One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.
When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup. Check…almost.
Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.
Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she’s finally living again.
***Trigger Warning for Sexual Assault***
I thought this would be about Naya trying to separate herself from work, but it was mostly about her learning to live after being in an abusive relationship. There are vague mentions about what was done to her throughout the book until the end, when her abuser confronts her and shows you what he was like. It wasn’t as graphic as it could have been, this is, after all, a romance, but it was detailed enough I could see it making people uncomfortable.
Naya was a victim of abuse, and she read like it. She hadn’t pursued therapy, but she had spoken to some friends. I’m not sure how much she shared, though. In the aftermath of her bad relationship, she obviously changed and shut down, burying herself in her work. Her friends issue a challenge, they don’t expect her to follow, but after a few gins at a bar, she does. I’m really glad nothing happened with Jake at that time because they were both inhibited, though it never brought up that fact.
Jake was sweet. He was a dork and loveable. The humor between the two was amusing, with lots of puns. I like puns, so I enjoyed it. He had a job that required a lot of travel. They were a long-distance relationship. I’m never a fan of those. The couple ends up spending all of their time doing it whenever they’re together. Which is understandable, and Williams skipped over stuff after a couple of scenes, but it made their relationship a bit boring at times.
How to Fail at Flirting was an okay book, but I feel that someone needs a warning before reading it because of the content.