Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Love Wager (Mr. Wrong Number #2) by Lynn Painter

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Lynn Painter
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: March 14th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Two people make a wager on who can find love first, not realizing what they should be betting on is each other, in this new romantic comedy by Lynn Painter, author of Mr. Wrong Number.

Hallie Piper is turning over a new leaf. After belly-crawling out of a hotel room (hello, rock bottom), she decides it’s time to become a full-on adult. She gets a new apartment, a new haircut, and a new wardrobe, but when she logs onto the dating app that she has determined will find her new love, she sees none other than Jack, the guy whose room she snuck out of.

After the joint agreement that they are absolutely not interested in each other, Jack and Hallie become partners in their respective searches for The One. They text each other about their dates, often scheduling them at the same restaurant so that if things don’t go well, the two of them can get tacos afterward.

Spoiler: they get a lot of tacos together.

Discouraged by the lack of prospects, Jack and Hallie make a wager to see who can find true love first, but when they agree to be fake dates for a weekend wedding, all bets are off. As they pretend to be a couple, lines become blurred and they each struggle to remember why the other was a bad idea to begin with.

Thank you to Berkley Romance for the eARC.


That’s how this book made me feel. The banter was immaculate perfection and every single interaction made me giddy and weak in the knees. While I was initially hesitant from the one night stand starting point, I LOVE the way Lynn Painter turned this. One of the best strangers to friends to lovers book I have read to date.

Hallie is my favorite type of contemporary main character. A little rough around the edges but wholly understanding of who she is and being that person always. She was pure fun and light, while maintaining that sense of realness. JACK, stop right now, he was the swooniest and sweetest guy EVER. I loved how he just there. The texts, phone calls, showing up to help, traveling, you name it, Jack made an effort to be apart of Hallie’s life. I thought they had fantastic chemistry and I could feel the tension from miles away. The slow burn will absolutely put you in a chokehold. Everything was ramped up in harmony waiting for that final breaking point and ohhhh how I loved it.

There’s a small dash of miscommunication that surprisingly didn’t bug me all that much. It’s moved through pretty quickly and is overall reasonably dealt with. I actually thought it made those last few scenes even more rom-com magnificent.


Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: strong throughout
  • Romance: light innuendo; 2-3 brief scenes (low-medium explicit)
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: brief mentions of a loss of a loved one

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2 thoughts on “ARC Book Review: The Love Wager (Mr. Wrong Number #2) by Lynn Painter”

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