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Released: March 1, 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Olivia Marshall doesn’t have a drinking problem. She doesn’t have a relationship problem. She certainly doesn’t have any work-related problems. No, Olivia just has a life problem.
After getting laid off, catching her boyfriend cheating on her, and accidentally setting her apartment on fire when she burned that cheater’s love letters, Olivia has no choice but to move back home to Omaha and take up residence with her brother and his best friend while they graciously let her stay for a while. Olivia was expecting her life to suck for a while, but two things she wasn’t expecting? Colin Beck, her brother’s pompous best friend who seems to be more in shape and less stuck up than she remembered. And Mr. Wrong Number, her anonymous texting friend who ends up helping her through the ups and downs of her unstable life. But even as Olivia finds herself falling for Colin, she realizes that the anonymous Mr. Wrong Number can send her reeling with just the knowledge of his true identity.
I thought Mr. Wrong Number was truly a delight. Readers can’t help but feel sorry for Olivia as her world continuously falls apart, but then end up laughing with her – not at her – on the next page. To say that Olivia’s life was a mess is definitely an understatement; I honestly don’t know what else could have gone wrong for this poor woman. But Painter keeps the hope alive. As Olivia is knocked down time and time again, she’s simultaneously building these relationships around her that will see her through even her darkest times. While romance is definitely a major theme in Mr. Wrong Number – it’s both the catalyst and the solution to Olivia’s darkest days, after all – I truly enjoyed the emphasis on many types of relationships (romantic, platonic, familiar, work) to help get you through.
While Olivia’s world was shattering, she had a great cast of characters to help her through it. Colin was Olivia’s opposite in every way; a control freak to her mess, all serious compared to her lighter demeanor. But when they clicked? Their chemistry was off the charts and pure fire (and maybe just as dangerous as the actual fire that Olivia used to burn her ex’s letters). I loved every interaction between the two, even when they both had a habit of misunderstanding the other. The dual POV really added to both of their stories, and I thought Colin’s perspective expanded Olivia’s story just as much as it added to his own. Combining Colin’s commentary with the secondary characters, especially Olivia’s family and friends, gives you a fun take on what should be the roughest part of Olivia’s life. Thankfully, Olivia is able to laugh and cry through it all so we can see her get her happy ending.
With a unique plot and an easy-to-read writing style, Painter gives us a lot to love in Mr. Wrong Number. Readers who love opposites attract and the anonymous communication/acquainted in real life trope will absolutely not want to miss Olivia and Colin’s romance.
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