Book Review

ARC Book Review: How to Kiss Your Grumpy Boss (Hawthorne Brothers #2) by Jenny Proctor

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 337 pages
Author: Jenny Proctor
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: November 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Perry Hawthorne is my boss. Only my boss. And I do NOT have a crush.

When one of THE Hawthorne brothers—known by their chiseled jawlines and their family-run farm and event center—hires me to be his virtual assistant, I do everything I can to keep him firmly in the work zone.

His grumpy demeanor helps.

His smoking hot profile picture does not.

But even if I do have a crush (a very tiny one), I can’t catch real feelings for a million different reasons.

Besides the whole business part of our relationship, I’m a single mom. I have to think about what’s best for my son, Jack. And my grumpy, divorced, humorless boss isn’t exactly giving me “ready to be a stepdad” vibes.

When Perry upgrades me from virtual to in-person assistant, I wonder if I’ve gotten him all wrong. He’s actually pretty great with Jack. And with me? Let’s just say the chemistry crackling between us might vaporize all my reasons for keeping my distance.

Trouble is, after his messy divorce, I’m not sure Perry’s ready to bet on a new relationship. But it isn’t just my heart that’s on the line. It’s Jack’s, too. And after everything we went through before my husband died, I’m not sure that’s a gamble I’m ready to take, no matter how desperate Jack is for a daddy.

How to Kiss Your Best Friend is a sweet romantic comedy with all the sizzling kisses you want in a closed-door romance but no explicit scenes.

Thank you to the author for an eARC.


LOVED THIS ONE Y’ALL. It was so sweet and full of all the apple based puns I didn’t know I needed.

I loved Perry’s growth and his character arc as he worked through a lot of new things. He was sincere and swoony and just the right amount of grump. Everything felt so perfectly attuned to life and that made me feel all the more. I can’t imagine the thought process through deciding to become an instant Dad and I liked that there was an up and down to his journey. The ex-wife didn’t overshadow anything and I appreciate she was in the story just enough to understand the past and see the bright future ahead.

Lila & Jack were amazing too. I loved them and how Lila worked hard to be the best Mom she could be for Jack and also realize it was okay to find happiness for herself. Lila was full of confidence I wish I had. The body image conversations also hit my heart too. I liked the way this was approached and handled throughout. Jack was the perfect little side character. Sometimes kids can be hit/miss in a read, but he was GREAT. Incredibly sweet, full of love to give, and very much like a 5-year old.

I loooove this family and the support (and laughs) they provide for one another. The farm is a wonderful setting as always. Fantastic kissing scenes, all the honest moments and all the feels.

Worth staying up past my bedtime for this one!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: divorce, loss of a spouse (prior but recounted)

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

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