Book Title: By Any Other Name
Author: Lauren Kate
Release Date: March 1st, 2022
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Adult Fiction
My rating: 4/5 Stars
From # 1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Kate comes an enemies-to-lovers romance about an editor, her bestselling author, and one life-changing secret.
What she doesn’t know about love could fill a book.
With a successful career as a romance editor, and an engagement to a man who checks off all ninety-nine boxes on her carefully curated list, Lanie’s more than good. She’s killing it. Then she’s given the opportunity of a lifetime: to work with world-renowned author and her biggest inspiration in love and life—the Noa Callaway. All Lanie has to do is cure Noa’s writer’s block and she’ll get the promotion she’s always dreamed of. Simple, right?
But there’s a reason no one has ever seen or spoken to the mysterious Noa Calloway. And that reason will rock Lanie’s world. It will call into question everything she thought she knew. When she finally tosses her ninety-nine expectations to the wind, Lanie may just discover that love By Any Other Name can still be as sweet.
By Any Other Name is a fun and entertaining romcom that can be read in one or two sittings. It’s short and sweet, but still really good.
This one is definitely a slow burn. There’s pretty much no steam, and the characters don’t get together until near the end of the book. I’ve seen some other reviews saying they didn’t like that aspect, but I personally didn’t mind it. For these two characters, I feel it made sense. What started out as a friendship over email between the two for several years, turned into betrayal because of a lie, then turned into a rebuilding of trust and getting to know the other. This took the entire book, but as I said, it made sense for them. Lanie was in a tough situation, because Noah was still the person she’d always known, but there was a big part of him he kept from her. And while I do think her reaction was a little exaggerated and unnecessary, it felt natural that she would take a while to see him as anything more than a friend, especially because she was previously engaged before breaking that off.
Additionally, I loved the friendships in this book. Lanie’s friends were always there to support her and encourage her, and you could tell they all really cared about each other. The fact that Lanie and Noah were also previously friends was something I would’ve liked developed a little more. I believe it was for six or seven years that they were exchanging emails, so clearly they had a history, but a lot of that was never fully discussed, and I think it could’ve added an extra layer to the story.
The building relationship between the two MCs was very sweet. We got to see them explore NYC together, which helped to spark Noah’s inspiration for his newest book, we got a touching scene between Lanie, Noah, and Noah’s mother, and we learned about the endearing old couple who had been picnicking every weekend for as long as anyone could remember. It was all so delightful and really made By Any Other Name as strong as it was. By the end I was wishing for an actual novel depicting Edward and Elizabeth’s romance, and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing another book in this series about that. It was intriguing to me the way Noah wrote the story backwards, and I feel like I’d either love a book like that or hate it, so I’d be interested to see which it is.
My biggest issue with the story was the fact that it was marketed as enemies to lovers. The “enemies” part of the book is fleeting and only lasts a chapter. Maybe two. After that their relationship is still rocky and uncertain, but I definitely would not call them enemies. I feel like a friends to lovers trope could have been better here. Had the enemies part been taken out or toned down as a momentary feeling of betrayal, then we could’ve focused on the years of history the two had and how that played a part in their growing relationship. Even so, this didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the book, it was just something that bothered me a little.
Overall though, By Any Other Name was such a cute and fun romcom, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys these types of stories!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Read my last ARC Review: So This Is Ever After