Unrealistic Expectations

Books on Tape. Sept. 2023. 7:37 hrs. ISBN 9780593748800. $66.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Narrator January LaVoy infuses Christopher’s (Thank You, Next) latest sexy rom-com with the perfect mix of humor, thoughtfulness, and angsty drama. Immediately upon publishing Ten Things Not To Do If You Ever Want To See a Naked Girl Again: The Straight Man’s Guide To Not Dying Alone in a Pile of Dirty Underwear, protagonist Jessica Gallagher, a clinical therapist, is unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend. Her publicist convinces the not-really-brokenhearted Jessica that her breakup is a PR catastrophe, urging her to fake-date someone for a few months to keep her book’s sales from tanking. When she runs into a former college classmate, gorgeous and successful architect Gavin Walker, Jessica thinks she has found a fake-dating match made in heaven, since Gavin’s celebrity ex recently trashed him online, leaving him in need of a social media image rehab. As their fake dating evolves into real attraction, LaVoy expertly builds the romantic suspense as Jessica and Gavin try to figure out what roles they want to play in each other’s actual lives, not just on Instagram.
VERDICT Contemporary romance fans who enjoy steamy stories featuring reformed rakes will savor this expertly narrated, uplifting story of finding true love in unexpected places.
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