Book Review: If I Can Make it Here by Jamie Rose (eARC)

If I Can Make It Here

Author: Jamie Rose

Publication Date: 12 April 2019

Genre: Adult – Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance, Rom-Com

Pages: 364

Publisher: Self Published

Is it too late for coffee or too early for wine? That’s a question Madeline Burke has come to ask herself all too often. She needs a change, and a big one at that.

Coming into her late 20s, she finally finds the courage to pull herself out of a boring 9-to-5 life in Texas and launch the exciting new career she’s always dreamed about. Thanks to a little chutzpah and some quick thinking, she has landed an internship working in film publicity in New York City. It’s her favorite city in the world, concrete jungle where dreams are made…or crushed. The prospect is both exciting and intimidating for a woman with an ambitious work ethic and a pesky anxiety problem. What could possibly go wrong? 

As Madeline goes behind the velvet ropes of movie premieres and celebrity press tours, she finds out what really happens after the cameras flash. Navigating her way through splashy scandals, inflated egos, romantic entanglements, and impossible office demands has her catching her breath behind one too many bathroom stall doors.

The hectic and fast-paced reality that is her new life has her questioning whether or not she has what it takes to stick it out. She decides it is up to her and her alone to make it in New York City. 

As the saying goes, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere…right? 

I was immediately drawn to this book for two reasons: 1) The cover is absolutely gorgeous. The pastels reminded me of warmer weather. 2) The opening line from the blurb: Is it too late for coffee or too early for wine? As a grad student who is stressed out all time, I can’t even tell you the amount of times that I have asked this very question.

The story opens with Madeline Burke on a plane headed to finally start a career in the film industry in New York City while leaving a not so thrilling career in business development at software company behind in Houston, Texas. Madeline realized she needed to leave her mundane life in Texas after asking herself on a daily basis if she could start drinking at 2 pm. Unfortunately, Madeline suffers from both anxiety and panic attacks, which while mid-air, is not the best of situations. She ultimately pops some Xanax and allows herself to be lulled into a semi-peaceful bliss.

“Okay, so money doesn’t solve all problems…especially mental health issues…but you officially become not relatable when your excessive worries pop up while you’re at the Oscars and mine hit me while in the driver’s seat of a 93’ Honda Accord named Pearl. Sorry, Sasha Fierce” – Madeline

When Madeline starts her new position, it is nowhere near as glamorous as she envisioned. Her boss clearly has a grudge against female interns, which means Madeline is mostly filling the coffee orders. Madelyn finally gets the opportunity to attend a premiere packed with celebrities, but once photos of one her celebrity clients in a compromised situation appear splashed across the front page of the tabloids of a certain celebrity, her boss accuses of her selling photographs. Thankfully, at least Madeline can count on her colleagues Adi and Carolyn.

Madeline’s life begins to change when she meets Adi’s cousin Drake who’s a police officer who works security part-time at the film premiere events and happens to be GORGEOUS. The only caveat? Drake’s not looking to pursue a relationship. He’s been on a dating hiatus since his previous engagement went south, which was over two years ago. However, as Madeline and Drake start spending more time together, it is evident that sparks have flown between them and sexual tension begins to build.

This book has everything that I typically look for when it comes to a good contemporary romance. The plot was fast paced. The book is incredibly witty not only when it comes to Madeline’s interaction with the other characters, but even the thoughts that she has. Madeline’s character is relatable. She moved across the country to escape a mundane life to pursue a once in a lifetime opportunity, which is not all that it’s cracked up to be at first. (This definitely reminded me of when I started graduate school after leaving a comfortable life in industry) I also enjoyed that the romance in this book is not the over the top love at first sight type of romance. There’s hesitation and trust must be built between Madeline and Drake. Lastly, there’s a plot twist, which was a pleasant surprise.

Overall, this is a fantastic debut novel and one that you don’t want to miss! Once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop.

Thank you to Jamie for providing an eARC of this book. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

Purchase If You Can Make It Here from Amazon. Add it to your Goodreads.

Follow Jamie on Instagram and Facebook.

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