Can’t Fight It, an all-new friends to lovers college romance from Allie Winters, is now available in Kindle Unlimited!
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.Can't Fight It by Allie Winters
Series: Lessons Learned Book #3
Published by Smartypants Romance on May 4, 2023
Genres: NA Contemporary Romance
Source: the publisher
Mousy bookworm. Psychology nerd. The kind of girl who constantly sticks her foot in her mouth.
The last thing I am is the type to attract the intimidating, motorcycle-riding guy in the apartment next door. Especially when that mouth of mine gets me in trouble and he overhears me talk smack about him…
So no one’s more surprised than me when he shows up as a participant in the psych study I’m running on campus. Or when he generously offers me some much-needed self-defense lessons. Or when we grow closer than I thought possible. It turns out some people aren’t at all what they seem at first glance. They can actually be everything you never knew you wanted in a man.
The thing is, Austin Langford is so far out of my league, it’s laughable. Muscled boxers don’t go for nobodies like me. I need to forget about this one-sided attraction.
Even when it feels like I can’t fight it.
‘Can’t Fight It’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #3 in the Lessons Learned series, Educated Romance World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
Grab your copy TODAY!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/41knDYa
Amazon UK: https://bit.ly/3XLC3xr
Amazon CA: https://bit.ly/41agDNn
Amazon AU: https://bit.ly/3xKHdiG
An hour and a half later, I’m ahead of schedule as my fifth participant finishes. That only leaves one more.
And as I decided last night, it’s not a big deal at all. Just because he makes me sort of… flustered… doesn’t have to mean anything.
I head out into the lobby, my stomach jumping around a bit as the main door opens, but it’s not my guy.
Not that he’s my guy.
Half a minute later, it is him, though.
He runs a hand through his dark blond hair, natural streaks of lighter blond sprinkled throughout, and searches the lobby, looking for…
Our gazes lock, my belly dipping low for a moment at the way he seems to take me in all at once, his movements slowing, then speeding up as his heavy footfalls sound on the carpeted floor, getting closer, closer…
I bite my lip, containing the unintelligible noise that itches to escape, and hold up a hand instead, waving.
God, why can’t I be normal?
I spin around, silently berating myself as I lead us down the hall. Every time, I forget how much of the room he seems to take up, how my brain goes a little fuzzy, how my lips seem to get looser. I just need a minute to acclimate to him. To remember how to be myself.
“Lexie was telling me last night about the boxing you and Ethan do. She said you’re really good.”
There, that was totally normal. I breathe a sigh of relief, glad that my mouth is at least temporarily in working order.
He tilts his head in acknowledgment, taking off his worn leather jacket to hang on the back of his chair. He’s got a different henley on this week, this time a charcoal color that complements the gray of his eyes. “I do all right.”
“She said you’re undefeated. Twenty wins or something?”
He shrugs, taking a seat. “Yeah, I guess.”
I don’t know why, but the way he says it has me smiling as I sit behind the desk. “You’re awfully humble.” Other guys would brag if they had that kind of skill.
Rubbing at the back of his neck, he says, “I mean, it’s punching people. It’s not important or anything. Not like what you do.”
I stare at him for a moment. “You think my study’s important?” I didn’t get the impression he even thought all that much of it last week.
His mouth opens and closes, then he leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “Everything that goes on in this building must be, right?”
“Yeah, you could view it like that. But you shouldn’t sell yourself short. It would be cool if I knew how to do what you can.”
What would it be like to watch him box? To see him in action?
He looks over at me, a small smile on his lips. “You want to box?”
I can’t help the laugh that escapes me. “Can you imagine me in a ring? I’d get pounded flat in about a second.”
His smile grows. “We have some girls that come to the gym and train. Even Mia comes in and punches the heavy bags.”
I shake my head. “No, I’d be ridiculous. Although, I’ve always wanted to learn some self-defense moves.” Maybe it would help me feel better prepared if something were to ever happen again. Maybe if my mom had known…
No. Best not to go down that path.
“I could teach you.”
It takes me a moment to process his words. “You’d teach me self-defense?”
He shrugs. “Yeah, sure.”
Have I completely misinterpreted all our previous interactions? I thought he was barely tolerating me.
I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read by this author both in and outside of the SmartyPants Romance Universe, so I was excited for this one! Once again I really liked the characters, and was happy to get to spend some time with the characters from the other stories in this series by this author, Under Pressure and Not Fooling Anyone. Austin was a tough looking guy, and Tessa had a background that made just his outward appearance a bit unnerving to her at first. But once she got to know him, he was more of a big old teddy bear, at least with her.
But then she had this friend named Joel that she was doing her psych project with, and wow, he was just a creep from moment one in the story. Between bringing her drinks that weren’t ones she liked, and kind of bossing her around or being critical of things he had no right to be, he was unlikable from the start. If there was one thing I might change, it was how nice Tessa kept being to him, and the chances she kept giving him. I had a feeling he did what we found out towards the end, so that wasn’t a surprise to me, he totally was giving off the vibes. And it was obvious he did what caused the huge darkest night moment for Austin and Tessa as well.
I do like how the author made even the family issues that Austin had with his dad more of a misunderstanding, or maybe just missed communication between the two, so that in the end, there was no reason to be upset with his dad, and to understand why things happened the way they did. Oh, one other thing that bothered me a bit was the cat that seemed to be a kind of big part at the beginning of the story, then when Tessa had to stay at Austin’s for a few nights, it was almost like the cat wasn’t there? I think maybe there should have been more with the cat based on the beginning.
But that is just a little thing that bugged me, because I loved the story and the characters overall and look forward to reading more by this author, especially as she alluded to possibly getting into the Green Valley world in the future!
About the Author
Allie is the author of the Suncoast University series, the Bishop Brothers series, and the Lessons Learned series. She lives in sunny Florida with her husband, daughter, and two cats. A librarian by day, she spends her nights writing happily ever afters. She enjoys reading, playing video games, and all things Disney.
Find Allie Winters online
Connect with Smartypants Romance