Lea, Amy. Exes and O’s (The Influencer #2) by . Berkeley, 2023. 400 pp. ISBN 978-0593336595 $16.99.
Art imitates life when a bookstagrammer who writes romance novel (author Amy Lea) writes a romance novel about a a NICU nurse who moonlights as a romance novel bookstagrammer. Tara needs a new roommate when her current roomie gets engaged, and her bestie’s fiance’s best friend Trevor happens to have a room available. Their meet-cute is her discovering him banging a one-nighter over the kitchen island, but they bond over Cheetos and homemade cupcakes. Desperate for a date to a Valentine’s Day fundraiser, Tara decides to revisit all of her exes to determine if any of them are worthy as a second chance romance, a la High Fidelity‘s Rob Gordon. Trevor is in on the plan and stays updated on her progress; meanwhile she tries to get the stalwart Boston firefighter to open up about his love life and past. They settle into blissful co-habition.
The pacing and structure is excellent: Tara’s sometimes-crazy journey to reconnect with her ex-boyfriends is paralleled with her social media posts (presented in script form) that define various romance tropes–it’s a very clever introduction to those not in the know (and for Trevor, who expands his reading with thrillers). they both grow as characters and complement one another really well.
I received a free advance reader’s copy of #ExesAndOs from #NetGalley.