I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.All Fired Up by Dylan Newton
Published by Forever on 2022-05-17
Length: 369 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2022, 2022 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge, 2022 New Release Challenge, COYER 2022
After one wild night together, two complete opposites plan to stay firmly in the friend zone, but life has other plans in this delightful romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Emily Henry and Abby Jimenez.
As a successful book publicist, Imani Lewis works night and day to promote her authors. It’s her dream job, but she’s become a total workaholic. So when her grandmother invites her to stay for the summer as she recovers from surgery, Imani happily agrees. But being back in the same small town as her one-night stand may not be quite the relaxing break she envisioned…
Zander Matthews wakes up every day determined to enjoy the present because he knows from his time in the Marines that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. But he’s never gotten over the beautiful woman who blew through town a year ago, then disappeared. And he doesn’t want to be hurt again. So they agree to a deal: he’ll help Imani fix up her grandmother’s house as long as they stay firmly in the friend zone.
Whether it’s repairing tiles in his ceramics studio, dodging nosy neighbors, or soothing the most obnoxious parrot ever, Zander never fails to make Imani laugh. And soon their friendly banter is turning ever flirtier. But since Imani’s stay is temporary and Zander can’t be tied to anything beyond the most tenuous plans, will she be able to handle it when things get all fired up?
I devoured this one! There is no other way to explain it. All Fired Up by Dylan Newton is the second contemporary romance set in Wellsville and featuring the Matthews brothers. Imani Lewis is taking an extended summer vacation from her hectic life as a publicist at Cerulean Books. The extended hours and stress are catching up with her in the form of panic attacks and insomnia. Now her grandmother is having double knee replacement surgery, her best friend is expecting her first baby, and she’s been offered a big promotion. Imani needs a chance to decide what she really wants in life, and 12 weeks off helping Gigi recover is just what she needs. However, she’ll have to deal with the youngest Matthews brother, her wedding one-night stand and the man that just won’t leave her be.
I adored Imani. She has risen in the ranks as one of my favorite characters so far this year. She is a beautifully flawed character, easy to relate to and easy to root for. It was easy as an observer to see what was going on with Imani, pretty much from the get go. This woman is a workaholic, control freak, who cannot leave anything to chance. She craves order in her life and creates it every where she goes, either through organizing or multiple, color-coded to-do lists. The unpredictable nature of being home at her grandmother’s is just what she needs to release some of the pent up stress before her body tells her enough is enough.
Zander may just be my favorite Matthews brother (I will withhold final judgment until I’ve read Ryker’s story next year). He is the youngest of the three. With his live and let live attitude and Peter Pan complex (Imani’s description, not mine), he flits through life without any true commitments. That’s what he appears to be from the outside. However, he is nothing like the playboy everyone believes him to be. He is generous, empathetic, and has a heart of gold. This man would literally give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. It is easy to see why Imani would be attracted to him.
Overall, I loved All Fired Up. Zander’s pursuit of Imani is sweet as he approaches her with the intent of letting her take the lead, just what the woman who always wants control needs. These two balance each other out and make a believable couple. I absolutely loved Gigi and her foul-mouthed parrot Lancelot. If you enjoy romantic comedy, I highly recommend it.
Final Thought: All Fired Up by Dylan Newton is a laugh-out loud, heartfelt romance that teaches us that sometimes it’s ok to not be in control.