Book Reviews

Blog Tour: Review: How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams

While this was described to me as a romance, I think that the serious nature of the past abusive relationship certainly makes it less of an all swoon story than I was expecting. I think with the proper trigger warnings, readers can go into How to Fail at Flirting better informed and prepared. I ended up devouring this book because I enjoyed the romantic tension between Jake and Naya. Keep reading this book review to find out what else I enjoyed!


One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.

When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup. Check…almost.

Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.

Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she’s finally living again


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: scenes of past domestic abuse, assault, sexual assault, toxic relationship, emotional manipulation. Attempted rape, threat of revenge porn, stalking, sexism

I just want to preface this review by saying that there’s a toxic and manipulative abusive relationship in the book. While the relationship is in the past, there are scenes where the incidents are described. Please see the trigger warnings before reading.

At the same time, Naya struggles with believing that she isn’t broken, that she is worthy of love. Considering her past, her struggles are more emotional and heart wrenching. I enjoyed the relationship and tension between Jake and Naya, but throughout the entire course of the book, I was so worried something sinister would happen. That’s why I would also say that the vibes you might associate with a romance are definitely impacted by this tension and fear, but there’s still a very strong romance story line. And I adored the chemistry and their relationship!

How to Fail at Flirting discusses not only the romance between Jake and Naya, but also Naya’s personal journey to confront her fears. Her two best friends are amazing. They are supportive, have just the right amount of sass, and I need a whole story about their relationship. At the same time, I enjoyed Jake and Naya’s rapport – their use of puns, sense of humor, and their mannerisms.

How to Fail at Flirting is a story that tackles Naya’s personal journey. Full of tension, both suspense and romantic tension, it’s a story that I read in about a day. I needed to find out what would happen to Naya, and Jake, and how Naya would find her voice again. Find How to Fail at Flirting on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite romance that tackles some intense issues?

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