The Problem With Dating
by Brittainy Cherry
If I had to choose a person to hate, Alex Ramírez would’ve been first on the list…
Welcome to Honey Creek, Illinois, where life was as sweet as the town’s name suggested. That was, until Mr. Fine Dining himself, Alex Ramírez, rolled into town with a permanent scowl. Even worse, he decided to park his snooty five-star restaurant across from my cozy dog daycare. He was tall, dark, and about as warm as a frozen entrée.
After one too many unpleasant interactions, I was determined to stay out of his way and to keep him out of mine.
But fate had a quirky sense of humor. When Alex inherited his great-aunt’s cranky canine, he had no choice but to come to me, the local dog whisperer, for help. As for me? I needed a fake boyfriend to ward off my ex-husband, who was determined to win me back.
So, we struck a deal: I’d turn his dog into the town's best-behaved pet, and in return, he’d be my arm candy for a few family events and social gatherings. Simple, uncomplicated, and absolutely not romantic—at least, that was what we told ourselves.
As we played house, I couldn't help but notice that underneath Alex’s prickly shell was a dash of charm that wasn't listed in the ingredients. Our pretend dates started to feel a little too real. And our feigned kisses? They were getting laughably close to crossing the line. Suddenly, our interactions felt less like a food fight and more like foreplay.
With every playful touch and lingering glance, I couldn't help but wonder: Was this fake relationship with Alex secretly penning its own authentic ending? Or was I risking it all for someone who was nothing more than make-believe?
Controlling and emotionally abusive ex
Before I begin, I would like to thank Valentine PR for sending me an arc of The Problem With Dating by Brittainy Cherry in exchange for a fair and honest review.
When I was reading this book, and talking to my best friend about it, the only words I could come up with for the story was "cute" and "clean".
That is what this book is.
I know a lot of people who read romance want to know ahead of time of the spice scale, and it will be the deciding factor in whether or not someone will take the time to read it.
This is the ultimate clean romance.
There is kissing. They are attracted to one another, but it's squeaky clean.
There is not even behind closed doors sex.
So if spice is important to you, The Problem With Dating is not for you.
It is cute.
If I had to compare this book to anything, it would be a Hallmark/Woman's Network movie.
Cute, fluffy, and a happily ever after.
The story and writing is good. It's enjoyable, and I was invested enough to want to know how these two complete opposites got together. I liked that both characters had their own baggage when it came to relationships, and how they navigated that. I liked the juxtaposition of how two people can react differently to similar heartbreaks, and it really highlights the differences between a pessimistic personality and optimistic.
My main problem with The Problem With Dating, was it felt a bit chaotic. There were too many tropes thrown into this book, and at times it felt like whiplash. We start out with a rivals to lovers trope, and than BAM! Fake dating. And yes. All books have multiple tropes. How I see it, there is the main trope. The one you build your story around. Then there is the other tropes that are elements that add to the story. In this book, that would be your opposites attract, grumpy/sunshine tropes, and refer to the characters personality, and not the plot. When we mix "main story" tropes in one story, each plot point feels rushed.
My other issue, and this is totally a me issue, is that I just didn't connect with the characters.
I'm not an optimistic person.
Literally, my boss has laughed at some of the comments I've made in the past, because I assume the worse in people, and because she is more optimistic, she thinks I'm a little crazy.
I'm not a jerk though. Alex's character definitely crosses the line at points.
So while I connected with him more than Yara, he was too extreme in my opinion.
I just couldn't connect with Yara at all. Too sweet.
That's a me issue, totally.
All in all, The Problem With Dating is a good book if its the type of romance you prefer. While I don't know anyone who prefers clean romances to spicy ones, I know there are people out there that do. While it wasn't for me, it might be for you! If you love a Gilmore Girl''s type small town, with a super clean and sweet story, you will enjoy The Problem With Dating.