Love Sold Separately: A Novel Book Cover Love Sold Separately: A Novel
Ellen Meister
Humorous Fiction. Rom Com
August 25, 2020
Paperback, Audiobook, Kindle, Audio CD

Dana Barry has nothing against rules. She just knows they’re meant to be bent. So it’s no wonder the single, twentysomething actress loses her day job. Now her life is a mess…that is, until she hears the Shopping Channel is auditioning. Relying on her knack for knowing what makes people tick, she lands a gig on air. But before she can say office politics, Dana is caught in the biggest drama of her life. The star host—a diva who terrorized the entire staff—is found dead. Dana knows the prime suspect is innocent. The heat is on, and Dana thinks she’s ready for it…until she tangles with the tall, dark and smoldering detective in charge. It’s more fuel than she needs right now as she’s trying to launch her career. But Dana’s never been afraid to take chances…even when a single spark could ignite everything.

RomCom meets murder-mystery in Love Sold Separately by Ellen Meister

I read Love Sold Separately by Ellen Meister in one afternoon while laying on my couch during a lazy Sunday. It took me a while to get into it. I found Dana, the main character, arrogant, problematic, and annoying. Eventually, the story and its characters grew on me, but it was too little, too late.

Dana is a struggling actress living in New York City who just got fired from Hot Topic for telling a teenager he wasn’t a “true emo.” (Insert eye-roll here.) Her best friend and self-appointed manager, Megan, gets Dana an audition at the Shopping Channel. If only she can sober up quickly enough, she might have a good chance of being the next host for one of their shows!

As expected, our main character uses her wit and charm to nail the audition and wins the support of the queen bee at the network. But the celebrations are short-lived. As she is touring the studios, Dana is the first person at the scene of a crime. The main suspect? The charming Lorenzo, who she knows for a fact did not commit the crime.

Using the same attention to detail that landed her the job as host of a TV shopping show as well as her lack of self-control, Dana decides to unofficially take on the investigation. She must prove to the police Lorenzo is innocent.

Throughout the book, we meet (in no particular order): Olly her sweet and overly fragile assistant; Adam, an overworked producer; Dana’s dad, a rich snob; Sherry, her nemesis at work; Chelsea, her supportive and shopaholic sister; and Ari the tall, handsome, and mysterious lead detective on the case. All enjoyable, but mostly flat and sometimes stereotypical characters.

Love Sold Separately by Ellen Meister was fine. Dana has some relatable storylines and is full of funny clap-backs. Meinster gives us readers some solid romantic interests, although I must admit I wish we had more of them and less of detective-in-training Dana.

This book wasn’t for me. I considered giving up on it multiple times, but in the end, I don’t regret reading it. If you are in the mood for a quick beach or poolside read, this book is short, and the story goes fast (sometimes too fast).

Love Sold Separately by Ellen Meister comes out just before Labor Day weekend, but you can pre-order now.