How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams
December 1, 2020, by Berkley
Reviewed by Angela
Content Warnings: Memories of domestic abuse, attempted rape
This was SUCH a great read, the perfect mix between sexy, fun, getting to know you romance, and emotional healing from past trauma. I kind of fell into this story and didn’t want to come out.
The heroine of How to Fail at Flirting is Naya Turner, a professor at a local university whose life is kind of stuck in a rut. She and her besties come up with a list that will hopefully bring some excitement back into her boring routine. The first person she meets at a bar (which is totally not her usual thing) is Jake, a guy just in town for a wedding. They hit it off immediately and it doesn’t take long for the sparks to fly.
I mean there is a whole lot more than that and as you read (which I’m hoping you will do) you’ll see that Jake and Naya are more intertwined than they realize at first. Each of them has reasons that should make them shie away from starting something serious, but they just can’t stay away from each other.
Their relationship is SO SEXY. And loving, and sweet, and they have such fun together! Jake is delightfully beta and was a sturdy, nice, kind of geeky guy. Naya is just finding her emotional and mental balance again after an extremely abusive relationship, and I love that she was determined to put herself out there and live her life to the fullest again. These are two perfectly flawed, complex characters that just worked together right from the beginning. Their chemistry was off the charts.
Surrounding them are a cast of likable characters that brought so much support and love for this couple. It’s a rare thing when as a reader you look forward to a secondary character appearing on-page, but I have to say this was me with Naya and Jake’s friends.
This was a lovely, super sexy, romance. Despite the content warnings, it felt like a low angst read until about the last 25%. The last part is all about Naya confronting her abuser, regaining her power, and taking control of her life. I had some anxiety knowing it was coming, but it was wonderful seeing Naya regain the strength that she felt like she lost for so many years.
The HEA was just about perfect. Highly recommend.
Final grade- A