Bethay Turner is one the authors that automatically buy from. There’s just something but her writing I really enjoy. She writes Rom-Com, and even though it’s not steeped in Christian messaging, her books are clean. And fun to read. Brynn and Sebastian wasn’t my top fave of hers, but, well…read my review and you’ll see what I thought.
Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other released September 6th
She’s a sunny morning-show host. He’s a cynical ex-reporter. They’re destined to hate each other . . . Aren’t they?
Brynn Cornell has to be stuck in a nightmare. Just last week, she was riding high as cohost of the popular morning show Sunup. She’s America’s Ray of Sunshine—the girl-next-door beauty who drives up TV ratings while never exuding anything but her trademark positivity and poise. All it took was one huge on-air mistake to expose her snarky side to the world and make it all come crumbling down. Now she’s back in her hometown of Adelaide Springs, Colorado, in a last-ditch attempt to convince viewers she’s not the mean girl they think she is. All she has to do is apologize and capture some feel-good footage reminding everyone she’s just a girl from humble beginnings who’s grateful for her big break, and she might manage to preserve both her career and her image. But this town holds painful memories that she’s not ready to face.
Sebastian Sudworth was on the fast track to the journalist hall of fame. A superstar reporter with a reputation for being in the center of the action, his fearless, relentless coverage of major events around the globe was winning him awards and accolades—until something snapped inside him and he vanished from the scene under mysterious circumstances. Sebastian sought refuge in tiny Adelaide Springs, working odd jobs and trying to blend in as a scruffy mountain town citizen.
When Sebastian is assigned to chauffeur Brynn around town, Brynn is sure he can see right through her carefully cultivated, sunny persona. But she’s determined to do what it takes to maintain her image and save her career—so she’ll just have to charm the socks off Sebastian the same way she charmed her viewers. Easier said than done. It’s no picnic to play nice around someone you hate . . . especially when you might be crazy about them.
By the time I finished Brynn and Sebastian, I was in love with their story. It was fun, sweet, and held a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. It was also touching and tugged at my heartstrings. Unfortunately, this wasn’t always the case, which is why I had to give the story a less-than-perfect score.
To be completely honest, I had no use for Brynn in the beginning. The first chapter had her sitting on the couch on the Sunup set, reading off the teleprompter and talking about TikTok. My first thoughts were, “If this is how the book is going to be, I’m done.” Though I knew something was going to happen that showed Brynn’s true self, I struggled through that chapter. And to continue this honesty streak, I didn’t like the Brynn underneath the surface, either.
And when she stepped foot back in Adelaide Springs, she wasn’t any better. The thought that finally went through my mind at that time (aside from the fact that there was a whole story yet to be read), was that perhaps Bethany Turner wrote her in a way that would make the reader…not like her. I truly hoped this was the goal, and if so, she did a great job.
Sebastian, on the other hand, I liked right away. I liked how he found his place in Adelaide Springs, and how much he seemed to respect the other citizens. He worked hard, and he wanted what was best for the tiny town. And for their sake, he didn’t like Brynn. I also found myself wanting to know what his story was, why he ended up in this small town in the mountains of Colorado.
Of course, throughout the story, they were both tested, and with the help of some pretty amazing supporting characters (shout-out to Doc and Orly) and some growing of their own, Brynn and Sebastian were able to see each other in a new light.
When I read a Bethany Turner book, I don’t really expect strong Christian theming, and that remained true here. There was a slight nod to God, but nothing more, really, which is fine. Her books are more clean-romance and still well worth the read. I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t say that Brynn’s story was a type of Prodigal Son retelling (with some obvious differences, of course).
Though I felt the pop-culture references went a bit too far this time around, I still find them fun and am able to see a piece of the author in them. I especially loved the reference to Kevin Costner (I am of a certain age…). One Direction I could have done without (again, certain age).
All-in-all, this was a great book. As I mentioned before, I finished the book with a lot of love and laughter. I had also fallen in love with the residents of Adelaide Springs. By that time, anything that had frustrated me earlier on had been completely forgotten. Would I recommend this book? Of course. Just go into it knowing that you might have a bit of a struggle in the beginning, but you will be glad you finished.
I received a copy of Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each other by Bethany Turner thanks to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley. Opinions are my own.
Bethany Turner has been writing since the second grade, when she won her first writing award for explaining why, if she could have lunch with any person throughout history, she would choose John Stamos. She stands by this decision. Bethany now writes pop culture–infused rom-coms for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight. She lives in Southwest Colorado with her husband, whom she met in the nineties in a chat room called Disco Inferno. As sketchy as it sounds, it worked out pretty well in this case, and they are now the proud parents of two teenagers. Text Bethany any time at (970) 387-7811, or connect with her across social media @seebethanywrite, where she clings to the eternal dream that John Stamos will someday send her a friend request.