Title: Not the Girl You Marry

Author: Andie J. Christopher

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Summary: Jack Nolan is a gentleman, a journalist, and unlucky in love. Fed up with writing fluffy articles and app-based dating, he strikes a deal with his boss: he’ll write one more puff piece on how to lose a girl and then he gets to be a real journalist. Easier said than done when the girl he meets is Hannah Mayfield, an extremely successful event planner focused on climbing the career ladder as well. Her firm is one of the most prestigious in the city, and she’s determined to secure her next promotion. But Hannah has a bit of an image problem, and she needs to show her boss that she has range, including planning romantic weddings. Enter Jack. He’s the perfect man to date for a couple weeks to prove to her boss that she’s not scared of feelings. But before Jack and Hannah know it, their fake relationship starts to feel all too real—and neither of them can stand to lose the other.

Note: an eARC of this title was acquired via NetGalley.

The thing I’ve noticed about reading more romance is that a lot of the time, what separates one book from another isn’t just the plot or even the characters—it’s a subtle combination of the two, mixed in with both the author’s word choices as well as their tone. Could these characters exist in the real world? Is the plot just the right amount of sweet? Do I enjoy the sex scenes—or are they just unbearably cringy? Is the plot going the way I want it to or do I want to throw the book across the room? Etc etc.

But Not the Girl You Marry surprised me, y’all—in so many little ways. Andie J. Christopher not only gave voice to an unfiltered, career-focused, bawdy leading lady—she also wrote a hopelessly romantic male love interest. (!!!) Although the plot basically boiled down to Hannah needing Jack to be her pretend boyfriend for two weeks so she could get a promotion while Jack needed Hannah to be his pretend girlfriend for two weeks so he could get a promotion, I was still left thinking “hmm, I wonder what will happen… 🤔”

Throw in some insane chemistry, truly laugh-out-loud moments, and a take on How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, and Not the Girl You Marry hit all my buttons. If you’re looking for a fun contemporary romance, this one deserves your attention.

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