Berkley | 1 December 2020 | 352 pgs
Source: Library 

Professor Naya Turner's life has always been simple and routine. She's devoted to her work but the university is undergoing a restructuring so that means their flailing department might land on a chopping block anytime. To cheer her up, Naya's bestie suggested she shed her usual self and do something fun for an evening in town, such as making a to-do list and challenge herself to various tasks which are out of her norms. Starting off with striking a conversation with a stranger at the bar. Naya isn't totally against the idea, after all her bestie is coming along and she might not be doing anything from the list at all. But a family emergency came up and Naya is left alone at the bar. 

But Naya's loneliness is only temporary after she met Jake who's also nursing his drink alone. Jake is visiting for a business meeting as well as his friend's wedding party. A boisterous bachelorette party nearby prompts him to strike a conversation with Naya and both of them hit it off quickly. Naya thinks Jake is funny and friendly and soon she finds herself sharing her to-do list with him. Jake tells her that he could check off the items on her list, starting with buying her a drink and ending with a no-strings-attached hookup. But their so-called date doesn't seem to end there that night, as Jake wants to get to know Naya more and vice versa. 

And as fate would have it, Jake happened to be the management consultant hired by the University; and by the time Naya finds out it's a little late to retrace her steps (and her heart). Aside from the complications of their relationship, Naya also has to face the wrath of her ex-partner after learning that he'll be working in the same university as her. Losing her job and/or love is one thing, but having to deal with his ex-partner's threats and abusive behaviours is another thing. 

I haven't read a romance for a while so this was a refreshing read to me. I loved the interactions between Jake and Naya and I thought Jake was a catch - he's funny, considerate and understanding. Naya, on the other hand, appeared to be strong on the surface but deep within she was simply a woman who's looking for someone who'd understand her and respect her. Although this is a romance, it also delves into some serious subjects like domestic abuse and gaslighting and these scenes are particularly hard to read. But Naya was a changed person by then so she wouldn't submit to her ex's behaviours. I enjoyed this book (minus the abusive parts) and all the more for the author's writing. I'll definitely keep a look out for her other books. 

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10 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    I love the sound of this one! And I'm so in the mood for some light and fun summer reading. Here's hoping my library has a copy of this one! :D

  2. Melody Says:

    Lark - I hope you'll enjoy this book when you get to it, Lark. :)

  3. Greg Says:

    This sounds really fun! Great review. :)

  4. Melody Says:

    Greg - Thanks, Greg! I'm currently in the mood for some light reads and this was a perfect read. :)

  5. I think I would like this one--what a great title too!

  6. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I hope you'll enjoy reading this book when you get to it, Wendy.

  7. Iliana Says:

    This sounds like a wonderful romance! I'm going to have to add this one to my list!

  8. I feel like I should read more of these contemporary romances since they're so popular! This sounds like a good one. Love the title!

  9. Melody Says:

    Iliana - It was a great read, Iliana. I hope you'll enjoy it.

  10. Melody Says:

    Diana - Yes, I've also noticed that contemporary romance is getting popular nowadays. I'm trying to read more of them depending on my mood. ;)

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