By Shellee Marie
Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.72
Publication Date: February 22nd 2022
Format Read: Kindle Ebook
Goodreads Summary: After a scandal threatens her reputation, popular beauty influencer, Alivia Fae, attempts to distract her followers by polling them to pick her date. When they pair her up with a fellow influencer, Moe Gava, he takes notice and asks her out. Unfortunately, she soon realizes he’s not as desirable as he seems online.
Despite her disinterest, when it’s suggested that she and Moe start a fake dating relationship, to keep up engagement with their fans, she begrudgingly agrees. As the plan unfolds, she begins to grow closer to his low-key assistant, Travis. Leading her to re-evaluate what she truly wants to influence her life—love.
Shellee Marie’s debut novel is the first book in her Black Beauty in Love series and is perfect for fans of Amy Lea and Alisha Rai.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!!
Happy almost pub day for Influenced Love! This is Shellee Marie’s debut novel and it comes out in under a month, so make sure you mark your calendars and give it some love. It most certainly deserves it!! I read this book back in December of last year, and I’ve been waiting to post this review until it got a little bit closer to when the book was actually going to come out. And now that day is today!
This book is a cute and classic romance between an online beauty influencer, Alivia Fae, and the behind the scenes camera boy and assistant Travis. It was set up from the beginning with an adorable meet-cute, and it was adorable to watch the romance unfold. The book falls into a couple of classic tropes, but manages to pull them off because the tropes don’t work. It’s as if Marie used classic romance book tropes to write the other love interests, but the main love connection between Alivia and Travis was pure without any of the tropey-ness. I personally loved that because it made it easier for me to root for the main character’s happiness.
What other love interests, you ask? Number one is Dan, Alivia’s childhood best friend. Dan gets married right at the beginning of the book, but due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, tabloids believe that Alivia is in love with Dan. That’s right, tabloids. This isn’t any tale of love! Alivia is a famous influencer who blew up by sharing makeup tips for other black women to use. This throws his marriage, and their friendship, into disarray. I was really enjoying this little side plot because I think it helped to flesh out Alivia’s character, but I don’t think it was wrapped up as well as it could have been at the end.
The other love interest is Moe Gava. Moe is a fitness influencer that seems to have about 2 braincells. He’s classically stupid but he and Alivia start fake dating in order to distract from Alivia’s scandal. Moe does get more fleshed out as the story continues, which is good, and his character even becomes endearing for both me and Alivia.
Travis, the true main love interest, is a very sweet kind boy. He’s the type of man that everyone wants to end up with. Marie did a great job of showing how supportive he was of Alivia, and making this a romance that I was cheering for the entire time! I kind of liked how there was no ambiguity over who she would end up with, because that gave more time for their relationship to develop naturally and feel real, as opposed to being squeezed in between interactions with another boy.
Oh, and from what I hear, this is book #1 in Marie’s series, Black Beauty in Love, so you should read this one and get a whole trilogy out of it at some point in the future! The best part is, this book is fully self contained so you don’t have to worry about cliffhangers if you decide not to continue.
Let me know what you think of this book if you read it!