Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Not The Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher

* * * *

How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days gets a millennial makeover in this romantic comedy by USA Today bestselling author Andie J. Christopher.

Jack Nolan is a gentleman, a journalist, and unlucky in love. His viral success has pigeon-holed him as the how-to guy for a buzzy, internet media company instead of covering hard-hitting politics. Fed up with his fluffy articles and the app-based dating scene as well, he strikes a deal with his boss to write a final piece de resistance: How to Lose a Girl. Easier said than done when the girl he meets is Hannah Mayfield, and he's not sure he wants her to dump him.

Hannah is an extremely successful event planner who's focused on climbing the career ladder. 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. She needs to show her boss that she has range, including planning dreaded, 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.

Before Jack and Hannah know it, their fake relationship starts to feel all too real—and neither of them can stand to lose each other.

Source: advance -galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

I know this has been billed as a spin on How to Lose A Guy in Ten Days but it's honestly been ages since I've seen that movie, I don't remember all its details. I'll consider that a plus for me since it means I can read the book as its own thing. 

Jack is a romantic so when he meets someone and falls in love, he's all in ... and then they dump him. Not sure why because he sounds kind of dreamy. Hannah has the opposite going on. She falls in love and the guys eventually leave her because they don't think that she's marriage material. Her last long term boyfriend did a number on her and now she has his words stuck in her head - that she's not the girl you marry. Jack pretty much falls for her immediately and it takes some convincing on his part to have Hannah give him the time of day. He plays it cool and slow so he won't scare her away. Against what she thinks is her better judgment, Hannah does entertain Jack's advances though she's still skeptical about him, about dating, about everything to do with love. Unfortunately, she recognizes that her sour attitude could be holding her back career-wise. She's an excellent event planner but if she wants to move up the ladder she needs to branch out in to wedding planning. That's a huge ask of someone who's cynical about love and happily-ever-afters. Her boss insinuates to her that her career advancement would be within reach if she could show that she's capable of being in a relationship. Hannah thinks that Jack could help improve her image. Coincidentally, Jack is also at an impasse at his job where he's eager to be taken seriously as a journalist and work on hard-hitting stories rather than the fluff listicles he's been writing. They've been superbly popular which is why he's been held back from working on other stories. His boss agrees to give him an opportunity only after he's done with one last fluff piece about how to be the worst boyfriend ever. This goes against his nature since he's never intentionally been a jerk to a girl. With their job demands playing an essential role here, they both start fake dating and keep their secretive agenda to themselves. 

The best part is that they're both spectacularly unsuccessful at it. Try as they might, they're simply not committed to being intentional jerks so they attempt to toe the line between getting their jobs done and exploring what they might have between them. Jack's pretty easy to understand. He believes in commitment and taking care of his girlfriend. Hannah is tougher. Having been let down by previous boyfriends she just doesn't trust easily and she's constantly bringing up her baggage from it. She has a lot of residual anger especially directed at her ex. It is repetitive but considering her upbringing and her struggles with her biracial identity ... uncertainty is always there and the best way she knows to deal with it is to barricade her emotions. Growing up she was constantly figuring out where and how she could fit in, or succumbing to how others tried to fit her into a category that made sense for them. Taking all of that into consideration, Hannah is a complex jumble of mixed feelings and deep trust issues. I understood her, especially when it came to fitting in or not easily fitting into some sort of pre-conceived notion that was easier for other people to get. It just becomes a part of your psyche and it's not something that one can just shake off. 

Jack and Hannah are both irresistible in their own way. I liked that Hannah is so resilient and unapologetic about herself. Life's handed her some hard knocks but she refuses to be backed into a corner. Jack, who's ever optimistic pulls her out of her cynicism and shows her that there are guys out there who are worth taking a chance on. But more importantly, that she herself is worth fighting for and loving, and she is perfect just as she is. I definitely recommend Not The Girl You Marry!

~ Bel

No comments:

Post a Comment