Review: “Under Pressure” by Allie Winters

Series: Lessons Learned, #1

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: March 9th, 2021

Add to Goodreads | Amazon.in (Available on KU)

Mia knows stress. She’s dealt with it her whole life. So when she gets an opportunity to run a psychology study to help her get into grad school, it should be no problem dealing with the prickly guy she suddenly finds herself paired with.

The one she had a secret crush on last year. The one who refuses to let anyone close. The one she’s discovering by the day may have a softer side than he lets anyone else see…

Tyler knows stress. He’s grappled with it for as long as he can remember. And just because he has to share credit with this girl on his new psychology study doesn’t mean he has to be friends with her. Except she somehow keeps worming her way into his life. In school. In the boxing gym.

In his bed.

But everyone knows it’s safer to keep to yourself. You can’t hurt anyone that way. Even if it means giving up the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

As things heat up in the Stress Lab, will this match be able to work together without disruption, or will this growing attraction between them eventually… combust?

 

Ever since I was introduced to Allie Winters through her Bishop Brothers series, I have been in love with her writing. So when she announced that she was writing in the Smartypants Romance series, I jumped at the chance to read an ARC.

In Under Pressure we’re introduced to two psychology students vying for the top spot through a study and how that relationship plays out. Mia and Tyler are complete opposites. While their end goal might be the same thing, they don’t have a whole lot in common. But thanks to their professor pairing them up for a study, they have no choice but to work together to complete this. It’s the only way Mia will get the grades she needs for grad school and she’s not going to let Tyler take that away from her.

While I loved the banter and the chemistry between Mia and Tyler, I wasn’t particularly attached to the characters on their own. They had their redeeming qualities, but I found it hard to make a connection with them. Tyler has all kinds of familial issues, which makes him a little rough around the edges and a little hard to really like, but I like that he didn’t force anyone to like him. The people closest to him know everything there is to know and understand why he is the way he is. He doesn’t put on a show or pretend to be someone he’s not and that’s definitely a good thing.

“I didn’t realize how deep under my skin you were until you weren’t there anymore.”

As far as opposites attract go, Mia is the complete opposite of Tyler. For all his grumpy, bad behaviour and attitude, Mia is quite a bit of sunshine. She takes this study seriously, she’s friendly with everyone, she enjoys baking and she believes that she and Tyler can be friends. A little naive, but who isn’t at that age, right? These two characters struggle with so much and Tyler’s history and all the pain he struggles with is quite heart wrenching. I wish that we got more about Mia’s life and her past, like we did about Tyler. Seeing where their anxiety stems from, understanding that was a huge part of the story.

With Tyler, Mia finds herself stepping out of her comfort zone quite often and I gotta say, I really loved watching their relationship unfold. What’s meant to be a working relationship turns into them being unable to keep their hands off of each other. The only problem? Tyler’s a commitment phobe and Mia wants to understand what they’re doing. There’s a lot of back and forth and baked goods getting consumed, lots of sexy sexy times.

Thanks to Allie Winters and Smartypants Romance for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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