True love can’t be strategized.
Romance book blogger Vivian Galdi is a girl with a plan: the Replacement Crush mission. After her longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe targets, determined to protect her heart and avoid anyone who pings her zing meter. But nerd-hot Dallas, the new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian’s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission, analyzing his target and taking advantage of the tactical errors in her strategy.
Does Dallas just like a good game of Replacement Crush Battlefield, or is he on his own mission to prove to Vivian that true love isn’t a matter of strategy? And how much collateral damage can they both sustain during the heat of battle?
I’m a huge, huge fan of Lisa Brown Roberts and I might have gotten a little swoony when I met her at the RWA conference here in San Diego last month. Obviously I jumped at the chance to read and review The Replacement Crush and I was not disappointed. Vivian Galdi is broken hearted after a hot couple of weeks at the end of summer making out with her long-term crush, Jake, on the beach. But when school starts, popular Jake has already moved on to new surfer girl, Claire leaving Vivian not only devastated, but vowing to never allow that to happen again. How? By only dating boys that she could never have strong feelings for. Along comes hot, yet nerdy, Dallas, a recent transplant to Southern California from Wisconsin. When Viv’s mom hires Dallas to help them take their sleepy seaside bookstore into the 21st century, Vivian and Dallas are forced to work together and the zing cannot be ignored. Which means Dalls is completely undateable.
I love the book blogging angle so much, it inspired me to use gifs for the first time in a book review. I might be hooked, although it takes longer to find just the right ones.
The plot centers around the romance between Vivian and Dallas and Vivian’s refusal to even give Dallas a chance because she knows they have serious zing. Something she’s not willing to indulge in again. It’s clear from the beginning the Dallas feels it, too, and he’s determined to get Vivian to change her mind, although his methods are subtle. These two fight a lot, about ridiculous things. Dallas tries to rile her up and Viv fights to keep Dallas at arms’ length, but that only increases the electricity between them.
There are some cute subplots involving Vivian’s relationship with the son of her mother’s boyfriend, a guy she’s known since kindergarten, a crush by one of her closest friends, and a mysterious visitor in town who may or may not be a famous rock star hiding out from the paparazzi.
I loved the sleepy seaside community north of Los Angeles. At times, it felt very much like Encinitas, a town only ten miles north of me. Particularly with the the crunchy, granola, hippy liberal vibe I got while reading about surfing competitions, yoga, smoothies, and more. The author created a town that was as much a character in the story as any of her human characters.
Speaking of characters, they’re all wonderful. Even Jake the snake, as the bad guy. He never comes off as stereotypical, although the author could have easily gone there without ruining the story. Dallas has depth that I haven’t seen in a love interest in awhile, even though the story is told completely from Viv’s point of view. There are times I wanted to shake some sense into Vivian for being “that girl” but the author even acknowledges that, taking away my ability to roll my eyes are her antics.
The ending is perfect. I love Viv and Dallas and the big romantic gesture was the perfect way to wind up this tale.
Top Five Things I Loved about The Replacement Crush:
1. Hot nerds. What’s not to love about a gorgeous, smart guy that loves all the geeky things you do?
2. Toff. Viv’s surfing, sorta brother, is loyal, adorable, and a full of himself, and yet I can’t help loving him. I hope we get a book from his point of view soon.
3. First kisses. Viv and Dallas’s first kiss is one of the hottest teen kisses I’ve ever read, without crossing a line.
4. Bookstores. Viv’s mom owns a bookstore and many scenes take place there, making me feel as if I’m in my home away from home.
5. The ending. Well done, sweet, funny, and hot. A hard trifecta to achieve.
The Replacement Crush is full of fun, quirky characters, witty banter, and obvious teen sexual tension that is a delight to read.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Title: The Replacement Crush
Author: Lisa Brown Roberts
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon│Amazon UK│Amazon CA│Barnes & Noble│iTunes│Kobo│The BookDepository│Books a Million
About the Author
Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year.
This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life’s painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.
Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, several fourlegged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.