The Meet Cute Method by Portia MacIntosh

I have read and enjoyed books by Portia MacIntosh before, but for some reason The Meet Cute Method just did not quite deliver. Frankie, a journalist who writes about dating and relationships, has a new boss who she must impress or she will be fired. She has the idea of writing an article about real life ‘meet cutes’ being better than dating apps, but her attempts are either dismal failures or a bit cringeworthy.

In the meantime, she meets Max in the lift at work and they seem to be getting on well. He invites her on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii, which her boss is keen to exploit, but does not let on that it is a get-together for his extremely wealthy family until they arrive at the luxury resort. This is where the narrative does not quite work for me. It becomes obvious that Frankie cannot continue to set up meet cutes, while convincingly playing the part of Max’s fake fiancée. The main problem was that the relationship between Frankie and Max was not entirely convincing. The spent hardly any time together and, despite a promising start, the chemistry between them was underdeveloped.

The story is told entirely from Frankie’s point of view, but I found her quite hard to relate to. As a lot of the story is about Max’s difficult relationship with his family, I would have liked some chapters from his perspective. The descriptions of the Hawaiian setting are wonderfully evocative, and one of the best things about The Meet Cute Method – I would definitely love to visit that part of the world.

Ultimately, this was a pleasant enough read, but there were too many romance tropes fighting for space when one would have been enough. Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood Books for a digital copy to review.