Monday, May 3, 2021

Book Review: When We Blinked by Stephanie Mack

About the Book:

Newly split from her husband and college sweetheart, Seraphina Jones has returned to work after four years as a stay-at-home mom. She loves her job at prestigious Hamilton Hotels & Resorts, but her transition from play dates to pencil skirts is proving wobbly at best.

Encouraged to rediscover her romantic side, Sera agrees to try hot new dating app Blinde, aimed at millennials tired of swipe culture. The differentiator? Blinde doesn’t allow any pictures. Instead, the wildly popular platform fosters connections through meaningful conversations, inviting the age-old question: Is true love actually blind?

Sera soon finds herself freshly confident, succeeding at work, and smitten by not one, but several men: gorgeous heir to the Hamilton throne, Graham Hamilton; irresistible dark horse Jack, slowly winning her heart via Blinde; and Connor, her ex, the only man she’s ever loved.

But even though Sera thinks she’s juggling three different suitors—the truth is, there are only two. Unbeknownst to Sera, Connor is posing as invisible hottie Jack, secretly allowing her to get to know him all over again, as if for the very first time. Could love at second sight change everything for Sera and Connor? Or will she want a clean slate with dreamy Graham?

Set against the backdrops of sunny Southern California and the whimsical Wyoming mountains, When We Blinked provides a timely, unforgettable portrait of modern love—the mistakes that shape us, the ties that bind us, and the grace that can make us new.

My Thoughts:

Reading When We Blinked by Stephanie Mack gave me all the emotions. The excellent writing tugged at my heart strings and I felt the sting of betrayal, the satisfaction of a job well-done, the struggles of parenting, and the insecurity of an uncertain future. I cheered for Seraphina throughout the novel.

From the beginning of When We Blinked, I had an immediate interest in the characters, but my reading progress slowed as the story dealt with heavy topics including divorce, porn addiction, alcoholism, infertility, and parenting a highly sensitive child. Humor balanced out the serious issues in the book. Still, I think it is fair to offer a trigger warning about the referenced topics as they are portrayed with authenticity and the author does not shy away from the destructiveness of porn, alcoholism, and divorce. I was especially pleased with the story’s embracing of mental health therapy and medical treatment. In the end, the author brought it all home. I absolutely loved the ending.

I recommend When We Blinked for mature readers due to topics in the book and two edgy scenes that went slightly beyond what I consider “clean” romance. While I wish the moments had been less detailed, the scenes were brief and did not overshadow the story. 

When We Blinked stands as Stephanie Mack’s debut novel and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

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