- N. N. Light
5++ stars for dibs by @AFictionalHubb1 #romance #romcom #bourbon #bookreview
Author: Allison Martine
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Not tonight, Olivia.
Olivia’s ex-husband shut her down so many times before the cheating bastard left her that Olivia lost count. She didn’t realize she’d also lost the ability to banter, interpret body language, or accept that a man could find her desirable. None of that should matter when she leaves for a two-week training for her new job with the Ranchers, an outdoorsy nonprofit, but when her co-worker adds ‘halter top’ and ‘bikini’ to the official pack list, she has no idea what to expect on this trip.
It certainly wasn’t a perky blonde roommate who thinks their training is like spring break, but with a paycheck. It wasn’t the after-hours hot tub. It absolutely wasn’t the man with a rumble for a laugh who shows up on her flight and introduces himself as the colleague she didn’t know would be her companion for the next two weeks.
When blondie calls dibs on that same colleague, Olivia just wants to stay out of her way, but her colleague has ideas of his own. Ideas which involve Olivia, the hot tub, and shared sips of bourbon.
Thanks to her cheating ex-husband, Olivia's lost her mojo. Her flirting gene has flown the coop and can't seem to read body language, let alone tell when a guy is into her. She hasn't healed from her ex's betrayal but maybe it's time to get back in the dating pool. When she goes on a two-week training boot camp, she meets handsome Adam on the flight. She's struck mute by his attention and it only gets more awkward when her bouncy blonde roommate calls 'dibs' on Adam. The trouble is Olivia really likes him and he thwarts her roommate's advances to spend more time with her, boring 'ol Olivia. Can Olivia call dibs on Adam and realize he likes her just as much as she likes him? Or is she reading too much into his signs?
Dibs is unlike anything I've read before. It's a work romance, of sorts, but the couple is ordinary, everyday normal people with foibles and insecurities to work through. The hero and heroine could be you or me. What impressed me was the fact they didn't jump in the sack right away. They got to know each other first, which gets an extra star in my rating. The characters were well-written and I enjoyed the push & pull as they tried to figure out their attraction. By the time I finished reading, these characters became a part of me. Like I mentioned above, the pacing of Dibs is perfect. The romance moves at a good pace with a few obstacles, mainly their own self-doubts, to overcome. There are a few sub-plots to keep track of, but they added such delightful humor to the overall story. Dibs is a romance everyone can relate to and find a bit of themselves in the story. The hot tub and bourbon scenes make Dibs a must-read. The ending was so sweet, I reread it four times. Yes, I loved it that much. Allison Martine is a gifted writer and while this is my first read by her, it won't be my last. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. If you love realistic romance, pick up Dibs. If you're looking for a romance with late twenties characters, pick up Dibs. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5++ stars
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An Orange County, California (almost) native, Allison studied at the University of California, San Diego, and obtained her Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law. She practiced as an attorney for nearly a decade. Allison now writes literary science fiction as “A.M. Hubbard” and romance as “Allison Martine.” She’s been interviewed by podcasts around the globe, contributed to various writing blogs, and regularly co-hosts the video podcast, Vox Vomitus, which goes live each Wednesday. Replays can be found on most platforms including YouTube and spotify.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N