The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob (2021)

by Pippa Grant
ASIN/ISBN: B08RY8WSY4
Publication: January 7, 2021
Series: Bro Code Series #4

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You don’t know me, but you do know me. I’m your neighborhood hot mess single mom, doing my best to keep my head above water while running my little slice of heaven and keeping my youngest from shoving marbles up his nose, which is exactly what he’s doing the first time Levi Wilson, pop star god, world’s sexiest man, and my all-time number one celebrity obsession, walks into my bookstore.
 
Related: I’m writing this from beyond the grave, because I’ve died of mortification and am now residing in an alternate universe.
 
I have to be.
 
Because Levi Wilson came back.
 
And we had a moment.
 
Like, a moment moment. The kind that makes me remember that adult pleasure isn’t all about hoping the lock holds in the bathroom so your kids don’t interrupt on the rare occasion you feel like taking an extra-long mommy-time shower.
 
So when he proposes a no-strings fling?
 
Count. Me. In.
 
Thrill of a lifetime, right?
 
Surely, nothing will go wrong…
 
The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob is a rockin’ fun, sexy romantic comedy featuring a celebrity panty-melter who doesn’t know what he’s been missing, a sassy single mom hanging on by a string, three adorable children who would never burst in on a woman when she’s on a toilet (ha!), and shameless ovary-busting moments between a guy who never thought he’d be a dad and a family who thought they got along just fine without him. It stands alone and comes complete with a happily-ever-after (though you’d never go wrong to read the other Bro Code series books first).


Bro Code Series
(click for Goodreads link)

Bro Code #1
Bro Code #2
Bro Code #3

EXCERPT from The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob

One day. I would like to go one single day without someone in my orbit making a poor life decision.

“Stop squirming,” I order my four-year-old son, who should be at preschool, but who’s been banished for the week because of lice.

Yep.

Lice.

Heaven forbid we have one issue at a time.

Adding to my list of issues? Being that mom who can’t get her shit together while Levi Flipping Wilson is watching. And not only watching, but actively engaging in trying to help. “Hey, bud, I bet I can hold still longer than you can. Wanna see?”

I know my agenda on any given day will include interruption for something my children do that I never would’ve expected in a million years, but that’s a lot easier to deal with when I don’t have an audience.

Especially an audience made up of one famous man whose songs get me through the day—and night—when I don’t have enough free focus to read or listen to an audiobook, and who keeps stealing glances at me like he’s trying to figure out what kind of rabid creature I am. Normally, customers aren’t allowed back in the stockroom with me, which is where I dragged Hudson when I realized what he’d done to his nose, but leaving Levi out there with the customers who’d figured out who he was seemed like a bad idea.

Especially when his date skewered me with a look that clearly said get him out of here or I’ll burn this place down.

It’s a bookstore.

Highly flammable.

Not taking chances.

Especially if there was a reason they were looking at maternity and early childhood development books. His date doesn’t look pregnant, but god knows that’s when pregnancy is hardest.

Hudson finally stills, and I manage to smear a little more Vaseline gently around his nostril. “How did you get a marble in your nose?”

“I pushed hard.” He beams. “I gots stars in there too.”

I squeeze my eyes shut and count to two, because I know if I get as high as three, he’ll find a way to suck the marbles deeper into his sinus cavities, and I don’t know how a doctor will get that out without having to cut his nose open, and oh my god, he’s four and he’s about to be disfigured for life because I thought he’d actually sit still and listen to Yasmin reading books for neighborhood storytime while I re-stocked a few shelves.

“How many stars?” I inquire through clenched teeth.

“Four. Or maybe seven. Or maybe one. I forgets.”

“You are so lucky you’re cute.”

“Do you have a vacuum?” Levi asks.

I twist my head to gape at him.

He shoots a help? look at his date, then shrugs at me. “If he won’t blow it out, maybe you can suck it out. Like with one of those sucky tools the dentist uses.”

“That’s…possibly not a terrible idea.”

“Happens on occasion.” He grins, which makes my heart basically stop because he’s stupidly gorgeous.

I could stare at him all day, but I have a preschooler with marbles up his nose to attend to.

“Mama,” Hudson says, “look.”

He scrunches his nose, which makes his nostrils swell, closes his mouth, and blows, and one shoots out and lands on Levi’s shoe.

My son has just snotted my favorite musician’s Italian leather loafers.

“I win! I holded still!” He breaks into his preschool dance routine, but the poor kid got his moves from me, which means to a casual observer, he probably looks like he’s having a seizure while choking on a piece of gum and tripping over barbed wire.

Levi Wilson, however, is not fazed. He squats down to Hudson’s level. “Rematch.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pippa Grant is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes romantic comedies that will make tears run down your leg. When she’s not reading, writing or sleeping, she’s being crowned employee of the month as a stay-at-home mom and housewife trying to prepare her adorable demon spawn to be productive members of society, all the while fantasizing about long walks on the beach with hot chocolate chip cookies.

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REVIEW


**I was provided a copy of the book by Give Me Books as part of the promotional campaign. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

In prior posts, I’ve gushed about how much I enjoy Grant’s books. They’re hilariously absurd with a lot of heart, and there is more than one of her male leads I will gladly accept as my book boyfriend–Beck Ryder currently reigns supreme. The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob and Levi is not an exception to this. Surprisingly, it started off relatively tame. (I KNOW RIGHT?!) No burning fires, no jilted brides, and no kidnapping. (WHAT?!) It was sweet, saccharine even, and I found myself “teeheeing” within the first few pages of the book.

Grant sure knows how to capture the feelings of meeting an idol you adore…in the most mature, non fangirl way of course…of course. Okay, there is inner fangirling (just breathe) and also the horror when sh*t hits the fan at the same time. HA. She manages to get in some hilarious moments throughout the book, but I liked this book particularly for its heart. I don’t know how she does it. Just when I think I’ve read all there is, Grant concocts something that makes me laugh or something that turns me into a puddle of goo.

I enjoyed the chemistry between Levi and Ingrid. Ingrid’s kids are her world but they can be a handful. Levi is patient and adores her kids. Ingrid isn’t as confident in herself as she used to be, but Levi looks at her like she’s the best thing in the world. (Sigh…Can someone look at me like that?) It isn’t a passionate, off the charts whirlwind romance. It’s better. It’s the kind that seeps into your skin and crawls into the corners to fill the holes you didn’t know you had. Yup, I’m pretty sentimental so there were quite a few times that I had to dab my eyes.

If 2020 was a difficult year, and you’re looking for something to help you start 2021 on a happy note, pick up The Hot Mess and the Heartthrob. While #4 in the Bro Code Series, it can be read as a standalone but you’d be doing yourself a favor in reading all the books. (Book boyfriend Beck Ryder’s book is America’s Geekheart, Bro Code #2)

Romance Interlude 1.2

This was an unplanned “heart eyes-sending so much love-squee!” books by Pippa Grant post. This was especially fun with quirky characters and unexpected crushes (on my part…hahaha). If you’re looking for rom-coms with ridiculousness-infused plots that will make people stare at you for laughing a tad too loudly, Pippa Grant novels should be on your list. While these can be read as stand-alone, which is how I read them, you will see recurring characters here and there.


Real Fake Love (2020)
by Pippa Grant
ISBN: 9781940517865
Publication: September 3, 2020
Goodreads Summary
Series: Copper Valley Fireballs #2

One liner: Woman asks ex-fiance’s friend to teach her how to not fall in love but things backfire.

This is my first book by Pippa Grant, and I did not know what I was getting myself into. It is ridiculously funny! I had to reread the beginning just to make sure I didn’t accidentally skip a few pages because I had to ask myself a few times “did this really just happen?” I liked Henri a lot because she is a book geek and in love with being in love. She is quirky and full of heart. Luca is prickly at first but when Henri starts breaking through his exterior, you get to learn a lot about why he hates love. It’s an opposites attract, fake dating novel that had my heart fluttering at the end. Unfortunately, I think this also set the bar and I couldn’t help comparing the subsequent books I ready by Grant.


America’s Geekheart (2019)
by Pippa Grant
ISBN: 9781940517506
Publication: March 31, 2019
Goodreads Summary
Series: Bro Code #2

One liner: A misogynistic tweet to the wrong person leads to fake dating but real falling in love.

What can I say? I couldn’t help searching for more by Pippa Grant. The book is almost as entertaining as Real Fake Love but I found it slower-paced. The breakout character for me here is Beck Ryder who falls pretty quickly for Sarah Dempsey, our geeky environmental engineer. If I could choose a character who would be my best friend to fall in love with, I would choose him. We’d obviously already be best friends already because he is goofy. We would have so much fun together. More importantly, he’d love me for me because that’s how he loved Sarah…except it would be me. (Yup, he was my unexpected crush. Yup, I know this was supposed to be a review but I couldn’t help turn it into how he and I would be great together. Hahaha.) I cannot gush about this book without also mentioning how I also loved the references to Firefly and Serenity. This is another opposites attract, fake dating novel and my eyes couldn’t keep from shooting hearts at Beck. Sarah is great but read this one for Beck.


Hosed (2019)
by Pippa Grant & Lili Valente
ISBN: 9781940517506
Publication: March 31, 2019
Goodreads Summary
Series: Happy Cat #1

One liner: Game developer returns home to give her sister a much needed break and meets the boy–now a firefighter–who broke her heart in high school.

I never could have imagined I would be reading about dildo football and arson at a sex toy company. This wasn’t as fun to read as Real Fake Love (and at this point, what book will be?) but the romance is nearly as sizzling and Ryan the firefighter is right up there with the rest of Grant’s male leads in his swooniness. Cassie is nerdy and just a bit awkward–I liked her.


Rockaway Bride (2018)
by Pippa Grant
ISBN: 9781940517384
Publication: June 29, 2018
Goodreads Summary
Series: The Girl Band Books #3

One liner: Rockstar kidnaps bride of the person who stole his money but gets more than he bargained for when she takes him hostage instead.

Growing up poor and raised by a single mother, Willow always ensures her mother doesn’t worry about her, choosing to live against her more daring nature. It takes Dax kidnapping her, if you could really even call it that after their roles somewhat quickly switch, to push her to embrace her true nature. I liked Willow. She was funny and genuinely kind but by no means a prude. It’s clear that she cares about the people around her. Willow’s journey resonated with me–I was even teary at a few points–because it’s about living life the way you want to, embracing who you are rather than hiding from it, and not letting people–even those you love and love you–hold you back from who are…or maybe in this case not holding yourself back for them. Also, I was wrong earlier. I think this one rivals my love for Real Fake Love, except for the ending being a bit drawn out. I laughed a lot, almost as much as with Real Fake Love.