Review: The Gossip by Jenny Holiday

gossipReviewed by Janell

This is the second adorable novella in the New Wave Newsroom series. I gushed about the first here, when it was part of an anthology, and now it’s a standalone called The Fixer, and you should get it.

Dawn is the gossip columnist for the school paper. We first meet her when she’s a freshman trying to buy alcohol, hoping to get into the right sorority. Frankly, I wasn’t excited about Dawn. She seemed like a ditsy social climber.

We first meet Arturo, Officer Perez, when he busts Dawn for said alcohol purchase. Arturo is a campus cop, nine years older than Dawn. I’ll admit that I was wary about such an age difference, especially with Dawn being such a clueless freshman. But then something wonderful happened: the book skipped ahead.

Dawn and Arturo bump into each other a lot over the years because they both end up where the action is. Dawn is always looking for gossip, which flows more freely at parties, and Arturo is making sure that the whippersnappers don’t get into too much trouble. This does result in Arturo rescuing Dawn a few times, whether from her own bad decisions or from other people. She’s not a damsel in distress, though. She usually takes care of herself. It’s just nice to have Officer Perez show up with his sexy face and firm chest.

They develop a friendship and grudging respect as Dawn approaches her senior year. They have nice conversations in his squad car. Then A Thing happens, which alters Dawn’s life. Arturo is the only person who realizes how much Dawn is affected, and I’m of the opinion that noticing a person and showing up for them are some of the finest qualities in a romance hero.

What’s great about this story is that a lot of it revolves around Dawn figuring out what sort of person she wants to be. She starts out just wanting to be noticed, but she ends up wanting to make a difference in the world. Her selfish gaze is turned outward, as it were. Arturo sees the change, and he thinks it’s downright hot (in a totally respectful way, of course).

This is a book to read if you just want to be happy. It steadily builds the romantic tension, and the payoff is amazing. (I’m talking about the sex part. Arturo’s insistence on continuous, enthusiastic consent was a new one for me.) Then the emotions start hitting, and I was totally invested in the resolution.

By the way, the books in this series were inspired by songs from the 1980s. This one is “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” and that idea was woven very sweetly into the story. Plus, the author’s note about her memories of the song cracked me up. So, like I said, read this if you want all the good feelings.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

The Gossip
by Jenny Holiday
Release Date: October 4, 2016

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