For fans of Lauren Layne and Kristan Higgins comes a delightfully “fun bit of fluffy entertainment” (Publishers Weekly) in the first book of a charming new series, in which a young woman is forced to help her old friend revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections...and discovers that she might not be as immune to his charms as she once thought.
When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and current mayor of Hope Lake, Pennsylvania—suggests she help with Cooper Endicott’s campaign, she’s horrified. Cooper, one of her (former) oldest friends, drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, so Emma reluctantly launches her plan to help him win the local election.
It’s not as easy as it looks. Cooper’s colorful love life is the sticking point for many voters, and his opponent is digging up everything he can from his past. It seems that every time Emma puts out the flames from one scandal, another one flares up. Emma knows that if Cooper wants to win, he needs to keep his nose clean. The only problem? She might just be falling in love with the one person she promised never to pursue: the mayoral candidate himself.
About the Author
Nina Bocci is a USA TODAY bestselling novelist who loves reading and writing about swoony, relatable heroes and smart, witty heroines. If it’s set in a small town, even better. You can always find her chatting on social media about her massive, crazy Italian family, and her favorite person in the world, her son.
Read an Excerpt
On the Corner of Love and Hate
Thud. Whoosh. Slap.
Thud. Whoosh. Slap.
The trio of irksome sounds repeated another half-dozen times. My eyes darted upward, a silent prayer falling from my lips.
Dear God, please give me the strength not to shove that tennis ball somewhere that would require surgery. Amen.
My coworker casually leaned back in his chair, his long legs outstretched and crossed at the ankles on the shiny surface of the conference room table. Beneath his brown leather loafers sat a report.
His unfinished-yet-due-tomorrow report.
I marveled at his ability to multitask. It would have been more appropriate if he had been, say, working. Instead, he was tossing a ball against the conference room wall with one hand while texting with the other. Even though he didn’t take his eyes off his phone screen, he caught the ball every single time. If I hadn’t been so annoyed, I would have actually been impressed.
The clock ticked against the pale yellow wall above his head. With each passing tick, the ball struck with a thwack to its right.
“Cooper, could you please stop?” I finally said, rubbing my temples to ease the headache that was forming.
Thud. Whoosh. Slap.
“Cooper,” I repeated, glancing up from my laptop. “Hello?”
Thud, whoosh, slap was the only response I got.
Sliding back my chair, I stood up and walked around the long maple conference table. It was only when I got close enough to see the scantily clad woman in his text window that I noticed the wireless earbuds that were blasting music into his ears. As the ball left his hand, I touched his shoulder.
Startled, he lost his grip on the ball, sending it sailing behind him. “What’s up?” he sputtered, quickly pulling his earbuds out. I didn’t miss his hand sliding his phone into his pocket. He looked every bit like a teenager caught red-handed by the principal.
“Are you kidding me?” I exclaimed. “You’ve had music on this entire time? I read nearly two pages of the brewery expansion proposal out loud to you twenty minutes ago!”
At least he had the decency to look remorseful. “I thought you were talking to yourself, so I”—he motioned to the black Beats—“figured I’d give you your privacy while I caught up on work.”
My eyebrows must have reached my hairline, because with a mildly guilty expression he pulled his legs down from the table.
I snorted. “Yes, I start all sentences with, ‘Cooper, what do you think about’ when I’m talking to myself. Were you just smiling and nodding for my health?” Shifting in his seat, he straightened. I huffed.
The small laugh lines around his mouth became more pronounced, an indication that he was fighting back a smile. “Emmanuelle,” he purred smoothly.
“Don’t Emmanuelle me,” I clapped back. “That tone may work on your fan club, but not me.”
He held his arms up in a defensive position. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry. What did I miss?” He grabbed for the papers in my hand.
Holding them back against my chest, I scowled. “Hope Lake Brewing Company. Expansion. Asking for input before it goes to the town council for approval.”
He whistled and rocked back in his chair. “Council is going to reject anything that comes across their desk from them. They hate the ‘vibe’ the brew house brings, and the addition would make the council’s heads explode.”
I nodded. “Yep, which is why the guys asked us for help. To try and edit the proposal to appeal to them. It’s also why I booked us the conference room for this meeting that you just Tindered your way through.”
“That’s not a word, and I wasn’t—” he began, patting his pocket absently. Probably making sure the evidence was tucked away safely.
I held up my hand. “Save it. I don’t care what or who you’re doing. Just that you’re not paying attention. Again.”
When the owners of HLBC, Drew and Luke Griffin, first came to our department, Cooper and I had championed their proposal to build a brewing company, tasting room, and outdoor entertainment space just along the lakefront. It was one of the first projects Cooper and I had worked on together, and it was just what we’d needed in town back then—a fun, innovative business that catered to every age. Now, six years later, HLBC was one of Hope Lake’s most popular spots, and the brothers were looking to expand their space to include rooms for private events and a small restaurant. Cooper and I were supposed to be discussing how to approach the town council about it.
Looked like I’d just been talking to myself instead. “I’m going back to my office, where I can work in peace,” I said. Exasperated, I started gathering up my stuff.
After a few seconds of awkward silence, he cleared his throat. “You’re right. I’m sorry. Let’s go over it. Again.”
I stacked my files, feeling my blood starting to boil. Having to repeat myself irked me, but I needed his input whether I liked it or not.
Glancing up, I noticed Cooper readying to say something else when our shared assistant, Nancy, hurried in with the main office calendar and a fistful of Sharpies clutched in her hand.
“I’ve been searching for you two everywhere,” she said, looking wide-eyed at each of us in turn. The conference table, at least on my side, was covered in charts, graphs, and photos of the lakefront. On Cooper’s side—well, there was a lot of polished maple visible.
“Did you discuss the project?” she asked hopefully, her face falling when I shook my head. “Okay, well, I guess you’ll handle that, uh, later. I’m sure.” She gave me a look. “I hope,” she mouthed, then cleared her throat and pulled out the head chair of the conference table and sat down with the main office calendar in front of her. “It’s time for the afternoon rundown—are you ready?”
Cooper groaned. Not at Nancy but at the calendar she had opened. It had been on my desk this morning when I’d filled it with upcoming appointments and meetings. By the looks of it, Nancy had managed to fill almost every empty space that remained.
We kept it old school at our office. Instead of using Google calendar or iCal, we used a large paper desk calendar with a color-coded legend, labels, and tabs to keep our government office running like clockwork. It’s not as though we hadn’t tried to modernize, but some of the, ahem, older department staff were frosty toward change.
Nancy, Cooper, and I worked at the Hope Lake Community Development Office on the top floor of Borough Building. In a small town like Hope Lake, my department was sort of the home base for everything. From simple things such as parade permits to more detailed ventures—for example, helping to secure funding for business owners like HLBC—the CDO, as we tended to call it, had its hand in pretty much everything. It wasn’t big, but what we lacked in size and staff we made up for in energy and results.
“The upcoming week is brutal,” Nancy apologized, looking at Cooper, who, not surprisingly, was on his phone again. “Emma, I’m afraid you’re a bit overscheduled.” She tapped a Sharpie on the table.
I waved a dismissive hand. “It can’t be any worse than that week the staff came down with the flu.” I had practically run the office that week even though I was heavily medicated myself.
“It’s close.” She held up two fingers barely an inch apart. “You’re back-to-back Monday. There is a pocket of time during the event this weekend with the future Mr. Mayor here and his opponent.”
Cooper perked up then. He knocked twice on the wooden table. “Don’t jinx me.”
Oh, sure, you’re paying attention now.
“You’re a shoo-in. People love you, Cooper. And with the mayor already behind you, how can you not be?” Nancy assured him.
Nancy wasn’t blowing smoke. Cooper had decided to run for office this year, and his magnetic personality made him the perfect political candidate. He was brilliant, liked by the majority of the town, and had confidence to spare because he knew he was the best choice for the job. Even I could admit that, and we were often at odds.
“Emma, I know you wanted to have a sit-down with Drew and Luke from the brewing company about the proposed expansion before they go to the council, but I don’t see how it’s going to happen.”
Nancy jotted a note onto the calendar. Over the years, we’d gotten our system down to a science: orange for me, blue for Cooper, hot pink for our department administrative assistant, green for Nancy, and red for the mayor, because red was my dad’s favorite color. Blue, not surprisingly, was the color least visible on the entire calendar. It was sporadically used, even from my vantage point, which meant that Cooper had a light schedule this week.
I chewed the pen cap, irritated. Nancy continued reading off meeting after meeting throughout the week.
“These two on Thursday—I can probably sit in on them to give you a break, Emma,” she offered.
Looking over Nancy’s shoulder, I marveled at the Technicolor scheduling system. It might have been old-fashioned, but at least it looked good.
Shaking my head, I pointed at the partially torn yellow Post-it stuck on the edge of the frame. That was how my father added mayoral meetings to the calendar. Stickies. He was nothing if not professional. “No can do, my friend. You’re going to be at a ribbon cutting with Mayor Dad.”
She looked up, her lips a thin, flat line. “I am? He didn’t tell me.”
Sighing, she jotted the information down. “I wish he’d told me I was supposed to go, too!”
She took her calendar duties very seriously. I for one appreciated it, and I knew my father did, too, even if he did use his own odd system to add to it. It kept all of us in line.
Together, Nancy and I figured out the rest of the week, Cooper staying silent and, surprise surprise, on his phone. We looked over the days, pointing and crossing out, trying in vain to find somewhere to squeeze in a last sit-down. “It’s not going to work,” I lamented, sinking into the chair beside her.
“Well, someone from the department needs to at least show their face at the city events meeting,” she urged, looking pointedly at Cooper. A notebook was now on his lap, his hand moving swiftly over the page. He didn’t look up when she said his name or when she repeated it a few seconds later. He was too deeply invested in whatever he was doing.
At least he’s off the phone.
Tearing the Post-it off the calendar and balling it up in her fist, Nancy lobbed it at him. “Cooper!” she shouted, snapping her fingers as if she were telling a dog to sit.
He smiled at her. “I’m listening.”
“Uh-huh, we need you to take a meeting or two on Thursday so Emma can head down to the lake to meet Drew and Luke. Unless you’d rather take the HLBC meeting.”
“Thursday?” he repeated, sliding his phone out from behind the notebook.
When did he take that out? He was stealthy like a teen texting in class.
With a shrug, he shook his head. “Sorry, I’m booked all day and I’ve got a campaign publicity debrief at noon. That’s taking up most of the afternoon.”
“Doesn’t that just mean you and Henry are meeting at the diner to play on Facebook and Twitter together?” I scoffed, feeling the blood rushing to my face.
Henry was one of my and Cooper’s oldest friends. As a teacher, he had limited time to meet up with Cooper, so I understood Cooper’s reticence to reschedule, but—
Then it hit me. “Wait . . . why are you having mayoral meetings during work and school? How’s Henry getting out of class to meet you?”
Setting his phone down, he stood and straightened his tie. “I’ll have you know, I’m meeting him at the high school. I wish I could help, but alas—”
“You can’t,” I finished, sliding out of my chair to stand myself.
With Cooper running for mayor of Hope Lake, the brunt of his work at the CDO was taking a backseat. I noticed, the staff noticed, and the mayor noticed. If it had been anyone else, they probably would have been fired, but Cooper was Hope Lake’s golden boy. Once he was elected, we could hire someone new to replace him. But until that happened, it fell to us to pick up his slack.
Cooper walked toward the door, leaving his phone—aka his most prized possession—on the conference table. Surely he would be back in for it the second he realized it wasn’t attached to his hand.
“Wait, you can’t leave!” Nancy called after him. “I need the theater proposal paperwork. You guys have that meeting with the council on Monday and the mayor wants the weekend to review the specs. Cooper, it has to be before end of day since you have the debate tomorrow! Everything is done, right? Please tell me it’s done.”
“It’s handled,” Cooper said smoothly over his shoulder, tapping his temple. “And it’s not a debate. It’s a photo op, remember? Pose, smile, shake hands. You know, the usual.”
“Thank God. I don’t have time today to do it if you didn’t,” she said, pretend wiping her brow.
Smiling broadly, he clapped his hands together. “Oh, come on, Nance. Have I ever left you hanging?”
Her silence spoke volumes. If she’d had the time, and the inclination, she could have created a depressing list of how often that had happened.
Looking uncomfortable at Nancy’s lack of response, Cooper disappeared through the door, only to reappear two seconds later. “That would have been bad!” he said with a tight smile, jogging in to grab the iPhone.
“Cooper, are you sure you can’t reschedule your Thursday plans with Henry until after work so Emma isn’t pulled in nineteen directions?” Nancy said quickly. “It’s just about the local sports participation in the Thanksgiving parade. They’re looking for guidance with the floats and theming—it won’t exactly take up all your brain space. The other is an initial meeting to see if the CDO can finally purchase the old bank.” Nancy already had a blue Sharpie at the ready, clutched between her fingers. “Or if you wanted to switch with Emma, you could meet with Drew and Luke and Emma could handle the parade instead. You’d probably get some free beer out of it.”
For a moment, he looked like he was going to agree. His jawline ticked anxiously, a habit he’d had since we were kids. It appeared whenever he struggled with a decision. Reluctantly, I admitted to myself that it was happening more often than not.
“I’m really sorry, I can’t,” he finally said. “You know how important these meetings are for the core of my campaign. I’ve got to run. I’m late.”
I glanced at the clock. “It’s barely four.”
“I have a thing.”
“You came in at ten because of a ‘thing.’?” I air-quoted it because although he said those things were for the mayoral campaign, I didn’t believe him. Call it years of experience or just a gut feeling. “Cooper, I need you to focus. You’re all over the place, and things are going to start falling through the cracks here. We can’t afford any missteps. Not when we’re under a microscope. The council is looking for any reason to put the screws in this department.”
Cooper’s opponent, Kirby Rogers, had been on the town council for the past few years. He had made it his mission to strip the CDO—funding, staff, all of it gone.
With nothing but a grimace, Cooper left, leaving no opening for discussion. I shook my head at his retreating form.
“Forget him, I’ll figure it out,” I said, glancing between the calendar with the work appointments and my nearly empty personal calendar. “I can pop over to the brewery and see Drew and Luke on my way home Tuesday or Friday night. They owe me dinner, anyway,” I said with a weak laugh, an attempt at loosening the anxiety-ridden ball in my stomach. How am I going to accomplish all of this? “Just see when they’re free.” I tapped away on my phone. Making a note, I double-checked my iPhone’s calendar as Nancy read off the rest of the upcoming schedule.
“Emma,” she said with a heavy sigh, “I don’t want you to overwork yourself.”
“I’m fine. It’s an adjustment we’re going to have to get used to since we’re going to be picking up all the Cooper slack,” I insisted, knowing that she was always worried about me in a big-sisterly sort of way. “Promise,” I said after seeing her frown.
Months ago, before he had decided to run for mayor and before he had become so distracted by the election, Cooper had been an asset. I longed for those days. He had a gift, an ability to coax the very best of ideas out of you, and he transformed them into solid plans that we then presented to Mayor Dad and the town council. His undivided input would have been valuable here.
That part of Cooper I respected and enjoyed working with. Pre-candidate Cooper. Except lately, so much had changed. I missed the focused Cooper. The guy who would pull together a presentation in just a few hours. The guy I could count on to bring the best ideas out of me when I thought I had hit a wall. Or even the guy who got his work done on time. I hated myself a little bit because I was missing that coworking partnership. We did make a good team when we weren’t arguing.
“Not for anything, but you’d think he’d want to head over to Hope Lake Brewing Company to see the guys.”
“His head was so buried in his phone, he probably didn’t hear you mention them.”
Nancy nodded. “What do you think? Is this going to get better or worse as the campaign progresses?” She packed up her Sharpies and hoisted the large calendar off the table, mindful not to drop any of the Post-its and papers tacked to it.
I slung my arm over her shoulder. “Worse. So much worse.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the first solo book I have read from this author and as this was the first book in a new series, I jumped at the chance to read and review. I liked the characters of Emmanuelle (Emma)Peroni and Cooper Endicott, although the book was a little slow at times and it took me a while to get invested in the story. However once I was hooked I found myself enjoying the story and her style of writing. Emma and Cooper have been friends for ages and when the current mayor of her town (her father) asks her to help Cooper revamp his image she does so despite her reservations. They have a checkered past and things are only going to become more complicated now that she is helping him. Cooper wants to be the new mayor, but at what personal cost? There are so many people trying to dig up dirt and he is juggling so much he has no idea where to turn next. Will Emma be able to help or will unresolved feelings get in the way? What happens when lines are crossed and attraction becomes to intense to ignore? There was humour, intrigue and I loved the banter and camaraderie between families and friends that you find in a small town. This was a good story and I am looking forward to reading more in this series.
This enemies-to-lovers second chance story was a bit of a struggle for me. Overall I enjoyed it, but I couldn’t connect and love the characters, which made it difficult to love the book. The storyline was pretty good, with Cooper running for mayor, and Emma struggling with the decision to help him, but feeling obligated. The last ¼ of the book was a bit redeeming, and I was glad I continued to read the whole thing, as it was the best part of the book, IMO. On the Corner of Love and Hate was the first book from author Nina Bocci that I have read, and I would read another from her. 3.5 stars
On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci is an enemy-to-lover romance published by Gallery Books. This novel is the first in the Hopeless Romantic series and is set to be released on August 20, 2019. Emmanuelle Peroni and Cooper Endicott, two former childhood friends with a messy past, cannot stand each other. But when Cooper decides to run for office, Emmanuelle, who tries to suppress her feelings for Copper, is dragged into the campaign as a campaign manager, forcing the two to spend more time together. When an ex-girlfriend is added to the mix, the situation deteriorates. Both try to make the campaign work without them constantly bickering and fail. As the story evolves, the author reveals why the main characters are fighting, and the reason will steal your heart. Both characters made mistakes, but their love story is beautiful. This novel has everything I desired. On the Corner of Love and Hate kept me up late into the night. I appreciated the character development, the banter between the characters, and how human they felt. No one is perfect, and this story reminded me how important seeing flaws in a character makes them even more relatable. The plot line was interesting because it veered slightly away from the normal enemy-to-lover trope. I appreciated the author’s take on this theme. In addition, I did not always agree with the characters’ choices, which made this book interesting and less predictable. The chemistry between the characters was off the charts. This story made me laugh, cry, and swoon. If you enjoyed reading The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci should be your next book. I highly recommend this story. This book is a five-star rating for me.
On the Corner of Love and Hate felt more like women's fiction to me than romance except that it's more fluff than fiber where the storyline and characters are concerned. That's not necessarily a bad thing, we could all use a little fluff from time to time, but the romance here is a slow burn - like the flame is barely there type of slow. I expected an enemies to lovers story, but I never really got that from Emma and Cooper. They do have some fun banter, and we're told that there were some sparks in the past, but I just didn't see much chemistry between them. They could've ended up just good friends, and I would've been fine with that. I do like small town stories and on that, this one delivers. The town is charming, and the characters are quirky and fun. I even enjoyed the politics and Cooper's double-dealing opponent made for an interesting bit of trouble in the mayoral race. I did have one pet peeve with this book, and that was the random 'Emma thoughts' that would pop up. At first they were amusing and even cute, but after so many, it was more distraction and started to wear at me. Fortunately, those do fizzle after a while and they don't happen as often in the last half of the book. In the end, this one wasn't quite what I expected or hoped for, but I did enjoy meeting the characters of Hope Lake, and I will check out other books from this author.
When I first read about Nina's book I was curious. I first met her as PR for some authors I've follow through the years, and then I read her debut, Roman Crazy, with Alice Clayton (I loved that book btw). Now she take us to a little town called Hope Lake, and I couldn't love her more. Small town romances have some kind of 'magical factor' about them that I'm unable to resist; besides, this frenemies-to-lovers story was the perfect mix between comedy, romance with a size of drama and politics. With a mayoral election in the horizon, Copper needs to fix his public image and Emma is the girl for the job. They were friends at first, but in some point that friendship turned into a heated animosity... but they say there's just a step between hate and love. But to address their feelings, they'll have to take careful steps and keep their eyes opens because the mayoral campaign is as dirty as a bloody war. I really enjoyed the book, I loved the friendship between Henry, Cooper and Nick, and their relationship with Emma, I also loved the banter between Emma and Cooper, their dialogues and the chemistry in every single scene they're together. Hope Lake was a pleasant place to visit, its people was hilarious and sweet, and I can't wait to read what's next in this series.
On the Corner of Love and Hate is such a fun book to read that I did nothing else until I finished it! Nina Bocci introduces us to small town life in Lake Hope, Pennsylvania. Emma (Emmanuelle) Peroni, daughter of the current mayor and co-chair of the Community Development Office, loves her life, even though she works looong hours and has very little time to herself. Her business partner and former best friend, Cooper Endicott, is not pulling his weight since he's thrown his hat into the mayoral race. To top it off, in addition to picking up Cooper's slack, Emma's parents ask her to help Cooper with his campaign. Cooper is a handsome, and charming man - a shoo-in for the next mayor except for his wild and very public social life. Cooper, the son of the Governor, is well aware of the ins and outs of politics. In spite of that he dates gorgeous women, but rarely more than once or twice. His constant presence in social media is starting to be very detrimental to his chances in the election - more so thanks to harmful press and nasty comments made by his opponent. Cooper desperately needs Emma's help, and is grateful when she agrees. The only problem is that he seems as oblivious to Emma's increasing attraction as he is to why they grew apart in the first place.. How Emma is able to help Cooper, and in turn help herself makes for fun, exciting and romantic reading. Fans of modern romance are going to LOVE this, but Nina Bocci's writing is smart enough to attract any reader. The romantic scenes were very well-written, but not too graphic so I had no problem passing this on to both my teen-agers. Its definitely a book for adult readers, but totally appropriate for young adults as well. Thanks so much for the opportunity to read an ARC. This was one of my favorite books of the summer!!
Rating: 3.5 Stars Emma and Cooper had been thick as thieves as kids, but they drifted apart in college. After graduation, they both returned to their hometown, and even got jobs working together, but Emma was never able to rekindle that friendship she once had with Cooper. When his campaign for mayor hit a snag, Cooper recruited Emma to help, and as the two began spending more and more time together, Emma must confront the confusing feelings she had for her best friend turned frenemy. This book started really strong for me, and the ending had me feeling all sorts of wonderful, but there were a few ups and downs in-between. This book was funny. Emma had a great voice. I found her witty and amusing, and I there were so many hilarious interactions between her and other members of Hope Lake. What can I say, good banter goes a long way with me. I was also a fan of the town and all the wonderful denizens, who filled it. Small towns are always fabulous, and with this focusing on the politics and community, I really got to get acquainted with Hope Lake, which seems like a fabulous place to live. I though Bocci did a great job weaving Emma and Cooper's history into this tale. She shared so many of their memories, both happy and painful, and I loved having that window into their shared past. It helped me see how they got to where they are and also better understand why they were making these particular choices. I liked Emma right away, even if she was in all sorts of denial, but I grew to love Cooper. Initially, I found him to be a cocky jerk, but as the campaign continued, I got to see a different side of him. I also thought he was way more honest, than Emma. There were some moments that he made me swoon and drove me to happy tears, and I was definitely part of his fan club by the end. I believe this series will be focusing on the friend-quartet, and I am there for those books. It was insta-love for me with Henry. He was just so sweet and caring and considerate, and I really need to see him get his HEA. The other friend, Nick, amused me, and I am interested in getting to know him better. Though there were a few things that didn't totally work for me, I found myself enjoying watching Cooper and Emma finally acknowledge their festering feelings, and I look forward to reading the other books in this series.
From childhood friends to teenage crushes, on to frenemies and co-workers ensures On the Corner of Love and Hate gives the term IT’S COMPLICATED a whole new meaning. Emmanuelle (Emma) and Cooper were friends all through childhood and into adolescence when those pesky hormones took over and transformed the way in which Emma viewed Cooper. The sad thing is we get the impression that those new feelings were not just on one side, unfortunately, Cooper let the attention of the opposite sex cloud his judgement and as a consequence ruin his friendship with Emma. Emma has done a fine job of distancing herself from Cooper even though they work together; only to be forced into close proximity to him via well-meaning and influential parents as well as her own wish for the best mayor for her hometown – Cooper. To be honest for the most part I thought Cooper was an emotionally lacking main character because of his previous indiscretions, of which there were more than one for Emma to be truly bothered by. It would have helped if we got to see Cooper’s perspective and perhaps an explanation for some of his more questionable decisions. While Emma is a sassy, commanding career woman she has also lost a part of herself by denying her feelings for Cooper and distancing herself from all aspects of his life. Which is quite a large part of Emma’s social life due to the friendship between their parents as well as the career path they are both on. Even though Cooper and Emma really did belong together, I struggled with how easily Emma was able to let go of the past (obviously she is a bigger person than I am). I absolutely adored the peripheral characters within On the Corner of Love and Hate and am intrigued to learn more about them as the series continues.
I really enjoyed this book! On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci is an adorable Political romance between Emma Peroni, daughter of the soon to be retired Mayor of the Town of Hope Lake, and Cooper Endicott, the newest mayoral candidate. Emma and Cooper have known/hated each other for years. So, when Emma’s father convinces Emma to manage Cooper’s campaign, it is with great trepidation that Emma agrees. As the campaign gets underway, Emma puts out the fire on scandal after scandal involving Cooper and his past Playboy antics. But what infuriates her the most is the one flaring up in her own heart, as she realizes that she just might be falling for Cooper. This book is hilariously adorable. The town of Hope Lake, Pennsylvania sounds like such a cute place to live. The author did a great job describing the details of small-town life. I would totally live there! The main characters, Emma and Cooper were the perfect frenemies. I enjoyed their friendly/ sarcastic banter throughout the novel. When they finally did get together I could feel the fireworks practically shooting out from the page! On the Corner of Love and Hate is categorized as a Hate to Love romance. I really enjoy hate to love, but this one needed a little bit more. I never got the feeling that Emma hated Cooper. When they would argue, Emma never really seemed mad, just fondly irritated. As the book progressed this irritation projected itself more as jealously when Cooper was interacting with other women. I also wish Emma would’ve stopped arguing with herself and explored her possible feelings for Cooper a little earlier in the book so there would’ve been more romance instead of avoidance. The ending however was perfect and so romantic! I would definitely recommend this book to readers of romance, chick-lit, and Rom Com! I look forward to reading more by this author! Thank you so much to Gallery books and NetGalley for this advanced ecopy!
I recently finished reading the finale in a series that I loved and I've been 'stuck' on what to read next...wanting to read, but worried that what I chose to read would disappoint...I'm sure you've all been there before. Anyway, I received an eARC of this story from NetGalley (Simon & Schuster eGalley) for an honest review and decided to go ahead and read this hoping against hope that the story would be just the thing I needed to get me past my reading slump. I must admit, this story did NOT disappoint!! Nina Bocci is a great writer and I was drawn into the story very quickly. The writer did a wonderful job writing a ... for lack of better words... 'political romance' that really wasn't political and more romance. The main character, Emma, is a strong woman when it comes to her views and work, however, she really doesn't know how to admit her feelings for her love interest, Cooper. I enjoyed reading the banter between the 2 characters. I found myself laughing, crying, and relating to Emma throughout the entire book (and I'm not even a political person at all). Nina Bocci used wit, humor, romantic chemistry, a political campaign, and small town charm to write an engaging, exciting, and fun romance. If you're looking for a book to read that you will enjoy AND root for the couple to have a happily ever after, look no further because this IS the book for you. Nina Bocci has gained a faithful reader in me!! Enjoy, it will be worth your reading time!!
This is the first in a new series called Hopeless Romantics by Nina Bocci. Normally, I do not gravitate toward politically themed novels but this one had way more of a contemporary feel and thank God for that. I really enjoyed getting to know Cooper, Emma and their quirky friends and town. They were genuine and so much fun to read about. Was Emma stubborn and in denial? Yes. Was Cooper a “playboy”? Yes. Did everyone else know what would ultimately happen in this story? Yep. But it was still a fun read. If you are looking for a good plot with a romantic side, this is it.
This is my first book by this author, I am really impressed with her style of writing. While this is a slow burn romance you can't help but read As fast as you can to see how things will go. I truly enjoyed this book and I look forward to reading more from this author.
If the main character of the story is Emma, then the other main character is the town she in which grew up, where her dad is the current mayor, and where she currently works for the municipal government: Hope Lake, Pennsylvania. Emma’s love for Hope Lake borderlines on obsessive and can only be compared to Parks and Rec character Leslie Knope in its scope. When her flaky, manwhoring coworker (Cooper) asks for her help with his own campaign, it places Emma in a tough situation. She has history with Cooper, but his election is what she views as best for the town’s future. Let's not forget, she loves the town above all else. She ends up running around, burning the candle at both ends at both her day job and the campaign. Both the storyline and its romantic elements took too long to develop for my liking. I don’t have any issues with slow-burn romance, but this one took it to an extreme, which made it difficult for me to become invested in the story. I think that some pruning would have helped. The secondary characters and her inner monologue/comments were cute and added depth to the story. At the end of the day, Emma does what she does best: running herself ragged bending over backwards for Cooper (and everyone, to be honest) while he gets off scot free, as usual. Cooper wasn’t a bad guy, but he was the very definition of privilege and didn’t seem to appreciate how hard everyone around him worked, which really frustrated me. As such, I had a difficult time developing empathy, let alone like, for Cooper. The writing itself was good, but the combination of the storyline's pace and my inability to root for Cooper made the read challenging to finish, which I regret because I was excited to read the book (upon having read the blurb), and even more so when my request for an ARC was approved by the publisher.
On The Corner Of Love And Hate is set in the fictional small town of Hope Lake during a mayoral election. Hope Lake is written beautifully and becomes a character of its own. If a place like Hope Lake truly exists, let me know because I desperately want to move there. Nestled between the waterfront and the mountains, this town is quaint, charming, and picturesque. Emma and Cooper are kind of like Hope Lake royalty. They grew up as best friends in Hope Lake and chose to return after college, not to mention that Emma's father has been the mayor of the town for 24 years and Cooper, the Governor's son, is running for mayor in the current election. Things started to get complicated for Emma and Cooper's friendship in the teenage years, really hit trouble in college, and in present day even though the two work together they are definitely "frenemies." I adored the interactions between Emma and Cooper in this book. They are ripe with sexual tension, sarcastic banter, and heated angst that I just love! My only complaint is that I wish there had been more of them! A lot of Cooper and Emma's story is told as they interact with other people in the town, which is great for developing the atmosphere of Hope Lake and the various townspeople, but I preferred watching these two actually interact. Their flirtatious contempt was witty and steamy and I wanted more! Even though I'm not typically drawn to the political scene, I enjoyed experiencing it through this novel. I also loved the underlying message about the importance of voting and making your voice heard, whether it's the popular opinion or not. On The Corner Of Love And Hate is the first book in the Hopeless Romantics series and I look forward to reading future books. Now that I'm invested in the people and town of Hope Lake, I'm eager to see what other adventures author Nina Bocci has in store for them! |Thank you @netgalley @gallerybooks #partner|
3.5 Stars On the Corner of Love and Hate is an enjoyable and fun enemies to lovers trope with a backdrop of small town politics. This slow burn romance is perfect for your summer vacation read! Would recommend to fans of contemporary romance. **I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
This is the first book I have read by the author and I have to say I did enjoy it somewhat. It was although a little long and wordy in parts, I genuinely liked the characters and the way the story went. Being friends for a very long time, Emma is getting annoyed at Coopers lack of interest in his job and performing his duties! She has enough to do without having to do his work too! Cooper is running for Mayor and being pulled in a million directions! Will the slander from the opposition ruin his chances or can Emma make it go in a different direction?? What happens if feelings get in the way or will she stay angry! The banter was good, the family bonds and long time friendships were wonderful and I especially loved the ending! Overall a good story.
This is a lighthearted, rom-com from author Nina Bocci. The narrative is well written and contains genre specific attributes that correspond well with reader expectations. While the pace of the plot was slow to build and pieces of it were predictable, the foreshadowing did not eliminate the story's impact. Bocci's characters were relatable and infallible but she did fail to develop them equally. The angst from the enemy-to-lover dynamic exists but only at a simmer and the romantic aspects may only mollify those who prefer a more vanilla approach. The novel will definitely play well to those who prefer their rom-coms a bit on the tamer side. 3stars
I am always on the lookout for a love story that revolves around politics. So after reading the book blurb, I just had to request On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci. This is a friends to enemies to lovers romance, with a cast of characters that are interesting and entertaining. Unfortunately, the pace was a bit sedate throughout the first half of the book, and the slow burn between Emma and Cooper took too long to heat up. Happily, the ending and the epilogue left me smiling from ear to ear. This is the first book from the author's brand new series, Hopeless Romantics, and it can be read as a standalone. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Emmanuelle Peroni and Cooper Endicott grew up as best friends having a lot in common. He was the son of the Governor and her father had been Mayor of Hope Lake, Pennsylvania for 30+ years. Over the years their friendship has been strained as she’s fought feelings for him and been hurt by his lothario ways. When her father announces his retirement as Mayor he plans to groom Cooper to run in his place. However, Cooper’s single status and charming charisma starts to work against him giving his running mate a lot of material to expose. When he asks Emma to help him by running his campaign she balks, not wanting to give him anymore time than her vote. However, he’s her best shot at maintaining the status quo in both her job and personal life. As they work together she starts to have feelings again but will Cooper give her more of his heart than he had in the past? On the Corner of Love and Hate was kind of an enemies to lovers romance. I say kind of because they weren’t really enemies since they considered each other a best friend, but there was an anger on Emma’s side that was lacking on Cooper’s. The first half of the book explained Emma’s side, their past, and Cooper’s somewhat smarmy present. I had a bit of trouble liking either of these characters until the second half of the book. Emma complained too much and Cooper’s charm rubbed me the wrong way. Also the introduction of a past girlfriend into the story threw me and truthfully kind of pissed me off. What was he thinking? Emma’s acceptance to run his mayoral campaign helped to show each of these characters strengths. Cooper’s charm was less smarmy and more appealing while Emma’s whiny workaholic tendencies worked very well towards pushing Cooper to be his best. Also, pitting him against a sleezy running mate helped Cooper look less sleazy. Boy, reading this makes me look like I didn’t enjoy the book at all, doesn’t it? I did actually like it more as I read on and liked the ending a lot. It just took me a bit to get there. ❤️❤️❤️❣️ I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest!
This book reminded me a lot of Sally Thorne’s 99 Percent Mine. Emma and Cooper used to be best of friends, but then life got in the way (ahem, college and girls). Emma has a lot of animosity and anger against Cooper and she can’t seem to get past that. When circumstances bring them closer again Emma and Cooper have to learn how to be in close proximity again without tearing each other apart. Cooper soon has to abide by Emma’s rules when she becomes his campaign manager and all bets are off. The book started off a bit slowly for me, but really picked up at about the halfway mark. I loved Emma’s character and how bold and outspoken she was. She always has the right intentions for her small town and truly believes in Cooper. It’s getting past their past history that ties her up in knots. Bocci had me feeling so much on behalf of Emma. I felt frustrated, betrayed, wanted, hopeful and sad. Nina Bocci wrote a great debut book. I genuinely cared for these characters and stayed up way past my bedtime finishing this book. A solid 4 star read from me. **ARC provided by NetGalley and Gallery Books in exchange for my honest review**
They say there is a fine line between love and hate. Cooper and Emma definitely prove that point in On the Corner of Love and Hate. They have been friends for years but along the way, Cooper has made choices that have damaged Emma's feelings for him by chipping away at them piece by "broken" piece. Cooper is the classic playboy who flits from woman to woman with no intention of settling down at any point soon. He doesn't seem to take anything seriously. However, that is actually untrue as he truly loves their small town and his job. He is currently running for mayor. Even though it seems like he must not care because he makes some foolish decisions, it isn't true. Cooper actually does care but sometimes doesn't know how to direct his energy. I couldn't quite figure out what his issue was. Does Cooper have extreme ADHD? I know he cares for Emma and that distracts him sometimes but I don't believe that is entirely the problem here. Emma is a workaholic with control issues. She uses work as an outlet to escape her personal life and the situations that upset her. Those things usually involve Cooper and his latest conquest. or Cooper and his lack of attention to items at work. Emma has some deep underlying hurt from things that Cooper has done over the years, Instead of airing her pain, it has festered and made her unhappy which makes her easily angered by him. Even though she believes that she has no feelings other than frustration for Cooper, she finds that she feels intense jealousy when a girlfriend from his past resurfaces. This forces Emma to re-examine her own life and decide if her feelings for Cooper deserve action or if she should continue to ignore them. Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
First thing I absolutely love this cover and so fits this story!! On the Corner of Love and Hate is a slow burn, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers lighthearted romance. It is set in a fictitious small town with their interesting characters. Emma and Cooper were the best of friends growing up until they moved away, went to college and like most childhood relationships, they lost touch. Time and distance just change things and Cooper inadvertently broke her heart couple times. Cooper is a big flirt and knows every button to push to get a reaction out of Emma and he does it quite often. Cooper is always getting himself into some kind of trouble. There was so much up and down, push and pull between these two which in some cases makes for some very funny moments. I really enjoyed this story with Cooper and Emma and all of the secondary characters of this great little town of Hope Lake.
What an amazing start to the Hopeless Romantics series! I really enjoyed this childhood friends to enemies to lovers slow burn romance! On the Corner of Love and Hate will have you laughing out loud one moment and then tearing up the next. It's relatable and heartfelt and I fell completely in love with Hope Lake and its residents. Emmanuelle (Emma) and Cooper have a complicated history. I couldn't wait to find out what drove these once best friends apart. Sparks fly as they bicker and verbally spar, and I loved every zing of chemistry between them. As the book progresses, readers come to learn about all of their sweet and tender moments (the drawing under the desk!), but also the heartbreaking ones as well. The fates have never quite aligned for these two, and it hurt my heart over how much was left unsaid over the years. I loved all the relationships in this book so much. From parent to child and friend to friend, I loved how supportive and loyal they all were to each other. The secondary characters were absolutely amazing and I don't think I could have loved Emma's mother, Sophia, more! The Chef Boyardee incident and her fashion sense had me snort laughing every time she was mentioned or on the page. I can already tell that steadfast Henry will be my favorite of the BFF quartet though. How can I not fall in love with a character who isn't concerned with sowing his wild oats everywhere and describes himself as a sexual camel? ;) Nina Bocci's writing is witty and sharp and I laughed so hard at all the perfectly placed pop culture references. Her voice and heart really jump off the page and had me invested in these characters from the start. The epilogue left me with a huge smile on my face and I can't wait to see what's next for the town of Hope Lake! *I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*
I really enjoyed this charming, heartfelt, enemies-to-lovers romance! This slow burn, rom-com is filled with witty banter, awkward situations, and a sweet small town storyline with lots of heart. Emma and Cooper have been friends since they were young. When misunderstandings and miscommunication happen, they are at odds as adults. When Emma agrees to help Cooper with his mayoral campaign, old feelings and hurts come to a head. Emma frustrated me at times with her stubbornness, and I also wanted a bit more romance mixed in with all the campaign activities, just sayin'..... I did love Cooper and how determined he was to keep Emma close until he could convince her that they were always meant to be together. I also loved their friends and family who were so loyal and supportive, and made this story even more fun. I would love to revisit Hope Lake, and find out more about their friends, especially Henry!
Rated 3.5 Stars I struggled with On The Corner of Love and Hate in the beginning but it grew on me. It's a mash up of a few things, women's fiction, contemporary small town romance, friends to lovers and enemies to lovers with a political bent. It's also sweet with a bit of humor. I liked it and look forward to reading the rest of the series.