Erin Mallon has a fresh and authentic comedic voice in her writing that completely immersed me with giggles!– Amy Daws, Amazon bestselling author
Lovebug, an all-new unique and quirky romantic comedy from bestselling author Erin Mallon is available now!
I received this book for free from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lovebug by Erin Mallon
Series: Natural History #2
on February 24, 2021
Genres: Adult Romantic Comedy
Source: Social Butterfly PR
My name is Mabel, the girl who “wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Of course I wouldn’t.
I’m an entomologist for goodness’ sake.
I work in a nature center.
Bugs are my jam.
It’s the humans in my life who are starting to get me down. I’m used to them calling me sweet and innocent. I can even handle them calling me naive. But when they lie and keep secrets from me? That’s when my proverbial pincers want to come out.
Trouble is, I’m not the girl who fights back.
Not until a handsome groundskeeper with a dirty mouth and secrets of his own shows up and lights all sorts of fires in me.
In the bug world, the female is always the fiercest. The praying mantis doesn’t worry about being a “good girl.” Nope, she follows her instincts no matter how crass or crude they may seem to others.
Turns out I could learn a thing or two from her.
I’m not necessarily looking to tear anyone’s head off, but after decades of being nice, it’s high time for me to return to nature and unleash my wild side.
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I check to make sure all kids and counselors are settled safely and the craft is underway, then start a slow walk to where the man is crouched down and working with a wrench.
I have absolutely no idea why I choose this approach, but I whip around the water fountain in a sort of sneak attack, and shout, “Hi!”
His body jerks as though I’ve startled him. Because clearly, I have. I smile and wave. Even though he’s right in front of me.
He turns and looks behind us as if he’s unsure I’m actually speaking to him. I’m noticing this happens a lot when I greet people. Calliope told me once that I approach strangers with “unearned familiarity,” and it freaks them out. Friendliness freaks people out? I’m not sure what to do with that information.
“Yes you, silly!” I say.
His full attention is trained on me, but he doesn’t say a word. I’m starting to think the kids were right, and this guy actually doesn’t speak.
“Hey you,” I breathe.
Was that my voice I just heard? I don’t say “hey you” in that shouty way people do when they’re trying to get your attention outside the grocery store for leaving your cart abandoned in the lot instead of in the assigned cart area—not that I would ever shout at someone or leave a cart abandoned in a lot. No, the “hey you” I give him is that breathy sort. That shy, smiley sort. The kind of “hey you” people say when they know you so deeply and truly that they almost never say your actual name because they don’t need to. Who else could they possibly be speaking to at that moment except… you. You. You. Wonderful, precious, irreplaceable you. Not that I’ve ever been the recipient of such a “you.”
“Did you need something?” he asks.
He speaks! Oh wow, he speaks!
His voice is… gruff. That’s the only way to describe it. Is he annoyed? Nah, it’s probably just his voice. I’ve heard of perpetual bitch face. Maybe he has a perpetual bitch voice? But he’s a guy, so I guess to be accurate, it would be called a perpetual bastard voice?
“Before we begin, let it be known that I don’t think you’re a bastard. Or a bitch.”
“I was just thinking that you sound like a bastard, but I bet that’s just the way your vocal cords operate. They’re probably just prone to a gruff, bastardy tone.”
“No. You had it right the first time. I am a bastard.”
“Gotcha! So. How are you? Your name is ‘The Wall’? I mean, they call you ‘The Wall’? What is that short for? Walter? Walton? Wallmeranian?” I rattle off some suggestions.
“Wallace,” he huffs.
“Gotcha. Big fan of Wallace and Grommit?” I ask.
“Gotcha. Can I call you Wally?” “No.”
“Gotcha. Hey, do you think I say gotcha too much?”
“Yes,” he says definitively.
“Gotcha. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll work on that. Hey, wanna hear something silly?”
“Cool, here I go. My kids… not my biological kids—though I do hope to have some of those one day, how about you? Sorry, don’t answer that. That’s an invasive question. See those teenagers over there who are completely unrelated to me?” I point in April and Dante’s direction where they are decidedly not focused on their kids and are instead “hiding” behind a pavilion post watching my flailing interaction. I wave to them. “Hey, guys!” They ignore me and look off in random directions as if they’re suddenly fascinated by all the glorious nature around them. “I’m training them as CITs this summer. That’s right, I’m chief of staff this year! I mean head counselor. And well, the thing is, they’re… well… they’re afraid of you.”
He goes back to working on the fountain as if he’s giving up on his conversation with me.
“Isn’t that ridiculous?” I start giggling uncontrollably. “Fine by me,” he says.
“What’s fine by you?”
“That they’re afraid of me.”
“Oh.” I feel my head jerk back. “Really? But if they’re afraid of you, they’ll keep avoiding you and making up stories about you instead of taking the time to really get to know you.”
“Perfect. Love that plan,” he says and swipes some sweat off his brow.
I’m not sure how to respond to this man.
“Besides,” he continues, “you’re afraid of me too.”
If you’ve been following me for awhile, at least through last year, you know that the first book in this series, basically this author’s debut novel, Flirtasaurus, was my favorite book last year. So as you can guess, I have been so excited for this one! And let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint!
While it didn’t start off with as crazy hilarious of a meet-cute as Flirtasaurus did, when we got to that point, oh my gosh, I was dying laughing. It did start out with some funny suggestions by a real “Italian” on how some things were being pronounced wrong, like minestrone is min-es-tron. (As an Italian I can tell you that is not correct.) But then we got into Mabel describing what someone looked like, in her own thoughts, and I have to say, I am probably that bad at my descriptions. Something I have to work on when I’m writing my own stories. However that amused me because it is so me.
Another thing I loved was that we got some time with Calliope from Flirtasaurus, and some fun with her opinions on names and how they are not sexy. Because, Bert, yeah, not sexy. And the crazy part is that the guy’s full name was Robert. Who chooses Bert from Robert? And then when Wallace, or Wally as Mabel called him, kept “accidentally” calling him Ernie, gah!
So much about Mabel’s awkwardness is so much me. And the positivity thing. I’m not as bad as her, but still, I know I probably come off like that, when I’m not complaining myself. When she would all of a sudden be yelling? I seriously was laughing so hard throughout this book that at one point, one of my dogs who was sitting on my lap as I read, turned around and gave me a look like she wondered what was wrong with me. I wish I had been able to capture her expression with my camera because even thinking about that now gets me laughing again.
So this will probably go down as one of my top books of 2021, and the little tidbit that there will be one more book after this, Sharkbait I think it is called, totally made my night when I finished! Now I have to share some of the parts that made me stop reading because I was laughing so hard. First of all when Calliope talked about the age of 33 being the “Jesus year” because that is what age Jesus was when he all of a sudden became the messiah and did a bunch of miracles, etc. Calliope’s man, Ralph, is one of the girl’s brother, so she called herself a “brotherf***er”. And some quotes (might not be word for word perfect to save time and space):
“I guess my therapist is rubbing off on me.” “You should never let your therapist rub one off on you!”
“Is that a tear?” “No way! It’s just eye sweat!”
“May I have a word with you?” “Which one?” – this one I want to start using myself!
About the Author:
Erin Mallon’s debut romantic comedy novel, Flirtasaurus, releases in July 2020. She is an award-winning narrator of over 450 books and an accomplished playwright and producer in New York City. She has written over 40 plays, which have been produced Off-Broadway and all over the country, including These Walls Can Talk, a raucous theatrical love letter to the romance audiobook community. She lives in a little yellow house on the outskirts of NYC with her husband and Three J’s.
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