Exes and O's

Amy Lea (Set on You) pairs a playboy and a hopeless romantic in Exes and O's, a funny, restorative "room-mance." Tara, a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit and bookish social media influencer, is recovering from a broken engagement when she moves in with Trevor, her future brother-in-law's best friend. This firefighter, hot as he is, is not at all interested in the kind of relationship Tara prefers--one that leads to Happily Ever After. Encouraged by her grandmother's recent second-chance romance with a man who was her childhood sweetheart, Tara embarks on a quest to live out that much-loved romance trope herself. She announces to her followers that she's going to reach out to each of her exes to see if the secret to her happily-ever-after is in her past. With help from her sister, her best friend and the Internet, Tara catches up with her exes--with hilarious and disastrous results.

Lea adeptly walks the line with this plot: she sends one of her characters on dates with several men but keeps the focus on her central couple. She tells Exes and O's entirely from Tara's perspective, allowing Trevor's feelings to remain mostly hidden, while Tara stumbles through her past relationships and tries to resist the pull she feels to her roommate. Seamlessly, Lea employs several classic tropes to great effect, delivering two lovable characters in a captivating romance sure to lift even the most downtrodden of hearts. This romantic comedy is a great fit for fans of Alisha Rai and Christina Lauren. --Suzanne Krohn, librarian and freelance reviewer

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