Book Reviews

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake: Book Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake

Published November 22nd, 2022

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ+

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

An interior designer learns to rebuild her love life from the ground up with zero blueprints in this new romantic comedy by Ashley Herring Blake, author of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care.

For Astrid Parker, failure is unacceptable. Ever since she broke up with her fiancé a year ago, she’s been focused on her career—her friends might say she’s obsessed, but she’s just driven. When Pru Everwood asks her to be the designer for the Everwood Inn’s renovation that will be broadcasted on a popular home improvement show, Innside America, Astrid knows this is the answer to everything that is wrong with her life. It’ll be the perfect distraction from her failed love life, and her perpetually displeased mother might finally give her nod of approval.

However, Astrid never planned on Jordan Everwood, Pru’s granddaughter and lead carpenter for the inn’s renovation, who despises every modern design decision Astrid makes. Jordan is determined to preserve the history of her family’s inn, particularly as the rest of her life is in shambles. When that determination turns into a little light sabotage, ruffling Astrid’s perfect little feathers, the showrunners ask them to play up the tension. But somewhere along the way, their dislike for each other turns into something quite different, and Astrid must decide what success truly means. Is she going to pursue the life that she’s expected to lead, or the one she wants?

Thank you to the publisher, Berkley, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts are my own.

After enjoying Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake I had high hopes for Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail. I especially loved Astrid’s character in the preceding novel and thought she had a lot of potential. So the idea of her being the titular character of her own queer romance had me very excited.

And as much as I loved Astrid – I adored Jordan! She was so hot. But also so cute? I was smitten.

Blake’s return to Bright Falls brought along her signature delightfully witty banter. It was so much fun to fall back into this world, this time through the eyes of Astrid and Jordan.

Sometimes with a dual POV, I find myself preferring to read one character’s perspective more than the other, but that never happened here. Astrid and Jordan were perfect leads (and perfect for each other!)

One of my favorite aspects of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care was how well-realized the characters were. And, while I didn’t find the ancillary characters to be as rounded out in Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail, Astrid and Jordan’s development more than made up for that. They were strong leads who it was impossible not to root for.

Astrid’s storyline in particular was wonderful to read. It was rewarding to see her coming into her own, finding her identity and her sexuality as an adult.

Their romance was swoon-worthy. The chemistry between Astrid and Jordan from the instant they met was palpable. The tension during that rivals-to-lovers lead-up made those soft, tender moments when they finally came together all the more satisfying. And the spicy scenes? Hot. Very hot.

Have you read Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail?

What did you think of it?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.

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