Is it possible to be exhausted by a book while also having all of the warm and fuzzy feelings for it? Because I think that’s where I’m at with this one. I always, always look forward to Grant’s books, and I loved this hero. But I’ll be honest and say that I found the intensity of our heroine’s life to be overwhelming, and the constant – CONSTANT – references to her kids distracted from the romance. Moms will probably find this to be extremely relatable, and non-moms will probably find it to be funny – up to a point. While I love the humor in this author’s work, this definitely passed the point of funny and moved on to annoying somewhere along the way. That’s not to say that it’s not still an adorable, charming love story – it is – but I wish there was more focus on the connection between these two, without life getting in the way. This IS fiction, after all.
The story follows Levi, an aging rock star who loves his job, but also feels like he’s ready for something else in his life. After years on the road, Levi has realized that it’d be nice to have someone to come home to, someone who puts his needs first. So when he meets hot mess of a single mom, Ingrid, she’s a slice of normal that Levi would love to have in his life. And there’s something about Ingrid specifically that resonates with Levi, so he can’t help but be attracted to her. But Ingrid’s life is already filled to capacity, and she doesn’t have room for a distraction – even a sexy one.
This has been a great series, and I always know I’m in for a highly entertaining read when I pick up one of this author’s books. This certainly wasn’t one of my favorites from her, but the bar is VERY high at this point. It’s still swoony and sweet with so much humor, and I definitely had a good time reading it. But I wanted more of the romance without distraction. It seemed like EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. these two start getting closer, something gets in the way. And that’s funny for a while, but ultimately just becomes irritating. So while there are some deeper moments in this, I’d actually say that this is one of the shallower romances from this author, only because Levi and Ingrid don’t actually spend much alone time together at all. Sure, they’re in most scenes together, but it’s not the same thing. The tender moments that we do get are some of the best parts of the book, and I would’ve loved more. This is a fun, low angst read, and I still wholeheartedly recommend it, but there were definitely things that I didn’t love.
You don’t know me, but you do know me. I’m your neighborhood hot mess single mom, doing my best to keep my head above water while running my little slice of heaven and keeping my youngest from shoving marbles up his nose, which is exactly what he’s doing the first time Levi Wilson, pop star god, world’s sexiest man, and my all-time number one celebrity obsession, walks into my bookstore.
Related: I’m writing this from beyond the grave, because I’ve died of mortification and am now residing in an alternate universe.
I have to be.
Because Levi Wilson came back.
And we had a moment.
Like, a moment moment. The kind that makes me remember that adult pleasure isn’t all about hoping the lock holds in the bathroom so your kids don’t interrupt on the rare occasion you feel like taking an extra-long mommy-time shower.
So when he proposes a no-strings fling?
Count. Me. In.
Thrill of a lifetime, right?
Surely, nothing will go wrong…
The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob is a rockin’ fun, sexy romantic comedy featuring a celebrity panty-melter who doesn’t know what he’s been missing, a sassy single mom hanging on by a string, three adorable children who would never burst in on a woman when she’s on a toilet (ha!), and shameless ovary-busting moments between a guy who never thought he’d be a dad and a family who thought they got along just fine without him. It stands alone and comes complete with a happily-ever-after (though you’d never go wrong to read the other Bro Code series books first).
Free in Kindle Unlimited
One day. I would like to go one single day without someone in my orbit making a poor life decision.
“Stop squirming,” I order my four-year-old son, who should be at preschool, but who’s been banished for the week because of lice.
Heaven forbid we have one issue at a time.
Adding to my list of issues? Being that mom who can’t get her shit together while Levi Flipping Wilson is watching. And not only watching, but actively engaging in trying to help. “Hey, bud, I bet I can hold still longer than you can. Wanna see?”
I know my agenda on any given day will include interruption for something my children do that I never would’ve expected in a million years, but that’s a lot easier to deal with when I don’t have an audience.
Especially an audience made up of one famous man whose songs get me through the day—and night—when I don’t have enough free focus to read or listen to an audiobook, and who keeps stealing glances at me like he’s trying to figure out what kind of rabid creature I am. Normally, customers aren’t allowed back in the stockroom with me, which is where I dragged Hudson when I realized what he’d done to his nose, but leaving Levi out there with the customers who’d figured out who he was seemed like a bad idea.
Especially when his date skewered me with a look that clearly said get him out of here or I’ll burn this place down.
It’s a bookstore.
Not taking chances.
Especially if there was a reason they were looking at maternity and early childhood development books. His date doesn’t look pregnant, but god knows that’s when pregnancy is hardest.
Hudson finally stills, and I manage to smear a little more Vaseline gently around his nostril. “How did you get a marble in your nose?”
“I pushed hard.” He beams. “I gots stars in there too.”
I squeeze my eyes shut and count to two, because I know if I get as high as three, he’ll find a way to suck the marbles deeper into his sinus cavities, and I don’t know how a doctor will get that out without having to cut his nose open, and oh my god, he’s four and he’s about to be disfigured for life because I thought he’d actually sit still and listen to Yasmin reading books for neighborhood storytime while I re-stocked a few shelves.
“How many stars?” I inquire through clenched teeth.
“Four. Or maybe seven. Or maybe one. I forgets.”
“You are so lucky you’re cute.”
“Do you have a vacuum?” Levi asks.
I twist my head to gape at him.
He shoots a help? look at his date, then shrugs at me. “If he won’t blow it out, maybe you can suck it out. Like with one of those sucky tools the dentist uses.”
“That’s…possibly not a terrible idea.”
“Happens on occasion.” He grins, which makes my heart basically stop because he’s stupidly gorgeous.
I could stare at him all day, but I have a preschooler with marbles up his nose to attend to.
“Mama,” Hudson says, “look.”
He scrunches his nose, which makes his nostrils swell, closes his mouth, and blows, and one shoots out and lands on Levi’s shoe.
My son has just snotted my favorite musician’s Italian leather loafers.
“I win! I holded still!” He breaks into his preschool dance routine, but the poor kid got his moves from me, which means to a casual observer, he probably looks like he’s having a seizure while choking on a piece of gum and tripping over barbed wire.
Levi Wilson, however, is not fazed. He squats down to Hudson’s level. “Rematch.”
Start the series today!
This series is hysterical, and such fun! Liar, Liar Hearts on Fire and The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob have both been very solid reads, and Flirting With the Frenemy is one of my favorites from the author. I have no idea why I haven’t read America’s Geekheart yet, but it’s on my Kindle and I’m sure it’s another great love story.
If you’re at all interested in the Pippaverse, Liar, Liar Hearts on Fire is also the book that introduces Grant’s other current series, The Copper Valley Fireballs. The first two books in that series are my absolute favorites from the author (so far), and Real Fake Love even made my Top 20 of 2020 – though Jock Blocked easily could’ve taken its place.
So what I’m saying is – get reading!
#1 Flirting with the Frenemy
#2 America’s Geekheart
#3 Liar, Liar, Hearts of Fire
The Copper Valley Fireballs
Real Fake Love
About the Author:
Pippa Grant is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes romantic comedies that will make tears run down your leg. When she’s not reading, writing or sleeping, she’s being crowned employee of the month as a stay-at-home mom and housewife trying to prepare her adorable demon spawn to be productive members of society, all the while fantasizing about long walks on the beach with hot chocolate chip cookies.
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