Cover Image: Unperfect

Unperfect

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This is a well-paced story with a sweet romance that builds up nicely between a young woman trying to survive domestic abuse and the gruff architect she finds a job with. Max is a swoon-worthy character, a big bear of a man with a marshmallow centre. His growly exterior hides a heart of gold and he soon develops protective feelings for Mia who has run away from a violent and controlling husband, unbeknownst to him.

However, the story lost a star from me when it went from a heartfelt, poignant romance to what felt like a spin off of "Love, Actually", Romance books are a form of escapism and one expects to suspend reality to a certain extent, but the plot towards the end became too far fetched and the characters began to feel more like caricatures, with even Max beginning to sound like a pastiche of a northerner rather than a believable character. On top of it all, the prime minister is somehow roped into the action (yes, definitely a whiff of "Love, Actually") and has a wife who uses terms such as "wankpuffin", "buggering badgers" and "cockwomble". A shame really, since at its heart there was a good story there which could have resolved itself in a much more believable and emotionally satisfying way than it ended up doing. On a side note, the book needs to be proof-read, as there were much more than a handful of typing errors.
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I want to start off by saying this book does have some trigger warnings. That being said, this was an interesting read. We have a boss, Max, who says what he thinks and who cares about anyones feelings and a woman Mia, who is escaping her abusive ex that left her for dead after a beating.  

I received this ARC through #netgalley and I am voluntarily reviewing this book
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I did enjoy this book but there was just a few things that bugged me a little.

Firstly, I did actually enjoy how the author actually made the side characters as interesting as the main characters and I did enjoy the plot but I feel like the execution could have been slightly better.

I felt like it took ages for everyone to find out the truth about Mia. Honestly, it's not that hard to piece things together. It also really annoyed me that Max was the last person to know about Miss situation. There was also a quite a few grammar mistakes in the book.

Before diving into this book I would recommend looking up trigger warnings and making sure you are comfortable with the subjects this book deals with!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4316603725?book_show_action=false
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TW- Domestic Violence

I've not read a lot of books about domestic violence, to be honest. But I can still say it captured the nuances of domestic violence. The thought process, the repetition, the constant lingering fears, untimely triggers, everything seemed to work. Some may find it repetitive or slow, but everyone who has been traumatized tend to have constant negative thoughts more along the similar lines because that's a narrative they firmly believe in after the trauma.
It did bother me how they ignored the obvious signs but maybe a lot of it was attributed to the distance Mia maintained with everyone and how in order to make her comfortable they had to give her ample of space, which could've been why they didn't notice those signs or simply didn't know to react the correct way thus making the readers feel they perhaps were neglecting the signs.
But I liked what followed after her trip to the hospital.
To be fair, it was a romance but it dealt more with domestic violence, which was good, I think it'd give victims the hope they were denied of by their abusers, and that's a good thing, even necessary perhaps.
Teddy was so nice and kind-hearted. Infact most of the characters were kind-hearted irrespective of whether they were practical or tempered or strange.
It has it flaws for sure but it deals with such a sensitive topic so maturely that I'd recommend it to anyone who wishes to read a book about abuse and hope.
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Unperfect by Susie Tate is a contemporary romance. I believe it is number four in the Beg Borrow, or Steal series, as there are some cameos from characters I recognize, but it is not labeled as such. Content warning, there is significant domestic violence content.

When Mia shows up for the interview at a well-known architecture firm, she only has 27p, a squashed loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter to her name. She needs this job. Even if she is scared to death of the owner of the company. Max has made a name for himself as that grumpy northern architect off Dream Homes (the most popular house design programme in the UK).  It turned out that the whole gorgeous-but-rough-around-the-edges-Yorkshire-man vibe was just what the country was looking for – the episode had gone viral and Max was the new, extremely reluctant, pin-up of the building industry. But to Mia, huge, grumpy men weren’t sexy, they were simply terrifying. She knows from experience that even men of average size can be dangerous. If she wasn’t so desperate, she’d run. She’s used to running. Running away is Mia’s special talent, together with invisibility – survival techniques she’s perfected over the years. So, she’ll put up with Max and his moods, ignore him calling her a teen emo freak (he’s not to know that her black hair used to be honey blonde or her heavy eyeliner isn’t by choice) and just bloody well jog on. It’s easy to hide when nobody really sees you. But what happens when Max finally opens his eyes?

Unperfect is a romance that hit me hard on several levels. It is not an easy read, but it was so worth it. Mia is trying to survive, trying to hide in plain sight, until she is safe and can move forward. Max is a grumpy guy with a heart of gold and a penchant for protecting and helping those around him. The dance these two do around each other- with trust, safety, and health issues is highly engaging. It was certainly not easy to read- the abuse and related recovery is hard to read but very realistically handled- which made it hit especially hard. Seeing the character arch for both Max and Mia, and how they interacted with others, was very well crafted and multi dimensional. The heart and honesty in this book is off the charts. I liked that even though so much of the book is based around heavy themes and healing, there are enough lighter moments and some joy to keep everything well balanced. I think there are definitely some people that might not be in the right place to read this, especially if they are  dealing with issues of violence and fear, but I think it might offer the hope and understanding that other people might need to help them heal.

Unperfect is not necessarily an easy or fun read. However, it is touching and engaging. I think it will strike a chord with many readers.
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● Workplace Romance
● Boss/Employee
● Single Dad
● OM drama
● HEA

Apart from the writing style, I loved the plot and the characters mostly. I wanted to kill Nate. Anyway, I couldn't really put it down after picking it up. I just had to know what happened next. So yeah, I enjoyed it I guess. I wish I could see Mia with kids though.


Trigger Warnings : Domestic violence, homeless
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I've read and enjoyed all of Susie Tate's books so I was thrilled to read her new one. This time, most of the characters work in a relatively new but well-regarded architecture firm.  

Mia, the main character, is on the run from a horrible situation.  She is hiding her real identity, is injured, has little money, and is sleeping in alleys when she sees an advertisement for a job at an architecture firm.  She applies and is accepted.  This is not a total solution though. Without her real ID, she is financially crippled, unable to even rent a place to live.  It is winter.  

Max. the owner of the firm is a little scary to her, gruff, and not thrilled about Mia coming to work with them.  Mia, however, is a wiz at getting their computer applications to work, and soon proves her worth.  However gruff he is in the office, it was clear he had his soft side.  

I loved his sister Yaz, who can frequently be found doing a downward dog or other yoga position in the break room or by the copy machine.  Her job there involves promoting a more productive workplace.  For her, that means getting the staff to take breaks to stretch, do yoga, meditate, etc. to relieve stress and improve concentration.  Or perhaps cuddle a crystal or two.  She and Max working in the same office is a hoot.  

The second half of the book is a little slower than the first half but Mia had a lot to work through, and it wasn't easy, even with help.  An added bonus was that other characters from previous books made an appearance.  

Thanks to the author and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.  All opinions expressed are mine.
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This was a well-paced and detailed story with a good level of plot and character development.
The main characters were likeable and relatable although at times it felt like the story was a bit far-fetched.
It would be really difficult to see someone building a wholesome and healthy relationship so quickly after escaping such horrific abuse - at times it felt like the romance was a little forced. 
It would have been more realistic for there to be a greater time lapse before transitioning into the new relationship.
The family network of the male character was warm and loving which was nice to see.
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Mia is fleeing a horrible situation and needs a job. Max is a grumpy, bossy Architect who doesn’t really think they need another employee. Luckily for Mia Max’s partner sees potential in Her and gives her a job which solves one of her problems but she still has so many more. Mia tries to fade in to the background but things happen and Max can’t help but see her. Their attraction grows, but Max has trust issues due his ex leaving him and Mia has major trust issues due to her past. Max comes across as gruff & rude, but under all that he is a caring man. I liked his relationship with Teddy. Mia realises that her priorities as a teenager were a bit screwed up and blames herself for getting into the situation she did. She doesn’t believe she deserves to be happy, but she is bright and loving and wants what’s best for her loved ones and they love her in return. The other characters in the book definitely add to the story. (Prime minister’s wife did annoy me a bit). Someone pointed out in a review about the mentions of eye rolling and I must admit I did notice it (but might not have if I hadn’t read about it before). This book made me think and the ending left me feeling hopeful.
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I was given a copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.

Having said that, I'd like to preface my review with the following.  I have read a number of Ms. Tate's works.  I became hooked on her stories with her "Broken Heart" series.  I was drawn in by the characters she creates and the humor and pathos of her plots.  Because of that, when the opportunity to review this work presented itself, I was expecting much the same as those characters that worked at the hospital.  

Those previous stories could not prepare me for what I encountered in "Unperfect"!  The hospital staff in her other books brought me much laughter and a few tears.  Mia and Max's story in this latest offering brought, again, much laughter but way more tears than I was expecting.  Mia, you see, is the victim of domestic violence.  While I loved the story, it was a more difficult book to read than some.  The subject of DV was dealt with in a cross between a sympathetic and a realistic way.  Max follows his instincts because he cares.  He started out as a bit of a grumpy git but he learns quickly.  Mia has a lot of triggers and almost zero trust.  Totally understandable. 

Through the course of the telling, everyone grows...not just Mia.  After things are revealed, Mia is able to reconnect with her family after years of being apart.  Her abuser did a fine job of isolating her.  There are a number of bumps in the road along the way but Max and Mia make it through to the other side just fine.

Domestic violence is a really sensitive topic to attempt to chronicle.  Ms. Tate handled it just fine.  I was very impressed.  This book shines a light upon a subject that has been left in the shadows for far too long.  This story also gives the reader hope.  DV survivors are way stronger than they give themselves credit for--they've had to be.  Mia learns this.  Better yet, she applies what she has learned to her benefit.

I highly recommend this book.  The subject matter may be tough for some, but everyone will come away with a better understanding...and there's always the happy ending.
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This book was a nice romance with an important message about domestic abuse as well. It's never too late to change your life and escape your abuser. I thought it was well done.
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I love Susie Tate's writing and the way her stories feel realistic as well as whimsical. These are real people with real struggles finding their happily ever afters through humor and perseverance. Romance doesn't get much better than that.
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Unperfect
Susie Tate
Releases- October 5th 2021
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/ 5 stars
🌶/ 5 Spice 

I was so presently surprised by this book. Work-place romances can be a hard for me to get through but I was hooked onto unperfect.

Our Heroine is coming in needing a job badly and it’s at our hero’s company. He doesn’t want her working for him and questions everything she does. Honestly total alpha-hole vibes.

Over the book we learn the heroines story and so does our hero. He turns very protective and the slow burn is real.

The side characters though! I love our hero’s sister and I’m so excited for her romance next with his best friend! I can already tell it’s a book for me.

This book heavily features abuse and our heroine goes through so much. The author made you feel all the emotions and did her research on these topics. I was in awe over this, how she didn’t sugar coat anything and how long the healing process actually is.

I strongly recommend this book if you are looking into a woman taking back her life and a wonderfully protective sometimes jerkish leading man.

I do wish we got more spice the book was slow burn it took about 60% for any action however still good. 

I was given an arc by NetGalley & the author to provide honest feedback
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Mia is desperate.  On the run from an abusive ex, broke, hungry and injured she applies for a job with a architectural job with a fake resume and disguising herself.   The author does a great job of providing the reader with insight to Mia and her plight, along with Max and Verity who own the architectural firm with two totally different viewpoints of Mia.  Max comes across as gruff and angry but with a soft side....I loved his doctor friend and while I thought this book was another rich guy who saves the girl type of book, this book held it's own and the character development was outstanding.  Enjoyed this book even though it came with heavy DV. I read this book for an honest review via Netgalley.  All thoughts are my own.
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Mia escaped a life that was abusive and has applied to be an IT personnel at Max's architecture firm. Although she does not make a favorable first impression based on her appearance and mannerisms, she has the skills and know how to do the job effectively. Mia is rather timid and shy and prefers to blend in the background with as little interaction with other people as possible. She's also hiding her true identity so that poses a few obstacles for her while she tries to sort out housing and food. Max is the resident grump who lacks interpersonal skills, but is incredibly talented at his creativity in eco design. Add in his large build with gruff voice and he's rather intimidating, which causes Mia to shrink away, especially when overhearing how much he finds her lacking as an employee. 

I liked the way Mia was portrayed, that felt very realistic as far as her experience as an abuse victim and distrust of others, particularly men. While she went through a lot of trouble to hide her situation, it seems odd that nobody really picked up on it even though people were skeptical and knew there was something that she wasn't telling. I loved the scenes were Mia would share raw emotion and hurt so that the others could truly see how strong and capable she is. Yet she needed a lot of TLC to bring her back to a point where she could feel comfortable in her surroundings and trust others. The way Max stepped in was in definite contrast to his initial behavior and rash judgment. Both Mia and Max are not who they seem at first and as the layers peeled away, they reveal the true person inside who finds comfort and so much more in the other person. 

I also liked the secondary characters and the events that took place to bring Mia to a point where she could finally live her life freely and happily with the necessary support around her. It's a good survival story of a woman's journey from being a victim to taking charge of her own life and forging a new path that allows her find independence and love, in addition to respect for herself.
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I enjoy Susie Tate books, so was pleased to spot this one.

There are some serious domestic violence issues in this book that any reader needs to be aware of.  The isolation of the victim by her abuser, the guilt she feels when/how she escapes, the shame, the long slow recovery - its all here and makes for an appalling picture of just how women get trapped and how hard it is to "just leave".  Its just not that simple when someone is emotionally, then physically abused.  Yay for Susie Tate shining a light on these issues.

I liked the characters too - Mia isn't a Mary Sue, which makes her all the more realistic.  She's a mix of selfish, materialistic (formerly) as well as (mostly) good.  Max isn't perfect either, although he has a heart of gold hidden down there as well as his own insecurities and issues.  She and Max fit well together.  And i liked Max's teenage "son", that was lovely.

All in all a good if sometimes hard hitting book.
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Unperfect is the classic story of a woman on the run who falls in love, which just so happens to be up there as my number one favourite romance genre trope. I’ve read as many books with this trope as I can find, and I was so excited to see this brand new novel on Netgalley featuring this trope prominently as the main plotline. Be still my heart!

What makes this book really special is the characters. I absolutely love when the hero and the heroine aren’t automatically attracted to each other. There’s no insta love for Max and Mia! On the contrary. Because Mia has dyed her hair black and has been living on the run, she’s lost a lot of weight and resembles a goth (which, in this case, is a bad thing). Max, true to his blunt and harsh personality, rudely points this out in front of her. Despite a rocky start, their romance is incredibly sweet and gradual–a true slow-burn with all the feels. Mia is fragile, yet resilient. Max is gruff on the outside with a soft and gooey interior. It’s clear that they’re perfect for each other, and I loved watching their story unfold.

Even the side characters are phenomenally written, particularly Max’s son and his sister. They’re built up as three-dimensional people who support the plot and even have potential for their own romances down the line. (I know his sister will definitely be getting together with his best friend, and I’ll definitely be here for that.)

While this book is about one of my favourite tropes, plot-wise, it doesn’t really do anything unique with it. The story goes the same way that this story always goes. That said, if you enjoy this trope, the ride is quite enjoyable. It’s just the right amount of angsty. The entire story is laced with suspense, but not so much tension that you can’t pause to appreciate the sweetly romantic parts.

All in all, I recommend this book to those who are love a sweetly angsty romance that features a woman on the run falling in love with an unexpected hero.
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Cute read but a little melodramatic. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of enemies-to-lovers, down-on-her-luck books. Do not expect highly sophisticated writing, but an entertaining read.
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Thank you to NetGalley for this eARC! 

TW: Graphic domestic abuse
Overall I enjoyed reading this book, but I don't really have much to say about it.
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This is a book about domestic violence, love, friends, and family and finally finding your strength to start over. I loved the characters especially Max and Mia. I highly recommend this book.
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