Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Book Review: Enemies Become Lovers in ‘Delilah Green Doesn’t Care’

If you’re looking for an enemies-to-lovers romance with a side of excellent dry humor, Delilah Green Doesn’t Care will check a lot of boxes for you. While Delilah Green is packed with angst and very sexy, it’s also surprisingly sweet. I found myself lost in the romance easily, with a central couple that is very easy to root for.

Delilah is a lesbian photographer living in New York City who makes her way through casual hookups like it’s her job, determined not to have an emotional attachment to anyone and wearing her tattoos like armor. Claire is a bisexual book store owner living in the small town of Bright Falls with her daughter, who doesn’t take chances with love for fear of being abandoned. When Delilah begrudgingly agrees to photograph her perfect “evil” stepsister Astrid’s wedding for the money (and the chance to mess with Astrid), their paths will cross. It’s sparks at first sight, despite the danger in Claire being one of Astrid’s best friends and their fiery first meeting. But when the two both realize Astrid is marrying a jerk, they (along with Astrid’s other best friend Iris) are forced to team up to talk her out of it. Will Delilah and Claire be able to overcome their pasts and current hang-ups to be with each other?

Ashley Herring Blake does an excellent job with her characterization of not only the main pairing, but also the side characters. They are relatable even when they do frustrating things, and it’s always easy to see where their issues are coming from. Delilah’s interactions with Claire’s daughter Ruby are tender, with Delilah recognizing something of her younger self in the spunky girl. The side plot involving Astrid’s terrible fiancé is hilarious while also revealing a lot about Delilah, Claire, and Astrid’s relationships. Bright Falls and its residents are ripped right from a Hallmark movie in the best possible way. It feels both familiar and fresh due to Herring Blake’s ability to deepen characters that are archetypes in most romances.

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But perhaps the best part about Delilah Green Doesn’t Care is how the queerness of its leads is just so skillfully woven into the story. Delilah and Claire are not the only queer people in the story, and both are very secure in their identities. The “will they or won’t they” aspect of the plot has nothing to do with their sexualities and everything to do with life circumstances, which is a refreshing change of pace. Both are well developed on their own, not just as a pair, which makes their interactions better and the relationship believable. And quite frankly, they are sexy together. If readers don’t come away with a crush on Delilah or Claire or both, I don’t know what to tell you. All the scenes between Delilah and Claire crackle with electricity, and just to read that sort of romance unfolding between two unapologetically queer women is deeply meaningful and a delight.

Overall, Delilah Green Doesn’t Care is an entertaining read that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a good queer romance with those classic Hallmark tropes (and a side of spice).

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care hits shelves February 22.

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