Text Me by Shelley K. Wall

TEXT
Text Me by Shelley K. Wall
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (160 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Hawthorn

Carter Coben is having some serious communication problems lately. First he mouthed off to a project manager at work and got fired, now his girlfriend’s dumped him and trashed his cell phone. About the only place he hasn’t got his wires crossed these days is at the anonymous texting app, Justchat.com. Carter thinks he might have found a real connection with “She Hearts Dogs,” but little does he know he’s already quite acquainted with this cunning canine-lover…

When Abigail Jeffries gets a random text message from a stranger saying he’s been dumped, she can’t help but answer it—and recommend he send his ex some flowers from her new shop. When she delivers the bouquet though, she finds out his ex was cheating on him with his best friend—the same best friend she’s impersonating via text! Abby feels guilty, but she can’t help responding. But what will happen when Carter finds out that Abby is not only the face behind the texts, but the reason he got fired at work and his mysterious mutt-loving pal on Justchat.com?

Will they ever manage to sort out their mixed signals, mistaken identities, and misunderstandings to find real love? This madcap, modern-day You’ve Got Mail for the texting generation will delight romantic comedy fans.

As is obvious from the title itself, this is a very twenty-first century love story, and Abby and Carter fit the roles of cautious individuals who feel more comfortable chatting through an anonymous application than talking face to face.

Some of this may be due to their ability to mess up royally whenever they meet, some is simply due to who they are: determined to be self-reliant and fearing commitment because there are more cons to it than pros. Abby started off as a very likeable character, while Carter struck me as a bit too macho type. But as I got to know them, their characters changed.

Because of an awkward phone number mix up, Abby suddenly finds herself unintentionally spying on Carter. At first she just wants to help him, then she becomes too embarrassed by everything she’s done in the name of Carter’s friend Jax – the person all those messages were intended for – to tell Carter the truth. While all this miscommunication was a lot of fun to follow, there came a point in the story where the misunderstandings became plain old lying.

There was a scene towards the end of the first half of the novel where Abby spilled water on Jackson when he was trying to explain some of the mix up to Carter. Of course Carter thought he was telling him that Jackson had an affair with Abby, so she doused Jackson with water to stop him. It was obvious that this was done purely to keep the plot of the mix up continuing, although the misunderstanding could’ve easily been rectified by either Abby or Jackson.

It was at this point that I couldn’t really root for Abby any longer because I didn’t feel her actions were justified. Carter however became a much more likeable person, and a lot of his previous actions were explained and the motivation behind them became clear. I also enjoyed reading about Caroline, Abby’s friend, Jackson, and another of Carter’s friends, Roger. It’s always important for novels to have strong secondary characters, and Text Me has them.

Perhaps if the plot were a bit simpler, with fewer unlikely coincidences and mix ups, it would’ve been a bit easier to follow, and perhaps then it wouldn’t seem like Abby was lying on purpose. I really wished I could like her, but as the plot developed I felt she became less and less likeable and her actions were less and less reasonable.

Text Me emphasizes the very important message that we shouldn’t rely on modern technology to fall in love. Doing it face to face is far more enjoyable and reliable.

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