ARC Review: The Dating Dilemma by Mariah Ankenman

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ARC Review: The Dating Dilemma by Mariah Ankenman
The Dating Dilemma

3.5 Stars

Book Info

Released: January 24 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Mile High Firefighters #2
Pages: 286

“…quick, fun contemporary romance…”

~ Under the Covers

Recommended Read!

An enjoyable, but unsurprising, story of a quirky “not like the other girls” girl and a sexy firefighter.

Lexi is assistant director of a youth center just trying to make ends meet. On her birthday, a sexy fireman shows up at her office. She figures her best friend/roommate ordered her a strip-o-gram as a present and acts accordingly. Except Dyson is just there to do the fire safety inspection. Even with this super awkward meeting, he volunteers to make the necessary repairs to help the center pass the fire safety inspection and avoid getting shut down. But then his friends have a bet about his love life and he asks Lexi to pretend be his girlfriend for a month to help him win. He sticks with one night stands and she’s on a dating hiatus, but real feelings aren’t going to intrude, right?

First off, Lexi is awkward, clumsy, and has a tendency to say her thoughts out loud on accident. She’s exactly what you might expect from a contemporary romance with a heroine who’s “not like the other girls”. This made her kind of annoying right away. Dyson, despite me finding the name choice a bit distracting, was overall a saving grace of this book. He somehow manages to be both the cute, saves-the-day firefighter and super awkward in his own right. Getting to know him and seeing him interact with his friends and sisters was definitely a highlight of the book.

Fake dating is one of my favorite tropes, so I always enjoy one of these stories. Lexi’s bet/agreement with her best friend (no dating for six months so she can focus on herself) created a good source of tension and additional angst as she tries not to fall for Dyson. He also has some things to work through and I appreciate seeing that happen. The reasoning behind the third act breakup is ridiculous and over-the-top, but very in character for this kind of stereotypical, trope-filled romance story. Probably my biggest frustration with the book is very specific to me: Lexi constantly talks about completing tons of grant applications every day as if they’re quick forms to fill in. I’ve been working and volunteering in the non-profit space for most of my life, and that’s not what the grants world is like at all. However, I realize that this issue is not one that most people will have, but it did take me out of the story every time the topic came up.

Overall, if you’re looking for a quick, fun contemporary romance then this book is for you. It’s definitely not anything super new or unexpected, but it was enjoyable to read and broke up some of the more serious books I’ve been reading recently. Honestly, throughout the book I thought that I’d read the first one in the series since it seemed really familiar, but I have apparently haven’t. Guess that means I have another one to add to my TBR when I want another palate cleanser!

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About Mariah Ankenman

Bestselling author Mariah Ankenman lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her two rambunctious daughters and loving spouse who provides ample inspiration for her heart-stopping heroes.

Whether she’s writing hometown heroes or sexy supernaturals, Mariah loves to lose herself in a world of words. Her favorite thing about writing is when she can make someone’s day a little brighter with one of her books.

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K. A Bylsma

Great review and thanks for the heads up!

Amy R

Thanks for the review, adding to my wishlist.