The Love Wager by Lynn Painter is a fun rom-com for spring

Love Wager. Image courtesy Berkley.
Love Wager. Image courtesy Berkley. /

Reading hyped authors can be a mixed bag. For me, the risk thankfully paid off with The Love Wager by Lynn Painter.

As you might know, Lynn Painter is the author of Mr. Wrong Number. This was an incredibly hyped romance book published in 2022. While I didn’t read the first book, there was enough context that I wasn’t totally confused.

Regardless, reading The Love Wager did convince me to pick up the first book so maybe that will give you a clue of how I felt about this book. While Mr. Wrong Number is one of her more popular titles, Lynn Painter has a decent-sized backlist including some YA offerings.

We’re here to talk about her newest adult romance release though and that’s The Love Wager so let’s get into my thoughts.

The Love Wager by Lynn Painter is a fun rom-com to read this spring.

As someone who hasn’t read Lynn Painter before, I had no idea what I was in for. Even so, the writing of The Love Wager and the storyline immediately captivated me. The book follows Hallie who is a wedding bartender which is where she meets Jack. The two have a mishap while his girlfriend is here so Jack gets broken up with.

Jack goes back to talk to Hallie and the two end up leaving the wedding early to hook up. At first, it seems like the two will never see each other again but after matching on a dating app, the two agree to both look for love and meet up either during or after their dates to discuss.

While things are going great at first, feelings start to get involved especially for Jack. Everything comes to a head when Hallie invites Jack to go along with her to her sister’s wedding which her ex is also a part of.

Aside from the fun storyline, I really enjoyed these two as characters. Hallie is just trying to get her life together and feel more adult while Jack is grappling with the grief of losing a beloved family member and having his worldview changed. It’s so incredible to see how much these two overcome in such a short time of being friends and working to be better together.

While the romance does take a bit to develop, the tension, mutual attraction, and pining were delightful. I absolutely love friends-to-lovers romances and this gave me everything I wanted because they were best friends despite their hookup at the beginning. I just couldn’t get enough of these two.

The Love Wager was also funny. This was truly a romantic comedy. There were plenty of funny moments happening with Jack and Hallie separately along with them together. Honestly, this book was so much fun and I can’t believe it took me this long to finally pick Lynn Painter. Her books are a hoot.

The only issue I had was with Jack’s decision in talking to one of Halle’s interests. I do understand why he did it, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. I understand it was a key part of the plot, but I didn’t enjoy that. Nevertheless, The Love Wager was a lot of fun and is a romance I know I’ll revisit in the future.

If you like Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren, I feel like this book gives you similar vibes without the annoying third-act twist. I also feel like Lynn Painter writes similarly to Mariana Zapata’s humor without her books being insanely long. If you haven’t read Lynn Painter before, I’d suggest checking her and The Love Wager out.

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The Love Wager is out now wherever books are sold. 

Will you be picking up The Love Wager? Are you a fan of Lynn Painter? Share with us in the comments!