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Review: Fireball by Lainey Davis (Bridges and Bitters #1)

If Fireball by Lainey Davis were to be a song, it would be a crushing mix of Taylor Swift and Amber Leigh Irish. That’s to say it is a delightful blend of soulful music that gets you thinking for hours and melodious tunes that may (read as: will definitely) get you in your feelings.

Fireball was beautiful and written in such an honest and entrancing way. I was wholly captivated by the characters and how the author laid into rather heavy issues without steering too far from the main trope.

The last contemporary adult romance that had me so deep in my feelings is By Any Other Name and while I haven’t written a review on the blog, It was definitely one of my 2022 best reads.

The plot progressed quickly and the love between the protagonists was thoughtful and passionate. I loved how mental health was portrayed in the book and how the author didn’t shy away from illustrating its overarching effects on a person’s life.

My only complaint, though, is that this was marketed as an “enemies-to-lovers” + “grumpy x sunshine” romance, and while the latter is somewhat correct, the former couldn’t be further from the truth.

I have noticed a new trend in the literary world where books are forcefully shoehorned into unsuitable genres or sub-genres in a bid to appeal to the customer base. Recently, every book is marketed as rom-coms or enemies-to-lovers and it’s a misleading marketing tactic we should look out for.

A recent example of another blogger complaining about this underhanded marketing tactic is Nick from TheInfiniteLimitsofLove, that complained about how Birds of California was billed as a romantic comedy. A quick glance at the synopsis on Goodreads and I am once again heated because it is almost like publishers do not believe there are ardent readers in other genres.

That said, this isn’t an enemies-to-lovers book. If anything, the both of them were fighting a mutual attraction from the very beginning. There were longing looks, pining, and the general angst that comes with grumpy and sunshine pairings.

As far as the characters go, Samantha Vine is and very relatable female protagonist. She’s successful, a people pleaser, perfectionist, and always tense. It was almost like looking into a mirror.

I also really enjoy books with bands of friends and the group in this book—Fresh Out Of Fucks (FOOF)—were quirky, loving, and compassionate and I loved how they showed up for each other over and over again.

Adriel Trachtenberg, the male protagonist, was surly, hairy, and grumpy, and I enjoyed the moments where he absolutely melted for Samantha.

But, my favourite thing about the book is how the author didn’t feel the need to smoothen every edge at the end. I am trying not to give away too many spoilers, but there are issues within her family and the author didn’t trim that particular edge.

This is very important because, more times than not, an individual will be forced to move away from narcissistic individuals rather than they receiving some much needed enlightenment.

All in all, this was pretty enjoyable and if this is your cuppa on a regular day, then you’ll definitely enjoy it.

1. You don’t mind a few sex scenes.
2. You are comfortable with some sexual tension and mid-range pining.
3. You want a somewhat lighthearted contemporary romance.

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