5 Stars / Contemporary / New Adult / Review

Review: Can’t Fight It by Allie Winters

Mousy bookworm. Psychology nerd. The kind of girl who constantly sticks her foot in her mouth.

The last thing I am is the type to attract the intimidating, motorcycle-riding guy in the apartment next door. Especially when that mouth of mine gets me in trouble and he overhears me talk smack about him…

So no one’s more surprised than me when he shows up as a participant in the psych study I’m running on campus. Or when he generously offers me some much-needed self-defense lessons. Or when we grow closer than I thought possible. It turns out some people aren’t at all what they seem at first glance. They can actually be everything you never knew you wanted in a man.

The thing is, Austin Langford is so far out of my league, it’s laughable. Muscled boxers don’t go for nobodies like me. I need to forget about this one-sided attraction.

Even when it feels like I can’t fight it.

Title:Can’t Fight It
Author:Allie Winters
Series:Lessons Learned (Book 3)
Category / Genre(s):New Adult
Trope(s):Friends to Lovers
Neighbours to Lovers
Opposites Attract
College Romance
Point of View:First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Release Date:4th May, 2023
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Delightful, a little angsty and oh so satisfying

I’m a huge fan of everything Allie Winters does – from her contemporary romances to, like this book, new adult / college romances. Can’t Fight It is the third in the Lessons Learned series (after Under Pressure and Not Fooling Anyone) and while the couples from the previous books do make brief appearances in this one, each stands alone. So much so that I really now want to go back and read the first two stories again to remind myself of their awesomeness.

And speaking of awesomeness, this book is definitely up there. In fact, I’ve already dubbed it as one of my favourites for this year. There was just something about it that caught and kept my attention and gave me those lovely jumpy feelings in my tummy.

The first of our pair is Tessa and of course I’m going to like her from the first since she’s a little awkward but also sweet, kind and just a nice girl. But she’s got a sad and traumatic history that makes her wary as well as surprisingly tough. I just really liked her and was rooting for her all the way.

Austin is the poster boy for my perfect hero. He’s a big guy and quiet with it. He looks scary and intimidating – especially to Tessa at first – and the fact that he’s a boxer just proves her point. But as she and we get to know him we quickly see he’s an absolute sweetheart. He’s a big ol’ softy and very unsure about himself and his abilities. Gah – loved him so much. When he cries outside the factory – god help me, my feelings.

“…I’ve already dubbed [this book] as one of my favourites for this year.”

There’s quite a lot of internal thoughts of our couple in the book as they slowly move towards revealing their feelings for each other. You might think that this would become a bit monotonous but it definitely didn’t – both of their hesitancy about how the other felt just made me positively giddy. This was definitely a couple you were desperate to smoosh together and force them to kiss already, dammit!

There’s enough sex – mostly towards the end but definitely teased throughout the book – to keep me happy and horny. But like I said before, it’s the burgeoning emotions and feelings between the two that really made my stomach hitch. And there’s a tiny bit of angst about whether they’d work it out that kept me obsessed by this book. I even found myself re-reading bits when I’d finished it as I wasn’t ready to let Tessa and Austin go quite yet.

There’s something of a mystery to be solved or more like a bad to be overcome but, unlike other stories I’ve read with that same plot point, this one doesn’t overshadow the romance at any time. And I liked the way everything was tied up in the end.

The whole story is just a testament to the superior quality of Ms Winters’ writing. She transports you into the story, into the minds and hearts of the characters and makes you care so damn much. And I’m here for it because it always makes me feel so happy and satisfied when I’m done. I have a definite book hangover after this one but it’s very definitely 5 stars.

* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *

Allie lives in sunny Florida with her husband, daughter, and two cats. A librarian by day, she spends her nights writing happily ever afters. She enjoys reading, playing video games, and all things Disney.

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Lessons Learned Series:

Under Pressure by Allie Winters
Not Fooling Anyone Allie Winters Lessons Learned Smartypants Romance Cover

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