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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

Love in the time of Mortadella

You had me at salami


Love You, Mean In by Jilly Gagnon 

Stars: 4

Spicy: PG-13 


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


Small town romances

Fake finances 

People finding their passions 

Deli meats

Historical buildings


Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.


What do you do when a developer wants to bring the Walmart equivalent of the specialty meats world to the cute little town where you run a third generation family deli? Do you a) turn tail and run or b) join forces with the son of the developer to save your business and the historical building where said meat market is to open in?  If you are Ellie Greco you are willing to play along with Theo Taylor, the son of the local developer, Ted Taylor, and pretend to be engaged because Theo knows that his dad would never try to put his future daughter-in-law out of business, it would just look bad. So now Ellie and Theo are playing lovers and the line between reality and fantasy is starting to blur. The set-up for how these two get to a fake relationship is pretty clever and reminded me of one of my favorite rom-coms (I’m looking at you Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman).


There is a lot to love in Jilly Gagnon’s book, especially the two main characters. Though the book is told from Ellie’s perspective, Gagnon provides a lot of insight into Theo’s thinking. The reader is also introduced to a cast of characters including Ellie’s family, including her indomitable grandmother and delightful cousin/best friend (hello here for Belle’s book next). I generally prefer dual POVs but when a book is single POV, I want to see how the main character falls for their love interest but also how they grow and change thanks to their interaction with them. I mean I know we are here for the steamy (and there is steamy) but I also want to see personal growth and I think Gagnon provides that for Ellie and Theo. Not to make it sound trite but Ellie learns to embrace what she really wants from life, not what she thinks she should want. 


Love You, Mean It comes out in April and it should definitely be on your spring TBR list!

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