Romance Review

Review: Be Kind, Rewind by Melissa Brown

A 90s nostalgia, enemies to lovers novel from Melissa Brown, set in her brand new Spotlight Video Series!

She’s always dreamed of living her life in the spotlight. But for now, she’s just another college student working at Spotlight Video.

The year is 1994 and Naomi Parker has always dreamed of being in the movies. She’s hoping to make that dream a reality by enrolling in the best performing arts program the Midwest has to offer. But respected programs cost money…lots of it…and her scholarship will only go so far. To make ends meet, Naomi gets a job at the most popular video store on campus, Spotlight Video, and she quickly becomes part of its unique culture. There’s only one employee she can’t stand, the Assistant Manager, Buzzkill Ben.

Ben Watson is tired of the employee revolving door at Spotlight Video. He’s tired of people calling in sick, blowing off work, and treating the place like a bar with no cover charge. As the Assistant Manager, he works hard to balance work and school so that he can make something of himself when he graduates. There’s only one problem…he can’t get the newest employee out of his head. She’s just like all the others—she’s constantly late, doesn’t take things seriously and questions his authority. But she’s also nothing like the others, or anyone he’s ever met, and that’s the problem.

Will working closely together spark a romantic interest between these very different people, or will Ben be a buzzkill after all?

This is a super cute enemies-to-lovers set in the mid-90’s at a video store and I loved everything about it. Naomi and Ben are fun characters who just seem to rub one another the wrong way but there’s a real love-to-hate-you vibe. The rest of the store knows they want each other, but Ben and Naomi haven’t fully realized it yet. There’s a touch of Ross and Rachel will-they/won’t they plus a lot of angst moving the story along. I love the supporting cast and the author did a great job laying the foundation for a fun new series.

I’m a 90’s girl all the way so I dig the references and culture. As a pop culture nerd, I really enjoyed the role that movies and movie quotes play in the book. It gives the story another dimension beyond just what’s happening around them because movies are important to this gang, so they spend a lot of time debating the merits of favorite flicks. This is my first book by the author, but I’ll definitely be reading more. I received an ARC from Grey’s Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

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