REVIEW: A Love Like the Sun by Riss M. Neilson

Posted June 11th, 2024 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, Review / 4 comments


A Love Like the Sun by Riss M. Neilson: Laniah and Issac have been best friends from the time they were children, back when Issac was just a simple boy in foster, not the big deal artist that everyone is talking about. She was the one person that always understood him and had his back, so when he learns that her dream of running a successful natural hair store is beginning to slip out from between her fingers, he does the only thing any good friend would do… tell the world that they are dating! With a sudden influx of business, Laniah has little to no choice but to accept Issac’s ridiculous plan, but just until the end of summer, by which time she hopes to have secured a prospective investor. Faking it with your bestie should be a total breeze, the only problem with playing make belief is somewhere along the line feelings begin to form and the line between real and for show become less and less distinct… will that old undeniable pull between them finally become to strong to ignore?

Firstly I have to say I just love the cover of this book, not only does it just make you feel that relaxed, warm, happiness that comes with a summer day but it truly sets the scene for this story. For a debut novel, I have to say that this was a pretty well written and enthralling offering. I do love a good fake dating romance and this book definitely delivered in this aspect, there was all the angst of discovering these feelings for both characters while also trying to maintain their original agreement. I loved how multidimensional the entire story was and how easy it became to understand these characters.

Both main characters were really great, I loved their chemistry and the easiness that they had between them. Laniah was such a sweet and loveable leading lady. Her passion and drive for creating natural hair solutions was beautiful and I loved that she did not want any handouts, she wanted to work for her dream. I really enjoyed getting to see her develop more self confidence and truly come out of her shell with a bit of help from her friends. Now for our dreamy hero, Issac, well I think it was pretty obvious that he was in love with Ni right from the get go. I loved getting to see him show her his world, but at the same time protect her from the harsher side to being famous. We get to see a bit of Issac’s past and how the loss of his parents effected him and the role that Ni played in him healing, this was both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

I really enjoyed the slow burn build up between Ni and Issac. These two definitely had a great chemistry and I loved getting to see it evolve and grow into love. The thing that really made this book feel relatable was their struggle in figuring out if pursuing a romantic relationship was worth chancing losing their lifelong friendship. I really enjoyed getting to see both of them struggle with this question and trying to figure out the best way forward. I think Ni’s struggles in feeling safe to express her feelings were very realistic and I loved the way that Issac helped ease her fears.

There were some really great supporting characters in this book, I really liked Ni’s friend Kat. She was the best supporter and moral booster that Ni needed especially when it came to taking a chance on her feelings. I also really liked Ni’s mother Vanessa. I think the only thing that I was not to thrilled about was that Ni took so long to open up to Issac about her illness, I just felt that she should have told him a bit sooner seeing as he was supposed to be her best friend. Though this all worked out well in the end.

All in all I really enjoyed reading A Love Like The Sun, this book was a heartwarming and relatable fake turned real, friends to lovers romance. Definitely one to check out!

Book Info:

Publication: June 11, 2024 | Berkley |

Lifelong best friends spend a fateful summer discovering what might happen if they were to be something more in this radiant, heart-clenching adult debut.

Laniah Thompson is a homebody who craves privacy. Issac Jordan is internet famous and spends his days followed by paparazzi. She runs a small business with her mom in her hometown. He runs an international brand.

And they’ve been best friends since childhood.

When Issac comes home to Providence for the first time in months and discovers Laniah’s dream is slipping out of reach as she and her mom struggle to pay the bills at Wildly Green, their natural hair store, she refuses to take a dime from him. And so, he does what any self-respecting best friend would do: tells the world they’re dating.

Suddenly business is booming, and Laniah agrees to his ridiculous plan to pretend to be lovers for the course of the summer. Just long enough to catch the eye of an investor and get her dream back on track, like she helped him do so many years ago, he reminds her.

Too soon, though, Laniah knows she’s playing with fire, because for as long as they’ve been friends there’s an undeniable pull they’ve never given in to. And as the lines between art and life—real and pretend—blur, it becomes harder and harder to see where friendship ends and something else begins….

Told over the course of three sizzling summer months, A Love Like the Sun is about shared history, those who make us our bravest selves, and love in its many forms.



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