If I Loved You Less by Tamsen Parker is a super sweet, PG rated romance!
As a fan of Tamsen Parker, I’m always down for whatever book she throws our way! She tends to switch up her genres, her writing style, her narratives and her character types. This time around THE BOOK ISN’T FOCUSED ON SEX. That’s mind blowing all on it’s own, that Tamsen took a big step out of her “comfort zone” (per say) and jumped into a more dramatic and contemporary world. While that jump could have ended up poorly (let’s be honest, she could have sunken the ship), I think it worked out wonderfully! So, if you want to peek inside my brain and see what I thought of this Emma retelling, continue on…
This book is a rarity for Tamsen – why? Because this one lacks sex scenes! (There is a sentence that says the main lady has a wonderful time with herself, but it’s only a sentence). That being said, this book was still a fantastic read by this always wonderful author!
I did really like that Tamsen took a step back from the uber sexy novels. While this book felt fluffy and more on the contemporary side, it also showcased a more dramatic side of Tamsen we don’t see as often with the overly sexual books. In this book, the focus is all on the retelling of Emma in a Hawaiian environment.
I haven’t read Emma (I plan to, but I just haven’t been able to yet), but I read many summaries on various sites to try to get a better understanding of what this book was about. To me, this book seemed to be an excellent “reboot” of Jane Austen’s extremely famous story. The general plot of this story is Emma retold from our main character’s point of view. This time around, Theo (our lead) lives in Hawaii, teachers surfing and is madly in love with the baker.
In my humble opinion, I think Tamsen did this story justice! When I read this book, I felt like the story respected the source material and changed just enough to make this book stand on it’s own. At the beginning I felt that the book moved a little slowly, but as the chapters went on the pace picked up and I became more enchanted by the tale woven within Tamsen’s words. Some of the characters I felt could have been left out, but I’m under the impression these characters are based on character’s from Emma. If anything, that’s the worst part for me – I would have loved to see way more of Theo and Kini than some of the side characters (Tamsen just made them oh so lovable and relatable! I felt like I would know these characters outside the book, in the real world!).
The romance in this book is not max-ed out or hyped up. This felt like a slow burn novel, where we finally get our sigh of relief at the end. Having Theo be the match maker for the town gave us little glimpses of hope and excitement for romances to bloom, but as with any Jane Austen novel – things don’t always work out the way we want. I think that worked fantastically within this novel – it didn’t feel like the romance was forced or that there was too much romance. It’s just a pinch and a sprinkle throughout!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! If you’re looking to get into Tamsen’s books but are a little hesitant on the sexy ones, then pick this book up! I feel like it’s the perfect book to be introduced to Tamsen’s writing, and then move on to her hotter books (I could recommend a few…).
Five out of five stars!
I received a free copy of this book from the author Tamsen Parker in exchange for an honest review.
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Find out more about Tamsen Parker on her website: http://www.tamsenparker.com/
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Photo from Goodreads.