a hot chocolate at The Bean while my beloved enjoyed a coffee. Dinner (and maybe dancing, but I draw the line at karaoke!) at Cassidy’s Bar & Grill would complete our day. Oh, and the people! I can’t forget the fun, weird, and quirky townspeople. What a blast I’d have meeting the individuals who brought out the best and worst in Brynn, who pushed all of Sebastian’s buttons, and reminded those of us living life in the fast lane to slow down and enjoy the simple things.

In true Bethany Turner style, this book is littered with pop culture references, weaved together with brilliant dialogue, and will leave you wishing to return to this quiet corner of Colorado sometime soon.

Have you read any of Bethany Turner’s novels? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time,

(NB: I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)

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