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How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams
Genre: Romance | My Review Rating: ♥♥♥♥.5
336 Pages | Published: December 1, 2020 by Berkley Romance
Book Jacket Synopsis
One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.
When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup. Check…almost.
Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.
Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she’s finally living again.
- In that moment, I also wanted to confess everything. How I was lonely, too, and why I’d been closed off for so long. I wanted to tell him about being scared I was broken, because no one’s touch had ever done the things that his had. p.80
- I wanted to tell him we could screw the rules and see where this led, but that would mean trusting him and giving him the power to hurt me, or to control me, and I’d sworn I’d never do that again. p.131
Review & Thoughts
Themes & Topics: Sensitive and important topic of abusive relationships, infidelity, and divorce. Touched on the emotional consequences of being subject to abuse, followed by the time it takes to learn to trust again and rebuild confidence in others. Showcased the importance of having a support team of people that you trust that can help you rebuild your confidence. Speaking out against abusive people and trusting your instincts.
Elements: Trust, loyalty, taking risks, trying something new, romance, friendship, creative professional solutions.
Trope: Rebuilding confidence through a to-do list. Overcoming difficulties of past relationships.
Romance heat meter: semi-steamy
In a Nutshell: Enjoyable semi-steamy romance novel about recovering from domestic abuse and rebuilding confidence in learning to trust again.
Book Format & Source: Paperback copy gifted from The Book Drop’s ambassador program. I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Book Drop. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
About Denise Williams
From the Author’s Amazon Page: Denise Williams wrote her first book in the 2nd grade. I Hate You and its sequel, I Still Hate You, featured a tough, funny heroine, a quirky hero, witty banter, and a dragon. Minus the dragons, these are still the books she likes to write. After penning those early works, she finished second grade and eventually earned a PhD. After growing up a military brat around the world and across the country, Denise now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, and two ornery shih-tzus.
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