Charming and Sweet, Poignant and Romantic
“Every woman is a Jane Austen heroine.” I laughed. “The ideal man is the fictional kind invented by women.”
If Amanda Pennington were a baseball player, she would be that player that has a hit at every at bat. Smart Move is her latest release from Smartypants Romance and is one that hits on heavy emotional themes but balances them out with a love overcoming fear storyline.
Smart Move is also a fantastic grumpy sunshine romance with a neurodivergent female main character and, Toby, the male main character that has the energy of Sam Obisanya and Danny Rojas from Ted Lasso. Now that I think about it, Ivy Lunden definitely has the swagger of Rebecca as well. She’s older (by a year) but after years of coming to terms with her synesthesia, as well as being a caregiver for her aging mother, Ivy embodies the “don’t mess with me” vibes that Rebecca from first season of Ted Lasso embodies.
“He always gave me just enough space to let know that I was still the one in control of our flirtationship.”
I respect Ivy Lunden. The only child to a single mother, her relationship with her elderly mother has changed throughout the years. Ivy has to come to terms with how an overbearing mother’s love can stem from fear of being alone, as well as fear of again with an unknown timeline. So much of Ivy’s personality comes from her struggles with her mother. I love that Amanda Pennington highlighted Ivy’s close friends and gave Ivy the best book boyfriend around in Toby.
Toby Azumah is Ivy’s opposite but complement in nearly every aspect of her life. He’s younger and he’s cheerful all the time. He’s got the work ethic of an athlete but the heart of a healthcare worker. He’s a physical therapist and takes on Irene, Ivy’s mother, with the same smile and kindness that he would treat anyone else in his practice.
“I could cool it. I could be the coolest cool kid on the block.”
Despite every single wrench that Irene and neighbor Phyllis attempt to throw at Toby, he’s resolute with his feelings for Ivy. I just love that it’s this aspect of Toby that finally cracks through her tough shell. Knowing that she can count on him just like Cameron and Mel. It also totally hit me in my feels when the tables were turned and the resolution was *chef’s kiss* perfect.
There are some heavier themes of being a caretaker and the emotional toll it takes on children as well as the struggle with being neurodivergent in a loud and vibrant world. Amanda Pennington has handled everything with such wonderful storytelling and beautifully written emotions that I guarantee you will love Smart Move just as much as I do!
“Let’s face it. Sushi isn’t an attractive food to eat. The rolls are just big enough that you have to unhinge your jaw to eat a piece. Nobody cuts up a pice of sushi like you would a steak. That’s just wrong.”
Smart Move is available in Kindle Unlimited starting today! Bee sure to grab your copy and if you haven’t checked out Amanda’s first release Book Smart, then I highly recommend that you read that as well!
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.