In Review: 40-Love (There’s Something About Marysburg #2) by Olivia Dade

Posted June 21, 2020 by Kim in 5 Stars, In Review / 0 Comments

In Review: 40-Love (There’s Something About Marysburg #2) by Olivia Dade40-Love by Olivia Dade
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: June 18, 2020
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eARC, 312 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2020 Romanceopoly
My rating:

When a rogue wave strips Tess Dunn of her bikini top, desperate, half-naked times call for desperate, please-cover-me-kids-are-coming-closer measures. Enter Lucas Karlsson, AKA that flirty Swede in the water nearby. When he prevents her bare buoys from being exposed to fellow vacationers, even an ocean can’t drown the sparks that fly.

Lucas, a former top-level tennis pro now giving lessons at the resort, fled there after the abrupt, painful end to his injury-plagued career. But he’s finally ready to move on with his life—and after a few late-night, hands-on sessions with Tess, he’s eager to prove he’s the ace she wants.

But this match comes with challenges: She’s forty, and at twenty-six, he’s barely old enough to rent a car. Worse, they only have two weeks together before Tess returns to her assistant-principal life in Virginia. During that brief time, they’ll have to play hard, take a few risks, and find out whether their chemistry is a one-shot wonder…or whether they’re meant to be doubles partners for life.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In Review: My Thoughts

Have you ever loved a book so much you wanted to shout that love from the rooftops? Make everyone you know read it? That’s how I felt the instant I finished 40-Love. Ok, let’s be honest, I felt that way about two chapters into the book and still feel the same days later. Why did it take me so long to pick up an Olivia Dade book? Big fail on my part, but at least I’ve learned my lesson and I can commence my backlist binge immediately.

What did I love about 40-Love? Literally everything. That’s not an exaggeration. It’s an age gap romance with a 40-year-old heroine (*praise*) and 26-year-old hero. The meet-cute in chapter one had me grinning, giggling and cringing. Is it possible to die of secondhand embarrassment? I honestly think I came close. I swear I read 3/4 of this book with a giant cheesy grin on my face. Unsurprising to anyone, I also cried a couple of times. Maybe most importantly to me, the fat rep was perfection. Tess is easily one of the most relatable heroines I’ve read in ages. Perhaps ever. I need more of this — you know, seeing myself in the books I’m reading. 40-Love was the total package.

Let me tell you about the girl crush I have on Tess. She knows who she is and what she wants (or at least she thought she did until she met Lucas). She exuded the confidence I wish I could have on a more consistent basis. I legit want her to be my best friend. Her inner dialogue was hilarious and quite often I found myself nodding along with her. I got her and I swear it was like she was in my head sometimes. And Lucas? He was the most perfectly imperfect hero, a total cinnamon roll. Did I side-eye him a little in the beginning? Sure, but it wasn’t long before he had me swooning all over the place. There were dozens of little moments where he did or said things that made me sigh with happiness. I adored him.

I could go on and on talking about just how much I loved this book, but I’ll spare you. Just trust me and go read it for yourself. You won’t be sorry. Then we can binge all the Olivia Dade books together. 😉

Favorite Quotes:

She could see the mugshot and local news headlines now: Buoys of Terror: Assistant Principal Dunn Corrupts Innocent Children with Her Enormous, Naked Gozangas. 

God help her, but Lucas somehow unbalanced her, dizzied her until her tongue came untethered and said things—angry things, honest things, foolishly flirty things—a diplomatic, practical principal-to-be would never, ever say.

Somewhere in her late thirties, her supply of fucks had become extremely limited. Some might even say nonexistent, except when it came to her work and her friends. 

“I may be too much woman for this shirt, but I consider that a flaw in its design, not mine.” 

“How the hell can a twenty-six-year-old athlete be the perfect boyfriend for me? In what universe is that even possible?”

“The sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the tides come and go, we’ll eventually grow old and die, and Lucas Karlsson loves Tess Dunn.”

About Olivia Dade

While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn't read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Where did all the throbbing come from? 3) What was a "manhood"? 4) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero's manhood?

Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 3) It's his "hard length," sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. 4) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year's Eve at Cancun.

During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet--it didn't matter. I loved them all.

Now I'm writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I'd rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.

So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.

Let’s Chat

Give me your favorite recs for books with good fat/plus-size representation.
Is 40-Love on your TBR?
Have you read any of Olivia’s other books?

Kim Sig

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