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4 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Back in the Burbs by Tracy Wolff & Avery Flynn

Picture of the book cover of Back in the Burbs by Avery Flynn and Tracy Wolff

Ever have one of those days where life just plain sucks? Welcome to my last three months—ever since I caught my can’t-be-soon-enough ex-husband cheating with his paralegal. I’m thirty-five years old, and I’ve lost my NYC apartment, my job, my money, and frankly, my dignity.

But the final heartache in the suck sandwich of my life? My great-aunt Maggie died. The only family member who’s ever gotten me.
Even after death, though, she’s helping me get back up. She’s willed me the keys to a house in the burbs, of all places, and dared me to grab life by the family jewels. Well, I’ve got the vise grips already in hand (my ex should take note) and I’m ready to fight for my life again.

Too bad that bravado only lasts as long as it takes to drive into Huckleberry Hills. And see the house.
There are forty-seven separate HOA violations, and I feel them all in my bones. Honestly, I’m surprised no one’s “accidentally” torched the house yet. I want to, and I’ve only been standing in front of it for five minutes. But then my hot, grumpy neighbor tells me to mow the lawn first and I’m just…done. Done with men too sexy for their own good and done with anyone telling me what to do ever again.

First rule of surviving the burbs? There is nothing that YouTube and a glass of wine can’t conquer.

Title:Back in the Burbs
Author:Tracy Wolff & Avery Flynn
Series:/
Pages:400
Genre(s):Contemporary
Trope(s):Enemies to Lovers
Neighbours to Lovers
Point of View:First Person, Present Tense (Heroine only)
Location:Jersey, USA
HEA:✔️
Release Date:30th March, 2021
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Hilarious, relatable and uplifting

4 stars

I’m a fan of Avery Flynn but a Tracy Wolff virgin so was hoping that, at the very least I’d get some of Flynn’s signature humour and vibrancy with this new pairing. And we get that and then some. Flynn and Wolff make a great team, not just because they sound like they could be a big haired, 80s, crime-fighting cop duo. They obviously get each other’s humour, giving us a story that’s hilarious and snarky with enough depth to make you care but without ever dragging you down into a pit of emotion or despair.

I really loved Mallory as a character. She’s in a bad place in her life in more ways than one – but she’s still got enough of a spark in her to make us like and root for her. And even if you’re not in any of the situations that Mallory finds herself, she’s still hella relatable. We can all relate to a time when we weren’t happy with life or when we felt a little downtrodden. Or maybe just overwhelmed and needed more than just a glass of wine!

I’ve heard this book described as ‘not quite a romance’ and I suppose that’s accurate. This is definitely Mallory’s book, written wholly from her point of view and is about her journey. Having said that, the relationship between Mallory and Nick is definitely the most important of the book and I’ve read romances with less romance than this one. Bottom line – if you like romance, you’ll like this book and be satisfied with it!

“…he’s like a sweet, grumpy nerd! And hot. Obviously.”

With that said, Nick is the kind of hero that gets my heart pitty-patting hard. He’s grumpy and straight-laced on the surface, but like Mallory, when we get to know him, we realise he’s a real softie and maybe, just maybe, his standoffish attitude is due to attraction. Ah – he’s like a sweet, grumpy nerd! And hot. Obviously.

I felt the connection between Mallory and Nick and although there are sex scenes, it was more in the small movements. The touch of a hand. The slight move towards each other. The smouldering looks. I was here for this pair and so happy with the way things worked out. And there’s an epilogue! Woo hoo!

I seriously debated between 4 and 5 stars but had to go with 4 as it took me longer than it possibly should have to finish the book – and probably the fact that I was even debating at all, meant it shouldn’t be the full starage! I think the sheer number of chapters (there are 59 and an epilogue) – and their short length meant that it was easy to dip in and out rather than needing to read on just a little bit more and more each time.

This was an hilarious, relatable and uplifting story that I couldn’t help but very much enjoy reading. I will definitely be looking up what else Tracy Wolff has written and Avery Flynn remains firmly on my favourite author’s shelf. Any future collaborations between this pair will be eagerly snapped up by me. A very high 4 stars for this story.

4 stars

When Avery Flynn isn’t writing about alpha heroes and the women who tame them, she is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip. She has three slightly wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband, and has a slight shoe addiction. Find out more about Avery on her website, follow her on Twitter, like her on her Facebook page, or friend her on her Facebook profile. Also, if you figure out how to send Oreos through the internet, she’ll be your best friend for life. Contact her at avery@averyflynn.com. She’d love to hear from you.

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff is a lover of vampires, dragons, and all things that go bump in the night. A onetime English professor, she now devotes all her time to writing dark and romantic stories with tortured heroes and kick-butt heroines. She has written all her sixty-plus novels from her home in Austin, Texas, which she shares with her family.

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