Updated: Jan 18
Ghosting: A Love Story
by Tash Skilton
Published by Kensington Books
LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS—TO BREAK ALL THE RULES
Online Dating Ghostwriting Rules to Live by
Dumped by his fiancée, not only is Miles couch-surfing across New York City, but downsizing has forced him to set up shop at a café. Also, he no longer believes in love. Not a good look in his line of work . . .
Do not present a “perfect” image. No one will trust it. Nor should they.
Zoey’s eccentric L.A. boss sent her packing to New York to “grow.” But beneath her chill Cali demeanor, Zoey’s terrified to venture beyond the café across the street . . .
Think of your quirks—such as cosplaying B-movies from the 1980s—as a “Future Honesty.” Save these as a reward only for those who prove worthy.
The only thing Miles and Zoey share is their daily battle for Café Crudite’s last day-old
biscotti. They don’t know they’re both ghostwriting “authentic” client profiles for rival online dating services. Nope, they have absolutely nothing in common. . . . Until they meet
anonymously online, texting on the clock . . .
Never remind the client you’re their Cyrano. Once you’ve attracted a good match, let the client take over ASAP.
Soon, with their clients headed for dating disaster, both Miles and Zoey's jobs are at stake. And once they find out their lines have crossed, will their love connection be the real thing—or vanish into the ether?. . .
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Rom-Com Feel Good
Ghosting: A Love Story is written by Tash Skilton, which is actually a pen name for two authors, Sarvenez Tash and Sarah Skilton. Ghosting: A Love Story has two narrators; Miles, a New Yorker who is going through a rough breakup, while working in an industry that helps people fall in love as a ghostwriter for clients on online dating sites, and Zoey, a newcomer to New York who is having trouble adjusting, and works as a freelancing ghostwriter for a competing agency.
I have to start by saying, I freakin' loved this book. For many reasons.
* It's unique. We have all read romances where enemies fall in love, but this is just done in such an organic and modern way.
*C.H.E.M.I.S.T.R.Y. Miles and Zoey have so much chemistry it's insane. From the moment they meet, even when fighting, it's electric. Even when they aren't together, you can't help but feel a sense of rightness between them. When they are together, its intense and beautiful, but not overwhelming so. It's just perfect.
*Entertaining. I laughed way too much reading this. Their banter with one another is refreshing and fun. And feels real. Not just their words, but the situations they get themselves into. Without getting spoilery, I feel like every city should celebrate National Cheese Day.
*Authentic. The characters feel like people that actually exist. They talk the way friends and I talk. The setting is equally realistic. New York tends to be a bit romanticized ... and for sure, there is a lot of love for New York in this book. But it's real too. I've only been to NYC once, but the descriptions of certain smells, the sound of a train coming in to the subway platform, and the people ... I was transported back. I have read a lot of New York based books, and this is the first time I felt like I was there again.
The characters are so well written and fleshed out. I liked Zoey. She's a girl I would actually be friends with. Low-maintenance, intelligent, sarcastic, and a lot stronger than she thinks. Her battles with anxiety struck a cord in me, and it was very easy to relate to her. Miles was an easy male protagonist to fall for. I've ALWAYS had a thing for nerdy, hipster type guys, and he fits the bill. The fact that he is a self admitted romantic ... swoon. The side characters are just as fun and interesting, which gave the added bonus of never being bored in the book.
I highly, HIGHLY recommend this one. Obviously Sarvenez Tash and Sarah Skilton work amazingly well together, and I am crossing fingers for more projects to come from them. In the meantime, I think I will check out their individual books as well. If those books are even half as good as this one, I will be in for a treat.
Top 3 Favorite Parts
Zoey and Miles fighting over the free scones
Zoey and Miles finally sharing the table when the cafe becomes overrun during a rain storm, and Miles finds out about the table war
Zoey stopping Bree from having sex with Jude
(bonus) The HankyBook hahaha
(bonus) Zoey helping Miles when his ex and her new man come in to the cafe, resulting in their first kiss
(bonus) The weed chase
(bonus) Zoey and Miles finally having sex
(bonus) Miles making a choice and making things right with Zoey
Where to Preorder:
And then there's Jude Campbell. There's nothing very special about Jude's profile. He's good looking enough. His answers are normal enough. Or, I should say, there's almost nothing very special about Jude's profile.
Jude apparently moved here from Scotland a couple of years ago. Which means Jude has an accent. And if I am going to stake my whole career on one guy's love match?
I'm picking the dude with the Scottish accent.
I've just hit send when music comes blasting from a corner table, warranting a glance in that direction.
It's I Am Legend, whose face has turned bright pink, Bambi lashes fluttering as she frantically hits keys on her laptop. I'm pretty sure that's a song from Fifty Shades of Grey. Is that what she's doing here? Does hoarding free food while she watches soft-core porn in public get her off or something? I watch her for a second, curious whether I can discern if she's turned on. Then I catch myself. Under no circumstances am I to be checking out women again, even if it's purely anthropological.
Zoey: "Not today, Satan."
His brown eyes whip toward mine
Miles: "What'd you say?"
Zoey: "Uh, I said, 'Seat's taken.' "
Miles: "I can see that. Given that you're sitting in it."
Zoey: "Just wanted to make sure we're clear. I'll be here all day, but the way, so don't get any ideas that you can like, wait me out."
Miles: "Well, Fifty Shades can't watch itself."
Zoey: "Excuse me?"
Miles: "Six straight hours of mommy porn is admirably rigorous."
Zoey: "I have no idea what you're - oh. The Weeknd. Uh, it was a parody video."
Miles: "Parody porn is underrated."
Zoey: "I didn't come here to watch porn."
Miles: "Just do me a favor and keep the volume down, okay? Some of us are here to work."
Zoey: "Hi, this is Zoey with Sweet Nothings. How may I help you?"
Bree: "Basically, my dick picker is broken."
Bree: "Sweet. And you're like a spellchecker and grammar bitch?"
Zoey: "Exactly. Minus the bitch part."
Dating App Chat:
TheDuchessB: I've been burned. This is a strictly an in-person subject. I need to see the whites of your eyes before I can discuss Her Highness with you.
GreatSc0t: Like ... in the Battle of Bunker Hill?
TheDuchessB: Dating is war, my good man.
GreatSc0t: Touche. I respect that. Soldier to soldier.
Dating App Chat:
TheDuchessB: Woo. Is it hot in here? But, seriously. Keep talking Scot to me.
GreatSc0t: Whiskey. Heather. Kilt.
Dating App Chat:
TheDuchessB: Is this your subtle way of reminding me you have muscles?
Oops. Maybe that wasn't as organic as I though. I should be more careful, especially since this girl seems extra sharp
GreatSc0t: Yes. It obviously worked, right? You feel very subconsciously attracted to me?
TheDuchessB: Of course. Freud would be having a field day with my id right now.
I grin at my screen
GreatSc0t: So ... until the morning sky kisses the stars away, my Liege.
TheDuchessB: You're a little bit of a rule-breaker, aren't you?
GreatSc0t: Only in the best way.
Contrary, Quite: Did you taste the fried chicken at Momofuku, yet?
Zoey: Not yet.
Contrary, Quite: Don't contact me again until you do. I mean it. You're partially dead to me, starting... now.
Mom: "I think this is a lack of food talking. Come here immediately and I'll make you my chili, okay? And mandel bread."
Miles: "Yes, Mom."
Baba: "You never make me mandel bread."
Mom: "You can make it yourself."
Baba: "So can he! He's a thirty-one-year-old man."
Mom: "That's true. But he'll also always be my baby. Aren't you, my little oogle-boogle."
Miles: "Mom, how do children appear?"
Mom: "Didn't we already have this talk?"
She turns to Baba
Baba: "I mean, I mostly left it up to you but I thought it was taken care of."
Baba: "As did I. Of course, I taught physics, not biology, so maybe something got a little lost in translation?"
Miles: "No. I don't mean where do they come from ..."
Mom: "Thank heavens. I'm not sure I have enough blood pressure medication to explain this to you now."
Miles: "I'd just found out my fiancee was pregnant and I wasn't the dad."
My mouth falls open
Miles: "Want to guess who the dad is?"
Zoey: "I ... I'm so sorry -"
Miles: "Yoga Doug. YOGA DOUG! And who can afford therapy, right? I mean, I was actually considering starting an anonymous Twitter account so I could air out my grievances into the void. You know, for free."
Zoey: "Swamptown? Where is it you think I'm from?"
Miles: "If I had to guess, I'd say Florida."
Zoey: "Get out."
I point to the door
Zoey: "I rescind your invitation."
He stands, stunned
Miles: "What did I ...?
Zoey: "Sit down."
He does, looking perplexed.
Miles: "To be fair, your outfit's a little - eccentric ... to put it mildly ..."
Zoey: "Who cares about my outfit! Do I look like someone who would tolerate hanging chads?"
Miles: "That's a little before our time."
Zoey: "It's still a topic of conversation among my friends."
Miles: "How old are your friends?"
Zoey: "Ancient. For the record, I'm from California. The Best Coast."
Miles: "That's debatable. Aren't you about two seconds from falling into the sea or getting blown up by nuclear weapons? In between throwing yourselves bloated award shows every weekend, that is."
He does an obnoxious little song-and-dance from his seat.
Miles: " 'Hooray for Hollywood' ..."
Zoey: "You seem nice, Miles. This has been oodles of fun."
Miles: "I know we discussed your greed earlier, but could you at least try to make it equal?"
Zoey: "What are you talking about, your portion is clearly larger."
There is a gleam of humor in his eye
Miles: "Does Evelynn need to come back and intervene?"
Miles: "Ladies first."
Zoey: "What am I, your food taster? Seeing if it's poisoned?"
Miles: "You do seem violently determined to keep this table. I don't know what lengths you'll go to."
I place a forkful of black bean quinoa on my tongue. My eyes widen and I contort my face as I force the food down. He looks nervous
Zoey: "It's ... fine."
Miles: "That bad, huh?"
Zoey: "No, nooo. You'll probably like it. Why don't you take a nice, big, enormous bite and find out?"
He looks mournfully down at his food
He digs his fork in and scoops out the smallest possible portion, gingerly raising it to his mouth.
Miles: "It's delicious. It's really, really good.
I giggle, unable to pretend any longer
Zoey: "I know."
Miles: "Why'd you try to trick me?"
Zoey: "I thought if I made you think it was gross, you might set it aside and I could take it home later."
Miles: "You're like ... a con artist. Are you sure you're not from Florida?"