For Marty Dashwood, the answer to that question would be no; you can’t have true romance without the cinema worthy meet-cute and an epic list of first dates. His obsession with stumbling into his “meant to be” relationship blinds him to the fact that the perfect girl is already in his life: co-worker Brandy. For her part, Brandy is just as obsessed with keeping Marty in the friend zone, since anything else would be a betrayal to her dead husband, her very own once-in-a-lifetime lover. And so, you might be fooled into thinking that they would carry out their lives in blissful ignorance of the sparks that fly whenever they are verbally sparring (sparks that are very evident to everyone else around them), but naturally the green eyed monster has other plans. Rash and Rationality is a cute, contemporary romance, but it falls short of offering any kind of surprise twists or truly gut wrenching emotion. Quick summation: don’t read this book if you are looking for an intellectually stimulating romantic escape…but if all you’re looking for is a quick beach read, this could be an excellent pick.
My main issue with this book, is that I found it difficult to connect with any of the characters, they all got on my nerves just a little bit, with the exception of Marty’s older brother, Eldon. Ironically, I think Eldon is supposed to be the annoying one, but he is the character that seemed most realistic, and therefore relatable, to me as I was reading. In fact, I would much rather have read the story of Eldon and his girlfriend Elena, instead of wading through Marty’s whining and Brandy’s hand wringing.
One aspect of the book that I did enjoy, was the treatment of social media. Marty’s girlfriend, Janeth, is an Instagram Influencer, with thousands of followers. She live streams parts of their dates, and poses for endless amounts of perfectly filtered pictures while out with Marty…in short, her relationship is “all for the ‘Gram.” But, it is her obsession with social media that ultimately leads to her downfall. Whether it was intentional or not, I found that part of the story to be excellent commentary on the current state of love and romance in our consumer-driven society. And, as someone who is incredibly guilty of not posting filter-less pictures, Janeth’s character did make me stop and think about my own social media persona, and to what extent it influences and reflects my actual life. I also really enjoyed the fact that a lot of the book takes place in coffee shops and bakeries…that aspect of the story spoke to my soul.
As I mentioned previously, this is not a book to read if you are looking for the next classic romance, ala the real Jane Austen. This book is intended to be fun and cute…with a few doses of pretty spicy sex thrown in for good measure, and in that regard, it does indeed deliver. Take Rash and Rationality with you to the beach…or to your backyard if you’re still in an area on coronavirus lockdown, it’ll make you laugh, and wonder how on earth men can be so stupid?