Cover Image: Exes and O's

Exes and O's

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Member Reviews

I cannot let another day go by where I don’t tell you about this book! If you haven’t checked out Amy’s debut Set on You yet - you must! Such a good romance. 

Right when I met Tara in Set on You I was SO hopeful she was getting her own book. Tara is a nurse and a bookstagrammer (see why I loved her immediately!?) She’s had no luck in love and being a huge fan of second chance romance books - she tries to create her own second chance romance by revisiting all of her exes with the help of her new roommate, Trevor. 

SUCH a fun premise and it’s done so well. It was a blast seeing Tara go through her list of exes, and of course some embarrassing, and some hilarious situations arise. Trevor - the firefighter, womanizer - becomes Tara’s ally and friend- he watches The Bachelor WITH HER, becomes protective of her….and yup you see where this is going. He made me melt. 

I love Amy’s use of pop culture references and her humour. I definitely laughed out loud a lot. Let’s not forget the steam - 🔥.
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Romance novels are such a thing right now -- I cannot wait to share recommendations for Exes and O's. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC.
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Art imitates life when a bookstagrammer who writes romance novel (author Amy Lea) writes a romance novel about a a NICU nurse who moonlights as a romance novel bookstagrammer. Tara needs a new roommate when her current roomie gets engaged, and her bestie’s fiance’s best friend Trevor happens to have a room available. Their meet-cute is her discovering him banging a one-nighter over the kitchen island, but they bond over Cheetos and homemade cupcakes. Desperate for a date to a Valentine’s Day fundraiser, Tara decides to revisit all of her exes to determine if any of them are worthy as a second chance romance, a la High Fidelity‘s Rob Gordon. Trevor is in on the plan and stays updated on her progress; meanwhile she tries to get the stalwart Boston firefighter to open up about his love life and past. They settle into blissful co-habition.

The pacing and structure is excellent: Tara’s sometimes-crazy journey to reconnect with her ex-boyfriends is paralleled with her social media posts (presented in script form) that define various romance tropes–it’s a very clever introduction to those not in the know (and for Trevor, who expands his reading with thrillers). they both grow as characters and complement one another really well.

I received a free advance reader’s copy of #ExesAndOs from #NetGalley.
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This was such a cute romance.

I loved the premise of Tara going back to revisit all of her exes with the help of her new roommate, Trevor. It was fun to see Tara and Trevor bond over different activities; and watch her address her previous relationships.

I was a bit frustrated by the “drama” that happened towards the end. But the way it was resolved was good and much more mature/quick than some other romances.

Overall a super fun book.

{listened via the PRH audio app}
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4.5/5 stars (rounded up to 5)

Thank you NetGalley and Berkley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review! 
“But you can’t just bottle things up until they eat you alive to the point where you’re not living and pursuing what you really want.” 

I absolutely adored Amy Lea’s debut novel Set on You, so I was so excited to get approved for her sophomore novel! This one sounded so cute and I love that it is set in the same universe as her debut novel.  I LOVED Tara and Trevor’s story about how they met and quickly became friends.  

There were a few moments where I was questioning Tara’s actions (such as considering to get a private detective to find an ex LOL) but overall I loved the premise of looking back through your relationships to see if there is still a spark.  I think she does a great job at showing how Tara grows throughout the novel and is able to look back on past relationships and realize what might have went wrong and stand up for herself after they were over.  

I loved the bookstagrammer aspect to it and all the different “posts” that she did throughout the book of an bookstagrammer! Overall, it was such a unique story and would definitely recommend! 
This review will be posted to my Instagram blog (read_betweenthecovers) in the near future!
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I absolutely loved Amy Lea’s debut, Set On You, and was thrilled to hear she would be writing another book set in this universe. Exes & Os was a stellar follow up and I loved Tara and Trevor’s story. Forced proximity, friends to lovers and opposites attract are some of the tropes present here (oh and a romance bookstagrammer FMC & firefighter MMC - yes please)! 

Amy is quickly becoming one of my favorite romance authors and I can’t wait to see what she does next!

Thank you to Berkley Romance for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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I would love to interview Amy for my podcast Raise Your Words. This is such a fun, swoon worthy book!  Tara and Trevor are hilarious together. But there were certain scenes that felt off to me. I’m not discussing them here because I don’t want to spoil the book since it’s not out yet.
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I loved this book! So cute & so fun, I was smiling almost the entire time I read it. It was fun relating to someone with a bookish account like us bookstagrammers/book bloggers. Tara was so quirky & adorable! I can’t wait to read more from this author
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Exes and O’s Trevor Metcalfe is my new book boyfriend, he was just wonderful! Romance bookstagrammer Tara Chen is determined to make the second chance trope her reality as she goes through all of her exes to try and rekindle their youthful romances with the help of her roommate Trevor—only the more she needs up with her exes, the more she sees the only one who really knows her is Trevor. Tara wasn’t my favorite heroine—I wanted to love her but she felt very naive and she really let the romances she reads dictate her life. I did however love the balance of her and Trevor together. Trevor has been through his own heartbreaks in life and watching them open up to each other was just lovely and so endearing. I also love a roommate romance so this was just a great trope for me, and it just felt really genuine and sweet. Plus the banter is just so spot on and good! I did like Tara’s growth as she tackled the idea of being a “crazy ex-girlfriend.” She is so strong and unapologetically herself, it was great and so satisfying watching her find that. The romance was so well done and overall it’s a fun read starring a brave romance Bookstagrammer and a wonderful roommate romance! 

3.5/5 rounded up
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Thank you so much for an advanced copy of this book! I loved it!

Star Rating: 4⭐️
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: January 10, 2023

I loved Amy Lea's debut novel, and Exes and O's was one of my most anticipated 2023 books. I'm happy to say it did not disappoint! It was so fun to go through Tara's exes and discover why things didn't work with them, all the while watching how her past experiences led her to her future.

I identified with Tara's character so much. The frustration with dating, with failed relationships, and men just sometimes being so good at being disappointing...this book definitely speaks to the broken hearted and the discouraged. 

And man...Trevor. He can put out my fire anytime. 😂 His character had the perfect amount of gravity to bring Tara's head out of the clouds. I love that he gave her more brevity and she brought a lightness to his life. His character, despite his philandering ways, was so cautious with who he let into his life...and it was sweet to see Tara slowly become a part of his heart. 

My biggest complaint about the book is I feel like the ending wrapped up really fast and was rushed. There was so much focus on Angie's birthday party, and then it was just whooshed by. That, and the miscommunication at the end of the book were pretty frustrating. I also hated the way Crystal was portrayed in this book compared to the first one. She was really condescending towards Tara.

Overall, this was a really good follow-up to Exes and O's. I still liked Set on You more if I'm being honest, BUT I liked these characters in Exes and O's much better (especially the way the Set on You MCs were portrayed in this story).
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Despite a very slow-burn friends-to-lovers tale, Exes and O's is full of compelling language that draws me in and makes this read difficult to put down between reading sessions. There's a precious Set on You post-HEA check-in on Crystal and Scott, which is always fun to see. Now, I'm not sure if this book has eclipsed Set on You in terms of my interest, but it's a fun romance read nonetheless. Plus, I swear, Trevor is like the KING of the grand gesture --- compared to any other book boyfriend, and that's high praise.
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Timeline was a little off (did we not celebrate any holidays besides Valentine’s Day??) but overall this was adorable and also like an ode to romance book lovers all over.
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Wow, I just loved this book so much. I mean, I'm always down for a rom com, but this one was perfection. I haven't read Set On You but was really looking forward to this one. 

What I loved: 
- Friends to lovers, forced proximity, slow burn
- I found Amy's writing to be very engaging and it definitely agreed with me. Exes and O's is easy to read!
- I loved Tara. I loved her willingness to be so fully herself, embracing flaws and all. 
- The relationship between Tara and Trevor felt SO real. I also enjoyed all the failed dates from Tara's list!
- As a bookstagrammer, I loved all of Tara's illusions to bookstagram, Booktok, and just love of books in general. It made her even more fun, relatable and likable!

All in all, this was such a fun read!! If you're looking for a rom com that will leave you smiling, be sure to check this one out. 

A huge thank you to NetGalley, Amy Lea and Berkley for the opportunity to read this ARC!
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I really liked this one. It was seriously so cute. 

I liked the slow burn, friends to lovers part of the relationship. It was well done and well written. The relationship was believable and I definitely connected with the characters.

I loved Tara and how she was so unapologetically herself. She was quirky and cute without being annoying. Also, I totally loved the fact that she was a bookstagrammer. I related to her in so many ways. 

The grumpy, tattooed book boyfriends are always my favorite, so I definitely enjoyed Trevor. Seeing how sweet he was just made me like him more. 

I do kind of wish this had been dual POV. I would have loved to have gotten Trevor's point of view and how he was slowly falling for Tara.
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Maybe because the lead is a fellow bookstagrammer, this one hit! It's also genuinely hilarious and I was laughing so hard! I worried at first, because the book seemed front-loaded with Tara's effervescent narration and I doubted she'd be able to keep it going.

But this girl is suspiciously likable, a bubble of charm, comedic timing, and relatable couch-culture ambitions. And that meet-ugly between Tara and her roommate, Trevor, had me dying! They have immediate chemistry, and it only gets better.

Admittedly, some of the things Tara does are pretty cringe. I don't necessarily agree with how the book justifies the choices she's previously made (the book calls her behavior loving big or generously yet, as actually described, it sounded self-centered, uncommunicative, and dismissive). I like that she does wake up to the hard reality of where she's gone wrong in the past and how that strengthens her resolve to be a better partner in the future.
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this review may be slightly incoherent, as I’m writing it through a haze of joyful tears after weeping through the last chapter of the book. I feel like I’ve had happiness pumped into me like helium. The only thing I did between finishing Exes and O’s and starting this review was add Amy Lea’s other book, Set On You, to my TBR (and hope fervently that she has a long, healthy writing career).

So look, I don’t know the official name for this trope, but it’s my favorite, and I think of it as the “When Harry Met Sally” trope. The two leads meet and have neutral-to-platonic feelings towards each other, or at least appear to. No interest in dating or banging. They get to know each other, and all their glorious, complex, human faults are on display. There is much quality banter (a major highlight of Exes and O’s). And it all builds up to that beautiful moment where, in the immortal words of Harry, “you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone [and] you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” And that moment always makes me cry, no matter how many times I watch “When Harry Met Sally,” no matter how many books I read that end with one lead delivering their equivalent of “I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich.” Amy Lea writes this beloved trope of mine to perfection. My advice to romance readers: jump on this the SECOND it becomes available.
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I feel like this book was written for bookstagrammers, and I loved it!! 🫶🏼🥹

Romance-novel connoisseur Tara Chen has had her heartbroken ten times by ten different men--all of whom dumped her because of her "stage-five clinger" tendencies. So Tara decides to revisit her exes in hopes of securing her very own trope-worthy second-chance romance.

Boston firefighter Trevor Metcalfe will be the first to rush into a burning building but the last to rush into a relationship. Love just isn't his thing. When his new roommate Tara enlists him to help her reconnect with her exes, he reluctantly agrees. But Tara's journey is leading him to discover his own new chapter.

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞𝐝:
🌏Shared universe with “Set on You” - we get to see some of the same characters from Set on You - including GMA FLO! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

💕Throughout the book we get to see how both main characters' pasts shaped the way they both perceive love and relationships - loved this element of the story.

🗣So many great references - tswift, the office, the bachelor

📚Tara being a bookstagrammer! I found her character relatable and she had me giggling at her quirkyness and banter with Trevor (also some secondhand embarrassment😂).

📌Chapter 34 - this chapter reminded me SO much of my husband, I even had to msg Amy @amyleabooks because it was so heartwarming 🥹

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐨𝐰𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞:
Some miscommunication between the two, but it didn’t take over the whole plot thankfully and I was still heavily invested in Tara and Trevor.

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮'𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫:
✔️Opposites attract X forced proximity
✔ Lots and lots of references to bookstagram and romance tropes
✔️Grumpy, firefighter, tattooed MC
✔ He falls first
✔ The “ex” files

4.5 stars!!
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I really really enjoyed this one- BUT talk about a slowwww burn. If that’s what you’re into, this will be perfect for you. I appreciated that their relationship felt real. No instant love. Friends to lovers is my favorite and this one had that AND roommate/forced proximity. I do feel that this book would have been PERFECT as a dual POV, but, I digress. This will be the perfect Valentine’s Day book.

Did I mention the main female character is bookish AND a bookstagrammer? I really felt connected to her weird and quirky personality and the main male character was total SWOON. Again would have loved to read his POV!
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thank you to netgalley and berkley publishing group for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for my honest thoughts :)

THIS BOOK Y'ALL!!!! i'm serious when i say this is now an all time favorite read of mine for sure!!!! amy lea sat down and wrote the book to end all other books. tara, a romance book obsessed, "crazy ex-girlfriend," makes messes everywhere, moves in with trevor, her polar opposite and from their obviously romance ensues. this was the slow burn of my dreams where you really see their relationship develop from their first, ahem, mortifying meet cute to best friends to lovers. 

tara and trevor very much give gigi and alex from he's just not that into you but like 10000% better! trevor is the new loml and i so desperately wish i could order my own from build a boyfriend!! tara, my sweet, loving, baby girl i would lay my life down for you! 

this was a fun, funky, fresh, swoony romance that had me giggling and kicking my feet in the air with excitement <3 definitely can't wait to see what's in store for powerhouse amy lea!!!
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Disappointed and frustrated by the absence of a man in her life, Tara decides to make a project of revisiting all of the men who have dumped her in hopes of rekindling something lasting. And, she posts her progress publicly on her romance-themed Instagram account. This book is pretty well-written and has decent, entertaining dialog. That’s what saved it. Tara seemed so emotionally immature and needy that I almost didn’t finish the book. I guess that was part of the story line since she did grow up some as the story developed. Anyhow, good writing but stars deducted because I spent a lot of the book shaking my head, thinking, “Are you kidding me?”
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