I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Love Wager by Lynn Painter
Series: Mr. Wrong Number #2
Published by Berkley Books on March 14, 2023
Genres: Adult Romantic Comedy
Source: the publisher
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Two people make a wager on who can find love first, not realizing what they should be betting on is each other, in this new romantic comedy by Lynn Painter, author of Mr. Wrong Number.
Hallie Piper is turning over a new leaf. After belly-crawling out of a hotel room (hello, rock bottom), she decides it’s time to become a full-on adult. She gets a new apartment, a new haircut, and a new wardrobe, but when she logs onto the dating app that she has determined will find her new love, she sees none other than Jack, the guy whose room she snuck out of.
After the joint agreement that they are absolutely not interested in each other, Jack and Hallie become partners in their respective searches for The One. They text each other about their dates, often scheduling them at the same restaurant so that if things don’t go well, the two of them can get tacos afterward.
Spoiler: they get a lot of tacos together.
Discouraged by the lack of prospects, Jack and Hallie make a wager to see who can find true love first, but when they agree to be fake dates for a weekend wedding, all bets are off. As they pretend to be a couple, lines become blurred and they each struggle to remember why the other was a bad idea to begin with.
I adored this book! As usual the characters, the fun, whimsical storyline, the snarky banter, hilarious situations the characters found themselves in, all of it added up to perfection for me! It was fun getting to see Jack, was Olivia’s brother from Mr. Wrong Number, get his HEA. And we got a fun bit of time spent with Olivia and Colin too in this book.
The meet-cute in this book was a little bit of an eye-opener for Jack, who found out the woman he’d been about to make his fiance was a bit of a jealous crazy for no reason. And he hadn’t even asked her to marry him yet! But the getting over it along with Hallie was pretty fun. But they left it as a one night stand kind of thing until they “found” each other on a dating app. I loved the parts with the dating app as I am someone who does the scrolling, or as I call it, window or catalog shopping. The two of them became friends as they tried to help each other navigate to find their perfect match.
As you would expect though, the friendship between them became so rich and wonderful, that it was hard to not develop more feelings. While Jack kind of fell first, the feelings were niggling at the back of Hallie’s mind as well. As I mentioned the banter, the hilarious texting and nicknames and debating over what was the “okay” term for sex, railing, bonking, etc., was exactly what I love in a rom-com. The fact that Jack’s cat was named Mr. Meowgi was perfect as well.
It was not just the main couple that I loved, but the side characters as well. And not just the ones that we know from the first book, but also Hallie’s roomie, and sister, and really it was just a great ensemble of characters. I hope there is a third, not sure who it would be, but I’m there for any characters that Lynn Painter wants to write a story for.
I did discover a bit of a continuity error in the book, and I assumed it was probably going to be changed before the book was released. I reached out to the author to ask her about it, and she said that it slipped through. And also there was a mention about someone making a funny Kansas City Chiefs joke, and I don’t remember that, so don’t know if that would have made me a bit mad as I read it, lol. My only criticism really is that there was so much of the “not ruining the friendship” and not believing he wanted more even when he really did kind of come out and say it. I know, I know, it’s a normal romance dramatic storyline, but sometimes I get a little bit irritated with characters who keep it going, like Hallie kind of did. Also, I’d like to find my own Jack who has lots of frequent flyer miles to upgrade my plane ticket to Scotland this summer. 🙂
About the Author
Lynn Painter is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author who writes romantic comedies for both teens and adults. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and pack of wild children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, odds are good she’s guzzling energy drinks and watching rom-coms.
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