Happy Monday and early Happy Thanksgiving wishes to all who will be celebrating this week!  I’ll have a couple more posts this week and then I’ll be taking the rest of the week to start preparing for the small meal we’ll have at my house, followed by traveling to my mom’s house this weekend for another celebration.  Today I’m sharing reviews for two great new books that hit shelves last week, one by one of my favorite authors, Lynn Painter, and the other by a new-to-me author, Nikki Payne, who I definitely want to read more from now. 🙂


Reviews:  THE DO-OVER and PRIDE AND PROTESTThe Do-Over Goodreads

Author: Lynn Painter

Publication Date: November 15, 2022

Publisher:  Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.


Lynn Painter is quickly becoming one of my favorite romance authors.  I just love the lovable and relatable characters she creates and I’m an especially big fan of the laugh out loud humor that she infuses her stories with.  For those reasons, The Do-Over was already a must-read for me, but throw in the fact that it’s also a time loop story, and I couldn’t pick up my copy fast enough!

The story follows Emilie Hornby, a high school student who has just had the absolute worst Valentine’s Day ever. Between crashing her car into the truck of her aloof lab partner, Nick, and watching her boyfriend Josh cheat on her with another girl, Emilie is just done with this day and heads to her grandma’s house for a sympathetic ear, some ice cream to cheer her up, and a sleepover. Imagine her surprise and horror when she wakes up the next morning in her own bed and it’s Valentine’s Day all over again! After it happens a third time, Emilie starts trying to do little things here and there to break the cycle.

I really enjoyed Emilie’s character. She learns a lot of things about herself while she’s trying to figure out how to escape the time loop, particularly that she’s too much of a people pleaser and needs to learn to stand up for herself more.  I think that’s a lesson that a lot of us can relate to, myself included, so I was particularly invested in watching Emilie’s growth in this area.  I also loved that the lesson and the subsequent growth came in the form of a hilarious “Day of No Consequences” (or the DONC as Emilie dubs it) where Emilie sets out to please no one but herself and thus shenanigans ensue.

In addition to the DONC, one of the biggest highlights of the book for me was Emilie’s evolving relationship with her lab partner, Nick.  I loved watching how Emilie tries different tactics every day of the time loop to try to engage with him more and get him to open up to her.  They had wonderful chemistry, even when dealing with the aftermath of a car accident on repeat, and I loved that Nick, who is clearly so much better for Emilie than cheating Josh, plays a huge role in the DONC and in Emilie’s journey of personal growth.  Nick’s scenes with Emilie added a more in-depth and sometimes poignant element to an otherwise hilarious story and I was 100% there for it.

Hilarious and heartfelt, Lynn Painter’s The Do-Over is sure to please all of the rom-com fans out there.  4.5 STARS


Reviews:  THE DO-OVER and PRIDE AND PROTESTPride and Protest Goodreads

Author: Nikki Payne

Publication Date: November 15, 2022

Publisher: Berkley

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  All opinions are my own.


Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite romance novels, so I’m always eager to read modern retellings that offer a fresh take on this beloved classic. In Pride and Protest, Nikki Payne does just that.  Payne sets her story in a poor neighborhood in Washington, D.C. and her version of Lizzie Bennett, Liza B., lives in that neighborhood with her family.  Payne’s version of Mr. Darcy, Dorsey Fitzgerald, is the wealthy CEO of a property development company who is set on gentrifying the neighborhood and forcing out poor families.

I found myself immediately invested with both of the main characters.  Liza is a young woman who is a staunch advocate for her community and has no interest in playing nice with the man she sees as threatening the security of those she loves.  I loved her passion for her community and that she used her voice and her platform as a DJ to bring attention to their plight.  Going up against the big developers puts her in the underdog position and I’ll always cheer for the underdog.  I also loved Dorsey though because even though he and Liza butt heads right from the start, it’s clear that there’s way more to him than meets the eye and I immediately wanted to know more about him.

Just as with the original classic, the heart of Pride and Protest of course revolves around Liza and Dorsey getting past the hostilities and hurt feelings of their first encounter and realizing that they have more in common than they realized and that they could be exactly what the other needs. I always enjoy this kind of journey and Payne writes this one so well.  As much as I enjoyed the sparks when they first went head-to-head in the beginning, I enjoyed that journey from enemies to lovers even more.  It’s a slow burn for sure, but the payoff is worth it.

My favorite part of a retelling is the way an author is able to create a fresh new story, while at the same time paying proper homage to the original and Payne succeeds here as well.  Most of her characters parallel characters from the original, familiar enough that fans of Pride and Prejudice will recognize them, but they’re still well drawn and layered enough to stand on their own.  Liza’s mom, Bev, and her sister, Janae, were especially well done, and I enjoyed both characters immensely.

If you’re in the mood for a fresh take on a timeless classic, you’ll want to check out Pride and Protest! 4 STARS

8 replies
  1. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    We are on the same page with respect to DONC – such a highlight! That is part of the beauty of a time-loop too. We got to see the relationship between Emilie and Nick evolve while they lived the same day over and over again.

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