Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail (Bright Falls #2) – Ashley Herring Blake & Kristen DeMercurio (narrator)

On a backdrop of book pages, an iPhone with the cover of Astrid Parker Doesn't Fail by Ashley Herring Blake, narrated by Kristen DeMercurio. At the bottom of the image, a strip of torn paper with a quote: "The perfect romcom to get the year started." and a url: judeinthestars.com.

Almost a year ago, I read my first book by this author, Delilah Green Doesn’t Care, and I almost immediately knew it would make my end-of-the-year list. I was very much looking forward to the next book, Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail, but for some reason, while the publisher had granted my request for an ARC of the first book, they didn’t for this one. I have no idea how publishers decide but in this case, it meant I didn’t read the book before it was released (it probably would have also made my list if I had) and I ended up listening to the audiobook instead. How’s that for a silver lining? Kristen DeMercurio’s narration entirely made up for the wait and I’m not very far from regretting I didn’t listen to Delilah in audio as well.

In this second Bright Falls book, Astrid, Delilah’s stepsister, is doing her best to not lose it after breaking her engagement to fake-nice Spencer. She’s focusing on her job and things aren’t going too well on that front either. Everything feels like it’s hanging on her acing the renovation of the Everwood Inn, a local landmark, which will be broadcasted on a home improvement show that could make Astrid’s career as a designer. So of course on the day it’s all supposed to begin, a woman bumps into her, drenching her lucky dress in coffee and triggering her inner bitch. And also of course, the woman happens to be the Inn’s owner’s granddaughter and the lead carpenter on the project.

The story starts as an enemies-to-lovers romance but it really quickly turns into something else completely. Attraction flares between the MCs and they soon accept the idea that they don’t really dislike each other, even though they try to keep pretending for the sake of the show (there’s also another reason they keep pretending but I won’t spoil). I liked both main characters a lot, I liked their insecurities, I liked how they are together, the sweetness of it all. I liked Jordan’s twin brother and her grandmother, and as in Delilah, I loved the group of friends. Kristen DeMercurio gave each character very distinct voices and I thought they all fit them well, especially the MCs’ but also Delilah’s, with all the snark I love her for, and Iris’s, brash and loud. I can’t wait for the third Bright Falls book, Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date. 4.5⭐️

5-stars

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail @ Libro.fm / Kobo / amazon

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