Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Boyfriend By The Book, Laura Briggs

Boyfriend by the book

Title: Boyfriend By The Book
Author: Laura Briggs
Release date:
July 19th, 2016
Format: eARC
Pages: 166
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️and a half!

The Story

Jodi Nichols isn’t the most romantic girl on the planet. She doesn’t get mushy over fictional love stories, or picture herself getting swept away by a handsome hero. She’s much too grounded in reality—and much too busy working as a concierge at the luxurious Regent hotel. Helping customers is Jodi’s passion in life, and while romance may be on the back burner for now, she is nursing a little crush on Levi, the cute and friendly deliveryman for the hotel packages. And unless she’s imagining things, Levi feels the same way about her.

But Jodi’s friends think she’s turning into a lonely workaholic. They try to fix her love life, buying her a copy of the bestselling relationship guide that claims women can find true love by channeling the wisdom of famous storybook heroines. Jodi thinks it sounds crazy—no way is she acting like Jane Eyre or Lizzie Bennet to find a man! But when Levi suddenly grows distant and Jodi’s chances with him seem to fizzle before her eyes, she wonders if her friends might have a point after all. Disheartened and lonely, she decides to give the so-called relationship guide a whirl, with unexpected consequences.

Before you can say ‘Pride and Prejudice’, Jodi is up to her neck in handsome, brooding men that seem too much like fictional heroes to be true. Her attempts to think like the greatest heroines in romance lead her to meet everything from a modern Mr. Rochester to an angsty Heathcliff, and even a Darcy-esque novelist. But when a former crush re-enters her life in the form of a modern day Romeo, Jodi wonders if there might be something to this ‘inner heroine’ thing after all. Now, if she could just stop thinking about Levi, then maybe her happy-ever-after will fall into place…or is something still missing from Jodi’s storybook romance?

My thoughts

This story is a feel-good book. It has the right mix of romance and humor, served by fun characters you can’t help but like.

Jodi loves her job at the Regent hotel. She keeps the clients happy, and it’s not an easy task. I know it because I have been a client, and even if I am the sweetest and most patient one, not everyone is like me. If Tom Cruise wants a giant gold fountain in the middle of his suit, she must get one. Even if it means building it with her own hands. Poor fountain. I’m drifting… I immediately warmed to Jodi because I understood why she took her work so seriously. I love customer-oriented positions. Being able to respond to someone’s needs brings a joy and a feeling of satisfaction that make dull days so much better. There’s nothing like knowing you have anticipated a request or resolved a problem for someone else’ sake.

But apparently, having a blast at your job is nothing compared to having a man in your life, at least for Jodi’s friends. While I liked Jodi, her three best friends were a little too pushy for my taste. All of them in happy relationships and with the best intentions, they are determined to show Jodi that life is better with a guy. Worried to see her end up an old lady with a hundred cats, they decide to take action. To turn their not-so-romantic friend into a champion Lady, they offer her a relationship guidebook explaining how to use classic romance heroines’ power to find THE man. I did not think Jodi was particularly impervious to her romantic side. I never cried at the end if Titanic, but I’m romantic! And Jodi is too, in her own way, and only towards the handsome and adorable Levi. Their interactions are all very cute and I couldn’t help but wish she would not let the moment pass. But the moment did pass, and when Jodi realizes her chance has gone before she’s had the opportunity to grab it, she reluctantly turns to the relationship guide.

The thing is, those heroines are in books for a reason. It can be extremely dangerous (or fun to read) to mix fiction with reality. As Jodi tries on different roles, we get to meet different seemingly perfect reincarnations of the most popular book boyfriends. Hello Mr. Darcy (I still have to read about you…). Hello, Romeo. But to each lady her man, and what pleases a girl might be a total turnoff for another.

What had made me agree to review this book was the idea of channeling romance heroines to help you swim into the dangerous dating pool. I know I could need a little help to be more adventurous, funny or romantic sometimes, and if a relationship guide telling me how to take example on Lizzie or Juliet existed, I would grab a copy for myself, and one for Jill @ Rant & Rave About Books. Unfortunately, we only get a glimpse of what the guide looks like. I would have loved this side of the idea to be more developed, instead of focusing on the different kind of guys available. Or not available.
Some chapters give you the name of the heroine Jodi must take example on, hints on what kind of women they are, and how Jodi should behave, but the details were too superficial to really matter and change Jodi’s actions drastically.

In the end, Jodi needs to find the heroine within herself to discover which guy to give her heart to. I had a great time following her step out of her comfort zone and find out what it really takes to get mister perfect. I highly recommend this book for a sunny afternoon at the beach, especially if you want to have fun trying to spot a Darcy or a Byron around you after you finish it!

Get your copy of Boyfriend by The Book on Amazon here

about the author

Laura Briggs is a professional writer whose debut short work from Pelican Book Group “Only in Novels” garnered attention in the book review world and with fans of both Christian and contemporary romance. Since then, she has continued publishing novels both traditionally and independently and both Christian and mainstream Sweet Romance, as well as co-authoring a series of Grimm-esque fantasy-themed fairytale retellings known as The Dark Woods Trilogy.

Best known for secular contemporary romances “The Wedding Caper” and “Late to the Wedding”, Briggs’s latest releases include the Regency-inspired lighthearted romance “Dear Miss Darcy” as well as a return to her Inspirational Romance roots with the playful but poignant “Ghosts of Romances Past” from Pelican Book Group. When not writing, she reads, relaxes, and spends time with her cats and dogs.

Find Laura @ The Paper Doll

I would like to thank Laura Briggs for providing me with a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.

12 thoughts on “Book Review: Boyfriend By The Book, Laura Briggs

  1. *waves* Here’s another person who could use some romance guidelines…I tend to fart whenever my husband is stroking my hand (mistaking him for trying to pull my finger) :(.
    Too bad the idea wasn’t entirely worked out, but it sure sounds interesting enough :). Fabness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, then I’ll put you on my list and as soon as I find the perfect relationship guide, I’ll send a copy your way!
      It was a lovely read, perfect for the heatwave! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed this book. I found the mix of classical heroes / heroines mixed in with the fictional story really fun. Now that you mention it, a few details on the books instructions would be very helpful. Mmmm channelling my inner Jane Eyre….
    Amanda. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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