Exes and O’s

Berkley. (The Influencer Series, Bk. 2). Jan. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780593336595. pap. $17. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Tara Chen is a nurse by day and romance novel-focused social media influencer by night. Recovering from a broken engagement, she moves in with firefighter Trevor and embarks on a quest to find a date for an upcoming hospital fundraiser by attempting to reconnect with all ten of her ex-boyfriends. While tracking down her exes and documenting the process on her social media accounts, she quickly finds herself falling for Trevor as they bond as roommates in this easy-to-read friends-to-lovers story. Trevor is a fully realized love interest with a complex backstory, and readers will find themselves rooting for the couple. While romance novel tropes abound, Tara cleverly calls them out as part of her “bookstagram” influencer persona, and transcripts from her “live” videos and comments from her followers also make the influencer world feel more lived-in. The plot is less focused on social issues than Lea’s debut Set on You, and some of the secondary characters are one-dimensional, but the story moves quickly.
VERDICT A perfect beach read for fans of contemporary romance who enjoy unique and compelling leads.
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