Author: Alisha Rai
Narrators: Summer Morton & Brian Pallino
Audiobook Length: 9 hours 55 minutes
In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a live-tweet event goes viral for a camera-shy ex-model, shoving her into the spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’d been pining for.
OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate???
I don’t see any wedding rings [eyes emoji]
Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!!
One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for…
He’s got a [peach emoji] to die for.
With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…
Girl Gone Viral is the second novel in the Modern Love series, which features connecting characters in standalone stories. This novel follows Katrina, a former model, who now invests her money to help others, including being a partner with Rhiannon for the dating app, Crush. The story introduces her, and the events of the story move forward when Katrina has completed a therapy session and is at a café. I loved how openly Katrina discussed therapy as it is not something featured in many novels. She has a great support system through her sessions plus those around her and I loved how the importance of this is explored. Here at the café, a stranger asks to share a table as there are no other open seats. He and Katrina talk from everything to work to animals and the entire conversation is live-tweeted by another patron.
After Katrina goes viral, she goes to hide out at her bodyguard, Jas’s, family home. As the two spend time together, they open up more to each other, and each work through their own issues. Katrina’s anxiety and PTSD and Jas’s PTSD were unique as each character was going through their individual struggles. Additionally, each secretly pines for the other although it is difficult to act on due to their employer-employee relationship. The story is a dual perspective, which I usually prefer; however, I think this one would have been a little better for me with only Katrina. This is because I connected more with Katrina as an individual and her feelings for Jas. I felt that Jas’s feelings were always just there. While I loved him and Katrina as a couple, I wish there was more build-up in either giving the backstory for his feelings for her or for them to build over time.
This novel was a fantastic exploration of social media as the initial event seemed innocent enough but had a major effect on those involved. It was handled well in this story along with the general theme of the importance of respect for privacy. Another thing I enjoyed was the diversity in this novel as Jas is Punjabi with Mexican ancestry and Katrina is half-white and half-Thai. As Jas and Katrina both secretly liked each other before the story begins, there is no build-up for the reader. Overall, the mental health element of the story was the standout. The romance itself was just okay as I did not fully connect to it although it was very sweet. The story as a whole was enjoyable and I look forward to continuing to the next novel in the series!
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