I’m torn between 4 and 5 stars, but the ending had me absolutely SWOONING, so I’m choosing to round up. There’s a lot to love about this room-ance – a strangers to roommates to friends to lovers slow burn with fun, slightly off-kilter vibes and a hero whose feelings I wanted to figure out. The opposites attract dynamic REALLY worked here, with a vibrant, messy, hopeless romantic (romance book-loving!) heroine and the closed-off, tidy, commitment-phobic womanizer she finds herself sharing an apartment with. These two are so different that they truly don’t see each other as realistic love interests for… ah, quite awhile… and even if our heroine did, she’s too distracted by her pursuit of a second chance romance to see what’s in front of her. That means there were some frustrating moments of obliviousness and some OM/OW drama, but I suppose that’s to be expected in a book where there heroine is hoping to get back together with (any one) of her ten exes. All in all, it was a lighthearted and playful read with an undercurrent of emotion that kept things interesting.
The story follows Tara, a woman who loves love. She’s a romance book influencer who always puts her heart on the line, and that means she’s been burned more than a few times. When Tara finds herself living with a stranger after her latest breakup, she realizes that something needs to change. So when an idea sparks – find her ten exes and see if one is the one who got away – Tara latches onto the ill-advised plan. Her sexy but completely emotionally unavailable roommate, Trevor, can’t help but intervene, and the two soon find themselves bonding over the experience. The two couldn’t be more different, but they discover that they make great friends. And if there’s the spark of something more between them, well, Tara is determined to pretend it doesn’t exist. Trevor is no romance hero, and she needs to remember that.
I read Lea’s debut, Set on You, and I remember loving how different it felt. It wasn’t a homerun for me, but there was a ton to love about it. So I went into this cautiously optimistic and smitten with that gorgeous cover. I love a roommate romance, and a romance book-loving heroine paired with a commitment-phobic hero sounded like a great combination. And it was! The opposites attract dynamic is definitely the most compelling component; I loved how these two fit together, first in friendship, then in love. They smooth out each other’s jagged pieces and accept each other for who they are, which was really great to read. Sure, I was a little frustrated by the journey sometimes. Tara is so optimistic and focused on her second chance project that she overlooked what was right in front of her, and Trevor was clearly doing everything he could to keep his distance. It’s the OM/OW drama that almost dropped my rating, but that’s the only part I didn’t like. I loved trying to figure out Trevor’s feelings (we only get Tara’s perspective), and the whole journey was both comfortingly familiar (all that book talk!) and refreshingly different. I can EASILY see the growth between books one and two, which has me excited to read more from Lea in the future. The books are loosely tied together (not required reading), and I’m looking forward to the next one.
The audio is good! Since we only get Tara’s perspective, it’s a single female narrator and there’s not a ton of vocal performance. But I found her voice to be very relaxing and easy to listen to, which made it a good experience. The audio pairs well with the fun and playful vibes, and the runtime was short enough to allow for a single-day binge. It’s also very much a slow burn, which makes it a solid choice as a workday listen. Yes, it does have a few other spicy moments, but much of the story is focused on other things. I had a good time listening to the audio, and would certainly recommend it overall.
A romance novel-obsessed social media influencer revisits her exes on her hunt for true love in this romantic comedy from the author of Set On You.
Romance book connoisseur Tara Chen has had her heart broken ten times by ten different men—all of whom dumped her because of her “stage-five clinger” tendencies. Nevertheless, Tara is determined to find The One. The only problem? Classic meet-cutes are dead, thanks to modern dating apps. So Tara decides to revisit her exes in hopes of securing her very own trope-worthy second-chance romance.
Boston firefighter Trevor Metcalfe will be the first to rush into a burning building but the last to rush into a relationship. Love just isn’t his thing. When his new roommate Tara enlists him to help her reconnect with her exes, he reluctantly agrees. But Tara’s journey is leading him to discover his own new chapter.
The more time they spend together, the more Tara realizes Trevor seems to be the only one who appreciates her authentic, dramatic self. To claim their happily ever after, can Tara and Trevor read between the lines of their growing connection?
Start the series today!
Definitely not required reading, but we did meet Tara in Set on You.
A gym nemesis pushes a fitness influencer to the max in Amy Lea’s steamy debut romantic comedy.
Curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen built her career shattering gym stereotypes and mostly ignoring the trolls. After her recent breakup, she has little stamina left for men, instead finding solace in the gym – her place of power and positivity.
Enter firefighter Scott Ritchie, the smug new gym patron who routinely steals her favorite squat rack. Sparks fly as these ultra-competitive foes battle for gym domination. But after a series of escalating jabs, the last thing they expect is to run into each other at their grandparents’ engagement party.
In the lead up to their grandparents’ wedding, Crystal discovers there’s a soft heart under Scott’s muscled exterior. Bonding over family, fitness, and cheesy pick-up lines, they just might have found her swolemate. But when a photo of them goes viral, savage internet trolls put their budding relationship to the ultimate test of strength.
Read the audiobook review here
About the Author:
Amy Lea is a Canadian bureaucrat by day and contemporary romance author by night (and weekends). She writes laugh out loud romantic comedies featuring strong heroines, witty banter, mid-2000s pop culture references, and happily ever afters.
When Amy is not writing, she can be found fan-girling over other romance books on Instagram (@amyleabooks), eating potato chips with reckless abandon, and snuggling with her husband and goldendoodle.
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