Book Reviews

Review: Exes and O’s by Amy Lea

I am always going to be a fan of second chance romance. But having a romance novel obsessed heroine re-visit her old exes to try to find love again was not on my bingo card. And it should have been because it was delightful! Keep reading this book review of Exes and O’s for my full thoughts.


Romance-novel connoisseur Tara Chen has had her heart broken ten times by ten different men–all of whom dumped her because of her “stage-five clinger” tendencies. Nevertheless, Tara is determined to find The One. The only problem? Classic meet-cutes are dead thanks to modern dating apps. 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.

The more time they spend together, the more Tara realizes Trevor seems to be the only one who appreciates her authentic, dramatic self. To claim their happily-ever-after, can Tara and Trevor read between the lines of their growing connection?


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

TW: emotional abuse

Having loved Lea’s past books like Set on You, I had high hopes for Exes and O’s. But this has to be my absolute favorite! Tara was an instant favorite. I discovered romance books relatively late in life – except for a string of paranormal romance books in high school – and so there’s definitely degree of wish fulfillment here. While I’m not sure I could be as hopeful as Tara, I’m more of an outside cynic inside hopeful romantic, I fell in love with her. How there is this sweeping tide of emotions and hope all with swoons.

But real life romance is much more complicated. People can often fail to find the right thing to say forever. And finding a sense of closure and work to sustain a true love are more difficult off the pages. However, you know I was instantly rooting for Trevor and Tara. Not only do they have the most awkward and charming meeting, but I love a cluttered book nerd and another character who hates clutter. We love a good opposites who have secret similar soft sides.

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In Exes and O’s their banter is A plus. Trevor has layers – like an onion, and watching them peel away is true delight. But Tara is my favorite. We can try so hard to be someone we aren’t. I think all of us can empathize with that feeling on some level. With that quest to be cooler, to be less affected than we are. But someone who truly loves us will never settle for a version of us who is hiding in plain sight. It’s only reflexive to want to avoid disappointment and pain, but letting that fear control us is never the answer. If you need a good romance to start off 2023, this has to be on your list. Find Exes and O’s on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound,, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite ongoing romance series?

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