A Fantastic Rivals to Lovers with Tons of Hilarious Hijinks
“My point is, it was your smile that attracted me, but it was your frown that hooked me.”
The Work For It series from the Smartypants Romance Universe of books is truly a gem. Filled with interconnected standalones with a multitude of authors. This series is definitely one that hits all the high notes and will satisfy all the sweet spots to boot.
Aly Stiles latest release and contribution to this series all featuring workplace romances, Look Smart, is the rivals to lovers romance that is as beguiling as it is effortlessly fun. Nate Hanover and Natalie McAllister have both been sent to a work conference to secure a highly desirable account at Sandeke Telecom lead by none other than our zany bro-dude Chad.
“It turns out Nate’s almost-smile is just as tingle-inducing as his real one. This is going to be a problem.”
If you’ve read other Aly Stiles books in this series, then you know what an absolute crackshot yet earnest bro Chad is for anyone who has the (mis)pleasure of interacting with him. Chad is absolutely a hefty reason as to why Look Smart is a romantic comedy. Every interaction with him is equal parts insane and weird, but in a “I can’t believe that just came out of his mouth” kind of a way.
Nate’s character deals with hit after hit of bad news. From the staggering blow of a job demotion to the pressure of needing to land an important account, and then having to juggle not-so professional feelings in a professional setting with a woman who is gunning for that same account, Nate also struggles with his emotional and mental health. Natalie and Nate have the odds stacked against them, but fate is on their side.
“We opened our souls and poured them out. And Dad, his soul is so incredibly beautiful.”
Sure, Nate and Natalie deal with a “lightning strikes” kind of insta-love almost right from the get-go, but it’s not cheesy. I love that Aly Stiles crafted their romance as more of a puzzle piece clicking into place rather than the fated mate kind of vibe. Natalie and Nate just get each other. With each interaction, each night they swear it’s their last, every single goodbye, they always find their way back to one another. The way Natalie sees Nate’s hurt and doesn’t run, along with how their actions spoke louder than their words, really altered my brain chemistry in the best way.
Mental Health being addressed in such a mature and thoughtful way in Look Smart speaks volumes to the caliber of storyteller that Aly Stiles truly has become. Not everyone can successfully manage to switch gears from a Magic Mike style lesson to a serious talk about feelings in the span of a few chapters. The discussion on mental health and depression quickly became one of my favorite parts of the entire book.
“Circumstances don’t define who you are. How you handle them does.”
Look Smart needs to be on your radar, and if you haven’t read Aly Stiles previous books in this series—I highly recommend that they be read before diving into Natalie and Nate’s book. Look Smart will release into Kindle Unlimited on May 18th but is currently available on all other platforms for the next two days! Bee sure to grab your copy today! This one is not to miss!
Jes is a self-proclaimed bookworm, who recently moved from the PNW back to the Midwest. When her nose isn’t in a book, she’s spending time with her husband, two kids, and her three fur babies, or exploring the globe. She also firmly believes that you should start the day with coffee, and end the day in bed with a good book.