Lovers of alternating points of view, slow-burn romances, fake dating, and witty banter will enjoy Lynn Painter’s latest. The Love Wager, The Artist’s follow-up to Mr. Wrong Number, uses it all for a charming friends-to-lovers romantic comedy.
When Hallie Piper finds herself awoken from an impromptu relationship after a bartending gig, she decides it’s time to get her life together. He sets several “big” goals for himself, including finding true love. Who does she meet for the first time on a dating app other than Jack Marshall, her one-night stand?
Hallie and Jack form an unexpected friendship when they start texting. They also decide to make a bet on who will find love. “Love Bets” lead to many shared tacos, first date horror stories, and friendly flirtations. When Hallie can’t make time for a family wedding, Jack offers to step in as her fake boyfriend, but their affair stirs up a lot of real feelings, and they both start to wonder: Will they make it? remain best friends after the wedding weekend is over?
A testament to Lynn Painter’s masterful romance writing, Hallie and Jack’s chemistry jumps off the page. I think Hallie’s feelings for Jack could have used more of her point of view in the writing; It was hard to understand how she felt about Jack except in the scenes where they interacted. Enough of these scenes though. Their banter is lively and bright, betraying their mutual attraction and providing a strong foundation for their budding romance.
Reinforcing the novel’s tried-and-true romantic tropes, Painter adds strong and likable characters to the mix in the all-too-relatable Hallie and Jack. Love Bets Lives Up To The Artist’s Hype. It’s cute, funny and cute romantic.