Book Title: 40-Love
Author: Olivia Dade
Series: There’s Something About Marysburg, Book 2
Release Date: June 18th, 2020
Synopsis: Tess Dunn is on holiday with her best friend before the new school year starts. She’s stressed and constantly worried about her position as the future principal of the school. But what she doesn’t expect is a sexy, young professional tennis player of a man to sweep her off her feet. Their hilarious first meeting leads to tennis lessons and falling in love and charm that will knock just about everyone on their ass. Brace yourself for the most incredible banter, steam that is off the charts and two main characters who are so damn perfect, you wish you were living their lives.
Review: The one thing I have always loved about Olivia Dade’s books is that her heroines are plus size. And that is not a defining trait for them, their weight comes up maybe once or twice in the course of the book, but they are fabulous and they are strong, powerful, driven and incredibly passionate women in their late 30’s-early 40’s and nothing and nobody can stop them. As a plus size woman myself, that is a big deal to read about.
Tess Dunn and Lucas Karlsson are a riot. They could not be more different. While Tess is working towards becoming the principal of Marysburg High, Lucas is a retired professional tennis player. She’s celebrating her 40th birthday and he’s only 26. She’s tough and wild and snarky, he’s soft and kind and charming. Their differences are what makes their relationship so damn appealing right from the minute Tess presses her bare breasts to Lucas’ back to avoid being caught topless by annoying kids at the beach.
One wardrobe malfunction, with a hot Swede who flirts openly with her and wants nothing more to actually see her breasts, later, Tess finds out that her best friend has signed her up for tennis lessons with said hot Swede. The lessons go from being about tennis to lessons in flirtation and then picnics and charm and good lord, the way that Lucas wants Tess is just so distracting. You will get hot under the collar one or two times every time you get to see inside Lucas’ brain.
Tess has been burned in the past and she knows what people see when they look at her, but she’s too confident and comfortable in her own body to actually give a shit about other people. Lucas, however, sees only the beauty of Tess and even though he acknowledges her size and her curves, it’s never in a negative way. To have a hero appreciate a woman for who she is and to have a heroine who is so comfortable in her skin is such a great thing to read. Tess doesn’t have to be thinner to find love, even with someone as young as Lucas.
And their banter. Olivia Dade is a master at creating witty banter between characters. She did it with Teach Me and it was so delicious, but here, she’s upped the ante! As someone who knows next to nothing about tennis, having it be written out and explained in a way that was understandable was appreciated. I am a sucker for sports romances and while Lucas isn’t playing tennis anymore, the aspects of his life come into their relationship and that makes it even better. Just like how you get to see Tess’ drive to take over that principal job at the school.
“40-Love” is filled with smart writing, incredible characters with so much to offer and a romance that is mature and heart wrenching and beautiful. You don’t need to read the first in the series to connect to this book, but just read them all, because you deserve all of Olivia Dade that you can get.
Thanks to Olivia Dade for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.