Release Day Review: Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai (Modern Love #2)
Contemporary romance published by Avon on April 21, 2020

Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai book coverIn Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a reclusive investor goes viral, shoving her into the world’s spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’s been pining for…

OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate???

I don’t see any wedding rings

Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!!

One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a random guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire encounter with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae has the world swooning. Going viral isn’t easy for anyone, but Katrina has painstakingly built a private world for herself, far from her traumatic past. Besides, everyone has it all wrong…that #CafeBae bro? He isn’t the man she’s hungry for.

He’s got a 🍑  to die for.

With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, offers his family’s farm as a refuge. Alone with her unrequited crush feels like a recipe for hopeless longing, but Katrina craves the escape. She’s resigned to being just friends with Jas–until they share a single electrifying kiss. Now she can’t help but wonder if her crush may not be so unrequited after all…

I’m an Alisha Rai-fangirl and have nothing but praise for Girl Gone Viral. Girl Gone Viral is book two in the Modern Love series, a spin-off from her Forbidden Hearts series. Girl Gone Viral is my favorite of the two books in the series so far. Katrina and Jas are great characters. It’s funny and sexy while tackling some tough topics and problems.

We meet Katrina in The Right Swipe, book one of the series. Katrina is Rhiannon‘s (main character in The Right Swipe) silent partner and is trying to work through some stuff and start dating. An encounter at a coffee shop gets turned into an exaggerated meet cute story on Twitter. Katrina values her privacy and anonymity and wants to get away in case the media starts digging into the identity of the mystery woman in the meet cute story. Her bodyguard and friend (and crush!) Jas is also looking to escape his problems so takes them to his house on his family farm.

Jas worked for Katrina’s husband until he passed away and stayed on working for Katrina for…reasons (secret crush! much pining!). He has issues he’s working through and things he doesn’t want to talk about but ultimately has to for his family and for Katrina. Jas’s relationship with his family especially his grandfather is complicated but they all really love and support each other. His parents, step-brother, and grandfather are great.

I enjoyed the build up of the romance between Katrina and Jas. Not much actually happens romantically until after the halfway mark but their inner monologues are super revealing and adorable. And even though they’ve been in each other’s lives for years, they have so much to learn, to get beyond the superficial, beyond what they think they know about each other.

I like Alisha Rai’s books for a lot of reasons. Towards the top of my list is her use of friendships and it’s many forms. In Girl Gone Viral, Katrina’s closest friends are her (found) family. For Jas, he doesn’t have many close friends but is making an effort in large part by being pulled along by Samson (Rhiannon‘a love interest in The Right Swipe).

Girl Gone Viral is one of my top reads so far this year. It worked for me in so many ways like the mutual crushes and pining for years, friendship/respectful and fulfilling working relationship turning into more, great found family (Katrina’s) and lovely actual family (Jas’s), Katrina’s growing menagerie (Doodle!), and each doing the hard work of being honest and patient with each other if not right away, then doing it when it meant so much to those closest to them. There are missteps on both sides and they both still have work to do for themselves and their new relationship at the end but a super satisfying and hopeful read for me.

Content warnings for discussions of past parental abuse and abduction. On the page panic attacks and depictions of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Grade: A-

You can buy a copy here.

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