Book Smart (Work For It #3) by Amanda Pennington (2022)
Melanie is stuck in a college tutoring job, but she has dreams of writing a book someday... and hopefully finding true love. What she doesn't know is that her best friend Cameron has been in love with her for years. Melanie's inspiration for her book is a list of dating advice from the 1950s, and with Cameron as her wingman, she tries out the old advice in a modern setting. Will the list help Melanie find love, and will Cameron find the courage to finally tell her how he feels? Guys, this book was just delightful! This is a clean, sweet, friends-to-more romance, so I want to be upfront that there are no spicy scenes, but I didn't miss them! I was laughing at the text chains between Mel, Cameron, and their friend Ivy from the first page, and I loved getting to know Mel and Cameron, with chapters from both their points of view. Pennington does such a great job at creating this friendship between Mel and Cameron and explaining why they've never gone beyond it (even though they've both wanted to!). Richly drawn characters, a fun college workplace setting, and writing that reads effortlessly across the page - so much to love here! 4.5 stars
Smart Mouth (Work For It #4) by Emma Lee Jayne (2022)
Gwen is a scientist about to get her Ph.D. Tom is the twin brother of her best friend and a famous pop star. They have a bit of a complicated history, but Tom is not about to let her get away again. I thought this was a good read, although not my favorite of the series. I wasn't crazy about Tom at the beginning; he seemed a little too gruff for me, but as the story went on and he was around Gwen more often, he really softened up. I liked the unexpected take on the boy band/pop star background. Gwen was sweet, although a little too stereotypical "I'm smart therefore I'm socially awkward." I have to admit, I'm having a hard time nailing down what the plot of this book was - Tom has loved Gwen for years, but she doesn't know; he's going to teach her how to date; she might want to be with him, but she's not convinced it could work? I think this is more a "me" problem and the state of mind I was in while reading this. I did enjoy the other threads of the story and thought they could have been expanded upon (Tom's bandmates, his issues with his twin brother). 3.5 stars
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