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4 Stars / Contemporary / Review

The Two-Date Rule by Tawna Fenske

Willa Frank has one simple rule: never go on a date with anyone more than twice. Now that her business is providing the stability she’s always needed, she can’t afford distractions. Her two-date rule will protect her just fine…until she meets smokejumper Grady Billman.

After one date—one amazing, unforgettable date—Grady isn’t ready to call it quits, despite his own no-attachments policy, and he’s found a sneaky way around both their rules.

Throwing gutter balls with pitchers of beer? Not a real date. Everyone knows bowling doesn’t count.

Watching a band play at a local show? They just happen to have the same great taste in music. Definitely not a date.

Hiking? Nope. How can exercise be considered a date?

With every “non-date” Grady suggests, his reasoning gets more ridiculous, and Willa must admit she’s having fun playing along. But when their time together costs Willa two critical clients, it’s clear she needs to focus on the only thing that matters—her future. And really, he should do the same.

But what is she supposed to do with a future that looks gray without Grady in it?

Title:The Two-Date Rule
Author:Tawna Fenske
Series:Smokejumper Series (Book 1)
Pages:320
Genre(s):Contemporary
Trope(s):Friends to Lovers
Point of View:
Location:US
HEA:✔️
Release Date:25th February, 2020
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Fresh, fun and then some

How cute is that blurb? It ticks all my boxes for a sweet and enjoyable romance. And by and large it lives up to that promise.

This book was quirky, fresh and fun. I enjoyed Ms Fenske’s writing style and it was very readable and kept you interested in the story and the characters. While this is a cute storyline overall, there is still a little more depth here what with Willa’s background and childhood, and Grady’s own issues about the future. Oooh – I just realised that one’s afraid of the past and one’s afraid of the future. Ha! Pretty sure I should have realised that before now!

I was convinced that Tawna Fenske used to write for the Harlequin Blaze line – a line that I adored! – but I must have been mistaken. I think it’s a fair comparison to make as we have two strong characters who know what they want, good writing, interesting situations and some sizzling sex thrown in for good measure. While I’ll take any kind of hot sex in a book, I liked that while there’s the rush of lust with our main couple, it never seemed too soon or lacking emotion – since the pair had a connection from the first time Willa mistakes Grady for a stripper!

Willa herself is a strong, successful woman. She knows what her plan is and even knows how her childhood has moulded her as a person. On the surface, she’s not normally my kind of heroine as I sometimes feel a bit of shade when someone has their life together!! But Willa is very likeable in a lot of different ways. Her wonky pets, her quirks and anxieties, her honesty – and the way she doesn’t shy away from her attraction to Grady. She reacts like anyone would react when they find a hot guy who likes them but also has dating rules. She goes with the flow – even if she’s not comfortable.

“…the pair had a connection from the first time Willa mistakes Grady for a stripper!”

Grady is most comfortable going with the flow and I loved the way he tried to cajole Willa into just one more non-date. It was so darn cute. He has his own journey but all the while he’s supportive of Willa and I love that. I also love that he’s hot and has a sexy job. And the man can knit!

The only reason that the story dropped a star for me was because I felt Willa freaked out one time too many regarding a future relationship with Grady. The ending did almost make me forget about that fact as it was just lovely. While I do sometimes like it when only one of our couple has to apologise and make amends – having them both make compromises and come together at the end made my little heart pitter pat and made me think that this couple would definitely last.

I’m excited to read the next book in this new series all about the hot Smokejumpers. I was intrigued by Kayla and Tony’s relationship in this current book. Are they a future couple? Or was that just a red herring? I’m interested to find out and will definitely be popping the next book onto my wishlist.

4 stars for this one and a recommended read.

When Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA Award finalist, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”

Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, step-kids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year.

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Smokejumper Series:

Just a Little Bet by Tawna Fenske

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