Isabel Chase hates her waitressing job, and that hate fuels her true purpose—to land a writing gig on a TV series. When an old screenwriting class friend puts in a good word for her on a top family drama, Isabel drops everything in New Hampshire to fly out to Hollywood for an interview. Little can she believe that within a couple of weeks, she’s moved down to Venice beach with her jerk of a cat to start the life she’s always dreamed of.
Taylor Andrews has got it made running one of the top shows on TV, and the network is thrilled with the numbers it continues to bring in. Sure, she might be in a bit of a bind with one of the writers leaving the show, but Isabel seems like she’ll be a good fit. Taylor can’t help but notice how attractive Isabel is, is in addition to being smart, eager, and adorably klutzy. Can Taylor afford to risk the show for an office romance?
Tara: I absolutely adored Taylor and Izzy. They’re both smart, lovely, and sexy, and I would have happily spent hundreds more pages with them (which is good news, since it’s the beginning of a series and we’ll see more of them as their friends fall in love!).
I could totally see myself being friends with Isabel. She’s funny and sharp, with inner monologues that made me laugh. I also really appreciated seeing how she handles anxiety and how imposter syndrome plays into it. While my own anxiety doesn’t exactly match hers, it’s similar enough that it was gratifying to see myself and my experiences on the page. The way it affects her relationship with Taylor was also interesting, and I don’t want to say more for spoiler reasons, but it worked really well. Speaking of Taylor… I’m not sure I’ve enjoyed seeing a character open their heart to love as much as I did with Taylor in quite a while.
Aspen is an actress on the show and she’s super easy to hate. Again, no spoilers, but I LOVED how things ended for her. To call it perfect is an understatement.
Between Izzy’s friends, who are all getting their own books in this series, and Izzy and Taylor’s colleagues on the show, there are a host of interesting side characters that help bring this book to life. All of them add something, whether by helping us get to know the leads better or bring a clearer sense of what it’s like working in TV.
Sheena: Isabel is a lovely main character. She is sweet enough that I liked her, feisty enough that I really liked her and tenacious enough that I wanted her to succeed. She is also silly enough to give me a good amount of “Oh no! How could you do that!” and “GO KISS HER!!! JUST TELL HER YOU LOVE HER!” I am sure you know exactly what I mean.
Taylor is yummy. She is at the top of her game and has the confidence that comes with success. I also liked how Brayden played with that and made her doubt herself. It engaged me and made me want her to get back to being successful.
The Writing Style
Tara: Eyes Like Those has a great balance of fun, funny, and sweet alongside the perfect amount of angst and serious issues. I also didn’t foresee the crisis point at all, which is REALLY nice and unusual for a romance. Melissa Brayden is going from strength to strength with each book and I couldn’t be more excited.
Sheena: It’s Brayden. In other words, it is like a movie on paper. It’s beautifully paced, the angst level is simmering throughout but not quite on par with the Radclyffe level of angst. The characters are well written, believable, flawed and endearing. And it has an amazing setting. Brayden builds worlds that are contemporary, sexy and fun to live in for a while.
Sheena: Melissa Sternenberg was a great choice for this novel. She reflected the exciting world and characters while bringing the emotion of the characters to the right levels. I really enjoyed her work with this and I would happily see the two Melissa’s team up again.
Tara: Literally everything. The romance (and that it’s a workplace romance!), showing a character with anxiety, that it was set in TV. Everything worked for me.
If I had to pull out a standout element, it would be the way Melissa Brayden writes friendship in this book. I can understand why Eyes Like Those gets compared to the Soho Loft series, which also has a strong theme of female friendship, but this book is stronger because it shows how much Brayden’s writing has matured. I see it as an evolution of how she’s written similar themes before, and it completely worked for me.
Sheena: I really enjoyed the setting of this story. The studio was exciting and the Seven Shores apartments reminded me of a really hip and fun soap opera setting.
Also – coffeeeeeeee!!! There is an awesome coffee shop that I would totally visit.
Tara: I want the other three books in the series on my Kindle now. Like right now. Please? Can I have them today?
Sheena: My biggest con is that Tara is probably going to dibs the next book in the series. But I can’t blame her.
Tara: Remember in my review of Strawberry Summer when I said it dethroned Kiss the Girl as my favourite Melissa Brayden book? Well that didn’t last long (even though it’s an excellent book!), because Eyes Like Those is officially my new favourite and is also one of my all time favourite romances ever. It’s sexy, beautiful, and a joy to read. I’ll be reading this one over and over for years to come.
Sheena: You should totally get this audiobook. The Melissa duo are awesome and yes I kinda love saying that.
Excerpt from Eyes Like Those by Melissa Brayden
“Tell me. Were you at all skeptical about hiring me? I mean, clearly I’ve blossomed into quite the asset,” Isabel joked. “But in the beginning, what was your impression?”
Taylor sat back, and Isabel took note of the fact that she hadn’t yet touched her food. “Here’s the thing. As a writer, I want to work alongside other writers who I think will enable me to do my best work. That means creative, unique individuals. Not your typical, run-of-the-mill person.”
“Did you just call me weird? Pretty sure you did.”
Taylor laughed, and Isabel couldn’t help but grin at the sound. Taylor didn’t put on. In fact, she’d never seen her feign a laugh or any emotion at all, for that matter. What you saw was what you got with her, and it was refreshing. “Weird is a strong word. But, yes, I saw something different in you. You have an edge that doesn’t quite match your exterior. Has anyone ever told you that?”
“That I’m a no-bullshit kind of girl who looks, sadly, like a wide-eyed newbie, just off the train from nowhere, USA?”
Taylor nodded. “Yes, that.”
“Nope. First time.”
Taylor nodded at the obvious lie. “Well, it contributes to your appeal.”
Get This Book On Amazon
Seven Shores Romance
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781635550122
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
- Narrator: Melissa Sternenberg
Melissa Brayden Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Eyes Like Those by Melissa Brayden. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.
If you enjoyed this book then you should also look at Just Physical by Jae