Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that Daylight Savings Time hasn’t thrown you too off kilter.  Today I’m back with a couple of great new March releases from Berkley.  I originally planned to post reviews for these later in the month, but I flew through them both so quickly that I just couldn’t wait any longer to share my love for them.


Reviews:  THE LOVE WAGER & THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF TANNER & LOUISEThe Love Wager (Mr. Wrong Number, #2) Goodreads

Author: Lynn Painter

Publication Date: March 14, 2023

Publisher:  Berkley

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


Lynn Painter is one of my go-to authors when I’m craving a hilarious and heartwarming read and her latest rom-com, The Love Wager, is all of that and more.

When the story opens, Hallie Piper is working at a wedding, tending bar.  When Jack, the sexy best man, comes up to order a drink, Hallie hits it off with him, a little too well apparently, because they end up in a hotel room together. Hallie ends up belly-crawling out of the hotel room in a desperate attempt to avoid an awkward post- one night stand encounter, and she decides at that moment that it’s time to make some major life changes. She creates a profile on a popular dating app, hoping to meet her true love, and who does she see almost immediately as she’s scrolling for possible matches?  Yep, you guessed it, Jack! Hallie messages him through the app, mainly just to mess with him, and the two of them end up actually becoming friends and actually putting a little friendly wager on which of them will find love first.

This story was just so much fun!  Friends to lovers is a trope I enjoy anyway, but Painter really leveled it up when she added the one-night stand into the equation to make it more along the lines of a lovers to friends to lovers romance.  Hallie and Jack were also both so likeable and had tremendous chemistry (no matter how many times they each tried to remind themselves that they were only platonic friends).  I loved how they would set up their respective dates at the same place so that if things didn’t go well, they could give each other an out and escape to go get tacos together. The taco “not dates” were adorable and it was so much fun to watch these two clearly grow more and more attracted to each other, and more concerned for each other’s happiness and well-being, the more they hung out together.  At one point, Hallie takes Jack to an event as her fake date and I was practically giddy watching the two of them interact because they had more chemistry than any of the real couples who were there.  I was rooting so hard for them to see what I was seeing and just get on with it already, haha!

The Love Wager is a romance filled with heart and humor that has once again cemented Lynn Painter’s place on my list of auto-buy authors. 4.5 STARS


Reviews:  THE LOVE WAGER & THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF TANNER & LOUISEThe Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise Goodreads

Author: Colleen Oakley

Publication Date: March 28, 2023

Publisher: Berkley

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


The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise by Colleen Oakley was a must-read for me because it contains two elements that I love and don’t come across often enough, an older protagonist and an unlikely friendship.  Throw in a cross country road trip and this book was simply irresistible to me!

The older protagonist is Louise Wilt, a sassy octogenarian who, at her children’s insistence, finds herself in need of a full-time caregiver after falling and fracturing her hip.  Louise hates being old, hates the way people treat her because she is old, and she has lots of other opinions that she isn’t afraid to share at any given moment.  The irony is that while she doles out her honest opinion to anyone who will listen, it turns out she’s hiding a boatload of secrets and has lived a life wilder than anyone could possibly fathom.  Oakley has created an incredibly rich, well drawn character with Louise and I really loved getting to know her and learning about her secrets and what motivated her to do what she does in this story.

Tanner is the other protagonist in the story and she’s a 21-year-old woman who has been forced to drop out of college because of a career-ending soccer injury that cost her a full-ride scholarship.  Tanner feels like her life is over before it has even begun. She’s angry at the world and lashes out at her family to the point where they kick her out.  Desperate for cash and a place to live, Tanner takes the caretaker job and moves in with Louise.  Tanner is just as much a complicated character as Louise is, and it was interesting to peel back her layers and learn more about her as well.

My favorite part of the book was the unlikely friendship that develops between Tanner and Louise once they get past the initial awkwardness of a 21 year old and an 84 year old being roommates.  An unexpected but urgent cross country road trip is actually the catalyst for their friendship to really blossom and it’s a wild ride. I don’t want to give anything away about the road trip, aside from to say that it’s directly tied to all those wild secrets Louise is keeping. What I will say about the road trip is that it really provides the opportunity for Tanner and Louise to bond.  They have some moving heart-to-heart talks, and I loved that they were both able to learn from each other.  The trip was a wonderful time to gain some perspective for each of them, particularly Tanner, so that she could forge a new path forward for herself.

With its sassy protagonists who shouldn’t be underestimated, unlikely friendships, epic road trip, and a mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end, The Mostly True Story of Tanner & Louise is a gem of a book that has a little something for everyone. 4.5 STARS

9 replies
  1. verushka
    verushka says:

    Tanner and Louise are on my Audible TBR – every review of the book makes me want to read it just that much more!

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