Star rating: 5 ⭐ / 5 ⭐
Synopsis: from Storygraph–
Talia Hibbert returns with another charming romantic comedy about a young woman who agrees to fake date her friend after a video of him “rescuing” her from their office building goes viral…
Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.
When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?
Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs.
Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?
General information: This book was published in June 2020 by Avon.
If you like romcoms, this series should be required reading!
(Totally kidding. …Or am I?)
In all seriousness, this book was really good. I loved the main characters, Dani and Zaf, and their interactions. They were adorable and funny and everything that’s good in a romcom. I was really rooting for them throughout the book and when I got to the ending I had to put the book down for a minute to process my emotions.
I know that it’s kind of the point of romcoms that people overcome their personal flaws to be together, but I felt like this book did that especially well. I really felt the character growth, especially on Dani’s side, and that was something I was really rooting for too.
I also adored the discussions of mental health and self-worth. As someone who struggles with both, this book felt very relevant to me, personally, and it’s much cheaper than a therapy session. (Again, totally kidding!! Please go to a therapist if you can afford it).
Also? Incredibly steamy. Like… hoo boy. I almost couldn’t read this book in public sometimes because I didn’t want anyone to look over my shoulder at the page. So if that’s not your thing, maybe take a pass on this series.
Overall, I love this series so far and can’t wait for the third book to come out! (And would also do things for an ARC, if anyone important is listening). I highly recommend this series to fans of romcoms, especially diverse romcoms with discussions of serious topics. I definitely plan on reading these books again!
Content warnings: Mentions of anxiety/mental illness, panic attacks, mentions of death/grief, sexual content, mentions of past toxic relationship
Have you read this series? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!