I’m Reading: Outmatched by Callihan and Young

Rhys Morgan is a former heavyweight champ in desperate need of cash to keep his gym afloat. Parker Brown is a wealthy environmental research scientist in desperate need of a fake relationship to satisfy a misogynistic boss. It was supposed to be just business. Neither expected to fall in love.

It’s a classic collection of tropes (fake relationship, opposites attract), but the authors make it all fresh again with a cast of genuinely human, lovable, vivid characters, broken in all the right places, and a masterful thread of steamy attraction that stitches them together piece by piece. This book is in my perpetual re-read pile. In fact, I came back to it this weekend for the third time.

I think my favorite part about the book is that the characters actually grow as people. It isn’t one sacrificing everything that makes them happy for the other. Instead, they both have to step outside their comfort zone, accept mistakes and compromises, and become better people in order to get what they want. For me, wanting to be a better person is much more romantic than some big personal sacrifice that makes you miserable. The latter just isn’t sustainable. Relationships should build you up, and Rhys and Parker are both stronger and better for their love. As a reader, that’s deeply satisfying. Combined with witty dialogue, adorable fierceness, touching vulnerability, and expertly crafted steam, this should be in the TBR list of anyone who enjoys contemporary or sport romances.

Get more information by visiting the authors online at:



I’m Reading: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

Annie Cassidy is obsessed with the magic of happy-ever-afters. When a movie crew comes to her home town to film a rom-com, there’s potential for two dreams to come true. She can finally work for a real Hollywood director, and maybe stumble into a real-life love story.

I’ll be completely honest, I didn’t make it through this book on the first try. It begins with a chapter-long backstory infodump that I lost interest in and patience with. I returned it to the library and moved on in my reading pile.

But every time I finished a good romance ebook, Waiting for Tom Hanks popped up as a recommended read. The fact that it was keeping company with so many favorites convinced me to give it another chance. I’m glad I did!

I pushed through the exposition and there, at the end of the first chapter, we meet Uncle Don and his Dungeons and Dragons group. I fully admit it, once an author brings in the nerds, I’m hooked.

The story is full of feel-good whimsy, alternating poking fun at the rom-com genre and bringing it to magical life. There’s the grumpy leading man who makes the worst first impression, the meet-cutes that keep trying, the quirky best friend, and the feisty heroine who needs to be swept away from her small town life of writing listicles about hemorrhoid treatments.

The complex layers of the broody hero give the story some depth, and the romantic tension is nicely developed. There’s some LOLcringe with a horrifying blind date, and lots of sweet disaster characters like Uncle Don and Dungeon Master Rick. But it’s the tongue-in-cheek play with romance tropes that gives this story its appeal. It’s fun, funny, sweet and steamy, and I’ll keep it in my re-read pile.

Visit the author Kerry Winfrey at https://www.kerrywinfrey.com/ and check for her books at your local library!