ARC Review: The Love Wager by Lynn Painter

*I was given a copy of The Love Wager in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Penguin Random House and Lynn Painter.*


Hallie Piper is turning over a new leaf. After belly-crawling out of a hotel room (hello, rock bottom), she decides it’s time to become a full-on adult.

She gets a new apartment, a new haircut, and a new wardrobe, but when she logs into the dating app that she has determined will find her new love, she sees none other than Jack, the guy whose room she’d snuck out of.

Through the app, and after the joint agreement that they are absolutely not interested in each other, Jack and Hallie become partners in their respective searches for The One. They text each other about their dates, often scheduling them at the same restaurant so that if things don’t go well, the two of them can get tacos afterwards.

Spoiler: they get a lot of tacos together.

Discouraged by the lack of prospects, Jack and Hallie make a wager to see who can find true love first, but when they agree to be fake dates for a weekend wedding, all bets are off.

As they pretend to be a couple, lines become blurred and they each struggle to remember why the other was a bad idea to begin with.


I really enjoyed The Love Wager, I kind of knew I would because ever since reading Better Than the Movies I’ve been a big Lynn Painter fan. I’ve now read two of her other works and while they aren’t as good, I still really enjoyed them. The Love Wager is definitely my second favourite. 

This book had me at fake dating. It’s one of my absolute favourite tropes and it’s done very well here. Especially as they already have a ‘romantic’ connection, that isn’t really romantic as it was a one night stand, but they both knew it meant more. 

Lynn Painter knows how to write charming characters. Hallie was so funny and I don’t want to say goofy as it sounds mean but I also hate the word quirky. She knows how to have a good time and she has these little ‘quirks’ that make her very lovable. 

The romance was frustrating in the best way possible. It did get a bit ridiculous at one point as they literally told each other they have feelings for each other but still did nothing about it. That back-and-forth got a little annoying after a while, but they were so cute together that I could overlook it. 

There were a lot of fun settings in The Love Wager and I especially loved the hotel and surrounding areas of the wedding. Also, the wedding! I love weddings in books and this one was pretty great. It was very fun, funny and actually quite spicy. Let’s just say that the hotel kitchen would not pass a health and safety hygiene test. 

The Love Wager was a super quick read and entertaining from the get go. It’s definitely filled with a few cliches, but aren’t most romance novels? The friends to lovers trope was done pretty well and I really loved the cast of characters. 

I read this without reading Mr Wrong Number, I didn’t realise at the time of getting this ARC that it’s technically a sequel, but not really. They are set in the same world with a couple of recurring characters, but you don’t need to have read Mr Wrong Number to read The Love Wager. I will definitely be checking it out at some point though!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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