Heat Factor: Think Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn or Humphrey Bogart/Audrey Hepburn
Character Chemistry: Subtle but present
Plot: Woman makes a fool of herself repeatedly and then finds her voice
Overall: SO FUN
Now this is a romantic comedy! I’m pretty sure there were a few times that I kept my husband awake with my laughter.
Here’s the deal: Evie is assistant to a screenwriters’ agent, and she MUST convince a spoilt, artistic screenwriter to produce a script for a rom-com. Ezra’s already blown past several deadlines, and the producers are issuing ultimatums. Evie needs Ezra to write the script or she’ll not only never become an agent, she’ll lose her job. Ezra is waaaaaaaaaaay too posh to write something as low brow as a romantic comedy. It’s not real life! Desperate, Evie makes a deal to try to meet (and fall in love with) someone using a meet cute from a rom com. To prove it’s real, of course.
The results are hilarious. It begins with Evie trying to meet someone by spilling a drink on him, with hilarious results. All the results of these encounters are hilarious. But back to that first encounter… After Evie spills fresh squeezed orange juice blended with a raw egg all over not only her prospective love interest but also all over his granny and a demonic small child named Justice, leading to
What can only be described as a gleaming fountain of sick shot out of her mouth with such force that when it hit Detty’s face he was knocked backward by a foot.
The whole cafe froze, silent but for the deafening sound of dripping coming from Detty.
Then Evie meets the man and his daughter who had been playing it cool while all this snafu went down.
“You’ve been the best thing to happen here in ages,” [Anette] declared.
“That’s very sweet,” I replied, deciding to take this as a compliment. Somehow I didn’t think her dad agreed. “But today was a complete one-off, I promise. I never do things like that.”
For whatever reason, this earned me Ben’s full attention. He looked at me, hooded brown eyes flashing with something like amusement. “Really?” he said. “Then why was that the second time we’ve seen you spill your drink on someone in this cafe?”
When I first read the synopsis, I thought Ezra would be the love interest. Then I read the prologue and I thought Ben would be the love interest. Who is the love interest!? Winters walks this line pretty well all the way through the book. Ezra is the NOB that Evie christened him at the beginning, but as he interacts with her he shows some roundness and likeability. There are moments. (Oh la la!) For his part, Ben really doesn’t spend a ton of time on the page, and he’s extremely reserved. He knows about Evie’s meet cute activities and doesn’t approve, and she refers to him as “Mr. Judgy” at one point. It’s sort of a Bridget Jones Darcy/Daniel Cleaver situation. Sort of. Daniel Cleaver is pretty terrible. Moving on. Ben is obviously an amazing man, and I want to crack his shell open real bad.
The draw of this book is the slow burn and that line Winters walked that made me think I might be wrong about who was Evie’s true love. It gave me all the feels. Like when Humphrey Bogart punches William Holden at the end of Sabrina. Slow burns are the best.
And Evie was also exactly what I needed right now. You know when the protagonist is just having a terrible, unsatisfying life and you’re like, “You need to get out of your own way and be happy!” Even though it’s very nice to have money and security because you have bills to pay and blowing up your life seems fantastically impractical? But what is the point of being miserable? I don’t always love that situation in books, but I was all in with Evie as she dealt with all her work nonsense.
Also, did I mention it was hilarious?
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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