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RomeAntically Challenged

RATING: ★★★☆☆
TITLE: RomeAntically Challenged (When in Rome, book 1)
AUTHOR: Marina Adair
RELEASE DATE: July 28, 2020
SETTING: Rome, Rhode Island
PUBLISHER: Kensington Books
GENRE(S): Adult Contemporary Romance

Thank you to Kensington Books for my gifted ARC of this title.


Marina Adair’s Romeantically Challenged is a humorous and heartening take on Three Men and a Baby meets 27 Dresses, in which a newly single physician’s assistant who sets out on an exotic—and man-free—adventure gets stranded in a coastal Rhode Island town full of eccentric residents, nosy neighbors, and an infuriatingly sexy roommate who makes her question her man-free diet.

This was such a sweet romance, full of hope and character growth.

Anh Nhi is a Vietnamese born, but American raised woman. Adopted by two white therapists and raised in the WASPy state of Connecticut. She is a people pleaser and on her path to make others happy, she lets them walk all over her. Like her ex, Clark. The man who she planned an entire wedding with. The man she planned an entire LIFE with… The man who left her in the middle of the night shortly before said wedding with just a note as goodbye. Much to Annie’s surprise, he quickly met the new (the true) love of his life and not only is he marrying this new girl, but they are basically just removing Annie from the entire wedding she created, venue, dress (her beloved grandmother’s dress), date… EVERYTHING and inserting Molly Leigh.

So, Annie does the only thing she can think of… Moves to Rome when a job offer presents itself. Only, its not the Italy Rome, it is actually Rome, Rhode Island… Now, she has a new job, a new home, a new life, but she is still the same doormat.

Emmitt is a freelance photographer who got badly injured on location in China, so he is back home in Rome to heal. But there is a girl in his bed… This squatter has taken over his entire home, but he can’t even be mad, because not only is Anh Nhi beautiful, she is a firecracker, who is legally renting his house. He is constantly globe trotting for his work and his family life is suffering for it. He has a teenage daughter that he unorthodoxically co-parents with two other heterosexual men. Since he is away so often, he finds himself out of the loop with his sweet Paisley, causing a serious rift between him and the 15-year old.

This was a sweet friends to lovers romance with some great lessons on self discovery and growth of self. Emmitt helps Annie learn her worth and to not let people like her ex fiance call the shots in HER life. And Annie helps Emmitt traverse the choppy waters of balancing love and trust with his daughter. While all of this is happening, the two learn how important they are to one another and what it takes to make their relationship work when she is a people pleaser trying to practice making herself happy and he is a man whore with an allergy to commitment.


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