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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

California or Bust

Planes, Trains, and All the Feels by Livy Hart

Rating: 4 of 5

Spice: 4; the scenes were pretty descriptive

Sexy Times: 4; I was so ready for their first kiss and I will never look at the High Roller in Vegas the same again.

Will you like this book? You will if you like:

  • Road trips

  • Instant attraction

  • Scheming best friends (who need their own book please)

  • Dysfunctional families

I received this book through NetGalley as an ARC and while I am so glad that I got a chance to read it, I am bummed that this is only Hart’s 2nd novel. I am so ready for a back catalog from her. This was a touching story about two people who are both finding their way apart from their family’s, or their own, expectations of themselves.

In their road trip across the country which includes, you guessed it, a plane right, a car trip, a train ride, and then another car trip, Cass and Luke fall hard for each other, the physical attraction is very much there but so is the emotional attachment. Cass and Luke both worry that they aren’t good enough for each other, but in fact their strengths complement each other's weaknesses. Cassidy has learned that she can’t please her mother, while Luke is still learning he can’t save everyone but they are both still struggling to be themselves apart from their families. This is a novel in which family plays a huge role, which I appreciate because I think it is very realistic.

This book had many of the things I love most about romance novels: cheeky best friends, supportive siblings, and travel. It also had vulnerable MCs who were willing to allow themselves to grow. And spicy scenes and the image of James Dean (well at least for me - Luke in jeans and a white t-shirt??). There were tears, not just from the characters, which means it hit me in the feels and I can’t ask for more than that in a romance novel.

If you have travel planned for this summer, grab this book; any delays you experience won’t be quite as bad as what Luke and Cass had to deal with.

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