Book Review – How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams

Title: How to Fail at Flirting

Author: Denise Williams

Publisher: Berkley

Publication date: December 1st, 2020

336 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.

When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup. Check…almost.

Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.

Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she’s finally living again.

Review

“Lord, give me the confidence of an old, rich white man.”

Denise Williams, How to Fail at Flirting

TW: domestic violence, revenge porn

When I first started reading this book I didn’t realize it was about a woman recovering from an abusive relationship. I had to put it down until I felt comfortable picking it back up again, but a friend sent me all the trigger warnings and I felt so much more prepared after that. It helped me to read this book knowing what events to expect, so please just reach out if you’d like me to do that for you – in more specifics that the general trigger warning above.

I’m so glad I continued reading, because I loved Naya and Jake’s burgeoning relationship so much. Their banter, the immediate connection the two had at the bar, and the genuine respect they felt for each other and treated each other with. I feel the domestic violence situation was handled as well as it could be – it’s hard to read but these things do take place so it’s important to reflect it in books. I also loved the friends that Naya had and their support of her through the old and new relationships, while sticking to side character roles.

I recommend this book, but please be careful with the trigger warnings. Also, there is a decent level of steam, with detailed, open door scenes throughout the book. I enjoy this type of romance book, but I know not everyone does so just know that going in.

I’m glad I picked this one up and I hope you all love Naya and Jake as much as I do!

Happy reading, folks!

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