Review: Borrow My Heart by Kasie West

*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Wren loves to stick to her rules. She always has a plan and rarely ever deviates from it. But one afternoon when she is sitting in a coffee shop, she overhears a guy getting destroyed by his best friend for getting catfished.

So what does she do? She decides to be impulsive once in her life and pretends to be Gemma, the fake girl online, so this guy doesn’t become a laughing stock. But she didn’t expect to like Asher, especially since he’s the exact opposite of her.

After they meet in the coffee shop, Wren thinks she won’t see Asher and his obnoxious friend Dale again. Until he shows up at the animal shelter where she works and learns that her name is Wren, not Gemma. Good news is that he thinks she changed her name online for safety purposes. The bad news is that Asher agrees to volunteer at the animal shelter for the rest of the summer, making it impossible to ignore him.

Now Wren is fake dating a guy she knows nothing about and trying to keep her worlds from colliding too much. But when her boss tasks Wren with finding Bean a home, a rescue dog who has been at the shelter for nine months, Asher volunteers to help.

As Wren and Asher get closer, she knows she has to tell him the truth, especially after she meets his friends and family. Wren has never fallen for a guy before and she knows that being vulnerable is a big step, especially because she wants to be his girlfriend. However, she doesn’t know if he would even want that when he learns the truth.

Wren is in for one interesting summer, where being impulsive might be her best decision yet. After all, Wren realizes she can’t micromanage her entire life.

Borrow My Heart is such a cute and sweet YA contemporary romance. First of all, we want to say how much we appreciate that West is advocating for rescue animals. Adopt don’t shop! We absolutely love that Wren works at an animal shelter and that West encourages her readers to adopt. We completely agree and we’ve adopted from local animal rescues.

The animal shelter introduces us to Bean, a Pitbull who is picky about who he likes. Mainly, only Wren and Asher. We loved how creative they were about finding Bean a forever home. Spoiler alert: Bean gets a forever home and no animals are hurt in this book. As animal lovers, we know we want to have that information before starting books about dogs.

The shelter ended up being the perfect way for Wren to let her guard down because it showed her that Asher was a good guy. We shipped the two of them together from the beginning, even though we appreciated that their romance was slow-burn. With Wren’s fear of abandonment, it made sense that it would take her time to let her walls down.

Wren’s character ended up being more complex that we expected, mainly because of her family issues. Her mom is a self-proclaimed free spirit who left the family years ago. Now, her mom guilts her constantly, without ever being a maternal figure.

To make it worse, Wren’s sister Zoey constantly defends their mom. We get where Zoey was coming from, but we found her to be so annoying and self-righteous. It drove us crazy how she blamed Wren for everything, even if Zoey did have a redemption scene near the end of the book. It still drove us crazy and if we were Wren, we would have yelled at Zoey to grow up. BTW, Zoey is three years older than Wren.

Asher’s family is the exact opposite of Wren’s. They’re big, loud, crazy and in each other’s business. It makes Asher very open and trusting. We appreciated that Asher had a big personality and didn’t really care what other’s thought about him. It really balanced out Wren’s careful and untrusting nature.

Their relationship isn’t perfect though. They actually had a pretty big problem, which ended up being unexpected because it had nothing to do with catfishing. We were angry with Asher and felt like he violated Wren’s privacy. When we finished Borrow My Heart, we wondered if Wren forgave him too quickly.

Eventually, we realized he didn’t mean to be a jerk. He proved that he he cared so much about Wren and wasn’t really thinking about how what he and his best friend Dale did could hurt her. However, Dale was a major jerk and we couldn’t forgive him, considering this all happened because of him. We didn’t find anything about him to be redeemable, even when Wren’s best friend Kamala started crushing on him. He didn’t feel bad for his actions and made everything about him.

But since Borrow My Heart is supposed to be a duology and everything feels complete with Wren’s story, we’re worried that the next book will be about Kamala and Dale. We liked Kamala, but since part of her personality is being too trusting, we’re worried about the continuation of her story. We hope the next book isn’t a love story with Dale and either has Kamala move on to someone much better or is about different characters.

As of now, we don’t have a title, cover and synopsis for the second book in the series, so we’ll update this post when we know more.

We do want to get updates about Wren, Asher and Bean!

Overall, Borrow My Heart is our favorite Kasie West release in the past few years. We had trouble putting it down and read the ARC quickly. It releases on June 13, 2023 and we highly recommend it to all contemporary and romance fans.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

16 thoughts on “Review: Borrow My Heart by Kasie West”

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