My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
It’s all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.
Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!
Beware spoilers ahead!
This book was recommended to me by Irena! Click on her name to read her review.
I had heard about this book through Netgalley. I tried requesting it but got denied. Back in 2015 I went on the Swoon Reads website and read the sample. It was around 48 pages long. At the time I found that I didn’t really like it. While it was engaging and I liked the characters I didn’t like the writing style. I saw Irena’s review and decided to give it another go. I am happy to say that I enjoyed it!
The book begins with Caleb dumping his girlfriend Amber. When they started dating he made it very clear to her that he wanted a no strings attached relationship. At the time Amber agreed and they begun dating. Then at a party Amber tells Caleb that she loves him. Caleb realizes that he needs to act fast. So he told her to meet him at a restaurant. The break up isn’t really going well. Amber has burst into tears And now everyone is looking at him. To calm things down Caleb asks for water.
Diana ‘Didi’ is not having a good day. Her mother forgot to pay the electricity and her alarm clock didn’t go off. Waking up late she couldn’t find her lucky boots and took some clothes that looked relatively clean. And the bad day seems to continue. That rich brat has successfully caused that girl to cry.
While Didi is giving them their water she hears her name being called. She turns around and trips on her untied shoe laces sending the water tumbling down on the girls head. The girl makes a big show of calling Didi names and shrieking. Blissfully she leaves. This leaves Caleb and Didi together to clean up the mess. Didi’s worsens and she angrily quits.
Caleb decides to take a smoke break. He runs into Didi and she takes a drag. Then all of a sudden Didi jumps into the water. Terrified Caleb jumps after her and the two talk. After a very personal conversation the two go their separate ways.
When Caleb arrives home his father surprises him. Now of course his father is usually very angry so that’s not out of the ordinary. It’s what his father says that surprises him. Apparently after the break up Amber ran straight to her father. Who then called Caleb’s father. Caleb’s father tells him that this is the last straw and that he won’t allow Caleb to take his gap year across Europe.
Caleb has been looking forward to taking his gap year because he can take a break from responsibility and going to law school. Caleb then negotiates with his father. He explains that he can’t change what happened with Amber but he can do whatever his father asks to make it up to him. Caleb’s father then says that he wants to have Caleb intern at his firm. And on top of that Caleb will have to attend all the functions.
Caleb calls an emergency meeting with his cousin Nathan and their friend Preston. As the three of them talk, Preston points out that the only reason Caleb’s father is only caring about Caleb’s date record because Amber’s father is one of his clients. He’s afraid of losing an important client. Caleb realizes that because he is single all the women will try to set him up with their female relatives. Nathan offhandedly mentions that Caleb needs to find a fake girlfriend. Caleb decides to ask Didi.
I honestly did not expect to like it this much! When I read the beginning for the second time I thought that I would rate this three stars. The book is written in third person, switching between Didi and Caleb’s point of view. It’s written in third person for the sake of being vague. Specifically with Didi’s character. The second time around I actually liked the writing style.
The only reason Didi agrees to be a fake girlfriend is because she was bored and wanted to get a glimpse of Caleb’s world. Didi isn’t exactly poor but her family aren’t rich either. Her father left her and her mother when she was eight years old. Her mother juggles many jobs to pay for Didi’s medicines. Didi works as well but for the duration of the book she doesn’t have a job. It is implied for a majority of the book that Didi has a mental illness. But it isn’t until the end where it’s revealed what her mental illness is. Didi has an excellent relationship with her mother; they’re close.
Caleb is rich. He’s got life pretty easy. When he was 12 years old his mother committed suicide. He doesn’t know what happened his father refuses to talk about it. Since then his father has buried himself in his work. He became cold and ignored Caleb. Caleb has vowed to never fall in love least he turns out like his dad. While Caleb isn’t close with his father he is close with his cousins Nathan and Natasha. And their mutual friend Preston.
I really loved how No Love Allowed focused on family relationships! I loved Natasha and Nathan! Whenever they came in I started laughing. I liked Preston even if he was very quite. And Didi’s mom was sweet.
I enjoyed reading about Didi and Caleb’s relationship and their characters! I liked how honest and loyal Caleb was. And I liked how Didi wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and let her emotions show. Even if she was surrounded by the very rich fake crowd. Their friendship was sweet and I liked seeing them becoming something more.
I only had two problems with No Love Allowed. I wish that Didi’s mental illness was revealed earlier so that I could learn about it and see more of Didi’s growth. And I didn’t like how things ended with Caleb and his father. They got into an argument but Caleb’s father actually started being nice to him and you never see where that goes.
Overall this was a really fun book! I recommend it to contemporary fans.