Love Under Quarantine
by Kylie Scott & Audrey Carlan
Release Date: May 5, 2020
Publisher: independently published
Number of Pages: 275
Source: Amazon Pre-Order
Contemporary Romance M/F
Read 5/9/20 to 5/11/20
While the world is ravaged by a global pandemic, hotshot NFL running back Evan Sparks is locked in his own personal hell. With a career-ending scandal on his back, Evan hides out in his best friend’s empty San Francisco home, the full city shutdown locking him in a lonely twenty-story apartment in the sky.
Romance writer Sadie Walsh is having the worst case of writer’s block ever…until the incredible, muscular stranger staying next door gets her muse going strong. The pair of loners, never expecting to find a friend in all the madness, meet each day out on their balconies like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.
Each new day brings unique challenges for the pair as they navigate the unknown and find solace together. They quickly figure out that as long as they have one another, they can handle anything.
Even falling in love under quarantine.
Let’s put any controversy aside at the beginning of my review and concentrate on the story. I’ll get to the controversy later. I’m not going to sugarcoat the fact that I was dead set against reading any type of pandemic book for anywhere in the near future. Then a favorite author of mine (Kylie Scott) introduced this story and I actually wanted to read the book after reading the blurb.
There is a brief moment, when this story first starts, that I’m not so sure about Evan. Thankfully, he quickly won me over and I was rooting for him and Sadie to make a connection. Which, of course, they did. And it was very sweet and even got to be sexy, the whole time them never getting within 6 feet of each other. Their dialogue, their emotions, their little acts of kindness for one another, that’s what drove this story. Yet I still could feel their heat and their yearning. At the same time, I wasn’t focused on my own quarantine situation, which had been one of my main fears in reading a quarantine story.
Now, I can see how there are many people who would possibly need a trigger warning with this story. I’ve been lucky and nobody very close to me has gotten sick. While the authors don’t gloss over the seriousness of these trying times, they also don’t delve deep into the illness because neither of the main characters get sick. But they do talk on the phone to loved ones who are sick…and worse. So, although the title is almost a trigger warning in itself, it’s best to know these things going in.
As for Sadie and Evan, they are responsible and really follow the rules. Yet they are still able to find passion and friendship. They help one another to find an escape from the terror outside by creating their own little bubble of fun and love.
All of my doubts as to whether a pandemic love story could be something I would want to read while in middle of pandemic went out the window. I wrapped myself in the Sadie/Evan bubble and was able to let the stress of the times melt away while I was reading.
Now, I need to address the controversy. Oh, the controversy. A few weeks before it was released, I saw a post on Kylie Scott’s Instagram about this story. I don’t usually comment, but I commented on her IG to say I was leery of pandemic stories but hers sounded like an escape, which we all need right now. There was a bit of hullabaloo after this book was released so I tried to avoid that until I could read the book for myself. I will stay firmly on the side of the reviewers since a review is for the readers, not for the authors. I’m just letting you know that I am aware, to a certain extent, of what went down. I’m happy to find that Kylie Scott isn’t the one that caused the issue and has been very tactful and gracious (from what I can tell) during the uproar. I’ve never read an Audrey Carlan book before and probably never will again unless it’s another joint venture with another author I love. When this book came out and these authors, whether justly or not, felt attacked, one responded with grace and maturity and one did not. There is even a part in this story, her very own written work, about reviews and how they are for the reader and authors should stay away from them. Yes, I was a bit reticent to read a quarantine book right now. But I can make an informed decision and not read said book if I don’t like the subject matter. I’m not going to tell anyone they have no right to write such a story. I’m sure it was a very personal decision to do so. That’s my little rant and it’s now over.